Monday, August 24, 2009


Now the gardening is really getting tough in this area. Here it is in August and we are getting frosts in the early morning. Now the challenge is to keep the sensitive plants alive long enough to produce some goodies. Even with our frost blankets we are getting damage it is so cold. Had one early morning registered 22 degrees, in August for cripes sake

Squash plants with lots of blossoms and showing frost damage. I have pruned a lot of the totally black dead leaves.

Young squash bulbs. Now if we can just keep them alive to maturity

All the gardeners in this area we have talked with (including us) are complaining that the tomatoes are maturing late and not very much production. Probably has to do with the cold wet spring, but I’m guessing on that.

Bush wax beans and really healthy brussel sprouts.

Cardoons are doing very well, haven't tried harvesting yet. Supposed to get really big if you let them go.

So far we’ve harvested bush wax beans, peas, chard, some carrots, kale, lettuce of course, a few cucumbers, a few beets, all the potatoes, and some onions. The walking onions are doing superb, as well as the red and white onions and garlic. Won’t be harvesting them until later in the season, should have a good return. The cardoons and Brussel sprouts and carrots also come later.

We are having to purposely concentrate on getting older food out of the freezer to make way for new stuff. Butchering rabbits today also. More jerky and a couple for the freezer.


Reading list for those interested or have not seen these articles.

Charles Smiths 100 page book for an analysis of how economics, government and the agenda of the PTB work, called: Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation. This is available as a free PDF download from This is well worth the time to read.

The final chapter from;

Plus, all the side reading and press releases found on Cryptogon and LATOC and numerous other sources.

In Smith’s book, one of the subjects he talks about class warfare. He puts the economic middle class in the middle of it, battling with the PTB and the underclass. He further postulates that this is a direct result of the PTB fomenting this warfare. In this argument, he postulates that the underclass is siding with the PTB because of the entitlements the PTB hand out to the underclass at the expense of the middle class productive people. While I think this is happening, I think it is not the whole scene. In the first place, I’m never really sure just who comprises the economic middle class. Is the middle class anything above the average income level, which I think is right around $45K per year now? Or is the middle class everything above average income and below $100K per year?

( From;

$45 K to $100K is a really big disparity in income and purchasing power. So, I want to know just what income level is middle class. Or is it legitimate to divide up the middle class into low, medium and high. Smith further maintains that the middle economic class and the economic underclass haven’t the political clout to change much of anything, even if they wanted to. With this I agree whole heartedly.

If that analysis is true, it further points out that not only isn’t there any long range effective planning or vision for the future not available at any economic level, but that for the long term, all efforts are counter to survival. I would postulate that until the underclass and middle class understand what their long term interests really are, this artificial division on who is fighting who will continue. One of my contentions is that slapping all of the middle class into a compartment called productivity is tired and flat out not true. Most of the middle class is engaged in pushing paper, which is no production at all. Most production we can point to is from the underclass, the blue collar, the working class. Historically, the actual productivity of a society is always the working class; it is not predominantly the middle or upper economic class. I assert that in the final analysis, it is the working class that supports a society, not the PTB which are just leeches on the productive part of a society, but also the merchant class or middle class that has for the most part, dissolved into paper pushers and yes men for the PTB along with the working class.

What should be taking place is a battle of 99% of the population against the 1% elites. But, I suspect that Smith is correct in that the vast majority of the financial underclass will not rebel as long as they can keep the goodies emanating out of the PTB governing class.

In all the discussions I am reading, but for a few exceptions, the mirage of problems that society is experiencing and concerned with are treated as discreet entities. is one of the few sites that attempts to really integrate how all of our ills are interconnected. Charles Smith’s book mentioned above, also strives for this integration.

For example, liquidity in the market place is treated all by itself by throwing more money into the hands of the people that control most of the money already, further separating the wealthy from everybody else. Liquidity is not a discreet problem, but is a symptom of a vast and underlying attitude concerning prosperity, business, personal happiness and all the other attitudes and paradigms that permeate our society. Our debt ridden society and government is not going to recover by more debt, and particularly at the levels the state and federal governments are attempting to use. Obama’s attempt to get the working class folks back into jobs is so woefully inadequate that, IMO, is a sad, sick, silly joke. You do not create prosperity by ‘make work’ projects, you create prosperity by producing goods and services that people actually need for a life that is worth living. Latest figures I have seen indicate that there are about 39 million unemployed right now. Obama bragging about creating 3 million jobs with the stimulus package to the states is a farce for the overall health of the society. So, one in 13 people get jobs. Big deal. Supposedly there is about 155 million people who compromise the work force in this country and right now, today, if the stats are correct, 1/4 + have no means of income to support themselves or a family, that’s around 25% of the workforce and Greenspan long time ago said 4.1% unemployment indicated a healthy economy.

