Thursday, December 30, 2010

Straining at Gnats, Swallowing Camels

If you see me walking around cussing under my breath and arguing with myself, it’s likely you’ve caught me considering political matters. I’ve become so disgusted with the two major parties and their advocates, Democrats and Republicans, that the mere mention of the words leaves me spitting convulsively to cleanse the filth from my mouth. It’d take not one book, but a whole goddamned library to list the grievances I have with these folks.

There’s no way I can call all of this up at one time, but being year’s end I feel remiss if I didn’t bring up a few salient points. To begin, the Fed: (spit, shit, cough, hack, go through a few epileptic convulsions, spew green vomit). Now, where was I. Oh yeah the Fed. And it’s leader, Ben Bernanke, appointed by George W. Bush, a Republican (spit, shit, cough…) and reappointed by Barack Hussein Obama, a Democrat (cussing, convulsions, a few self inflicted blows to the head, green blood laced vomit with big chunks spewing out mouth and nostrils…)

In order to feel good about going out and working for a buck, a citizen must feel there’s some sort of fairness in the way people are compensated for their efforts. Like it or not, we get compensated with dollars. Since Nixon, dollars have not been as good as gold, but at least there was some sort of mirage in place to make us believe that they were limited in supply, created under oversight of our elected representatives and had real value. The mirage melted before our eyes this year, revealing a stark and ugly truth.

A corrupt class of elite assholes have stolen the wealth of citizens around the world for the last 30 years. The bastards became so unhappy over time that there was so little to steal that they created ways to steal future earnings as well. The Fed, major banks and politicians became their enablers. The fed makes dollars out of thin air and gives them to whomever they damn well please, Americans and otherwise, in unlimited supplies, if need be, to keep the people in charge, in charge. Unlimited means unlimited.

When details of these scams began to ooze through the protective barriers of bought public relations propaganda machines, collectively referred to as mainstream media, both Democrats and Republicans began pointing fingers at each other, like kids caught in the act of stealing from the candy jar, both hands full, mouths so loaded they can hardly get out the he did it firsts. And they have continued to lie ever since.

Around these parts, it’s all the nigger’s fault. You know: Barack HUSSEIN Obama, that foreign born Muslim terrorist when he’s not working at his second job—the Antichrist. While true that Obama has overseen the largest bailout of thieves and scumbags in the history of this nation, must I remind you that the Republican candidate in the last election, Mr. John McCain (alias War Hero), suspended his campaign and marched hand in hand with Mr. Obama to the White House to sign the first TARP bailout at the beckon and call of none other than George W. Bush, while over 90% of the American public voiced dissent on the issue.

After my favorite candidates all got shot down in the primaries (Gravel, Paul and Kucinich, in that order), I was left with this miserable choice. I am now ashamed to say I voted for Mr. Obama (cough, spit, hack…). I didn’t do so thinking he was a good guy, I just hoped that as the political machine swung back and forth a few of the lies and liars in the Bush administration would be exposed. You know what I’m talking about.

I am now painfully aware that Obama is one of them. I feel like the kid that watched two professional wrestlers cussing and beating hell out of each other, and after the fight, caught them eating and drinking at the same table, dividing the money of the suckers of which I was one.

Did Obama prosecute anyone for the lies we were told that sent us to war(s)? Did he legalize marijuana and expose the fraud we call the war on drugs? Do pharmaceutical and insurance companies continue to make money drugging the people for any and all ills while the world’s largest prison population continues to grow, most of which happens to be people caught looking for a bit of dope? Did he address the consequences of peak oil and climate change honestly and straightforwardly? Did those that committed the biggest heist in the history of the United States get exposed and go to jail?


Instead we got a bullshit health bill that forces us to buy insurance from for-profit shysters, under penalty of law if we decline. We get cap and trade, where ass-holes like Al Gore get rich by taking money from producers of vital goods and give it to people that produce nothing—of which, by the way, Al Gore is a part—a massive pay-to-pollute scam. Wars of empire continue unabated; new wars appear on the horizon, should those of the previous administration lose their luster. Hillary travels the world lavishing anti-drug dollars on corrupt murderous third world leaders. We continue to march forward blindly, totally dependent on a just-in-time supply network of diesel powered trucks and equipment to produce and distribute food and vital goods, we’ve bailed out car manufacturers for which there will be an ever diminishing supply of fuel and the speed at which viable alternatives are being built staggers the imagination (not). We continue marching toward a global conflict of unseen proportions and scale with weapons that stagger the mind to be fought over a diminishing supply of natural resources. Rather than curtail invasions of privacy lost under the previous administration, the most instrusive and elaborate systems of spying on citizens ever devised continues to grow; civil liberties and rights continue to be sacrificed in the name of security.

I don’t have answers for all of this, but at least I can be bothered to ask the right questions.

What the in the fuck are we doing?

After watching big corporations and banks steal all the money, robbing pensioners, retirees, mortgage holders and working class citizens, the vocal left jumps up and demands what? More taxes on the citizens. Well that sets accounts straight….

And all these Rush Limbaughers tell me they have a solution. That we can expose the lies and set the record straight...

By electing Rick Perry or Sarah Palin in 2012.

Fuck me to tears.

Monday, December 27, 2010

There will be blood

Monday, December 27, 2010. It’s 3 AM and I’m awake, already having survived not one but two rounds of Christmas cheer in order to accommodate family members that had to work over the holidays. I’m not much into the lights, trees, decorations and festive song traditions demanded by most in this country, but it was nice to see and share a meal with all the various family members from my wife’s family and mine, four generations worth in both cases.

Talk inevitably turned to politics and economic matters at some point during our conversations. I try to avoid spending much time on the computer when family is around, but I did check my email and a couple of favorite sites briefly. While at the Agonist, I came across a couple of articles written by cyber-friends concerning additional taxation with which I vehemently disagree. Both my dad and my sons discussed this matter, considering we will probably soon be targets of such legislation.

While I dislike the fact that the rich are getting richer and the middle class disintegrates into the ranks of the poor, I think the medicine of additional taxation is exactly the opposite of what is required for a cure, because this punishes not only those that gain wealth by corrupt means, but also the best and the brightest among us: people that actually earn what they have and provide employment for and see to the needs of many others within their domain of influence. Believe it or not, those people do exist.

Among the arguments of those that favor more draconian taxation schemes is the implied notion that all recipients of family fortunes are undeserving winners of a genetic lottery of sorts, ignoring the possibility of family owned and operated businesses where children grow up not only as inheritors of wealth, but also as participants and creators of family wealth for which they have already been taxed on a yearly basis.

We must not ignore the hidden tax rarely mentioned in this debate, the hidden tax of inflation/currency debasement. If I don’t miss my guess, we might soon all be millionaires and subject to State confiscation of privately owned property and wealth. If I own a thousand acres of land bought for a million dollars and it becomes worth ten million dollars, I still own only a thousand acres of land. The land will produce no more than it ever did; it’s the decrease in the value of money that caused the reported gain in wealth.

Fair points are made about the debts that we as citizens owe this country. Entrepreneurs could not do what they do without the use of shared natural resources, the infrastructure tax money provides, and the myriad benefits we all share from social programs. A reasonable estate tax is to be expected and accepted, but some of the calls I hear go beyond reason, and like I mention above, punish all that have acquired wealth as though guilty of a crime.

An honest look at how most acquire great fortunes in the United States reveals a new form of inheritance, not passed directly from a father to son or daughter, but instead through nepotism of another sort, immune to any kind of taxation. I call it joining the club.

The club might be Yale University’s Skull and Bones Club, of which the two Bushes and John Kerry emerged, or the Harvard School of Law that brought us the likes of Barack Obama. Or then again, closer to home, it might be good old Texas A&M gig ‘em Aggies and their ilk from which the favors flow. Or perhaps it’s that open door to the hallowed Street of Wall and the Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanly, JP Morgan fountain from which you drink, all funded, no less, by tax money confiscated from the real producers of wealth in this country and the greater world at large.

These clubs are increasingly international in nature and if the truth is known, own and operate the governments of the world.

I find it troubling that members of such clubs are beyond immune to taxation—they have become the recipients of tax money instead—even after having foisted great crimes upon this nation. These motherfuckers couldn’t even wait until the money was collected to steal it; instead they designed ways to steal it in advance, bankrupting the whole country in the process.And now they cry for more.

Kiss the ring and enter the hall, young friend. Never want again….

I find it equally troubling that the true princes among us, benevolent, hard working natural born leaders, are left out of the decision making process, marginalized and predated upon by mediocre, small-minded, mean-spirited bureaucrats that move back and forth from government positions to the private sector, enabling their own and punishing the rest, thriving in an incestuous pool of vipers and vermin.

During the savings and loan scandal of the early 80’s a few financial fraudsters went to jail, but now, while financial crimes have grown by orders of magnitude, our “Justice Department” (talk about an oxymoron) can’t be bothered to investigate financial and war crimes (often one and the same), much less to prosecute those that committed these crimes.

Beyond that, our “Justice Department” persecutes those that try to expose these criminals and their crimes. A case in point: the recent persecution of Julian Assange from Wikileaks.

The State has become the enabler of criminal activity. Additional taxation supports a predatory class of parasites, our oppressors, not true public servants.

Put criminals in jail. Allow honest hard working men to prosper.

Excessive, unfair taxation is theft. Stealing, sanctioned by the State. Our Revolutionary War was fought over similar matters, and contrary to popular history, so was the war we call Civil.

Calls for 90% tax rates or even 55% inheritance taxes will not be well received in this country. Never have been, never will be.

A word of warning: I know my own. I suspect that if such tactics are employed, blood will flow over the matter.

Dismiss my words at your own peril. It could be your blood that flows and it could be mine.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Jesus wasn't a Christian

A few thoughts on this Christmas day:

Abraham wasn't a Jew.

Mohammed wasn't Muslim.

And Jesus wasn't a Christian.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mish Shedlock thinks Kucinich end the fed bill lunacy

Fatally Flawed "End the Fed" Proposal from Rep. Kucinich would Allow Congress to Print Money into Existence for Essentially Anything

Once again, I'm not the economist here. But this gives rise to a few questions I have for Mish Shedlock.

Tell me why it's better that a privately owned, secret organization now has the power to create money out of thin air and give it to whomever they damn well choose, behind closed doors with no oversight, than it is to give that same power to a body of representatives, elected by the people, responsible for the people and accountable to the people, requiring also that this be done in broad daylight?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kucinich's bill to abolish the fed

Via Karl Denninger's site I came across this bill submitted by Dennis Kunich.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Do what?

Being a touch ignorant when it comes to economic matters (there’s a difference between being ignorant and being stupid), I have a hard time relating to news like this:

Fed doles out $12.3 trillion dollars in backdoor bailouts.

Millions, I understand. Billions are a bit foreign. And trillions, well, that’s outerspace for me.

So to whittle this down to a bite that makes sense, I write out the numbers.


Let’s see. There’s around 300 million American citizens.

So, $12,300,000,000,000 divided by 300,000,000 equals...



