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Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

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  • Sun, Mar 15, 2009 - 06:54pm

    #1

    Erik T.

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    Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Hi, Gang. I’ve been out of touch with this site for a few weeks now following some personal issues – first a hard drive crash and data loss, then the worst stomach flu of my life. I’m still catching up with all the blog posts and news here.

I’ll start by apologizing to those of you who come to this site for Chris Martenson’s brand of always-objective reporting that is almost always supported by facts, charts, and graphs. This post is completely subjective in nature, but I think there is something to be said for that, too. Whenever billionaire hedge fund superstar George Soros is asked about his remarkable success, he credits his theory of reflexivity as the key to his riches. But if you see his son interviewed, he says "No, that’s not right. Dad believes in that reflexivity stuff for sure, but I watched him run the Quantum fund as a kid, and I can tell you first hand that when he gets a backache, something is wrong in one of the fund’s investments. It’s the bachache-barometer more than reflexivity that led to his extraordinary success." As an entrepreneur, I very much relate to that story. I like to tell myself that all my business decisions are based on sound analysis and logical deduction. But thinking back, most of my best decisions were made because "something just didn’t feel right". I was unable to put my finger on what was wrong at the time a decision was needed, but later it was revealed that it would have been a disaster to follow a course of action that was under consideration. Those sorts of feelings seem to be more reliable when they apply to people and people’s actions than to technical matters.

Well guess what? For the last 3 weeks or so, I’ve been overcome with feelings of impending doom. It’s more social than financial. I’ve been watching this economic situation since long before I discovered Chris Martenson and this site. I remember a meeting of an investor peer group back in May of 2006 when I went on record as saying I thought we were headed for a major economic collapse that could possibly lead to sovereign default, and all my investor buddies thought I was nuts. But as I’ve watched all this unfold, it’s been pretty much a left-brain business thing for me. I don’t get scared or emotional. I just try to understand the fundamentals and make intelligent investment decisions. It’s just business to me. But suddenly I’m feeling a lot more personal concern for my wellbeing and for the social stability of the nation.

I was very strongly affected by the Trashout Squad video that was on Davos’ daily digest a few weeks back. The part about people loosing their homes is sad to be sure, but that’s not the part I was affected by. Those people were not rushed out of their homes in any kind of hurry. They left behind a LOT of stuff, and it was NICE stuff. High quality furniture, large framed wall hangings, microwave ovens, etc. Since they were foreclosed, I will assume they are cash-strapped and need every penny they can keep their hands on. They could very easily have had a yard sale and taken whatever they could get for that stuff. I have to believe that the stuff shown being trashed in the video could have brought at least a couple thousand $, even in a dire market. If they were really that lazy, they could have left the unsold items in the yard after the sale; after all they were walking away from the home anyhow. But they chose to just leave it all behind and walk away. What that tells me is that as these people are being pushed down Maslow’s needs hierarchy by their circumstances, they are becoming irrational and reverting to primal behavior patterns. Definitely not good. But if they’re not behaving prudently by liquidating their physical assets for whatever they can get for them, what are they doing?

Then I saw a couple of videos and read several news articles about gun sales exploding to 500% higher sales rates than ever seen before, and ammunition of every type and kind being sold out and back-ordered for months. Ok, so people who have been pushed into primal behavior patterns are no longer making rational decisions, but instead are scraping together whatever cash they can find to buy all the guns and ammo they can possibly afford. That’s really not good.

Then I watched a video clip of a news report where they interviewed a soldier being re-trained by the Army for civil unrest intervention. They interviewed this kid who was holding an M16 Machine Gun and asked him how he felt about the prospect of having to use it against fellow American citizens. The part that hit me the hardest was that there was no mention whatsoever by the reporter of the Constitutional issue. As I’m sure most readers of this site are aware, the Constitution expressly forbits the government from turning the armed forces against its own citizens. Ever.

So let me see if I have this straight. When Bill Clinton got a blowjob in the whitehouse a few years back, the entire world came to a screetching halt! The biggest news story of the century!!! President caught in sex scandal. Nobody could stop talking about it for weeks, and everywhere you went, Monica was the most common subject of conversation. But now when the Army is training soldiers to use M-16 machine guns against our own citizens, on our own soil, it’s just another routine story not particularly worthy of mention, and the constitutionality question doesn’t even rank important enough to be mentioned in the news report? Is it just me or is this the most shocking turn of events in our lifetimes?

Then there was that Glenn Beck clip talking about what they are apparently calling The Bubba Factor, referring to the formation of numerous small, independent armed militias of citizens (apparently the people who bought all the ammo that is now back-ordered), getting ready to do battle with the kid in the interview holding the M-16. Is this really happening in America or is this all a sick dream I’m having? Am I really hearing that organized groups of Americans are arming themselves for gunfights with the Army?

