Who's got your back?

Tue, Jun 17, 2014 - 12:02am

I stopped trading metals futures at the end of March and have only continued to trade leveraged mining ETFs in my new employer’s retirement account. I just can’t bear to have my retirement fiat in mutual funds; besides it keeps me tuned in to metals. Some days that is good and some days that is bad. One cannot help but notice the exuberance around here after a small rally, as well as the pessimism after smashes. But I hold my emotions in check by working on other projects that prepare my family for the new economy. The on the down days, I can point to progress on another very important front.

My project this week has been to enclose our back patio so we can store a few things and keep our kindling dry for the wood burning stove. Last winter, which was artificially mild, my stuff out on the patio was buffeted by high winds and a bunch of snow that blew in. I am expecting a hard winter this year, just as I am expecting a hard life ahead. So I have decided to become a carpenter for a few days to get everything ready (metaphor alert!).

First, summer is a good time to work. The skies are clear, a breeze is blowing, and the sun is out. The weather is warm, but not hot, cooling as evening comes, and no rain in the forecast. There is no pressure to finish by tomorrow, and that is good because I am a novice carpenter and realize that my task may take a while to do properly. Teasing out this metaphor gives me perspective. We face a hard life ahead, but the economy is still functioning, we are reasonably free in many countries, and most of us have the finances and ability to improve or move our homes. We also still have time to stack, even if it means selling stuff that we probably will not need any longer.

Second, almost everything I need to know about carpentry is published on the internet. How wide do I leave the opening to frame in a 32-inch door? Simply type that question in google and … Voila! … 34 inches is the fast answer. Everything I need to know is at my fingertips. And likewise, here on this blog I can ask questions and receive answers from experts like you on investing, timing of metals purchases, where and what to purchase. But the site goes well beyond metals as we argue about discuss a plethora of subjects from solar power, water availability, gardening, immigration trends, etc., to help us become knowledgeable and ready. I even learned about the Burrito of Doom here on this site. By the way, my 80 year old mother-in-law made one such burrito and stuffed it down a pesky gopher hole and caught a skunk instead! She calls us nearly every day to tell us the latest news on her war with the axis of evil--skunks, gophers and wild pigs.

Having a good foundation for your work is important. My concrete patio has a 4” thick slab, but no footer around the perimeter.. This is not good enough to convert the patio to an actual room. For that it would need a 30” deep trench, filled with concrete underneath and around the perimeter of the patio so there would be no settling. Otherwise the concrete will crack from too much weight. I have chosen to simply enclose the patio from the weather, but not put the kind of weight that a room addition would add. I am impressed by several ideas about the hard road ahead from this: first, that our deep relationships with relatives and friends serve as a foundation for our lives. If we try to build a community with people we don’t know well, or who are not committed, we shall have some cracking relationships as the weigh gets heavier. So open up your heart and life to others now, share your vision for the future, they will reciprocate and you will find out what your relationship is made of. Keep in mind that friendships can run deeper than blood and family can be flaky. Find solid stable relationships and strengthen them to provide a solid foundation for your house.

I have learned a few things about carpentry over the years. First is that it is best if the boards are straight. That seems to be a general rule about everything—good materials lead to a quality product. I have tried framing with the cheaper boards that have twists and bows. While the task is possible with inferior materials, it is more difficult and time consuming, not to mention that my irritation level rises as the day progresses. It is not a good idea to build the community around you relying on people who are crooked, warped, bowed or have kinks. Everyone has their issues and hang-ups. But some people are worse than others. I dated a woman for a while when I was in my twenties until I found out she was struggling with a cocaine addiction—mostly clean, but with “setbacks” when she became frustrated. I just couldn’t go deeper into a relationship with a person who had a problem I was unprepared and unqualified to help with. A close relative is married to a woman who manages to alienate everyone around her. Even though I trust him with my life, I cannot trust her and will not be inviting them to be part of our community when times get hard.

