Monday, August 31, 2009

Green Waste Management: Solar Pyrolysis

Green Waste Management: Solar Pyrolysis

Here's another excellent science project from Dan Rojas at the Green Power Science [YouTube Channel] together with some great viewer suggestions from the video's comment section.


I use dry grass clippings to make bio char, you heat a metal paint can with a lid. You must have a way for the gas to escape! This stuff is good for the garden. The down side is that it smells worse than anything you can imagine.

Try it with wood chunks and you will find the best BBQ charcoal you ever used.

I don't need to use the underwater method just heat things without much air and you get charcoal and not ash. -- buttkracken


The escaping gas is the most useful part of the process! That gas is commonly called syngas. It's a mixture of methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide and water vapor, along long chain hydrocarbons--tars.

What you want to do is pass that gas through another cool container to condense all the tars out of it, then use it to run a normal piston-cylinder engine. Like a lawn mower or a small generator! -- cavemanboborj


Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it. -- Albert Einstein

Lockerbie Bomber's Release Stinks

Did the White House Green Light Lockerbie Bomber's Release?

By Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union, for FOX News.

The recent events in Scotland show the futility of treating a war as a criminal justice issue. Did Gordon Brown get a green light from the Obama administration to let a convicted murderer, Al Megrahi, go "scot free"?

By now we all know that the Obama administration would prefer to call the War on Terror an "overseas contingency operation." And they'd prefer to pursue CIA interrogators more than they'd like to go after terrorists.

All of this is in keeping with their September 10 mindset. They want to return us to the way the Clinton administration viewed terrorism-- as a problem of criminal law enforcement, not something to be prosecuted as a war. This, despite the fact that Usama bin Laden took advantage of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal to declare war on the United States. And despite the fact that Saddam Hussein used the distraction of the Clinton's domestic troubles to boot U.N. arms inspectors out of Iraq.

Americans paid with their lives for that fatal error in judgment. The attacks on the U.S. embassies in East Africa (1998) and the suicide mission to blow a hole in the hull of the USS Cole (2000) show how lethal such misjudgments can be.

The recent events in Scotland show the futility of treating war as a criminal justice issue. The only man convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, was released unconditionally after only eight years in prison this month. He had been sentenced to life in prison.

Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the press he was appalled, but qualified it by saying he was speaking "just personally." The Justice Department's Richard Kolko wouldn't even go that far. "There remains an open indictment in Washington, D.C. and an open investigation." That should strike fear into al-Megrahi's heart. And in Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi's heart, too.

President Reagan was roundly criticized for launching a raid against Qaddafi in 1986. But the president said then "they can run, but they can't hide." He was determined to let those who attacked Americans know that we would pursue them to their lairs.

Once, when Libyan jets' radar locked onto U.S. jets over international waters, Reagan left orders to shoot down any aircraft making aggressive moves against our forces. How far would we pursue Qaddafi's jets once they'd attacked us, Reagan was asked. "Right into their hangars," he replied.

The release of the only man convicted murderering 270 innocent civilians stinks. It should result in the toppling of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labor government. Surely no one can have confidence in his spineless government.

But the larger question is this: Did Gordon Brown get a green light from the Obama administration to let this convicted murderer go "scot free?" Did the British government even consult with Washington before taking this despicable action?

What does this discreditable affair say about the "special relationship" that has existed for a century between Great Britain and the United States?

We are only seven months into this new administration. The early indications are not good that we have a seasoned and serious team manning the helm of the ship of state. For the sake of the country we all serve, let's pray they learn quickly.

~ ~ ~

Braveheart II: The Tale Of Scottish Justice Kenny MacAskill

The Scottish justice responsible for releasing the Lockerbie bomber shares his decision with William Wallace.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Behind the Scenes at Health Care Town Hall Meetings

Julia Hall poses her question to President Obama in Portsmouth, N.H.

Eleven-year-old Julia Hall asked: "How do kids know what is true, and why do people want a new system that can -- that help more of us?"

Was this an honest question from a town hall attendee selected at random from a crowd representing all of the local people or just one of many Obama plants?

Read the following first-hand accounts from health care town hall meetings in Belgrade, MT and Portsmouth, NH and decide for yourself:

Hello All,

By now you have probably heard that President Obama came to Montana last Friday. However, there are many things that the major news has not covered. I feel that since Bill and I live here and we were at the airport on Friday I should share some facts with you. Whatever you decide to do with the information is up to you. If you chose to share this email with others I do ask that you DELETE my email address before you forward this on.

On Wednesday, August 5th it was announced locally that the President would be coming here. There are many groups here that are against his healthcare and huge spending so those groups began talking and deciding on what they were going to do. The White House would not release ANY details other than the date.

On about Tuesday Bill found out that they would be holding the "Town Hall" at the airport. (This is only because Bill knows EVERYONE at the airport) Our airport is actually located outside of Belgrade (tiny town) in a very remote location. Nothing is around there. They chose to use a hangar that is the most remotely located hangar. You could not pick a more remote location, and you can not get to it easily. It is totally secluded from the public.

FYI: We have many areas in Belgrade and Bozeman which could have held a large amount of folks with sufficient parking. (gymnasiums/auditoriums). All of which have chairs and tables, and would not have to be SHIPPED IN!! $$$$$

During the week, cargo by the TONS was being shipped in constantly. Airport employees could not believe how it just kept coming. Though it was our President coming several expressed how excessive it was, especially during a recession. $$$$$

Late Tuesday/early Wednesday the 12th, they said that tickets would be handed out on Thursday 9am at two locations and the president would be arriving around 12:30 Friday.

Thursday morning about 600 tickets were passed out. However, 1500 were printed at a Local printing shop per White House request. Hmmmm......900 tickets just DISAPPEARED.

