I watched Collapse yesterday, a film by Michael C. Ruppert—it was spectacularly informing and I’d like to thank Brent Kyle, who turned me onto it. I posted a link to the film on-line; unfortunately, it was broken. I ended up watching the thing on Netflix’s instant player, but if you’re not a subscriber I’m sure that you could find it without much trouble.
Mr. Ruppert’s major theme in the film was oil. According to him, we are reaching—or have already reached—peak oil, which means that we’ve exhausted more than half of the world’s supply and that we’re getting to the point where it takes more energy to get the oil out of the ground than it can possibly yield. He also points out just how dependent on oil we are—not just for gasoline, but for rubber, plastics, paints, etc.
Mr. Ruppert also touches on bubble economics, fractional reserve banking, and other topics that I routinely cover in this column. Even if you’re not necessarily into this kind of thing, I recommend watching it—it is fascinating.
In the course of searching for Collapse, I came across several other films that look interesting as well; after I watch them—and depending on whether or not they’re any good—I will post my reviews and links here.
In seems that most of today’s headlines focus on the economy and what the president and his Republican contenders propose to do about it. Thus far, I have only heard one candidate (Ron Paul) address the real issue—which is that the entire system is fucked. The way we’re doing things now—what with fiat currency, fractional reserve banking, and compound interest—relies on infinite growth (an impossibility) or the whole house of cards will collapse. I haven’t the time or the energy to go into Economics 101 here, but you owe it to yourself to study the subject and then you will understand why it is a mathematical certainty that our current system is unsustainable.
Everyone has a plan, but no good ones. Jon Huntsman released his, Obama has a big speech planned for next week, and Mitt Romney said this: “I will make business taxes competitive with other nations, eliminate burdensome regulations and bureaucracy, and support America’s workers instead of its union bosses.”
The problem that I have with Republicans is their incessant desire to always move backwards rather than forward—a spectacular yearning for the good ol’ days, as it were. If you dissect what Romney said, he basically wants to lower taxes for the rich and large corporations, de-regulate industry, and bust up the unions. These are not good things for average Americans, who equal about 99% of the population.
Michele Bachmann has gone on the record as wanting to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and eliminate the minimum wage. Jesus God! As it is, minimum wage is a fucking joke. If anyone honestly believes that a person can support themself, let alone a family, making $7.25 an hour … well … I just don’t know what to say. If anything, the minimum wage needs to be increased—doubled even. Employers like Wal-Mart and McDonald’s pay their executives obscene salaries and bonuses while the people who do the actual work can’t even keep up with their rent.
If Bachmann and Romney and all the rest get their way, we’ll be undoing decades of progressive reform that working Americans have stridently fought for. Personally, I do not want to see U.S. citizens—children, even—working around the clock in sweatshops for $2.00 an hour while industrial plants go back to pumping our rivers and lakes full of toxic sludge.
Speaking of which, much to the outrage of the American Lung Association and thinking people everywhere, Obama has once again tucked his tail between his legs and slinked away from the Republicans like a beaten cur. He ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to shelve a proposal to tighten smog standards. Apparently, saving $100 billion in health costs and helping to prevent as many as 12,000 premature deaths from heart and lung complications would just be too expensive and a burden on big polluters. Oh boy.
In other news, renowned dingbat Sarah Palin will be delivering speeches this weekend in Iowa and New Hampshire, the meat of which will be putting down President Obama without offering any solutions of her own. Remember: Sarah Palin is not running for office in 2012 … but then why are her rants supposed to “deliver a sharp indictment of President Barack Obama” and “contrast herself against the current crop of GOP candidates”?
According to MSNBC, a lunatic from Florida sold her car just so she could attend.
In perhaps one of the most lucid moments of his life, Dick Cheney wondered aloud on national radio why Palin quit her governorship midterm—and the only reasonable explanation is that she is not a politician and she never was. Just how in the stinking hell she ever got elected in the first place is a mystery … but maybe not, if you’ve ever been to Alaska.
Welcome to the weekend. Here’s your wisdom: