On Forests and Trees

I am afraid I don’t have much to say about gold & silver lately.  Prices seem stagnant again. This is where the 2x & 3x ETFs will nibble away at your position. I have been sitting out any trading for a few weeks now. Gold finding support again here at $1208 and silver at $16. My charts show these as solid support levels AND the AU 62% fib retracement levels and 50% level in silver. Chart painting? Fundamentals? I'd sure wait for some distinct movement one way or the other before trading.

(Disclaimer: past performance is indicative of future returns with Dr. J's trading advice--you will not make any fiat to brag about.)

And if you just stack. Now is a good tome to keep stacking

The unemployment report will be released in about 20 minutes. The news correspondent, reading her script, expects it to come in at 5%. OK, whatever. Stock algos will react. gold algos will react--just the way they are all planned to react within the data-driven mechanisms that pass for our market. Since the FED rate decision mak hang on this data point, I expect it will be spun as "good news."

Edit: Whoa! a big jobs miss... Gold up? Futures down?  Is this a reality check? we'll see if they can put out their fires by the end of the session...

But I have been thinking about the future and pondering why it can be a struggle to prepare at times. Do I focus on prepping and forget to live my life? Do I focus on life with the family today and ignore the future? Do I blow of long-term planning at work and just go in day to day? With such dark clouds on the horizon, how is a person to respond? Actually, storms pass. What we face is worse than that… This <insert metaphor> may not pass.

About 20 years ago I was working at an Intel Plant in Albuquerque NM on a construction crew. We were working overtime (58 per week) and everyone was making tons of money. Times were good (or so I thought).  I was younger and still learning how to be a construction manager—how to motivate a crew to work steady all day, efficiently, without too much grumbling. I treated my crew with respect… that worked pretty well. At lunchtime each day, many of us would leave the plant and drive a mile to one of the fast food places up the road. Often we would be a few minutes late coming back. You know what happened next. A general contractor superintendent got pissed off, counting minutes and multiplying by hourly wages. They “reacted.” They made a new rule: Anyone who comes back from lunch late will be fired. The next day, our General Foreman was sitting in a chair at the front gate with a clipboard taking names, but apologizing to the guys saying that this was just a warning. The larger picture revealed that we were short-handed already, working overtime, and there simply were not enough qualified journeymen around the southwest willing to come to Albuquerque to staff the job properly.  Management’s reaction was wrong. They should have responded with a more sensible policy to solve the problem—like simply docking pay for late-lunchers. They began to erode the goodwill of travelers like me who came to town for the overtime pay.  The new policy was dropped after two days and nobody was terminated. But damage had been done. At least those Intel managers listened to the General Foreman’s complaint that the policy was undercutting the morale of the workforce and changed their policy. Too often, leaders will not admit to a mistake.

Wise people think and respond in due time out of their good sense. Foolish people react immediately out of their emotions. Yet, many of us who are not foolish, fail to act wisely. We remain preoccupied with our daily problems and tend to adopt reactive, emotional solutions. Our preoccupation with day to day business keeps us from slowing down and recognizing the larger trends, issues and challenges. It’s that “preoccupation” that has concerned me lately. Why is it so damn difficult to sit down, tune out the daily problems and look into the future? Once you do, you don’t have to be a prophet or a seer to recognize a sensible response to the many possible futures.  And when you are able to see it, I find that it becomes much easier to stop reacting and start responding to the likely future in a manner that will actually do us some good.

But worse than those short-sighted, over- reactive managers at that Intel plant, are people who won’t even look at the future, who bury their head in the sand and will only consider their weekly paycheck and what they plan to do this weekend.

I watch students react every semester at school. Stress levels rise. They cannot see the usefulness of a class or assignment. And they procrastinate, go drinking, sleep, or react in some way that rewards their emotions immediately. Several weeks later, they are in trouble and end up dropping a class or two. Eventually, many of these drop out of college. My own daughter was headed down this road a couple of years ago. We had a long talk and thankfully she saw the light. I am also facing my own response to a leaky heart valve that may require open heart surgery. My gut reaction is “No.” But I have to ask myself if the risks and discomfort of recovery are worth a longer and better quality of life. I need to respond, not react. I don’t like the look of the trees on this one. Must step back and look at the forest.