This same morning someone called into the radio from the local UPS branch and said that THOUSANDS of Dollars of Lobster were shipped in for Obama. Montana has some of the best beef in the nation!!! And it would have been really wonderful to help out the local economy. Anyone heard of the Recession?? Just think...with all of the traveling the White House is doing. $$$$$ One can only imagine what else we are paying for.

On Friday Bill and I got out to the airport about 10:45am. The groups that wanted to protest Obama's spending and healthcare had gotten a permit to protest and that area was roped off. But that was not to be. A large bus carrying SEIU (Service Employees International Union) members drove up onto the area (illegal) and unloaded right there. It was quite a commotion and there were specifically 2 SEIU men trying to make trouble and start a fight. Police did get involved and arrested the one man but they said they did not have the manpower to remove the SEIU crowd.

The SEIU crowd was very organized and young. About 99% were under the age of 30 and they were not locals! They had bullhorns and PROFESSIONALLY made signs. Some even wore preprinted T-shirts. Oh, and Planned Parenthood folks were with them.....professing abortion rights with their T-shirts and preprinted signs. (BTW, all these folks did have a permit to protest in ANOTHER area.)

Those against healthcare/spending moved away from the SEIU crowd to avoid confrontation. They were orderly and respectful. Even though SEIU kept coming over and walking through, continuing to be very intimidating and aggressive at the direction of the one SEIU man.

So we had Montana folks from ALL OVER the state with their homemade signs and their DOGS with homemade signs. We had cowboys, nurses, doctors you name it. There was even a guy from Texas who had been driving through. He found out about the occasion, went to the store, made a sign, and came to protest.

If you are wondering about the press.....Well, all of the major networks were over by that remote hangar I mentioned. They were conveniently parked on the other side of the buildings FAR away. None of these crowds were even visible to them. I have my doubts that they knew anything about the crowds.

We did have some local news media around us from this state and Idaho. Speaking of the local media...they were invited. However, all questions were to be turned into the White House in advance of the event. Wouldn't want anyone to have to think off the top of their head.

It was very obvious that it was meant to be totally controlled by the White House. Everything was orchestrated down to the last detail to make it appear that Montana is just crazy for Obama and government healthcare. Even those people that talked about their insurance woes........the White House called our local HRDC (Human Resource and Development Committee) and asked for names. Then the White House asked those folks to come. Smoke and mirrors...EVERYTHING was staged!!!!!!!!!!!

I am very dismayed about what I learned about our current White House. The amount of control and manipulation was unbelievable. I felt I was not living in the United States of America, more like the USSR !! I was physically nauseous. Bill and I have been around when Presidents or Heads of State visit. It has NEVER been like this. I am truly very frightened for our country. America needs your prayers and your voices. If you care about our country please get involved. Know the issues. And let Congress hear your voices again and again!! If they are willing to put forth so much effort to BULLY a small town one can only imagine what is going on in Washington DC. Scary!!


Bozeman , Montana

While I do not personally know Kathy from Bozeman, Montana (an online acquaintance tells me that she and Bill are "patriots and honest people"), the above report is eerily similar to the FACTS surrounding the recent HC town hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as reported by my good friend regarding the "ACORN parasites / SEIU thugs & other such bused in from Massachusetts." He continues:

[Later] more bus loads of cookie-cutter bozobots arrived - ACORN, other unions, Greenpeace. Virtually all these came on buses, more than half in cute tee-shirts announcing their organizational affiliations, typically from MA, bearing one of five or so variations of the same professionally-produced signs. None of the major media have shown this; in all the video I've seen, they typically show only those sections of the bozoturf which include large numbers of the 20% or so of home-made signs.

I observed none of the opposition arriving by other than private vehicles and I saw but one professionally-made sign, that one an amazing, absolutely unique, 6x10 canvas banner showing the inter-locking lies, ideological radicals & overall corruption of the Joker's defilement of government. Fact: if the bozobots had been limited to those who weren't paid shills, their numbers would have been reduced by roughly 80%. Like most of the dims' charges, the "astroturf" campaign is straight out of the Lenin & Goebbels School of Big Lie Journalism. Most of the flags were on our side of the street and the Gadsden flag out-numbered the Stars & Stripes about 5-2.

The Gadsden Flag

The national media, with the exception of Fox & the bloggers, has ignored the nature of the audience allowed into the dear leader's presence. As the crowd exited the building, more than half passed along the street where we were. Of those wearing any sort of indication of their views, I saw four "anti" people and had two others come over to speak who said they had acquired tickets by being on the enemy's mailing lists. I counted something over 200 with bozo gear or stickers supporting the legislation before I was interrupted by an ABC White House correspondent seeking an interview.

To obtain tickets for the event, one had to submit a request to the White House, then there would be a "random selection." Uh-huh. Even on November 5th, 0bozo didn't have a 97+ % approval rating and now reputable national polls show it at 47% (& falling rapidly!). Random . . . right. Just like the sweet young thing from Malden, Mass who just happened to complain about the nasty signs. [Third party identifying information redacted.] That was one of the only three confrontations I saw personally between the groups, and all were initiated by 0bozo supporters (two attendees & one real lout who crossed the street to our side in his pretty purple SEIU shirt).

There were at least five "unmarked instigators" who wandered through our crowd at various times seeking to create trouble. As far as I could see (the lack of reported incidents would suggest this was how things went overall), they failed. Massively. People either ignored them totally or told them to **** off & die. Of course demographics worked for us, too. The average age on the other side was in their 20s, but most of the guys were like Allan Combes: pencil-necked wimps. Apparently even the SEIU is low on goons in New England. This particular batch didn't have a 5-1 advantage of union bullies to innocuous vendors as they did in St. Louis, they didn't have the ability to hide behind doors as they did in Florida nor could they operate under cover of night, so given the intrinsic liberal cowardice, they had no choice but to behave.