The fact is, that with the restrictions on resources, focusing more and more wealth into the 1% of the population (which garner 45% of the total wages paid out in this country) there cannot be an economic recovery. Until the population unites as a whole (minus the 1% of course) and demands significant changes (not just more feeding off the trough of federal budget) there will only be more degradation of the society as a whole, until this evil mess that has been created comes apart at the seams and something new takes its place. I’m not holding my breath in anticipation of that coming about in the near future.

Of course the question is still in my mind whether this is just pure greed and incompetence at work, or whether this is a planned fall down. The super wealthy just can’t seem to be satisfied with enough, it has to be more and more. I assert that this drive for more is gonna kill the goose with the golden eggs, the middle and working class parts of the society, and when it is realized just what has been done to them, I expect all violent hell to break loose, at least if the majority of citizens in this country haven’t been castrated.

I recently was sent a big report drafted in August this year by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery Alabama. It is a blatant apology for the crack down on ‘terrorists’ by the government and a straight forward attack on what they call ‘right wing extremists’. It claims that the militia movement is back in full force. It puts down harshly all the stuff that questions 9-11 government involvement, Ruby Ridge, Okalahoma bombing, Waco Texas and dozens of other “conspiracy” theories out there. From my position, the report sucks big time. And that is admitting that a lot of the right wing conservative movement is composed of nuts and people that don’t think much about anything but guns and violence against those they don’t like, you know, anyone who is not just like them. I also know that a lot of the militia movement is made of hate groups that must have had their brains scrambled at birth by being dropped on the floor. Instead of the burlap bag and the closest pond, they were raised up to be what they now are.

Before any readers that are sympathetic with these movements want to get on my case, know that I think that civilian militia are important and a good thing. It is the principle and thinking that drives a lot of them that worries me. I am sympathetic with the idea of going back to constitutional intention and law and being armed to take on forces that would take it all away. But railing against blacks, gays, Muslims and the godless among us is going to get my dander up real quick, the attitude that if you ain’t a Jesus lover, I am an enemy of the state. Besides, IMO it misses the point entirely and only foments more divisions and antagonism when we should be uniting against the PTB.

To top it off, instead of creating some sense out of the health care problems, there seems to be just more sucking at the tit of the citizenry’s pocketbook. What I think I understand about the health care reform that just might pass into law, it sucks. Not only that, but the health care industry, including drug manufactures, have swarmed into Washington with lobbyists, to the tune of 6 lobbyists to each lawmaker. And we are putting up with this. I hear the old saw “they will figure something out to our benefit”. Get real, those folks don’t give a shit about us. Live with it. If you have access, Matt Taibbi has a new article on the health care reform in Rolling Stone September Issue. Remember, that is the guy who raged over the financial institutions. You can read it also at,

Everything, and I mean everything, is being monetized, Every single thing that humans need for survival is being put into a category of how much it is worth in dollars and there is someone out there that is going to make a fortune from doing this. I expect a breathing tax, or breath tax to show up at any time, or some giant corporation to declare ownership of the atmosphere. The government and corporations are already doing it with water. For christs sake, in some states it is now illegal to collect rain water off of your roof or to have water storage of any kind that is not sold to you by a corporation. States are now declaring that they own the aquifers and surface water within their borders so they can tax usage. In many areas now, the state can put meters on private home wells and tax that usage.

Went to the Grange meeting last Tuesday. One of our state reps came. We got to talking about the taxes being proposed in the state legislature. I asked if the proposed tax on bird seed was approved. He smiled and said no, that they considered that one of the dumb things submitted to the legislature. We got interrupted when I was about to ask him about some of the other 150 taxes proposed.

Aww nuts folks, sorry to get off on a tirade like this. I guess I had one too many cups of coffee this morning. I need to get back to the serenity of gardening and talking with the chickens.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some pickings from the garden

Brother Earth, Sister Moon
A guest post by Baz, from New Zealand

We depart today from our usual format. Baz has kindly responded for my call for someone out there to fill in for me, as I have temporarily run out of ideas for a post, and the number of comments on the last one has gotten somewhat unwieldy.

