Monday, January 25, 2010

You can tell you are getting close to the truth when...

You can tell you are getting close to the truth when you p*ss people off.

If I said that Scientologists dominated the American Left, and that it was their dogma which controlled the Left's policies... or if I said the Taliban and the Right were working together in order to increase the U.S. military budget... you would roll your eyes and write me off as a NUT of the first order - complete with a polite smile and a sincere hope that I get better soon...

The major political powers in the U.S. really boil down to VERY, VERY few issues... or single issue. The rest is just NOISE, a distraction.

The noise in our American political discourse continues to drown out much that needs to be brought to light, not least because of those in denial that their issues are not THE issues of their respective association.

That energy availability, social programs, the military budget, and the nation's currency are all inextricably linked seems to not register - even among those more than familiar with chaos theory and the butterfly effect - because to acknowledge this might gore someone's sacred cow.

There are no such sacred cows on this blog...

In the aftermath of the Allied victory in Europe, Eisenhower filmed the atrocities of the death camps and brought THOUSANDS of German Civilians to witness the carnage. He did this ensure that the liars of reconstructed history could not deny what had taken place there - and though it was brutal, and some thought a dishonor to the dead on display, it eliminated the risk of DENIAL.

The political and economic environment that led the World back to World War in the 1930's is much closer to today's real circumstances than Western media would lead the public to believe. "History may not repeat itself, but it does echo", is a fair characterization of the current circumstances.




25 comments:

Anonymous said...

We're hanging on by a thread. All we need is one major currency to collapse, leaving the population of a whole major country or 2 or 20 penniless and away we go. A food shortage, or oil supply disruption would be even more dangerous. The US is playing way to close to the edge of disaster for my liking. What the rest of the world is up to is beyond my knowledge. I'm seeing more fascists than libertarians around, at least at the top.


Regards,

Coal Guy

bureaucrat said...

I doubt we are hanging by a thread. :) For one thing, pogroms (state-sanctioned kill-offs of whole populations) are much harder to execute these days with the advent of really small cameras and the Internet. Frankly, governments the world over have a really hard time these days oppressing their people (Burma, Iran, China, even North Korea, etc.) without someone filming something that shows up on the Internet/CNN hours later. You can continue your subscriptions to your magazines, everyone. You'll be around to read them. :)

Anonymous said...

All the little cameras also make a population easier to control. It is much easier today to track who went where and when. Totalitarianism has never been as easy. The is no freedom under surveillance. Things can get pretty miserable short of mass executions. People disappear in the night in all of those countries that you mentioned.

In any case I'm talking more of the possibility of war than the emergence of something similar to the Third Reich. Although, hungry people are easily persuaded.

Regards,

Coal Guy.

Anonymous said...

I replied to an article written by the Heritage Foundation (it's a conservative think tank) about the author claiming that Ronald Reagan's policies would put America back on the right track. I pointed out the dwindling oil export supplies and I was blasted by people for drinking the liberal kool-aid and how we have unlimited oil in the United States! It was the response I was expecting but being called a liberal was new, hah.

bureaucrat said...

We have lots of cameras in Chicago now. Considering how boring my day is, they can track me all they want .. on my way to McDonalds, on my way to the hardware store, on my walk around the block .... BORING!!!!! :)

UK/London has more cameras than anywhere else, and they did that to combat crime. Studies have shown, however, that the cameras don't seem to affect crime rates hardly at all, other than bringing the crime inside.

kathy said...

Even the labels of liberal, conservative, facist, socialist are distractions. The truth-infinite growth in a finite world is not going to happen. As for cameras-I would rather be less safe than more surveyed, no matter how boring my life may be.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

As I quoted "History does not repeat itself, it rhymes or echoes..."

I was not suggesting goose stepping jag offs were going to materialize...

I WAS suggesting that some very unpleasant outcome is highly possible - I have no idea what it might look like - I leave that to Dmitri Orlov.

Dan said...

Would someone please explain to me how a surveillance camera secures anything? It has gotten so ridiculous that the college where I am attending night classes has more surveillance cameras than the prison I work at. Of course at work we are under no illusion about their limitations.

Donal Lang said...