That's what really took place. I've not trusted the presstitutes for decades; now I have first hand experience with their deliberate manipulations.

So, there you have it -- an honest account from a friend whom I trust to report the truth.

When I emailed him requesting permission to publish the above account he also directed my attention to a good story on the astroturf in Denver on this blog, complete with pictures. And another, also with photos, in NC on this one. The Denver one has some really good photos of the "spontaneous" nature of the support while the NC one has plenty of photos of the bus(es) bringing in the astroturf.

I'm quite sure that this is a story being repeated across the country. If it's yours, please add it to this post by commenting below. By doing so, you'll be doing your fellow countrymen and our Republic a great service.

~ ~ ~

This political cartoon (attributed to Benjamin Franklin) originally appeared during the French and Indian War, but was recycled to encourage the American colonies to unite against British rule.

Anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."

~ ~ ~

This just in:

Despicable Democrats Pimp Out Ted Kennedy Grandson Max Allen for ObamaCare at Funeral

It's the Wellstone Memorial all over again.

Only this time, the cowardly Barack Obama and his allies make a freaking kid prostitute himself for the unpopular ObamaCare proposal.

Disgusting. Look for backlash from this, as there should be.

Video credit, Real Clear Politics.

Geomagnetic Storm Warning

This just in from NOAA:

Space Weather Message Code: WARK06
Serial Number: 160
Issue Time: 2009 Aug 30 1641 UTC

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-Index of 6 expected

Valid From: 2009 Aug 30 1641 UTC
Valid To: 2009 Aug 30 2100 UTC
Warning Condition: Onset
NOAA Scale: G2 - Moderate

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at

During a G2 Magnetic Storm one can expect the following:

Power systems: high-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms, long-duration storms may cause transformer damage.

Spacecraft operations: corrective actions to orientation may be required by ground control; possible changes in drag affect orbit predictions.

Other systems: HF radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes, and aurora has been seen as low as New York and Idaho (typically 55° geomagnetic lat.).

Read / watch more about the effects of Geomagnetic Storms by clicking here.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Beatles - Revolution

The Beatles - Revolution (Stereo)

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
all right, all right, all right

Glenn Beck: A Call to Action

Friday's TV show concludes a week of Beck's special week-long series, "The New Republic: America's Future -- Reasonable Questions For Unreasonable Times."

Monday through Thursday, Beck laid out some of the more troubling aspects of, and figures related to, the Barack Obama administration. Beck's critique included organizations (ACORN, SEIU, Weather Underground, etc) which either Obama or members of his administration had direct ties with.

Today is Beck's "solutions" day. How do those opposed to the stated goals of Obama and his allies respond to the challenges presented to them by their opponents? What are our strategies to contest the liberals?

[I have a strategy. It's in the comments below. ;) ]

Glenn Beck: A Call to Action [1/2] [FOX News]

Glenn Beck: A Call to Action [2/2] [FOX News]

To watch Glenn Beck programs in their entirety, visit:

Peter Schiff: Making Financial Sense

Peter Schiff on King World News 8/28/2009 - pt 1/3

  • Why Running for Senate
  • Recession Crisis
  • Federal Reserve
  • Hyperinflation
  • U.S. Debt / Creditors
  • When Inflation will be Felt

Peter Schiff on King World News 8/28/2009 - pt 2/3

  • Stimulus
  • Cash for Clunkers
  • Warren Buffett
  • Housing
  • Putting on the Brakes
  • Senior Citizens / Social Security
  • World Monetary System

Peter Schiff on King World News 8/28/2009 - pt 3/3

  • Audit the Fed
  • Restructuring the Fed
  • Restrict the Fed
  • Support Schiff for Senate in CT
  • 2012 Elections
  • Big Banks? - Let 'em fail!

Peter Schiff for Senate 2010

Bee Keeping: Paris vs. London

Paris rooftops swarm with bees as urban honey industry takes off

By Charles Bremner for Times Online

Tourists are not the only species swarming on the Champs Élysées this August. Also enjoying the sunshine are squadrons of bees, part of a fast-multiplying population that is making honey a new Parisian industry.

The Tuileries, Luxembourg and other lesser gardens of Paris are now home to hundreds of thousands of bees that are far more productive than their country cousins.

“There are a huge quantity of flowers in Paris,” said Yves Védrenne, the general secretary of the National Apiculture Union. As well as the city’s lush parks and gardens, the boulevards and edges of motorways offer pollen well suited to bees, such as acacias, limes and chestnuts.

Not only is the city largely free from the pesticides and fertilisers that are killing the countryside bees, the warmth of the urban area promotes earlier breeding.

Some Paris honey-producers are claiming record productivity, with up to 100kg of honey per hive annually, compared with the 20-25kg from typical hives on the cereal-producing plains of Ile-de-France, the surrounding region, Mr Védrenne said recently.

There are about 300 registered hives in the city, with more believed to be undeclared as residents try their hand at apiculture, which can be learnt on two-day courses. The total output is estimated at several tonnes a year. Hives must be at least 25 metres from hospitals or schools and have a two-metre screen if they are not on a high building.

Until last May, the biggest hives were on the roof of the Opéra. They were then joined by around 140,000 bees installed on the glass dome of the Grand Palais, the majestic 1900 exhibition hall off the Champs Élysées.

