14 February 2010

White Out Conditions on Interstate 80

Multiple jackknifed semi tractor/trailers...multiple cars involved in accidents. The highway is closed. I'm stuck in a motel somewhere in Nebraska. Much of the snow conditions are caused by high winds and ground blizzards. I live in the woods...never see this where trees can stop some of the effects of the wind. Weren't there shelter belts put in place during the depression to save soils and to prevent this kind of nonsense? Now there are miles and miles and miles of farm fields, exposed. Back to the future, folks.        
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10 February 2010

The Beginning of Sovereign Debt Defaults?

I would guess the dollar will rise in value and gold will be falling in price relative to it. From a year ago: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2009 Euro Nation Default A Matter Of Time Claims Ex-Bundesbank President Posted by Tyler Durden at 11:09 AM Karl Otto Poehl is pouring some major cold water on all the optimistic talking heads saying eurozone defaults can be avoided. According to the former Bundesbank president, a default of smaller member of the euro region is only a matter of time. "The first will certainly be a small country, so that can be managed by the bigger countries or the IMF,” he said in an interview with Sky News. “I think there are countries in Europe which are considering the possibility to leave the eurozone. But this is practically not possible. It would be very expensive." http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/02/euro-nation-default-matter-of-time.html From today: FEBRUARY 10, 2010, 11:52 A.M. ET UPDATE:EU Officials In Talks Amid Greece Bailout Speculation http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100210-714529.html?mod=WSJ_World_MIDDLEHeadlinesEurope

05 February 2010

Don't Forget to Remember

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, 'Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.' The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, 'You have seen Hell.' They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, 'I don't understand.' 'It is simple,' said the Lord. 'It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.'

04 February 2010

The Decision is ours...live, laugh, love!

I'm gettin up into my 60s...but I shouldn't see that as a hindrance. Scott Nearing decided on his 100th birthday, as he carried in wood for the cook stove, that he'd had enough of life and he was ready to head to the other side. He decided to fast from food from then on...he was frail and thin...lying on the couch with his head in Helen's lap...when he decided to fast from water as well...it was a matter of a day or so, with Helen stroking him on the head and telling him she'd meet him on the other side, that he passed away...12 years later, when she was 91, she drove her old pickup truck into a tree on the side of her rural driveway...I guess she'd had it too. Full lives and loves they both had lived and loved...time to move on.

02 February 2010

Meet The Radical Homemakers

A search for the origin of the word housewife traces it back to the thirteenth century, as the feudal period was coming to an end in Europe and the first signs of a middle class were popping up. Historian Ruth Schwartz Cowan explains that housewives were wedded to husbands, whose name came from hus, an old spelling of house, and bonded. Husbands were bonded to houses, rather than to lords. Housewives and husbands were free people, who owned their own homes and lived off their land. While there was a division of labor among the sexes in these early households, there was also an equal distribution of domestic work. Once the Industrial Revolution happened, however, things changed. Men left the household to work for wages, which were then used to purchase goods and services that they were no longer home to provide. Indeed, the men were the first to lose their domestic skills as successive generations forgot how to butcher the family hog, how to sew leather, how to chop firewood. As the Industrial Revolution forged on and crossed the ocean to America, men and women eventually stopped working together to provide for their household sustenance. They developed their separate spheres—man in the factory, woman in the home. The more a man worked outside the home, the more the household would have to buy in order to have needs met. Soon the factories were able to fabricate products to supplant the housewives’ duties as well. The housewife’s primary function ultimately became chauffeur and consumer. The household was no longer a unit of production. It was a unit of consumption... Portions of this story are excerpted from Shannon Hayes’ newest book, Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity From a Consumer Culture, Left to Write Press, 2010...and appeared in Yes Magazine, Meet The Radical Homemakers, Feb 01, 2010

The Republicans' Reagan Amnesia

The resurgent GOP wants a Gipper purity test. Does the party faithful know he raised taxes, grew the federal government, and granted amnesty to illegal immigrants? Smaller government: Federal employment grew by 61,000 during Reagan’s presidency—in part because Reagan created a whole new cabinet department, the department of veterans affairs. (Under Bill Clinton, by contrast, federal employment dropped by 373,000). Smaller deficits and debt: Both nearly tripled on Reagan’s watch. Lower taxes: Although Reagan muscled through a major tax cut in 1981, he followed up by raising taxes in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1986. In 1983, in fact, he not only raised payroll taxes; he raised them to pay for Social Security and Medicare. Let’s put this in language today’s tea-baggers can understand: Reagan raised taxes to pay for government-run health care. Then there’s plank number five: Reaganite candidates must “oppos[e] amnesty for illegal immigrants.” Really? Because if you look up the word “amnesty” in Black’s Law Dictionary, you’ll find a reference to the 1986 bill that Reagan signed, which ended up granting amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants. Then there’s foreign policy. Plank number six demands that candidates back the surges in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what did Reagan do in his biggest confrontation with jihadist terror? When Hezbollah murdered 241 U.S. servicemen in Beirut in 1983, the Gipper didn’t surge; he withdrew the remaining American troops, and fast. Plank number 7 calls for “effective [read military] action to eliminate” Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs. But Reagan condemned Israel’s 1981 preventive strike against an Iraqi nuclear reactor. And plank number nine requires steadfast opposition to abortion. Yet two of Reagan’s three Supreme Court nominees voted to uphold Roe v. Wade. Turns out this Reagan guy wasn’t really that Reaganite after all... ~ Peter Beinart at The Daily Beast

01 February 2010

An Alternative to BeeKeeping

We have a beekeeper who prefers organic and wild areas to keep his bees during the growing season. In return, we get honey (more than we can use) and pollination...without the added chores that would come with keeping the bees ourselves...and overwintering them.  
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As the world burns

Vietnam: As an advisor and liaison I lead native troops but nonetheless was looked upon as the "supreme local power", way too muc...