$41,000 per man woman and child created out of thin fucking air and given to a handful of insolvent banks--who then used some of the money to pay off their taxpayer bailouts with grand fanfare and publicity so they could escape any sort of regulatory oversight and are now paying their executives the largest bonuses in history for a job well done while the rest of the country goes down the shitter.

Now that is something a country boy can understand.

No words suffice for the contempt I hold for these people.


But if you meet me in person, you're liable to hear me give it a try.

You fucking worthless goddamned....

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Of late all the news about wikileaks focuses on Julian Assange, diverting attention from the real stories. The Guardian is publishing a day to day summary of leaks as they are made public. I find some of the leaks quite interesting.

Read it here.

Hat tip Chickadee.

Monday, December 13, 2010

We all gotta go

Monday morning, December 13, 2010

It’s freezing and still outside my door this morning. All the summer grasses are now dormant, the grass above ground scorched, bleached and kindle dry. We’ve had almost no rain for three months. Yesterday I felt something in the wind that reminded me of droughts past. We’re not yet there, but it feels like that’s where we’re headed.

We’ve begun feeding hay to the cows. Standing grass serves as filler for the cows’ bellies, but has little in the way of food value. The accepted practice in these parts is to force them to eat this grass and then to supplement them with protein, usually in the form of molasses based liquids or blocks. I don’t like the idea of buying feed, so I put out hay instead, hay that has been fertilized with manure from our chicken growing operation and therefore is quite high in protein.

On another ranch we’ve turned the cattle in an oat field, once again fertilized with manure. Despite the dry weather, this field has maintained a bit of moisture as it lies alongside the San Marcos River. In wet years, the river covers much of the ground and tends to drown out crops. In dry years that same land out-produces anything we have. These cows should thrive with the green grass the oats provide. I should have planted oats here at the Belmont farm as well, but didn’t.

So far, every time I declare pecan harvest over I find more native trees with nuts. More nuts means more work for a few men that would otherwise sit at home unemployed. The native trees are so tall and big, some with trunks up to six feet in diameter, that it’s difficult to shake the pecans loose even with a tractor mounted device made for that express purpose. Most of the pecans fall when the wind blows; feral hogs, deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, raccoons, possums, crows, armadillos and a perhaps a few more creatures that don’t come to mind at the moment clean them up in short order. I figure we do well to harvest about 20% of what the trees produce. But the wildlife needs to eat also.

Most of the plants in my winter garden have been scorched by freezes but continue to grow. Small cabbage heads have begun to form; broccoli should soon follow. Winter onions and shallots are ready to eat and spring onions are well established and growing. Turnips are producing greens, but the bulbs have not yet filled out. Beets, spinach and Swiss chard are growing but not yet big enough to eat either. I have a poor stand of carrots, but should have some come spring. I’ll probably try to replant the gaps. I tried growing English peas over the winter. The plants have survived, but the freezes seem to have sucked most of the life out of them. I doubt they’ll produce anything, unless they make it to spring. Nothing would have survived without irrigation this year. Not a single plant.

Outside of where I’ve planted and watered, the ground has been cleared and plowed but there’s little moisture in the soil. I should have applied chicken litter as soon as the summer harvest was over so I could get it worked into the ground but, once again, I didn’t. I suppose I could add some now, but the ground is so dry tilling it would raise clouds of dust. The truth is that the garden doesn’t get as much attention as perhaps it should.

Our new batch of yard chickens have figured out the routine of coming and going from the roost. It’s nice to see chickens get to be chickens. For whatever reason, there’s one chicken that runs around and can’t find her way back to the coop. I catch her and put her in every night when I go out to shut in the rest of the chickens. The first couple of nights she ran from me and squawked a bit when I caught her. Now she knows the routine, stops and allows me to pick her up. Who’d have thought that individual chickens have personalities? Leah sells eggs at a pottery studio she attends. Apparently demand has now exceeded supply as there’s a waiting list to get them. Real free range eggs are quite a bit better than anything you can buy from a store.

The goats continue to be a nuisance. Every time I open a door, including the door to my pickup, they jam in looking for a stray morsel of food. All but two are females, and therefore will be spared a date with the dinner table, but there’s one young male in the bunch. I sometimes feel sorry for the little guy, knowing what is likely to be his fate.

But in the end, we all gotta go. Sooner or later, we all gotta go.

I suppose it’s more important how we live than how long we live. And I also suppose it's better that when don't know when that final day will arrive.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So cocksuckers...

Here's some of the people you're protecting when you go after Assange and other truth tellers. Yeah, you Hillary. Barack. Mike Huckabee. And the rest (you know who you are).

A bunch of goddamned ass-raping pedophiles, for one.

WikiLeaks: Texas Company Helped Pimp Little Boys To Stoned Afghan Cops.

Protecting our freedoms, you say?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The shameful attacks on Julian Assange

The Atlantic


Julian Assange and Pfc Bradley Manning have done a huge public service by making hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. government documents available on Wikileaks -- and, predictably, no one is grateful. Manning, a former army intelligence analyst in Iraq, faces up to 52 years in prison. He is currently being held in solitary confinement at a military base in Quantico, Virginia, where he is not allowed to see his parents or other outside visitors.

Assange, the organizing brain of Wikileaks, enjoys a higher degree of freedom living as a hunted man in England under the close surveillance of domestic and foreign intelligence agencies -- but probably not for long. Not since President Richard Nixon directed his minions to go after Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan - "a vicious antiwar type," an enraged Nixon called him on the Watergate tapes -- has a working journalist and his source been subjected to the kind of official intimidation and threats that have been directed at Assange and Manning by high-ranking members of the Obama Administration.

read the rest at the link


And another:

Truth in Chains by Chris Floyd

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Currency debasement

Sunday morning, December 5, 2010. The Sabbath came. I wrote nothing because I had nothing to say. Or perhaps I was too tired or lazy to force the issue.