“The bees are very happy in the city. They have everything they need,” said Sébastien de Gasquet, director of the Grand Palais. Nicolas Géant, the bee-keeper behind the Grand Palais scheme, said that the abeilles de ville could produce up to five times the output of insects in the great rural expanses where there are single crops.

“There are myriad little flowers in the gardens, on terraces and on balconies. Bees live better in the town than the country because of the bioviersity. There are thousands of little flowers while the country is polluted by pesticides.”

The Champs Élysées honey is to be sold under the Grand Palais label, joining other miel de Paris brands that cost a steep ¤15 (£13) for a 125g (4½pot at high-end food outlets.

The honey flavour is described by experts as sweet and subtle, lacking any trace of exhaust fumes or the Métro underground smell that has become a Paris signature.

The national bee-keeping body has recently reported high mortality in the country near corn [as I suspected], sunflower and rapeseed fields. Bee deaths across Europe have been 30 to 35 per cent higher than average since the 1980s. French figures show that bees in urban areas produce about twice the amount of honey as rural ones. Similar figures are reported from New York.

No swarms have been known to attack the population but the Paris bee-boom has led to flourishing wild hives in odd places. Jean Paucton, bee-master at the Opéra, reported colonies in Père Lachaise cemetery, a hospital and in the directors’ room at the headquarters of the Société Générale bank. -- ###

~ ~ ~

Beekeeping not a simple a story in London: Shh!

John Cleese and Rowan Atkinson - Beekeeping

Hysterical sketch w/ Cleese as a beekeeping expert and Atkinson as a terrible television show host. Recorded live in 1981. Shh!

~ ~ ~

OT: Garden Update

Peas (front center) and green beans (center rear) have already outgrown their 4 1/2" pots and will be transplanted again as soon as larger pots arrive. In the future, I plan to "start" these larger varieties, including tomatoes and Chinese cabbage, directly in the 4 1/2" pots to avoid the shock of moving. All seem to be doing just fine though. :D <-- Your happy container gardener, c

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Who do Voodoo? - You do!

Click image to enlarge.

Got a grudge? [sic] -- A Voodoo doll may be just the cure. Traditionally, a Voodoo doll is used to represent the spirit of a specific person. Address the doll as if you are talking to that person, requesting a change in attitude, influencing the person to act in accordance with your wishes, your desires. If they don't behave... stick 'em!

Virtual Voodoo Doll

Torture away!

Dedicated to the despondent agents at the CIA.

See how it works:

Bill Clinton Voodoo Doll

Sound Familiar?

[I realize that my articles have been heavily money-oriented of late. Oh, well. Sometimes survival just comes down to calling a fig a fig. - c]

We have been calling for the market to roll over into 2012 as we head into what we believe historians will call a Depression. Yet everyday the market is open lately, it seems like a good day as stocks shoot to the moon. Talking heads come on TV and say the recession is over and that housing is bottoming. Is it therefore time to buy stocks aggressively?

We must look at the real question: Is the bottom ACTUALLY here, and is it time to get long stocks for the long term again? Have we made a mistake by selling as the Dow got to 9000 and above?

I would like to show you an interesting chart. This chart maps out the recent fall in stocks prices and overlays the price action with 3 other bear markets in the past 80 years:

The Road to Recovery?

Click chart to enlarge.

This chart shows market rallies from the low points of each of the crashes and what the market did after the low point. The blue line is the current rally, the green line is the 2000 dot com crash, the red line is the Oil Crisis crash, and the gray line is what happened during the Great Depression. Keep in mind that each crash had it's own issues, and that no crash will act the same as a previous one. As you can see though, so far we are tracking the rally that looked like the bounce from the Great Depression. So we are at a very interesting point. Do we continue to go up like the previous two rallies after recessions, or do we start to fall from here like the 1930s? This is the million dollar question of which we do not know the answer. What we can do though is compare these economic times to that of previous periods.

First of all – I ask, are things any different now in psychology than they were during the 1930s when the market rallied 50% from it's initial low? Judging by these quotes below, it looks eerily similar:

September 1929

"There is no cause to worry. The high tide of prosperity will continue." — Andrew W. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury.

Sounds like Ben Bernanke in 2007 and 2008 saying that housing would stay strong and that there were no bubbles.

Now lets look at what the gurus were saying during the great rebound during the end of 1929 through the middle of 1930.

December 28, 1929

"Maintenance of a general high level of business in the United States during December was reviewed today by Robert P. Lamont, Secretary of Commerce, as an indication that American industry had reached a point where a break in New York stock prices does not necessarily mean a national depression." — Associated Press dispatch.

January 13, 1930

"Reports to the Department of Commerce indicate that business is in a satisfactory condition, Secretary Lamont said today." - News item.

January 21, 1930

"Definite signs that business and industry have turned the corner from the temporary period of emergency that followed deflation of the speculative market were seen today by President Hoover. The President said the reports to the Cabinet showed the tide of employment had changed in the right direction." - News dispatch from Washington.

January 24, 1930

"Trade recovery now complete President told. Business survey conference reports industry has progressed by own power. No Stimulants Needed! Progress in all lines by the early spring forecast." - New York Herald Tribune.

March 8, 1930

"President Hoover predicted today that the worst effect of the crash upon unemployment will have been passed during the next sixty days." - Washington Dispatch.

May 1, 1930

"While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed the worst and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There is one certainty of the future of a people of the resources, intelligence and character of the people of the United States - that is, prosperity." - President Hoover

Is anyone reading this as scared as I am that our current heads of state and heads of business are saying nearly the same thing today? These were the remarks that came out during the massive rally from an initial low in November 1929 through May of 1930. Eventually the market started to roll over again and go down, but they didn't believe it yet:

June 29, 1930

"The worst is over without a doubt." - James J. Davis, Secretary of Labor.

