Episode-867- Listener Feedback for 3-27-12 — 40 Comments

  1. Just pulled up the site for today’s podcast but want to start by wishing Dorothy a quick recovery.

  2. Jack regarding probiotics. Have you ever heard of Kefir? We use the water grains, which simply means they have been fed a non dairy food usually in non chlorine water. We use the grains to innoculate everything from coconut cream for coconut yoghurt to carbonated ginger ale. I can’t think of any other better uses for sugars 🙂

    Here’s to a speedy recovery for your wife!

  3. Jack, Thanks for answering my question. It is well taken advice. I’m headed to the archives now to listen to ep. 648.

    Keep up the good work.


  4. There is a portion in the podcast where a congressman is asking the treasury secretary the question: How much would we need to raise the debt ceiling so that it would never be raised again? Response, was.. after beating around the bush. He said “enough that it would make you very uncomfortable.” All I can say is that is down right scary, nothing anyone on here doesn’t know, but for it to be said is huge.

  5. @Jack,

    I’m interested in a clarification regarding “fighting vs exposing.” It seems that what you’re actually saying is that you can’t fight without sufficient numbers, because EXPOSING Pink slime didn’t end it, in itself. Exposing it led to other people taking up the issue in larger numbers which is what is seemingly fighting and winning.

    I’m just trying to get his straight. Exposing it is the first step in the fight which is to come. The Fight still eventually occurs, you just aren’t fighting (futilely) alone.

    A little Sun Tzu here–don’t fight a battle you can’t win.

    • @KAM sort of. In the case of say Natzi Germany there had to be a real “fight” though don’t get me started on WWII and the way the powers that be created the war more than Hitler I don’t think you are ready to hear it yet.

      Much of the current crisis though there need not be any “fight” more accurately only refusal to participate. When critical mass awareness of Pink Slime occurred it wasn’t fought it was abstained from. It wasn’t letters of threat to companies that are killing it off, it was simply, I ain’t buying that crap, where’s the good stuff?

      Consider if the people really woke up to GMOs? Oh GMOs are in everything, well F it for the next two months I will spend the extra money and buy organic. People say they can’t afford it but anyone could do it for say 2 months, likely 2 weeks of 50% participation would bring down the entire industry.

      We could get the attention of the government on spending by not working for a month far more so that by an “occupy” of anything. What if just 25% of Americans saved up enough for a 2 week general strike. Told them employers I am sacrificing my vacation, don’t pay me and I won’t be in?

      They say you have to pay tax, not if you don’t work, not if you don’t have income? We are no where near those two yet but pink slime tells us what can be done just by opting out.

      • @Jack,

        Well, first, just for clarification, I am not taking “fight” to mean “violent confrontation” in any of this. I’m taking “fight” to mean doing something (or refusing to do something).

        Saying that exposing something is what gets things done is misleading or confusing I think. Knowledge without action doesn’t accomplish anything.

        If someone wakes me up and says “The house is burning down” and I just sit there, I die just the same as if I didn’t realize the house was on fire.

        The way I see it, you need to be aware of something (Exposing), then you have to resolve to take some action (or refuse some action). AND those acting have to have ‘critical mass’ as you say.

        Withdrawing one’s support or actively performing a deed is still “fighting” against something as I see it. Boycotting a product is a means of “fighting” something you don’t like too.

        A bunch of people saying “Oh isn’t that horrible” and then doing nothing further doesn’t accomplish anything. It all comes down to some form of action (or withholding action).

        The makers of Pink slime didn’t close up shop when Jamie Oliver EXPOSED them, they are closing up, because their former customers are disappearing (action on their part). Jamie Oliver’s exposing of this, enabled the fight to occur. But nothing changed until people DID something–in this case essentially boycotting that product.

        You might think I’m drawing too fine a line here, but in my view it makes a difference. There are far too many people talking in this world who aren’t willing to DO anything (not talking about you or Chris), but the internet is filled with people chattering and EXPOSING things they think are important, but who never take any action (or stop taking harmful actions) to really DO anything.

