The Politics of No Choice

TRC contributor, Tesha Miller 

US Presidential campaigns are now in full swing and the curtains are propped wide open to reveal the sideshow spectacle which has come to represent her politics.  Come one, come all!  Tune out to the real issues of the day, like the slow and agonizing death of the middle class and the lack of a committed political body willing to lift a finger to stop the bleed-out of the people’s wealth.  Let’s not look at the costs, moral and financial, involved in empire’s endless rampage against oil rich nations, or the ethical morass which our tarnished state now represents to the rest of the world.  And by all means, don’t dare utter a word about the promise of yet another QE3 by Bernanke, which will further saddle the nation with greater debt and which America’s working class will ultimately be forced to pay; even as they proclaim the dire need for austerity. Oh no!  This election is about the cults of personalities and about their hollow promises of change. 
If you’ve made it this far and haven’t been purged from the voting lists, due to political affiliation, or still actually believe in the lessor of evil politics, you likely still believe that America is a democratic state, because you get the November privilege of casting a vote.  Maybe you’re mesmerized by the endless campaign messages splattered across your TV screen which are approved by some smiling talking head and you find yourself hoping to God that the entire nation isn’t going to catch fire, just like Rome; even though you smell the burning and feel the heat on your neck. Its making you sweat. 
You force yourself to believe that the system still works because if it doesn’t, it means that you actually have to do something about it, or admit that you’re a coward and are going to get exactly what you deserve.  After all, they showed us what’s coming for the troublemakers, we got front row tickets to the preview; if you take to the streets, like OWS, you get beaten by police in riot gear and jailed without charge.  And should you make enough noise…you might even get paid a visit by the FBI and put on a domestic terrorist list.  
So you play your role in the entire process and pick a side, with a held nose, and debate with your friends and neighbors from the prescribed talking points.  You steer clear of the messy details: the ever widening reaches of the police state, the loss of basic civil rights, the mounting racial tensions, corporate personhood, systemic corruption, environmental carnage, inequality, soaring incarceration rates, failing infrastructure, constant warfare and the end of the American dream. 
I am here to tell you that without your direct involvement in the process that the middle class is going to be a concept reserved for history books.  I am here to tell you that the US is going to continue down the pathway of western hegemony till an economic collapse, or much of the world is a war torn wasteland.  Finally, I’m here to tell you that real democracy isn’t merely the ability to choose between highly selected corporate candidates of gunshot, or poison.  I am here to empower you and remind you that while it is true that we are presented with the politics of no choice, during Novembers election; it doesn’t mean that you can’t determine a third choice for the betterment of our nation…the choice of solidarity with your fellows.

Keiser Report: Monopolies, Military, Mayhem

submitted by Gabrielle Price

In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss panic alarms for the population and medieval screeches about persecution from the corporate welfare class. In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam of the New England Complex Systems Institute about the role of speculation and ethanol in rising food prices and the tipping point to revolution that, when it happens, could happen in a matter of days or weeks.


Michael C. Ruppert on Occupy, Peak Oil, Environment and The Shift

submitted by Gabrielle Price

12/17/11 – Occupy Fear and Loathing Media Tour:

The Refreshment Center’s Gabrielle Price interviews Michael C. Ruppert at his home in Sebastopol, California.  We talk about Occupy and how the collapse of industrial civilization is coinciding with the most dynamic protest movement since the 60’s.  Mike touches upon geopolitics, energy depletion and environmental issues that humanity faces and the spiritual awakening that is taking place globally.  He also shares his experience of the Occupy camps, the women of Occupy and the many veterans who support the movement. [We also verify that no animals were harmed during the making of this film…].

For more information about Michael Ruppert and Collapsenet, please visit and make a connection in the Lighthouse Directory.  You can also tune in every Sunday night to hear Mike’s radio show, The Lifeboat Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

