Friday, October 31, 2008

US Attacks On Syria

Democracy Now explores the Bush doctrine in light of the US Military's recent assassination of a family in Syria.

Essentially as i understand it, the US Military is after a man that has been smuggling people across the Iraqi/Syrian border. This border has been the way that over a million refugees have taken to flee our war against Iraq.

US forces have been unable to apprehend this man, so they went into Syria in broad daylight, and slaughtered his family.

This is a new era in US Interventionism. To my knowledge, the US hasn't openly used murder squads since the war of genocide against American Indians.

Now the world knows that Bush will send murder squads into neutral and allied nations to slaughter whole families. If Bush can't get to the people he's after, he'll just murder innocent people to send a message. Bush has taken on the policies of drug lords, the mafioso and despots.

What a nation we have become.

This article further discusses the fact that Obama so far has supported cross border raids and there is no indication that he will not continue these policies.

Part 1

Part 2

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Out On A Ledge

After looking over recent oil production and export data, coupled with recent reports of OPEC cuts in the works, I think it's safe to say that we are Post Peak now.

I don't believe that OPEC really needs to cut production to bring prices up. They'll be coming back up after the election anyway. I think they are seeing slides in their production, and they wish to give the impression that the decline is intentional. This will lead the public to believe that OPEC is in control. If OPEC were to announce that they are in decline and helpless to counter it, they'd be toast.

We're entering a period that resembles the post 2001 trough except that there will be no new high when it's over. The fields will too far gone to be ramped up to a new peak. So we may see oil production extend out into a ledge for a time, if we're lucky.

This unfortunately is going wreak havoc with the world financial systems. Governments and banks will frantically try all sorts of measures to rebuild their economies, but most of these measures will do more harm than good. Without a growing energy base to power their industries, the money will be loaned without being returned. Without growing industry, there aren't sufficient profits to repay interest on the loans.

I think it's likely that we'll drop to 2002 production levels, while exports will go much lower. This would be at least a 6% drop. This is the energy equivalent of 600 nuclear power plants. I don't see alternatives picking up the slack in any meaningful way.

I was wrong previously in calling the peak previously. I think I called it in 2005. So I'm taking this chance to get it all wrong again. :) Now I'm saying it's 2008...

Good Luck All!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Republican Voter Fraud Continues

McCain may well become our next president. As I argued last year, the media simply needs to make the race look close. The machines can then steal the vote. Then no one will be able to prove a thing. You can't do recounts on machines that don't count your vote correctly to begin with.

Two Videos from Democracy Now

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Peak Oil: Julian Darley And Richard Heinberg

Julian Darley describes Peak Oil and it's implications in a down to earth talk.

Peak Oil: Fireside Chat with Julian Darley of Post Carbon Institute

Richard Heinberg explores the challenges and limitations we are faced with in dealing with Peak Oil. One of the charts he shows here, I've seen a few other places. It shows that oil exports are in decline now. Consumption in producing countries is outpacing production gains, meaning that these nations have less oil to sell and thus less revenue to depend on.

Sustainability and Resource Depletion: Survival Challenge for the 21st Century

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Argentina's Economic Collapse

The parallels between what has happened in Argentina and what is going on in the US are striking. The first and most important point in my view is the direct flow of capital from the taxpayer, straight into the banks.

In Argentina, the IMF Austerity program required that a full 33% of the government revenue be diverted to IMF banks. This contributed immensely to the destruction of their currency and crippled the nation's economy. The USA is doing the same thing now. Diverting massive funding, directly into major international banks. The $trillion+ in funds, including the Federal Reserves bailout, exceeds the $600 billion we are already going deeper in debt for. This dramatic accelerates our debt, our minimum interest payments and is putting the USA onto the fast track to complete collapse.

These payments are only the beginning. We'll have to pay more each quarter. From the what some economists are describing, the bailout can easily grow to be 150% of the Us Government's revenue. In fact the final tally could be hundreds of times our government's revenue, before this is over. Argentina collapsed when it only had to pay 33%. It is inconceivable that the USA can turn into a giant pipeline to funnel trillions of dollars a quarter into foreign banks and survive as a free and prosperous nation.