        The opposite example is Occupy Wall Street–they are DOING a lot of things–pounding drums, holding signs and marching around mostly, and even shutting down bridges, they they aren’t accomplishing much of anything. Why? Because what they are doing doesn’t mean anything to the people they are targeting.

        Knowledge(exposure), a viable plan, and execution of that plan in sufficient numbers is what is needed–all of it together is what makes a difference.

        • @KAM
          I think there is a distinction between situations and systems in which you VOLUNTARILY participate, and those in which you are forced to participate (through force).

          People voluntarily purchase pink slime burgers, so when they stopped doing so (withdrawal of energy), problem solved. (No new law required).

          People are forced to participate in the Federal Reserves debt based currency (via taxes). So a ‘fight’ (action) is necessary.

        • @insidious,

          I don’t disagree with what you say, but what I’m saying is that both of those things (refusal to participate) or a more direct action are both different from “exposing” something.

          I don’t want to get mired into a non-disagreement (As I am prone to doing apparently).

          I just want to add the point that DOING something (even if it is withholding) is different from KNOWING something. As I said–I think too many people are content to puff themselves up and say “Look at all I know” and do nothing.

          “Let me SHOW you a better way” is about more than just blathering on about things (which is fine), but DOING them.

          This is what I’ve done, here is the result. That’s a lot different from “wouldn’t it be great.”

          I noted in another thread about fascism being “anti-intellectual.” Well, true, but perhaps we should consider all of the false intellectualism that exists. Self-proclaimed experts on everything under the sun aren’t “intellectuals.” More often than not they’re failures who have never DONE anything. I can think of some pretty high profile ones. Sorry for the tangent.

        • @KAM
          your as stubborn as my dachshund!
          Stopping doing something IS an action. (so we agree)
          Knowing w/ out acting leads to intellectual vanity, but no change (so we agree)

          My forum quote line is:
          ‘An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory’ or as Ghandi put it:
          ‘An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching’

          Which means i need to stop posting and go get some actual work done.. 😉

    • There’s a tie-in back to the Chris Duane interview (..don’t fight x, simply withdraw your support)

      Institutions (public and private) can only exist as long as they are ‘supported’. Often people are only supporting them due to their ignorance of their actual activities or aims. When these activities or aims are exposed, people stop supporting them, and they collapse. No ‘fighting’ necessary.

      But watch out for their death throes, they can get bloody. That’s when some ‘defensive fighting’ might be needed (holding your ground until your opponent bleeds out and collapses.. so we can tie it into the Rob Gray interview too! =p ).

      • @Insidious and that is exactly what I was saying, well put. Let’s even take Natzi Germany, it wasn’t Hitler his core, it wasn’t even just the German Army, it was most of the nation participating. Sure he brought in the SS and the Gestapo but they were also citizens.

        In fact in the end many “fights” were avoided precisely because the German Army said, “we don’t want to participate any further”.

        There are times to honest to God fight but tying back to Chris’ statements from the earlier show he wasn’t really saying there is no time to fight or you can’t fight evil, he was saying more accurately you fight evil by exposing it.

        Do you really think if someone had broadcast footage of the Holocaust to every TV in Germany it wouldn’t have ended the war sooner? If every German solider really had known the horror of the camps don’t you think many would have “opted out” earlier in?

        The people that ran those camps were selected to do so. They were the worst of the worst but with out a nation participating (many who knew not what they were participating in) there could have been no Holocaust.

        Two things allowed the Holocaust to occur.

        1. Ignorance by most who were supporting it as to what they were supporting, simply by going to work, paying taxes, etc.

        2. A iron fist enforcement by those in power that made people fear speaking up about what they did know. The more they knew the greater the fear grew.


        • @Jack
          I was writing that reply before you posted =)

          I completely agree that: Ignorance + Fear = Holocaust

          Part of that though is people choosing to remain ignorant. Deciding to face the fact that you’re eating pink slime is much easier than facing that the money system you’ve built your entire life and identity upon will collapse. Or that your cherished, multi-generational belief ‘x’ just isn’t so.

          So there’s ignorance, then there’s:

          ‘It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.’ – Mark Twain

          Seek truth. Question everything you ‘know’. Live fearlessly. And the battle is won.


