Steve A. Stone
Dear Friends and Patriots,
I have a friend who makes his living at the Mobile Flea Market. He’s a really different sort of guy who seemed to like me the first time we met. That event happened just this year, in January. I saw his stall at the flea market had mostly movie DVDs, but music CDs as well. I was looking for a copy of Chris Rea’s ROAD TO HELL, which I hadn’t heard since the one time someone played it for me in 1992. I asked if he had it, which he didn’t, but promised to get for me. He said it was almost rare, but he could get it at an E-Bay auction, though he might have to pay as much as $30 for it. He then told me if I was willing to wait a bit he knew he could eventually find it for as little as $5. I told him I wasn’t in any hurry, that I just wanted certainty that I’d get the CD. He then handed me a business card and said to call him and when he had it he’d let me know.
The card identified him as James Kirk. I told him I didn’t need a card to remember that name, and asked him how he came to be at the flea market after being Captain of the Enterprise. I’m sure he only hears that once every day, so my remark didn’t phase or stun him a bit. We ended up talking a bit about an odd event that happened during the Civil War, then went on to a couple of more very obscure facts that were on his mind. I think he’d just watched a historical set-piece video that had those events portrayed in it. He seemed surprised that I knew of each event and could provide background details about them. He said, “Steve, I want you to come back and see me. Most of the people I talk to here are ignorant. This is the most intelligent conversation I’ve had in months.” That’s how our friendship started.
In the months since January I’ve dropped in on James Kirk almost every weekend. We discuss movies, history, and even current events. He might look like he couldn’t possibly keep up, but he does. And, he knows his movies. He has thousands and thousands of movies in his stall, but when you talk to James you get the feeling he’s watched them all. Sometimes I’d pick one up and show it to him and he’d say, “You don’t want that one. It’s a dog.” Other times he might say, “Now, that one is pretty good if you like space flicks, but the plot really doesn’t make any sense.” Yes, James knows his movies.
He knows other things as well, even though he’s a high school dropout. He told me he went into business when he was nine years old. That would have been around 1977 or so. He said he noticed when he’d travel around Mobile on “trash day” he’d see a lot of bicycles sitting out with the trash cans. He started collecting those bikes and set up a bicycle restoration business, cannibalizing from one to complete others. Within a year, James says, he was making almost as much money selling re-built bikes as his parents made working for the City of Mobile. In another year his income would exceed theirs – combined. Within a fairly short time he had around 1,000 bicycles in his back yard in various stages of re-build. James said the police began to come by on a regular basis. Bicycle theft was a rampant nuisance crime in those days. The police would come by and check the serial numbers on the bikes in his back yard against their current list of stolen bikes. They never had a match. James told me it never occurred to him to steal anything when people readily gave up their bikes on trash day.
The experience with bicycles taught James a few lessons in hard work and marketing. He looked for other opportunities. One day, while reading a comic book, he saw an advertisement for digital watches. He’d never seen one before, but thought at $10 each he might be able to make a few dollars off them. He ordered a box of ten watches, which he flipped in one weekend for $25 each, hawking them door-to-door. None of the stores in town carried digital watches yet, so his were the only ones most people had ever seen. James claims he made a small fortune off those watches. He sold over a thousand of them, until they began to show up in local stores. Then he moved on to other merchandise. James claims, “I’ll sell anything if it looks like I can make a dollar off it.” When he ticks off the kinds of things he’s sold over the years it proves his point. If he can get hold of it for the right price he’ll find buyers and pocket the profits. James Kirk is a true American entrepreneur.
One day in May I stopped in to see James. He looked up as I waked in and greeted me with, “Steve, Brother! I have that CD you’ve been wanting.” He had my copy of ROAD TO HELL. He said someone had brought in a box of music CDs to sell to him. He said he looked through the box and found it was mostly “junk” that he would be lucky to turn, so he offered the person $25 for the entire lot. When he was flipping through the disc cases he spotted ROAD TO HELL and knew the guy selling the goods didn’t know what he had. His comment to me was, “That was the only thing in that box worth anything, but if I’d offered him $5 for that one alone he’d have known something was up, so I just bought the whole thing. At $1 each I’ll still triple my money. You can take that one for nothing, though. You’ve already waited too long for it.” I handed James a $10 bill, which he tried to refuse. I knew he meant me to have that CD for free, but that’s not how I work. But I’ll never forget the gesture.
I’ve been bringing things for James to sell and he’s lending movies to me. He makes some money and I get rid of things sitting around the house that I don’t need. I give those things to him; I find my value in having less to clutter my life. In the bargain I get to watch movies for nothing. It seems to be a good deal for both of us. I drop things off with James one weekend and the next weekend they’re gone. He says the stuff sells itself – he just gets what he can out of the bargain. I never ask what he sells things for. That’s his business.
I was in James’s stall in mid-November to swap out DVDs. One of the movies James handed me was titled COLLAPSE. I’d never heard of it. James told me it was a documentary, and very interesting. I looked at the description on the back and was mildly interested in what I read. It was some kind of interview video of a guy who was dubbed a “modern prophet” of sorts. Yeah, I thought, I might want to see that.
When I started watching COLLAPSE I was immediately intrigued by several things. The only person in the video was the guy being interviewed. Sometimes you could hear questions being asked by an unseen person, but it was only the one guy on camera, dressed in a light blue, long-sleeved shirt and black slacks. He smoked incessantly. He was almost a chain smoker. There was no introduction, but several times during the video there were cut-aways to pictures of newspaper and magazine articles written about him that identified him as Michael C. Ruppert. During his narrative Ruppert gave a fairly good resume’ of his life’s experiences. He was an interesting guy in his own right.
