Investing in precious metals 101
  • Podcast

    David Collum: We’re Headed for a Showdown

    Broken markets and abuse of law have consequences
    by Adam Taggart

    Saturday, December 29, 2012, 7:49 PM

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
The jails are made of tin.
And you can walk right out again,
As soon as you are in.

— Harry McClintock, Big Rock Candy Mountain (1928)

Fresh from releasing his exhaustive and excellent Year In Review last week, Dave Collum sits down with Chris to discuss the key developments of 2012 in detail.

One area they focus on in particular is how 2012 appears to be the year when consequences died for criminal acts by the powerful and connected. MF Global, HSBC,  LIBOR-gate — the lesson from these broad-daylight scandals seems to be that, IF you're punished, the worst you'll experience is a fine that's a mere fraction of the profits earned from your crime:

Dave Collum:  Corzine is a particularly problematic case, because Corzine, while being investigated, was bundling funds for Obama, and Obama's Justice Department was in a terrible conflict. They should have shut down the bundling at the very least for the optics. They did not. In the end they dropped the charges against Corzine. They never gave immunity to his second in command. If you get immunity, you not only cannot be charged but you are forced to testify. You cannot plead the fifth. If they had taken the second in command and said you have immunity, now spill your guts, Corzine would be in jail now, I think. That is my guess. We certainly would know what happened. They do not want Corzine. He is too connected. 

Chris Martenson:  This is an interesting sort of theme, that if you are connected enough some sort of a story is made up. What just came out recently was this whole story around HSBC. They got caught laundering billions and billions of dollars for drug cartels. You and I know that as a private citizen, if you are just driving down the road and you get pulled over and you have cash in your car, no matter how much you can prove it is yours the police can still seize it and hold it. They can force you to prove that it is not illegal. Even in some cases that is not sufficient, with some test cases we have out there. HSBC gets absolutely nailed. The Justice Department swoops and declines to press any criminal charges because I believe the quote is “They worried that it might prove to be systemically bad for the bank to have any sort of charges laid against them.” What is going on here?

Dave Collum:  It is funny. I had to wrap my Year in Review at some point. As you know, I had to get it in a little earlier this year than we anticipated. On that particular point, I stated, that at the point I uploaded it to you, that it is said that HSBC could be charged as much as 1.5 billion. That is peanuts for the kind of crime they committed. There could also be criminal charges. In the review I said yes, there could be, but there will not be. About two days later they said that there would be no criminal charges.

I think HSBC actually inherited the BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) clientele. I said that somewhat facetiously, but not totally. The BCCI collapsed in the 1990s. That released an awful lot of dark clients, CIA and various intelligence agencies, the drug cartels, you name it. Anyone who wanted to do nefarious things with the banking system was there. It was a huge bank. They went belly up. They went somewhere. I think they went to HSBC. Now they got caught.

Chris Martenson:  That could be. The thing that is mysterious to me is that every so often they will trot out pictures of cash and say they found $25 million. As you and I know, the actual global drug trade is over one trillion dollars. Ninety-nine percent of that gets laundered back through the banking systems somehow. The idea that this is vaporized, difficult to track, or unknown is ridiculous to me. When finally something does happen where somebody gets caught – HSBC in this case – the idea that no criminal charges are coming is another sort of statement. It is the same statement.

The reason I am connecting this right here is that while Jon Corzine is doing things for very politically powerful people – in this case you mentioned the bundling of funds for Obama – HSBC also must have had some very powerful clientele within that roster of things. The next thing you know, there are no charges that get filed. I understand this is kind of how the world works a little bit. It is so pervasive, so in-your-face, and so outrageous that I feel this growing gap between what you and I as citizens are expected to comply with on a yearly basis under penalties that are fairly swift and certain if we fail to, and what the institutions seem to be able to get away with. My perception, and maybe I am getting cranky in my older age, is that this seems wider than it has ever been to me.

Dave Collum:  It has gotten so blatant that they do not seem to feel the need to hide it. I think if the BCCI scandal broke now that nothing would happen. There is a great example. They got caught doing all of these things that HSBC got caught doing. That bank imploded because the curtain got pulled back too far. They could not put the scandal away. I think a lot of the things in the past that caused trouble would no longer cause trouble now. There is no penalty. They are temporary regulators or something. They are just waiting for their job on Wall Street. They have gotten no one. They have convicted no one of anything that I can tell. I know of no instance.

Chris Martenson:  I think the one story they have managed to get away with, and they used it again with HSBC, is the too big to fail. That is their story. If we somehow collapsed HSBC, this would be systemically awful. We are in such perilous times right now that we cannot afford to even test that theory out. Therefore we cannot press criminal charges because somehow holding a few people responsible at a giant institution like HSBC would cause it to collapse or something. I am not quite clear on what the story line is. It does not really hold water to me. It looks more like excuse-making than a solid rationale by any decent measure.

Dave Collum:  They almost do not even say that now. I am not even hearing that. I am just hearing that it goes away. They have even stopped making fake excuses. It just goes away. They said we cannot get Corzine and we cannot get HSBC. We cannot get these guys. They do not give an explanation. This is some form of Stockholm syndrome, where you start enabling your captors. I think at some point this all comes to a head. I think these guys should be careful. They have decided that the rule of law is not important. If that is the case, then they might suffer the consequences of no rule of law. I think we are heading for a problem. We are going to have a showdown at some point, or we are heading for a much more closed society and more corrupt society. 

Beyond this, Chris and Dave discuss resource depletion, the box the Fed is in, and the future price direction of stocks, bonds, gold and the dollar.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with David Collum (54m:37s):

Transcript

Chris Martenson: Welcome to another Peak Prosperity podcast. I am your host, of course, Chris Martenson.

This week we welcome Dave Collum to the podcast. For those of you unfamiliar with Dave, he is a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University, the place I got my MBA from. In addition to his academic interests, Dave authors an annual macroeconomic assessment titled “Year in Review.” It is hands-down the best synopsis of everything that mattered during the previous 12 months. If you want to read it, it is at [PeakProsperity.com]. You can find it. It is around there. It is a great synopsis.

We are going to discuss that today. Dave's latest Year in Review really touched on some things that I am very anxious to talk about. I am excited to have him here with us now live. Dave, thank you so much for joining us again this year.

Dave Collum: Hey, I am thrilled to be here. We had a podcast about two years ago that was my favorite of all recorded events that I have ever done. I jumped at this opportunity.

Chris Martenson: Then we should make it an annual occurrence at least. You know where I want to start? One of the things I am most struck by in reading your 2012 review, all of this compressed into a single document, is just how far off the track we seem to be. Markets are structurally broken by allowing computer-driven trading strategies on one end of the spectrum, while the truly powerful institutions and in some cases individuals are allowed to get away with blatant thefts, felonies, and other assorted misdemeanors and malfeasances. Here is the question: Is this just how things have always been, but are now being exposed by macroeconomic weakness, Buffett's famous tide going out? Are these things actually getting worse? You have been tracking this year after year. What do you think?

Dave Collum: I think it is a little of everything you mentioned. There is no question that we have access to this information now, which we did not use to have. The Internet is a phenomenally democratic device. I hear people say it was the greatest thing since Gutenberg. I was dismissive of that as hyperbole. [But] the more I think about it, the more I tend to agree with that. I can reach out to people that were unimaginably distant from me in the past. Government, as it gets bigger and bigger – even a fixed level of corruption will get bigger. I think that is a problem.

I draw an analogy in the review about global warming and monetary policy. The global warming debate is one where if we are heating the planet, what we not only get is a higher temperature, which would be analogous to inflation, but we also get an increase in volatility. We get more turbulent weather, as in Sandy-like events. I think that happens in the markets themselves. I think it also happens in the corruption that you get. As trillions move around the planet, the crime syndicates are going to go straight for that money. There is no money to be made in the little stuff when you can make so much money based on Federal Reserve and central banking largesse. I think it is has gotten massively problematic.

Chris Martenson: This is interesting to me. To pick a couple of cases and one that you did highlight, the case of MF Global – and in particular, to name an individual, Jon Corzine – he appears to have been allowed to get away with what occurs to be blatant theft. The thing that just absolutely drives me nuts in this story is this story line that they immediately came out with that the money vaporized. Somehow money can just go away. Oops, we cannot track it. You and I both know that everything is tracked. If money could just randomly appear and disappear, the Russian mafia would have figured that out long ago and just done the opposite of vaporizing, depositing money out of nowhere into accounts. It does not happen. How are they getting away with pushing that story line, that it just disappeared?

Dave Collum: That particular story, I think, was in the Wall Street Journal. That got denounced by a lot of people. That drew scorn very quickly. It was certainly a planted story. That was an attempt to front-run it and try to come up with some story line that people would accept as if the money were no longer traceable. That is just nuts.

My best suggestion is that they should get a computer, too. That would allow them to track it. Then afterward, as they started sort of entangling the mess that this MF Global created, you get these trustees, a guy named Giddens and then Louis Freeh in there started negotiating with the depositors, the ones who got hosed in this deal. You discover that the money really does exist. What these guys are negotiating is that if the depositors agree to take their money, which means therefore it was not vaporized, they also have to agree to not press charges. This means that theft is not theft if you give the money back. It would be a nice system for the bank robbers. If they get caught, they can turn it back in and all is forgiven. That is what MF Global did.

Corzine is a particularly problematic case, because Corzine, while being investigated, was bundling funds for Obama, and Obama's Justice Department was in a terrible conflict. They should have shut down the bundling at the very least for the optics. They did not. In the end they dropped the charges against Corzine. They never gave immunity to his second in command. If you get immunity, you not only cannot be charged but you are forced to testify. You cannot plead the fifth. If they had taken the second in command and said you have immunity, now spill your guts, Corzine would be in jail now, I think. That is my guess. We certainly would know what happened. They do not want Corzine. He is too connected.

Chris Martenson: This is an interesting sort of theme, that if you are connected enough some sort of a story is made up. What just came out recently was this whole story around HSBC. They got caught laundering billions and billions of dollars for drug cartels. You and I know that as a private citizen, if you are just driving down the road and you get pulled over and you have cash in your car, no matter how much you can prove it is yours the police can still seize it and hold it. They can force you to prove that it is not illegal. Even in some cases that is not sufficient, with some test cases we have out there. HSBC gets absolutely nailed. The Justice Department swoops and declines to press any criminal charges because I believe the quote is “They worried that it might prove to be systemically bad for the bank to have any sort of charges laid against them.” What is going on here?

Dave Collum: It is funny. I had to wrap my Year in Review at some point. As you know, I had to get it in a little earlier this year than we anticipated. On that particular point, I stated, that at the point I uploaded it to you, that it is said that HSBC could be charged as much as 1.5 billion. That is peanuts for the kind of crime they committed. There could also be criminal charges. In the review I said yes, there could be, but there will not be. About two days later they said that there would be no criminal charges.

I think HSBC actually inherited the BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) clientele. I said that somewhat facetiously, but not totally. The BCCI collapsed in the 1990s. That released an awful lot of dark clients, CIA and various intelligence agencies, the drug cartels, you name it. Anyone who wanted to do nefarious things with the banking system was there. It was a huge bank. They went belly up. They went somewhere. I think they went to HSBC. Now they got caught.

Chris Martenson: That could be. The thing that is mysterious to me is that every so often they will trot out pictures of cash and say they found $25 million. As you and I know, the actual global drug trade is over one trillion dollars. Ninety-nine percent of that gets laundered back through the banking systems somehow. The idea that this is vaporized, difficult to track, or unknown is ridiculous to me. When finally something does happen where somebody gets caught – HSBC in this case – the idea that no criminal charges are coming is another sort of statement. It is the same statement.

The reason I am connecting this right here is that while Jon Corzine is doing things for very politically powerful people – in this case you mentioned the bundling of funds for Obama – HSBC also must have had some very powerful clientele within that roster of things. The next thing you know, there are no charges that get filed. I understand this is kind of how the world works a little bit. It is so pervasive, so in-your-face, and so outrageous that I feel this growing gap between what you and I as citizens are expected to comply with on a yearly basis under penalties that are fairly swift and certain if we fail to, and what the institutions seem to be able to get away with. My perception, and maybe I am getting cranky in my older age, is that this seems wider than it has ever been to me.

Dave Collum: It has gotten so blatant that they do not seem to feel the need to hide it. I think if the BCCI scandal broke now that nothing would happen. There is a great example. They got caught doing all of these things that HSBC got caught doing. That bank imploded because the curtain got pulled back too far. They could not put the scandal away. I think a lot of the things in the past that caused trouble would no longer cause trouble now. There is no penalty. They are temporary regulators or something. They are just waiting for their job on Wall Street. They have gotten no one. They have convicted no one of anything that I can tell. I know of no instance.

Chris Martenson: I think the one story they have managed to get away with, and they used it again with HSBC, is the too big to fail. That is their story. If we somehow collapsed HSBC, this would be systemically awful. We are in such perilous times right now that we cannot afford to even test that theory out. Therefore we cannot press criminal charges because somehow holding a few people responsible at a giant institution like HSBC would cause it to collapse or something. I am not quite clear on what the story line is. It does not really hold water to me. It looks more like excuse-making than a solid rationale by any decent measure.

Dave Collum: They almost do not even say that now. I am not even hearing that. I am just hearing that it goes away. They have even stopped making fake excuses. It just goes away. They said we cannot get Corzine and we cannot get HSBC. We cannot get these guys. They do not give an explanation. This is some form of Stockholm syndrome, where you start enabling your captors. I think at some point this all comes to a head. I think these guys should be careful. They have decided that the rule of law is not important. If that is the case, then they might suffer the consequences of no rule of law. I think we are heading for a problem. We are going to have a showdown at some point, or we are heading for a much more closed society and more corrupt society.

Chris Martenson: It is interesting. When I look at Greece's problems, for instance, corruption is part of the Greek culture currently in their political system. Guess what? People do not feel really obligated or like they have to pay taxes. Their tax collections are really awful. There are a number of things that happen when you corrode not just the reality but also the appearance of rule of law, where it is even and fair. I think that is one of three or four things that actually made – or makes, depending on your point of view – the United States a really fantastic place to be. There are contracts, contract law, rules, and criminal penalties that are evenly applied. That is falling apart. I do not want to complain about this; I want to paint this. I think this gives us an insight into what comes next.

Dave Collum: I agree totally.

Chris Martenson: Let's talk about what comes next. Here we are in a system. Let's hold that thought aside about where our broken markets are sitting and the rule of law. I want to talk to you about resources for a minute. This is the other big dot I want to connect here: water, oil, natural gas, coal, copper, tin, fish, land and all of the rest. They all seem to fall under one of two views – resources, that is. The dominant view is that supplies of them are never going to be either limited or limiting. The other view holds that the best non-renewable resources have already been stripped bare and we are down to lesser grades, while every renewable resource we can think of – land, water, fish – are obviously under human pressure. There are a couple of scientists here. I want to talk to about resources. I think the dominant view is not just wrong, but dangerously wrong.

Let's start with the most critical, oil. There has been a magnificent campaign lately to convince us that there is so much still to be had and there is really nothing to worry about. What are your thoughts there?

Dave Collum: The fracking has produced a perception of a game change and some really smart guys buy the model. I am agnostic in the medium term. That is to say that I think it bought us some time. I saw a report that came out that said we will be producing something like 20.1 million barrels of oil a day in the year 2028, some ridiculous thing. It was a three-decimal-point estimate of our production. I was thinking that whoever did that was an idiot. You cannot estimate something like that in three decimal points. It goes nuts. Everyone trumpets the numbers. That is the kind of propaganda you have got. I saw an estimate out there that said in 2028 that Saudi Arabia would become an importer of oil. I am reading this and I am thinking who are they going to import from? The journalist did not ask that question. Where are they going to import from, Mars? This is a silly concept.

They do not take it to the next step. The journalists are not very discriminating, in my opinion. They do not scratch their heads and go into uncomfortable places that you have to sometimes go and ask uncomfortable questions. I think resource depletion is a killer. Jeremy Grantham is out there saying this. There are a lot of people who are. We will eventually be told, when it starts to become a problem, that no one saw it coming. Of course they did. I totally agree to varying degrees, depending on the resource. The one thing I did point out in my review was that I got to talk to the CEO of Chemetall. He said the rare earths are not rare. He said that particular fear of running out soon, the idea that China has them all, is not correct. He said China dominates the market because they undercut everybody. There is some bright news. We are going to run out of helium here. The helium shortage is a big one. People do not know why that is important. It is profoundly important.

Chris Martenson: It is extraordinarily important. Helium, and in particular one isotope, helium-3, is extremely important in medical imaging technology, neutron detection, and other things like that.

Dave Collum: It is also a coolant though. You use vast quantities of helium for a number of these MRI imaging devices. We could find out that we used up all of the helium that would have allowed us to get scans of our knees in party balloons. That will be a silly realization when we get there.

Chris Martenson: Right. Let me turn back to oil for a second. There has been something that has been driving me a little bit nuts for a while. It started in February of 2012. That is where my first instant was that I started tracking it. That is where this idea of energy independence came along. That was the first confusion in this story. They started talking about the United States in terms of energy independence. Of course, forms of energy are not interchangeable. If you are in a lab, your Bunsen burner gives you a very different thing that you can do with it than the electricity that is in the wall switch or anything else.

Energy independence is one thing. Really it is the liquid fuel story that is the most important one. I saw that first clouding. The second thing was that they started lumping all kinds of things in terms of barrel-of-oil equivalents (as if they were truly equivalent), natural plant gas liquids (which nobody can put in their gas tank yet), and other things like that which are just not actually oil.

When we peel all of that fluff away and we actually ask the question about where we are in the oil story, for whatever reason – as I am talking to you today, Brent is $109 a barrel and WTIC is $90 a barrel. When we look at this, those numbers are not consistent with a world awash in oil, given where we are in the macroeconomic story. There is something here, where I am finding a larger and larger disconnect between what we are being told about the energy story and what the actual data is telling me. It is a fairly profound gap right now, both in price information and volume information. Those two things are out of alignment with the official narrative. Why is that happening?

Dave Collum: That crisscrosses a number of troublesome factors. I have trouble getting my brain around this. The commodity market pricing is being set by the futures market. Somehow it appears, and the commodity guys all understand this while I do not, but somehow the guys trading paper get to set the prices for the guys actually trading the hard commodity or soft commodity. If at some point the paper traders take the markets to someplace where the actual supply of the commodity cannot go, we are going to have this gigantic disconnect. That is the first thing.

The other thing is that if you look at the price of oil, people say there is no inflation in this world that we have lived in for the last couple of decades. They rant about the inflation being tame for so long. You know about ShadowStats.com and how John Williams counts inflation in a different way. I like to use college tuition as an inflation measure. Since the late 1990s, oil has gone up tenfold. Here these guys are saying inflation is tamed, but the energy that is fueling the planet has gone up tenfold. That causes a serious brain crack for me. I think the oil is telling us something about the inflation numbers too. You know much more about this whole commodity sector than me. You should keep talking.

Chris Martenson: When we look at the total basket of commodities, it is up close to tenfold as well over the last ten or 12 years. It is up extraordinarily. For the rest of the world that is pricing things in dollars because of the nature of the world commodity exchange, and where the local populace has to spend upwards of 50% of their total income on food and fuel, they are not experiencing anything close. The United States is busy telling the world that there is no inflation. I will guarantee you approximately three-quarters of the world's population is not experiencing it that way. They are experiencing it quite differently.

Dave Collum: That is true. I think the inflation/deflation debate reaches levels of absurdity when you realize that something so complex as inflation and deflation – which I find have an asymmetry already because I can understand inflation better than I can understand deflation and I am not sure why – that the whole debate to talk about something so complex using a binary language is just nuts. This is like asking if it is sunny or raining. There are a lot of other choices out there. I think we are going to have things that matter to us getting expensive and Beanie Babies getting cheaper. They will declare that Beanie Babies are the best inflation measure and declare inflation tame.

Chris Martenson: Absolutely. My final point on resources is that the non-renewable resource sector, which I track carefully looking at things like grain prices, land availability, water aquifers and things like that, is that it is just so clear to me that we are under tremendous pressure already at seven billion. As we head to nine, nine and a half, or maybe ten billion people by the end of the century, clearly those pressures are just going to increase. Has this factored into your investment strategies at all, personally?

Dave Collum: Yes, big time. As you know, my portfolio has not been a standard balanced 60/40 stock/bond portfolio since about 1999. I went totally into hard assets, first exiting every mutual fund, and second, by the middle of 1999, I had started buying lots of gold and silver. In 2001 I started investing in energy. It started out as an inflation hedge. Then I started running into these odd articles about Peak Oil. I had to dig into those. I started hearing about how Ghawar is the Saudi's biggest field and it is gasping. I ran into the whole Matt Simmons story, and Colin Campbell. I realized that oil and energy were more than an inflation hedge.

At the same time, the reason I like those investments is because if for some reason you and I are nuts and are a couple of monkeys with our brains in a Bell jar and they are tweaking us while the world is actually rather normal for everyone else, energy ought to do well then, too. It is my way of attempting to be normal and hedge against inflation and risk. The one thing I do not like being is long the dollar, which is what cash is. I have attempted to invest in things that hurt when you drop them on your foot.

Chris Martenson: I like that. That is solid resources and tangible things. I like all of that.

Before we get to that dollar story, which I do want to get to, you mentioned before that you like to follow ShadowStats for inflation. I have to tie this back to something that I think you pointed to in your Year in Review, which is that right around the election, it turned out that these fuzzy numbers that are being presented to us – the unemployment numbers, housing, inflation, and GDP – I found those to be absolutely bizarre the closer we got to the election. What was your perception there?

Dave Collum: You know the numbers coming out of the Federal agencies are suspect at all times. I think they are politically motivated. I talk about the birth/death model. Here is a model in which there are jobs that you cannot detect. I can buy that model. Then they say we have to figure out how many there are. You say you cannot detect some of them, so how do you figure that out? Then they start fabricating, as best I can tell. The birth/death adjustment now is so substantial and so politically motivated that in some months the birth/death correction is substantially bigger than the job counts themselves. Here they are fabricating fictitious numbers. They never, during the depths of the recession, the birth/death model never said there were jobs disappearing that we cannot detect. There is a highly cooked number.

I think the one you are referring to is right before the election. Unemployment dropped by 0.4%. In units of employment, that is a cliff in itself. That is a free fall. That is, I think, sponsored by Red Bull, that plummet. The visceral response by everyone immediately was that these numbers were just wrong. Then it turned into this political football. You had Jack Welch getting into this big brawl over his Tweet in which he said that the Chicago boys cooked the numbers. It is clear that you cannot believe the numbers in the most general sense because they cook them for political reasons, but during an election year when everything is at stake you cannot believe that they are squared. They are corrupted to the point. In my opinion, the election clouded 2012 so much that it was difficult to tease out the truth, even relative to other years.

Chris Martenson: There is still this crazy thing that happens where the market buys the number, whatever it happens to be upon its release, but then with the inevitable downward revision in prior periods it does not respond to that. Is this just a Pavlovian market response? What is going on?

Dave Collum: That is an Escher diagram. The guy keeps running around. ZeroHedge has been all over this where they say look; it is a three-step process. You announce great numbers. In the quiet of some later moments, you say, “By the way, those numbers are adjusted down.” Then you report the next numbers and you say, “These numbers are fantastic compared to the revised downward numbers.” It is this constant game.

The markets respond in a way that I think Bill Fleckenstein used to say best. He said the guessers are guessing what the other guessers are guessing. It just becomes absurd. It makes no sense. It is a bunch of computer algos chasing news reports. The noise is huge now.