Every week I expect to finish harvesting pecans; every week I find more we’ve missed. What we’re doing is more gleaning than full on harvesting, but to date we’ve managed to pick enough pecans to pay the laborers involved, not to make money, but to pay laborers. Pecans have not only maintained a higher price than in years past; the price has gone up as the season progressed. I sold small native pecans for $1.45 a pound in quantity, a previously unheard of number, to a broker that will sell them for more to someone else.

Corn, wheat, cotton, oil and other commodities have also gone up in price. I still sit on my corn, waiting for the local glut to be erased, and it should be soon, considering all the poultry and livestock feeding businesses in these parts consume more corn than we grow. About ten to one I’m guessing.

Fuel costs are going up; diesel has once again broached $3/gallon and gas is right there as well, but there seems to be a lag in the price of food compared to the cost of basic staples necessary to produce food. Expect higher prices, soon. Anything containing cotton fiber, and that’d include jeans, t-shirts, socks and underwear should, by necessity, go up in value soon as well.

Precious metals are becoming more expensive, almost by the day. Actual physical silver is getting hard to come by, both locally and over the Internet, or so I am told. I suspect physical gold is a bit easier to find as the price of gold at $1,400/ounce is already cost prohibitive for the average working class (or unemployed) American strapped with ass-loads of debt.

Some respected economists continue to say that deflation will rule the day. To be sure, the fed’s efforts seem designed to fight deflation. But last week, news began to appear about one of the fed’s backdoor lending programs (notice I said one, as if this isn’t the only one). Seems the fed lent $9,000,000,000,000 (nine trillion dollars, or if you prefer enough money to make 9 million totally broke Americans millionaires), through the overnight window at just above zero percent interest rates over the last couple of years.

Many say this does nothing but increase public debt and I’m sure it does. These also say bad debts remain hidden on balance sheets, and I am sure some do. But I am also sure that some bad debts are being cured, as representatives of the fed/big bank duo purchase delinquent loans with what amounts to money created with the wave of a wand, in essence repossessing valuable assets around the land with an unlimited supply of paper and digital notes.

These same deflationists say this trend can’t continue, that the rest of the world will not allow the fed to continue creating more dollars out of thin air.

My question: Who is going to stop them, and how?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Yeah, Ryan Bingham

I gave Ryan a rash of shit, anticipating that fame and success would have or had ruined the man. Apparently, Ryan hasn't forgotten his roots. First, an apology. Second, a blessing, for what it's worth.

Ryan Bingham helps homeless kids with show.

May you be blessed.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Let it be

Sabbath morn, November 27, 2010

It’s 5 am and I am awake. 26 degrees or thereabouts outside my door, the first hard freeze of the year for us. The last of the volunteer watermelon crop freezes as I write, as do two rows of pepper plants. I suppose I could go out and salvage a few specimens, but it hardly seems worth the effort. I’ve almost a hundred pounds of peppers sacked up not ten feet from where I sit and we’ve gotten past watermelon season it seems. I pick them, place them on the shelf where they sit uneaten. So the freeze will kill the melons and the yard chickens and goats will reap the reward.

I rescued the remnants of the latest batch of broilers—the five and a half week old runts left behind by the mega-company for which we work (yes, I’m one of those evil bastards, too): my own, poor-as-it-may-be version of Schindler’s list. Some of them will die; our dogs and cats will feast on their bodies. Perhaps some will live also and get to grow to be chickens, to run and play and eat all sorts of tasty and nasty morsels and perhaps they’ll get eaten too, but not before having lived a more normal chicken’s life. Some will lay eggs, good Lord willing. Some will grow to be roosters and crow a new day to life. Some will live to a ripe old age by chicken’s standards. All will experience things most of their siblings around the land never knew and I get a bit of satisfaction by watching this unfold.

I did Thanksgiving dinner not once but twice, first with my parents and a sister on Thursday and then yesterday with my wife’s family. At yesterday’s meal we had sweet potatoes grown in my garden. I felt good about the couple hundred pounds we harvested. Then I happened to go by the grocery store in Luling to pick up a few items. There I spied a sign: Sweet potatoes: 6 lbs. for a dollar. On one hand I think it’s good that people can buy food so cheap in these troubling times, but then I think of the farmer that grew those potatoes and I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he or she got fucked. By the store’s standards, my entire crop would be worth only $30. It took me a half a day on the end of a grubbing hoe, a sore back and a handful of blisters to harvest those two hundred pounds, not to mention all the rest of the work that went into growing the plants those potatoes formed under.

A sign on the way back from the store proclaims: Diesel $3.09 cash, $3.14 credit. I consider how much it cost to ship sweet potatoes to the central distribution center in San Antonio, probably from East Texas or Louisiana, and then, to ship them once again to the various stores from which they are sold on semi-trucks burning this $3 diesel. I recall that sweet potatoes plants grow from vines, vines that must be cut and propagated by hand, even in this day of mechanization. The ground had to be plowed, entailing the use of a tractor and more of that expensive diesel fuel. There were probably a few expensive parts that had to be bought to make that tractor run: engine oil, transmission fluid and antifreeze, fan belts and filters to be sure. The rows had to be weeded and the ground cultivated at least once, if not more than once. Most of the people that grow sweet potatoes are not typical mega-farmers, but instead small farmers, many of which happen to be black for whatever reason. Make no mistake about it. They got fucked out of their crop and you’re eating the product of stolen labor when you buy sweet potatoes six pounds for a dollar.

