A few thoughts on the latest developments. Recently, Market Skeptics made this statement:
“I still recommend keeping your cash in gold (or silver) rather than dollars.”
I still find this type of logic bizarre and self-defeating. My stance against hoarding gold or silver is well-known, so I wrote this (which they refused to publish):
This is a bad idea. Converting gold or silver to (necessary) cash is risky, expensive and problematic:
a) you must find a dealer to do this for you. Nobody will accept gold or silver for payment (try it sometime), therefore you must convert your metal into cash at a dealer. There are only a limited number of dealers around, paying spot prices.
b) you must time this for your advantage — not always possible when you actually need cash (mortgage is due or doctor bill is due or whatever). Time it wrong and spot prices paid to you will not be in your favor and you will receive back less then you paid (sometimes). If metal continues to go up (but for how long?) then you still have a) to deal with. It’s 60 miles one-way here to find a dealer, definitely not convenient.
c) nobody “needs” precious metals. They are not essential or a requirement or even very useful to the average Joe. Their “worth” is purely speculative, subject to marketing hype and propaganda. Investors who buy gold and silver are hoping to profit from this marketing, but this is purely speculation. The metal itself isn’t very useful and has an extremely limited applications, none of which are actually essential.
d) the real beneficiaries of gold and silver are the coin dealers and “warehouses” that are profiting from the sale of their inventories. Margins are very slim so they must constantly sell a lot to stay profitable — by marketing hype and propaganda. Investors who are fooled into this alleged “value” pay spot prices and higher (for something that nobody actually needs).
e) in a market crash, gold and silver sell at “junk prices” on the black market. Anybody that thinks they will get spot price is nuts. History shows that junk prices is the best you can expect. And even this means you must still convert your near-useless metal into something you actually do need (food, medicine, treatment, etc.)
f) gold confiscation remains very real in any market crash. Therefore, there is no “safe haven” in precious metals at all. They can be instantly devalued and / or confiscated by decree. This has happened even here in the United States and will again in a severe crash.
g) the so-called “refuge” that gold represents is a carefully fabricated myth. The price of gold (buying or selling) is not based upon it’s actual “value”, but upon the promotion of value. Therefore, the value of gold (and silver) is strictly perception and nothing more. Since it is nearly useless for anything else, its value is actually extremely distorted.
h) a banking collapse does not mean a “cash collapse” or a digital collapse of digital cash. Does anybody really think that all the computers are going to shut down and prevent fiat money from still being created? Therefore, fiat money will always be around until the electricity forever stops running (not going to happen, there are many avenues to keep this going like solar). Real cash (paper money) and digital cash (computerized money) will be with us as long as we continue to exist.
The ability to create fiat money will never be abandoned in favor of “hard assets” like gold. To do so would destroy all the world’s economies and the entire global banking system, and to cede control over everything (money, and the control of money is what governs things like ownership, power, elections, resources, corporations, virtually everything). The notion that this is all going to “stop” one day and we go back to “hard assets” like gold or silver is absolutely absurd, they will never, ever let that happen because it would mean to lose on all those points above.
Therefore, paper money (even devalued paper money) will always be around, and so will digital money. Those who have “invested” in gold and silver will find themselves exactly where they are today — stuck with a metal few people actually need, subject to marketing hype and propaganda, difficult to exchange and store, and subject to confiscation and devaluation at virtually any time.
i) the truth is, gold and silver are only “valuable” (profitable and as a store of value) as long as the system that creates its value continues to exist.
If that system collapses, then the value of gold and silver is instantly gone, and replaced with things of real value (land, food, medicine, skills, useful things that will actually keep you alive).
What will happen in a total collapse is a “system correction”, when gold and silver are corrected for marketing hype and inflation. They could be used for a store of value and exchange, like they did once before, but not at today’s prices. Do not forget that the value of an ounce was “set” by the government, not by the market. Investors today are paying market prices, which is a far, far cry from its actual and real value. In other words, you’re about to lose your shirt if there is a total collapse or even a major marketing correction. Gold will be revalued dramatically to reflect its real usefulness.
Finally, in a total collapse / crash, why would anyone want to be sitting on a pile of gold or silver? Of what practical use could this possibly be? Better to have real assets you actually need.
Updated: See “Is Gold Really A Safe Haven“?
Market Skeptics joins the ever growing list of websites refusing to publish their readers comments. I’m seeing an awful lot of this type of censorship. The idea behind this is obvious — control the so-called “discussion” by alleged “readers” to persuade people to the author’s point of view.