Chris Martenson: We have the price of everything and maybe the value of nothing. I spent some really valuable time talking with Eric Hunsader of Nanex. That is an exchange information outfit. What they do is they have access to all of this exchange information down to millisecond resolution. When I wanted to understand certain things that happened, like why oil suddenly plunged four dollars in two minutes or why gold had 3,000 contracts dumped at 8:40 in the morning or things like that, I have to run over to Eric. He shows me the data. What is happening now is that you have to see this at the millisecond execution time frame now. An entity will come in, and we cannot tell which ones from the data because that is obscured, but you can tell it is an entity who just dumps massive contracts. Clearly this is only to move price. This is why you do something like that. It is not because you are a sophisticated investor.

Two things came out to me around that. One is that these are obvious price manipulations. Those are being left not investigated. That has important long-term implications because price discovery is now broken.

Dave Collum: Totally.

Chris Martenson: The thing that really sort of gets me around these is that it looks like the tiniest amount of money can move giant markets now, because what you will do because all of these computers are out battling with each other like Battle Bots, there is an arena and they are all in there, and all somebody has to do is toss something warm and fuzzy in there and they are all over it. I asked him how much it took for this line in the S&P E-mini to be defended. It was coming at a critical support juncture. All of a sudden it reversed the other direction because somebody bought 30,000 contracts. It has a notional value of quite a bit of money, but the actual amount was a few tens of millions of dollars. That is it.

Dave Collum: Seconds later, if not fractions of seconds later, they can get rid of them. The exposure to tens of millions is on this unbelievably short time scale. This is a metastable system, right? You know this, as a scientist. You get these complex systems with these feedback loops. Anyone who thinks that we are not going to have a catastrophic market seizure at some point going forward, not just in the past, is nuts. This is a system that has the most spectacular feedback loops I have ever seen. These guys at Nanex are treasures. One time I saw something odd. I sent it to Saluzzi. He sent it to Eric. I got the answer back. It is so fantastic that these guys can watch this.

Berkshire Hathaway at $120,000 a share flash-crashed to $1. It does not even make it to CNBC because they are too busy sniffing around Warren Buffett for nuggets of wisdom from this guy who is the biggest stock jobber I have ever seen. Buffett drives me completely nuts. He is a total insider. He trades on inside information. At the same time he has got this little-old-man thing. He is like the Mafia Don walking around in his bathrobe looking innocuous. He drives me crazy.

Chris Martenson: That is all right. I am really interested in this phenomenon. Here is my perception: The markets have all of this fuel being dumped into them, 85 billion a month courtesy of the Fed. That fuels finds its way into the market.

Dave Collum: Not to mention other central banks. That is just us. There are more central banks out there doing this. It is amazing.

Chris Martenson: There is lots of fuel. That is on one side of the equation. On the other side, like the real slow-burn rocket fuel for any market, there needs to be widespread participation. This means you have a productive class of people out there who are busy producing real things. In the consequence of doing that, they earn income and they have some left over for savings that flows into the markets. That is a fairly virtuous route, where you have productivity, value creation, and really productive enterprise. I love that cycle. You can see how that one will work. Retail participation has been negative for how long now? They do not even talk about it. I have to hunt for the information now. It has been 30 or 40 months. I do not even know anymore.

Dave Collum: It is deeper than retail participation. Now it comes down to demographics. Back in the 1990s, they kept saying these markets were going to soar because the Boomers are just going to put more and more in. No one really thought about the fact that Boomers would start going conservative before they retired. You cannot go into retirement carrying Dell and Worldcom, then get out of it later. You have got to start downsizing. The Boomers are downsizing everything. At some point they are going to sell their McMansions. They are going to sell their equity. They are already selling their equity. They are not going back because they cannot afford to. There is this idea that retail has somehow got to come back. The average person has no savings. Their income has been pounded. There is no return trip for these people. The average Boomer has something like $70,000 in savings. This is crazy.

Chris Martenson: Even if they were to sell their McMansions or their portfolio, to whom would they sell it?

Dave Collum: To our kids, and they are making nothing. They have student loans. In the olden days if you go into some burg like Ithaca where I am at, you go downtown and you see these big Victorian mansions. They are not single-owner occupied. What they are is funeral homes and multi-resident dwellings. They are all of these things. They converted them to something useful. I presume those things were built during a heyday when there was a pile of people who had money and they said let's build a big house. They discovered they could not afford a big house.

Now we did the same thing again. [But] there is a difference. Our McMansions are spread all over the countryside. They are not downtown where they can be converted to Victorian stores or McMansion things. They are out in the hills. There is no one who is going to be able to buy them unless you and I are dead wrong and there is some big boom coming and our kids are going to be stinking rich and want to buy a house with 5,000 square feet that costs a fortune to re-roof and heat –by the way – that is also going to depreciate at a rate that is unimaginable, because they are made like garbage.

Chris Martenson: The greatest story never told is that houses are not assets that appreciate. They are depreciation machines.

Dave Collum: They are liabilities.

Chris Martenson: They are liabilities. You feed them money, capital, and effort, and all of that. There is another big story that comes in here that is still not even remotely talked about enough. This is the idea that Ben Bernanke, following in Alan Greenspan’s footsteps, decided that the infinite wisdom is that we are just going to fix things by running interest rates down to 0% for as long as necessary. I think we are committed through 2015 now, or forever? Is that right? We have to wait for unemployment to hit a certain rate it may never hit. This is potentially forever.

Against that backdrop, we have all of these people who are retiring. They should have had money parked in something safe, navigating away from the Dells, Microsofts, and all of that, into some other form of safe bonds, money market funds, or something where they are earning some rate of interest that at least approximates inflation. You and I know that inflation is not zero. It is higher than that. [Bernanke] saddled us with negative real returns. Are we four years into that experiment? If you are a pension fund, an endowment, or somebody with actuarial liabilities, if you are in any way responsible for an entitlement program with investments on the back end of it, this is negative compounding for four years going on five. That is a hole that cannot be climbed out of at this point, because of what Bernanke has done. He has ruined saving. He has ruined actuarial investments. What are your thoughts on that?

Dave Collum: Look at what happened to peoples' nest eggs during the 2007-2009 calamity, which I do not think is the last one as I am sure you agree. their equities were getting pounded and their houses were getting pounded, the people who were 60/40, which is most people even if they did not know it because most people had their money in some sort of pension fund or something, and let's call it 50/50 to keep the math easy, while the equities were getting clobbered the bonds were rocketing. The bonds were soaring because they drove interest rates down. It provided this buffer. As equities got beaten up and bonds soared, it produced a bit of a wash. Some people were hurt but their bond funds were spectacular. Here we are at. It is 2013. Now you have got this ugly case scenario. In the best possible scenario interest rates stay low forever. That is not going to happen, but let's pretend like it is. If that is true, then it means half of their portfolio will return zero. They are getting nothing, a couple of percentage points for a ten-year bond.

As a consequence, it means that they are going to have to get all of their returns on equities. It is not going to happen. There is this folklore out there that says equities go up when rates are low. That is wrong. Equities go up when rates are dropping. Warren Buffett said that in 1999, and it is clear: Dropping interest rates means rising equities. It is a P/E interest rate relationship. Once they are low, the profit is squeezed out. It is gone.

Now, the more logical scenario is that rates rise against Bernanke's will. What would cause that? That would be inflation showing up and you can no longer keep them low. You end up in some high inflation or runaway inflation scenario. Now you are going to lose principal. Now your bond fund is going to get annihilated. The equities are going to get annihilated because who is going to pay for a dividend of 2% when inflation is running high? The equities get pounded when interest rates are rising. As a consequence, you are going to have dropping equity prices. You are going to have dropping bond fund principal. You are going to have no slack. We squeezed the slack out. I do not know if Bernanke gets this or not. He is a smart guy, but he is also a fool. You can be both.

Chris Martenson: I think that is a great point you make. It is not low interest rates that support a rising equity market; it is falling rates that support a rising equity market. Of course the reverse is true: Rates rise and equities fall. That is the world. That potential energy has now been stored in the system. There it is.

I want to talk about gold and silver against that backdrop, that context there. I mentioned that you do not like the dollar. This is all going come together into one conversation here. Gold and silver have a tough end to kind of a lackluster year, the first out of 11 or so where that has been true. Let's talk about the precious-metal markets first, and then what the fundamentals are for the metals. For markets, what do you see when you look at the gold and silver markets?

Dave Collum: They have been flopping around in a way that is pretty standard for a secular bull market. If you look at the previous bull market, there were periods where the metal investors got beaten up pretty well en route to some spectacular returns. None of this troubles me. It is clear to me at this point that the case for intentional intervention in the precious-metals market is not a bad case. I do not know if I sign off on it, but I think that there are those who say powerful forces are getting in there and messing around with the metal price.

It is undeniable now, thanks to Rob Kirby who came up with a document from the Comptroller of the Currency showing that JP Morgan has a short position in silver. We know they have a short position in silver. We know that Blythe Masters claims that they were hedging. If so, it turns out their short position in silver is equivalent to 50% of the entire global bullion supply. I think Masters is fibbing a little bit there. They have got some serious speculation going on. At some point, does the price get out of the corral they have put it in? That would be my bet. As long as central bankers are printing, how can you not like the metals? It is hard for me to imagine this.

The other thing is that they said it was a bubble. It is not acting like a post-bubble period either. When you really hit a bubble, take a look at Qualcomm or some stock like that. After that bubble popped, it was a free fall. It went straight down.

Chris Martenson: This bubble talk always gets under my skin a little. Let's name one other bubble where you had broad participation that you had to measure in the 1% range.

Dave Collum: That is a great point. It is estimated that the percentage of the investing world of the metals is in the ballpark of 1%. I have seen below 1%. If you take all of the portfolios around the world and you ask what percentage metals is, it is around 1%. Historically it is supposed to be around 5%. That is a five-fold gain in front of you to get back to historical norms. Then you have central banks, who are now net buyers. This is the smartest money on the planet. These are not day traders. These central banks are not buying and intending to flip it like flipping condos or anything.

China, which everyone knows is a financial juggernaut, is buying gold and silver. Their gold position is something like 2% of their reserves. They could ramp that to 50% and it would do unbelievable things to the price discovery mechanism of gold. It is hard to be pessimistic. I admit it is painful watching the metals get bashed back and forth and the metal equities getting bashed back and forth. You and I bought the metals back when they were in the $200s. It is painful, but it is not that painful.

Chris Martenson: I do not think it is very painful. I am just patient like you. I know the day will come. I have really stopped paying hour-to-hour and day-to-day attention to the prices because it is not really relevant unless I am thinking of adding more. Then I will trot out some charts, look at them, and think about when I want to put some more into my portfolio. For the markets themselves, I did track – using Eric over at Nanex – some of these raids that happened recently in both gold and silver. You would see thousands and thousands of contracts dumped in a single 80 millisecond period. That has nothing to do with normal price discovery. That is a price manipulation moment. Nobody is doing that to suddenly balance their portfolio or liquidate something, as they commonly like to trot out, like that rumor that maybe Paulson, one of the most sophisticated hedge fund operators in the world, just one day pushes a cell phone button and unloads his gold position like a complete novice. That is not true.

I look at that, but I have seen that same behavior in many other markets, in equities markets. I have seen it in the oil markets. Somebody out there is able to push price around to their benefit. If you wanted the price to go down, these to me are not two very hard dots to connect. If I happen to own the largest short position in silver, I might be the first institution I would go looking at if I was an investigator, to say who pushed that massive sell button right at that moment in time? Without the investigation, we will not know.

I do not have to get into theories about why they are doing it, or if they are doing it because the central banks want them to, or any of that stuff. I can just say that by looking at the market structure, with shorts that are that outsized and are by definition manipulative when you hold that concentrated a position in a future position in market. On the other hand, we see these things come through which are clearly price manipulation events. How can these two dots not be connected? It leaves fertile territory for average inquiring and somewhat intelligent people to say there is some smoke there. Can we please investigate and assure me there is no fire? Of course the CFDC refuses to really do that in anything like a meaningful way.

Dave Collum: So at one point there were 75,000 sell orders for silver in one second. That is not an investor. That is something altogether different. That is a cheater trader doing that one. This is why the Nanex guys are so important. They show us this. They look in these short-time scales. They can see the monkey-hammering going on in these markets. There are still two levels though. One possible level is that the markets have just been discovered, that the precious metal markets have been discovered by the HFTs. What looks like manipulation is really just algos banging away at the problem and pounding away. They are finding air pockets and drilling down the prices and making money going down and going up. The other is that there is a more intended purpose behind it. The former is certainly happening. The algos have got a hold of the precious metal markets now in a serious way. With the latter, certainly the Gata guys would say that the intention is price suppression.

I make a case for price suppression in my review, where I point out that, for example, the central banks lease gold to traders. Why would you ever lease gold? You say well, they can rent it. This is a profit. The lease rates are something like two-tenths of a percent. There is no profit motive there. That is free capital in the very least. You also lease out the gold and they sell it. Then it is going to drop the price. It also means that the central banks do not have the gold. It is out there and has been sold. It is suspicious that our central banks report gold as a single line item, both the leased gold and the gold supposedly in possession. They actually do not dissect those two. They pretend leased gold is as good as gold, as one might say. It is not. It is gone.

Chris Martenson: That is a great point, too. I have this conversation from time to time, about the things I know my central bank openly admits to manipulating. The one that is most important and drives me the craziest is that they manipulate the price of money.

Dave Collum: Right.

Chris Martenson: When you do that, every other price by definition becomes distorted or manipulated, depending on which verbiage you are more comfortable with.

Dave Collum: It renders our money worthless. That is the key. Our capital, in the olden days, used to have value. We would work. We would save. Someone would come along and say you know, if you lend me the money that you have saved, I will pay you for it. I will find a productive use for it. Therefore you would get a return. Now the central banks have decided that they will render our hard-earned capital worthless. It is worthless at this point. It returns nothing.

Chris Martenson: They have distorted the time-value of money, which is one of the biggest distortions out there. Of course, 85 billion a month is my number-one fundamental statistic. We are building up this pressure across the world where we are just throwing more and more money. The central banks have some crazy idea. They are running a social experiment, the largest one ever, with an N of 1. It has got a binary outcome. It works or it fails.

This feels a little risky to me because this same experiment has been run on a microscale hundreds of times throughout history. It has never worked. They have never come forward and said this time, when we run this grand printing experiment of printing our way to prosperity, here is why we think it is going to work this time. They have never had that actual explicit conversation come out. Ron Paul used to bang at Bernanke with questions like that. Bernanke would just dodge and nobody would follow up. That was the end of it.

Here we are. I think this is the thing. I look at your Year in Review and I think about where we are. If five years ago or ten years ago you had just picked me up and dropped me into this moment and showed me what the central banks were up to, I would have gotten up out of my chair with my hair on fire and run outside. I want to back up. All of our baselines have been shifted. It has been creeping up. We get assaulted with this news constantly. The Federal Reserve is doing more and more, as well as the other central banks. Stop. Time out. Back up. This is insane.

Dave Collum: Do you remember when they bailed out the system by basically dropping $30 billion into Bear Stearns? You could taste vomit in your mouth when you read that article. Oh my God, they just dumped $30 billion into Bear Stearns. You are kidding me. That is such a quaint number now. They desensitized us to the point where they go on TV and not only talk about numbers in the trillions, but they actually get people in the system cheering for it. This is going to be historically bizarre. There are going to be people looking back and saying explain this to me again. Why did you guys think the system was okay? It looks insane retrospectively. Prospectively it would look insane, too. If you took some person from 1950 and beamed them forward, they would say you guys are nuts. This does not work.

Chris Martenson: Absolutely.

This is my final question here. You have managed a very impressive 11% average compounded annual rate of growth for ten years or more.

Dave Collum: Thirteen. I just use January 1, 2000, because that really represents it. That is the one I cite because that is the one where everyone else started suffer. If you go back, it worked fine, too, but everyone was fine. As of January 1, 2000, I have averaged 11% compounded. Admittedly it was two years in a row that are break-even.

Chris Martenson: Here is the question around that. That is very impressive. We just had a long conversation here. You have it in the Year in Review around how broken and dysfunctional our markets really are, that money is mispriced and that this is insane. What is the poor confused investor to do, if you were to pass on some sage advice? How do we navigate these next few years here?

Dave Collum: Someone who has money has a nasty problem. This really is. You and I, we like metals. We like energy. We think if you have to go somewhere, those are it. They can be hurt, too. It is not like we are sitting around saying there is no way these things are not going to get whacked. We know they can be whacked. We just think it is the best bet we have got. I have no optimum bets. I wish I could think of something that was safe. There is nothing safe now. We are in the middle of a mess.

My advice, first and foremost, is do not underestimate what it costs to retire. You will be told by the authorities what it takes to retire. Those estimates are way off. Fidelity is saying you need eight times your annual salary to retire. If you do the math that will only get you about ten years worth of retirement. Then you are done. You need more like 20 or 25. I guarantee your listeners [who are Boomers] are very unlikely to be on track to get 20 or 25 multiples of their annual salary in the bank before they retire.

These are scary numbers. I just say hang on as long as you can. Do not retire. Do not retire if you do not have to. Do not retire thinking you are going to get a part-time job. It is going to be at a drive-through window if you do.

Chris Martenson: How about the importance of living frugally? Does that factor in?

Dave Collum: Yes, it certainly does. For one thing, the more frugally you live the less you need to retire and the more you save. It is a two-for. If you could live off of half your salary, you would not only need a lot less but you would have a lot more. Unfortunately, for a lot of people we are past the fail-safe point. I hate to bring that news, but for someone who is 60 years old who is way behind the eight ball – and this is a very large percentage of the population – I do not see a mathematical solution beyond austere old age. It is a consequence. It is not a cause. Europe is a consequence. They say they decided to do austerity in Greece. No, Greece is a pathetically dysfunctional country – no efficiency, no prosperity, no nothing. That is not a choice. That is a consequence. We are going to suffer the same, in my opinion.

Chris Martenson: The alternative is that we are going to be allowed to live beyond our means forever.

Dave Collum: Yes, that will happen.

Chris Martenson: History is not really supportive of that as an awesome strategy.

Dave Collum: Hope is not a strategy, as they say.

Chris Martenson: Absolutely not. Yet there is still a lot of hope in this story for me. We can shape our lives. We can take control of our finances. I recommend very strongly that everybody listening, the best investments you can make are in yourself. My best investments this past year were a solar hot water system and insulation, both of which are going to have triple-digit returns in the first case and high double digit returns in the second case. I am investing in myself in ways that minimize my future cash flow.

Put it in a spreadsheet and it makes perfect sense. We have been captured in a lot of cases by the idea that investing means taking your money, closing your eyes, sending it to Wall Street, crossing your fingers, and hoping. There are many better ways now to get involved with investing that begin right at home. It is all around the idea of minimizing future cash flow out the door, rather than trying to maximize future cash flow in the door. It is a little flip, but it is actually a story that I can make perfect sense of, get my arms around, and there is no risk in it unless oil goes to zero dollars a barrel.

Dave Collum: I did have this one idea. That is one that people talk about, especially people like you. That is to invest locally. I have this image of investing in local businesses. You pool resources and then you invest in things you can kick the tire on. I pieced this whole model together and I say we will call it a Savings and Loan.

Chris Martenson: That is a great idea.

Dave Collum: Do not give the money to HSBC unless you want to support drug cartels. Then you should.

Chris Martenson: With that, Dave, it has been my pleasure, as always. We are going to have to do this much more frequently than biannually. Thank you so much for your time and for the Year in Review.

Dave Collum: I appreciate you letting me do it.

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108 Comments

  • Sat, Dec 29, 2012 - 9:31pm

    #1

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    For me, handsdown the best Podcast EVER...

    Two charts Folks, and I ask, what more do you need to understand. One the most important resourse and the other Money.

    http://www.forecast-chart.com/chart-crude-oil.html

    http://www.kitco.com/charts/popup/au3650nyb.html

    They are the only two charts on my office wall so I NEVER forget what the truth is.

    Terrific Podcast

    BOB

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  • Sat, Dec 29, 2012 - 10:30pm

    #2

    westcoastjan

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 177

    thanks!

    The single best thing I am getting out of these podcasts is that they serve to reinforce my beliefs and give me confidence to continue on this path even when others might disagree with my thinking. Many of us who buy into this storyline are often viewed as being fearful or negative in our thinking. Most people just do not want to hear this message. It is not always easy being the lone contrarian in the room.

    So thanks for the constant reinforcement that we are indeed on the right track. I will continue preparing with confidence that I am both awake and aware, enabling me to make better decisions.

    Jan

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 1:41am

    #3

    Jim H

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2009

    Posts: 1798

    Excellent podcast...

    It is often the simple points that are the most profound.  Two nuggets for me;

    1)  Our money is already worthless.  I have been making this point for at least two years now.. and I can tell that David feels it exactly the same way I do.  When the bankers tell you that they don't want your money…that capital can now be created effortlessly within their system and that your savings are not needed (have no yield)… then the game is already over.  Sure, you can still buy stuff with your money, for now.. but the writing is on the wall… the dollar is worthless.  Once you realize this, there is no turning back.. you will relentlessly pursue the aquisition of real assets and invest in yourself and your own resiliency.   

    2)  The next crisis will be different than 2007-2008 in that Bonds are already at or near the zero bound.  This is a very interesting point that David brings up…simple, yet profound. There is scant little room for buffering effects from bond funds next time the stock market dives.. a little maybe, but not much.  My own personal belief is that the realization that bonds as a safe haven are over will be the real catalyst for the parabolic phase of PM's that lie ahead.                    

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 1:54am

    #4

    Grover

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 15 2011

    Posts: 691

    How much is enough?

    Chris,

    It sure would be nice to have 20 or 25 times annual salary saved up before retiring, but that isn't a realistic goal for most people. Is that going to mitigate all foreseen and unforeseen problems in retirement? A few unfortunate incidents could wipe out that nest egg quickly or make it irrelevant.

    What options are available for those who started too late in life to amass such a fortune? Could you give some insights to those of us with 2, 5, or 10 times current annual expenses saved up and not enough years left to increase it substantially?

    Grover

    By the way, as others have noted, these podcasts are wonderful! Thanks for tirelessly providing these.

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 4:58am

    #5
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    thoughts on the decline

    Again, another superb piece of information from David Collum and Chris.

    The following was one of the priceless gems:

    "Berkshire Hathaway at $120,000 a share flash-crashed to $1. It does not even make it to CNBC because they are too busy sniffing around Warren Buffett for nuggets of wisdom from this guy who is the biggest stock jobber I have ever seen. Buffett drives me completely nuts. He is a total insider. He trades on inside information. At the same time he has got this little-old-man thing. He is like the Mafia Don walking around in his bathrobe looking innocuous. He drives me crazy."

    Yes!!!  Thank you, David!  Glad to know I'm not alone.  As a former Berkshire Hathaway share holder and as one who has been blessed with an ability to sniff out phonies from miles away, I've felt this way for years.  It's only been in recent years though that Buffet has revealed his true colors.  In fact, he's outright blatant with it now.  Anyone who believes his line of bull any more is hopelessly gullible.