Now, for the newbies to this site, we run a sort of cyber campfire, loosely based on the sacred circle or native American campfires that have been such a powerful process for communication and healing proven through time. We imagine that we have a talking stick. When a person takes the stick, he or she is listened to with respect and little evaluation. Then the stick is passed and the next person is extended the same attention and courtesy. None of us has the whole truth. But each of us has our own part of it. And, together, we can combine our perspectives and perhaps be able to synthesize a wiser overall stance. Personally, I have blurted out my own truth, then heard someone else’s perspective, and suddenly changed my mind about whatever it was that I had been thinking. I have found that it is much easier to be flexible in thought when it is of your own making, not in response to someone trying to change your mind.
Over the years ( I was a member of a sacred drumming circle for eight years in Tahoe), I have come to know and respect the supportive and healing aspects of this form of council, and have been amazed that much of the same benefits have been experienced here in cyber-space.

So, one of the things that is different at our site from most others, is that the more or less weekly post is not the most important aspect of the site. It is the impetus for the rest of the conversation in the comments section. Lately, the conversation seems to be very introspective on the part of the tribe. Watching and living in this train wreck of a culture can be exhausting. Sometimes we hit the wall. Sometimes we need a break, Sometimes we celebrate victories. Sometimes we just have to laugh. Sometimes we cry.

Survival Acres just wrote an explanation of why he is not posting anymore. I can understand his frustration. He is right – we can’t change the world with just blogging. But, on the other hand, we seem to be able to support each other and the very real and tangible changes we are living day to day. I find this effort inspiring and helpful. I don’t know how long it will last. One big electro-magnetic pulse from a solar flare or from a nuclear devise, or government interference, or act of war or whatever could take us out at any time. And, if it does, I will be happy that we have at least had this time together to create the sense of belonging and safety that our campfire has established. Anyway, I am blabbing on…

First, we’d like to share some of our progress this week in pictures. Then, we hand the stick to Baz. He is a somewhat new member of our tribe who brings a unique “Wild Man” element to the circle, as he lives in the wilds of New Zealand in rather primitive, or should I say “natural” conditions. Anyway, thank you, Baz, for responding to my request for some help here.
Pictures of our garden produce

Peruvian potatoes from 12 plants

garden pickings

Post collapse meal

Blueberry crisp

Ok, on to the post from Baz –
For the 1 who believes not only night-vision is a possibility .. but an instinct reality .. that yes, indeed, we can be like the animals, for in truth, is all we are, and all we'll ever be — now, more than ever, need to cultivate this lost ability — to see in the dark — for whatever it's worth, pilgrim :

Civilization is paralysis ~ Paul Gauguin

Spiritual food :— There is nothing spiritual about obtaining your food wrapped in cellophane from a Supermarket, purchasing food that comes all the way from China, or Amerika. Even I most spiritual of food-seekers have sucumbed to this most vile of consumerist temptations, on occasion—aargh, and repented immediately forthwith afterward with much flagellation and vexation of recognition of damage to soul.

No ~ never-the-less, This is truly how I feel about the aforementioned. The idealistic principle I hold in my minds-eye, so to speak, to which I aspire. Toward which I aim, a target. Without goals we can wander/wonder aimlessly, a rudderless ship, tossed—lost in a vast ocean directionless, without compass and bearing, and without a clue?

You are what you eat ~ Socrates? [Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are].

"Tell me what you want, what you really really want?" ~ Spice girls

I liked what Caroline said, baz, it's learning new things that keep you engaged in life's processes, or words to that affect. I concur (hah, I just wanted to say that). Nothing new about shopping in FoodMart, week after mind-numbing week. OK, so you can stick a finger in your neighbors ribs, in the produce section and say, "Give me all your carrots." Yes, I did it!

I like to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Obtaining food to nourish the body, and cohabitating/communing with nature—forest/animal spirit, simultaneously. And it is a very spiritual matter taking the life-force of another creature—you partake of the essence of that creature, and in the process it becomes you. Whatever the forest creature is, you choose. Even fish or eel. They all have their own unique spiritual taste. Truly the garden, of 'earthly delights'. Why wait? Heaven/Nirvana or whatever is truly on earth! F#c% the naysayers—whoever and whatever, they are. F#c%en aliens from Uranus, down to steal our souls.

I have a saying—My own: 'Waste no part of the animal.'—even fish head, or pig head. Eyes are the nicest part of fish. White people, I have noticed do not know this—or even significance or benefit of eating them. Buddhist koan: 'Can a fish see the ocean?'. Where others might discard, I seek to respect the life which sustains and gives me life—no waste. It is my attitude, and will visibly cringe if I am with someone, if he says, "leave it", for whatever reason. It is not my way. I prefer to hunt alone for this reason. Not everyone has this reverence for life and death. Properly understood—same thing.