If you view of the forest is not informing your inspection of the trees, and consequently your daily, weekly and annual decisions, then you are in trouble. Our long term goals must inform our day to day decisions of how to spend our time, energy and resources.  What is valuable to you? Family? Security?

Sociologists are the backward looking prophets. They ask questions, then study the past looking for answers, find something, notice and identify the trends and then predict the future. It does not take dreams, visions, or voices to see ahead.

Frankly, I see trouble. Perhaps not next week… though I will admit that a precipitating event could crash this precariously balanced system of fiat and debt, sending the whole world into financial lockdown. What is more likely, and certainly inevitable is the slow descent into debt-laden poverty. And I suspect many are waking up, but do not know what to do about it.

I have been noticing an apparent trend lately: Young people living as migrant workers, following agricultural or other jobs, living in cars and tents, or homeless shelters, working when and where they can. They are out of the system, working under the table, no payroll taxes, no rent, no utilities, little responsibility except to show up and work. I have another friend who sells fancy tea at outdoor markets and tourist hotspots. He hires a crew of these kids (20-something) to process and package his tea. They roll up the dirt road to his southwest desert  home in a group of ugly cars, two dogs, and a home-made trailer and go to work (I call them the Mad Max crew).  At the end of the day, they get paid in cash and drive out of town into the national forest to camp for the night.

Driving back to Ohio last week, we saw many hitchhikers and came across a crew of rough looking youth in New Mexico traveling to California. My daughter went over and talked to them while we gassed up. They are simply working their way west, living on money solicited other travelers. Hmmm… checked out of the system and getting by. Perhaps they have more foresight than others like my daughter’s “Goth” friend at college who will graduate with a psychology degree and 100K in debt.

I have also noticed an increasing number of homeless people begging on the street-corners and in store parking lots. They look able-bodied to me.  Yet I wonder what these people will do in a currency collapse. More likely, what will they do as their ranks swell with more beggars as the economy declines and there are fewer kind-hearted people handing them a few dollars out their car windows.

I think we all know what they will do.

And they may know also, planning to go a step beyond begging to taking what they feel ought to be theirs. And what will the Welfare, EBT, SNAP, disability ranks do as the economy is no longer able to support all that extra weight? I already sense resentment from them. Just yesterday, I made an absent minded mistake in the parking lot and inconvenienced a carload of them for five seconds. That earned me an abusive tongue lashing even as I said “Sorry” as we passed. How will they treat me when things get tough? And in my own city, the large Native American population mostly ignores the rest of us. But from time to time, a bitter comment is spoken recalling how whites stole their land in the 1890s. As the system deteriorates, I suspect a movement will arise in the Native American communities to take back what was once theirs.

So here we are, at best with idiot leaders—uneducated, incompetent, short-sighted. Nothing is getting fixed because they have not tried to fix anything. They put band-aids on broken legs. At worst, we have evil leaders plotting the demise of this economy and the depopulating of the planet.

Notice the forest and make plans for a different future. Not tomorrow, I hope, but likely within the decade. Thank God we still have time to prepare.


boomstick's picture

first, post-payrolls!

and now to read ...

AlienEyes's picture



Royal Flush's picture



take care of that heart - nice article.

Ned Braden's picture

Dr J

I LOVE your disclaimer at start of article..... smiley

J Siefert's picture

Holy Crapola !!