        • I always post too soon..

          There is a time to ‘fight’, and that’s when you or someone else is being attacked. There is a difference however between an ‘attack’ and a ‘feint’.

          Rulers feint with something like an Executive Order, the ‘opposition’ wastes all of its time and energy fending off this new ‘attack’, leaving themselves exhausted and the Rulers nice and fresh for a REAL attack.

          Eventually the opposition is so punch drunk, jaded and exhausted it can’t tell whats true anymore. What constitutes an attack and whats just a bluff, and apathy sets in.

          So don’t ‘win’ a feint, save your energy for the attack.

  6. Hi Jack ~ Another great show. I liked what you said about pink slime and how exposing it helped to get it out of our food. I would like to let you know though, that Michael Pollan in his film “Food Inc” brought it out to the public in 2008 (at about 1:20 in the movie). Jamie Oliver helped; but gotta give props to M.P. – what that man has done for food awareness is awesome in my book….

  7. I wonder, do the e coli meat outbreaks and the “pink slime” correlate? If so, doesn’t the meat industry owe everyone a guinea pig paycheck? Just sayin

    Great day


  8. Jack,
    Your descriptions of the differneces between the three different types of semi-auto pistols was awesome. I have never heard it put in such simple terms that could be understood by just about anyone.

    Referene the hunting and home defense rifle, I couldn’t agree more that one should keep them separate, especially for the possible need for defense while you are away hunting. A good combo option may be a used police trade-in 870 and a Mosin-Nagant, if where you hunt at allows rifles. In my area, decent used police trade-ins for the 870 go for about $175.00. Mosins go for about $100.00. So, for less than $500.00 a person can have both platforms with several hundred rounds of ammo for each. Just a thought.

    I pray that your wife recovers quickly and completely from her surgery.

  9. @JD I was able to get a old police trade in, had wood instead of synthetic, for $115. If you watch the sales I got a Nagant for $50. They are both good and I also keep them for my “turn in guns”. As Jack says if the cops come around and demand your guns have something cheap to give to them. With living in the Milwaukee area this is a possibility that I think could happen if they declare martial law. I would not be surprised if we have riots around here due to the poverty and violence going on now. It would not take much for Milwaukee to go down hill fast. I am glad I have my documentation pack and BOL ready to go if anything happens.

  10. My number is 8%. The interest on government debt at which point it becomes impossible to pay the interest on the debt and pretend that the budget is more than a fiction of accounting. Todays interest rate on gov debt is around 2.5 to 3% and with the $15,500 billion debt means around $450 billion in interest alone added to all that debt. If we went to interest rates like we had in the 1990’s of 8% todays interest payments would be closer to $1,240 billion. More than the proposed budget deficit for 2013. ($1,100 billion)

    This would mean that interest payments (a mandatory spending requirement) would be greater than all the discretionary spending combined. (remember discretionary spending is anything not Social Security, Medicare, Interest, Medicaid.)

    I feel the debt number is not really the “number” to watch. Like you, i’m amazed it is still going, but that could have something to do with the Dollar being the reserve currency. [the rest of the world is not willing to give up on the Triffin dilemma – which requires the world reserve currency to rack up a massive debt and trade debt to support the world’s currency needs.]

    Like with a set of bad loans, I think the point of collapse comes when the US can’t make its interest payments AND massive spending. Next year we will have a $16,200 billion debt (more or more) and at 3% that is a “manageable” $486 billion, but at 8% that is $1,296 billion, and if we had 10% like under Reagan over $1,620 billion for interest and a proposed budget for 2013 of $3,600 billion budget.

    Remember the freaking out we saw about last year’s raising the debt cap by $1,200 billion? At 8% that would be asking to raise the cap by that same $1,300 billion AND $1,296 billion to get to the next election day.

    When interest rates hit 4% the pain will start, at 5% you will see the fed freaking out, at 8% it’s over. The rest of the world will find some other nation to suffer the Triffin dilemma.