     

    This transcript makes me think of pivotal times in history … times when, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, everything changes.  The passage of the Federal Reserve Act and the implementation of the federal income tax in 1913 (the latter of which was implemented by progressives and look, my, how it has grown), the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944, and Nixon closing the gold "window" in 1971 are monetary events that are well known to most of us here.  In my earlier life time, the assassination of JFK and the Vietnam War were other pivot events when there was a massive change in the sociological and psychological orientation of the US.  More recently, 9/11 heralded an epic change in the politics of this country.  On a more subtle level, two other even more recent events stand out for me.  The first was the US Congress completely ignoring the wishes of its constituents who were, by a margin of 100:1, against the bail-outs of the big banks.  To me, it was the culmination of the death of a representative form of government in this country.  The second was the failure to prosecute Jon Corzine for his egregious crimes.  To me, it was the death of the rule of law in this country, as it applies to the connected elite.  This particular article simply reinforced that perception on my part.

    At this time, it strikes me as extremely unlikely that there will be any near term change in the graft and corruption in this country simply because THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES!  Regulation and law enforcement, as it applies to the power elite, will simply be a sham with an occasional non-compliant or lower level financial and/or political figure being thrown under the bus as a human sacrifice to satisfy the public's perception that "something needs to be done about this".  Regulation and enforcement, as it applies to the average, law abiding, middle class citizen, however, will become increasing harsh and repressive.  Ditto for many middle sized businesses.  Witness Hobby Lobby bracing for a $1.3 million a day fine beginning January 1 for noncompliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Seems a bit harsh to me.  Corzine can steal over a billion dollars and walk, with no civil or criminal consequences, but Hobby Lobby tries to exercise its constitutional right to religious freedom and is catching it in the neck.  The contrast is bizarre … and frightening at the same time.

    One can look at Weimar Republic Germany and wonder how the Germans ever let their country be taken over by the Nazis, a political minority.  Study how Hindenburg was maneuvered and manipulated by General Kurt von Schleicher, for example, and see if you don't see parallels to what is occurring in our country.  Most have the assumption that our leadership is trying to "fix" our problems.  But when I would analyze what Obama (or Bush, for that matter) was doing and especially, what they were influenced by their advisors and behind-the-scenes forces to do, their actions seem insane.  And these actions were and are insane, IF their intentions were to improve circumstances.  But these people are not insane.  On the contrary, they are highly intelligent and politically astute at a diabolical level.  So let's apply paradoxical thinking here to gain some insight.  If you were purposely trying to take down the country (and the West) economically but wanted it to appear as if you were attempting the opposite, what would you do?  I'd do EXACTLY what has been done.  Then, their seemingly nonsensical actions become perfectly logical and rational.  Read "Tragedy and Hope" by Carroll Quigly and other related books and understand the "level the playing field" doctrine and it all becomes very clear.

    Also, note how virtually every aspect of our society is becoming increasingly chaotic, how nothing stays the same, how there is no certainty, how nothing can be relied upon or trusted for sure any more, how every bastion of stability and security and constancy in our society is being eroded and disassembled.  There are enormous advantages to chaos when one has the capital and the power and is seeking to consolidate and concentrate that power and control even more.  Banned topics prevent full discussion of the negative spiritual power of chaos but from a more practical and tangible perspective, wars are the classic example of the advantage of chaos to a power elite (such as when transnational banking interests lend money to both sides in a conflict).  Chaos also provides the destabilizing influence that enables more ready implemention of  behaviors, doctrines, and laws amenable to a diabolical power elite's interests.  Pretty soon a population becomes so numbed by the whirlwind of change and irrationality that their sensibilities are deadened and they let changes wash over them that they would have strongly resisted before, simply because they just want to be left alone, shut out all the negativity, and just "lie back, close their eyes, and think of England". 

    I fear that recent events related to the Second Amendment will initiate another key pivotal event that will close the final door to freedom.  Unfortunately, we are past the point where writing your Congressman or attending a political rally will make any difference.  Note how the massive Tea Party rally in Washington, DC was marginalized by the media to a non-event and how the rapidly spreading fire of Occupy Wall Street movement burned itself out to ashes.  And the recent removal/retirements of Generals Petraeus, Ham, and Allen and Admiral Gaouette and a few select others seems a strange coincidence, to say the least.  A prime tenet of warfare involving decapitation of leadership of insurgents (or potential insurgents) comes to mind.  The number of options left is shrinking and frighteningly small.  And I don't see the will in the general population to initiate any of those options. 

     

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 11:32am

    #6

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    ao, hogwash.Too extreme for

     

    ao, hogwash.

    Too extreme for me but hey, free country. Right? Well isn't it?

    Greenpeace is not radical enough for you? Really? Funny ao.

    I really like your really BIG script that you write with as if your message isn't loud enough. Hahahaha.

    [Moderator message: This tone is not proper when addressing another user.]

    You're a stitch and your message so important because we must prepare for anything and everything for sure.

    Goldtraderseller in my inbox! Anyone else? Will these type advertisements be the norm?    

    BOB

     

     

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 12:57pm

    #7

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    The issue is Debt...

    …and who takes the hit when Debt gets destroyed.

    Next, it is a use it all energy "PLAN". We must get off Oil exclusively and use everything with a "PLAN". In conjunction to this we need to get as much physical Gold and Silver that we are comfortable with. I am not holding 100% in these metals because it just won't be necessary are my thoughts. I do have approx. 20% of my wealth in these metals however. My wife will keep her job and the medical field will be a terrific hedge against a future that is uncertain but not yet determined. NOT YET DETERMINED to make a stronger point and to steal ao script for effect.

    To think as ao does is to already admit defeat. He is certainly not a realist in my world, he is just someone who gets his 15 minutes of fame here at PP. We all due in fairness. 

    He is colorful however, and he does seem to be educated but a little paranoid are my conclusions.

    Hey, that's OK, people here actually believe everything he says. If so, why are you preparing at all? In the scenario ao presumes, we will have no control so confiscation of everything we have will be a cinch. Better then to eat everything in your pantry and build the fat layers as at least you can live on that for a bit.

    Regards

    BOB

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 1:18pm

    Reply to #6
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    RJE wrote:Greenpeace is not

    [quote=RJE]
    Greenpeace is not radical enough for you? Really? Funny ao.
    I really like your really BIG script that you write with as if your message isn't loud enough. Hahahaha.
    [/quote]
    Bob,
    What you're saying here really doesn't make any sense.  Can you explain?

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 1:38pm

    Reply to #5
    MarkM

    MarkM

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 22 2008

    Posts: 349

    The fire had a little water thrown on it, as well.

    [quote=ao]
    and how the rapidly spreading fire of Occupy Wall Street movement burned itself out to ashes.  And the recent removal/retirements of Generals Petraeus, Ham, and Allen and Admiral Gaouette and a few select others seems a strange coincidence, to say the least.  A prime tenet of warfare involving decapitation of leadership of insurgents (or potential insurgents) comes to mind.  The number of options left is shrinking and frighteningly small.  And I don't see the will in the general population to initiate any of those options. 

     
    [/quote]
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/29/fbi-coordinated-crackdown-occupy
    "The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens."
    ao,
    I second the thoughts you put forth here. The government has truly become a frighteningly powerful machine.
    Those that do show the will you mention will be violently dealt with as a warning to others that may think of exercising their rights and opinions. Why do you think the Federal Government(DHS) has been so open to arming local police?

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 1:39pm

    Reply to #7
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    RJE wrote:...and who takes

    [quote=RJE]
    …and who takes the hit when Debt gets destroyed.
    Next, it is a use it all energy "PLAN". We must get off Oil exclusively and use everything with a "PLAN". In conjunction to this we need to get as much physical Gold and Silver that we are comfortable with. I am not holding 100% in these metals because it just won't be necessary are my thoughts. I do have approx. 20% of my wealth in these metals however. My wife will keep her job and the medical field will be a terrific hedge against a future that is uncertain but not yet determined. NOT YET DETERMINED to make a stronger point and to steal ao script for effect.
    To think as ao does is to already admit defeat. He is certainly not a realist in my world, he is just someone who gets his 15 minutes of fame here at PP. We all due in fairness. 
    He is colorful however, and he does seem to be educated but a little paranoid are my conclusions.
    Hey, that's OK, people here actually believe everything he says. If so, why are you preparing at all? In the scenario ao presumes, we will have no control so confiscation of everything we have will be a cinch. Better then to eat everything in your pantry and build the fat layers as at least you can live on that for a bit.
    Regards
    BOB
    [/quote]
    Bob,
    As I've said previously, I wish I could return to your level of naivete.  I've spent 34 years interacting with people in my work in one of the most populated areas of the country and one of the least populated.  I've also interacted with people and taught people in the same capacity in 40 different states.  I've had had medically confidential conversations with people from all walks of life, from top business leaders to government internal auditors to people in the various intelligence agencies to people working in black-ops.  They've told me things that they haven't even told their spouses. 
    Frankly Bob, you don't have a clue and you don't know what you don't know.  I'll be polite and leave it at that.
    And as far as the medical field, I'm in it.  And those who are in it with any kind of brains see the handwriting on the wall and it isn't good.  You can whistle all you want to make yourself feel safe walking through the dark and scarey woods but when the wolf pops up, the whistling isn't going to do you any good.  You have to get real and see what is there.  Self delusion is a bigger enemy than anything external.  And you've already been defeated unless you wake up. 
    And please stop putting words in my mouth.  What you say I'm saying is not what I'm saying but I understand that it's easy for you to get confused and fall back on simplistic assumptions.

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 1:49pm

    #8

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 454

    A Matter of Perspective

    To a large degree we each judge the world based upon our individual circumstances. Someone who is employed, has a strong supportive family, a little extra disposable income and feels safe might find hope and optimism easy to come by. Conversly, if a person is unemployed, or hates their job, has money troubles, very little support and feels insecure the world will seem very scary and difficult. We also never know what goes on at home in a persons private life which affects their view of the world. During the period I took care of dying family members I would meet people I knew in the grocery store, smile and chat and they had no clue to what I was going home to. Different perspectives are good, I personally am glad to regularly get a dose of optimism as our attituide determines the quality of our life.
    My 2 cents
    AK Granny

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 2:05pm

    Reply to #5
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    all in the name of our safety

    [quote=MarkM]Those that do show the will you mention will be violently dealt with as a warning to others that may think of exercising their rights and opinions. Why do you think the Federal Government(DHS) has been so open to arming local police?
    [/quote]
    I couldn't agree more Mark.  When DHS buys 1.6 billion rounds of ammo (much of it .40 S&W for domestic LE use rather than military use), bullet resistant checkpoint booths, assorted acoustic and directed energy crowd control devices, armored cars for obscure small towns, drones for domestic use (30,000 of them, in fact, with current discussion about arming some of them), etc, one is given pause.  Of course, Bob probably thinks it's for providing extra security at Tigers games, lol.

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 2:16pm

    #9

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 454

    We Get It

    To ao, Mark and all those that are trying to share with us what is really going on and how bad thing are and are going to get…… A lot of us do understand, we get it. Yes the government of today is nothing like it used to be, we do live in unpredictable and scary times. The point is we can chose to live in fear or chose to have a positive influence on the world we touch. I refer you to Victor Frankles book, I believe he was a Dr., he survived A Nazi concentration camp, and addresses why some people survive and some don’t.
    Waking up and being afraid won’t make the world better. Spreading fear won’t help, however improving the world at a grass roots level will.

    AK Granny

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 2:37pm

    Reply to #7

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    I guess were doomed then ao...No hope...

    …then again:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmCpOKtN8ME
    BOB

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 2:40pm

    Reply to #8
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    it's all about balance

    [quote=AkGrannyWGrit]To a large degree we each judge the world based upon our individual circumstances. Someone who is employed, has a strong supportive family, a little extra disposable income and feels safe might find hope and optimism easy to come by. Conversly, if a person is unemployed, or hates their job, has money troubles, very little support and feels insecure the world will seem very scary and difficult. We also never know what goes on at home in a persons private life which affects their view of the world. During the period I took care of dying family members I would meet people I knew in the grocery store, smile and chat and they had no clue to what I was going home to. Different perspectives are good, I personally am glad to regularly get a dose of optimism as our attituide determines the quality of our life. My 2 cents AK Granny[/quote]AKGranny,
    Optimism is good when it's reality based.  When it's not, it becomes self delusion.  Personally, I'm very secure in my employment with an excellent career and a 6 figure income, I have a wonderful wife and kids and good friends, I've invested wisely and am financially secure, I live in a community that is close and supportive (voted in many polls as one of the best places to live in the country) and is preparing for the future, I'm in excellent health and have an excellent fitness level, I'm well prepared in the area of security, and, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I don't scare easily and I'm not intimidated easily.  I live in two worlds though.  There's the world that's planning a trip with my son to hear Ben Bernanke talk at University of Michigan, a trip with him to the car show in Detroit, a business trip to learn some new skills, a family trip to Europe in the spring, and I'm looking forward to playtime at the lake when the warm weather comes again.  And then there's the world that sees what is happening in this country.  The first world brings me joy but the second world causes me considerable concern.  I don't let one overwhelm the other but I always keep them both clearly in sight.  The key is balance.     
     

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 2:42pm

    Reply to #7
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    No Bob.  The doomed is your

    No Bob.  The doomed is your perspective of my perspective, not my perspective.  

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 3:04pm

    #10

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Hey ao...

    Boo!

    lol

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 3:15pm

    #11
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    Start Over

    It is becomming increasing obvious with each new article and pod cast that we really need to start over locally from scratch. I have known for a long time that things would eventually come to this and that can create a kind of complacency.  The steady stream of information really helps to keep up the motivation level when you have been at something for a long time.  Some times I feel like I can't listen any more.  At the same time it is critical  that we be aware of what is going on.  Its like watching a slow motion train wreck, you want to turn away but you just can't.  The problem is, while we may not all be on the train, we are all close enough that we can get hit by pieces of the wreckage and we have to know which way to move.

    My heart felt thanks Chris for keeping the information coming.  It saves a lot of time doing the research on our own so that we can focus our efforts doing the foundational community rebuilding that needs to be done.

    My new years resolution is to try and spend more time on the resilient life side of the site, and double the efforts on the home front.  God Bless and happy New Years to you all.  Thanks again Chris  and Adam for all of your hard work.

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 3:20pm

    Reply to #8

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    ao, honestly, give it a rest.

    ao, honestly, give it a rest. Such a person of mystery, and for one who has balance you have NOT shown any but for the dark side of every darn thing.My gosh man you are trppin' me out. You sound like an experiment, like Bourne or some such hollywood script.
    Hey, maybe we'll bump into each others at the auto show but they'll have Fords there you know. You wouldn't want to be hypocritical.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ScjucUV8v0
    Be good Folks
    BOB

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 4:39pm

    #12
    treemagnet

    treemagnet

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 14 2011

    Posts: 279

    AO, Have A Super Sparkly Day!

    In the future, please keep your comments to yourself.  Unless you wish to comment on unicorns, fluffy puppies, or similarly positive but unimportant tangents to the issues we face.

    I couldn't agree more with your posts.  You're spot on.  IMHO, PP has become for many, nothing more than a "feel good mental 'spa' "of sorts.  Anything not positive is negative.  It's largely why I don't frequent the site much.  Keep the faith.

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 4:45pm

    #13

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 190

    ao, rje, akgranny, markm, treebeard ...

    I've read through this entire thread and I think that most of us agree that there is a significant risk that our government and those aligned with it could become (and has already become to some degree) an oppressive, destructive and even deadly force in the lives of many of us.  That said, ao, I would love to hear any more details (that you are comfortable sharing) about what you know, how you know it and how much you trust your sources.  You seem to have more information than the most of us.  From your writings you seem to know what you're talking about, but we don't really know who you are.  This can be a challenge since trust is built on knowing people well.  I can understand why you, me and many others keep your identity confidential on this site.  The question is "How can you build our trust without revealiing info you want to remain private?".  I think your post #15 is a good step in that direction. Responding to my request halfway through this paragraph would be another step.

    Even more I would love to hear anyone's ideas about the best way to live and act in the face of this risk to maximize the chance that we, our families and communities will get through (as intact as possible) whatever stoms the powers that be might bring upon us.

    I like treebeard's idea about starting locally from scratch.  But I'm concerned about how much those storms that may be on the way will make this difficult or impossible.  A big question is "How much will our own government's oppression be disrupted by collapse, however fast or slow it might come?".

    I also like Akgranny's mention of Victor Frankl and ao's mention of reality based optimism.  Frankl's gift was the ability to maintain a reality based optimism that got him through the most inhumane of circumstances with his life and sanity intact.  He later attempted to generalize his experience (his book Man's Search for Meaning and other work) so that others could apply it to their situation.

    Also, what is the common ground between ao's and rje's perspective?  I think it's more in how you describe the storm that is likely to be coming (at least how you decribe it through your posts to Peakprosperity.com) than in any significant difference in the type of future we are preparing for.  Are either of you willing to try on that perspective, stay in a place or inquiry and dialogue and see if there's common ground?  I would eagerly follow that conversation.

    Respectfully,

    QB

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 5:38pm

    #14

    Jim H

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2009

    Posts: 1798

    QB

    Thanks for the attempt at self-moderation..  I appreciate the energy both AO and Bob put into their posts and I don't think we who "get it" should be arguing when so few in the US even get it.  My reading of this thread is that Bob picked a fight… and I say that as a friend.   

    Unlike QB, I would not question AO … he can reveal as much or as little about who he is.  What I do know is that AO has been around these parts quite a while, and his record of posting is consistent, energetic, and of value.  You (QB) seem to be questioning the source of some of AO's liberty-oriented comments.  I would suggest that you tap in to some of the information sources that focus on this aspect of our situation in the US as it is not a focus here at CM/PP.com.  

    The best sources I have found, written by very credible sources are;

    http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/       Krieger is ex-Wall Street.. turned to a liberty focus.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/     You might not like his politics, but PCR lays it out there.   

    And finally, for the broadbrush overview;

    http://sgtreport.com/     A consolidator of Liberty-oriented news… as with all sources, use your own filters as to what is real, and what is conspiracy.. you will find that you need to use your filter more often here than with the other two, as some of the posting moderators are a bit off the deep end, posting BS like Chemtrails articles.   

    All the Best,  Jim

     

         

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 6:30pm

    Reply to #8
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    pot and kettle

    [quote=RJE]ao, honestly, give it a rest.
    [/quote]
    Hey Bob.  You say "give it a rest" but you were the one this morning who jumped in with not one but two posts deriding my post.  I think it was you who expressed the thought that it is (was?) a free country?  So if you'll pardon me, I'd still like to exercise my freedom of speech, while I still have it.
    Happy Kwanzaa
    "Don't be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn't do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today."  Malcolm X

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 6:31pm

    Reply to #3

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 198

    Back To The Podcast

    This was a great podcast, I enjoyed listening to every word.Like Jim H, one of the segments of the conversation which I focused in on the most was the value of the dollar and what comes next.  I could not agree more that the value of the dollar is gone.  I think about this often and it has begun to become part of my purchasing habits.  For example, as a middle class guy with a child support payment, I don't have a lot of disposable income after the mortgage payment.  Despite this, I have been using the purchasing power of the dollar today to try and help my future life situation.  If and when a collapse does come, I don't want to look back and think that I didn't do enough while I had the chance.
    It doesn't matter if I've chosen to buy extra canning lids with what little purchasing power I have left, a couple more ounces of silver, or more canned food….buying THINGS now will make the pain of tomorrow a little more tolerable. 
    Constant reminders of this are always helpful.
     
    JB

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 6:52pm

    #15

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2553

    Enough

    ao & Bob –

    Your personal jibes on this thread have become excessive & distracting to the discussion here. If you want to continue the 1-to-1, please use the PM system.

    Normally, both of your public contributions are useful and valued. I'd like to see a return to that normalcy.

    Please review our posting guidelines if you need a refresher and keep your further comments germane to the podcast, and constructive. We'll moderate out future content that isn't.

    Adam

     

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 6:52pm

    Reply to #14

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Jim is correct I have been picking at ao scab...

    …but ao and I DO NOT see clearly our future. I have said that others share in ao style and beliefs and that's cool. ao and I are bantering our thoughts is all, and offense shouldn't be taken. I believe we are grown Men who have our differences is all. Life moves on regardless of what is said here. He will have no influence with me, he isn't telling me anything I am not prepared for. My gosh, Detroit taught me all I need for my Preparations for the coming new world order but I am not going to give up, not write my congressman or any such thing. I still feel we can have an impact and that is that. Geezus!, am I a minority here? ao has had no positive energies what-so-ever as he doesn't reflect my thoughts even marginally (that doesn't even seem logical to me but…), and he shows no future that resembles any of what we have control over as a possibility, so why even try then?
    While I respect that he has a voice I haven't screamed at him. I just absolutely, positively disagree with most his content and conclusions especially when he shares really nothing but secretly gathered black opt dark shit matter. Has he interviewed any sane Folks then or have they all been baaaaaddd? Look, any bum on the streets of Detroit has a story if that's the one you want to hear. Everyone of them were soldiers in some deep dark opts operation somewhere in the world. That's not to say they are not telling the truth though. 
    Please, we/I  get this dark side to our government and ao feeds on it because we have easy visuals. It's called FEAR TACTIC based on what? His words and observations? Pallleeeese. "Trust me" he says, ah, no thank you, I don't want to. OK? It makes my head hurt is my reason.
    I DO NOT believe at all his rather one sided views, and think him some sort of psychoanalyst. He is one sided, and I say so. I thought a balanced approach was necessary, and gave it as comfortably as I could without it being mean spirited. I am NOT a fan at all though as his approach is to demeaning for my tastes.
    His dialogue while consistent is of an extreme nature that I do not share, and I even have allowed that HISTORY be written first but history has already been written because he has had some obscure and sensitive Intel that he can't share or " he may have to kill me " as the popular phrase is often applied.
    I have no issues with sides being taken as it applies to any thread, I take no offense.
    ao called me naive and I call him a little on the extreme edge of thought as it applies to my visuals of the future. No doubt things will be bad but hand to hand combat with my government and my Brothers and Sisters at arms is a crazy notion are my thoughts. Just crazy, and you Folks don't buy into this bullshit as a rule. Their will be rogue everythings, there are now. Soldiers and Cops, but I have faith they will be addressed because I have seen it addressed before, and this time will be no different.
    I guess one of us will be right and the other wrong and as I said I hope it's somewhere in the middle.
    No one here has ever consider what will happen when the Woman of this country get sick of what's going on so maybe a look see would help: Levity has its place.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPf6s8B-roI
    My point with this Video is not a sexual one but showing that Women have strength that has NEVER before been realized as they could throw at the Elite today. Men DO NOT like when Women, their Women get shoved around, and God forbid the children. So NO, I do not agree with ao's central thesis that there's just no point in writing letters to congressman or those sorts of things. Rosa Parks sparked a revolution in this country and God forbid the Elite get too cute.
    Regards
    BOB…and Jim we are friends.