An easy way for a government to control a population is to disable it financially; if you're worried about finding something to eat and somewhere to live, you're too busy to be out there confronting the politicians. Pure Maslow.

Don't know how you'd achieve that - maybe create a financial or bank crisis?

Ooops, my paranoia is showing again! ;-)

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Donal:

Unfortunately that won't need to be manufactured. In time, I virtually guarantee that outcome... virtually...

I don't do 1.00

Anonymous said...

As this crisis continues, I am finding Russian Igor Panarins prediction about the breakup of the USA to be more and more possible.

The financial crisis is only one facet of this mess. The political gridlock is just as scary- the political system cannot solve even minor problems anymore- much less stupendous issues such as peak oil transitioning.

bureaucrat said...

There will be no breakup of the USA in the near future. Nobody wants that to happen for one thing. A hundred years ago, oppressed Europeans could flee to a welcoming U.S. Today there is nowhere left to flee to (except the moon). Not to mention that most of the BIG things in life have been settled (As Jeffers keeps pointing out, there is that abortion thing that is forever unsettled, but everyone agrees murder is wrong and communism is a failure, blah, blah ...) We are left to argue about where remains. On the big issues, we have a broad consensus: everyone wants to be left alone, the kids are to be protected, and debt you cannot service is bad, bad, bad. The 50-state (plus Puerto Rico) USA has got legs, if only because there are no real alternatives.

bureaucrat said...

Sorry .. WHAT remains.

Anonymous said...

Bur,

I'm not talking about the US coming apart, particularly. The world is in the midst of an economic collapse. Some will suffer, some will try to take advantage. Economic instability leads to political instability. Think about what might happen. The EU or maybe just the Euro may come unglued. Don't think for a minute that the French and Germans aren't grousing about Greece, the UK, and Spain. What if the Iranians or the Russians decide that they can take advantage of a bad situation and do something stupid? What if the Chinese economy tanks or China decides that the time is right to take Taiwan? What if we have a currency crisis right here, and the tens of millions addicted to the dole are suddenly left without support? There are a lot of possibilities for trouble as things continue to decay. No one can predict. Simply, the world is much more dangerous than it was three years ago.

Regards,

Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

bur- I would dispute your contention that bad things cannot happen because people do not want them to happen.

Did the Germans in 1923 want to be dealing with hyperinflation? Did Americans want the DOW to collapse in 1929 and 1974? Did the Russkies want the USSR to collapse in 1989? Did the Argentine people want to deal with the results of national debt default?

Just because Americans do not want big problems to result from bad polices does not guarantee that such will not be the result. The deindustrialisation and over financialization of the US are long term problems that may not be resolved before the peak oil juggernaut comes to rest.

bureaucrat said...

Bad things do indeed happen, but the drivers of the "collapses" you list are not to be found or are easily recognized ...

Germany in 1923 -- the Krauts had to pay back France, etc., for WWI war restitution, so the Germans printed lots of deutschmarks and shipped them to France (a la hyperinflation). The U.S. today doesn't expect to get paid back for anything. :)

Dow collapses of 1929 and 1974 (and 2008). While the people do not control the Fed, anyone who cares to can see this stuff coming a mile away. Thanks to the Austrian economists, I pulled out of the DOW in late 2007. Saved my retirement fund. If you want to be lazy, and you don't keep your eyes open, sometimes get what you get.

USSR collapsing -- everyone knew (except FDR's inner circle) that communism sucked for decades. Russians and Chinese citizens have known that for decades, and they save their wealth accordingly.

Argentina -- see USSR above. If you can't see a military dictatorship coming at you, there's no hope for you anyway. :)

P.S. if Iraq does even a portion of the oil production they are planning to do (12 mbpd in 6 years), the peak oil juggernaut will be on indefinite freeze.

Anonymous said...

bur- I would argue that all the signs of a collapsing empire are visible in the US. Dmitry Orlov predicted our current situation years ago. David Walker has been criss-crossing the USA in a bid to convince anyone- anyone at all- that the debt situation is reaching a tipping point at which our financial situation will be out of control. But our so-called leaders and the electorate dream on and on.