There are also many teams of paid disinformation agents posting on blogs and forums to attack dissenting viewpoints. It has gotten so bad that it is nearly a complete waste of time to try and post anything “contrary” (especially anything concerning the truth).
This type of censorship is nothing new, and is following lock-step on the heels of the main stream media “news reporting” that has done a fantastic job of distorting and under-reporting the news. The Drudge Report is one of the worst violators, along with Fox News, CNN, ABC and all the other major media sources out there. Very little of what is being reporting is actually accurate. Cherry picking their topics and headlines, these news sources are not to be trusted at all.
Unfortunately, this behavior has now deeply penetrated the alternative news media also. I am not aware of a single website anymore that is not engaging in this behavior. This has lead me to believe that the Internet as a news information source is nearly useless these days. What little truth and accuracy is out there is being badly overwhelmed by an incredible cacophony on sheer noise and useless “information”.
The news on Libya is a current and prime example. Almost nothing the MSM reports is accurate. They have been caught is some rather blatant lies about Libya too. Their agenda it seems, it to stir up US support for yet another war, or at least, suppress any dissent that our government is yet again engaged in killing more innocent people.
I recently watched (DVD) “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” by Morgan Spurlock (same writer behind “Supersize Me”). Both DVD’s are worth watching. In his latest expose, Spurlock reveals the truth behind advertising and corporate America. Astute observers will quickly realize an even deeper truth Spurlock didn’t come out and say — corporate America doesn’t give two-shits about Americans, or the truth, all they care about is money.
Spurlock’s movie is about how the advertising game is played and how “connedsumers” are their targets. Anything and everything can be sold, and the more the merrier.
I don’t think the movie went deep enough, but for those who aren’t really aware of what is going on, you should watch it.
It’s been said by many other illuminaries and journalists in times past, that if the American people really understood what was happening, there would be rioting in the streets. While this sounds true, it probably isn’t, but is another one of those carefully crafted deceptions that imply a hidden strength that isn’t really there.
When have Americans “rioted in the streets” (beyond token protests, such as against the WTO)? Hmmm? Never?
As often as we are abused, lied to, threatened, mistreated, ripped off and generally treated like dog shit, Americans haven’t rebelled or rioted enmasse. Whenever the threat of such action takes place, or token protests actually do take place, it peters out rather quickly, accomplishing little to nothing.
The truth is hard for us to accept. We’re still not ready to throw the bastards out that are behind our discontent. It is very likely that we will never reach that point either. Our cognitive dissonance (brainwashing in this case) is much too deep for us to realize the whole truth. We are (still) easily controlled and manipulated into believing lies and distortions, false promises and deceptions. The political “season” for example, has already started again, with the same blabbermouths as ever, promising increasingly ridiculous lies and deceptions, not a single one which will actually come true. But this is actually quite normal for American politics and the constituency — we’ve come to fully accept and embrace these deceptions.
So here’s another truth for all of you: we are enabling our handlers (helping them) manipulate us exactly where they want us to be. Because we settle for so little, and accept so much, they are quite willing and able to keep us divided, lopsided, distorted, distracted and ineffectual to the point where we are absolutely powerless. They offer us (s)elections of unqualified, irresponsible and irreverent “candidates” as a so-called “choice” (of the people no less). The MSM then blasts us incessantly with this babbling “news” 24/7, telling us what to think, what to buy, how to act and even what to believe.
But they’re not alone, website, pundits, talk shows, radio hosts, magazine articles, newspapers, even our churches get on board and mouth off the same useless crap. Anybody with half a brain should have long realized what an incredible joke this is. It’s all a big, sick, stupid joke on each and every one of us. And your only option is to opt-out. You can try to counteract the distortions through your own blog, website, newspaper, magazine article or online comment if you like (and sometimes this is necessary just to keep your sanity), but you’re wading upstream against a tidal-wave of lies and deceptions. Most of us that do so do it purely to stay sane, expecting nothing whatsoever to actually change.
Many of the better voices out there have either gone silent or been silenced. Counteracting the disinformation is hard work, expensive and time consuming. It’s also risky these days. We’ve entered into that time period as predicted by George Orwell, where those that do not “belong” as vassals of the State are criticized, attacked and even silenced.
But what is very disturbing is we ourselves are now practicing this same behavior. This is definitely the death-knell of democracy, when the people themselves turn against each other and silence dissent.