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 7:01pm

    Reply to #14
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    Jim H wrote:Thanks for the

    [quote=Jim H]
    Thanks for the attempt at self-moderation..  I appreciate the energy both AO and Bob put into their posts and I don't think we who "get it" should be arguing when so few in the US even get it.  My reading of this thread is that Bob picked a fight… and I say that as a friend.   
    Unlike QB, I would not question AO … he can reveal as much or as little about who he is.  What I do know is that AO has been around these parts quite a while, and his record of posting is consistent, energetic, and of value.  You (QB) seem to be questioning the source of some of AO's liberty-oriented comments.  I would suggest that you tap in to some of the information sources that focus on this aspect of our situation in the US as it is not a focus here at CM/PP.com.  
    The best sources I have found, written by very credible sources are;
    http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/       Krieger is ex-Wall Street.. turned to a liberty focus.
    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/     You might not like his politics, but PCR lays it out there.   
    And finally, for the broadbrush overview;
    http://sgtreport.com/     A consolidator of Liberty-oriented news… as with all sources, use your own filters as to what is real, and what is conspiracy.. you will find that you need to use your filter more often here than with the other two, as some of the posting moderators are a bit off the deep end, posting BS like Chemtrails articles.   
    All the Best,  Jim
        
    [/quote]
    Thanks Jim.  And I would urge QB to listen to you as well.  We have good folks here, including Bob.  Bob may not realize it but I actually like him.  If we met in person, we'd probably exchange some good natured ribbing and get along fine.  But if I see something I disagree with or I think is not fully accurate or truthful or whatever, I'm going to speak up … it's just in my nature … as I think it is in his.  And we can learn from the exchange.
    There're only a few things in this world that are really important.  Truth, love, and helping others are things that come to mind.  But love isn't always all smoochy-smoochy, I'll-scratch-your-back-you-scratch-mine.  Sometimes it hurts when it's a truth we don't want to hear but need to hear (and I fully include myself in this category since we're all on this same soul journey together).  Excuse my rough edges but that's just me. 
    To answer QB's question more directly, a few people know me here but most do not.  And quite frankly, for a whole host of reasons, I prefer to keep it that way.  As to sources of information, it's been like a jigsaw puzzle … some information here, some there.  I'm not privy to anything special but a lot has fallen into my lap over the years, for whatever reason.  I know it sounds hokey but I can't and won't reveal who I've gotten most of the specific information from.  Some has been professional so there are confidentiality issues, some is from friends, acquaintances, or their contacts and most of them are very private people, as I am.  If I tell the specific employment venue or job description of an individual, AI driven computer searches can find very quickly find out who that person is just through health insurance, phone, and e-mail contacts (and I don't even have a personal cell phone which I carry on a regular basis, don't text, don't use Facebook, don't use Twitter, don't have a vehicle with a black box, etc., all of which are becoming mechanisms for tracking habits, movements, relationships, etc.).  Hence my reticence.
    I would urge you to not take anything I say at face value but do your own research.  Personal contacts help fill in gaps but there is A LOT of information online and Jim has give you a start.  Follow the leads and links but don't be surprised if you learn things you'll wish you never learned.  Good luck.        
     

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 7:03pm

    Reply to #15
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    Adam Taggart wrote:ao & Bob

    [quote=Adam Taggart]
    ao & Bob –
    Your personal jibes on this thread have become excessive & distracting to the discussion here. If you want to continue the 1-to-1, please use the PM system.
    Normally, both of your public contributions are useful and valued. I'd like to see a return to that normalcy.
    Please review our posting guidelines if you need a refresher and keep your further comments germane to the podcast, and constructive. We'll moderate out future content that isn't.
    Adam
     
    [/quote]
    Sorry Adam.  Just saw this after I did my last post but nothing negative there (I hope). 

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 7:14pm

    #16

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2553

    Last post was fine

    Last post was fine, ao. Thanks for helping us get back on the rails.

    A

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 7:17pm

    #17

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Adam done for sure so how

    Adam done for sure so how about a balanced thread from you or Chris. Is it that you believe absolute armageddon or is there hope.

    You yourself on several occasions have written it's something we should talk about, such as population explosion, and I assume this topic because here it is provided by you. Others have given their thoughts and it appears constructive. I guess I will have to read the guidelines again.

    I think what is happening is allot of pent up anxiety, and the rhetoric is really flying, and everyone is trying to stay calm. Not just here at PP but we can clearly see the nation is about to head into another 2008 type crash and we are coming here to talk. Isn't that what we should be doing? I have these type conversations with many Men and Women and it really helps to get some chills out of the bones. Maybe moderating this and joining in with the conversation would be helpful. You guys seem to have all the answers after all. How about some input then?

    Adam, I am NOT being disrespectful but we get this type stuff from our leaders too, just push it aside, no need to discuss anything, and if you do then we'll talk from the floor of the Senate so we don't have to discuss anything with you Folks.

    Even in the Podcast the guest and Chris were pretty intense with some of their statements, and did incite a little bit. ao and I have taken this as far as we ever wanted, and were not to terribly rude. Just honest. Others joined in so that's a good thing I think. You're the boss though so I submit.

    Respectfully Given

    BOB

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 7:22pm

    #18

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    My bad too as I was writing and not reading.

    ao, admittedly we may have many things in common (not been my impression though) and I will just let your threads go in the future.

    BOB

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 7:25pm

    #19
    jdye51

    jdye51

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 17 2011

    Posts: 151

    A suggestion, a hope, and a challenge

    Speaking as a former therapist, I have a suggestion that may help when a thread turns this personal. Rather than comment on another person, try to  make your comments about yourself and your reactions to the topic at hand. We are unique individuals as AKGranny has pointed out and will naturally differ. But we can differ without disrespecting another person's viewpoint in the process. There is a rich mixture of life experience here and I would hate for anyone to hesitate sharing out of a fear of being attacked. In my experience, speaking from an "I" perspective helps keeps things from turning negative and creates a space for everyone to feel heard.

    We are all dealing with the stress of the times we live in. Our commonality on this site is in sharing a certain perspective on what is going on. It's not easy or pleasant to know what we know.  How we each process that knowledge and integrate it into our lives reflects our own particular makeup. My hope is that we can communicate about these serious issues without resorting to judging or shaming.

    We live in a dysfunctional world. Let's try do our best not to bring it here. My understanding of the intent of this site is in part to find a better way to live on the planet. Rather than seeing our differences as a problem, let's welcome them as part of the texture of the whole cloth. So much in the world is dangerous, why not make this a safe place for discussion and support one another? In other words, "be the change we wish to see in the world". It's something I struggle with in my own life, so I understand  how challenging that can be!

    As Bob might say in baseball-speak, let's "up our game"!

     

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 7:50pm

    Reply to #19
    Nate

    Nate

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 05 2009

    Posts: 319

    local investment

    [quote=Dave Collum]Dave Collum: I did have this one idea. That is one that people talk about, especially people like you. That is to invest locally. I have this image of investing in local businesses. You pool resources and then you invest in things you can kick the tire on. I pieced this whole model together and I say we will call it a Savings and Loan.
    [/quote]
    I have given lots of thought to local investments and haven't really found anything suitable.  Has anyone on this site had success (or solid ideas) in this area?
    Nate

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 8:00pm

    Reply to #19

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 198

    I would not be surprised if

    [/quote]I have given lots of thought to local investments and haven't really found anything suitable.  Has anyone on this site had success (or solid ideas) in this area?
    Nate
    [/quote]
    I would not be surprised if there is another thread devoted just to this topic alone.  I imagine many of the opportunities have to do with investing in food or land.  There would seem to be other opportunities, depending on the degrees of the collapse.
    Tried to put a bit of thought into this a while ago, and I always wondered if making wood pellets locally would be a good idea, particularly here in the northeast.  Even in a world of global warming fears the high temperatures here in Vermont for the next couple days are supposed to be in the teens  Below zero at night.  Anyway, concepts like this one seem like they are worth exploring.
     
    JB

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 8:46pm

    #20

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    jdye51 I so agree and want you to read this...

    …I have seen so much in my life and have known so many brave people who just didn't give in. These Folks will show up again or we deserve all that we get. That is my overriding thought and belief, that we will show up and have what is rightfully ours.

    This is not my story but it rhymes a bit:

    http://www.militarycodeofhonor.com/WarriorsCodeofHonor/

    Respectfully given

    BOB

    PS: [removed by moderator]

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 8:48pm

    #21

    Quercus bicolor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 19 2008

    Posts: 190

    thanks Jim H and ao

    I appreciate your links.  I don't have time to explore them at the moment, but I intend to.  I've done a bit of research in this area before and am probably already pretty much aligned with your perspectives.  My biggest question centers around what to do with this info other than what I'm doing already – build community, develop resilience for my family, be smart about protecting myself and family, gently talk about the subject to the few people who have shown some signs of being willing and able to listen.  Perhaps you have some thoughts on this? 

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 9:39pm

    #22

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4548

    Thanks all....

    This has been a very constructive thread so far, learning and growth require edges and I love seeing that this community can skate up to an edge and then self-moderate avoiding the dreaded and useless flamewars that are so prevalent on the 'net.

    I think there are two good thread/article ideas in here, one being on local investment ideas and success stories, and the other on the pattern of government encroachment on civil liberties.  Where some might accidentally paint that as a 'Libertarian' position, to me civil liberty belongs to no political party but is a basic tenet of living in a prosperous and healthy country.

    That both major parties seem to have turned their backs on the concept for what I assume are a few dollars in the reelection coffers (so cheap, so sad…) is a really disturbing development for those paying attention.

    Recent developments in the FISA Amendment Act reauthorization, specifically stripping out any possibility of oversight by anybody for the agencies doing the e-snooping on you and me) and then the FOIA revelation in a Guardian article today that the FBI in partnership with DHS, private security firms, the Federal Reserve and other private banks had fully infiltrated and tracked the OWS movement from start to finish speaks to a level of fear-based controls from DC that are extremely hard to justify in terms of either improved safety or constitutional legality.

    That we will never get a proper cost-benefit analysis is a given.  That the Subprime Court [sic] will side on the 'legality' of these moves despite the very clear violation of easy to understand constitutional language is another given.  That Congress will not bother (risk?) amending the constitution so that their new laws and acts will be legal is another given.

    What is not yet known is to what degree we need to actually individually fear these encroachments,  I confess to not liking the pattern very much at all.  I value my own liberty but, more importantly, I think living in a country that tries to legislate perfect homeland security and citizen safety even as it brings the exact opposite to countries all over the world seems like a perfect recipe for living in a miserable state of perpetual fear – something I really have no interest in doing.

    Just as importantly, there were truly a few things that made this country great, and one of those was equal protection under the law.  Did it ever operate perfectly?  No, of course not.  I am not being overly sentimental for a time that never existed.  But I will note that both the appearance and actuality of 'one set of laws' is being dismantled right before our very eyes and that road is a dangerous one indeed.  

    When people lose respect for the laws because some of them are obviously rigged against them, then even the good laws will eventually get tossed under the bus.  I have no interest in living in a lawless society either and that is where our good Senators and Congresspeople are taking us step by step, both by acts of commission and omission.  

    The consequences are possibly quite dramatic and I, for one, surely wish that we were at least having some sort of a national dialog over whether this is really the direction we'd like to go.  

    Personally?  I would rather live with a sense of being secure in my 'house and papers' living a life of private dignity and against that accept living with a tiny bit of risk that something awful might happen to me or my loved ones.

    As I said, there's plenty to noodle on here and it probably deserves its very own posting and comment thread.

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 9:41pm

    Reply to #19
    Nate

    Nate

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 05 2009

    Posts: 319

    Deja vu

    [quote=Jbarney]I would not be surprised if there is another thread devoted just to this topic alone.  I imagine many of the opportunities have to do with investing in food or land.  There would seem to be other opportunities, depending on the degrees of the collapse.
    Tried to put a bit of thought into this a while ago, and I always wondered if making wood pellets locally would be a good idea, particularly here in the northeast.  Even in a world of global warming fears the high temperatures here in Vermont for the next couple days are supposed to be in the teens  Below zero at night.  Anyway, concepts like this one seem like they are worth exploring.
     
    JB
    [/quote]
    JB,
    Both of us contributed to the link below.  Wood pellets sound like a good local idea.
    https://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/peak-oilpost-peak-business-opportunities/68133
    Nate

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 10:10pm

    #23
    criscrossing

    criscrossing

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    Joined: Apr 28 2011

    Posts: 1

    Podcast

    Seems to have exposed more than one exposed nerve in this community.  This was a wonderful podcast which I plan to listen to again.  AO, QB, RJE you are on the right side……I fear WROL and what that may mean for our country as we near more tumultuous times……..it is for real as CM cites.  My hope and prayers are for us and that we have the strength and wisdom to take our country back from the bandits; in that respect I have RJE's optimism that maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel instead of darkness.

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 10:39pm

    #24

    Adam Taggart

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 2553

    Armageddon vs hope

    Bob –

     

    Is it that you believe absolute Armageddon or is there hope.

    Fair question. And a tall order (at least, to answer succinctly – which is all I have time for at present).

    I just saw Chris' post. In addition to saying "ditto", I'll add the following:

    My observation has been that people, consciously or sub-consciously, choose one of two paths when wrestling with the predicaments we address here on this site. They decide to either start preparing for collapse, or preparing for life after it.

    (I suppose there's a third option of "ignoring it altogether" which 99% of the populace appears to fall into. But I'm referring to the folks willing to actively engage with this material)

    I can't fault those who focus on collapse. About how bad a state things could devolve to. I have good friends and close family members that are in this camp – they're primarily motivated by protecting the safety & security of their loved ones, and who can criticize that?

    Certainly, there are lots of flashing indicators that we risk systemic failure in many areas, and have a populace that is ill-prepared for the rude reality-check awaiting it. I think we are years/decades past the point where, had we taken prudent measures (which we didn't), we could enter the future on a pain-free glide path. So, I do think temporal and geographic flashpoints of unrest are inevitable.

    How bad will it get and on what scale? I have no idea. My thinking is that the more people we can wake up  & engage beforehand through movements like that here at PeakProsperity.com, the more informed action we can enable them to take now — the less severe our self-inflicted wounds will be.

    Personally, I choose to focus on "life after". Whatever changes the future may bring with it, I'm highly confident the sun will still rise, gardens will still grow (if tended), and babies will be born. I share Chris' vision that there are models for living well (very well, IMO) in this future, grounded in sustainable practices that respect our planetary resources and our relationship to them, as well as our relationships to one another. There's a very good reason we re-branded this site Peak Prosperity.

    I believe that the resilience core to our approach will help those who are focusing on the long game now increase their odds of making it through whatever interstitial turmoil we might experience on our way there. By no means are we closing our eyes to the threats collapse may bring – we're deciding not to let them take up our entire focus. And the long-term skill sets that we're developing now should also serve us well in the near-term, if called upon to by systemic strife.

    Bob, I hope this answers your question at the high level. I'm happy to elaborate further on more specific areas if that would be helpful.

    Nate –

     

    I have given lots of thought to local investments and haven't really found anything suitable.  Has anyone on this site had success (or solid ideas) in this area?

    I agree that models for sustainable local investment opportunities are a huge and critical component of the solution set a better future requires. It's something I've been giving a lot of thought to, in terms of how this site could play a bigger role in highlighting good models and matching local entreprenueurs with willing capital.

    No hard decisions made yet, but we'll be open about them once they are.

    In the meantime, those interested in this topic may want to revisit these past podcasts/articles which we're created to advance the local economy discussion. In particular, Francis Koster toils tirelessly at TheOptimisticFuturst.org in cataloging  positive-ROI local investment models in hopes of identifying and spreading best practices. Perhaps we'll have him on again soon as a podcast guest.

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 10:54pm

    #25

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1446

    Jesse's post this evening

    Jesse's post this evening has several elements that are very relevant to this discussion.  On one hand he reminds us just how bad/dark/violent it has gotten in the past by referring us back to the dying days of the Nazi empire.  Are we headed for something as bad as Nazi Germany?  Who knows, but it has happened before and it can happen again.  In fact, we are on a path which makes that kind of nightmare a very real logical possibility (among others).  Jesse's remarks set up a 27 minute Chris Hedges interview in which he discusses many of the issues addressed by this podcast and discussion.  I heartily recommend it to you.  Some of you may not like what Hedges has to say about "positive thinking" at about the middle of his remarks.  All in all, though, very thought provoking.

    http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2012/12/empires-of-illusion-and-credibility-trap.html

    Tom

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 11:02pm

    Reply to #22

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    ...of course Chris, this is some serious stuff we read, see and

    …hear. That to even contemplate arms against my neighbors is a bit much but then again, it usually is the ones closest to you who are the perps. I hate it, I really do. Then again, what are you/me/us suppose to do but prepare for everything, and that is overload frankly. The intensity is all going to rev up in the next few months and the good Folks out their are going to want their pound of flesh if these shenanigans stay the course. These politicians are not understanding things at all. It is not hard to imagine people getting hurt because they are afraid and take unnecessary means on someone who just knocks on their front doors, at home as they cower in fear. We don't want to inflame this so it is best to defuse it are my thoughts but I'm not really good at that to someone behind the blue screen as much as I am in person. False bravado I'm guessing. I think it best to be positive and sure than to be over reactive and murderous.I don't know what rule of law you Folks have lived under but cops are not the "perfect creatures" some would believe. They are NOT perfect citizens at all, and that is just fact. Who here doesn't think they have too much power? Nor has our politicians been stellar EVER or our FBI been so squeaky clean, so I don't even care about that dyed in the cast crowd, I can avoid them. However, when you steal earned Social Security after these Folks see the MF Global crap, and Congressman raises as Obama just gave them. You are really asking for an eruption and rightfully so from those who played by all the rules. 
    We are asking for whatever comes, and radicals this angry mob will be called, and the people will understand the sham being played out on them, and if history is any indication then I expect a very serious revolt especially since the crowd will get instantaneous messaging. and if the Internet or testing, and such things are shut down then God forbid. really, again the powers that be can't understand what this would mean.
    I hope we crash and burn, and start over. It is just time. Hopefully, the rule of law is re-established with the good cops and good Folks in command again. Enough.
    Regards
    BOB

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 11:07pm

    #26

    Wendy S. Delmater

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2009

    Posts: 1418

    Non-traditional investements

    When Jim H says…

    "When the bankers tell you that they don't want your money…that capital can now be created effortlessly within their system and that your savings are not needed (have no yield)… then the game is already over.  Sure, you can still buy stuff with your money, for now.. but the writing is on the wall… the dollar is worthless.  Once you realize this, there is no turning back.. you will relentlessly pursue the aquisition of real assets and invest in yourself and your own resiliency."

    I could not agree more. So, Nate?  "Invest" in what Dr. Chris invested in: things that will make your life more frugal. Dr. Martenson mentioned his best investments:

    "…the best investments you can make are in yourself. My best investments this past year were a solar hot water system and insulation, both of which are going to have triple-digit returns in the first case and high double digit returns in the second case. I am investing in myself in ways that minimize my future cash flow."

    And that's what we did, too. We invested by repairing an exisiting solar hot water system by replacing a cracked roof tank, and invested by adding Eco foil reflective inuslation in our attic. In previous years we invested in an airtight woodburning stove (fireplace insert) and a solar-powered attic fan. Since we live in a hot climate we also invested in screen doors and got all our window screens repaired or replaced. We even "invested" in insulated window shades, a closeline, and a cat door so our garden mouser cat was not making us heat or cool the great outdoors every time she wanted in or outside. And we are putting in a screened-in outdoor cooking/dining/sleeping area with the goal of weaning ourselves off the A/C.

    We have, like most American Southerners, a heat pump for heating and cooling. Our elecricity cost per kilowatt has skyrocketed, but because of our non-tradtional "investments" our electric bill has stayed the same or gone down, even though an extra person started living here.

    Other categories of  non-traditional investments include things like water and food. We invested in a well, and are planning to invest in a whole-house filter and get our water for close to free. We invested by starting a big square foot garden (raised beds), by planting fruit trees/bushes/vines, and by learning home canning. And are going to "invest"  by building a chicken coop.

    I took the money out of my IRA to do all this. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The IRA was breaking even. The woodstove ($4,500 after rebate) and summer cooling investments ($1K) are yeilding $700 a season so far, and will do so for at least 25 years, totalling at least $17,500 in today's dollars – much more when we stop using A/C. The garden start-up cost $700 ($200 for renewable seed, $30 for a truck full of compost, lumber for raised beds, hardware cloth, trelises, saplings, etc) and is so far saving us $700 in store-bought food a year. That savings will only go up as the fruit trees, etc mature: of the hazelnets, olives, blueberries, grapes, raspberries, peaches, apples, strawberries, figs and mulberries only one of two peach trees and the figs are mature.

    Once we set up the whole house filter (building it ourselves for a couple of hundred bucks) we will save what is currently $38 a month on water. Note: our water bill went up 10% a year for the past three years. Can you see why water resiliency is an investment? I could go on and on.

    Invest in resiliency. Invest in food, water, and energy-efficiency.

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  • Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - 11:27pm

    #27
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    I'm going for humor

    Here's the art of possitive thinking taught by the best:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQIVslZIMXI

    Armageddon be damned!

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 1:39am

    #28

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 198

    This has been a good healthy

    This has been a good healthy discussion.  I guess I mention this now because tomorrow is New Year's Eve, and I may not have access to the internet for most of the day.  Thoughts of safety and calm go out to all.  I want to thank folks for the discussions and the community.   Good luck in 2013 everyone.

     

    JB

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 2:55am

    #29

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    If anyone can find some use for this material then fine...

    .

    ..from my now best friend stalker. To me he sounds a bit Alfred Hitchkockish. Enjoy:

    " I know it's tough when you're confronted with the truth and have to face your true self but the time to work on addressing deficiencies is now, before the real pressure is on.  It's all about emotional stability and balance.  False bravado and a hot temper won't do it at crunch time.  If I see you at the car show, I might say hello but with your attitude, I wouldn't be inclined to go out of my way to meet you.  Not until you grow up a little.  Here're a few things that might help to get yourself under control.
    http://www.chenghsin.com/chenghsin-main.html
    http://www.russianmartialart.com/main.php?page=article_info&articles_id=48&osCsid=a977df05cf79cea66069fa4e3af70d82
    http://www.russianmartialart.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4041&sid=4a974922ade490935f2820add8c9a982
     

    You're just angry because you got beat up … virtually.
     
    "Here're a couple of other things to chew on.  First, think about some of the things Chris talked about in the Collum podcast.  He would have banned them to the basement 3 years ago.  Now he's talking about them.  Second, think about what this country was like in 2000 and compare it to now.  Did you ever dream you'd see such changes occur?  And the changes are accelerating.  That doesn't mean eternal doom and gloom nor imminent (not immanent) Armageddon nor any of the other silly things you seem to project that it does.  There are dark days ahead, to be sure, and I know the thought of that frightens you, not necessarily for yourself but for your way of life and your family and children and their children.  That's why you react so strongly and oppose considering possibilities involving an epic change in the status quo.  But there's also a light at the end of the tunnel.  Unfortunately, with your attitude, I think explaining it to you at this stage, before you're ready to expand your mind to other possibilities, would be just a waste of my time.  But if you're interested, read some books like Evidence of the Afterlife and My Descent into Death and read about Edgar Cayce, Ralph Moody, Brian Weiss, and others.  It might give you a different perspective on things.  The funny thing is, I think I'm the positive one and you're the negative one, lol.  You think I'm afraid but I have no fear of events to come but I think you do.  Otherwise, you wouldn't react as you."