As I build, I try to keep in mind the carpentry principle that helps me the most—arrange my boards in a way that they are “stacked” with weight supported by wood, not nails. If the wind did not blow, the structure would stand. Then I use fasteners to hold it together. But fasteners should not support weight (except for metal hangers and straps designed for the task). So as we deepen our relationships with our family and community, I cannot expect friends or relatives to do more than they are able. I can probably share a home with immediate family—children and their spouses & kids, parents, or my brothers and sisters. But my best friend of 35 years probably ought to live next door, not down the hall. We can watch one another’s backs and help with projects. We can build and garden together, have meals together, keeping the favors reciprocal. Living together may be a bad idea and strain the friendship beyond what it was designed to be. Plenty of natural pressures will come without any help from thieves or overzealous authorities.

I am very fortunate that my wife and I think the same about stacking, the state of the economy, and what we are going to do about it.

For my patio, I have to use a number of fasteners—nails, bolts, screws, glue, caulking to hold it all together. Each has to be correct for its task. I bolt the wall plates to the concrete, nail or screw the boards together, screw the windows and door in place, and glue down the flooring. In my academic discipline, we say that “communication” is the glue that holds relationships together—that relationships are established and maintained through good communication. I see communication happening at four levels. First is our casual conversation. We keep things polite, try not to say too much or too little with an assumption of truthfulness. This goes a long way to starting and keeping friendships. Second, we have this practice called “metamessages” (“indirect speech act” explained in the video clip) when we want to get something deeper across, but do not want to “put it on the table.” So we drop hints, say some unexpected things, perhaps even break a rule to send a message that “I want this relationship to go deeper” or “I want to back off a bit,” or “I make the decisions, not you.” People who communicate fluently with metamessages are the “good communicators” with what we call "people skills." But sometimes the metamessages are not understood and we have go to a third level, saying “We need to talk.” This puts everything on the table. We make decisions about the future and solve problems this way. Finally, when we screw things up, we need to apologize. This fourth level seeks to repair and restore strained or broken relationships. “I’m sorry” may be the two most powerful words in our language. “It’s my fault, I’ll do better next time.” Friends want relationships to continue. We are generally forgiving of one another—but the one who has offended needs to apologize and make things right to get a relationship stabilized again. Some people try to apologize with metamessages, but it often doesn’t work too well. Some things need to be bluntly and directly stated. After that, it takes time to rebuild trust, but most people will generally give us that chance.


We will need like-minded people at our backs, people we can trust, people who will stick with us if we seek to flourish in the hard life ahead. We need to establish relationships that are deep enough to do the job, where we don’t expect more than we ought, and relationships we are willing to maintain when problems come. The expertise required to be self-sufficient AND live a pleasant life is too broad. Sure, you can survive living in a one room shack in the woods and hunting for all your food. But I don’t want to just survive. I’d like to enjoy life, with relatives and friends nearby. Nobody can do it all and there are some tasks, like building a barn, that take a whole crew of people to complete.

Without good building practices, disaster happens.

I do not expect to be able to sell my metals for a profit as long as this system is intact. If AG hits $100 per ounce, I might try. But many of you doubt that will happen, and something tells me you are right. The metals will help us build a future life, but we ought to be ready to survive without them in the meantime.

I do not think any of this dream—of having a community of like-minded friends and relatives living nearby—can come to pass and survive for the long term without stacking sufficient metals to finance the project once that tipping point of societal breakdown has been passed. Our year’s worth of food and other items will get us started, but our plan must extend well beyond that year. We face a new normal. As we see popping bubbles, deflating assets, recession, depression, and then a subsequent hyperinflation, the whip saw action could wipe any of us out financially. Metals and other income producing assets, free from bank liens, are what will get us to the other side intact.

Well, that’s my view from the mountain top next to my house.

Keep stacking, keep prepping, and invite someone over for dinner.

About the Author


Jun 17, 2014 - 12:07am

What a view

Is that brownish hills in the foreground natural hills?

Almost looks like mining heaps.

Jun 17, 2014 - 12:14am

Excellent Post Dr J..

We are currently harvesting broccoli, spinach bok choy, snap peas, radishes, but alas strawberries got eaten by the slugs (Are they editable and will they taste like strawberries?) I'll filled the oil tank, at around 3.50 a gallon, but we will be adding firewood shortly. These up coming days will test men's will, sprits, and religion. 

