The Peripatetic School

The Dependent

On September 14th, 2008, Hurricane Ike had moved inland across the US, bringing heavy rain and 70 mph winds to our home in Ohio. How ironic that the hurricane ripped across the nation as Lehman was imploding? The power went out for a week. That night we lit candles, got out the Coleman stove and heated up canned food for dinner. The kids loved it, scurrying all around the house setting up candles, feeling like we were living primitively. What if, instead of that hurricane, the Lehman collapse and a lack of TARP would have “cut the liquidity power” to the world financial system? A fictional, “what if” retelling of that week provides me with a bit of perspective.

Catharsis, Reflection and Opportunity

I am feeling some urgency this week.

I was a sheep, putting my money where the MSM said was the wise place to put it. Oh God! I wish I had not stopped collecting coins as a kid. Then I would have been in tune with the real value of precious metals and perhaps, just perhaps, I would have awakened sooner. Thank God that I did wake up! 

But wait! This no time for catharsis, reflection, remorse, or regret! QE has bought us all some time and opportunity. Markets are not dead and gold is still suppressed and available. The economy has not collapsed yet. So there is time to sell what we will not need in the new economy and buy gold, keeping the things that we will need.

Who's got your back?

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. As of late, those efforts are being channeled into constructing physical living arrangements as well as developing relationships with people who can help my family survive the future and vice-versa. Friendships can run deeper than blood and family can be flaky. Find solid stable relationships and strengthen them to provide a solid foundation your house.

Fiat Angst--Rejecting the System (FARTS)

Is this a happy Tuesday? Well… probably not, so let’s talk about other stuff. Early in 2012, with gold soaring, and a key restriction lifted off my retirement account as I switched jobs, and with a severe case of fiat angst, we decided to reject the system and convert our fiat into precious metals.  A month later, I was 47% poorer, if I count wealth in fiat. 

Today I see lots of negative emotion out there in the blogosphere from people who did as I did. They are frustrated at their loss, angry at those who said the system was collapsing imminently. But we are currently in the eye of the storm with the other wall approaching.

Do as you are told, or else!

We that invest in precious metals—we who have withdrawn parts of our retirement accounts, or dedicated funds that we would have spent on consumer frivolities—we did not follow the rules. We have been critical thinkers, considering the reasons for our economic woes, concluding that the economy is not reparable under the current system.

Believing this now, we have taken action, investing in commodities that will survive an inevitable collapse so that we might be able to rebuild our lives in a new economy. But we did not follow the rules -- we did not spend more and go deeper in debt while our savings were tucked away on Wall Street in IRA accounts. So we have been “yellow-trucked!”

Bachelor of Science in Truth Studies

The good etymologists at OED help us to know ourselves: A conspiracy theory is 1) an explanatory proposition that 2) accuses two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, 3) through secret planning and deliberate action, 4) an illegal or harmful event or situation.

I find this definition interesting because it aptly describes an historian, economist, or political scientist who proposes, in an academic journal, a theory that explains how a group or organization might cause or cover up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an illegal or harmful event or situation. We professors submit articles like this all the time. Isn’t that worth studying and debating?

Frankly, the term is a propaganda meme used to discredit anyone, anywhere, in quick blunt fashion.

From there to here.

Six years ago, I would have balked if you suggested that the Fed wants inflation, that the Fed was NOT part of the US Government. Today, I hold that the Fed was created by sociopathic, greedy, power-hungry people who want to control this nation and steal its wealth. Just last night I was thinking about the Fed, about how they promised to cut back on the Quantitative Easing and get our economy back to normal, and how what they really did was just give money to a mystery buyer in Belgium to keep up the QE Bond purchases. The Fed has lied to America and the world. The Fed's policies have destroyed our economy. The Fed creates inflation to steal the wealth of our nation. Worst of all, the Fed is not part of the American Government. So how did I get from ignorance to a modest understanding? Which tour guide opened my eyes? Can we learn anything useful about that journey that will help us enlighten our friends and relatives?

Which community do you prefer?

In the spring of 2002 I relocated my family moved from downtown into the country. It was a difficult move. My wife and I stumbled around in a daze for several days coming to terms with the differences. But let me back up a number of years and fill you in on how we got there. I can’t say that I have sage advice for all to follow. What I can do is tell our story, mistakes and all, then explain my reasoning for the move and let you glean what is useful.

The Valley of Alliswell

Waiting on the mountaintop can get lonely and cause you to question your deepest held beliefs. For a while, it is a great party, sitting there with your closest friends, closing 401K accounts, buying silver, telling stories, singing “Any Minute Now.”

But weeks, months, and now 3 years pass and the end doesn’t come. What now?

Trouble in River City

   The problems in education began with the rise of Empiricism (scientific method) to the top of the educational system. In today’s world, if you cannot prove it with empirical research studies and statistics, then it is just hearsay, myth, anecdotal evidence, and Empiricists reject it. Our degree programs emphasize the ability to do research—because that is all that most professors know how to do. 
     Then we claim we have taught our students “critical thinking.”
What we have cut out of the curriculum are the humanities—philosophy, art, rhetoric, history, language, literature, culture, the classics, etc.—the broad based education that many employers want to see. Here is where I argue the seat of critical thinking resides.

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