    “Top” W. Kone
    BSc: Emergency Management, NR-EMT

    • I like the break down, Lower interest rates are not in place for the consumer. The population is delusional if they think so. Low interest rates allows the government to behave badly, and prolongs the pain out in the future.

      I agree, if our rate begin to go up the problem will exponentially increase. That is why the fed keeps coming out and using speeches to prolong the lower rates without doing direct bond repurchasing. How long till another debt downgrade? How long till the municipal governments have to cut spending even further?

    • @Top great breakdown but let me point out that the rates are only a stall not a stop. Even if the rates can be suppressed long term the number will still hit a point of no return. The interest payments will eventually climb to over a trillion dollars even at current rates and not that far into the future. At some point rates have to rise but will it be the debt driving the rate or the rate exposing the debt? It doesn’t really matter other than neither side can stop whats coming. Think of it like the chicken or the egg, what came first? Interesting hypothetical question but as long as you can have roasted chicken for dinner and sunny sides for breakfast which came first doesn’t really matter, right?

      The other confusing thing here (and I can tell it doesn’t confuse you) is people think the Fed sets the interest rates on the bonds. They most certainly don’t. Bond rates are set by the market, nations, companies, etc. bid on the bonds and that sets the rates. Now right now the Fed is cheating the system, this is what you are talking about but many may not realize it. The Fed is buying the bonds directly, this is a form or quantitative easing. Right now people say we “owe most of the debt to ourselves” as though it fixes the problem. Well if you work for a company and department a borrows a million dollars from department b, pays the external debt and still owes the money to the other department you still have a problem right? Such is the case currently with over 6 trillion dollars of “inter governmental debt”.

      What’s worse though is that the money the Fed is holding is called inter governmental debt. This of course would be bad but it is worse because it is also a lie. The Fed gives all “profit” back to the US Treasury. When they declare profit though on a bond it would be the interest. So if they bought a billion in bonds and interest rates are near zero there might end up being a few million in profit. This few million gets transferred in 1s and 0s to the Treasury. The Fed though is owed 1 billion and some change by the government which must pay the bill at maturity (non discretionary spending isn’t just interest, it is also the basis when demanded).

      So the Fed gets a billion and we get a few million while rates are this low. Most see no problem here because the Fed “bought” the bonds. However, they assume the Fed did so with money, they don’t they simply make a journal entry and this creates the billion and interest due. They surrender the interest to the Treasury and keep the billion, they get a billion dollars for free. Of course the millions are expensed against for “expenses” like rent, etc. so we don’t even get all of it.

      The Fed though does get all of the billion dollars. Once mature the money they created and sent into the economy is returned in full to the banks that created it. Nice scam huh?

      So with a deal like that “printing money” is profitable for them, as long as the system doesn’t break which if must eventually do as each new dollar sucks value from the existing dollars. You can only pay the Master Card People with the Visa Card money for so long. So what the Fed does for now is when anything threatens to push rates higher is buy a bunch of bonds (insuring Goldman Sachs gets their cut of course) to suppress the rates. For now many investors feel they have no where to go so they take what they can get.

      The game is afoot sir, and a quite destructive game it is!

  11. @ Jack,

    I think you penned the question (in your comment above) that will ultimately decide house the house of cards eventually falls: “…will it be the debt driving the rate or the rate exposing the debt?” Sounds like you’re unsure on this, or give it 50/50 odds. Is that a fair assessment of your gut? Any bold predictions on where the rate on a 30-yr mortage might be in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years? Not holding you to it…just curious.

    Thanks for answering my question. You beat up on me a little bit for asking you questions that you can’t really answer…I deserved that. What I was really trying to ask is your thoughts on the cost of rent vs. housing and the timeframe for interest rate hikes…can “they” hold them down for years like Japan?

    • @Charles, frankly it is irrelevant in my view, that is the point. The end results and how it plays out are the same. The rates rise, the ship sinks. Is it consumer or investor confidence that falls first, doesn’t matter.

      Rate on a 30 year mortgage? Years I have no clue but if you are asking what the rate will be during and right after the crash that is coming, I just have to laugh. What bank is going to be cutting a paper mortgage when paper is worthless?

