The Jeremiad

Mon, Oct 27, 2014 - 7:32am

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.

About the Author


Oct 27, 2014 - 11:57am

Vietnam banking tycoon Ha Van Tham arrested for 'fraud'

Vietnamese authorities have vowed to take a tougher approach to bank regulation and oversight

One of Vietnam's richest business tycoons has been arrested on suspicion of lending fraud, authorities say.

Ha Van Tham, a former chairman of the private Ocean Bank, was taken into custody in Hanoi on Friday, the ministry of interior said in a statement.

Vietnam's Central Bank also announced on Friday that it had suspended Mr Tham from his bank chairman role.

Mr Tham also owns significant stakes in hotel and real estate businesses.

His personal wealth is estimated to be several billion dollars.

Local media reported that Mr Tham could be held for up to four months pending further investigations.

The Central Bank said Mr Tham was "personally responsible" for some serious violations of the law but did not give further details.

Oct 27, 2014 - 12:22pm

Safety Dan

Thanks for the Dr Dave link. Briefly forgot how much I love that guy. TSLA -4% today....

Oct 27, 2014 - 12:42pm

Copper-Mine Strikes May Give Little Price Support...

Copper-Mine Strikes May Give Little Price Support –BMO, Monday October 27, 2014 10:45 AM

"There are two copper-mine strikes, at Antamina and Grasberg, but the impact on prices may just be negligible, says BMO Capital Markets Research."

Sure. We know how the prices are set, and where.

"Through year end, about 84,000 tons of mined copper supply may be removed if no inventories are processed or shipped and the Antamina strike continues through Dec. 31, the bank says. “This 84,000 ton figure is still less than BMO’s 180,000 ton ‘disruption’ estimate for (the fourth quarter), which suggests that another 100,000 of disruptions would have to occur before BMO’s market balance figure would lessen materially,” they say. The rise in copper prices is likely a knee-jerk reaction, although the bank adds copper prices are running below fundamentals. BMO estimates fourth-quarter prices at $3.10 a pound, versus the current December Comex price of $3.0605."

Who cares about fundamentals? The prices can be fixed, or -- managed, for the benefit of -- whoever, so copper would be affordable and cheap. What are those miners' salaries? How long it takes to develop these mines and comply with all those regulations, environmental requirements, and what are all those royalties and tax payments? Who cares, as long as these mines are not in our jurisdiction. We just can't let the inflation get out of our hands, that's all. So, one pound of copper is cheaper now than 1 pound of hot dogs from chicken and pork meat, where 75% is a filler from the pink slime and other material, like bread and paper. ;-) Even one pound of tomato is more expensive now, just to mention two examples.

Anyway, the Grasberg mine doesn't produce only copper, of course. It's in Papua, Indonesia. "The 2006 production was 610,800 tonnes of copper, 58.5 tons of gold and 174.5 tons of silver." Maybe, not only copper prices are running below their fundamentals.

Oct 27, 2014 - 1:07pm
Oct 27, 2014 - 1:09pm

Well Dr. Jerome, you don't have it as bad as most

all rebels of the passed, who tried to expose the truth of monetary systems on the verge of collapse from black tyrannic royals. Many lost their heads for trying to expose the goldsmiths or rothchilds having written too many paper promises for claims upon what real money gold or silver was held in the vaults to full fill those claims. From rock a by baby to ring around the rosy; many a rebel in child like verse tried to warn the public of economic and monetary collapse; a spread of pestilence without losing their heads, as so many who blatantly did who opposed the crown. From the fall of princes in tree top cradles, to pestilence likely spread by those to control populations; nothing has changed. Economies collapse as planned and populations come to ruin as planned. Ashes! Ashes they all fall down, is simply another rebel in the past to warn the masses of synister people who would control all the earth through enslavement and compulsory means. You didn't like the lie the status quo feed you, the black royal lines would simply kill you and your posterity. Leaving your house desolate. At least try to leave your house desolate by killing off your blood line. Anyone who knows Jesus Christ as the true king of the world, knows His blood line continues today. Why the Kings James version of the bible where no one could possibly figure out Jesus Christ did what any man did in those days as a jew and was espoused to marry. Marriage hand picked by parents who would continue royal blood lines as in King David's. Sure I'm a heretic, blasphemer, and possessed by the devil. Anyone with any common sense of Jewish history and preservation of royal blood lines would know you kill the truth to live the lie. Pursue any messianic blood lines relentlessly and extinguish any possible claim to the world throne by bloodline; genealogy! Why would the anti Christ come out of Israel the chosen people of God. A complete fabricated imposter to rule the world through the new world order. Got to get a monetary world currency 1st and its coming. All is coming into place as the beast will deceive all the world but yet those who know Christ as the true King and Savoir will resist. Sure many will likely lose their heads but the truth will prevail. Won't be long now and the abomination of desolation Daniel spoke about, will be seated in the temple at Jerusalem to be worshiped as the god of this world. You haven't seen any persecution yet but you will if you believe in gold and silver and Jesus Christ. FREEDOM THE BOTTOM LINE AND A FREE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SOUND MONEY. Gold and silver symbolize more than money, a brilliant, resiliant moral character refined as gold and silver by those who worship the true and living God.