    Jesus saves

    ao

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imw4mBMMG3I

     

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 4:01am

    Reply to #25
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    gee, that sounded familiar

    [quote=thc0655]Jesse's post this evening has several elements that are very relevant to this discussion.  On one hand he reminds us just how bad/dark/violent it has gotten in the past by referring us back to the dying days of the Nazi empire.  Are we headed for something as bad as Nazi Germany?  Who knows, but it has happened before and it can happen again.  In fact, we are on a path which makes that kind of nightmare a very real logical possibility (among others).  Jesse's remarks set up a 27 minute Chris Hedges interview in which he discusses many of the issues addressed by this podcast and discussion.  I heartily recommend it to you.  Some of you may not like what Hedges has to say about "positive thinking" at about the middle of his remarks.  All in all, though, very thought provoking.
    http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2012/12/empires-of-illusion-and-credibility-trap.html
    Tom
    [/quote]
    Thanks for the excellent recommendation Tom.  Chris Hedges is one of the most eloquent people out there on these issues.  When I read "War Is A Force Which Gives Us Meaning" a number of years back, I was awestruck by his writing abilities.  I look forward to reading this book as well.
    Regarding Nazi Germany, as I mentioned in another post, I've recently been reading about Hindenburg, von Schleicher, and others and how Hitler transitioned to power.  The parallels to our present situation cannot be ignored .  I've also been reading about such things as Sondergruppe R and, likewise, the parallels with such things as our CIA prisons is fascinating.  Overall, the political maneuvers and Machiavellian scheming were simply astounding to me. I have pretty good strategic thinking abilities but I would feel like a babe in the woods dealing with these people.  And we're seeing similar diabolical political maneuvering in this country today but with the added threat of technology that is orders of magnitude more difficult to resist or oppose than what existed in Hitler's day.  I remember reading how when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, their secret police were rounding up enemy civilians in certain occupied territories who could present a security threat within hours … all with simple paperwork, no computers.  It's chilling when you realize how much faster they could function nowadays with technology.
     

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 4:23am

    #30

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    People, People, People...

    …please, the Jack boot is not our future. Honestly, this is just nuts, it is. Hard times are hard times, and it isn't the ends of time. If it is then it is. I am done here as I just will not be bombarded with this any longer.

    Mentally I am quite solid unless of course my optimism is not quite yours.

    Just do your Preparations, be Resilient, and share with Folks when things turn as some of you expect to the extremes. Never, ever, go it alone, you will need strength in numbers. Gauranteed.

    Arthur I will miss you Brother. Jim H, good luck in Costa Rica if you end up there. Me, I'll be right here or in Northern Michgan depending on the ends of time thing. Canada just across the bridge for Golf with friends too, and to pick up some stash when necessary.

    No one person is chasing me away just the negative energy of the doomsday folks.

    I wish you all well.

    Respectfully given

    BOB

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 5:31am

    Reply to #26
    Nate

    Nate

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 05 2009

    Posts: 319

    Wendy S. Delmater

    [quote=Wendy S. Delmater]Invest in resiliency. Invest in food, water, and energy-efficiency.
    [/quote]
    Hi Wendy,
    I have been aware of energy problems since January 1974.  My preps have been proceeding at a low level since then. In 1987, weeks after the stock market crash, my wife and I purchased 10 acres in the San Joaquin Valley.  We picked the location based on "community", climate, wall-to-wall farmland, an agricultural based economy, ground and (generally) abundant surface water.  At the time our electric supply was about 50% hydo.  My preps are essentially complete.
    [quote=Adam Taggart]
    My observation has been that people, consciously or sub-consciously, choose one of two paths when wrestling with the predicaments we address here on this site. They decide to either start preparing for collapse, or preparing for life after it.
    [/quote]
    My post was aimed at preparing for life after a collapse.  I have really kicked tires on some local opportunities.  A local dairy needed capital – friends in the business indicated negative cash flows were torching the small operator.  Beef feedlots were another opportunity – talk about opaque!  Several individuals have asked about planting grapes, cherries, and  month ago almonds on our property.  A 20 year commitment to a permanent crop at this time makes no sense to me.
    Opportunities seldom come labeled.  I wanted to tap into the PP braintrust for ideas I might be missing.
    Nate
     
     

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 1:22pm

    Reply to #25
    MarkM

    MarkM

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 22 2008

    Posts: 349

    ao wrote:thc0655

    [quote=ao][quote=thc0655]
    Jesse's post this evening has several elements that are very relevant to this discussion.  On one hand he reminds us just how bad/dark/violent it has gotten in the past by referring us back to the dying days of the Nazi empire.  Are we headed for something as bad as Nazi Germany?  Who knows, but it has happened before and it can happen again.  In fact, we are on a path which makes that kind of nightmare a very real logical possibility (among others).  Jesse's remarks set up a 27 minute Chris Hedges interview in which he discusses many of the issues addressed by this podcast and discussion.  I heartily recommend it to you.  Some of you may not like what Hedges has to say about "positive thinking" at about the middle of his remarks.  All in all, though, very thought provoking.
    http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2012/12/empires-of-illusion-and-credibility-trap.html
    Tom
    [/quote]
    Thanks for the excellent recommendation Tom.  Chris Hedges is one of the most eloquent people out there on these issues.  When I read "War Is A Force Which Gives Us Meaning" a number of years back, I was awestruck by his writing abilities.  I look forward to reading this book as well.
    Regarding Nazi Germany, as I mentioned in another post, I've recently been reading about Hindenburg, von Schleicher, and others and how Hitler transitioned to power.  The parallels to our present situation cannot be ignored .  I've also been reading about such things as Sondergruppe R and, likewise, the parallels with such things as our CIA prisons is fascinating.  Overall, the political maneuvers and Machiavellian scheming were simply astounding to me. I have pretty good strategic thinking abilities but I would feel like a babe in the woods dealing with these people.  And we're seeing similar diabolical political maneuvering in this country today but with the added threat of technology that is orders of magnitude more difficult to resist or oppose than what existed in Hitler's day.  I remember reading how when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, their secret police were rounding up enemy civilians in certain occupied territories who could present a security threat within hours … all with simple paperwork, no computers.  It's chilling when you realize how much faster they could function nowadays with technology.
     
    [/quote]
    Another thank you, Tom, for the link. A person who ignores Chris Hedges does so at his own peril. His experiences, his critical thinking and his ability to communicate in both spoken and written word make an amazing package.
    ao,
    Chilling does not do justice to the apparatus that has been put in place. So much of it is right in the open or at least available with only a bit of investigation. It is amazing to me that so many choose to ignore the signposts and at least put these things on the list of potential outcomes.

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 1:49pm

    #31
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 864

    "For this reason god...

    …will send them strong delusion that they would believe the lie"  somewhere in the new testament

     

    more on topic esp. the aftermath. fiber production and small scale milling, i reeally like this http://bobwhitesystems.com/ i would be in small scale dairy however, the VDACS gestapo makes it a virtual impossibility in Virginia. there was a member here who contacted me years ago,in PP's infancy about the small scale custom combining of grain for groups of farmers. there is alot of potential there to include the milling/degroating etc. of the grains.

    I think i might be on the wrong thread, robie

     

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 2:05pm

    #32

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    I am still here, Bob. in my

    I am still here, Bob. in my yacht . I have to catch a plane tomorrow to get to work. This I phone does nothing for my typing speed. Good Luck in 2013. It is already the new year here. The fire truck has just gone past to fix a fireworks issue .

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 2:31pm

    #33

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    OK, your testosterone levels are way to high...

    …there is absolutely no way a 6x (wheeler) full of troops is going to show up at your home, slap a star of David on your chest and march you off to some fenced in yard. That Folks is a delusion and that is that. Really, get a grip.

    Have any of you been a soldier? Have you even had to fight? Do you know how to defuse any sitution when a real Man is serious about your silliness? I think most of you have played to many video games. Not the same thing by the way.

    What some of you are saying is that everything you write, say or are involved in will be so significant that some Gestapo type secret police are going to come to your home in the dark and cart you away. Really!

    News flash, what is so different today or the last 100 years that has changed? Hell, this has always been the case, and is not some new revelation Folks. Truth is, none of us have a problem with this, so glad it didn't happen to us. "They must be bad guys" would have been the neighborhood gossip.

    I think needlessly too many are over reacting and that is just irresponsible. Protect yourself is always a good idea but to promote an ideal that is never going to happen to the masses is just crazy.

    Here's how it;s going to play out:

    We will have a serious reset, then we will get inflation or at the least a serious cash flood from the Fed as had occured in 2008, and I suppose we will start to see this Inflation when the worker gets more cash to spend or even more credit. I am not clear what mechanism will cause the M2 money supply to actually move about the economy, and how the ever higher Oil price will rob the economy of money moving about but that will have to be observed. What is apparent is the good Folks are paying down Debt, they cannot get or do not want more credit. The workers are not making more money but less. So Inflation appears when then? I follow Shadow Stats and Williams does a great job but where the hell is inflation?

    I do not pretend at all to be expert at anything, and this is more a subject for Chris but we have spent Trillions into our economy, and all that cash is sitting, and not doing anything. Everyone presumes it will but my guess is that is a long way off. We'll see, and have time to really button up our home front when this starts to happen, money being moved through the economy that is.

    Jim H. is right, when the bank doesn't need deposits to run their business then something is wrong. The banks don't need the deposits because no one wants credit, and they won't lend anyways. It doesn't mean the banks won't never require deposits. They haven't abandoned the idea, it's just it probably costs them more to manage these accounts than they make in return on that deposit. No mystery there.

    I had a very thoughtful conversation with a friend and we think the last three months with the election, Fiscal Cliff and Debt Ceiling is cause for so much uncertainty, and my observation is that the doomsayers will come from everywhere to hark their scare tactics. On Que here they are. 

    I don't see Chris panicking, he always is thankful for the time we have had, and I don't sense a doomsday feeling from him. I do see or hear that he is willing to wait and react as things unfold but to determine we are Nazi U.S.A. is such a large step, and frankly silly. We'll see.

    My hope is you gun ho types have to dust those extreme weapons of yours, and possibly clean them if you ever do practice enough these new weapons.

    Everyone has their experts, their Nostradamus's type that can see the future clearly. Eisenhower told the tale long ago. Military Complex has too much power and will always have too much power. They will not however turn on the citizens and kill us all, they just won't.

    Regards

    BOB

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 2:48pm

    #34

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    The truely Great in our Society are..."Like Bass, Like Hussman,

    …Like Chanos are still investing in the world economy. They have maybe 10% in physical Gold and have cash on the sidelines waiting to take advantage of this next leg down. Why is that? I don't think it's because they expect the Nazi U.S.A. to appear anytime soon. Get a grip, and some of you are frankly irresponsible and somewhat over reaching.

    Regards

    BOB

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 3:24pm

    #35

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    For those without a strong bias need only read...

    …what David Walker our ex-comptroller general has to say, and people like Jim Grant to understand what needs to be done and will get done. IMHO

    These Folks and many more rational thinking Folks will rule 2013 and times will be tough but NOT unimaginable as too many anticipate here. I agree with Wendy, become more Resilient, save money and prepare a future that conserves all resources and your cash.

    Regards

    BOB

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 3:28pm

    Reply to #33

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4548

    Losing Our Privacy

    [quote=RJE]…there is absolutely no way a 6x (wheeler) full of troops is going to show up at your home, slap a star of David on your chest and march you off to some fenced in yard. That Folks is a delusion and that is that. Really, get a grip.
    (…)
    My hope is you gun ho types have to dust those extreme weapons of yours, and possibly clean them if you ever do practice enough these new weapons.
    [/quote]
    Bob, I am not sure why you see it as necessary to include only two possibilities as outcomes, one being  that the US goes full on Nazi Germany and the other being there's nothing to talk about on this topic.  I see them as anchor points for each end of a spectrum.
    The sad fact is that I am already cowed by the police state in which I live.  I don't talk back or resist the TSA folks at the airport, such as seeing them grope some kid or granny which is just patently ridiculous and has nothing at all to do with actual air safety, because I know that many of them revel in making life unpleasant for mouthy travelers because that's a power they have and like to exercise.  
    I would not put myself out in front for the OWS movement because I know that those folks all have massive files created around them by various acronym agencies of the US government.  
    I will never attend a peaceful demonstration because I have no interest in being tear gassed, cuffed, booked, or beaten because some police/agency plants provoked some fake violence to get things interesting for all of the SWAT outfitted police ready and itching to 'do something.'.  Those are all very regular events and that cannot be denied, only ignored or overlooked.  Peaceable assembly now comes with serious risks in this country.
    I already watch what I say on the phone very carefully because I know, for fact, that all phone calls are recorded and run through semantic parsing algorithms to detect key words and phrases.  I have no doubt that should the state ever want to make a serious mess of my life they could drag out all of my past electronic communications and present them as evidence.
    With this reality of tracking and snooping, which goes much deeper than I have described, we already have a chilling effect on participation and open disagreement among many citizens.  I am actually uncomfortable even typing this, so this is a very real effect for me.
    This is not some future possibility, it is already here today.  We are already somewhere along the spectrum between the two points you have set down.
    And what happens in a 'democracy' when participation is marginalized and even criminalized at the citizen level?  Well, you find yourself headed off in whatever direction the rule-setters decide is the right one.  
    Maybe this is of no consequence because the decline of the empire will gut the resources and ambitions of an over-reaching state apparatus before it can really go too far, or perhaps not.  I really don't know at this point.
    I do bemoan the lack of citizen engagement (and curiosity) on many very important topics and I therefore bemoan every article that illustrates some new government program to snoop more quietly and deeply than before, and with no oversight bodies or avenues for challenge, because to anybody even partially awake the message is clear; we are watching you.
    Now, before we go all the way to thinking of something as unthinkable as armed conflict within our borders, there are a dozen concepts and questions to address first, such as:

    Is the lack of individual privacy really a cause for concern?
    Should we be petitioning for oversight bodies, boundaries and clear penalties for those who might abuse an awesome power (as it surely will be)?
    How will we know if things have gone 'too far,' where is the bright line?
    If such pervasive snooping is now the new normal, what should we be doing in terms of our communications?  Or not doing, as the case may be?
    Are there any states that seem more likely to side with their citizens and protect their rights?

    To me, our information technology has progressed a thousand times faster than our cultural ability to adapt and define and, given that information is power, that governments have stepped merrily into that gap to seize the power is just what anybody would expect.  So there are no surprises here, even as there are mounting concerns.
    In closing, what I mean to say here is that I don't want to shut the conversation down because it has been framed as having only two distant possibilities and that people have to select which one they believe in more;  one being that everything will be just fine and the other being Nazi Germany.  It's far more nuanced than that, it's a new world, and we have to weigh issues that have not been encountered before.
     

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 3:33pm

    Reply to #31

    westcoastjan

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 177

    local production and investing

    Hi Robie,I do not think you are on the wrong thread. We might need a new forum to discuss local investing.
    The big challenge that I think is common to all of us is the endless government bureaucracy that puts miles of red tape in front of any small scale initiatives. This causes grief for small start ups especially in the field of agriculture.
    A couple of examples from here: two friends on a small farm up Island have goats (that is one of their babies I am holding in my profile picture). They have tried a number of ways of selling goat milk, and are currently trying to set up a home based business selling home made goat milk gelato. It is fabulous stuff! Well, if you saw the hoops these two have had to jump through getting the appropriate permits and licenses…it is insanely ridiculous. In other areas, people with free range organic chickens want to be able to process and sell the birds themselves at farmers marktets. Nope. Gotta go to a federally sanctioned slaughtering plant. There is no profit potential with this method, and in fact, compliance with such rules make it a losing proposition.
    The bureaucracy is forcing an underground market, as it is doing all over the world. I hope the coming financial reset also sees an end to the BS red tape. If not, underground barter will be the name of the game.
    Jan
     

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 3:37pm

    Reply to #32

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Arthur, so good to hear from

    Arthur, so good to hear from you. I need a break plus my eye is fading and I need some work. I expect to be back but I really hope I can stay away for a bit. I am addicted and just want to step back and breath for a bit, quietly. Although I think I have a few days subscription left and will behave myself but I need to get across that the future isn't a total cluster fu.k. It will appear that way I'm sure but not to the point some Jack Boot Nazi foot  print is left on my back. I can't believe anyone sees this as our future. Talk about extreme views, holy shit. Just nuts are my thought. If you see this as our future then OK, don't agree. but I still dig you my friend.Actually leaving the planet has better odds than that silly conclusion.
    Arthur, I really have lived vicariously through you and love to sail myself. Well, actually I like sitting on my ass and letting the captain sail, and I like my 2 finger whiskey and ice (just one). Be good Arthur and I'll see you soon.
    Happy Sailing Arthur and to you and your family, Happy New Year
    BOB

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 3:38pm

    #36
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    Catherine Austin Fitts

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTXNaeDEan0

    Catherine lays this out pretty well, taperworm economics is a great phrase that she uses to describe the system.  Wendy has done a great job of covering things on a personal level.  Maybe this is beyond what PP is can do, perhaps Adam of Chris, you know of a local group that connects local investors to local businesses. If anybody knows of who is of anybody who is doing this in the CT/MA area, please let me know.  The threats have never been greater, but at the same time the opportunites are just as great.

    The really wonderful thing is that all you need to do is change your lifestyle and move your money, there is still time. These are all things that we have the power to do.  If you are not familiar with Catherines work, I would encourage you to watch the video.  Great compliment to what PP does.

    Our solutions are LOCAL and PERSONAL, with that we can really change the world.

    In regards to retirement, maybe we need to stop dreaming of being a useless burden the last third of our lives on the next generation.  Take care or your parents and raise responsible children, it's the best pozzi scheme out there, it's called culture.

    Great job of dealing with the conflict that arose hear in this thread, compliments to all involved.  All we have is one another, we are each others most important asset.

    Happy New Year.

     

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 4:01pm

    #37
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    realities

    Why prep?  Ever ask yourself that?  I mean really ask yourself?  Why do people prep?  One reason is to preserve a good way of life.  What are threats to that way of life?  Not having safe and clean water to drink, not having enough food to eat, not having safety from personal harm, not having sufficient wealth to provide yourself with the aforementioned and other necessities of life such as clothing, shelter, and health care.  What is the ultimate outcome of not having any of these things?  Well, pain and suffering for one.  But even more ultimate than that, death.
     
    So the ultimate worse case scenario, from a physical world perspective, is premature physical death.  So let's look at the statistically greatest cause of premature death in the 20th century.  That cause is democide.  http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM
    OK, file that away temporarily.
     
    One of the important concepts we have drawn from this site is the concept of exponential growth.  We've related that to the economy, energy, and the environment.  And that exponential growth is one of the factors related to the creation and bursting of bubbles in such things as asset classes.  Malcolm Gladwell's "tipping points" are another way of looking at essentially the same phenomena.  But bubbles can form in other areas as well.
     
    For example, we're seeing a bubble form in health care as an occupational area.   Parents, teachers, and advisors are all recommending to young people that they go into health care, telling them that it's recession proof and they will always have a job.  So I ask you, can growth in healthcare go on indefinitely?  I think the answer is clear to see, especially when one considers that the one of the largest (if not, THE largest) areas of unfunded liabilities (both in terms of growth and in terms of percentage of the total) is Medicare.  What can't continue, won't.
     
    Do we perhaps see a bubble also growing in the area of ignoring and violating the rule of law, at least where the connected political and corporate elite are concerned?  I don't have any hard data on this hypothesis but from an empirical point of view, I certainly think so.  A simple comparison of the law enforcement resources that were brought to bear during the savings and loan crisis in the 1980s versus what has been done in the present crisis provides just one illustrative example.  What happens when this bubble grows to a point of intolerance by those who are being crushed by its consequences?  Nothing pretty, for sure. Historically, these situations have always had an ugly ending.  And democide has historically played a major role.
     
    So to ignore consideration of this possibility in your preps, is to ignore the most statistically likely cause of a major interruption in your plans (an understatement, if ever there was one).  This thinking isn't driven by irrational fear.  It's driven by cold, hard, objective numbers.  Let's not be panicked by it but let's also not dismiss it out of hand as some fear driven impossibility.  When governments are trapped and cornered, they tend to bite the hand that feeds them.  Thomas Jefferson, a man who possessed incredible cerebral "horsepower" as recognized by JFK and many others, understood this potentiality very clearly.  So did many of the other founding fathers.  We ignore their wisdom at our own peril.
     
    People live and die, fiat currencies live and die, governments and empires live and die.  To think that we would be immune to such eventualities in simply naive.  That being said, it's no cause for sadness and mourning.  It's simply part of life.  And it simply underscores the importance of living your life, now, at this moment, and every moment afterwards, to the best of your ability and to the benefit of the others.  I don't care how rich or how poor you are, if you live life selfishly, you'll suffer, sooner or later.  The fundamental prep is getting yourself straight psychologically and spiritually.  All else is secondary and follows from that.  And it's something we'll all struggle with, myself included.  And when you and I stumble, as we will, the thing to do is to pick ourselves right back up and continue on. 
     
    Have a Happy New Year, folks.     

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 4:03pm

    Reply to #33
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    Thank you Chris for

    Thank you Chris for expressing my exact sentiments far more eloquently than I could have. 

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 4:16pm

    Reply to #36

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    treebeard, first I love your attitude...

    …and to share in line with your always positive outlook I will share this. My wife and I are about to close on a partial ownership in a co-op (for lack of a better term) to a farm of an older farming family near our home and just up the road from our small farm (6 acres) that we moved from. On this farm (same family 133 years) are all the apple, cherry, pear trees, and all the berry bushes and so many other perennially growing fruits. What we are doing and will pass along to other folks is to join this co-op with us as only time will show the importance of joining with us the ability to gather so much in a consolidated area all that you will need for summer time picking and storage of those things necessary to live on during the winter months.We have two local policemen and their families now and a few others. We expect this to expand as the need will be seen clearly. There are certainly enough fruits and berries to feed many, and the garden would be managed by the farmer. As part of our agreement we will do what we have always done and that is help with chores plus pay the expenses for fuel, and seed. Whatever that expense is we will share in the costs.
    This group we hope to get together will be tradesman, intellectual types like accountants and other valuable Folks.
    To be short here it is a good plan, we will get our fruits, vegetables, eggs, poultry and meats. We will have a canning committee and all work together to help everyone get their stores in for the winter.
    We will share in the security of this co-op as necessary. We don't expect problems but we are not naive to the thought that when hungry good Folks will steal. We hope to feed some in exchange for labor. That hasn't been discussed to the extreme though. It will be further discussed however so a plan is in place well ahead of time.
    We are extremely excited about this, and I have learned the importance of all of this here at PP. The farm also has honey, and is where I get a jar or two when I visit. Like Adam I will begin learning about how honey bee's are managed until I get stung once, and then I will gladly shovel cow shit all day as I like doing that anyways.
    There is always a way forward and the good Folks out there will find it, of that I have no doubts.
    Be good treebeard and a Happy and safe New year to you and all you hold dear.
    Regards
    BOB

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 4:30pm

    Reply to #33
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1364

    Well said Chris...

    …I find myself reassessing where we are on that sliding scale every time I hear of a new law being passed or amended.  No matter how laudably and honorably conceived and enacted a law is, if it can be abused it will be.  Witness RICO, conceived as a law to neuter real gangsters, it has been applied to groups far removed from the criminal elemant.Paranoia is often heightened awareness.
    Doug

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 5:21pm

    Reply to #36
    Nate

    Nate

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 05 2009

    Posts: 319

    investing locally

    [quote=RJE]My wife and I are about to close on a partial ownership in a co-op (for lack of a better term) to a farm of an older farming family near our home and just up the road from our small farm (6 acres) that we moved from. On this farm (same family 133 years) are all the apple, cherry, pear trees, and all the berry bushes and so many other perennially growing fruits. What we are doing and will pass along to other folks is to join this co-op with us as only time will show the importance of joining with us the ability to gather so much in a consolidated area all that you will need for summer time picking and storage of those things necessary to live on during the winter months.
    We have two local policemen and their families now and a few others. We expect this to expand as the need will be seen clearly. There are certainly enough fruits and berries to feed many, and the garden would be managed by the farmer. As part of our agreement we will do what we have always done and that is help with chores plus pay the expenses for fuel, and seed. Whatever that expense is we will share in the costs.
    This group we hope to get together will be tradesman, intellectual types like accountants and other valuable Folks.
    To be short here it is a good plan, we will get our fruits, vegetables, eggs, poultry and meats. We will have a canning committee and all work together to help everyone get their stores in for the winter.
    We will share in the security of this co-op as necessary. We don't expect problems but we are not naive to the thought that when hungry good Folks will steal. We hope to feed some in exchange for labor.
    BOB
    [/quote]
    An excellent example of investing locally.  Thanks for sharing.
    Nate

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 5:29pm

    Reply to #33

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Yes Chris, this is what I have been waiting for...