A Simple Exercise

Official Excerpt from Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil

by Michael C. Ruppert

Take a 20-dollar bill out of your wallet and set it in front of you.  Now take a glass of water and set it next to the cash.  Pretend that the glass of water represents a barrel of oil.  Look at them both for a second.  Then ask yourself a question:  What do they represent?  If you keep distilling your answers down to their purest essence, you will see that the money and the oil both represent the same thing: the ability to do work.  Both are useless if there is nothing to buy, drive or eat.
And yet our economic system, what we call capitalism but which is really something else, is predicated on debt, fractional reserve banking, derivative financing, and fiat currency. Therefore it requires that there must be limitless growth into infinity for it to survive.  Growth is not possible without energy.
Now look at the barrel of oil and realize that the earth is a closed sphere, and that without the oil and natural gas, the financial system is doomed.  There is nothing on our horizon – other than wishful thinking – that can completely replace hydrocarbon energy.  The surest way to see this is to realize that, as the human race starts down the inevitable slope of shrinking oil and gas supplies, we have seen no hydrogen powered F 18 Hornets or M1 Abrams tanks.  We have seen no vegetable oil-powered Bradley fighting vehicles or solar powered guided missile frigates.
There are many factors that the rulers of the American empire now have to manage as they read their own delusional map of the world.  They have to:
  • Apportion dwindling resources among competitors, some of whom possess nuclear weapons;
  • Maintain and expand their control over enough of the oil and gas remaining to ensure their global dominance and maintain order among the citizens of the Empire;
  • Simultaneously manage a global economic system, made possible by hydrocarbon energy, that is collapsing and in which the growing population is demanding more things that can only be supplied by using still more hydrocarbon energy;
  • Acknowledge that they cannot save their own economy without selling more of these products;
  • Control the exploding demand for oil and gas through engineered recessions and wars that break national economies;
  • Hide the evidence that they are systematically looting the wealth of all people on the planet – even their own people – in order to maintain control;
  • Maintain a secret revenue stream to provide enough off-the-books capital for purposes of providing themselves a distinct economic and military advantage, improving their technological posture, and funding covert operations;
  • Repress any dissent and head off any exposure of their actions;
  • Convince the population that they are honorable;
  • Kill off enough of the world’s population so that they can maintain control after oil supplies have dwindled to the point of energy starvation.
In the case of the War on Drugs, I infer that the result of some 30 years of effort, fueled by billions of dollars and managed by the “best and the brightest,” is exactly what was intended.  This is the premise from which I began looking at the events of September, 11, 2001, as I watched the second airliner hit the World Trade Center.
I do not claim to have presented or reconciled every fact.  That rarely happens in a complicated homicide investigation.  The tasks of the investigator are to produce a reasonable explanation based upon evidence that establishes probability, and to eliminate reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and that the guilty have been successfully identified.

If I can make a case in this book that explains these events, identifies the suspects, and makes more sense than any other interpretation of the available and demonstrable facts; if I can then get it out in a way that further empowers our collective learning; if that helps to break down the destructively false paradigm that governs so much of our life today – then I have contributed something that is hope-giving for all of us.  Otherwise, the future looks pretty grim.  This is a race against time.

Michael C. Ruppert ~ April, 21, 2004
Got lifeboat?
The Refreshment Center is home of the
Official Excerpts from Crossing The Rubicon

A Matter of Life and Death

Foreword excerpt from the book Crossing The Rubicon ~ The Decline Of The American Empire At The End of The Age Of Oil by Michael C. Ruppert / published 2004

Shared with permission from Mr. Ruppert

The real deal on corporate media

by Catherine Austin Fitts

In 1990, a New York Times reporter writing about my work implementing financial transparency and controls as an Assistant Secretary in the first Bush administration resigned to prevent the Times’ Washington Bureau Chief from intentionally falsifying the story.  The bureau chief kept his job, a first rate investigative reporter left the news profession, and the story was buried.  This manipulation protected 1980’s black budget fraud at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”).  It was one of my many lessons on the economic interests and political loyalties of corporate media.
Indeed, during the 1980’s, the savings and loan industry and government insurance programs were stripped of an estimated $500 billion by syndicates of military, intelligence, and private financial interests.  The profits were used to buy up banking, industrial, and media companies and to finance political campaigns.  From a greater position of political, judicial, and economic power in the 1990’s, these same syndicates then stripped an estimated $6 trillion of investors’ value in pump and dump stock market and mortgage market schemes and an estimated $4 trillion of taxpayer money from the US federal government.
In 1997, the Washington Post killed a cover story on my efforts to help HUD insure the integrity of its mortgage programs, thus making possible the subsequent disappearance of $59 billion from HUD as a part of this orgy of “piratization” of government assets by private interests.  Soon thereafter, when I attended a private invitation-only reception with colleagues at her home, Katherine Graham, the owner of the Washington Post, snubbed me by refusing to greet me in her receiving line.
Washington Post corporate interests profited from HUD programs used to gentrify Washington, DC neighborhoods.  Check out the last few pages in Graham’s autobiography – it’s there in black and white.  What’s not to be found in the pages of the Washington Post or Graham’s book is the “real deal” on who has profited from insider real estate development or narcotics trafficking in these same Washington neighborhoods – or from reinvestment of the resulting profits in stocks of local corporations like the Washington Post.
I do not mean to single out the New York Times or the Washington Post.  I have had similar experiences with the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report and Dow Jones Newswire, to name a few.  Trusted friends and colleagues have experienced similar situations with numerous newspapers, magazines, and networks owned and operated by corporate media interests.