Having said that, if you’ve such a bargain at your disposal, it might not be a bad idea to go and buy all you can and set them aside in your house. Sweet potatoes have a long shelf life and make a good staple food. I not only eat them baked, boiled, mashed, or bathed in syrup and covered with toasted marshmallows, but also fried.

Thanksgiving gave me the opportunity to catch up on the latest family gossip: who’s doing what and who’s not doing anything and who’s fucking who and all the other complicated arrangements we seem to migrate into in this day and time. Politics always gets discussed and inevitably I have family members on all sides of political issues. Democrats verses Republicans. We’ve queers, lesbians and homophobes, in the closet, out of the closet, those that marry and those that don't, Christians verses Atheists verses Agnostics, Communists verses Capitalists, omnivores vs. vegetarians, border defenders verses migrants fleeing poverty, those that hate Mexicans, those that love them, a few of which love at least one Mexican enough to marry and have kids with. There’s all the rest of those people we love to hate—the Muslims and Chinese and Indians and Latin American drug lords, some of which probably love hating us just as much as we love hating them. Fuck me to tears.

The truth is, most of us are just trying to survive in a crowded, noisy and confusing world.

A Beetle’s song comes to mind: Let it be.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Peak oil, not just for breakfast anymore

Chris Martenson via Zerohedge.

Must read, if you or someone in your family expects to live another twenty years. Ignore at your own peril.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fed now largest holder of US debt

Ruminate on this a while. The Fed surpassed China as the largest holder of US debt Novemeber 22 of this year.

Max Keiser and others are encouraging people to buy an ounce of physical silver as an attack of sorts on JP Morgan. This guy says the plan won't work. JP Morgan is the government. Along with his sister, Goldman Sachs, that is.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hold on a goddamned minute

"Food safety", my ass.

Another terrorist?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Carved to pieces and fed to dogs

Sabbath Morn, November 20, 2010

Cows bawl from the pasture below my house in search of calves that are no longer where they lost them. The air is cool and damp outside. We finished harvesting improved varieties of pecans and are now gathering natives from the river bottoms. As harvest season draws to a close, I breathe a muted sigh of relief. We have plenty of hay stored for the winter. On one place, oats are up and growing, nearing the stage when they will provide grazing for cattle, good Lord willing. Our pantry is well stocked, as are our grain bins, freezers and what passes for a root cellar in my house. I’ve a bit of money put aside. But all is not well.

I read that congress failed to pass another round of extensions to unemployed American workers. I am told 2 million will lose benefits by December 1, and the number will grow to 4 million by February.

Last week, ABC broadcast their evening news from China and I managed to catch two episodes. I saw houses with gardens in their yards instead of lawns: serious gardens, from which families are fed. I saw the apartment of a young woman that works in a tent factory, earning $14/day, a paltry sum by American standards, yet she is able to live off of this and even save one quarter of what she earns. As I pick up pecans, I consider the fact that one out of four of these nuts will be consumed by someone in China and I am glad they are able to enjoy them. I have nothing against Chinese workers. They work hard for their money, just like I do. We benefit from the products of their labor; they should also benefit from ours. But I can’t help but wonder how we arrived at a place that so many people in my own country can’t afford to eat the pecans I gather.

I think back to the New York Gubernatorial race. One candidate stood and told the truth and got laughed at: Jimmy McMillan from the rent is too damn high party. His words echo those of Michael Hudson a relatively sane renegade economist (I know, economist and sanity tend to be mutually exclusive words when used in the same sentence). Rent is too damn high and debts are unsustainable. But, our government, on both sides of the aisle, continues to work damned hard to ensure that those with a stranglehold on the American public maintain their grip and places of advantage.

I could waste your time and mine with ideas on how some of this could be fixed, but why bother? My plan would fail, even if it was tried, and the plans of others making public policy will fail as well.

Collapse is not the problem; it’s the inevitable solution to twenty-plus years of fraud, graft, lies and deceptions, and while not something to be desired, it’s coming, whether you like it or not. We’d best spend our time preparing for that reality, rather than ruminating over what could have been or walking around saying I told you so.

Two hours later:

Cows broke into the compound near my house, trying to find lost calves, calves that woke up in a new world of chutes and gates and the noise and confusion of a livestock auction some 12 miles from here. So I stopped writing, chased them back into the pasture where they belong and fixed a gate they'd busted.

Yesterday two newly born calves of first calf heifers were too weak to make the journey to the working pens. We carried them to the pens in the back of my pickup. After working the cows, we laid them out under shade trees to see if they’d reunite with their mothers. One of the calves got up and is gone, hopefully with his mother; the other died overnight. I did what I could to save the calves and felt sorry for them as I looked into their eyes and carried their tiny bodies. Oddly enough, they seemed resigned to their fate and unafraid.

This morning I carved the body of the calf that died into pieces without remorse and fed it to our dogs; the soul and spirit of the animal were gone; what remained provided good food for another. I noticed his stomach was full of clabbered milk but he died, nonetheless.

I wonder how long it will be until our nation suffers a similar fate?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lonestar music magazine

Here's a link to the online version of last month's Lonestar Music Magazine, to which I contributed an article.