If you have not experienced this yourself yet, you will. Trying to counteract the propaganda and distortions that are now so present is like painting a bulls-eye upon your back. Facts, science, logic and common sense are attacked by ignorance, superstition and bias. I’m still seeing for example, a constant stream of attacks of ignorance and fear upon credible researchers and scientists. It’s as if a large segment of the American population (Republicans?) have embraced the Dark Ages, and seek to bring about a truly terrifying autocratic despotism based upon superstition and fear.
It’s one reason why I’ve largely given up on writing anything here anymore. Too many people are willing to embrace falsehoods and distortions. They have no idea at all what they are talking about, but scream loudly and long, spewing ad hominen attacks and straw arguments to bolster their case.
I admit, it’s just easier these days to turn my back on all of it and walk away from the sheer stupidity and noise that I’m seeing. Believe whatever lies you want to. Only you can change that anyway.
A rather radical change within our own ranks of the unwashed and ill-informed is obviously needed. Education would normally be the key ingredient, but what do you do when learning is rejected? You can’t force feed these fools with smart-pills or vitamins to increase their lethargic brain activity, and it’s still illegal to simply shoot them, so what do you do?
Personally, I took the approach that “let events unfold” (give it time) to prove my case. I did this with climate, with collapse, with the economy, with politics, even with the direction the country was going (fascism, police state, etc.). The blog “record” as it were, proves these events were predicted and expected. And they all happened. But it didn’t change anything. The levels of disbelief, ignorance, denial and outright anger remains higher then ever.
I think what this really means is “refusal”. As a defense mechanism, refusal (along with cognitive dissonance) is being used to “defend” these persons against the reality that is now unfolding all around them. This may even be necessary (for a time), but eventually the acceptance of reality and facts must be embraced. Otherwise, you’re living in a dream world of fantasy and make believe, and we have enough of that kind of “thinking” already.
So events have unfolded, and the general direction predicted was correct. But as a whole, we are definitely no better off then before. I realized this and turned many of my own efforts inward, making gigantic progress here with my own preparations and plans. I rarely share these for what should be obvious reasons, but most of this year has seen me working very long hours.
I don’t see things improving for anybody. I recently met with a couple that were losing their house. They shared their hopes that things would improve, but I quietly told them that I did not think that this could possibly happen, not even within my own lifetime. The collapsing dominoes that are falling down now all around us cannot be easily re-erected, if ever. They were all part of the old world that is now nearly gone. A new world is being formed and it is not one to our liking.
But it is happening nonetheless and now we need to cope with it as best we can. Opting-out of what is disagreeable, wrong, illogical, unrepresentative (like the (s)Election) is definitely one option. Some will say you can’t do that — but I disagree. You do not have to give credibility by participation to what is irretrievably broken and corrupt. You can walk away if you want to. The more people that walk away, the less credibility (and life) these corrupt entities will have. We’ve already tried to “reform from within” and that has utterly failed miserably. The only other option is to walk away — or revolt, but I doubt that this latter option will actually happen, we’re simply too dependent upon the (corruption) to revolt.
Most people won’t walk away, nor will they revolt, which means what I’ve always said: business as usual. Until we change, nothing changes. But too few of us are willing to change.
Therefore, we eventually find ourselves walking away from even these people. They’re not even operating on the same level of reality some of us are. We’re entirely disconnected from their perspectives and opinions, even their way of life and how they make their living. While I do not think that this is the “best it can be”, it may be the “best that we can do” given the circumstances. Our society is deeply fragmented, distorted, manipulated and populated by ignorance, superstition and bias, none of which is the least bit helpful in dealing with reality. For those that are ensnared by these traps, about all you can do is to walk away (or gnash your teeth trying to educate them).
I’ve no doubt at all where this will lead (civil war), in time. A people divided, even amongst themselves, are easily conquered or manipulated, even into turning against each other. But I am also of the opinion that this will happen anyway, no matter what we “do” (or don’t do), since most of these things are really not under our control anyway. The manipulation that is now happening to the American population is stunning in it’s depth and breadth, encompassing every aspect of American society now, even the so-called “private” groups who have long been infiltrated.
So be careful out there. I suggest keeping your own council and your wits about you. Don’t stop learning, and trying to wade through the mountainous lies and b.s. being spewed forth now on every street corner, but be careful what you accept as truth. Don’t join anything either, there is no need, but there is definitely danger. Think for yourself and prove the facts as best you can.
Keep making your preparations for your family and yourself, you will never, ever regret this part. Self-sufficiency and independence are the same thing, and the greatest threat there is to fascism and the totalitarian environment we are plunging into. Those who are not leaning on the system for their survival are those who are best prepared to resist it.