George Orwell once said that omission is the greatest form of lie.  That’s the best description I knew of corporate media today.


The growing power of media
The cost to you of supporting corporate media is not just the subscription prices or the time lost to advertisements.  It’s the cost of omission – failing to tell you what you need to know.  Consider that this cost includes:
–  Your share of the $10 trillion that has been moved out of the US stock market and government without your having been informed by an alert and objective news media in time for you to take actions to protect yourself and your family.
–  The dilution of your Constitutional freedoms and the vesting of power in a small group of individuals who defraud you (the public) of staggering sums of money and then use that money to buy up media and control your government and judiciary and to compromise your rights and the rights of the people around you.
–  The impact on you and your children of having your streets and schools overwhelmed with dangerous narcotics and prescription drugs.
Our financial system depends on liquidity.  In turn, liquidity depends on a popular faith in the system’s “rule of law.”  Global leadership’s power depends on the ability to combine criminal cash flows with liquid stock market and government securities.  This is why Mike Ruppert’s From The Wilderness [and currently] and a growing global network of Internet media are accomplishing so much as we shift our readership and subscription dollars to them.  The powers that be are highly motivated to protect the legitimacy of their financial system.  If a little bit of well-placed illumination exposes some of this criminality, the criminals take notice.  That little bit of illumination can also embarrass them a lot in front of their families and neighbors.  Who wants to go to a PTA meeting after Mike Ruppert has explained that you are on the board of, or a lead investor in, a company complicit in slave trafficking or the torture of children?
David can defeat Goliath if we provide the resources to finance the stones – as you have helped do by buying this book.
The record speaks for itself
The fact that America and many countries around the globe are being strip-mined in a manner that results in the destruction and “piratization” of our infrastructure and natural resources, the reduction of the value of our personal assets and retirement and health care benefits and the abrogation of our civil liberties is not something that the corporate media has made clear to you. Mike Ruppert has.
Allegations that the CIA and Department of Justice were partnered with George H. W. Bush and Oliver North through the offices of the National Security Council in a little Iran-Contra arms and cocaine trafficking operation in Mena, Arkansas; and that Hillary Clinton’s law firm was helping launder the local share of the profits through state housing agency securities and investments were never addressed objectively by corporate media.  Mike Ruppert covered these stories and broke the story of the possible connection between these allegations and the Clinton impeachment.

It is highly unlikely that you read or heard in the corporate media that the price of gold was being manipulated to turn off our financial “smoke alarm,” or to “piratize” significant inventories of gold out of government and central banks globally at suppressed values.  It is highly unlikely that you read or heard that money was allegedly being siphoned off from federal agencies using PROMIS-type software programs and that important financial securities and investigation records were destroyed in the Oklahoma City and 9/11 attacks.  Mike Ruppert’s subscribers have read these stories.

You did not read or hear in the corporate media that the events of 9/11 “just happened” to resolve a stalemate in the defense appropriations subcommittee created when, in the face of the “disappearance” of $3.3 trillion from the Department of Defense and a five-year refusal to produce audited financial statements, Congress was challenged with achieving a significant increase in defense spending.  Or that the events of 9/11 allowed the Federal Reserve to adopt highly inflationary monetary policies that postponed dealing with serious financial system flaws.  Mike Ruppert covered these stories.

You did not read or hear in the corporate media that our lives and economy are entirely dependent on fossil fuel, that world oil and gas production will soon decline, and what these facts have to do with the events of 9/11 and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Mike Ruppert covered these stories.

All these facts and allegations have been made abundantly clear by Mike and his publication From The Wilderness.  While corporate media refines the art of profitable omission, Mike Ruppert has risked his name, his financial security, and his life to warn us – again and again.

[Gabrielle again – I need to explain that Mike’s site From the Wilderness is archived and still available for anyone to view and search through.  I’ve used it many times to vet information because Mike’s work is solid – the kind of work I strive to do.  The reason why I am sharing this is so you will understand the historical importance of his book, Crossing the Rubicon and that membership to his site could now, quite literally, save your life.  We all see what’s going on in the new media now – the crackdown on protesters, the signing of the treasonous NDAA bill, the rising cost of fuel, and the tensions now rising with the US and Iran.  Mike predicted damn near everything that’s happening.  Get a membership to get your finger on the pulse of the world – and protect yourself.  Your government isn’t going to do it.  Back to the excerpt…]

An info cop’s beat: Watching your back

Through his website, radio talk-show appearances, speeches, DVDs, monthly newsletter, and email updates, Mike has been telling us for years what he sees, hears, and feels about “the real deal.”

