Back in 1990 my wife and I took a three month trip to Mexico to help decide if we were really called to be missionaries, or merely had a burden to help people. The difference is critical. But while there, I recognized that Spanish speaking people had problems pronouncing my name Jerome. They don’t use the “J” sound in Spanish and the letter “E” is pronounced as a long “A” is in English, and there are no silent letters. So my friend there, a native, suggested I use a Spanish version of Jerome. He suggested Jeremiah or Geronimo (Spanish for Jerome, Goyaałé in Apache). Jeremiah was the prophet that dared to warn Jerusalem about a coming disaster. Well, I chose Jeremiah because it was biblical, and for several months was known as Jeremiah—or “Jeremias” in Español. We were not called to be missionaries, and ultimately satisfied our burden with annual trips delivering medical care to impoverished indigenous people in the Sierra Nevada mountains—ironically the same range where Geronimo found refuge.
But the other day I found myself saddled with the Jeremiah complex. This time it is not simply making my name easier to say. I have been posting short warnings on Facebook (a site which most of my family reads vigorously) about the economic situation. I started the day the “satan signal” appeared. I just thought that was very interesting and people might be curious and open to hear about FED manipulation and the PPT. Each time I begin preaching, I have certain relatives to tell me to stop being a gloom ‘n doomer. (I shouldn’t have had that beer before I sat down to write my last Facebook post). My mother says it makes her sad when I get negative. Other friends do not comment at all, but hit that “like” button each time I mention the weather, tell some outdoors hiking or camping story, or talk about something from my academic research. They like the professor, but not the economic forecaster.
Each time mom mentions my “negativity” about the future, she also reminds me of how well a family friend “Bruce” has done in investing and quotes something profound he says. This week it was this gem: “Stock market volatility is normal.” I like Bruce and he has done very well, but he profited on land speculation in Phoenix in during the boom years, then invested in large apartment complexes. He has done quite well. So that makes him an expert in all things financial, including stock markets. Well at least that is how mom tells it.
I think Jeremiah previously learned the lesson of Jonah. It’s even worse to NOT go tell the truth to someone. But he still found trouble for telling the truth—thrown into a cistern by the king. So I have to keep telling the truth, somehow, in a way that doesn’t come off as doomin ‘n gloomin. I’d like to stay out of the family cistern.
Jeremiah’s life and message has morphed into a speech genre known as the Jeremiad.
"I tell you the truth in Christ, and I lie not. Unless you repent, you will all be damned." --George Whitefield 1740
Its basic structure is to point out wrongdoing, declare it as an affront to justice, and warn of the disastrous consequences if we do not change. This genre of discourse is firmly fixed in the human psyche. Politician use it. Gold bugs use it. Many classic fairy tales and other cultural myths use this structure. Ayn Rand’s fine book was intended for this purpose. I count her as a modern Jeremiah. My mother even preached me her own Jeremiad, warning me that If I continue being negative, I’ll be unhappy and develop health problems.
The solution I see is to reverse the Jeremiad; instead of sin and punishment, speak of mercy and duty. We should thank the Almighty for his mercies—that we have time and insight into the economic problems, that we have a “gift” of low metal prices, lower real estate prices, falling costs on many items as well as cheaper labor to help build and outfit a safe location for future life. We should thank God and then recognize our duty to take action. This site has been a fabulous resource for discussing plans, hearing from people who are raising goats, chickens gardens, even quail, people building greenhouses, solar systems, generators, and other self-sufficiency devices. The forums are here, the expertise is here, a private messaging system is here (all free, I might add). And the regulars on this site are willing to share knowledge, links, and experiences.
You’re right mom, I shouldn’t be so negative, I should get more active. I should take the name of Geronimo and help my clan and friends to resist the evil invaders of our land and keep our way of life, rather than be defeated and relocated to
FEMA camps to the reservations where we would depend on the government for our livelihood. Alas, that even in Geronimo’s day, many Apaches chose to support the US government against their own people, and many others sheepishly relocated to miserable reservations at the first request. Not enough followed that inspired leader.
But in this century, the future is not so grim. it is a small minority attempting to control overwhelming majority of the middle class. They must employ propaganda and lies to succeed. The impoverishment of America is also part of the plan—because those living on government largess will resist being weaned from their mama. So we still have a chance to win. Our pb stacking rights will impede government oppression; our right to free speech can keep us encouraged and linked together, perhaps even counter the propaganda barrage—if we can hold onto these rights.
Man of action or talk. Geronimo* was a man of action, Jeremiah a preacher who told the truth. As a professor, I talk too much AND DO TOO LITTLE. I could use more balance in my life. My prepping has been slow and tedious as I am pulled aside to do my job at the university. I have to get my home to a state of self-sufficiency more quickly during this gift of time. We are a year behind schedule now, and I again thank God for the gift of time. But I have to get my hiney in gear, stop spending so much time on Facebook and other blogs (that probably means this one too) and get to work.
As for facebook, I’ll quit writing scary economic warnings there as I have my Friday afternoon beer, and instead write stuff that offers a vision of hope, for those who have ears, and simply invite people to contact me privately if they have economic concerns. If I can be inspired by my namesake, then my actions could make a difference.
I stopped by a website of our old friend yesterday after hearing that he was railing against anyone who suggests that gold is worth owning. Gee, I felt like the guy on Monty Python that wandered into “Abuse” when he just went there for a good argument. Apparently, if you think owning metal is a good idea, and say so, you are a charlatan now, even though many there are gold owners. When I clicked back over to this site, I had to chuckle at Marchas’ dart board. (Edit: The other readers posting in the comments section were polite and fair with me.)
I have been shocked at the pounding the miners are taking. I keep cost averaging in with my retirement account, but this recent beatdown has taken JNUG to half its value of the last time gold touched 1180
I better stop writing and get outside to finish digging and installing the drainage line to collect rain water at the back of the house on this gift of fine, warm, sunny, morning weather.
Well, that’s my view as this morning. Chin up. Do something today that helps you sleep at night.
* Goyaałé (Geronimo is what the Mexicans called him) was a “war shaman” who led a small band of his people in resistance against the US and Mexican government, trying to preserve their freedom and life along the Arizona- Mexico border. They were never defeated, but finally negotiated an honorable surrender. The US broke their promise and shipped Goyaałé and his warriors as prisoners to Florida.