September 12, 1930

"We have hit bottom and are on the upswing." - James J. Davis, Secretary of Labor.

November 1930

"I see no reason why 1931 should not be an extremely good year." - Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., General Motors Co.

June 9, 1931

"The depression has ended." - Dr. Julius Klein, Assistant Secretary of Commerce.

Were we in fact at the bottom and things had turned up for the better? People who bought into the good news and invested proceeded to lose 90% of the value of their investments after this “recovery” everyone was certain was upon them, had taken place. Assurance was coming from the supposed smartest people in the land. Today we are getting the same rhetoric. Do we buy into it? I'm not willing to bet 90% of my wealth that the government is right in determining that the worst is behind us.

See more charts and read more of "Time to Be a Cautious Investor" via SeekingAlpha.

Herbert Hoover fishing, Rapidan River, Virginia, August 20,1932.

Gone fishing. - c

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the gratitude campaign

the gratitude campaign

Have you ever wanted to say "Thank you," but didn't?

Next time, say it...

h/t: seadog -- and -- Thank you.

Food Storage as Grandma Knew It

Erpff root cellar, Schaefferstown, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania via the Office of General Counsel, PA.

In a strictly technical sense, Cynthia Worley is not transforming her basement into a time machine. Yet what’s going on this harvest season beneath her Harlem brownstone is surely something out of the past — or perhaps the future.

The space itself is nothing special: Whitewashed granite walls run the width and depth of the room, 16 feet by 60 feet. A forgotten owner tried to put in a cement floor, but the dirt, which takes a long-term view of things, is stubbornly coming back. “It’s basically a sod floor,” Ms. Worley said.

What’s important is that the shelves are sturdy, because Ms. Worley and her husband, Haja Worley, will soon load them with 20 pounds of potatoes, 20 pounds of onions, 30 pounds of butternut and acorn squash, 10 heads of cabbage, 60-odd pints of home-canned tomatoes and preserves, 9 gallons of berry and fruit wines, and another gallon or two of mulberry vinegar.

The goodies in the pint jars and the carboys come from the Joseph Daniel Wilson Memorial Garden, which the Worleys founded across the street. The fresh produce is a huge final delivery from a Community Supported Agriculture farm in Orange County, which they used all summer. Packed in sand and stored at 55 degrees, the potatoes should keep at least until the New Year. The squash could still be palatable on Groundhog Day, and the onions should survive till spring.

The Worleys, like a number of other Americans, have made the seemingly anachronistic choice to turn their basement into a root cellar. While Ms. Worley’s brownstone basement stash won’t feed the couple through the winter, she said, “I think it’s a healthy way to go and an economical way.”

Root cellars have long been the province of Midwestern grandmothers, back-to-the-landers and committed survivalists. But given the nation’s budding romance with locally produced food, they also appeal to the backyard gardener, who may have a fruit tree that drops a bigger bounty every year while the refrigerator remains the same size.

While horticulture may be a science, home food storage definitely can carry the stench of an imperfect art. According to the essential 1979 book, Root Cellaring, by Mike and Nancy Bubel, some items like cabbage and pears do best in a moist environment below 40 degrees (though above freezing). To achieve this, a cellar probably needs to be vented, or have windows that open. Winter squash and sweet potatoes should be kept dry and closer to 50 degrees — perhaps closer to the furnace.

Photo from The Tiny Farm Blog.

Other rules of root cellaring sound more like molecular gastronomy. For example, the ethylene gas that apples give off will make carrots bitter. As a general principle, keeping produce in a cool chamber that is beneath the frost line — the depth, roughly four feet down, below which the soil doesn’t freeze — can slow both the normal process of ripening and the creeping spread of bacterial and fungal rot. These are the forces that will turn a lost tomato in the back of the cupboard into a little lagoon of noxious goo.

But if you leave that green tomato on a vine and drape it upside down, it will gradually turn red in three or four weeks. “I’ve had fresh tomatoes for Thanksgiving,” said Jito Coleman, an environmental engineer who practices the inverted tomato — which should be a yoga pose — in a root cellar he built in the house he designed in Warren, Vt.

People who squirrel away vegetables tend to be resourceful, and they do not limit themselves to the subterranean. Anna Barnes, who runs a small media company and coordinates the Prairieland Community Supported Agriculture in Champaign, Ill., says squash hung in a pair of knotted pantyhose stay unspoiled longer than others.

Here, the cold is optional, too. It’s the bruising that comes from a squash sitting on a hard countertop, she said, that speeds senescence. (“You wouldn’t want to do it in the guest closet,” Ms. Barnes said. Or, presumably, wear the pantyhose again.)

Taken to a do-it-yourself extreme, lots of places can become stockrooms. Margaret Christie has surrendered countless nooks in her 1845 Federal-style home in tiny downtown Whately, Mass., to laying away the crops she grows in the family’s half-acre vegetable plot. Ms. Christie, 44, also feeds her husband and three children from their milk goats, laying hens, pigpens and lamb pastures.

This year, she swapped a lamb for 40 pounds of sweet potatoes, 40 pounds of onions and 40 pounds of carrots from a neighbor’s farm. This cornucopia has colonized the basement, along with the family’s own potatoes. “They’re sitting next to the Ping-Pong table,” she said, in “five-gallon buckets with window screens for the lids.”

Onions, garlic and pumpkins dwell in an uninsulated attic — except in midwinter, when that space drops below freezing. Then the vegetables move into the guest bedroom. If that space has already been claimed, they occasionally hide out under the bed of her 11-year-old son. Their homegrown popcorn kernels have a way of turning up everywhere, courtesy of the neighborhood mice, who have developed their own taste for locally grown year-round produce.