    …of course all these things as you state are happening and I too am paranoid of these same issues. I will not fly because honestly it takes everything I have to keep my thoughts to myself when children, Woman and all citizens a patted down. Just nuts. So don't misunderstand, I see these things too.I do see that the technology is way ahead of the public's idea of its true intent.
    We have faced these similar things before in our past and have worked through them as we caught up to these tactics, at least we thought so.
    Chris, I understand the lack of involvement and I steer clear myself but we will have to have our stand against these issues, and with so much on our plates now I just think as we check off our hit lists that these issues hopefully are peaceably dealt with.
    You have to at least agree that some here are already prepared for an over kill situation, and I get this but going from working things out to armed uprising are two different things.
    Just the word Nazi and applying it to our current pathway is a bit much don't we think. Can we first get through the Fiscal Cliff, Debt Ceiling, and a Recession first. Then hopefully some leadership on the other things.
    It's overload time Chris, and we have so many major issues that we may be putting the cart before the horse.
    I think you stepping in hear and clearly stating your views are very much appreciated but even in your writing it appears there is absolutely no hope and I don't agree. I believe everyone will have to take a stand or we get what we deserve, and it really comes down to "what are we prepared to do". We certainly have to commit to something, leave our homes and protest something. They can't lock everyone up, can they?
    If writing this gets me thrown away for good behind some fence somewhere then things are truly bad, and I haven't ruled that out but then again I don't want to live like this either.
    I used the extremes as you stated because I didn't bring up Nazi's someone else did, and I don't believe in a bed of roses either. I have always said somewhere in the middle is my hopeful place.
    Chris, I am NOT so much an idealist as I am someone who at least would like to negotiate first before going all extreme either.
    I don't want to shut the conversation down either but we have some very extreme and powerful views here that are in conflict. I personally have tried to bring a "wait Folks, we do have options" and the blow back has been, "no we don't, Uncle Sam is after your ass dude and you are just naive". OK, now this is moderated and set aside. I never thought this conversation was out of hand even though expressing my thoughts were quite pointed.
    I love it here at PP and I have to step back because it can be overwhelming to the senses. The easy part is Preparations and Resilience because those are pretty well done and maintained.
    Now for the rest of my/our studies it is these issues we must, we must deal with as a group, openly, so we handle these situations as we face them. Better to rehearse here than in the real world under these type scenarios was my hope while picking the scabs of all I could. The response is undeniable, the good Folks here have been engaged, and we policed ourselves, and the moderator has done a great job as well as the community in talking this out. ao and I provided a necessary service (by accident and I still don't agree with him and the extreme view) here as we discussed opposing view points and while we were direct we handled ourselves well and Jim H, and others expressed their thoughts without angering anyone or befriending one for the other. That's good right?
    Nothing is Black and White and has never been this way. It's usually found in the grey area where Democrats and Republicans agree and as a people we will catch up some day and all these grand schemes will get tended to but we can't do everything at once. I have to have hope Chris, I have to.
    Just one last point Chris and it will surely rolls some eyes. You will undoubtedly get 10 thumbs up and I truly hope I get none but I am here to tell you that many here have my same type hopes, and do not perhaps express themselves because the group has determined what you say is the way forward. While I respect and admire you greatly you are not in control of what may or may not happen in the future, and your views just may be to extreme for what history will write and amend. I still feel everyones voice should be heard in the order it was presented and this floating to the top thing is a dangerous and peer grouped response to perhaps bad advice. No problem though as I read everyone, only respectful are my thoughts.
    Respectfully Given
    BOB

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 6:10pm

    Reply to #33

    LogansRun

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 18 2009

    Posts: 304

    Bob,I don't know what world

    Bob,
    I don't know what world you're living in, but at this point I see a man whose eye's are "open wide shut".  Wow.  You say you've taken the red pill, but not the one I took.  
    I think you need to step back from the computer, go into the archives of this site and look at what some of us old timers stated would come to fruition just 4 short years ago.  Maybe then, you'll understand what's happened, and coming at the same time.
    Face it, the elite families have an agenda to bring world population down.  They have an agenda to bring the American Citizen into line with their power structures.  They have an agenda to take the majority of paper, and real wealth from the citizens of not only the US, but the world.  If you can't see those agenda's yet, then you're being led to slaughter.  
    You think you know what's really happening, but your constant naive posts shows you know very little.
    Again I suggest you take a look at the archives.  Search Drkrbyluv, machinehead, ao, V, joe2baba, ……that's all I can think of right now.  I'm sure some of the older posters can give more.  
    Back in 2008/9, when the site was just getting going, we debated exhaustively about what was coming, and why.  Who was in control, and how the power struggle would transpire.  And sadly, not to toot us CT's own horns, but we're WAAAAYYY more right than the people that poo poo'd our thoughts/beliefs/posts/etc….  
    I hope you wake soon.
    [quote=RJE]
    …there is absolutely no way a 6x (wheeler) full of troops is going to show up at your home, slap a star of David on your chest and march you off to some fenced in yard. That Folks is a delusion and that is that. Really, get a grip.
    Have any of you been a soldier? Have you even had to fight? Do you know how to defuse any sitution when a real Man is serious about your silliness? I think most of you have played to many video games. Not the same thing by the way.
    What some of you are saying is that everything you write, say or are involved in will be so significant that some Gestapo type secret police are going to come to your home in the dark and cart you away. Really!
    News flash, what is so different today or the last 100 years that has changed? Hell, this has always been the case, and is not some new revelation Folks. Truth is, none of us have a problem with this, so glad it didn't happen to us. "They must be bad guys" would have been the neighborhood gossip.
    I think needlessly too many are over reacting and that is just irresponsible. Protect yourself is always a good idea but to promote an ideal that is never going to happen to the masses is just crazy.
    Here's how it;s going to play out:
    We will have a serious reset, then we will get inflation or at the least a serious cash flood from the Fed as had occured in 2008, and I suppose we will start to see this Inflation when the worker gets more cash to spend or even more credit. I am not clear what mechanism will cause the M2 money supply to actually move about the economy, and how the ever higher Oil price will rob the economy of money moving about but that will have to be observed. What is apparent is the good Folks are paying down Debt, they cannot get or do not want more credit. The workers are not making more money but less. So Inflation appears when then? I follow Shadow Stats and Williams does a great job but where the hell is inflation?
    I do not pretend at all to be expert at anything, and this is more a subject for Chris but we have spent Trillions into our economy, and all that cash is sitting, and not doing anything. Everyone presumes it will but my guess is that is a long way off. We'll see, and have time to really button up our home front when this starts to happen, money being moved through the economy that is.
    Jim H. is right, when the bank doesn't need deposits to run their business then something is wrong. The banks don't need the deposits because no one wants credit, and they won't lend anyways. It doesn't mean the banks won't never require deposits. They haven't abandoned the idea, it's just it probably costs them more to manage these accounts than they make in return on that deposit. No mystery there.
    I had a very thoughtful conversation with a friend and we think the last three months with the election, Fiscal Cliff and Debt Ceiling is cause for so much uncertainty, and my observation is that the doomsayers will come from everywhere to hark their scare tactics. On Que here they are. 
    I don't see Chris panicking, he always is thankful for the time we have had, and I don't sense a doomsday feeling from him. I do see or hear that he is willing to wait and react as things unfold but to determine we are Nazi U.S.A. is such a large step, and frankly silly. We'll see.
    My hope is you gun ho types have to dust those extreme weapons of yours, and possibly clean them if you ever do practice enough these new weapons.
    Everyone has their experts, their Nostradamus's type that can see the future clearly. Eisenhower told the tale long ago. Military Complex has too much power and will always have too much power. They will not however turn on the citizens and kill us all, they just won't.
    Regards
    BOB
    [/quote]

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 6:17pm

    #38

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Geez Chris, just have to continue from the previous thread..

    …and the reason I have asked everyone here if they ever were in the military is this. I also downloaded a soldiers code of honor. My point that I wanted to address to everyone is the vast majority of us ex-servicemen and I dare say the vast majority of current servicemen are just like me. Defiant of leadership, and this includes officers. we are not mindless and will do our duties, and are required by the honor code to disobey commands that are unreasonable or are against our Constitution. This is a very serious issue with the men/women in arms. The leader of our group was a hardened and battle tested Man or Woman as may be the case in today's servicemen. It is the rule that we all had contempt for our seniors as they first had to prove they were leadership quality, so is why I have no real fear of the military. What I will admit to having fear of are the unmanned things but then again someone is controlling them, and their attitude is more than likely the norm.

    We are all probably concerned writing or saying anything. Guess what FOLKS, a file exists on you/me now, no question about this. However, like the J.Edgar days the files that are most important are the ones on our leadership and we all know reasonable Men and Women are dragging their collective feet because their file is really contaminated. So they do as they are told (enter lobbyists and special interests and Elite) This isn't new, news, and it never has been.

    If anyone has any doubts about this Professor Martenson's file in at least a couple feet deep as he is a leader. I respect this knowledge and is why I love this Man.

    Lastly, I have been the middle man in most every extreme view here (at least extreme to me), and have tried diligently to get us more centrist as I think it is the best vantage point to move from there to the right or left. Chris mentioned in his thread why it is either one extreme for me or the other, and if this was properly read by me I must object. I have if anything tried to pull the extremes towards the middle. This is truth and is why I felt it necessary to clarify this.

    I wish you all a safe and terrific 2013

    Happy New Years

    BOB 

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 6:46pm

    Reply to #33

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Logans Run...

    …of course this is expected. I have hope, that's all. So call me what you may, and I am not naive but like all you good Folks hope is DEAD so why give a shit Brother.Honestly Chris, this is your site, and this is the extreme you claim I take when again all I have ever done is provide hope. Look what is happening when a single voice goes up against this lot, he gets filtered to the bottom and the rift raft to the top. I'll give Logan a two thumbs up then.
    It is just so easy to kill 5 billion people, put Adam in charge. Then take everyone's cash and put Jason in chanrge of that, and we'll put anyone here who wants to volunteer in collecting all the jewelry, glasses, clothing and shoes etc…and stack them on the middle of a warehouse floor on the way to the gas chambers because there is no hope.
    Again, I have hope as this dance played out before, and I won't be a part of it. I think we are speaking the same language but I don't say it in the manner the extreme right does. Frankly, this is dangerous.
    I do not know what you debated but as of yet History hasn't been written. How would you kill 5 billion people?
    BOB

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 7:20pm

    #39
    VeganDB12

    VeganDB12

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 18 2008

    Posts: 109

    I agree with Chris too

    I would share what I know but I cannot.  It is always a risk to share things on the internet.

    That is the dilemma. That, and to be aware and live in as free a way as possible.  It is common knowledge that electronic surveillance is a permanent, forever kind of thing these days, what with data mountains and all.   As long as one is not part of the "enemy group" no need to fear until you get reclassified. By Whomever. I and mine have been victim to this and I do not think it is a delusion. Not one bit.

    The modern surveillance and electronic security measures are less jackboot, more like an invisible chokehold, like Darth Vadar handed out in Star Wars.

     

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 7:45pm

    #40
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1364

    following orders

    [quote]… are required by the honor code to disobey commands that are unreasonable or are against our Constitution.[/quote]

    Under the UCMJ you are required to obey lawful orders, reasonable has nothing to do with it.  I wish I could count the number of unreasonable orders I followed during my time in the USN. 

    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/punitivearticles/a/mcm92.htm

    Doug

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 8:32pm

    Reply to #40

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    you are right Doug, and it

    you are right Doug, and it still changes nothing of what I said. The message is easily understood to mean as you have stated.Doug, in all seriousness now, would you ever shoot an unarmed American citizen? How long before you would join forces with the American citizens against tyranny?
    I thought so.
    I'm assuming you were in the Marines but I really don't know.
    Regards
    BOB
     

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  • Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - 9:12pm

    Reply to #39

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 198

    Sadness

    What we are talking about here is really sad.  That any of us, because we are taking steps to deal with an uncertain future, would be of interest to those in power.  Sad.  Scary.  Wrong.  Unethical.  Makes my stomach turn just thinking about it.   It doesn't matter if my file is on the very bottom of what ever list the government/corporations are keeping.  It is wrong.  None of us should be monitored because we buy extra canned food, extra fishing equipment, more water, extra seeds. I served three terms in the Vermont Legislature.
    I currently am a classroom teacher.  Seniors, State and Local Government.
    I try to alert my students to the reality discussed here, but the next generation seems to be okay with it.
    JB

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  • Tue, Jan 01, 2013 - 2:39am

    #41
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    sundry comments

    [quote=Jbarney]

    I try to alert my students to the reality discussed here, but the next generation seems to be okay with it.

    [/quote]

    This is the truly disturbing reality.  They've been indoctrinated by the culture.  I even see aspects of it in my own children who are highly intelligent, well educated, and aware of what is going on.  On the plus side, many of the younger generation are aware of things that we were not aware of when we were younger, and are better informed in such a manner as to foment positive change.

     

    [quote=Denise2257114]

    The modern surveillance and electronic security measures are less jackboot, more like an invisible chokehold, like Darth Vadar handed out in Star Wars.

    [/quote]

    Most definitely.  Chris Hedges stated it well when he said the Gestapo broke bones while the Stasi broke souls.  And what we have now is more sophisticated than the Stasi.  When they are building databases of functional MRI images correlated with thoughts in order to literally read minds, there is not much that will remain private.

     

    [quote=RJE]

    The truely (sic) Great in our Society "Like Bass, Like Hussman,Like Chanos are still investing in the world economy. They have maybe 10% in physical Gold and have cash on the sidelines waiting to take advantage of this next leg down. Why is that?

    [/quote]

    Great investors but debateable if they are great by other standards.  As very high net worth individuals, they can afford to risk 90% of their assets.  If they lost all of that, they'd still be rich.  Not so for the average middle class American invested in mutual funds through their 401Ks.  Plus, these individuals are connected, have considerable information technology backing their decisions, have the trading smarts, and do this full time (and often 12-14 hours per day).  The average American does not.  The average American also doesn't have sufficient funds to be a qualified investor in their hedge funds.  So the comparison is not valid. 

     

    [quote=RJE]

    we are not mindless and will do our duties, and are required by the honor code to disobey commands that are unreasonable or are against our Constitution.

    [/quote]

    In another thread, both others and myself had cited previous examples of how American military (including those military greats, truly great men, Eisenhower, MacArthur, and Patton) fired on American citizens … and veterans no less.  But if anyone is unconvinced, let them read about the Combat Arms Survey first given at the time the Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 25 was being prepared, a directive which surrenders control of the U.S. military to the United Nations:

    http://www.knology.net/~bilrum/UN29palms.htm

    The psychological assessment characteristics of this survey are obvious.  This isn't Target studying your shopping preferences.  Also, it is rumored that certain spec-ops groups, such as Delta Force, undergo MKUltra programming … actually, the delta level of Monarch programming … interesting coincidence.  And they will do exactly what they are told to do, no questions asked.

    Ever read G. Gordon Liddy's book, "Will"?  He wasn't military but was functioning in a similar capacity.  He unequivocally said that if Nixon would have ordered him to kill someone, he would have done it without hesitation, no questions asked.

    How about Felix Rodriguez and a host of others of a similar ilk?   

    On a more well publicized and verifiable level, do some study on the activities of the 3rd Infantry Division 1st Brigade Combat Team.

    "In the fall of 2008, the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade was assigned to serve as the on-call federal response force under the control of NORTHCOM, the combatant command assigned responsibility for the continental United States. The brigade remained at its home station of Fort Stewart, Georgia, and is training to deploy domestically in response to terrorist attacks or other national emergencies.  The brigade will be trained in responding to WMD attacks, crowd control, and dealing with civil unrest."

     

    I'm not certain what a poster means by "code of honor".  If the poster is referring to the "oath of enlistment", there are those that will honor it and there are those who won't.  Those who won't are the ones of concern.

     . 

     

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  • Tue, Jan 01, 2013 - 3:10pm

    #42

    Greg Snedeker

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 22 2012

    Posts: 380

    Extremes and surveillance

    Wow, I leave for a few days and things really heat up. I would like to 'gently' recommend turning off your computer, TV, and phone, and getting outside (I include myself in this). Take your own advice…too much of anything, including this site, is not a good thing (Bob, I love your posts, but how can you be living life to the fullest if you're posting here all day long?). I've been reading Chris Hayes's book "Twilight of the Elites" the past couple of days. He gives a very convincing argument of how meritocracy (another huge narrative) eventually becomes corrupt in its quest to sustain itself. It gets to the heart of the matter…again. He also shows the reverse relationship between what level you are in the meritocracy and the level of accountability, i.e. those at the top have little to no accountability (law doesn't apply to them) and those at the bottom have a lot of accountability. I recommend this book as much as the CC.

    Chris, I would extend your comment outward…anytime you write "government," write "government and the powerful private institutions that support it." I don't see a dividing line between the two and the lack of accountability (holding the banks responsible/too big to fail) only supports this.

    It doesn't hurt to know where the anchor points are in the extremes, but I also think the world is too big for any institution to police the entire thing (as far as I know they aren't recording our in-person conversations…still the most powerful medium IMHO). Chris, I share your view in terms of the algo monitoring, and I'm sure the algos are setup to flag clusters of concern. Another great read to get a glimpse of how people and institutions/govt react after a disaster/meltdown is "Zeitoun," a book about the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and what happens to a Syrian muslim as he tries to help.

    Although many of my posts don't necessarily reflect it, Bob, I share your hope. I remind myself every day, that for every negative piece of news that's reported on MSM, there are millions of positive things that are not being reported because they don't generate ratings.

    Ao, I share your concern about our youth. I've been a teacher for almost 20 years and have taught all levels k – graduate school (11yrs/university, 7 yrs/7-12, 1yr/k-6). I try to remind myself that what I see in them is just a mirroring of the adults they are trying to become. Some students intuitively understand what's going on and ask wonderful questions, but they are struggling to make sense of world that increasingly is creating an environment of alienation. Facebook is a prime example of kids projecting themselves out into the "real" world that adults have stressed as THE priority. It also gives them the peer support structure, albeit false support structure, that they are not receiving from their culture. Our educational system is only doing what the private sector is asking them to do…push them more and more toward this alienated technological system.

    I feel that PP is not asking us to prep for the "end" as much as it is asking us to get in touch with the real/true "Real." Stick your fingers in the soil, grow your own food, understand/experience this real "Real." It implies less organization, less efficiency, less competition, less of everything if we want to get back to a culture based way of living, a way of living that has sustained humans for 99.9 percent of our existence here on earth.

    Happy New Year!

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  • Wed, Jan 02, 2013 - 10:23pm

    #43

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Banal Sex.

    Welcome to the Borg.

    I wonder if the pilots of the drones are given a more sophisticated version of the Millgram test? We do want people who are compliant; psychopatic even. With 200 million souls in the US it is a certainty that  a cadre of perfect candidates exists. They would even do strikes on each other if ordered to. And then go home to the wife and kids.

    Evil is banal. It also destroys itself.

    No-one gets to high office unless he has a history. He has to offer the instrument of his destruction to the Party Whip.

    Memo to would-be power junkie: Tell the wife that you have to be caught in flagrante delectio. It is the price of her rich lifestyle. There is an establishment on the Isle of Man (or was it Manx?) where the powerful do the deed with Kids. The more rotten the fruit, the more succulent the flavour.

    By it's fruit is a tree known.

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  • Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - 9:13am

    #44

    LogansRun

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 18 2009

    Posts: 304

    Bob, please watch

    Bob,

    This guy puts much of the situation together in 5 minutes.  Just look at all of the actions that the DHS/USGov. has taken in just the past 4 years to squish the citizens.  Do you really believe they're doing all of this for OUR security?  Do you really believe they've taken these actions, spent all that money, and done all of the training, and aren't going to use it?  Just like military hardware, you don't build it, unless you plan on using it.

    I hope this helps you understand a little more why so many of us think the way we do.

    Peace.

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  • Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - 10:14am

    Reply to #44

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    I won't be a whipping boy LR and this community really

    …needs to "skate to the dge and leave Folks alone. I will choose to believe as I do until what you propose is reality or close to it or even seen.Logansrun, my Mom did worse to me when I missed the toilet as a kid.
    Listen, you can see what ever you want, and I'll believe what I want. I don't wish to be or will I engage in silliness. My intentions will be to just ignore these attacks and the community member that comes at me this way we all behave. You are on ignore.
    BOB

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  • Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - 4:51pm

    #45
    anexaminedlife

    anexaminedlife

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 19 2012

    Posts: 5

    Responsible action (to self or to a cause)

    This has been a personal struggle for me so I wanted to comment (for what it's worth)

    Chris said: 

     

    The sad fact is that I am already cowed by the police state in which I live.  I don't talk back or resist the TSA folks at the airport, such as seeing them grope some kid or granny which is just patently ridiculous and has nothing at all to do with actual air safety, because I know that many of them revel in making life unpleasant for mouthy travelers because that's a power they have and like to exercise.  

    I would not put myself out in front for the OWS movement because I know that those folks all have massive files created around them by various acronym agencies of the US government.  

    I will never attend a peaceful demonstration because I have no interest in being tear gassed, cuffed, booked, or beaten because some police/agency plants provoked some fake violence to get things interesting for all of the SWAT outfitted police ready and itching to 'do something.'.  Those are all very regular events and that cannot be denied, only ignored or overlooked.  Peaceable assembly now comes with serious risks in this country.

    I already watch what I say on the phone very carefully because I know, for fact, that all phone calls are recorded and run through semantic parsing algorithms to detect key words and phrases.  I have no doubt that should the state ever want to make a serious mess of my life they could drag out all of my past electronic communications and present them as evidence.

     

    I have struggled with what stance to take in this Brave New World we live in. Like many of us here, I have been  compliant  when necessary, have chosen to be uninvolved with causes that may land me on secret lists, and have been self-censoring out of concern for the same reason. Yet, these choices nag at me.  If we all stand silent and allow this monster to grow and roam freely, we cannot lament  the possible (and I would even say probable) outcomes that will be quite unpleasant for the citizenry.  My attitude has been to focus on finding my own freedom (which unfortunately is limited by the realities of the world we live in, e.g. TSA) and building my own resilient life.  But I ask myself, what good will that be if (when?) we end up with a government that is caught in the corner (currency collapse perhaps)? This is just to say that I am a coward to keep my nose clean and my mouth shut. Then again, those who sounded the sirens on  the National Socialist German Workers' Party or Stalin's plans did not manage to save their respective countries from its fate … and they, individually, often met their own fate at the point of a law enforcement gun. 

