As I write, another TV “debate” event approaches, and it’s obvious enough to reasonably presume that the show will be about who will be the best choice, as President of the United States, to control the whole world, and nobody will speak up in a bit of candid honest reason and suggest that this very notion is severely misplaced.
I regularly wonder how historians in the future will look back on us living today in the United States, and marvel, in puzzled dismay, at how so much of the population and general public consensus and attitude could hang on to an ugly mix of naricissistic hubris, and sheer oblivious ignorance, and irrationality, while our own country was falling apart, literally and figuratively.
While American cities and all the variety of things we throw under the heading of “infrastructure” are becoming more and more like examples of third world decay and malfunction, anything that even has the aroma of anything like FDR’s New Deal and WPA, addressing the maintenance and construction and reconstruction of such things, and paying people for their work in the process, comes under fierce attack from people calling anything of the sort “big government wasteful spending”. For that matter, anything that benefits the citizens of the country and the country as a whole gets this treatment.
In the meantime, a trillion bucks a year or more goes out the window while people claim this is all for “national security”, regardless of the absurdity of this, considering how little of it really has any relevance to defending the nation. It hasn’t been about defending the nation for almost 70 years, which gets us right back to the latest TV performance event.
You can probably assume, though, that the TV “debate” will be framed as a contest to argue who would be the best tough guy who will show the world who’s boss of the world for the next four years.
The last time out, here, I spent a bit of time and page space going through just a tiny sliver of items under the heading of “energy” in the context of TV arguments about the presidency. There is much more under that subject, and there are many other subjects that get similar evasions of reality.
For the TV “foreign policy debate”, it’s a good bet that candidate Romney will do his normal routine of ridiculous gross pandering, constant dishonesty, and even borderline insanity at times, the latter really coming into play when he opens his mouth about anything involving relations with the rest of the world.
And so that endless theater of the absurd continues, we have a current president who has avoided a great deal of facing, and more importantly, getting the citizens of the nation to face, problems we have in the realm of real circumstances and events, while still dealing with the responsibility of actually being president, and doing the dance of trying to avoid anything unpleasant and unpopular while not actually being dishonest. This now comes with the addition to the scene of an election challenger who seems to operate almost completely without any constraints of concern about truth and reality.
There was an endless stream of falsehood and delusion in Willard Romney’s chattering in the October 16 TV extravaganza, but here was one excerpt that was one of many unintentional gems of dark comedy:
MR. ROMNEY: …..if we do what I am planning on doing, which is getting us energy-independent, North American energy independence within eight years, you’re going to see manufacturing come back jobs because our energy is low-cost.
They’re already beginning to come back because of our abundant energy.
It seems to be completely lost on most people that the phenomenon of business practice that we’ve come to know as “globalization” only exists because of a basic pair of conditions: a span of time of conditions of relative world peace, allowing shipping around most of the world without the interference of armed conflicts being an obstacle, and effectively unlimited and cheap petroleum for transportation. The whole game is based on notions of cheap and unrestricted petroleum fuel making distance a factor that people regard as relatively insignificant, in overall costs.
The world has been bumping up against the constraints of maximum limits of crude petroleum flow since around 2005 (see information in this department), which appears to be the warning indicator of the “bumpy plateau” or “wobbly plateau” of interaction between production volume and economic effects that people who know this subject well have warned us about as a sign that we are at worldwide peak of oil and about to head into diminishing returns of petroleum.
There are other factors in terms of energy and this subject, such as price of natural gas here in the US at present, but then that also gets into another problematic area, which is that, despite all the chatter about hydraulic fracturing processes and hype about “a century or more of abundant clean natural gas energy under our feet in America”, this “abundance” appears to be severely overoptimistically exaggerated.
The bottom line is that the notions of “globalization” in making things is on borrowed time, as the diminishing returns in petroleum mean a reality where petroleum is only going to get more problematic, in availability, quality, and cost.
We have nobody in the general public eye addressing this realistically, and as I’ve said many times, it’s way past time for the population in general to get their minds around this stuff and begin adjusting thinking accordingly.
All this is being treated in a way worse than ignoring it. It’s being regarded with wishful thinking and delusions, with most people being willing to play along in pretending, because that seems easier, although it certainly is not. It’s not, because reality is knocking, and isn’t going away just because we pretend not to hear the door.
But there are questions that aren’t even being asked much, never mind being answered honestly.
For example, when you have people being referred to, not as people, or even as citizens, but “consumers”, constantly, while corporations are regarded as “people”, where does that put our public consciousness?
The droning noise about “the economy and jobs” never ends, but in the meantime, essentially nothing has happened to address the fiasco of insanity and misbehavior in banking and finance. This, as James Kunstler put succinctly in his latest blog entry, is basically a huge shell game and smoke and mirrors illusion now sustained only by complex accounting fraud. Any notion that Willard Romney would address this as is needed and restore sanity and the rule of law, and be anything than a full on plutocrat, is tragicomic naïvete.
Any glimmer of awareness appearing, about the relationship between the increase in the cost of petroleum, and economic and financial matters, immediately snaps people into some kind of recoiling reaction, catatonic denial and wishful thinking that avoids the reality of depletion of a finite resource and the diminishing returns of petroleum, and the problem that this is now a permanent state of affairs.
In the political games, notice that there is nothing being said about the state of the planet and the changes in the Earth’s climate that are already beginning to kick our asses for being such poor stewards of the Earth.
Plenty of people don’t want to pay for anything, although, in the public realm, they’ll be glad to complain and rant about the state of the government’s finances, and think more military expenditures around the world are just fine, or even demand it, while thinking in terms of “government wasteful spending” as gifts for other people that they’re paying for, even if they’re actually getting assorted benefits from their government that other people are paying for. Meanwhile, all the things we file under “infrastructure” that comprise the structure of civilization for us continue to deteriorate.
We can do much better than this.
To do better than this first requires that we all get ourselves tuned in to a conscious concensus of circumstances as they actually are. This has been an obvious running theme for me in writing here, but the question still hangs there; is anything getting through yet?
Again, I have no illusions that my little bits of verbage on the interwebs makes much impact on anybody, but never mind me and what I do, the simple fact of the overall picture is that in all kinds of different subject areas, the clues about reality as it really is are all around us, and I’m just pointing them out.
Many other people are pointing them out, even while they tend to be remarkably obscure to the general public.
The latest blog entry from James Howard Kunstler addresses, again, the absurdist circus of American national politics, and he puts things in plain and clear enough form.
In a pair of interview articles, Richard Heinberg pretty neatly covers the basics of our energy source predicament and the failures of public awareness and politics in this domain, in Richard Heinberg on the politics of energy policy and Asking Richard Heinberg: Is the world running out of oil?.
(It’s interesting to note that these both appear in the Washington Times, generally a wretched propaganda paper, but demonstrating that sometimes the truth can actually get through the most unexpected medium.)
More to the broad point here, a bit of light appeared in an editorial in the New York Times, that addresses the general situation with our present day politics.
In short, people just want smiley faced sunshine blown up their asses, rather than telling the truth and actually attacking the problems at hand.
This is our biggest problem to overcome.
So, is anybody getting it yet?