The contemporary American, for whom a pizza delivery is seldom more than a phone call away, is an oddity in the annals of eating. Elizabeth Cromley, a professor of architectural history at Northeastern University, said that at one time, “just about every house had special facilities for preserving food.”

Professor Cromley has finished a book called “The Food Axis: Cooking, Eating, and the Architecture of American Houses,” which is to be published by the University of Virginia Press in 2010. She said that understanding food preservation is not a frivolous pursuit. More than 400 books instructed 19th-century Americans on how to plan a functional house, with a practical larder, basement and outbuildings, she said. “You’re not going to die if you don’t get a new dress,” she said, “but if you don’t know this, it will kill you.”

Winter Stash - Harriet Fasenfest, a backyard gardener, stores produce in a shed and at the base of her cellar stairs, above. Photo by Leah Nash for The New York Times.

Harriet Fasenfest, 55, who lives in Portland, Ore., has been playing with her food for a long time. A semiretired restaurateur, she started “hacking up” her small city lot in the Alberta Art District to grow food. (Her husband asked, “Where will we play Frisbee?” and Ms. Fasenfest replied, “The park.”) She also teaches classes on canning and created the Web site

There is no digging a dry refuge from the seep and suck of a Portland winter. So in lieu of a traditional cellar, she applies the scientific method. “Last year I tried an experiment with four different varieties of apples,” she said, “to see how long it took them to rot. So I put them in a box in my shed and then they rotted. It worked!”

When she’s not filling her 10-foot-by-10-foot shed, she experiments in the cubbyholes that sit alongside the outdoor cellar stairs. Copra onions, Ms. Fasenfest has found, store better than Walla Wallas. An indoor heating vent can cure butternut squash so effectively that it can probably last in cold storage until the economy turns around (whenever that is).

Nevertheless, even those who rhapsodize about the pleasures of eating locally grown food year-round have to admit that the effort doesn’t always seem worthwhile. Ms. Fasenfest has been forced to conclude that the labor that went into growing and storing the 30 pounds of russet potatoes now beneath the stairwell was not really adequate to the reward. “If we had to survive off of those,” she said, “we’d be dead.” -- ###

Excerpt from "Food Storage as Grandma Knew It" by Michael Tortorello, The New York Times.

~ ~ ~

My Food Storage Room

[I wished my food storage room looked like this! - c]

For more tips and tricks for using food storage every day, visit:

Hyperinflation Nation

"Hyperinflation Nation" is not a documentary about Germany's Weimar Republic nor Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe -- it's about the U.S. -- how U.S. monetary policy has set the stage for hyperinflation and what Americans can expect as a result. It stars Peter Schiff, Ron Paul, Jim Rogers, Tom Woods, Gerald Celente, and others. Prepare now before the U.S. dollar is worthless.

Hyperinflation Nation - Part 1/3

Hyperinflation Nation - Part 2/3

Hyperinflation Nation Part - 3/3

~ ~ ~

10/15/2009 Update: Has the U.S. Reached the Hyperinflation Tipping Point? -- Answer.

Case Closed: Kennedy has Died

Edward Moore Kennedy

Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009) was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. He died from a malignant brain tumor at the age of 77.

Mary Jo Kopechne

Mary Jo Kopechne (July 26, 1940 – July 18, 1969) was an American teacher, secretary and political campaign specialist who died in a car accident on Chappaquiddick Island while being driven by Senator Ted Kennedy. Sen. Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of the accident and was given a suspended sentence. She was 28.

Kennedy's Legacy - Chappaquiddick

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation

Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward.

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose vs. Carrots and Sticks

Metallica - No Leaf Clover (Live with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra)

Working link: Metallica - No Leaf Clover (Live) [YouTube]

And it feels right this time
On this crash course we're the big time
Pay no mind to the distant thunder
New day fills his head with wonder, boy

Says it feel right this time
Turned it 'round and found the right line
"Good day to be alive, Sir
Good day to be alive," he said

Then it comes to be
that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Was just a freight train comin' your way
Then it comes to be
that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Was just a freight train comin' your way, hey, yeah

Don't it feel right like this?
All the pieces fall to his wish
"Sucker for that quick reward, boy
Sucker for that quick reward," they say

Then it comes to be
that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Was just a freight train comin' your way
Then it comes to be
that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Was just a freight train comin' your way, hey, yeah
It's comin' your way,
it's comin' your way, yeah, yeah, here it comes

Yeah, then it comes to be
that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Was just a freight train comin' your way

Then it comes to be, yeah, yeah
Then it comes to be, yeah, yeah
Then it comes to be, yeah, yeah
Then it comes to be, yeah

Then it comes to be, yeah
Then it comes to be, yeah
Then it comes to be, yeah, yeah
Then it comes to be, yeah

The Countdown to the Implosion of the Dollar

Quis custodiet ipsos custodies qui-tacet consentit?

Who is guarding the guards?

~ ~ ~

Last week I had the opportunity to chat with a fellow who used to manage 400 brokers in an investment firm in Memphis. Naturally, our conversation turned to the unrecoverable U.S. debt and the prospect that China might suspend buying Treasuries, as my acquaintance was quick to add, they did back in 1982. That being the year I graduated from high school, my financial memory did not go back that far. So, today I began digging in the news archives with the hopes that I might find some indicator from the past that would give me a clue to the future. What I found useful turned out to be less than a week old -- and terrifying.

~ ~ ~

The following letter is an excerpt from an editorial by Jim Sinclair, the former Precious Metals Advisor to Hunt Oil and the Hunt family for the liquidation of their silver position.