    Edited by author for typo

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  • Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - 6:50pm

    Reply to #45

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4548

    A very important question

    [quote=anexaminedlife]I have struggled with what stance to take in this Brave New World we live in.
    [/quote]
    That, I think, is a very important topic.  Speaking out has never been easy.  Only in retrospect is it easy.  If you are on the 'winning side' then history looks upon you kindly and many people can imagine themselves doing what you did.
    If on the 'losing side' however?  Ah.  Then you are demonized and almost nobody can imagine doing what you did.  
    We already live in a surveillance state, that much is a given.  The real question is what will happen when the state becomes truly starved of resources and commences thrashing about seeking the sustenance it needs.  It is here,in my darker moments, where I fear the prospect of war as it provides both the means of directing the final resources towards the center of power and has the motive of deflecting blame away from that same center of power that failed to foresee and prevent that same war.  
    Where we have survived wars in the past, I now see wars in a world of declining net energy as permanently destructive because what was destroyed cannot and will not be rebuilt due to a lack of resources.
    Heck, I am not even sure hurricane Sandy will be fully recovered from.
    But there remains an embedded concept in our culture that war can be good because the rebuilding is stimulative…it adds to our failed measure of wealth creation, GDP.  But maybe not the next time.  Maybe war is just plain old destructive and that's that.  Boom, that cathedral is gone.  Sorry.
    The good news, in my lighter moments, is that if humans suddenly decided to do everything differently, it could all work out fine.  Lots of resources yet exist to do things right and do them well.  We can easily live in peace if we choose.  We can strike a much better balance with the rest of the planet.  We could simply begin by wasting a LOT less.  We could revere and emulate those who deepen our understanding of subtle complexities and spread love instead of those who amass the most paper promise tickets, er, I mean financial forms of wealth.
    So the real question becomes not how do I avoid detection and targeting by a sick system run amok?, but instead how should I be in order to create the world in which I want to live?
    I find that I have limited amounts of energy to live in the narrative of fear and loathing that the dominant culture requests of me, but quite a lot of energy for the practices of creating beautiful things and living with gratitude.  So I tend to spend more time there these days although I did a full tour of 'Nam, as it were, in order to understand just how deep the depravity runs. That was hard, but necessary.

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  • Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - 8:47pm

    #46

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    anexaxaminedlife, that was beautiful and spiritual...

    …frankly where I am at too, and grouping with every moment of my every days. I will be content to be happy and hopeful, and certainly involved where I can be most helpful but I am not going out there to pick a fight I know that. I will stand as protection and this isn't to imply a violent confrontation either. Sometimes it is to just settle a Man down that is upset because he doesn't know what to do.

    Brother, you nailed it and you will be just fine. Sweet thread frankly and a great example to follow I suspect.

    Respectfully Given

    BOB 

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  • Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - 9:23pm

    Reply to #45

    westcoastjan

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 177

    on "being"...

    So the real question becomes not how do I avoid detection and targeting by a sick system run amok?, but instead how should I be in order to create the world in which I want to live?

    In the words of Ghandi, we must be the change that you wish to see in the world. Leading by example, influencing with the strength of our convictions, walking the walk each and every day. We need to be the inspiration for others to follow.
    Just as importantly, we must also decide how we can't be. Our desire to effect a paradigm shift requires unwavering beleif in what we know to be true. Staying the course in the face of questioning detractors is a must.
    Chris, you just need to be you, a wise information scout who is inspiring others. Don't ever change.
    Jan

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  • Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - 9:39pm

    Reply to #45

    Locksmithuk

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 19 2011

    Posts: 94

    Re: A very important question

    [quote=cmartenson][quote=anexaminedlife]
    I have struggled with what stance to take in this Brave New World we live in.
    [/quote]
     
    The good news, in my lighter moments, is that if humans suddenly decided to do everything differently, it could all work out fine.  Lots of resources yet exist to do things right and do them well.  We can easily live in peace if we choose.  
    I find that I have limited amounts of energy to live in the narrative of fear and loathing that the dominant culture requests of me, but quite a lot of energy for the practices of creating beautiful things and living with gratitude.
    [/quote]
    I believe it's going to take a huge shift in contemporary human programming to get us to the point of collective embracement of "creating beautiful things", and to the point where we cooperate for the greater good. The preoccupations with – rather than mere distractions of – Pop Idol, Twitter, "my plasma screen's bigger than yours", the latest Kardashian boob job etc only serve to disengage us (collectively) from urgent priorities. When it comes, the sudden shift to a new life is going to hit some people like a train. Very hard.
    I think that us human are contradictorily wired for greed & self interest, as well as empathy & love. Therefore I believe our society will unfortunately travel to much darker places than where we are now, before the penny drops and the overriding PR message becomes one of preservation rather than a relentless pursuit of growth and the dissemination of lies. Our species' advanced intelligence is our greatest hope for our future, yet our greatest barrier to getting there, but the need to use this intelligence for our own survival has never been more urgent. So far we've been too stupid (and far too greedy) to do something about it.

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  • Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - 9:52pm

    #47

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1879

    Conversation with people of different perspectives

    The American philosopher, Ken Wilbur, changed my understanding of the way that we relate to others where there are very different perspectives.  Family therapy training and the Non-Violent Communication movement of Marshall Rosenberg refined my understanding of ways of speaking that promote understanding.   Some ways open up understanding, some shut it down.  Let’s see if I can articulate this in a way that might be helpful to the diverse group of people gathered here at the discussion boards of PP.  Some basic principles:

     

    1.  Each person sees the world from a specific perspective.  The way that the world appears depends on where you are standing.

     

    We did an exercise in a class where several groups of students were asked to imagine that they each lived on different planets and describe a newly discovered object found floating in space between the planets.   (The object was a coffee table in the classroom which served as a model.)  The person “above” the table described it as a brown square.  The person “below” it, a black square with 4 metallic dots.  To “the side,” a brown line on top of a black line with 4 long metallic projections.  The person “above and off one corner obliquely,” a brown diamond with 3 silver tails.  What you see depends on where you are standing.  (What data points are attended to and the theory used to organize the data plays a role too.)

     

    2.  Intelligent, high-integrity, informed and sensitive people can have very different perspectives.  And, the presence of different perspectives should not be interpreted as implying that one of the people has a cognitive or psychiatric defect.

     

    3.  Each of us feels that our perspective is “True.”  After all, this is what it means to have a perspective—from where we stand, this is what seems true.

     

    4.  We identify with our perspective.  Ken Wilbur explains this as “the ego” (my sense of who I am) is like a bird’s nest anchored in the branches of a tree where the branches are the individual’s belief structure.  When someone comes at a foundational belief structure with a chain saw and a stick of dynamite, the individual experiences his psychological survival as being threatened and will fight to preserve that belief.

     

    5.  The main way to shift another’s perspective is to invite them to come stand where you are standing, perhaps out of curiosity, or maybe “as an experiment,” and try seeing it from your viewpoint.  This is a process that is most effectively accomplished without emotional pressure.  It is voluntarily.  Simply offer an invitation.  Mutual respect facilitates this.  When I trust your intelligence, integrity and good will, I am more willing to test out your viewpoint.  They may not come over immediately, but a friendly invitation and a few seeds might be dropped that months later may flower.

     

    6.   And last, though each perspective has validity, some cognitive models are more accurate than others.  We actually all know this and this is the reason that we talk with each other (and subscribe to PP).  A cognitive model that is robust enough to include multiple perspectives and is rich and deep becomes more accurate.  So, we meet and talk in order to learn what other see and know. 

     

    Things that facilitate productive sharing:

     

    1.   Avoid negative valuations of people and perspectives that are different from our own.    Of course their viewpoint “doesn’t seem right.”  But the author of that perspective is not crazy, foolish, deluded, delusional, ignorant, blind or stupid.  Saying or implying these negative judgments shuts down sharing and exploration.  Some acknowledgement of the sanity or worthwhileness of the other can diffuse this natural tendency to devalue a differing viewpoint.

     

    2.  Share one’s own perspective as a perspective not as “The Truth.” 

    -“That is not how it seems to me.  My understanding is …..” 

    -“The way I view this is….”

    -“I am more impressed with this other set of data and the theories of Professor Smith…..”

     

    3.  Let other people be in very, very different places.   

    I got a powerful lesson from an elderly aunt who cut me off on facebook because she didn’t want to hear anymore of my “negative” views about the world.  My feelings were hurt, but we later talked about it.  She is in her late 70’s with diabetes, hypertension cardiac arrhythmias and anticipates that her life is nearly over.  She chooses to “focus on love” and only read about things that “bring her peace.”  She is getting ready to die.  I came to appreciate that this makes sense for her.   I now post political and economic content on fb with a custom filter that doesn’t include her.   She feels respected, and so do I.  We have agreed to view things very differently.

     

    I hope that these ideas may help actual sharing of perspective and information in a form that is easier to let in.  This site is full of VERY bright, knowledgeable and diverse people and I appreciate what I am learning here.

     

    I’d love to hear other ideas on this subject.

     

     

     

     

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  • Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - 10:56pm

    Reply to #47

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    sand-puppy...

    …just an excellent thread and I have downloaded it as reference materials.Thank you
    BOB

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  • Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - 11:10pm

    #48

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Hey Folks, I need to apologize to Chris, Adam, Jason...

    and everyone here. I picked a few scabs here and it was unnecessary and a fruitless endeavor. I gained nothing from this except that when/if the SHTF, I realized that this leadership roll that I visualize myself taking needs work. i also understand that those who bother me are unimportant to who I am in my community. Different strokes for different Folks thing. I will ignore the extreme views not because I disagree with them but because I don't want the extreme view pounding in my ears as I want to be helpful and calm.

    So, please accept my apology and I will work to be more hopeful, positive and better (all relative to that moment in time). This may get on your nerves too so ignore me, I'm cool with that.

    Truth be known, I need you Folks more than you need me.

    Respectfully Given

    BOB

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 1:12am

    #49

    Lnorris

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 28 2011

    Posts: 78

    Desider

    I discovered this poem when I was in college.  I resurrected it recently so I could read it periodically when I feel the need to ground myself.  The podcast and the thread that followed exposed many of the darker worries and concerns we share about what is happening around us in the world.   

    We all need to find ways to stay strong in the coming storm.  I look at this community, what I've learned from all of you and fantasize/hope/ wish that if each of us is able to do just that, stay strong, stay true to who we are, then maybe, we all just give each other a better chance of coming out on the other side.

     

    Desiderata
     
    Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
     
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
     
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
     
    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
     
    Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
     
    You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
     
    Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
     
    © Max Ehrmann 1927

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 1:13am

    #50

    Lnorris

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 28 2011

    Posts: 78

    Sorry should have been Desiderata

    Sorry for the misspelling.

     

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 2:26am

    #51
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    Nonviolence

    We are all struggling with the same questions.  Based on our personal temperments and how far into the darkside you want to treck, you can uncover a lot of very disturbing stuff.  Mike Ruppert, Chris Hedges, John Perkins, etc.  I did my own tour of the dark side for a while, enough to know what was out there and develop a strong distrust of human nature, particularly where there are concentrations of power and wealth.  But it comes down to what are going to do with that knowledge.  We all have our lines in the sand, where we would  be willing to do what needs to be done, including sacrificing oneself for family and friends, country, principals etc.  But unless someone here wants to suggest some collective action, where do you go with this?

    I personally have decided that Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, Jesus Christ, David Korten (no intended comparison of the personal merits of those listed) and those who espouse similar philosophy are those worth following.  LIve by the sword, die by the sword.  Love is both the only rational and practical way forward.  I hope that doesn't bring me to an untimely end, but if it does, so be it.  In keeping with the notion of this site, Peak Prosperity, positive creative action is in my mind the only way forward.  Resistance and negativity have limited usefulness and ultimately reach a dead end.

    I think this thread was cathartic in a sense because it allowed alot of us who have become concerned even frightened by the onging movement of events to express our concerns amoungs rational awake peers and get rational feedback.  But where does it all go?  Whats next?

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 11:51am

    Reply to #47
    Mike K

    Mike K

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 15 2012

    Posts: 6

    Thank you - and some thoughts...

    Sand_puppy,Thank you for sharing those valuable insights. If only we could somehow manage to get everyone to appreciate and adopt these perspectives and apply them in their lives! I am sure if it were possible we would not have anywhere near the issues we currently face as humanity.
    As for the general theme of this discussion, I am of the opinion that the Elite have been planning for the collapse of capitalism for a while now. I am sure that the peaking of oil production for the US in 1970 would have sent a pretty clear message that a physical and unavoidable collapse of civilisation as we know it is on the way. It is not the end of the world (although it will likely be for many) but definitely the end of the world as we have all known it. I see the changes in surveillance, monitoring, control, etc as preparing for martial law. They know that things will get messy and why wouldnt they plan for this? I dont think they want to hurt anyone, unless that someone is causing trouble to them. I see the Elite as the ultimate "Preppers" they are planning for what is coming. There really isnt anything else they can do is there?
     
    Lets look at things from their perspective (as suggested by Sand_puppy), they are likely from families that have been ridiculously wealthy for generations (Old Money). These families have been privy to the simplicity of the fractional reserve banking system and have worked to make it appear as complex as possible to keep the masses from become aware that it occurs. These guys inherited the Growth model and this Growth model was established back in a time when the edge of the world had not been discovered yet and many believed to sail too far would inevitably lead to falling off the edge! The Growth model was ideal for this period. It enabled fast economic growth and the growth stimulated further exploration and additional growth. The problem was that from inception this model was doomed. You cant have unlimited growth on a finite planet without hitting physical limits which is what we are currently living through.
     
    Anyway, my point is, I could see how THEY are not impressed that the party is over, if they could they would prevent it but they cant. Money wont solve this problem (printing it can kick the can down the road but only so far). So I am presuming that they understand the gravity of the situation, that they have had advisors in various expertise explain to them why various options are not actually viable and that the proverbial is going to hit the fan. What are their options? Tell everyone that the world economic system is likely to collapse over the next couple of years? That would collapse the markets overnight if it were somehow stated in a convincing way and people actually believed them. It would also remove alot of people's hope and to take people's hope is a dangerous thing. 
     
    They would know that the carrying capacity of the world without cheap and abundant oil is going to be reduced considerably no matter what they tried to do. They could see that when the current "spoiled" population of the 1st world suddenly dont have jobs, supplies of food, safety, etc etc that good people will actually do pretty bad things if it is a choice between their kids going hungry again or not. There is nothing THEY can really do to prevent the suffering, hunger, disease, fighting etc. Pretty much the only thing they can attempt to do is maintain some type of law and order or attempt to for at least pockets of society? THEY are in a very difficult situation. I would be interested to hear others thoughts as to what you might do if you were in their position?
     
    Before you do, consider this scenario, there is a large ship (think Titanic) and it has gone down and there are thousands of people in the water and you are one of them. As you look around for a lifeboat it quickly becomes apparent that there are far too few and in fact of the few you can see they are already overflowing with people and you can see fighting and kicking as people attempt to prevent others from getting in. The lifeboats are on the verge of sinking. In fact, there are some that have sunk! Your wife and children are by your side, the water is freezing. There is a nearby lifeboat that is very full. Do you attempt to get on? You have some tough choices. Esp if the lifeboat will only have room for your family if others are removed?
     
    On the other hand, same scenario, however this time for some reason you and your family are well away from the chaos, around you are only a few people and there are already a few in a lifeboat. Those in the lifeboat are going around helping the few in the freezing water to get in. Children and women are assisted in first and there is obviously going to be plenty of room for everyone. Notice the difference in human nature? Well, each of the scenarios I believe represents living in a large metropolis vs living in a small and fairly isolated community respectively.
     
    With the majority of the world living in urban environments now most people are going to be in the first dire situation. It will also likely be rightly pointed out that whilst the 2nd lifeboat is relatively safe in reality it cant be moved if the masses spot it and start swimming toward it. If it remains unseen the occupants have more hope.
     
    So, now rewind the tape, the Elite = the captain of the ship, the ship has hit the iceburg (peak oil) and the captain knows there is only enough lifeboats for 10-20% of the population. What do they do. They know the ship cannot be saved. They know telling people, especially people that are in the middle of enjoying themselves on a luxury cruise is probably not going to help. It wont make more lifeboats. It would simply lead to the chaos ensuing earlier rather than later as people fought for life boats whilst on board the ship before it sunk. The captain instead, starts making plans to ensure his family and close friends are prepped. They may even launch some sneaky lifeboats early (very quietly). They would also arm themselves, knowing that they may need to defend their lifeboat. They also may have a map and know where closest land is? In this scenario, there are no rescuers. The new land will be the start of a new life for those that survive. The Captain is simply planning to make sure they (and their loved ones) are some of those.
     
    'We' are the perceived nutters on the cruise, we have a massive book in our hands (knowledge) which we have read and which explains how 'effed' the ship is after sliding past the iceburg. We know its going to sink! We go to loved ones who are busy partying on the cruise and try and get them to prepare but they are too distracted by the music and the show, they dont have time to read that book! Look at how much there is to learn! Looks too complicated. The Captain doesnt look concerned!
    The only people we may actually convince are those that read the blurb and find enough in it to warrant further investigation (about 2% in my experience). The only others I have had success with are those that truely know and respect me. Unfortunately even they are few (through no fault of mine! or ours, its just there is rarely time in the day to develop many truely good close friends). So anyway, you are on the ship, you know its sinking, you have been telling people its going to sink for a while now, actually you may be surprised at just how long the ship has sailed since the iceburg! It seems to be more durable than first thought. You might even find yourself tapping your foot to the music but then you turn back to your book and it all comes flooding back. You go looking around for a nice lifeboat, away from the others, you may accumulate some food and other useful supplies. There is only so much you can do. One key advantage is if you can set up the lifeboat so it will be full of good people (not necessarily awake/aware) but good people. It is very important that good people are present (community is key to survival in the future).
     
    Mike K

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 12:19pm

    Reply to #49

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Cool...

    …on my office wall too.BOB

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 12:41pm

    Reply to #47

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Mike, you gave this some serious thought and...

    …and did a wonderful job connecting the dots and giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. You left the extreme left and right out of the equation and presented what I (too) hope is humans basic nature, it is humans basic nature. I want you to know that we are ALL introspective in this manner. Like "the meaning of life" muse. Very nice, and joyfully humble.(note: I would give your thread a serious thumbs up but I am protesting this silly tool then again I always liked it when my kindergarten teacher stuck a star on my forehead. Going for levity here Folks)
    Respectfully Given
    BOB

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 12:45pm

    Reply to #51

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Always sensible...

    …and in my world you are considered a Man's, Man. Nice T.BOB

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 2:15pm

    #52

    Greg Snedeker

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 22 2012

    Posts: 380

    Perspectives and Nonviolence

    Sandpuppy and Treebeard,

    Thank you for your posts. Just wonderful! Sandpuppy, your post emphasizes the main reason I keep arguing for more perspectives to be at the tables of power so that we can transition to a way of life that can sustain all life. Treebeard, I share your spiritual direction. Spirituality is something that seems rarely discussed here and in the end I think it's CM's message when you reduce it to its core.

    Mike K writes of the system as the Titanic sinking and there are not enough lifeboats, but aren't we advocating building your own lifeboat… or at least a raft, or a small piece of wood to float on? or even stepping off the boat and swimming to a new shore before the ship gets out into deeper and colder water? Being more resilient is finding a way to detach yourself spiritually (and practically) from the material, or more specifically, disconnecting from a system that is fraught with corruption. It's only a sinking ship if you have both feet on the deck. The great spiritual people have been saying this all along. It's nothing really new, yes, it's on a global scale, so I guess that is new, but in the end we are just repeating history.

    On another thread I think I was criticized for being an academic and living in la la land, but aren't we all living in our own la la land with our own limited perspective? I tell my students to question literally everything…your own beliefs, your own authority, your own existence, everything. By doing this you begin to circumambulate the truth.  Sandpuppy, I agree with you, when I hear someone say "that's the truth" I start to run for the door. I find truth is something experienced and felt both individually and collectively, not something you can nail down in facts and numbers. Listen to Beethoven's 3rd Symphony if you want to hear and feel the truth of "overcoming." Take a part the Sistene chapel and study the bricks all you want but it won't explain the awe you feel inside the space.

    Bob, in fact you are right, music is the answer. Science has always known this, and is coming back around to it yet again… you can skip to the bottom of the interview to get to the heart of it:

    http://m.npr.org/news/Science/142717081

    Thank You

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 3:15pm

    Reply to #52

    westcoastjan

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 177

    what a great thread

    Wow! So many great and valid perspectives all in one place. No wonder I love this site so much!After reading the last few most excellent posts, my mind returned to the question of how are we supposed to "be"? My heroes in this world have been those who have stuck their necks out for what they believed in, even to the point of incarceration or even death. There are the larger than life figures, such as Ghandi, Mandela, et al, in addition to the lesser known activitists and individuals who have stood up for what they believe in. As I examined motives behind the actions of some of these people, one word came to mind: "duty". And this is perhaps where our current difficulties lay – trying to ascertain what our duty is.
    Take for example Martin Luther King and his human rights battle. There was widespread knowledge and understanding that human rights were non-existent and/or being trampled on. It is easy to see how he may have felt compelled to carry the torch for the masses, when he had the masses behind him. It is easy to see how "duty" calls to some when they see massive oppression.
    In our current predicament, we do not have the masses behind us – most remain oblivious to the swirling vortex that is our current world. Those who are aware appear to be in a slim minority. Under this kind of scenario, where does our duty lay when we know we have minimal influence and support? Is it wise to stick your neck out when you are in a minority position?
    I can well understand a man like CM questioning how far he wants to stick his neck out. I have no doubt whatsoever with regard to his convictions. It is a matter of realistically assessing risk vs. rewards.
    One last point is how the fear mentality can change and cower us. Those who would do us harm have already won, for they have managed to instill a great deal of fear (to the point that I typed the phrase "those who would do us harm" instead of that "T" word for those who bomb us lest some algo somewhere zero in on me!). We are paranoid about flying and all of those other inane things that have come about as a result of their actions. Now, we are becoming paranoid of those who rule us, to the point where indeed some of us have become all too conscious of what we say and type. A shift into this kind of mentality makes it very difficult for us to know what our "duty" is. How does one stay the course when feeling threatened?
    Thoughts anyone?
    Jan
     

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 4:36pm

    Reply to #52

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    OH!, I do Jan and this Callum Podcast may be...

    …the grand opening to so many of us Preparing for the future we all have a clear understanding that is coming. Some even believe they are the only ones who see and know what is happening, and that I and some of you have their heads in the sand, it is all perspective.What is it you want to focus on and then develop your Preparations and Resilience around. Again, depending on where you live Preparations and Resilience will be different.
    Let me explain. We have all gone through many port holes to get to whatever stage of enlightenment we are currently on. We have groped and defined and ripped up all our childish ways, and are seeing the TRUTH. All our TRUTHS vary as our demographic, age and where we reside are variables challenging us as individuals. It's why someone from Detroit is different to someone in Iowa as someone in Alaska.
    Believe me when I say my attitude is completely different living in Detroit than where I currently live being in a very small and spacious farming community where person to person contact is minimal yet intimate. In Detroit it is proactive, hit first, and in the Country more reactive, laid back.
    Now to the reason why this Collum Podcast was so important is that we all finally came out of the closet so to speak and gave personal, and sometimes very personal descriptive views of where we are at, and many were heartwarming and showed us that we are all in the right place. What it reveals is that we have pretty much been going through this coming shift all alone. That we now see how clearly events will be and these events are soon. This was like a test run to how we ourselves will handle things emotionally.
    I thought Chris gave some very personal insights of the Man he is and I for one appreciated his candor.
    Now our Preparations and Resilience will be tested in real time with real events exploding all around us. We will have the ears of all detractors now, and that is certain. The rest of the good Folks will require every nugget of information we have gathered and we need to show up, prepared by the hardening of these threads to get neighbors and family scurrying about gathering the most essential items to help us to help them. From this magical moment the new world order will truly take form. There will be winners and losers for certain but I must say I am completely convinced that in these small pocketed communities where we help lead will be instrumental in fostering our future. Man, that's cool stuff.
    I am so grateful and honored to have been chosen to be a part of history that can be self sustaining. Not rich or grand in the style of the Elite but I never asked for that anyways. As my wife has said often, "we weren't born with silver spoons in our mouths and we won't die with them there either", and that is to mean simple and less doesn't mean less meaningful. Quite the contrary are our thoughts.
    Jan, as you know I thought I needed time away but what I need is more time to Prepare. Lord knows I love this stuff and need terribly to be a part of something good and bigger than myself, and not reflect on all the bad, past, present or possibly future. I began with Dr. Martenson and I want to be here, and go through all of this together if humanly possible.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_ig1gkgoQc
    This too for those more extreme in view and I can't argue it but I hate the visual so I choose my head to be firmly placed in the sand:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k26hmRbDQFw
    Again, your style meshes with mine eerily so. Kindred then.
    Respectfully Given
    BOB

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 10:53pm

    #53
    Mike K

    Mike K

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 15 2012

    Posts: 6

    Actually....