What's happened to gold?
It's up almost $30 in not much more than an hour.

luvabean's picture

dr. j...i missed ya'? :{

good post and i am too sad i didn't get the opportunity to talk gardens with ya' but, always hopeful!!!! thank you for this and all your hard work connecting sometimes overlooked dots. yer a gentleman and a scholar<3 ...and this time i can actually attest without it being just a sidehanded compliment or under the ruse of "tongue in cheek" i will have to get my butt out of garden more often and make some serious connections, as to not lose my next opportunity!! but dang, it's so nice to go play in the dirt everyday as the sun is doin' her slow waltz along the ridge<3 i am keepin' my chin up for next time!!!! thanx again, for pickin' up the torch today and adding value to my pondering<3

RickshawETF's picture



My Roth IRA up 16.85% this morning -- gotta luv those miners!

The only question is when to "convert" fiat [profits] into phyzz . . .

JQuest's picture

The BIG Cap!

Boy it didn't take long for TPTB to stop and HARD CAP gold did it, and at the exact same time they scrambled to turn around the opening 150 point cliff dive of the DOW!

Gold straight lined for 3 hours at 1,243!

Oh and look they even stomped on the VIX, I guess there's no volatility this morning... RIGHT!

I wonder if they'll be able to accomplish the regular Friday DOW must close green?



Antony von Clearwell's picture

Yep.... They will close green

Because it makes sense :p

luvabean's picture

a story passed down to me from my pops workin' under gramps...

grampa blake started u.s. dismantling long ago and secured the tearing down of oil refineries down south when i was not even a thought, altho i came to be within.
he became a millionaire back then, which was big money...dang! even now!
*i remember how beautiful my gram's "rootbeer" colored cadillacs were...eldorados. the sparkles in the sun<3*
anyhow, as a good dang capitalist he accrued pretty much feasible equipment, (as osha encroached gramps spit alot, proclaiming the value of paid off and still functional,*if not damn duct taped, heh, machinery*) and could underbid alot of contracts and be able to deliver on promises.
he used what he had, and who was available...promised good wages and delivered those as well. free market at it's finest.
well, my dad...raised by gramps, of course, became what many other managers thought of as the "punk son".
but, dad...bein' a punk and first meeting my mom* ;} had to increase productivity and close shop to be able to take her out. this weighed heavily on his circa 70's 19 yr old self. but not for long, his solution was simple...
start the boys at 6 am and promise them if all the tasks at hand were accomplished by 9 they'd have the day paid, 'til 2pm.
it was hot down south anyhow so the morning hours were the best to get yer ducks in a row. there was blustering productivity! the guys thought they were making out like bandits... but really, they just amped it up and took less breaks on site...rather savoring them with family and friends. dad got respect and admiration and still got the bones set onsite...with time to take mom out...*love this story, cuz' it brought me about<3!!!!
* i have no idea how it may play today... but i have used it in every managerial position i've held... i mean, it's really easy..tell the fellas that they can absolutely sit on the clock *i never managed a site outside of shift constraints* on their butts and smoke and bullshit and whatever, just do this project first. you get what you want, they get what they want... it's really so simple. even on a site where not all speak the same language, intuitively, everyone values relaxation and satisfaction that they earned it efficiently.
i have seen many managerial styles.
nuthin' beats the SMIRK!!!! from gramps, dad and me knowing it's "done".
and from the fellas' allowed the permission to bust ass with incentive, deliver and still think that they're coming out ahead comparatively.
*our little secret* but dang, if you have the opportunity, and the allotment of funds for whatever job... offer this incentive.
see how it performs (and it will without fail!) you become a dang hero from your crew and the bosses...and the work gets done!
simplicity is lost sometimes...if you can, grab it by the horns and corral it up! it's just lookin' for a pasture to graze in, is all<3

ancientmoney's picture

Dr. J. my thoughts are similar to yours...

One day a co worker and I stopped to talk to a guy standing at an intersection with a sign, begging for money.

He was fairly well dressed with clean bluejeans and a plaid work shirt. He said he had a job and a home, but his wife was ill, and they needed extra money. He said people are quite generous.

I have heard panhandlers who do it "professionally" (yes, that is their chosen career) can make upwards of $100,000 per year (tax-free) in a good location.

Anyway, I too worry about the future. Not so much for me, as I am 75% or so through with my life. But my grandbabies...what kind of world will they have, if they can survive what comes, to adulthood?