Hunger, great spiritual teacher: Sharpens the senses and instinct, and hones the spirit. After days, one becomes one with all of nature: life—death, all one country. No difference. Spirit and body become one, for really they are. No need for distinction . It is only our modern consumer lifestyle which seperates the one from the other, for money—what else? And really bad health—yours. More money—yours. Who else's?— just not for you—hahaha

No entertainment, or superfluous distraction. Meaning of life become crystal-clear. Experience illuminates abundantly obvious what is useless mumbo-jumbo superstition, regardless of religion and culture and what is necessary .. for life. That's all. The rest is extraneous horsesh*t and really only good for growing food which doesn't move. Prey tale, it ain't you.

There is nothing more spiritual under heaven on earth than this : this is the path my ancestors walked — the Irish, and the path I walk, to Kilkenny :—)
blarney, which means Top'of'the'mornin'to~yah!

Pictures from Baz and latest addition to his diet

cooking the catch

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lunatics or I’ll See your Conspiracy Theory, and Raise You Mine….


Steve Pizzo has a couple of really good posts up on his site, “News for Real” (see the link to his site to the right). He is basically railing against the Republican’s tactic of disruption of the town hall gatherings to give feedback to politicians. The meetings have apparently been turned into screaming right wing goonsquad fests objecting to Pres. Obama’s, or the Democrats’ health care plan. It seems there is a conspiracy. Hatched in the red-hued nests of the hated evil ones – Rep. John Boner, er, Boehner, former Bush speech writers and holy rollers, maybe even Darth Cheney himself – the too stupid to vote in their own self-interest crowd of grey haired, slack-jawed Republicans are outdoing themselves… all in the name of “We the People.”

I told you in a previous post that the WWII generation would be all over this one because it hinted at some fairness in the distribution of health care services instead of just benefiting THEM, didn’t I? So, now it seems that the hysterical oldsters are screaming that Obama is out to kill Old People because the bill supports patients going over a Living Will with their doctors every five years or something. And the corporate insurance lobby is feeding them full of lies.

From Pizzo, “….Kiss your granny and grandpa goodbye if the administration gets it's way with health care reform.

Because, even though America can afford a trillion bucks to fight two wars halfway around the world, we can't afford to keep geezers alive past their sell-by dates. (A date, by the way, which will be determined by groups of heartless, and apparently granny-less, government bureaucrats.)

I know this because I heard it from a GOP member of congress:
On the House floor yesterday, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) became the latest conservative to claim reform would kill people. “Last week Democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to America’s seniors: drop dead,” said Waite. Watch it:

For those of you guys out there hoping they are talking about your mother-in-law, sorry. There's not a syllable of truth in the charge. What the GOP has done is to glom onto a single clause in one of the bills that would simply allow Medicare (which largely covers the elderly) to pay for a once-every-five-year consultation with their doctor on end of life care issues, such as a living will and advance medical directives. Both of which anyone with half a brain has -- which might be a clue.

When confronted by this fact, GOP fear-mongers have a comeback:
“Yeah, they'll advise them alright. They'll advise them to die and stop costing their children and society money and bother.”

Oh, brother. God forbid that this country would be forced to extend health care to it’s citizenry like every other developed country in the world. OUR corporations aren’t going to stand for that crap – and their smug, pig-ignorant minions aren’t either. So there!

The problem is that with this kind of senseless “debate,” any opposition to the Healthcare Bill is lumped in with the message of the mindless ones and seen as part of the right wing conspiracy. So, what I consider legitimate objections to the plan, like that it will enrich insurance companies, as yet does not have a single-payer cost reduction element, and doesn’t negotiate cheaper drugs from the pharmaceutical companies, all fall by the wayside and are discounted by the Democratic “progressive” brain trust.

SO, WHOM DOES THIS SERVE? Is this another conspiracy? Hummm…

Pizzo identifies several more fear-mongering theories concocted from the Right – that of the scary terrorists from Gitmo who we should be afraid to put in our domestic prisons, as if these poor souls are (or ever were) a threat to any of us. Oh, then there’s “Satan’s right hand” – the Environmentalists who are trying to convince us of climate change or resource depletion or any other thing that might keep corporations from making a few billion extra bucks. Who cares if your kids are eating jellyfish when they grow up instead of Red Snapper? And, of course, there is always President Obama himself – the “anti-Christ, “ Muslim, non-American (read That Black Guy) who Hates Whites (despite the fact that his beloved mother and grandparents who raised him were white and he is half white). What is this? South Africa? No, it’s the good ol’ white supremist USA rearing its ugly head again.