    • @ Jack,

      I agree…rate will be irrelevant at some point. What I’m trying to do is figure out how much time I have to plan my property, choose a building type, get a loan, and get it done. I guess it’s impossible to know, therefore we continue to whittle away and do what we can. Problem is, I don’t want to rush it or take shortcuts, and I’d like to minimize the amount we borrow. With respect to these things, taking our time is good. But I also don’t want to pay 7% when we could lock in at 4%.

      I’m sorry my questions seem trivial, but I appreciate that you take the time to respond.

      • @Charles that wasn’t what you asked. When it comes to buying do it when you are ready, buy less than you can afford, ignore the rate look at the cost. I personally would not and didn’t put off buying a home.

    • I think all we can do is play the game until its over. With the realization that, its a game, and its going to end.

      I’d love ‘guarantees’, and Jack’s level headedness about the whole thing did keep me from going 100% silver last year, but I realize at this point.. there are no guarantees.

      The game could end at anytime in a planned (new money system) or unplanned (global crisis, hyperinflation) way. So the only thing I can do is prepare, as quickly as I can, with the full realization that winter IS coming. But that panic doesn’t help, and I can only do what I can do.

      Where I differ from Jack’s thoughts is that, unlike past ‘new money systems’ I don’t see how the ‘next one’ could work. So I don’t really see a ‘planned transition’. Every move from one money system to another has involved a ‘looting’ or ‘loss of value’ of the overall system, and there just isn’t enough left to loot. Everyone is broke.

      (In other words, every time we move from one money system to another, someone loses real wealth to facilitate the transition. Going off the gold standard, loss of wealth to Americans through gold repricing. Going off Bretton Woods, loss of wealth to every country owed money by the US for imports, etc.)

      • @ Insidious,

        I know, and I suppose if I’m honest it was panic, fueled by uncertainty, that prompted my question. We generally know what we want to do, but I don’t know how to most affordably and efficiently get it done quickly. And I fear that rates will spike the day we break ground we’ll be screwed. Not very rational, and there’s really nothing we could do in that event anyway.

        Like you said…we can only do what we can do.

        • @Charles,
          right there with ya brother.

          make a plan, on paper. ruthlessly cut out everything but the necessities, and then order it by priority. [If I only had a week, what would I focus on? If I only had a month, what would I focus on? If I only had six months, what would I focus on? etc.]

          In project management you have 3 variables: Time, Money and Features. If your worried about time, and short on money, its time to cut features.

          Then get in the forums. Ask and commiserate. There are a lot of great people with a wealth of knowledge in there who are eager to help. You’re not alone.. take advantage of the community here. =)

        • @ Charles
          Stress shuts down the part of our brain that thinks and plans, and its easy these days to drown in stress. The following link is worth a look as to the effects and some ways to relieve it so your mind starts working right again.. =)

          Some other ways: meditation, breathing, taking a walk, cuddling/hugging, chopping wood.. what ‘drains the stress away’ for you? Whatever it is, you need it every day.

  12. Hey guys, another way to increase the heat in your peppers is have a higher persistant humidity as the capsaicin is the plants defense against potential fungal attacks on its seeds.

  13. Indy Parks is doing something similar to Seattle. I heard about this on the news the other day. Indy Parks allotted 8 acres on the east side of Indianapolis to a project called “Indy Urban Acres”. They have 66 fruit and nut trees and a number of raised beds (can’t remember how many.) It’s “organic”, and rather than just telling anyone to come and take the food, they harvest the food and donate it to the big food bank that serves central Indiana. Last year, they donated 12,000 pounds of food, and this year, they expect to produce 20,000!

    Between that project and “Nap Town Chickens” putting chicken coops at Indy area schools, it looks like another big city is getting it right. Awesome stuff!