I've written in the past on various forums that the IMF has a history of economic rape and pillage across the world. In the 1970s, the decimated Africa. At the start of the 1970s, much Africa was lit at night with bustling cities everywhere but in the Congo. Now, only the coasts are lit. The IMF Austerity programs raped and pillage nation after nation, stripping them of wealth and resources.

Then they ran out of African nations and moved to South America. As Argentina and Venezuela saw there oil production peak and fall, they swooped in for the kill.

Now they are done with South America. There's not much left economically they can carry away now. So they need other countries. It's our turn here in the USA.

Now, I'm a tin foil hat conspiratist. I know it. I did one of those silly conspiracy things about ten years ago. I went to the IMF web site and read their charter, and just about everything else. Their contracts basically say that once you borrow from them, they become owners of your country.

The USA has borrowed from the IMF. Our leaders signed contracts with them that turns over the title and deed to the United States of America to the IMF. The IMF has the right to decide our economic policies and to change our laws. That's the deal they made. The American people have been sold as slaves to the International Monetary Fund.

We live in their country now. We owe them our souls. They are collecting on our debt.

Below is a full length movie that chronicles Argentina's collapse.
h/t Surviving in Argentina

The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class

h/t Robert D Feinman

Distinguished law scholar Elizabeth Warren teaches contract law, bankruptcy, and commercial law at Harvard Law School. She is an outspoken critic of America's credit economy, which she has linked to the continuing rise in bankruptcy among the middle-class. Series: "UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures" [6/2007] [Public Affairs] [Business] [Show ID: 12620]

57:37 Minutes

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Deconstructing Dinner: Backyard Chickens I - III

Deconstructing Dinner has recently released the third show in a series on Backyard Chickens.

Sit back, listen and enjoy the show.

Global Public Media Link to 'Deconstructing Dinner: Backyard Chickens I (Farming in the City III')

Deconstructing Dinner Home Page

Backyard Chickens I (Audio)
Backyard Chickens II (Audio)
Backyard Chickens III (Audio)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Now I Get It

The commercial paper issue, or the lack thereof, is something that didn't connect for me until today. Then today I saw reports of ships sitting in our ports, loaded with food, that isn't being delivered, because the middlemen can't borrow money to buy it.

So it all makes sense now. The inevitable has come.

We have an economic system in the US that is very fragile. It's based on just in time inventories. Businesses depend on just in time credit to buy materials just as they need them to resell, just as the order comes in.

This system is driven by tax law that penalizes businesses for stocking up on goods. There are many efficiency driven arguments that tell us that this is an optimum strategy.

But, this system relies on cheap, over the road transportation to fill orders from anywhere, quickly. It requires cheap and easy credit. It requires abundant and cheap fuel.

If we lose any of these sustaining resources, then the system backs up and shortages occur.

In the South East, we're seeing this in fuel shortages that ripple into other markets as truckers don't have fuel to move goods.

Now we're seeing across our continent as the easy credit system dries up.

As our market unravels, these mini-crisis will increase in frequency across our economy, creating major problems where they intersect. Food and fuel are about to start rising in price while supply shortages occur. Businesses that lived on credit, will have to start buying using real money, and passing on the added costs to retool their finances and taxes on warehoused commodities, on to the consumer.

Though in the long run, shipping by rail, buying in larger bulk quantities and storing goods at a past price to resell at a higher future price might be cheaper, it will be hard to change our system to work this way.

By now you've probably seen many stories and videos on the net, telling you to stock up on food. We're nearing a crisis point now. If you don't have food to last you a month or more, go out and buy it now. Get a couple of extra five gallon cans of gasoline and fill them up. Keep them stored properly though. Don't put them in a hall closet. If you live in an apartment, then maybe you shouldn't buy them...

What kind of food should you buy?

First, buy foods you'll eat. There is no point in buying foods you won't eat.

Don't buy foods that require refrigeration. Not because I expect power failures, but because sometimes accidents happen. If your freezer decides to quit, you may end up wasting food and money. Use your freezer and refrigerator for short term storage and luxuries.

What you should buy is:
1. Canned foods.
2. Dried grains like rice and beans.
3. Sugar
4. Flour
4. Misc baking goods.

Please feel free to add to this list. My wife is the cook. She's not here to tell me how I'm screwing this up.