I personally hate guns, but if there ever was a situation where I thought it made sense for citizens to bear arms, it would be the fallout from Hurricane Katrina. The system had broken down, and obviously it was not practical to rely on law enforcement for protection. So in that one case, even a gun-hating guy like me was willing to concede that it made sense for ordinary citizens to be armed to defend themselves against looters. Then they went around and confiscated all the guns!!! In the one situation where it made perfect sense for people to have them, the government stepped in and confiscated everyone’s guns. I fear that the NRA crowd took that message to heart in a real serious way, and that the more devout "gun people" are preparing themselves to be ready not to let their guns be taken away next time. That sounds like a perfect recipe for civil war.

In the Crash Course, Chris Martenson describes how his own personal reaction to all this was to move his family to a rural area and focus on building community. I personally came to an opposite conclusion, because my personal circumstances are different. My conclusion was that it was the right time to rent (not buy) in a major city so that I could enjoy cosmopolitan city life while I still could. Rather than trying to locate myself someplace safe, I organized my preparations around being able to get the heck out on short notice with minimal loss. I figured that when some day came around and living in a city just wasn’t physically safe any more, I’d invoke my bailout plan then. I assumed some day would not occur for a period of years. But I now find myself fighting this gnawing feeling that it’s time to reach for the EJECT levers.

I’m just posting this to see if anyone else is feeling the same way. I haven’t made any firm decisions yet, but I’m focusing my attention more and more on refining the escape plan. Just cashing out of my hedge fund positions, buying Perth Mint certificates, and moving to Australia is sounding better every minute. Is it just me?

Erik

 

  • Sun, Mar 15, 2009 - 08:46pm

    #2
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Erik,

My intuition is acting up as well – albeit in a different way. See posts #59 through 66 in the "Gold’s near future" thread.

I’m hoping that your intuition isn’t realized in the very near future as I’m not prepared for a dramatically sudden shift.

I’ve been more inclined to go along with Chris Kresser’s comments in post #73 in the same thread.

  • Sun, Mar 15, 2009 - 08:49pm

    #3
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    Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

I feel that way too, Erik. And I’m based in Canada (which is in a less precarious position than the U.S. so far). I’m dealing with it by selling our little Victorian house downtown in the big city and shopping around for a good agriculture-based small town to move to. Australia’s probably not a good long-term choice. Problems with water supply and climate change. The truth is there is nowhere in the world you can go to escape all the stuff coming down the line–at least in the short term. So you need to pick what you feel is best for you, then set out planning for it the best you can. I do also feel like everything is picking up steam, especially with China speaking out, warning American not to print too much money. I think it is prudent to be prepared, but not useful to panic or get too dark about it. Whatever happens will happen and humans adapt. When the fall came in Russia, it was bad but people adapted and life went on. Same with Argentina. IMO, the key is to be in the best starting position possible–and to be mentally prepared.¬† And then make sure you keep enjoying life, because regardless, even when you have it all, life doesn’t last forever anyway. Death and taxes are certain. You might as well enjoy life while being prepared for the worst.There could be many good times and interesting adventures ahead as well, if you create that future for yourself with solid planning. That’s my opinion anyway. Do what you like with it. ūüôā

 

  • Sun, Mar 15, 2009 - 08:55pm

    #4
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    Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Me too, for about 3 weeks now. I increased our food stockpiles, bought¬†a wood stove, and planted fruit trees in a flurry of¬† nervous energy. I don’t have a sense of what form TSHTF will take – just that something big is about to happen.

There’s a rumor over at the Market Ticket forums that some major corp is going to declare bankruptcy this week; maybe that has something to do with it, maybe not.

  • Sun, Mar 15, 2009 - 09:04pm

    #6
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    Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Erik,

You said:
[quote]Just cashing out of my hedge fund positions, buying Perth Mint certificates, and moving to Australia is sounding better every minute. Is it just me? [/quote]

Probably a good idea.

Also, I’m not trying to sound like an jerk, but you seem to have an escapist mentality.
Might be why this is hitting you suddenly, and from what you say, severely.

[quote]I personally came to an opposite conclusion, because my personal circumstances are different. My conclusion was that it was the right time to rent (not buy) in a major city so that I could enjoy cosmopolitan city life while I still could. Rather than trying to locate myself someplace safe, I organized my preparations around being able to get the heck out on short notice with minimal loss. [/quote]

This strikes me as stunningly irrational, and evidences a "consumptive" mentality.
Sort of a scary thing when you think about it… think about how much time you wasted…

Hoplophobia is also an "escapist" mentality, and not conducive of survival; as you’ve significantly damaged your ability to defend yourself by an irrational hatred of an inanimate object.