I'm hoping I don't get disinvited as a contributor as a result.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Keep hacking

Sabbath eve, October 12, 2010

Another week has come and gone. Despite the implied unwritten rule that farmers must drop what they’re doing and work dawn to dusk during harvest season, I spent the last couple of days planting my winter garden while paying someone else to take my place in the pecan bottom. I know this is forbidden. But it’s not like I didn’t work dawn to dusk anyway. And I did look in on my hired hands a couple of times a day. It’s just that pursuit of the almighty dollar has to take a back seat to other endeavors once in a while or I find myself looking and acting just like all the rest of the industrial agriculturalists out there.

So I set out 2,000 onion plants, and planted 1,000 garlic cloves, made up rows with a garden hoe, planted seed and watered dry ground. I had to replant turnips and beets between tattered remains of plants that rose from seed planted a couple of weeks ago, now decimated by grasshoppers. Spinach and carrots are next on the replant list. Anyone got an organic solution to hoards of Texas grasshoppers? I didn’t think so.

I dug borders around cabbage and broccoli plants and watered them. They’re within a month of producing food. We also have green onions and shallots ready to eat.

The freeze I anticipated last week did not materialize and we still have lots of hot peppers to harvest. Some of the little bastards are so hot, one pepper transforms a dish into a near deadly concoction. (Does anyone actually eat habanero peppers?)

I pulled remaining sweet potato vines up and fed them to the goats. I shredded down a patch of black-eyed peas grown primarily to fertilize the ground. That plot of ground won’t get another crop until spring. I discovered that the sweet potato vines had rooted between rows and I found quite a few small potatoes in the middles that might suffice for a start next year when I ran the tiller through the ground.

A number of volunteer watermelons came up. I let some of them go for it when tilling the ground a couple of months ago, and for some reason they produced more and better melons than the initial crop. We eat all we can stand and give the rest away.

Eulit Miller caught about 20 catfish out of the Guadalupe River yesterday and traded me one good five pounder, already cleaned and gutted for a five gallon bucket of hot peppers. Good trade, considering he picked the peppers himself. Some say we shouldn’t eat fish from the river. You take your chances at the grocery store; I’ll take mine on the local fish and fauna.

Leah continues making some of the best fresh cheddar cheese can be had in these parts and we’re still working at perfecting aged varieties as well. I honestly don’t know what we’ll do with all of this considering our goddamned government likes to arrest folks for selling such dangerous stuff. Don’t want a swat team showing up at my door.

One good thing to report. Last week I loaned $300 to a man so he could keep his girlfriend out of jail. Today, he repaid $250 of the loan, a minor miracle in these times. The guy in question has a job drilling Eagle Ford shale wells, but also a family full of unemployed folks with serious needs. Now if I can get through this week without having to loan him back the money…

The good folks out in California decided not to legalize marijuana. So I guess we can continue to expect the war on drugs to keep people employed both sides of the fence. Henry David Thoreau once pointed out the ridiculous notion that the majority has to decide something’s right before it can be right. Wake the fuck up, people.

While it barely made a peep on the radar screen, last Friday there was one hell of a shoot out in Matamoros, just a half a mile or so from the bridge at Brownsville, Texas. At least 58 bodies lay in the street when it was over. A glance at the reports posted at this blog leaves no doubt that Mexico is coming apart at the seams.

I fear for the life of my friends in Mexico trying to make a go as legitimate farmers, even though they live in a remote part of the country long abandoned as a drug route. There seems no rhyme or reason to the violence down there. No one is immune.

Years ago, my friend Chuck Bowden wrote a book called, Juarez: the laboratory of our future.

I don’t think even Chuck Bowden understood how prophetic those words might turn out.

Keep hacking.

Shopping trip to Matamoros, anyone?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Where's my machete?

Yes, he's loud. It's theater. Based on conspiracy theory.

The game is rigged. You're (we're) the mark.

Part 1 of 4

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Friday, November 5, 2010

Steel yourselves

Sabbath eve, November 5, 2010

We got our first and second frost this week and anticipate another freeze tonight. That will probably put an end to what’s left of summer grass. It also will mean the end of any unprotected warm season crops such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, etc in local gardens.

I’d never before grown sweet potatoes, but after harvesting 100 pounds off of a 50 foot row, I hope to try again on a larger scale in the future. They seem well suited to our area, although I am told some sort of weevil can be problematic.

Pecan harvest continues, but with disappointing yields, somewhere on the order of 20% of maximum yields when compared to previous years. The price of pecans is historically high, but not enough to make up for the deficiency in yield.

It’s as though the law of diminishing returns exerts its power everywhere I look.

Central banks, on behalf of our government continue to create and throw new money at the economy, but regardless of the amount, no new real wealth results. While commodity prices rise, higher prices don’t translate into larger crops or profits to producers, nor do higher oil prices increase local or worldwide daily oil production numbers.

We hear of high corn prices, but much of the Texas crop was afflicted with aphlatoxin this year. Some of the crop had to be destroyed and much of the rest has or will be sold at discounts for feedlot cattle only. I continue to sit on my corn. Maybe the price goes up some more, or maybe it goes down, but I can virtually guarantee that in either case, the corn will be more expensive when compared to buying power of the average consumer.

I’ve spent horrible amounts of money, running, maintaining and fixing trucks and machinery on the farm this year. I know it’s the same in the oil patch. It’s as though we have a moving goal post; no matter what the price of a commodity, it always lags behind the cost of production.

Wages of those lucky enough to still have a job always seem a bit less than necessary to keep the vultures away; poorer citizens face a gauntlet of bill collectors and predatory entities from traffic cops to utility companies, to hospitals and banks with their myriad service fees and penalties, all delivered with a friendly smile that feels a whole lot more like fuck you than howdy do.

I’ve watched many an animal spiral toward death and the signs our empire exhibits are similar. Ailments arise, treatments bring temporary relief, but wave after wave of further complications reassert themselves and eventually have their way. Death brings relief, but oftentimes the journey between life and death can be ugly and painful.