So here we are in a place where the Fedgov is borrowing HALF of it's operating budget. A sense of unreality rules perceptions. Our great leaders do not trim spending or retool the Fedgov goals & expenditures. Instead lead by Mr. Obama, we are increasing expenditures in every area. How about a few new wars? And the criminal elites are looting the country- just like what happened in USSR before it's collapse.

Every sign of terminal empiritis is visible- bankrupt finances, excessive militarism, rampant corruption, over financialisation, second-rate leaders, apathetic masses, empire unable to maintain flow of resources to the center, thieving elites, bankrupt provinces(states), and a population that only wants free entertainment(bread and circus).

We can see it coming but can't change the outcome.

oOOo said...

I guess this graphic fits with your post somewhat:
http://blog.derestricted.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/us-collapse-18-11.gif

Greg T. Jeffers said...

oOOo:

Great graph. Thanks. It fits perfectly.

bureaucrat said...

Sheesh ...

Orlov is just a writer. Not a professor. Not a specialist. Not even an accomplished finance person like Jeffers supposedly is. He's at best a sociologist. See if they ever make any money. :)

David Walker and his Agora video have been routinely ignored by everyone, cause no one wants to hear it. I was reading about the Federal deficits in the 1990s. 20 years later .. still deficits .. and still no one is starving.

With the Fed buying any Treasuries that don't sell, the worst from that smooth move will be inflation. And yet, there is no inflation anywhere. Look at the yields on Treasury securities. They are at historic lows, meaning the people "in the know" (the bond traders) see no inflation anywhere.

Obama cannot trim the Federal budget anyway. Tonight in his State of the Union, he'll talk about his plans to freeze Federal spending. He's making a fool of himself saying that. 80% of the Federal budget is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Interest on the Debt, and Defense --- all wildly popular programs that will NEVER be cut.

You're seeing a commie under every rock. :) Open your eyes and see the world isn't coming to an end. We'll just are going to have to live day-by-day for awhile.

P.S. corruption -- not in my agency. They've taken all the cash away and everything is done by trackable credit card. They track our spending everywhere we go!!! We can't steal squat!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Bur,

The Fed injecting money into the economy is one thing that I agree with. Deflation is an awful thing. All the cash disappears as debt declines. 3% inflation is a day at the beach. 3% deflation is a nightmare. We do need to deleverage. If things deleverage from 40:1 to 10:1 we need 4X the base money to keep prices stable (if money is a commodity that is priced relative to what it can buy).

Everyone is paying down debt and that makes money disappear. I'd love to see inflation right now. Wage inflation, that is.

So far, Mish has been dead on. I also agree with him that the problem is too much debt. However, I don't agree with his cure for the problem, which is complete financial collapse and rebuild from the smoking rubble. Better the Fed help to eliminate debt by buying toxic assets and treasuries, and keep some cash out there. These are better ways to get money into the economy than give it to banks that have no one to lend to. We don't need more debt in any case, public or private.

Regards,

Coal Guy

oOOo said...

Bur, nobody going hungry in the states huh?
http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/01/26/the-u-s-food-crisis-1-in-5-went-hungry-last-year/

Anonymous said...

They fudge the numbers. Same for homeless. There are some going hungry, however.

Regards,

Coal Guy

bureaucrat said...

I don't think anything called "Alternet" is necessarily a great place to get unbiased information, especially with the plug for Obama at the end. :)

bureaucrat said...

This is one reason, while the mainstream media has been totally asleep at the switch reporting the energy and financial issues of the day, the alternative media leaves a lot to be desired as well ...

"Reporting these figures, the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute, says that the 107 million tons of grain that went to US ethanol distilleries in 2009 was enough to feed 330 million people for one year at average world consumption levels. With 200 ethanol distilleries in the country set up to transform food into fuel, the amount of grain processed has tripled since 2004."

This is from the Earth Policy Institute (the "alternative media"), who acts as if human beings can directly consume the FIELD corn used to make ethanol. Humans DO NOT EAT FIELD CORN (99% of all corn is field corn). Humans eat sweet corn (the cans of Jolly Green Giant corn, and other corn products). Field corn DOES however indirectly feed humans by being used as animal feed (we do eat meat), corn syrup, corn starch and cooking oil, but people get the idea that humans are starving because corn is being used to make ethanol as vehicle fuel. What a load of CRAP!!!