What preps I do, I do primarily with them in mind. I do what I can.

Since we don't know what medical care will be available next week or next year, I hope you get your heart issue fixed while you can still somewhat trust the system...good luck!

JQuest's picture

@ ancientmoney

"Anyway, I too worry about the future. Not so much for me, as I am 75% or so through with my life. But my grandbabies...what kind of world will they have, if they can survive what comes, to adulthood?"

"What preps I do, I do primarily with them in mind. I do what I can"


ancientmoney, I'm close to your age and a grandpa too(6 kids & 10 grand kids). I do my prepping to backup our household and four young families. We have been building a large stock of food, water and non-food items which has been a real blessing at times. My wife watches for sales daily and does a great job supplying replacement stock.


MrMorden's picture


Jeez...capped much?

Pining 4 the Fjords's picture

Well said, Doc

Have been thinking along these lines myself, and the big picture is still one where I am very glad of the garden, the tight-knit family, and the stack. I am sure many would critique entry points, DCA, etc. but I am glad to have had and held real money, and will be glad to keep doing so while hoping not to need it.

It does seem, though, that they are throwing ever finer quality idiots at us in positions of authority, seemingly to guarantee bad outcomes. There must be quite a deep well of talent there, to unerringly find so many who will inevitably screw things up so badly and put them so high up.  Sigh.

ancientmoney's picture


I have been doing the same.  However, my wife doesn't really think things will go wrong...so it's kind of a struggle to prep.

I think the Mormons are wise; they ingrain it early in life to their children to be prepared, with a year supply of food stored away.

Kuchek's picture

Although I also agree with

Although I also agree with your analysis I found it kinda bleak. A very real possibility this scenario may be but let us not fail to imagine a better one. Starting with real criminals going to jail. Sound Money being re instituted. The Republic being restored. Sound Foreign Policy. Release of Technology and medical practice that actually benefits humanity rather than spy on or poison them. Funny for the masses this all seems bleak to me as well. Lol. Cause it is gonna take some serious SHIT for even all that fantastic stuff to come about. But it can happen and it will. Manifesting on that Collective Conscious of Ours. ;)

Funny I see myself traveling like these kids but with means and a trailer camper by choice. As my possible new profession(S) have me on the road traveling anyway. And spending the night in the woods sounds pretty good to me. Tiny Mobile House movement. There's an investment. http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/lake-livingston/gallery/LK-Livingston_3035.jpg As a Stacker though, I think I'll be living where ever I want. Enjoying this physical experience of The Matrix:)

Maybe I am just High on life.......and pot...

Mostly pot. It's all gonna be ok. None of it's real. :)

and you can say I am a dreamer.......

Dr Jerome's picture


Thanks for the healthier perspective. I tend to wax cynical at times.

Owtovit's picture

"I think we all know what they will do."

8 years ago I was at me local in Shepherds Bush in London, it was summer and a travelling fair had parked up on the local green/park. Me and a mate are having a beer and a cigarette out side the local on the street... A well dressed mid 20's lass with designer jeans/top and expensive Nike shoes saunters across the road towards us with a bottle of Becks in her hand....sees us smoking and says "Giz a fag" I reply "what are you gonna do for it?"

She says "I do anal"

and that was 2008...... May the gods help us 

amarula4's picture

silver price prediction update

A splendid day, unexpected favourable news seems to have broken the sideways movement in our favour, I celebrated this with a cup of tea. Dip buyers are disappointed, stackers are happy. Have a good weekend.

BIGNASTY's picture


Good job, I have watched countless middle management types lose their companies millions of dollars cause they can't think outside the box in the slightest. Between being stupid and generally chumps they ruin their stockholders companies. Even as a 19-20 kid I would be regularly amazed at their lack of personal insight into being human. I thought college was for geniuses till I worked for some large companies as a fleet diesel mechanic. It was truly a big part of my motivation to attend college cause I knew that even a dummy like me could do real well in college if that was what colleges were producing. The last big company I worked for went bankrupt IBC because of the incompetent management and crooked unions.