I wish I could offer a better prognosis, but to do so would be to lie.

Steel yourselves. Rough times are here and it ain’t gonna get any easier.

Fed to surpass China as top holder of US debt this month


This doesn't end well.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


About a month or so ago, a companion forum to Matt Savinar's life after the oil crash site began to falter.

I am under the opinion that the forum became the target of malicious hackers. The hackers won.

Originally, users would get cut off while trying to post entries or would receive denial of service messages when they tried to acces the site. Matt called in friends to help; apparentely they couldn't fix the problem. Then he hired professionals; they too failed to fix his forum woes. Then he tried a different host with a lower quality setup.

Forum users began complaining. (We want it easy and we want it now. We're goddamned Internet junkies and we demand to be fed.) Eventually the strain got to Matt. As a result, he closed the forum. Archives of the original forum can be read here.

I think the way Matt was treated is shameful. Both by the sons-of-bitches that targeted his site and by those that were so quick to lay blame on the young man for circumstances beyond his control.

Sometimes the bad guys win. Sometimes we're the bad guys.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pecan harvest

Sabbath morn, October 30, 2010.

It’s 4:30 am and I’m awake. The god of more (hat tip, Paul Speir) has tortured me throughout the night. Numbers roll through my head. How many pecans must we gather to pay for the cost of raising them? Am I paying hands too much? Should I buy another new machine? To be sure, if you tally the number of pecans we gathered yesterday against the amount of money I spent gathering them, we lost money. This is the time of year when a man should be not only paying daily harvest expenses, but also covering costs accrued throughout the year in the process of actually raising a crop and caring for the land.

More and more, I find the numbers don’t add up.

Machines break.

The more complex and “efficient” the machine and the more machines required to do a job, the more catastrophic breakdowns become.

To gather pecans, first we go out to the field and pick up branches. Then we run a tractor and a shredder to cut grass and weeds. Later we shake the trees with another machine. More branches fall and must be gathered. Still another machine rakes and windrows the pecans, leaves and small sticks. Then a nut harvester pulled by yet another tractor picks up the pecans and blows away debris. The nut harvester dumps pecans into a cleaner that blows light or underdeveloped pecans away and then runs what remains onto a conveyor belt where men pick out any green or cracked pecans. The pecans then fall into sacks and are stacked on a trailer pulled by a truck. From there, it’s off to a barn where each sack must be weighed, adding or subtracting pecans to arrive at the proper weight. A sixty mile round trip delivers the pecans to market, utilizing yet another pickup and trailer. The process continues under the watch of others until the pecans reach their final destination, which may very well be China, before all is said and done, involving who knows how many more fossil fuel powered machines along the way.

Yesterday, the shaker (a self propelled version) began to misfire. An operator drove it into a hole and got stuck. It didn’t have enough power to get out. The engine died and wouldn’t restart. The battery was low and required a jump; another tractor and a chain was required to pull it out of the hole after the engine started. Meanwhile, everyone else stands around waiting for the shaker so they can do their job. A man drives to town and buys points, condenser and a new rotor and returns to install it on the shaker’s engine. The machine runs better, but still has problems, perhaps the carburetor (?). It’s lunch time and we haven’t harvested a fucking pecan.

After lunch we finally shake a few trees, despite the mis-firing engine. I notice the shaker scars the trees in places. And we wonder why some of them die every year. Another man starts windrowing the pecans; yet another cranks up his tractor and pulls the gatherer over the windrow. I notice it’s leaving a lot of pecans behind. Perhaps it needs an adjustment. (?) He dumps a load and the guys running the blower/conveyor go to work. When the man operating the gatherer arrives to dump his second load, someone notices the pecan gatherer has a flat tire. The tubeless tire has separated from the rim and the rim has been destroyed. Of course it’s some special size available only in Bumfuck, Egypt…

Meanwhile, on a second crew, a man knocks pecans out of the trees with a long cane pole. Men and women rake and hand gather pecans by hand.

At the end of the day, the crew hand gathering pecans picked more pecans than all of the rest of us with our goddamned high-powered expensive machines. This may seem an anomaly, but it happens more times than you’d expect all across the land, not the group of hand gatherers; most if not all of them have been displaced by machines, but the breakdown part of the story in the mechanized operation.

Of course, when all of the machines work as they’re supposed to, an impressive pile of pecans can be gathered.

But I can’t help but wonder when all costs are factored in, from the cost of making and maintaining these machines, to the cost of fuel required to operate them, to the cost of supporting the hundreds or thousands of people put out of a job by these machines, if the price we pay for all this shit it just too Goddamned high.

Later, I’m at the scale of a pecan buyer with a ton of pecans on my trailer. A man walks up with a couple of sacks of pecans he gathered, perhaps from his yard. He looks enviously at my trailer load of pecans and I look enviously at his two sacks. I bet he made some money…

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nuking food

I distrusted microwave ovens when they first came out. Nevertheless, over the years I began to use them.

Looks like I should have stuck with my gut feeling...

Time to break another habit.

Monday, October 25, 2010

La reconquista

Cain Velasquez beat the holy hell out of Brock Lesnar (aka Goliath) Saturday night, earning the title, UFC undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, in the process.

Cain is the Mexican-American son of lettuce pickers. His dad was deported to Mexico multiple times but came back for more.

A sign of the times.

Peak oil and the economy

Nicole Foss from the Automatic Earth was recently interviewed by Jim Puplava. Nicole seems to grasp ideas most economists don't. For that matter, she understands things about the economy most peak oil pundits don't grasp as well.