My Dear Friends,

You can take your waves, percentages, algorithms, quants and quarks and throw them directly into the basket. The time for lines and squiggles are behind us. The common shares of the US dollar are and have been in a long term downtrend. That downtrend is 81 days 75 days from implosion. [Letter originally written on August 19, 2009.] The selling of the US dollar and US dollar instruments is increasing in international markets, making it ever more difficult to manipulate the popular US dollar index, the USDX.

The price of gold is all in the dollar, times 100.

The manipulators have built a fundamental spring into gold by their capping activities.

COT has cooked its own goose.

Where the price of gold is concerned, there is no other focus of interest as all points of interest have but one common denominator.

That entity is the US dollar.

The Fundamental illustration below is dollar flow momentum.

Click chart to enlarge.

China holds in its hands the future of the category, “Foreign Purchasers of US bonds.”

China wishes the annihilation of the Fed policy of “Quantitative Easing.”

The Fed wishes to accommodate China.

The US Treasury is absolutely opposed to any such consideration as it would cement the present Administration into a one term wonder.

The US Treasury must win this battle because the boss of this opposition has the power to appoint the new Chairman of the Fed, either Summers or Geithner.

Political control of the US Fed and therefore of monetary policy is in the cards.

China as spokesman for the BRICs has publicly stated their desire for the institutions of a Super Sovereign Currency. This is not intended as an immediate substitute for the dollar as a reserve currency but rather an alternative in new commitments.

Only the misinformed assume the desire for an SSCI [Super Sovereign Currency Index] is a desire for a total exchange of dollar reserves.

The desire of the BRICs and in truth all other major trading nations is for dollar diversification in order to break away from the dollar dictating their futures. It means a significant decrease in purchases of US dollar denominated instruments.

Selling is not required for substantial depreciation in a major currency.

Momentum collapse in buying is all that is required for a severe depreciation in any major currency. [Federal Reserve Accounts For 50% Of Q2 Treasury Purchases]

The USA in all probability will not be able politically to deliver support for the SSCI, however political control of monetary policy is CERTAIN as the Fed cannot win this contest against the Administration in the form of the US Treasury.

Bernanke becomes a team player or a team player will replace him.

The later is becoming a probability as it is hard to trust a prior adversary.

The depreciating dollar was a tool of Roosevelt’s failed anti-deflation program that like monetary stimulation is believed to have been abandoned too soon in the 30s by Administration intellectuals. Because of this, the US dollar is out of the picture for serious Administration consideration other than as a sales issue on US treasuries.

It is my understanding that the BRIC countries, not China alone, have given the US until early November to deliver.

As a result of the above I see 81 days 75 days left for the US dollar.

The gold price has but one criteria and that is the US dollar. Armstrong and Alf are correct on the levels awaiting the gold price.

I know $1224 and $1650 are certain.

Respectfully yours,


So there you have it folks. The sun is setting on the dollar -- albeit a little sooner than I expected.

As I mentioned in the comments of a previous article, I have not been invested in the stock market since the DOW hit 14,000. Instead, I have moved my money into non-perishable food, water, guns and ammo. My next quest, during the days the dollar has left, is to buy as many pre-1965 silver coins as possible. Yes, gold may be headed through the roof but, I don't want to be caught holding Krugerrands when a silver nickel will buy a loaf of bread.

Don't panic. -- The dollar may be lining up for a cliff dive but, you don't have to jump with it. -- Just prepare. Do it now.

~ ~ ~

Still a stickler for charts or require a detailed second opinion? Read Monetization of USTreasurys In Isolation by Jim Willie, CB. Editor, Hat Trick Letter.

Monday, August 24, 2009

How Goldman Sachs Has Been Robbing Us Blind

Matt Taibbi: How Goldman Sachs Has Been Robbing Us Blind


The history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled-dry American empire, reads like a Who's Who of Goldman Sachs graduates. By now, most of us know the major players. As George Bush's last Treasury secretary, former Goldman CEO Henry Paulson was the architect of the bailout, a suspiciously self-serving plan to funnel trillions of Your Dollars to a handful of his old friends on Wall Street. Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton's former Treasury secretary, spent 26 years at Goldman before becoming chairman of Citigroup — which in turn got a $300 billion taxpayer bailout from Paulson. There's John Thain, the asshole chief of Merrill Lynch who bought an $87,000 area rug for his office as his company was imploding; a former Goldman banker, Thain enjoyed a multibillion-dollar handout from Paulson, who used billions in taxpayer funds to help Bank of America rescue Thain's sorry company. And Robert Steel, the former Goldmanite head of Wachovia, scored himself and his fellow executives $225 million in golden-parachute payments as his bank was self-destructing. There's Joshua Bolten, Bush's chief of staff during the bailout, and Mark Patterson, the current Treasury chief of staff, who was a Goldman lobbyist just a year ago, and Ed Liddy, the former Goldman director whom Paulson put in charge of bailed-out insurance giant AIG, which forked over $13 billion to Goldman after Liddy came on board. The heads of the Canadian and Italian national banks are Goldman alums, as is the head of the World Bank, the head of the New York Stock Exchange, the last two heads of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — which, incidentally, is now in charge of overseeing Goldman.


Fast-forward to today. It's early June in Washington, D.C. Barack Obama, a popular young politician whose leading private campaign donor was an investment bank called Goldman Sachs — its employees paid some $981,000 to his campaign — sits in the White House. Having seamlessly navigated the political minefield of the bailout era, Goldman is once again back to its old business, scouting out loopholes in a new government-created market with the aid of a new set of alumni occupying key government jobs.