    … reading my last comment over, THEY are not the captain, THEY are the ship's owners who happen to be onboard at the time of the disaster. The ship is the global financial system that most people have become dependent on to provide our basic needs. The Captain is merely the US president (no real power, main role is a figure head, real decisions are made above his pay grade) and the crew is the Govt telling us everything is fine, keep partying, we are here to help (most of them believe what they say). QE is merely the water pumps being turned on in a vain attempt to pump the sea water out and keep the ship going for as long as possible. The few "nutters" that are aware of the impending problem do have a choice to get off the ship early and that equates to getting off the grid into a small community somewhere. Not easy to do, nor an easy decision to make, esp if you have family that happen to enjoy being on the ship that you do not want to leave behind. So I presume many of us nutters stay aboard the ship with our plans to bail as soon as the sinking becomes apparent to all. We can see the lean in the ship, most aboard just consider it a mere wave and soon everything will right itself but we know better. This knowledge is only power however if we act upon the knowledge appropriately. 

     

    I would suggest the monitoring, watching and learning about the people on board is part of the "owners" strategy to prepare. They are attempting to figure out who are going to be the trouble makers when it becomes all too apparent that the ship is sinking and there are not enough lifeboats? People will want to blame someone or some group for the sinking of the ship. They may decide to attack the lifeboat with the Owner and Captain on board, blaming them for not providing early warning, nor ensuring there were enough life boats! The event of hitting the iceburg can be equated to peak oil and its effect on the global economy (the ship). And the growth in the global economy can be equated to the speed of the ship. Most people on board the ship cheered as the ship got faster and faster however the ship was always going to hit the iceburg, the speed of the ship could have been adjusted earlier or an attempt to avert the current course could have been made (alternative energies) however the lead times required meant that in reality the ship was always going to hit the iceburg. The casino onboard is run by Wall St and Central Banks around the world. Many of the casino management are the 1%ers who are using their winnings to prep their lifeboats. Being part of the 1% allows them access to information that the situation is "ending". The low interest rates equates to cheaper drinks for everyone, people got drunk on the easy money. The music and show onboard the ship are MTV, reality TV and other forms of "Bread and Circuses" designed to keep the masses distracted from the reality of the situation. How would it be beneficial for them to know? It would simply cause chaos and the trouble would start earlier. Maybe even more people wouldnt survive that??

     

    So in short, the Owner (Elite)incl some who are the Casino management (1%), Captain (President) know the Ship (Global Economic System) is doomed and it is "not if but when". The only things they can do is turn on the pumps to bail the seawater out (money printing) to try and keep it going as long as possible. Keep the passengers (masses) distracted so that the problems dont start any earlier than they really need to. Use the crew (Gubbermint) to attempt to keep everything going and calm as long as possible and to watch the passengers closely and make note of any that may be likely trouble makers. They probably know who the "nutters" are (us), we prob stand out like proverbial dogs bollocks compared to the other passengers but we are not necessarily a threat (unless one of us somehow has enough credibility to be able to stand up and preach from up high in an attempt to wake the masses, most of us dont have that type of credibility so wouldnt have much affect if we did so). We are all onboard, coasting along, its only a matter of time but there are so many variables (another iceburg), drunken passengers fighting, that it is difficult to know exactly when to bail out…

     

    You can see how being a nutter and having some opportunity to plan for this event is a very big advantage over being a drunken happy passenger… its very difficult for a nutter to convince a drunk to sober up and get ready when the last thing they want to do is read a pretty large text book! Its going to get interesting and I for one think that a key strategy is to stay as far away from the masses and their attention as possible. I think one of the hardest things about the future would be to have to watch others suffer and meet their demise. I mean, do you think it would be wise to attempt to save others when it is clear there is no way the lifeboats can hold so many people and in fact you are risking the lives of everyone on the lifeboat to do so? Its best to be as far from it as possible and not to witness human nature at its worst.

    Even if some of the lifeboats survive loaded to the max, the ensuing days will be terrible for those onboard as resources diminish. Even if they find an island it may not have the carrying capacity to support too many people and as such would lead to a long painful period of fighting, hunger, lawlessness, xenophobia, disease until eventually the population was reduced to the carrying capacity of the island. Maybe the Owner and Captain knew this suffering would take place and took the decision to ensure 80% of the water on the lifeboats was laced with something that would ensure a quick and relatively painless passing for the majority in order to ensure those left could start again and have a life worth living rather than a painful few decades of fighting over limited resources etc etc?? It will be interesting to see if such planning has occurred?? Would it be a random 80% or would certain lifeboats been picked over others with prior knowledge of who would be in which lifeboat??

     

    The island (is the future of human civilisation) is a much smaller place than previously and will not support thousands (billions) of people. That said, if mere hundreds (millions) turned up to start a new life there would be abundance. Plenty of everything for everyone. The Owner and Captain may already have plans for a new system not based on growth but on a steady state economy. They may have some strict rules regarding procreation, limiting all couples to 2 children only (unless one happens to die) in an attempt to keep the population steady. The island provides the Owner with an opportunity to form a new way of civilisation, maybe they have learned from the mistakes of the past Owners and have a new appreciation for the services that nature and the planet provides. The prepping by the Owner would logically include plans for mainting power and authority in the new location. The majority of the island may be purposefully left for nature and human activity is required to occur on a limited footprint? Who knows? But I can see it as an opportunity for humanity to not make the same mistakes and to change our priorities? Once again, it will be interesting to see if plans have gone this far?

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  • Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - 11:34pm

    Reply to #47

    Grover

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 15 2011

    Posts: 691

    Self cleaning ovens

    Mike,Thanks for posting your essay. You weaved a visual tapestry of our current condition using the situation on the Titanic to pose our captain's conundrum. Well done!
    I agree that there is nothing the captains can do to prevent disaster. "Listen" to a person's actions more than their words. Our leaders are following the path that you described. Their actions say that this is the best option available, all the while spinning, lambasting, or blaming others for the direction they've steered the ship.
    Your point about human reactions following different outcomes depending on supply and demand should be taken to heart by all. Those in the crowded city will likely experience something quite different from those in less populated areas. Many years ago, I heard someone describe the inner city gang violence as a "self cleaning oven." The violence ratchets up to the point that killings and subsequent revenge killings reduces the gang members. Somehow, they forge an uneasy, momentary truce that eventually collapses. Lather, rinse, repeat ad infinitum.
    The complexity of modern society relies on technology and just-in-time delivery. There aren't sufficient supplies in the cities to maintain the populace for more than a few days. Orders are communicated via technology and supplies are trucked in from warehouses on the outskirts. A company doing business the old fashioned way wouldn't be competitive. Does the system function for long if a link(s) in the chain breaks? Resiliency costs money.
    Survivors of small footprint disasters (like hurricane Sandy) receive aid from the Feds. What if the disaster is widespread? Should folks expect help? Can anyone provide it? The ship of State is sailing in waters laden with icebergs. How long before we hit one?
    Grover

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  • Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - 2:33pm

    #54
    Nate

    Nate

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 05 2009

    Posts: 319

    Elite Game Plan

    The elites wealth is based on population.  At the current population, oil is about $100 / barrel.  If the population drops to 1 billion people, is oil still worth $100 / barrel?  Let's assume 1 acre can feed 1 person.  What happens to the "value" of this land if our population drops?  Ditto for PM's.  Taking this thought process to an extreme level makes this clear.

    The elites need a certain number of people to maintain their "wealth".  From an elites perspective, a relatively slow, measured population decline would be their choice.

    [quote=Grover]

    The complexity of modern society relies on technology and just-in-time delivery. 

    [/quote]

    And on the master resourse – oil.  With less and less net energy available, our society will be come more and more decentralized.  Extracting wealth from a decentralized, energy poor landscape will become increasingly difficult. 

    The elites position will evolve from control to survival.

    Nate

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  • Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - 3:15pm

    #55

    Nervous Nelly

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 24 2011

    Posts: 179

    Re: Titanic

    What an essay ! Wish I could write like that.  As I was reading the text I could change the Titanic to Greece. People who saw it coming prepared, mainly the elites. Moving their money out of the country to  safer banking systems ( Germany, Swizerland). Most of the middle class that could see it coming couldn't do much about except try to make a bank run. The first thing to an austerity program is spending cuts. Anybody that lives off handouts are screwed. The pensioners  got hit so hard. I think it was a 50% cut if my memory serve me right. A struggling country slowly getting rid of it's liabilities (the elders are no longer productive in the open economy). Look at what Japan decided to do, inflate by 2%.  Energy in bought in US dollars so the energy bill will increase for everybody . Regular pensioners have NO MONEY to spare. It's a daily decision what bill to pay to survive . Meds , food, shelter…. push them over the edge.   I'm with ao's opinion.  Leaders will more than likely use a form of Democide.  Even here in USA and Canada we can't afford all those old age pensions. They're going to be reduced one way or another. Elders will survive if they have family to take them in. Remember the three generation household. That will come back big time. 

    Sonya

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  • Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - 4:16pm

    Reply to #55
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    Nervous Nelly wrote:What an

    [quote=Nervous Nelly]What an essay ! Wish I could write like that.  As I was reading the text I could change the Titanic to Greece. People who saw it coming prepared, mainly the elites. Moving their money out of the country to  safer banking systems ( Germany, Swizerland). Most of the middle class that could see it coming couldn't do much about except try to make a bank run. The first thing to an austerity program is spending cuts. Anybody that lives off handouts are screwed. The pensioners  got hit so hard. I think it was a 50% cut if my memory serve me right. A struggling country slowly getting rid of it's liabilities (the elders are no longer productive in the open economy). Look at what Japan decided to do, inflate by 2%.  Energy in bought in US dollars so the energy bill will increase for everybody . Regular pensioners have NO MONEY to spare. It's a daily decision what bill to pay to survive . Meds , food, shelter…. push them over the edge.   I'm with ao's opinion.  Leaders will more than likely use a form of Democide.  Even here in USA and Canada we can't afford all those old age pensions. They're going to be reduced one way or another. Elders will survive if they have family to take them in. Remember the three generation household. That will come back big time. 
    Sonya
    [/quote]
    Sonya,
    I couldn't agree with you more.  The process is already starting.  Here's an article that will give you a glimpse called "Flavor of the Weak: The New War on the Sick".
    http://www.groundzeromedia.org/flavor-of-the-weak/
    And one survey I read already shows three generation households are indeed returning so you are right on.
     
    Thank you to Sandpuppy and Mike K for excellent posts!  I think Mike K's eloquent and well constructed post perfectly reflects what a number of us here have been saying for a while.  There is only one thing is would disagree with him about and that is his statement:
    "I dont think they want to hurt anyone, unless that someone is causing trouble to them."
    I would take a slightly different tack on that.  I think there is no benevolence there for others, only indifference if others comply and definite malevolence if they don't.
    There's one poster here who has perseverated about predictive abilities.  No one can predict the future.  But one can certain see, analyze, and interpret trends.  That's what Gerald Celente does, for example.  He doesn't claim to be a fortune teller, only a trends forecaster.  But another key to understandng future trends is the elite themselves.  Numerous individuals, from some very solid ones to ones that are labeled by many as crazy (but very well may not be), have stated that there is a "code of honr" (of a twisted sort) that the elite have where they will tell you what they are going to do in a public manner, albeit not necessarily in the obvious and unequivocal manner.  Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear has noted these pieces of information.
    That's why we need to stay aware and not function with our heads in the sead.  That's why perspicacity is preferable to naivete.  That's why carefully considered reason, mental (as well as physical) discipline, and steadiness will serve us well while impusiveness, reactivity, and volatility will not.
    While most here are making working on Preparation and Resiliency from a physical perspective, as I've said previously, I think laying a foundation with psychological and spiritual preparation and resiliency is just as important, if not more so.  At the very least, the regular practice of meditation (and it doesn't have to follow any religious direction for those who might be agnostic or atheist)) can be of enormous benefit in keeping calm, clear, focused, and alert while still being rested, peaceful, and joyful.  From ancient East Asian warriors practicing Zen to modern Russian Spetznatz warriors practing Systema, developing proficiency in these disciplines can help one to weather the stresses of the storm as they build.  I would encourage folks here to investigate this area and find a form that suits you and your personality.  Without psychological and spiritual equilibrium, the best plans and preps could easily come apart at crunch time.  

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  • Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - 9:49pm

    #56
    treebeard

    treebeard

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    The old paradigm is dead

    Hand wringing about the plans of the "elites" is a waste of time.  The writing is on the wall.  There is a revolution a foot that has been about for quite some time.  The spark awoke in the 50"s with the beat's picked up steam in the 60's and early seventies. Lost some steam and went underground late 70's, 80's and 90's (The empire strikes back).  It woke up again and started become more main stream in the 2000's, now is about to break open again.

    The economic collapse that is currently underway, (moving slowly seemingly, but historically this is moving fast) will move things into higher gear in this decade.  Industrial energy intensive systems are breaking down, diffuse decentralized organic systems are steadily taking there place. In places like Detroit you can see the rediculous capital intensive plans falling flat and grass roots organically based systems taking their place.

    The "main stream" news will get worse and worse and the spin to make seem more vialble will get more intense.  Meanwhile beneath it all local resilience will be quietly building while going unreported in the "main stream" press.  There will be ongoing efforts to dilute and coop aspects of it, but, as has been happening, this will slowly change the nature of the industrial beast until it merges with that which is transcending it.

    The source of the wealth of the "elites" will continue to diminish as they will continue to resort ever more openly on drug money, criminality and war as is now becoming more apparent.  Their possition will be less tenable and more socially unacceptable as time passes.  There will come a point where where crowds and bullets will meet. And when the DHS refuses to fire on there own people, then it will be over.  The threat of mass state violence will end. The long political stuggle will then begin to reform the system into something entirely new.

    These are very hard times that we have ahead.  Hats off to those who seem to choose the political path.  Most of us will need to pick up the yoke and build the resilient future brick by brick, step by step by step. Diffuse, democratic, organic systems can easily support the current planetary population without intensive fossil fuel use, our measuring stick of industrial productivity is outmoded and broken.  Will many people perish in the transition unnecessarily, who knows, that will be collectively up to us and how hard we will be willing to work.

    The hardest thing will be to throw off the old mechanistic newtonian thinking and fear mindset. A willingness to forgive and forget and move forward and believe in our own future will be  an enormous challenge as well.  Be aware of the darkness but don't let it consume you. Keep your hand on that plow, hold on.

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  • Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - 11:46pm

    Reply to #54
    Mike K

    Mike K

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 15 2012

    Posts: 6

    Wealth based on population or control of energy supplies?

    Hi Nate,Is is possible that more power comes from controlling energy than from wealth? I mean sure, wealth is part of it however wealth is primarily based on trust in the system. My thoughts are that some of these truly wealthy control the system to the point where they dont need income, they can simply make it? They control the money supply of every nation through the central banking model?
    I think the real power comes from controlling the last remaining easy sources of energy as this will allow them to maintain pockets of civilisation into the future. I am thinking similar to South Africa where it appears that there are wealthy gated communities and then the masses left to their own devices (I have never been there and this impression is based on the little I have heard so correct me if I am wrong!).
    I envisage a future where the Elites will have gated communities, maybe as much as gated Cities. They will be heavily micro managed or watched populations within and I think they will leave the rest outside the walls to find their own level? Organically communities will form outside the fences. Energy will be withheld from the masses and it will instead be utilised to maintain the power of the Elite. They will use it for the advantages it provides to run machinery required to defend their boarders and when required exert their authority over some natural resource or another they require?
    Globalisation will shift to localisation. It wont be all bad for the masses left outside these gated communities. Watch "The Power of Community – The Cuban Solution" for an uplifting true story of how things could turn out for the masses in this predicament. The main risk and thus driver for preparation is to ensure that you and your loved ones survive the inevitable transition period in which law and order will go out the window and certain individuals take advantage of the situation. Communities will form to counter this and these communities will provide the basics required for a happy life. Shelter, safety/security, water, food, friendship, social cohesion etc etc.
    It is not the end of the world, just the end of the world as we have known it. The collapse of the current version of human civilisation will likely be the single most beneficial thing to happen to the planet in its history. The biosphere will finally be given a break from human pressures in many places. Deforestation should be reduced greatly, fishing the oceans will become uneconomical allowing fish stocks to replenish, emissions of a plethora of chemicals will reduce as there is less need for kids plastic toys and plasma TVs etc etc. The Mayans may have been correct. Their date was the end of an age, which marks the beginning of a new age. Its going to be interesting and we all have the privilege of living through what will be the single biggest moment in both human and planetary history to date. Least we wont be bored.
    Mike K

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  • Sun, Jan 06, 2013 - 5:38am

    Reply to #55
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    the new war on the sick

    [quote=Nervous Nelly]What an essay ! Wish I could write like that.  As I was reading the text I could change the Titanic to Greece. People who saw it coming prepared, mainly the elites. Moving their money out of the country to  safer banking systems ( Germany, Swizerland). Most of the middle class that could see it coming couldn't do much about except try to make a bank run. The first thing to an austerity program is spending cuts. Anybody that lives off handouts are screwed. The pensioners  got hit so hard. I think it was a 50% cut if my memory serve me right. A struggling country slowly getting rid of it's liabilities (the elders are no longer productive in the open economy). Look at what Japan decided to do, inflate by 2%.  Energy in bought in US dollars so the energy bill will increase for everybody . Regular pensioners have NO MONEY to spare. It's a daily decision what bill to pay to survive . Meds , food, shelter…. push them over the edge.   I'm with ao's opinion.  Leaders will more than likely use a form of Democide.  Even here in USA and Canada we can't afford all those old age pensions. They're going to be reduced one way or another. Elders will survive if they have family to take them in. Remember the three generation household. That will come back big time. 
    Sonya
    [/quote]
    Sonya,
    I couldn't agree with you more.  I had made a previous post but it was censored so I'll try this watered down version.  I think you'll find this interesting:  The Flavor of the Weak: The New War on the Sick.
    http://www.groundzeromedia.org/flavor-of-the-weak/

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  • Mon, Jan 07, 2013 - 2:46am

    #57
    Confused

    Confused

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 16 2012

    Posts: 4

    Anything can happen

    Hi All,

    This is my first post on PP and I have enjoyed this spirited discussion.  

    Here's how I see it – anything can happen.  Over the last ten years I have increasingly come to see national and world events rooted in our collective spiritual health or lack of it.  (I am trying to follow Jesus the best I can.)  We live in a fallen world.  Our leaders, like all of us, are sinful and are often corrupted by power and wealth.  It has always been thus.

    However, it has not always been possible for us humans to wreak havoc on the global scale that we are clearly able to do today.  Our highly interconnected and fragile systems (financial, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, communications, etc.) have developed beyond our abilty to adequately manage them.  

    As a collective, we are arrogant and refuse to acknowledge that we have created complexity beyond our understanding.  In the areas where we see the defects, we cannot take the hard actions necessary to fix the problems.  This is a spiritual issue – we lack wisdom, self-control discipline.

    I have begun to prepare myself and my family for a broad range of circumstances.  (This website has really helped – thanks Chris and all.)  I pray for our country and our world often.  It's too easy to go negative, but to be honest, things do look pretty scary to me.  I don't think a soft landing is in the cards.  

    I read about what's happening in Greece and Spain – 25% unemployment, riots, suicides – and discuss it with my family.  I tell them "don't think it can't happen here."  History is full of things that couldn't happen, that people though wouldn't happen, that no one wanted to happen.  Yet happen they did.

    It often takes a crisis for people to change, and things often need to get worse before they can get better.  I know this was once true in my own life (another story), but I am now committed to evaluating myself and changing before the crisis.  Unfortunately, collectively our society is not there.  We are walking down a bad path and we're not turning around. .  

    In any event, I remain a cheerful and generally upbeat person.  Whatever happens, it sure is an interesting time to be a student or history and current affairs.  I do not place my hope in and man or man in general.  I trust God, ask for his help, and try to do the best I can to prepare – and enjoy life.

    Keep preparing, keep posting, and keep smiling.

     

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  • Mon, Jan 07, 2013 - 6:32pm

    #58

    thatchmo

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2008

    Posts: 322

    got bananas?

    Sometimes when I get to feeling like Confused, above, regarding the lack of faith in Mankind, I recall that "hundredth monkey" thing, and a glimmer of hope shines forth.  And I keep pluggin' away….Aloha, Steve

    ps-welcome to the PP boards, Confused.

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  • Mon, Jan 07, 2013 - 8:11pm

    Reply to #58

    RJE

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 31 2008

    Posts: 868

    Yep...

    It really doesn't matter what is going to happen we will have to deal with it so, for me, it is best to Prepare for it, be as Resilient as possible and live life to the fullest. Everything else is depressing for the moment and hurts my ears and eyes as it isn't necessarily going to be a Mad Max adventure.I have a lot of faith in humankind, in my own humanity and I am no different than the vast majority out there, so YES, hope then.
    Life will be enjoyed and lived.
    Mr.Callum believes 20 times income, and my math thinks this is a bit much. No debt (a mortgage that can be paid off but I won't just yet) and we live on less than 50% net wages so my numbers are way less. Then again what does the future look like? That's why NOT having your hedge and Inflation protection in Physical Gold and Silver is a bad idea.
    My only concern is that the world goes all military, that is my only concern which incidentally has been one all of my life. The financial aspect is NOT. Eating and protecting my home is not what concerns me it's our leadership as they are the one ones that truly worry me. 
    BOB

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  • Sun, Jan 13, 2013 - 12:07am

    #59

    KugsCheese

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 01 2010

    Posts: 824

    LMAO!   Also don't trust

    LMAO!   Also don't trust Uncle Warren.   His company is at heart an insurance company (and owns Gen Re who's CEO went to prison IIRC, but Warren did read the report!) so he gets to see financial docs of companies as part of conditions for insuring.   Someone please prove me wrong…

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  • Mon, Jan 14, 2013 - 1:00am

    Reply to #2

    KugsCheese

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 01 2010

    Posts: 824

    westcoastjan wrote:The

    [quote=westcoastjan]
    The single best thing I am getting out of these podcasts is that they serve to reinforce my beliefs and give me confidence to continue on this path even when others might disagree with my thinking. Many of us who buy into this storyline are often viewed as being fearful or negative in our thinking. Most people just do not want to hear this message. It is not always easy being the lone contrarian in the room.
    So thanks for the constant reinforcement that we are indeed on the right track. I will continue preparing with confidence that I am both awake and aware, enabling me to make better decisions.
    Jan
    [/quote]
    The naysayer is always ridiculed.   I think you will like the book "Antifragile".

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