Spartacus Rex
Jun 17, 2014 - 12:15am

@ Dr. J "Who's got your back?"

Answer: Family! And a Big, extended Family helps when it comes to Survival.

Cheers & Semper Fi, S. Rex

Jun 17, 2014 - 12:19am

That hill


That brownish hill is a small volcanic cone that they are strip mining for cinder gravel. It is a real eyesore. When they started, it was 5 miles out of town. It is called "Sheep Hill." Ha! Kind of like the US citizens' wealth being strip mined by the elite. Now the town is built right up to its edge, as can be seen.

Jun 17, 2014 - 12:23am

@ Dr Jerome

Nailed it!

Jun 17, 2014 - 12:50am

you summed up

more in that post than most can understand , i,m not the one you want coming to your side, but you just hit most of my points, i moved i live in the mountains. i lost more money then you ca shake a stick at. it is not that the metals will win, it is simply that we think they will in the long run. it is nice that you adjust to your new world, hope that works well for you. very few get to see the benifits , family build a new life outside of the new suburbs. this game is not for the weak of hearts, when the shit hits the fan you will be better off where you are now. i live where i live , and my family followed, because there is coming a reset in this country. we can bury our heads in the sand, or we can prepare for the future.

so much for an idiot like me

thanks for your posts


Jun 17, 2014 - 1:03am

Great metaphor...

...great reminders on what's really important. Great post, thanks Dr. J!

Jun 17, 2014 - 2:42am

That Hill

Jerome and I thought you moved to a smaller town in this state. If this volcanic hill is what I am almost sure it is....been by it many many times. It has been a couple of years but would make many many trips to the OHV area to the north to ride dirt bike and quads in the summer months. If you get a chance try to find a way out on a busy weekend to 100 dollar hill and watch the hill climbing. It is an 800 ft tall extinct volcano that is very very steep and impressive to watch the people climb on their off road vehicles. Due to the economy it won't be nearly as busy before the 08 crash, but still worth the effort. You will need a 4x4 or better to get to the bottom of the hill btw. If you have a side by side, PM me and will give you more info on the area and where to go if you haven't been there yet. Awesome place, just awesome. Thanks for the memories of better days.

I am/was hoping to make it up there this summer, but wifey has a elk tag in a new unit we are learning this summer (5B south). Nice article, best wishes.


boomer sooner
Jun 17, 2014 - 2:48am

Great post Dr J

Man, a view like that is awesome. Talk about looking down on someone! Can relate to the construction project, but never thought about it in relationship building (will have to work on that, might need some plans though). With me, we either get along or we don't. Honestly, most of my friendships are working/backscratching relationships. The "bud" crew if you will. Great group for a barn raising, not much for sitting under a tree yarnin in circles. Speak your piece and get on with it. Take a tape measure, it's 2 11\16 or its not. That is me.

On construction, remember, like my ol grandaddy used to say, measure twice - cut once. Kinda hard to add that 3/8" back. (took me 3 tries today cuttin rock (drywall for you amatuers) for a bathroom ceiling, need to heed my own words)

Jun 17, 2014 - 3:04am
Spartacus Rex
Jun 17, 2014 - 3:18am

@ hammer... Jimmy "da peanut farmer" Carter

Carter's most serious act of Treason against America was his signing the Monetary Act in 1980

(Don't even get me started w/ the U.S. Canal Zone in Panama)

BTW, Care to guess Who ripped the Nuts off of both his Secretary of Treasury, and his U.S. Attorney General?

; ) Cheers & Semper Fi, Spartacus Rex

Spartacus Rex
Jun 17, 2014 - 3:35am

@ Cal J.D. I.C.U....

Ready to Stand & Deliver Cal?

Cheers & Semper Fi, S. Rex

Spartacus Rex
Jun 17, 2014 - 3:45am

Cal J.D. ...

And he's gone! 

Spartacus Rex
Jun 17, 2014 - 3:58am
Spartacus Rex
Jun 17, 2014 - 4:02am

@ stackaloha...

Where is the U.S. Dollar defined in Law?

Do you even know that definition?