Then go to your local garden center and buy pots and potting soil to create your own herb garden. Most herbs can be grown on a patio. Perennial herbs like oregano, rosemary and thyme are best bought as potted plants. Parsley and basil grows easily from seed and this is the cheapest way to grow it.

Why am I recommending herbs? Quit simply it's because it can turn plain rice and beans into a much more interesting dish. Also, herbs are overpriced in the supermarket. You're not really paying for the herb so much as you're paying for the packaging. Save your current shakers and jars, and grow your own for pennies per pound.

Every years now I have basil self seeding all over my garden. Several pounds of fresh basil ends up back in the compost bin. I give a lot away. But only when I do the legwork to thrust it on neighbors. Most of my neighbors don't really cook, at least I don't think they do.

If you have a flowerbed, put four or five oregano plants in it. you'll never buy oregano again. That's another one that get's pruned and tossed into the compost by the bag full. It's a weed at my place.

I've also been growing my own horseradish. I'm glad I did. It's easy to grow. Spreads easily. And both the root and the leaves are tasty. We've been cooking the leaves like turnip greens.


The US is going through a restructuring period, much like what we've seen over the last two decades in South America. The US is seeing it's currency and markets debased and soon, the last of it's assets will be stripped.

We are entering a new depression. We are stair stepping down the Post-Peak Oil decline. It will b a long journey, now and then our intrepid leaders will stop causing harm and we'll see small temporary recoveries. But on the long haul, we will do as other civilization did before us. We will do the wrong thing, at the wrong time every time we encounter a new crisis.

It will take a protracted depression and multiple election cycles to get good honest and intelligent people into office, if we're even allowed to vote. so don't look for a recovery now. Don't wait for the government to tell you what to do. The government will defend itself. But it will too starved of resources to help you.

Our leaders won't give up on the wars for a time. So they'll have to cut domestic services. To keep our wars going, our government has no choice but to re-engineer itself as nothing but a war machine. As it devalues the currency, and generates $trillions of dollars out of thin air, it will be hard pressed to keep up with the rising cost of waging war. It will freeze spending on the domestic front. As prices continue their dramatic rise, federal employees will be seeing payroll freezes, and budget cuts. Many agencies won't have the resources to function. Yet they'll remain for a time.

Our local school system, the DISD just misplaced millions of dollars, and now they have to fire thousand teachers. They announced a new Spanish language program, but they don't have Spanish language books. New schools are opening with empty libraries.

This is going to be the norm everywhere.


Turn off your television.

Invest in hard assets. Wheel barrels, rototillers, shovels, hoes and garden rakes.

Buy seeds.

Don't buy any more gadgets.

Start your victory garden.

It's time.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Michael Ruppert On Credit And Debt

I find myself in a situation again, where I don't have much to say. For a decade now, I've been harping on my theories of how the breakdown from Peak Oil will play out. I have been dismayed again and again, that these events are as predictable as they have been. I've been off on a detail here and there, but the trend continues. Some of you likely remember when I argued that the housing boom would finish with a bail out.

I'm not special, or psychic. I simply try to find patterns in history and understand what drives them. Long ago I learned that life doesn't care what I think about it. Things happen, whether I like them or not. I think this is a lesson that people had to learn the hard way during the Great Depression.

Most of the arguments I've gotten through the years, to any of my prognostications is that people don't like what I say. It's not a matter of whether they make sense, or whether they are logical, that doesn't matter. The gut reaction is to recoil, because an examination of our path is unpleasant.

Friends often would ask me for advice. Thank me. Do what they already wanted to do. Then tell me they should have listened. Or tell me I was right, but for the wrong reasons, so I was wrong. So I don't give out advice much anymore.

I'm just the kooky neighbor with a garden and chickens.

And I've added 20 new chicks. I got 21, but one escaped, got through the fence, and the dog got it before I could. We may be roasting a 50lb dog if these keeps up...

It's been a week and we haven't lost anymore. This time I got full sized birds. The daddy of the Blue Laced Red Wyndottes weighed 14lbs. I'll keep a rooster or two out of that set. This should keep the cats out, and keep the dogs from causing many more problems.

We'll get too many roosters, so I'll be eating a few. This might be a good winter to be planning meals like this in advance.

Michael Ruppert weighs in on the current economic breakdown and what to do.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3