. . . I sense a disturbance in the Force – yes, it is Carl Rove that I am sensing – the Evil Emperor and Darth Cheney behind all of this. . . .or is it the Bilderbergers or the Illuminati or the Knights Templar, the British Royal Family, or the Nazi Hitler clones? …. Pizzo, you see, is a nice and sensible guy. He doesn’t even believe that 911 was an inside job. He’s probably scoffs at the notion of an engineered Die Off, the FEMA Internment Camps, or the Bird (or is it Swine?) Flu gimmick to reduce the population and further enrich Big Pharma.

He’s no dummy however. He saw right through the complicated Keating Five scandal of the Savings and Loan banks back in the 80’s. Even got nominated for a Pulitzer with the investigative reporting and book he wrote about it.

So, why doesn’t he climb on board the conspiracy train? Are there no conspiracies? Was Kennedy actually killed by a loan gunman? Did those pristine terrorist passports really appear as if by magic at the foot of the Twin Towers?

Let’s define the term. What is a conspiracy? Webster’s Dictionary defines conspire – as to “join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or to use such means to accomplish a lawful end.”

Well, that doesn’t sound so unusual, now, does it? Hasn’t there been one atrocity after another committed by the landowners and power-mongers against the peasants and indigenous tribes generation after generation throughout history? Weren’t diseased blankets given to the Indians in order to wipe them out? Yes, they were. Weren’t women burned at the stake by the thousands for non-compliance and heresy by the Catholic Church? Yes, they were. Haven’t horrific radioactive and other poisonous medical misadventurers used unsuspecting citizens as guinea pigs? We know they have.

And, wouldn’t all these examples of misdeeds and countless more over time be legitimately called conspiracies? I think so. So why is “conspiracy theorist” used as a pejorative and dismissed in most cases today? I can think of a few reasons:

1) So that we don’t have to look into the matter. It’s a bucket of worms. Too time consuming or embarrassing to deal with.
2) Too dangerous to whomever is looking.
3) Too appalling to those who would discover the truth. We’d rather not know.
4) Too guilt inducing to those who would learn of and live with the knowledge of the atrocities.
5) Too frightening to think that things could be this bad. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch to live with.
6) Impossible to assess with accuracy whether the “conspiracy theory” is true or false.
7) The scenario itself is delusional, paranoid, or insane. Supported with a lack of verifiable information, it becomes a projection of our own hopes, hatreds, or fears.

The challenge, of course, is to know which it is. Almost impossible these days. That’s probably why Pizzo doesn’t support these ideas. He’s the old-fashioned journalist who likes to verify his facts before he sees them in print.

Now, back to those angry and unruly Republicans and insurance and medical industry shills confronting their elected officials and being so discourteous. I find myself thinking, “Good for them!” I don’t agree with their reasoning on health care at all. But, at least they are expressing their outrage, fear, and distrust of the government.

I wish the citizen Democrats were expressing outrage at the financiers, Blackwater, the banks, Wall St. criminals, FEMA, and the bought-off Congress. If the Democrats would grow a pair, they might be able to find some common ground with their brethren on the Right. We all need to eat, keep a roof over the heads of our families, and we’d like our children to have a chance to be healthy and happy.

With our false choices today of “left” vs. “right,” we may choose the brown collar fascist white supremist goons of the right, or the white collar fascist ruling class overlords running things on the “left”. Either way, the global corporatists, arms dealers, Big Pharma, Agra Business, and international banking cartel wins. This system doesn’t need to be reformed. It needs to be rejected.

If we listened to each other, we might figure out together that secrecy and misinformation from the corporate and government staffs have made us too suspicious and angry and frightened of each other. We might note that our culture and the neighbors in it have been damaged and driven insane because we have been systematically lied to for so long and the truth seems nowhere to be had. That can make one crazy. Sometimes I find myself seeking comfort or answers off world. I look for an alien connection or answers from Spirit or the Earth Herself. Is that crazy? I honestly don’t know.

The antidote to much of this is localizing as much as you can. Get centered in your mind, your home, your town. Grow food. Disconnect from the bullshit artists and propagandists on both sides. Get real. Recognize that grave mistakes have been made, but stop thinking the worst about your fellow man or woman. Be able to confront evil. Be ready to forgive those who sincerely repent. Put together some sort of alternative health plan of your own, like growing herbs or bartering with a naturopath. Make something better happen.

Hopefully to that end, I am including pictures of the celebratory moon/campfire gathering we had last week. We paused to be grateful to the plants in the garden and the flowers and animals at home. I know that some of you joined in as well. It felt really good.

Flowers from the yard

The campfire with neighbor friends

Custard pie with Rhubarb topping

Pasta salad with home grown fennel, basil, beans, peas, onion, garlic and pesto