Cheers, S.Rex

Jun 17, 2014 - 4:11am

S. Rex

Not sure why I would need to know that since we don't live in a law and order country. Definitions change with moods these days. I suppose I could google it but I know it's a turd (no offense Craig) and I don't need to look up a definition of that ;-) lmao 

whatever the definition is found, I'm sure it's not being followed

​damn that picture you posted is some funny stuff, except to bikini girl there

Jun 17, 2014 - 4:15am

Gold Oddity...here's some

Gold Oddity...here's some Gold Full Band with

Video unavailable
Jun 17, 2014 - 4:17am

Square, level, plumb

That's how you do it! Also, I like people that are that way too! (Well, mostly square with a touch of beer ;-) I've been a carpenter/plasterer for quite a while now and I've always found it to be a rewarding challenge! The devil is in the details. You have made an awesome analogy and I will read this article a couple more times for the subtleties! 

I'm in agreement that we may never get to sell our silver for $100 an ounce until dollars are very unsafe and beyond undesirable, but, you never know. IF I'm lucky, my stack will soar after a nice, fat, housing/real estate crash (which wasn't fully allowed to happen last time) and I can get some mountain acres with extra loot to afford a good build. Maybe a nice stream nearby to pan? A guy can dream right? You never know...

thanks for the good read and the great pics! 

That view is gorgeous imo even if they are mining the cinder cone! If that's the view from your place then you are blessed!

boomer I hope you were able to use the bum cut green board somewhere!

Spartacus Rex
Jun 17, 2014 - 4:28am

@ stackaloha...

actually once a term is defined in Law, it doesn't Change! Good Luck w/ that Ignorance however. 

Cheers & Semper Fi, S. Rex

Jun 17, 2014 - 5:02am

Been there done that

Just a snippet

The history of debt: Real Economy vs. Financial Economy
Jun 17, 2014 - 5:14am

Been there done that ?

Economic Crisis: Real Economy and free movement of Finance Capital
Spartacus Rex
Jun 17, 2014 - 5:15am

@ Hammer...

Amen Brother! How long does it take to actually learn that lesson?

Cheers & Semper Fi. S. Rex

Jun 17, 2014 - 5:31am

Apparently as long as there

Apparently as long as there are humans around ?

(for further reference, see the sun for more details)

Jun 17, 2014 - 7:11am

This seems like a good place...

... to post another excellent piece by our friend Jim Quinn:


“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability –problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” - The Fourth Turning - Strauss & Howe – 1997

This past week saw an event revealing the cluelessness and ignorance of the linear thinking establishment. They are oblivious to the cyclicality of history and unaware of their precarious situation, as the mood of the country and the world portends their demise. Eric Cantor, the ultimate establishment neo-con Republican House Majority Leader, was crushed in a primary by a completely unknown economics professor, outspent by Cantor $4.9 million to $123,000. Cantor spent more at steakhouses than David Brat spent on his entire campaign. Cantor, a lackey for Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Israel, and dozens of other mega-corporations, was the first House Majority leader defeated in a primary since the position was created in the 1890s. He won his last primary by 60%.

This was as big a shock to the Republican establishment as it was to the Democratic establishment, the mainstream corporate media establishment, and the Tea Party establishment that didn’t provide David Brat one red cent of their vast horde of contributions. They are now scrambling to generate a storyline explaining this unexplainable development as if it was entirely predictable. These wealthy, myopic, propaganda peddling, purveyors of the status quo just felt the foundation of their world shudder beneath them. Like a volcano, with pressure building within, the world as we know it is about to blow. Who gets devastated by the massive explosion and flow of molten lava is yet to be determined, but there is nothing the establishment can do to stop the eruption. This entire Deep State hierarchy has been developed over decades, as they have flawlessly implemented Edward Bernays teachings from the Propaganda playbook.


silver66 Spartacus Rex
Jun 17, 2014 - 9:07am

Spartacus Rex- defined by law

I found it defined many years ago when I was reading the coinage act of 1792.


Unless it has been changed it is the same as a Spanish milled dollar. If there are different facts or evidence to suggest something else, I will be happy to change my mind



Jun 17, 2014 - 9:14am

Ag, Interesting election

Ag, Interesting election between Cantor and Brat! Maybe Brat gets a Jesse Ventura style visit by the secret service.