  14. I plan on NEVER buying property again — unless I can purchase it outright with cash. Here’s why: buying costs more unless you KNOW that you will be in your home for over 20 or 30 years (hint: this is something you can not know). A few costs: home maintenance (large ticket items, roofing, renovation), purchase of appliances, insurance on the building/grounds, higher potential liability to yourself as well as others (for instance, a large tree fell on my car this year; the damage and cleanup up was a lot of $, not covered, of course), county fees such as fire/ambulance/personal property tax, and let’s talk about closing costs at BOTH ends of the transaction which amount to many thousands of dollars. How about that $2k riding mower? Landscaping? Trash pickup fees? I could go on and on…

    When you live in one place “permanently” you tend to acquire a lot of STUFF. That means when/if you move, moving costs will be very high. Renters tend to not keep as much junk in their lives.

    Dropping housing values—I lost 135k of my personal REAL PHYSICAL CASH in the home that I just sold. I emphasize that because it was not a “paper loss”. That’s cash that I put down on the house so I could have a low monthly mortgage payment. Due to the economic collapse of both this country and my small business, I was compelled to sell at a loss, as there is no work to be had in most of the state of West Virginia. Life savings, gone in a flash. I have barely enough to move my ass out of this godforsaken state in a 30 year old RV. If I was renting, that money would be “safe” in a bank, or now that I’m more savvy, safe in silver/gold.

    As an aside, if I had played things differently, and NOT put down all that cash, I would have been able to walk away with less of a loss. Bank of America was quite eager to foreclose on me in 4 months because they knew they’d make money on the deal. So if I ever did buy again, I think it would be much smarter to use THEIR money (and that IS not even real, as we know).

    I’m moving on, and I hope to recover from this, but I’m well over 50, and it may not happen (try getting a job at my age lately?). It’s been a life-changing experience for sure. Everything my generation was taught about housing was a lie (it’s safe, it will appreciate…).

    The concept of locking yourself in to thirty years of debt slavery only works when the economy is working and your home is appreciating, OR if you make enough money to pay down your loan faster. Homesteaders should think hard about that. Quitting your day job to farm, not such a good idea. Staying in your day job and saving every cent for 10 years to buy raw land outright and build with cash in stages, better.

    That’s my two cents, about all I have left 🙂

    • @ Ellen,

      I am sorry to hear about your experience, but I appreciate your perspective. The benefits of renting vs. buying are real, and for many, probably the way to go. I, too, got burnt on my last home, but not nearly to the same extent as you. Lost about $15k after it was all done, but I still have savings.

      I’ve been renting for 4 months and enjoy the benefits of not having to fret about about property value and maintenance expenses. But I also wish certain improvements would be made that my landlord may or may not be willing to do. Energy efficiency is the big one. If propane doubles and we get a harsh winter, we may spend as much on heat as we do rent. And there’s only so much we can do as tenants. We set the thermostat on 61 deg and still spent out an average of about $250 per month on propane between Dec. 15 and March 15, and this was a very mild winter.

      For me, the ability to build something of our own that produces for me outweigh the risks. But renting certainly has perks…I’m just sorry that you and countless others were burned so bad on your last home. Your comments almost seem anti-homesteading. I’m just curious what kind of prepping (i.e., gardening, canning, energy saving, etc., you focus on as a renter).

      • My current home was a small farm. I’m actually still here, until the end of April. Serious gardening, canning, dehydrating, fiber animals, you name it. These will be more challenging to do as a renter, to be sure. I’m NOT anti homesteading at all. AT ALL. It was just difficult for me, on my limited income. My ideal life would be 10 acres in the middle of nowhere in a tiny house where I’m providing everything. I hope to be able to do it again, on land that I own outright.

  15. wow i just noticed that the GDP % of european union bank, bank of england and bank of japan are even higher than the feds on the link. Looks like most elite bank governed portions of the world are in for hard times.

  16. Sometime ago, I realized that I was using the word evil too often.  If you don’t use it sparringly you’ll end up seeing it in everything. I’m especially careful not to call one who does an evil deed an evil person. People really don’t like that. That’s why I couldn’t be a preacher. What a world.

    As you know, corporate leader’s make decisions to cheapen the food supply to eake out profits. That’s a neccessity of the corporate charter and stock market (middle men) capitalism. Evil? There’s a broader discussion there.

    Besides, when money, profit and the economy is your god the more harm you end up doing to the most people possible the greater your blessed reward.