Gone are Hank Paulson and Neel Kashkari; in their place are Treasury chief of staff Mark Patterson and CFTC chief Gary Gensler, both former Goldmanites. (Gensler was the firm's co-head of finance.) And instead of credit derivatives or oil futures or mortgage-backed CDOs, the new game in town, the next bubble, is in carbon credits — a booming trillion dollar market that barely even exists yet, but will if the Democratic Party that it gave $4,452,585 to in the last election manages to push into existence a groundbreaking new commodities bubble, disguised as an "environmental plan," called cap-and-trade. The new carbon-credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that's been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won't even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance. -- ###

~ ~ ~

What you've read so far was only an excerpt highlighting the key players put in place by both Democrats and Republicans and the method by which these criminals will be loosed to rob us next. [Are you a political atheist yet?]

Watch the related videos and read the whole story: Inside The Great American Bubble Machine: Matt Taibbi on how Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression from Rolling Stone Magazine.

The Day the Dollar Falls

The Day the Dollar Falls

Do we live on a bubble? Is it possible for the heavily indebted American economy to collapse and take all of us down in a free fall with it? Have the days of the dollar been counted? Is it really unimaginable that we will see the time of the Great Depression repeating itself?

VPRO Backlight and Dutch national newspaper NRC Handelsblad present this 'what if' scenario. What if the dollar collapses? Fiction meets facts in this 24 hour scenario. At 9AM a Singapore trader is ordered to sell a large amount of dollars, which sends off the enormous downfall of the dollar. This film shows the results for the world economy every following hour. It ends in Amsterdam, where the only currency accepted by a taxi driver is cigarettes.

History seems to have caught up with this 2005 film, though in slow-motion.

Includes interviews with analysts Stephen Roach, Andy Xie, Maarten Schinkel, Cees Maas, Rob de Wijk, Kees Vendrik and Peter Schiff.

h/t: 1913 Intel

Dollar chart as of Friday's market close.

Real-Time Dollar Index

Real-Time Dollar / Euro Chart (Click Here)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The World According to Monsanto

This documentary is a must-see.
"The World According to Monsanto" is one of the best-researched documentaries that I have ever watched. It's findings will scare you to death -- that is, if Monsanto's products don't kill you first.
Do not use it! -- especially in your garden!
Shocked to discover the level of involvement (in promoting these Monsanto-created horrors such as Agent Orange, Bovine Growth Hormone, PCBs and genetically-engineered crops) of the politicians whom I believed were looking out for my best interests, I now consider myself a political atheist. If after watching your political views have not changed, I guarantee that your eating habits will be.
Gone organic gardening. - c
DVDs of this documentary are available in both English and French:

Sunday Funnies: Geithner to be Interrogated

This tale is shaping up to become another classic case of the government underestimating the intelligence of the average American. Who was the genius who agreed to submit Geithner to this line of questioning? No, really. I want to buy him lunch.

The Wall Street Journal Deputy Managing Editor Alan Murray will pose to Timothy Geithner, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury the top questions submitted and voted on by the Digg social networking online community.

The questions are:

* Why has the federal reserve bank never been audited? (+1133 diggs, submitted by Borez)

* Goldman Sachs is a large, profit seeking company which you were/are a part of. Isn't it a conflict of interest to funnel tax dollars into this private company using your new power as Secretary of the Treasury, keeping in mind that you and your old buddies benefit monetarily? Maybe I'm mistaken, but isn't this a textbook example of political corruption? (+729 diggs, submitted by larryjr88)

* What is your position on Ron Paul's House Resolution 1207? (Which as of the writing of this question has 282 cosponsors.) (+713 diggs, submitted by Motobike_man)

* You failed to pay some of your federal taxes in 2001. And in 2002. And in 2003. And in 2004. Please explain. (+690 diggs, submitted by zwendkos)

* How do you feel about the revolving door between high job positions in the treasury and Goldman Sachs? (+581 diggs, submitted by keythb)

* Last week you requested that Congress raise the $12.1 trillion statutory debt limit, saying that it could be breached as early as mid-October. This is in addition to the increase already approved in February this year to accommodate the added debt from the $787 Billion stimulus plan. How is this anything other than runaway government spending? What will it take for us to see US debt go the other direction? (+520 diggs, submitted by bossm4n)

* Why is the government only supporting aging and increasingly obsolete car makers? You've given an extraordinary amount of money to GM, but the government has failed to encourage new, innovative, and cleaner forms of personal transportation such as produced by Tesla Motors. Why has TARP money not been invested in companies such as Tesla, and will the government support similar companies in the future? (+439 diggs, submitted by danielrh9)

* Are you, yourself, troubled by the massive amount of government spending? What do you think will happen to the dollar over the next 10 years? (+376 diggs, submitted by erikwithaknotac)

* You are a member of the Federal Reserve, a group that so thoroughly mismanaged our monetary policy that they helped create a massive housing bubble because of foolish loans and speculation enabled by low interest rates, and then you were involved in a horribly mismanaged bailout that hasn't freed up credit markets and can't even account for all the money it spent. Why are you running the Treasury Department? (+358 diggs, submitted by zwendkos)

* You've amended your tax returns for the years 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 and found that you've owed an additional $31,536 ( ... Giving you the benefit of a doubt (that you are neither inept nor corrupt but were simply overwhelmed by an overly complex system), what recommendations do you have for simplifying the tax code? (+350 diggs, submitted by steamer25)

Would that each member of Congress could be subjected to a similar interrogation! The entertainment factor alone might be worth the cost of buying their lunch.

The video is in! -- Let the questioning begin!

Analysis: Geithner Defends Federal Reserve, Avoids Questions

The interviewer did a reasonably good job of pressing for answers on a number of topics which are of great concern to the American public. Unfortunately, Geithner refused to offer acceptable answers.

His performance was pathetic.