Brat has some interesting things on his website, and some things that concern me. Much of it is vague. His views on debt spending, Obamacare, the total elimination of liberties obviously would resonate with many of us

Then he invokes the spirit of Ronald Reagan using his picture...hmmm... marketing? (I know some of you admired Reagan) His views on immigration seem to differ somewhat from Ron Paul. Some of his more religious views don't stray much from the right wing views although vague on how and if he would legislate his views.

Nothing on international affairs. Not sure we have another Ron Paul in the making but worth watching.


Jun 17, 2014 - 9:58am

Watch the video if you have

Watch the video if you have time. No matter what politicians say about "their" economy (the financial one), the real economy (the working man and woman who actually make stuff) is suffering. Sobering.


Urban Roman
Jun 17, 2014 - 10:36am

Dr. J,You are indeed

Dr. J,

You are indeed fortunate that your wife thinks as you do. My wife thinks that all the retirement accounts will be just fine and will be there for us in another ten or fifteen years. She even thinks they'll 'grow'. I think they are being stolen in broad daylight.

At least I am old enough to withdraw without the penalty. I'll have to do it without her consent, but it's going to have to happen.

Oh, and you can get T-Bills from treasurydirect.gov. Don't knock it, fiat tends to have a life of its own, even after the associated empire has gone to Afghanistan. Of course Ag, Au, Pt, Pd, Cu, Pb and Fe have lives of their own as well. And maybe a little BTC. And tools, land, and livestock smiley

Jun 17, 2014 - 10:59am

S Rex

Not sure why you are insulting me. Maybe too much to drink? But now that you have let me retort.

You are funny, because you think that those laws matter lmao. The people in control of your precious dollar don't follow whatever law you are referring to. Imo the law that governs the dollar is the "temporary" decoupling of the dollar from gold. That's the world I have lived in my whole life. In case you haven't noticed, the elite don't follow the law and they control the dirty thieving murderous "dollar" . 

I don't call them dollars anymore. I call them "debt notes" to raise the awareness of people around me. Because that's all they are. They aren't money, they are a currency that stores debt, not wealth. I thought we all knew that here.

that being the case, I couldn't care less about what law defines the dollar at this point. 

So, what I am is indifferent. If I gave a shit, I could look it up but I don't so please go ahead and insult me some more, unless you have sobered up now? ;-)

Jun 17, 2014 - 11:10am

Yes, If you're a sound money gold and silver

physical stacker you're hated by the bankstering cabal; the black magic royals of london who desire full control of you. #1 best do that: CONTROL MONEY! Heard it all before many times here: 

Mayer Amschel Rothschild Quote: "Give me control of a nation's money
and I care not who makes the laws." So it goes and has been since the fed fuds set up it's theft shop Xmas eve of 1913. The nature of the beast is it can only create and sustain an illusion for so long. We're now over 100 years of this illusion of paper currency as real money to where debt globally has gone absolutely; completely stark raving mad wild. Keep stackin and you'll not need wait much longer as the bankstering bodies continue hitting the pavement. Financial siren events accelerating since '08 and the events come weekly rapidly spinning to daily near daily NOW!. THE FED FUDS ARE IN DEEP BS! You'll see said every blind person now awakening. REALAX AND HOLD YOUR COURSE STACKERS. When rickards keep singin like the insiders canaries of fiancial canaries in the coal mione you may no we're not far away from the mania stage of gold and silver.

Jim Rickards Predicts The Dollar to “Collapse By Half” in Response to New Middle East War!

June 17, 2014 By The Doc Leave a Comment

Jim Rickards“Oil is stable. What you’re seeing is the collapse of the dollar! As oil goes from $100 to $200 a barrel, I don’t think that oil doubled, what I think is that the dollar collapses by half….The Fed wants a little inflation- they’re going to find they get alot more than a little. This looks like the 70′s” -Jim Rickards, on CNBC.
Full MUST WATCH interview is below:  [Read more...] He ain't the fat lady but you may be certain she's standing right behind him and his cover! The louder rickards sings the tighter vulcan death grip you keep on your physical stack. Should be cramping up daily. Get ready for some huge volatility in every paper asset market.

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