Shuck and Jive

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Bumpy Ride

Ever read anything by James Howard Kuntsler? You ought to. He blogs at Clusterfuck Nation. Oops, what was that word, Mr. Minister? Did you write the F word without asterisks? Yes, sorry, I did.

If that disturbs you, you should read his stuff. Honest, reality-based, truth-telling. His latest post for Presidents' Day describes the history of our most recent American presidents and the energy reality they each chose to deny in their own special way--except of course, Carter, the one we booted.

Kuntsler writes:

Mr. Obama is not dim. The euphoria that attended his election was largely about acquiring a leader of first-rate intelligence and sensibility, compared to his lamentable predecessor. I like to think that Mr. Obama really does know what's up -- that "change" means we have to live a lot differently, not mount a campaign to sustain the unsustainable. I suspect that President Obama has learned over the last several weeks that the nation's banking system and economy -- indeed, the whole world's -- are in way worse shape than anyone imagined before January 20. He is faced with the immediate crushing problem of appearing to do something while a tsunami of catastrophic debt deleveraging sweeps away the first outlier nations and their economies and bears down on the G-7. I suspect that in a few weeks, or possibly even a few days, Mr. Obama will have to start announcing all kinds of new and more drastic measures that will shock the stunned American public -- things like bank holidays, nationalizations, possibly even dollar devaluation.

As I've said more than once, I believe this basically honest and intelligent president will have to take on the role of the nation's hand-holding camp counselor or school teacher. When the time comes that he assumes this role, I think he'll do it pretty well, even though great pain and misery will be abroad in this land.
I tend to think this whole stimulus thing is drop in the bucket. We don't need more bridges and roads, because frankly, we don't need any more cars. Within a few years we will be car-free whether we want to be or not.

I, too, think Obama sees what is happening. I think they all did. The difference is that perhaps Obama will tell the truth about it, eventually. He has to as it is all crashing around him. We are in for a bumpy ride.

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