My brother is a general superintendent for a medium sized construction/engineering firm that makes money hand over fist. They treat their employees in a way that you only expect for  upper management. From the top to the bottom they treat their workers in a truly amazing fashion. Needless to say the workers produce big and make the owners a well deserved bundle. "Where much is given much is expected" Don't get me wrong, don't hold up your end of the bargain and it's a quick trip out the door and yes they are union.

I know I'm rambling but I live in the inland empire and the homeless and  homeless illegal alien population has  literally exploded in the last year. I live in what was once a very decent middle class area but now am seeing local business pooling funds and paying for armed security. The police here are often not much more than armed tax agents as all they seem to do is write mass traffic tickets. They clearly target middle and upper class workers to and from the jobs. If a real crime goes down the response is usually 20-30 min response. I'm not badmouthing all cops as many are good people but the departments are truly revenue driven. It seems to vary between departments and branches as our sheriffs are generally better than he local PD.

Your post struck several chords thanks as I truly feel better......................

Libero's picture


Roth IRA is THE BEST.  The best thing since sliced bread and seedless red grapes.  I advise every young person to do this as your premier retirement vehicle.

I don't remember when the XAU closed up over 10% .  Anyone???

Congrats to all of us....

marchas45's picture

Thanks Dr J

For a great and enjoyable read after along and rough day. 70 years old and I'm still working but it makes me sad to see the young people today living off the State, Sad. Anyway I bought 90 oz's of silver bars last night for spot, Yep! Spot! so it kinda made me happy when I saw the spot price tonight, (A Stackers Dream)but the sad thing is, those young people may want to take it from me one day so that's why I prepare and get ready for the inevitable. By The Way Dr.J take that operation, you have a broken heart and you need it fixed. Keep Stacking

cashonly's picture

Great observation Dr. J

The parking lot situation shows how quickly things can turn a good day into a bad day in moments.   If you notice these things and believe tough times are coming then arming yourself is a no brainer.  A decent rifle, preferably 556, is about $550 and ammo is reasonably cheap ($350 per 1000 rounds).  You can get 30 round magazines if you like.  A handgun to conceal when you cannot carry a rifle.  Make sure the whole family knows how to use the rifle - pretty simple to shoot, take apart and clean.  And learning the handgun is a plus.    

Shooting is enjoyable if done in a safe manner.  SAFETY FIRST!! 

Always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction (pretend a laser is emitting from the barrel).

Keep your finger off of the trigger until shooting.

Know what is behind your target.

Know how to make a gun/rifle safe (unloading).

I have a 9 yr old son and from the day he received his first Nerf gun I taught him safety.   Of course when he acquired more of them we had a gun fight.  Then I purchased a very low power air rifle and we set up a range in the basement.   When his rifle is set down or being reloaded it always has the safety on.  When he carries it the muzzle is pointed upward.   This earned him a day to the range with me.  I started him on a bolt action 22 with scope and his video game experience paid off as he hit the target every time.   I then put him behind a 300 blackout, an AR15 style rifle that shoots a tamed down 30 cal 110 grain round.  Again he nailed target after target (milk jugs).  I had to keep my hands on his back as the recoil kept pushing him backward I pushed him forward again.  He showed extreme caution and safety and I was proud of him.   Guns are fun, but safety first!! 

California Lawyer's picture

Enjoyed your Post Doc J

I especially liked the part about your 5 second absent-mindedness.  I was thinking the same things, namely, that we as a society are so pitifully close to mass rioting, that the slightest absent-mindedness may set the whole thing in motion.

Everyone seems to be on edge, close to disaster, but somehow, the system manages to keep going.  What will set it off?

Will it be an innocent little absent-mindedness that causes someone with nothing left to care about to snap, and lash out, creating havoc, that leads to mass realization that there are too many people and too few authoritarian figures to stop the chaos?