Mike Ruppert had to leave the Los Angeles Police Department because he tried to prevent government-protected narcotics trafficking.  After learning that the corporate media would not tell the truth about this important story, Mike became a publisher.  In the face of widespread public denial of the fact of our economic dependence on “narco-dollars” and warfare, Mike persisted.  Mike is determined to help us face and recover from our financial addiction to an estimated $500 billion – $1 trillion of annual US money laundering.

In one sense, Mike is still a cop.  He’s publisher as “info-cop.”  His “info-beat” is the intelligence we need to protect ourselves – even if the lifting of the shades of denial means exposing our own complicity in the enjoyment of the fruits of the trickle down of dirty money.

Throughout the years, I have heard a lot of criticism of Mike and his work.  For example:
Mike is too aggressive.

It’s true that Mike is unbelievably aggressive.  Mike’s aggression is one of the reasons I am a subscriber to From The Wilderness.  I want to hear about danger real loud, real clear, and on a real-time basis.  I want Mike shouting “fire!” while I still have time to get out of the theater alive.  It takes incredible aggression to stand up to the military banking complex and the academics, think tanks, not-for-profits, and corporate media they fund.  All the money on the planet can, and does, buy a lot of attack poodles.  It is full-time entertainment just watching them nip at Mike’s heels and piddle on the fire hydrants when he’s around.

Mike has a point of view.

It’s true.  Mike always expresses an opinion on matters covered in his stories.  He is both a commentator and activist in a new genre of what Al Giordano of Narco News calls “authentic journalism.”  This is another reason why I am a subscriber.  A point of view is worth a heap of analytical power.  Mike’s job as “info-cop” is not to have an objective point of view.*  His job is make sure we are safe by sharing the information we need.  The only potential risk we can price adjust for, or dismiss is the risk of which we are aware.  If that kind of journalism comes with a vision and a perspective from the writer, I want that too.

Mike is “in your face.”

Mike is not shy.  You disagree?  You have a problem?  You got a question?  You can take it to Mike, have it out with Mike, and speak your mind with Mike.  Mike will say it to your face loud and clear.  You can do the same.  The only thing you can’t do is get him to agree with you when he does not.  Mike’s temper is big – but not has big as his heart.

Mike’s courage and intelligence can save not just your time and your money, but your life.
This one’s true, too.  I’m a case in point.


So am I, as I am sure so many others can say now that have read Rubicon since and seen Mike’s appearance in the movie Collapse.  It moved me to write, make changes and take time away from a lot of things in my life to confront these crises – there are many.  After the BP disaster is when I found Mike’s work and I came to realize the stark truth about peak oil.  I spent six months alone in a hotel room, writing and integrating this information in hopes of finding some way that I could share it, as well as focus on solutions.  It was a long, dark, rabbit hole of wrangling with my own cognitive dissonance [and personal consumption habits].

* As for the observation about Mike’s job as “info-cop” not having an objective point of view, I was reminded of a quote from Hunter S. Thompson [I love my writers with moxy, if you can’t tell…] and I have often thought of Mike as my “Gonzo-Intel” – because he is not afraid to tell it like it is.  The quote : “So much for Objective Journalism.  Don’t bother to look for it here – not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of.  With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism.  The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.” – Hunter S. Thompson

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Michael Ruppert at his home during the #Occupy Fear and Loathing Media Tour in December.  There is more video footage of my interview with him on the way – but I wanted to convey to you, in the best way I knew how – how important this man’s work has been and continues to be, not just to me personally.  I think it’s imperative for us all and why I am proud to make my site a Collapsenet affiliate.  I thank Mike for granting permission to use excerpts from Rubicon to convey this message to my readers.

Now, as I put on my Gonzo hat, I share with you an edited quote from Mr. Wolf in Pulp Fiction for good measure : “If I’m curt with you it’s because time is a factor.  I think fast, I talk fast and I need you guys to act fast if you wanna get out of this.  So, pretty please…with sugar on top. Buy a fucking membership.”

Collapse is happening so quickly now that I don’t have time to keep up with the signs – Mike and his team can and I trust them.  I am making my own preparations and hope you do too.

Here is Mike’s most recent interview on The Joe Rogan Experience

[Special thanks to Max Mogran at Oil Free Fun.]

This chart appeared in Crossing the Rubicon in 2004 but was originally published in a book
called, The Oil Crash and You, by Richard Duncan…in 2001.