Oct 27, 2014 - 1:49pm

How bout the Bills new QB?

Thanks abguy4,

Nothing changes.

This story comes from Will Durant's book The Story of Philosophy.

Arthur Schopenhauer, the German philosopher, "ate his dinners usually at the Englischer Hof. At the beginning of each meal he would put a gold coin upon the table before him; and at the end of each meal he would put the coin back in his pocket. It was, no doubt, and indignant waiter who at last asked him the meaning of this invariable ceremony. Schopenhauer answered that it was his silent wager to drop the coin into the poor-box on the first day that the English officers dining there should talk of anything else than horses, women or dogs."

Edit: Yes, I have it good, Buzlightening. I just had a hallway chat with a colleague here who is open to talking about economics nad politics. Rare!

Oct 27, 2014 - 2:22pm

The problem with being holy.... that you'll recall, it means to be 'set apart'

Thing is, people ( being the sinners we are ) are always trying to vex and stifle the 'power filled' holy. Or co-opt them. Or cow them socially into conformity. Or push them into politics. And finally, of course ...sadly...sometimes crucify them. Anything to get them to stop talking about all the things we don't want to acknowledge.

That's the problem with human beings. We like to hear nice happy news about things working out great.

ancientmoneyPining 4 the Fjords
Oct 27, 2014 - 2:32pm

Pining on the social contract...

"the Pre-Modern social contract essentially held that each man was expected to support and defend his clan (or neighbors) and family, and even kill others when necessary in the cause of protecting "his own kind". The virtues of honor and courage were an essential part of this contract. But for modern state-level civilizations, the social contract has been changed to "if you submit to the power of the state, act peaceably and abjure violence, and agree to the state's monopoly on violence (if you cease these clan feuds, honor duels, and "local level "eye for an eye" justice etc), then a competent state apparatus and police force will keep your clan and family safe in return".

He suggested that with every instance of the state clearly demonstrating that it is acting in its own self-interest while working against the interests/wishes of the citizenry (passing Obamacare despite majority disapproval), with every instance of the state elevating it's own ideology over our very safety (refusal to police the borders or halt flights from ebola areas), or even using its vast resources directly against us (IRS targeting, NSA spying), then the modern social contract is broken.

A state which kicks 2nd graders out of school for drawing a picture of a gun, while simultaneously releasing into society thousands of illegal alien criminals who were wanted for murder, drug offenses, robberies, etc. is a state that is no longer upholding its part of the bargain. The citizenry might therefore be wise to return to the pre-modern social contract." (ital. added for emphasis)


Pining, you said a mouthful. It seems to me that the "social contract" became secondary to "preservation of elite power" right around the time that the end result of WWII became evident.

The seeds were planted many years before, when the Federal Reserve and 16th Amendment came into being, quietly by the bankers.

As time has passed, the power and control of government has become unbridled.

The president created new rules by executive decree that says the killing of Americans by the government is legal.

Your final statement in the earlier post was,"The citizenry might therefore be wise to return to the pre-modern social contract."

I think there is no other choice.

We must do so beforehand (as Karankawa has been preaching), by dropping out of the "system." Civil disobedience. Becoming self-sustaining in small communities.

If we do not do this, it will be forced on us, in order to survive. The government has recognized that 50% of the population are "useless eaters."

The elite are setting up to get rid of them, along with many others as "collateral damage."

Dagney Taggart
Oct 27, 2014 - 3:08pm

Excellent, DJ

I love these bits of American history.

A suggestion: Ask your mother how your $18 trillion national debt and unfunded liabilities get settled without her grandchildren lynching her for putting the debt on their heads without their consent. If she can give you a socially and mathematically-viable answer, tell her you'll stop being a "doomer n'gloomer".

Or ask Motley. Surely he knows the answer because he's "positive about the future."

Motley? Please share.

Oct 27, 2014 - 3:34pm

Doc Jeremias

A mighty Hat Tip to a Loving Soul.

A very pleasant read from a gifted writer.



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