I lived through the LA riots in 1992.  It was craziness.  Seething with rage just below the surface, once set in motion, those on the very bottom rung of society have nothing, and I mean nothing, to lose.  So, they go for Maslow's hierarchy, and raid the liquor store, the supermarket, what have you.  The LACK of immediate police response creates the mass perception that law enforcement is not responsive, and BAM!  Just like that, riot time.

All it will take is some absent-mindedness, on a hot summer day, with a lapse in police response, and then it will be too late to stop it.  

Personal protection is paramount.

When Kamala Harris becomes Senator in California, and if the democrats regain the senate, there WILL be a momentous effort to gut the second amendment even further.  By then, the US Supreme Court could also take a turn to the left, tipping the balance towards the collectivists.  If that happens, then it will be too late to get a gun, or ammo, and that will be that.

I urge everyone on this site to immediately get gun training, acquire firearms and ammo, and a concealed carry permit.  Do it now before it is too late.

GuerrillaCapitalist's picture

Idiots in Charge

I have a story of gross incompetence of leadership  that lead to bloodshed and schadenfreude. I think you all will get a kick out of the tale, no pun intended. All will be explained.

During my three tours in Viet Nam, one constant was that REMFs lusted after  the Combat Infantry Badge,  so a fat assed supply Sergeant, E7, or Sergeant First Class was attached to my platoon for temporary duty against this second lieutenant's wishes.

The company commander ordered me to send this half wit out with a patrol and since it was a legal order I complied. Remember, this is a fat, out of shape bureaucrat with absolutely no combat experience whatsoever. The patrol was in an area that had no real risk of VC engagement, so I thought he'd probably survive and not get any of my team killed. To make a long story short, he pulled rank on the Corporal leading the patrol and ordered the squad down a trail known to be a Viet Cong supply trail. The SFC was told in no uncertain terms that this was a very stupid idea, but the advice was ignored.

Now the rest of the story was told to me during a drunken, unofficial debriefing, but the facts bear witness. It seems one of the soldiers fired a round from an AK47 through both buttocks of said REMF and called in a medivac and everyone came back to base and the supply sergeant got his CIB plus a Purple Heart. 

I've thought of this story many times over the past fifty years when I've encountered incompetence and wished for an AK.

As an aside: Memorial Day is always hard for me for obvious reasons, but this year was even worse. I received notice yesterday that a dear friend I fought beside died of kidney cancer attributed to Agent Orange. The gangsters killed another good man. When will we stop them?

Havenstein's picture

Dr J

Well done sir thank you.  

I have 17 one-week-old chicks in the garage and 3 turkey chicks on order. Freshly planted vegetable garden. We do this as a hobby. And just in case.

- H.

GuerrillaCapitalist's picture

@California Lawer Re: Prudent Advice

Mr Attorney General of Turdistan:

Thank you for the report from the front lines and I hope all heed your warning and advice. The time is nigh to gird our loins and prepare to defend our homes and communities. As my esteemed Boy Scout Master drilled into me; Be Prepared. The army was graduate school and I got the point. I hear the voice of the bulldog Sergeant Major echoing that point in a rather less friendly manner.

GuerrillaCapitalist's picture

Re: Chickens

Have you found Justin Rhodes and his abundantpermacultre.com ? If not, please search. I have no affiliation beyond being a fan. We've incorporated many of his techniques to great success. His videos are instructional and just down right sweet. Good people, raising animals and children in a loving manner.

Turd Ferguson's picture

Great stuff, Doc


Thanks for posting!

Dirt_Reynolds's picture


"I urge everyone on this site to immediately get gun training, acquire firearms and ammo, and a concealed carry permit."
Gun Training yes 100% CRITICAL!
The rest is a little scary for me. Not so much acquiring them, that is a risk one should balance with need.
A bud of mine did all three. He is in the trust network/stacker ($16 AG no kidding). Told me about it. I said "You are on a list." Historically not so good a list in some regimes.
I feel the same way about guns as I do generators. When it gets to the point I need one, there will be plenty laying around. (Basil Plumley?) I like to error on the side of least paper work.
Again, with respect, my view.

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