That said, there are some things we should elaborate on:
[quote]As I’m sure most readers of this site are aware, the Constitution expressly forbits the government from turning the armed forces against its own citizens[/quote]

That’s untrue.
What you’re refering to is "Posse Comitatus", which isn’t a part of the constitution, but a federal bill that restrains the military from engaging in policing actions unless authorized by congress. The only mention of anything even close to this in the constitution is the 3rd Amendment which spun off from the ‘quartering act’ and prohibits soldiers from being "lodged" with private citizens without their consent.

Next,
[quote]getting ready to do battle with the kid in the interview holding the M-16. Is this really happening in America or is this all a sick dream I’m having? Am I really hearing that organized groups of Americans are arming themselves for gunfights with the Army? [/quote]

While I can’t speculate as to whether or not this is "true", I can say it is expressly included in the Bill of Rights – and was designed to be a fail-safe against tyranny. Americans fought for their independance once over taxation without representation… I’d not be surprised if they did it again.

I’d say fighting for liberty is less "sick" than it is necessary. Unfortunate, but when you look under the thin veneer of ‘civilization’, it’s a game of Darwinian dominance. Sucks, but that’s life. We can’t keep growing forever, and you and I are the products of a posh society that grew and prospered off excess. That’s over.

It’s a good idea to square with that fact. No force in this universe exists to protect, defend or uphold your will except you.

[quote]Then they went around and confiscated all the guns!!! In the one situation where it made perfect sense for people to have them, the government stepped in and confiscated everyone’s guns.[/quote]

Don’t worry so much about this being a recipe for civil war. Lots of legislation, with bi-partisan support has since been passed prohibiting this practice. It’s political dynamite, and there was a huge outcry over that. I doubt it’ll become an issue unless there are outright attacks against citizens.

Fourth and fifth,
[quote]Those people were not rushed out of their homes in any kind of hurry. They left behind a LOT of stuff, and it was NICE stuff. High quality furniture, large framed wall hangings, microwave ovens, etc. Since they were foreclosed, I will assume they are cash-strapped and need every penny they can keep their hands on.[/quote]

[quote]Ok, so people who have been pushed into primal behavior patterns are no longer making rational decisions, but instead are scraping together whatever cash they can find to buy all the guns and ammo they can possibly afford. That’s really not good. [/quote]

Have you considered that guns might be more useful than wall hangings, microwaves, furniture or appliances that use electricity in a socio-economic collapse?
Seems as if a lot of folk have… considering the 64% increase in sales over the last year.

That said, I wish people were focusing more on agriculture, communications, green energy, community and perhaps a little fishing for R&R, but our president hasn’t made mention of "banning" any of those things just yet.

Don’t get wrapped around the axle about the gun sales.
I’d be willing to bet that it’s more for "investment" than for armed revolution.

Research the 1986 Firearms Owner Protection Act, and specifically the Hughes Amendment… Let me know what you find out about guns, legally defining and banning the domestic production of "machine-guns" and apply the principles of supply and demand.

Similar situation is playing out here.
Notice that the "guns" that aren’t available are not your grandads bolt action .30-’06.
They’re the guns that appear on H.R.1022’s "ban list".

Again, sorry if this sounds crass – but you asked for some thoughts.
I’d say you’re absolutely right. I imagine 355 million lemmings peering over the cliff.

Where do you want to be when the pushing starts?

Cheers!

Aaron

  • Sun, Mar 15, 2009 - 09:04pm

    #5
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    Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Erik…

 

Interesting.  Yes and No.

You mention the importance¬†of trusting¬†your feelings…or as I interpret…intuitive instincts (similar to Chris suggestion to trust yourself).¬† Your e-mail indicates you’ve given this considerable thought.

Since you have resources, you have considerable options.

Two topics come to mind toward our future…

Topic One…Sustainability Criteria

a.)  Strength of Human Principles and Values.  Personally would select a rural area where the local population exhibits the highest, proven ideals and competence.

b.)  Land Resources for Sustainability.   Food and Water are number one with excellent infrastructures.  

Topic Two…Intuition impacted by¬†Location?

Found location and lifestyle often impacts one’s perspective.¬†¬† Here where live in rural Iowa.¬† Don’t sense things¬†as dire¬†except when travel to the city (why?…see Topic One above).¬†¬† Also…returning to my wife’s family farm is the same as always been.¬†¬†People are aware here…but also quite resourceful with an aura of self reliance.

If me, would spend significant time (weeks?) in various venues and try and apply the two topics above. 

FWIW.¬† Continued overlaying analysis of data does support nothing positive¬†to lessen impacts near and medium term.¬† So in that¬†aspect…agree.¬†¬† In a word picture…the cancer grows and the patient is getting weaker and weaker.