After I started watching the video I picked up the DVD case to see when it was made. 2009. That meant it was done at the very beginning of Barack Obama’s administration. I needed the time reference to fully understand Ruppert’s point of view. Ruppert mentioned Obama late in the video. The references made to Obama, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney made certain aspects of Ruppert’s personal politics a bit obvious. But those are just observations, and tangential to the main point of his narrative and mine.
The video starts out with an excellent discussion of oil. In fact COLLAPSE is mostly about the oil industry and what Ruppert believed was its future and the consequential future of the planet. He went into a lengthy narrative regarding “peak oil” that identified the originator of the concept – Marion King Hubbard. Ruppert was evidently something of a disciple of Hubbard. I was familiar with Hubbard’s work and theories regarding oil, and I certainly remember when “peak oil” was a hot topic. I won’t go into details on that here. I recommend you get the video and study the parts regarding oil and money.
Money! Yes, there are sections of the narrative about money, including monetary theory, which are pretty darned good. The linkage between oil and money is made, and the economic and financial effects of being “post-peak” in world oil production is made in an understandable way. Ruppert made predictions about the futures of oil, oil production, and money itself. Today it’s all viewable in hindsight, but it’s worth understanding what he envisioned compared to what happened.
Ruppert’s topics were all-encompassing. He brought in social structures, consumer habits, ecology, animal welfare, human nature, Middle-Eastern politics, Russia, China, food production, the future of alternative sources of energy – all in relation to oil production and oil prices. Even though Ruppert presented a brief overview of each topic, the way he did it is compelling in its crystalline logic. He knew what he talked about.
Halfway through the video I began to realize something – Ruppert was talking about the same range of topics I write about. His viewpoints were near parallels to my own, though in need of updating. Then he began to use terms and phrases I use. He mentioned being accused of hawking conspiracy theories, which he re-branded “conspiracy truths.” Yeah, he and I would have made a great team! He discussed the CIA and their decades-long involvement in the drug trade. His understanding of the purpose of the environmental movement was in perfect synch with my own, just as was his obvious concern about the real issues there. His grasp of the economics of all forms of energy were solid and easily justifiable. Even his comprehension of the politicization of everything and the negative effects that phenomenon created was spot on. Ruppert was my kind of activist. He was in the vanguard of a truth movement that is just now taking hold.
My comment about the age of the video needs a bit of explaining. Ruppert never mentioned fracking. I’m not sure he understood the role of fracking and that it would revolutionize the oil industry when applied on a massive scale. I don’t believe he understood the true nature of oil as a natural by-product of bacterial decomposition – that oil is a renewable resource. He constantly referred to it as “fossil fuel,” which I stopped believing over 30 years ago. He seemed unaware that the decline in our domestic production of oil was done for a strategic purpose – we never had a lack of oil, we were just convinced we did because our government kept feeding us that lie. Ruppert seemed to have never heard of The World Economic Forum and their hand in each and every topic he discussed. Nor did he reveal anything that might indicate knowledge of Agenda 21. His video was made near the advent of the transition of Agenda 21 to Agenda 2030. There’s no mention of the role of the Agendas in the topics under discussion. I don’t fault him for any of that – he swam in lanes that just never crossed into those areas. I’ve been in lanes that always did. If he and I had ever crossed paths I have no doubt he’d have easily understood everything I’d have told him of the overarching reasons behind everything he was seeing.
Michael Ruppert was no prophet. But he could clearly see how everything in modern life revolves around oil and money. He could clearly see a future, but because he made his video in 2009 instead of 2017 his perspective was a bit off. Only now are many of his predictions of the future seemingly coming to pass – massive unrest, food shortages, shortages of every commodity that depends on oil. His perspective was based on a belief in the increasing scarcity of oil when compared to the rapidly increasing world population. He seemed to apply The Theory of Constraints and understood the effects of ever-increasing demand and ever-dwindling resources. So, I can’t discount his predictions, but have to caveat them. There are more known reserves of oil in the ground than ever before. While the video states Saudi Arabia had 25% of the known oil reserves in the world, today we know the current US reserves are larger than Saudi Arabia has ever had. We also know Venezuela may have even larger reserves. So, there is no shortage of oil as Ruppert believed. But, due to policy decisions designed to further the timeline requirements of Agenda 2030, we are living today as if it’s still 2009. Having oil and being allowed to use it are two different things. Ruppert’s discussions about the dependence of almost every modern human undertaking on adequate oil supplies are as germane today as in 2009. Nothing in the physical realm has changed since The Trump boom-economy ended last year – it’s all politics.
At the end of the video there are a couple of informational tidbits flashed on screen. One states that Ruppert had ceased investigations into his beliefs and was writing music and verses. He and his dog, Rags, where trying to make ends meet and keep his home in Culver City, CA. Evidently that didn’t work out for him.
Ruppert is dead now. He supposedly committed suicide by gunshot in April 2014. By that time he’d lost almost everything he owned, after enduring years of harassment and discrediting from the press and powers in Washington. He was called a crackpot, a conspiracy theorist, a paranoiac, and pretty much every other name in the book for decades, and the constant pressures had ruined any chance he had to live a normal life. Whether he killed himself in despair or killed himself at all isn’t something I can speculate on. All I can state for certain is I know I missed a great life opportunity by never having had the opportunity of meeting and talking with him.
I take care to note Michael Ruppert died just as I was getting my first book in print. If you watch the video and then read my books, you might tend to think I’m carrying on Ruppert’s own work as much as reflecting my own. Perhaps that’s true. Remember – there are few coincidences in nature and no true serendipity. I can’t claim a torch was passed to me in 2013 and 2014, but after watching COLLAPSE I understand I’m just another in a long series of people who’ve tried to read the tea leaves of past and current events to make sense of them.
Though Ruppert died in 2014 I admit – I grieve his loss today.
Steve© Steve A. Stone
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.