Hope this helps,

 

Nichoman

 

 

  • Sun, Mar 15, 2009 - 10:42pm

    #7
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    Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Erik, 

It occurs to me that living in a city may color your beliefs about how this will play out. You might feel much more hopeful if you were surrounded by a grounded community of interconnected people with access to some land to grow. I’m not seeing evidence of the sort of civil unrest that seems to be alarming you so, out here on the northern edge of colorado’s front range.

That said, I’m reeling from a brunch I just attended with six other unschooling moms. We get together about once a month, and I missed the last couple of meetings, but apparently their financial lives have unraveled with breathtaking speed over the past month or two. Two husbands have been laid off, two women are going back to work part time (and both of them are talking about the possibility of divorce because they’re frustrated with their husbands’ depression and/or rage). All of us are deeply worried about money. I have been, for many months the lone voice in the group about the financial crisis unfolding and it is such a switch to show up and find that the reality has caught up with most everyone else in the group so suddenly.

¬†I was also surprised that at yesterday’s backyard gardening¬†¬†workshop at our house, one of the mild-mannered gardening women of a certain age replied to my allusion that growing food will become increasingly important and desirable as the economy worsens with a comment about how the price of guns has gone through the roof and you might want to get one soon. I nearly fell off my chair. For so many months, almost no one I’ve spoken with seemed at all interested in talking about the problems ahead, and suddenly, here’s this vegetable gardener talking calmly about considering a gun purchase to protect herself.

So, in ordinary times, I think we’d probably be calling this the bottom of the bear market, with such maxed out pessimism, but it feels much different to me now. It feels like a collective awareness rising in folks that we’re in for a rough, long ride….¬†

  • Sun, Mar 15, 2009 - 11:10pm

    #8
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    Perth Mint

Erik

Take heed.

 Warning about Perth Mint Certificates

Yes. I find myself waiting for the next shock; they come like earthquake tremors. If I had to make a bet, it would be for a collapse of the dollar, as sudden as when it rose last March. My second choice would be for a stock market panic. I mean like a frantic rush for the theater exits. This collapse is still gaining speed and it’s still getting more volatile. I’ll give it by June before all hell breaks loose. It’s just a feeling.

  • Sun, Mar 15, 2009 - 11:52pm

    #9
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    Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Why do you hate guns considering that guns in the hands of the right people have created the system within which you live and apparently enjoy? ¬†And they’re our only hope of not going down the path of tyranny in this crisis? ¬†Guns in the hands of citizens is beautiful (look at Switzerland). ¬†Guns only in the hands of criminals and powerful governments is what you should hate (look at China, Hitler’s Germany, Cuba, Russia, Chicago, Iraq, Iran…). ¬†And unfortunately that now includes Australia…I wouldn’t consider it such a haven given it’s debt crisis is just as big as ours and it no longer has citizens since its "subjects" are victims of UK-like gun control. ¬†

Probably not prudent to assume you’ll be able to run from cities once TSHTF. ¬†

Having local community like Chris is the way to go. ¬†Unfortunately, I’m not married so I’m not sure how to go about creating such community. ¬†Married people don’t hang with singles and seem to distrust single men too so I’m not sure I’d be able to enter that type of community. ¬†I was the outsider in my community of married types in Bozeman MT. ¬†I’ve thought of moving close to family in central Illinois, but it would be judgmental too, and the people back there are passive sheep willing to do nothing but sit and let TV pretty people tell them what to do. ¬†I might just move out of Seattle this summer when I complete my 2nd grad degree and rent a place across the water in a small town on the Olympic Peninsula. ¬†Would be safe and isolated from city chaos. ¬†But it’s cloudy/rainy so I’m not sure if it works for sustainable community. ¬†Ugh…

Finally, I wouldn’t be afraid of civil war, or at least general anarchy. ¬†I hope we get it frankly. ¬†That would be THE sign that the elites have lost control and local/state energy might have a chance of taking power and control back so society can adjust back to the republic that our constitution designed. ¬†I don’t want the feds to be able to maintain "order" in this crisis…the type of order they’re planning for is scary.

  • Mon, Mar 16, 2009 - 02:27am

    #10
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    Re: Is it just me or is TSHTF feeling more imminent?

Then I saw a couple of videos and read several news articles about gun
sales exploding to 500% higher sales rates than ever seen before, and
ammunition of every type and kind being sold out and back-ordered for
months.

 

  1. I think 500% is a little high.
  2. I think it is more because of the Obama effect than anything.  He is the most anti-gun politician ever.

Just remember the following:

  1.  When seconds count, the police are minutes away.
  2. Those that beat the swords into plows will plow for those that don’t.

 

 The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most
governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right
within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept
up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any
color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already
annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.
 

St. George Tucker 

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