Link to the video and a transcript can be found


Friday, October 22, 2010

No way out

Sabbath eve, October 22, 2010

To begin, I’m about 3/4s through with Eric Herm’s book, Son of a farmer, child of the earth. Pretty good considering I just began reading yesterday, (or bad perhaps, if you consider I have a job and work needing done).

Because I haven’t finished reading Eric’s book, I’ll not offer a review, but I can say that Eric addresses many of the conundrums I too face. We share a strikingly similar view of the world.

Unfortunately, just about every solution Eric proffers raises more questions than answers with me, as I’d guess, my ideas would with Eric. To his credit, Eric’s book is not the theoretical work of some cloistered academic, but instead that of a working man, trying to implement lessons he teaches in the real world.

Ralph Nader recently said, (I paraphrase), if you’re in a hole up to your waist, grab the banks and extricate yourself. But when the hole is 30 feet deep, a different plan of attack is required. The hole we’re in seems so deep it’s hard to discern light at the surface. Generations now alive on this planet were born late in an ongoing game and so much was set into motion before our arrival. There’s little we can do to avoid the consequences of cumulative human behavior (you can’t un-pave the ground, un-burn the oil, un-make the cars, un-fly the miles, un-kill the trees, un-extinguish species, or un-shoot rounds that have already been fired). That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to alter the way we operate from this day foward.

For me, what it does mean is that there is no solution absent collapse of our current way of living. I’ve become disinterested in politics of late. Why get worked up over fights where neither viable political party is willing to ask the right questions, much less look for honest solutions? I don’t see even the remote possibility of a workable nation-wide arrangement without going through a thorough ass kicking first.

But do not fear: The ass kicking is on the way (at heart, I remain an optimist).

It will be up to us or others like us to rebuild from the ashes. That begins today, while we can still salvage a few critical resources like heirloom seeds, patches of salvageable fertile ground and clean water. Cumulative survival techniques and knowledge developed over thousands of years by varieties of peoples and cultures remains alive and documented, although rather tenuously it seems. We can’t go back entirely to these ways in one great leap but we can take the short time we have left in this paradigm to begin building arks of sorts, preparing for the journey, marrying old ways with bits of the new, striding toward a new epoch.

An inmate I met in prison once told me he couldn’t do the sentence he’d been given. My reply: You have no choice, other than dying.

There’s no way out of this mess but down that I can discern.

But we must keep fighting.

The fate of future generations is at stake. And this difficult time will pass, sooner or later.


Back at the ranch we’re preparing for pecan harvest, picking up limbs and shredding grass under the trees. We hoped to start shaking trees today, but the shaking device had a bad hydraulic oil leak and we will have to wait on a part until Monday at the earliest to begin.

The wind blew today, with it, pecans began to fall to the ground. Substantial herds of deer eat the fallen pecans. Feral hogs will be out as soon as the sun sets, along with raccoons, squirrels, etc. I can’t help but think that if we were to harvest by hand, we’d harvest more pecans, but mechanization is factored into the price of doing business on nearly every level.

I am tired of being a slave to machines.

I must also note that most pecan farmers spray insecticides and fungicides abundantly, in particular on larger improved varieties. For whatever reason, smaller native pecans seem less susceptible to disease and insect infestations and are more likely to be raised organically.

I have a lot to learn before I can consider raising pecans organically. Shit, I have a lot to learn about raising pecans, period.

But I look forward to learning. The bottoms are absolutely beautiful and there’s something about trees…

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Texas book festival replay

Here's a link to a video of Chuck Bowden, Ed Vulliamy and Malcom Beith from last week's Texas Book Festival.

Border Drug Wars.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Texas book festival aftermath

While looking through Booktv's archives for Chuck Bowden's presentation at this year's book festival I came across my one and only foray into that territory in 2005.

Not much has changed that I can tell, except things are worse.

A couple of observations concerning drugs and violence in Mexico: It's illegal for common citizens to own or carry guns. Checkpoints abound. The people doing the shooting are cops and soldiers.

The cash spent on drugs must be laundered back into the system and it is, with the help of governments, banks and Wall Street.

When we send money to Mexico to stop drugs, we're supporting liars, thieves and murderers.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Texas Book Festival

Several friends of mine are participating in the Texas book festival this weekend in Austin. I have hay on the ground. It might hairlip the pope. But I plan to go, watch and listen to:

Charles Bowden

Terry Allen

and Ed Vulliamy.

I'm sad to say I won't be able to catch Karl Rove's presentation as it conflicts with that of Bowden and Vulliamy. (And they don't allow spectators to enter with pockets full of rocks.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Must listen interview

Manfred Max Neef.

PS. Excerpt:

The principles, you know, of an economics which should be are based in five postulates and one fundamental value principle.

One, the economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy.

Two, development is about people and not about objects.

Three, growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.

Four, no economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.

Five, the economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible.

And the fundamental value to sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no circumstance, can be above the reverence of life.

Money for nothing

Saturday, October 09, 2010

We’ve had sun and gorgeous weather this week, highs in the low 80’s, morning lows in the 50’s. Martin and the boys have been cutting and baling hay, putting most but not all in round bales. Our barns are full to the rafters of small squares and we have stockpiles of rolled hay stacked on the closest thing to hills South Texas brush and river country offers. We also started shredding grass and weeds in pecan bottoms, preparing for harvest, which should begin in a couple of weeks.

I’ve been watching economic and political news warily, waiting for the next shoe to fall. Perhaps this is a sort of self-torture—there’s nothing I can do to change the course of events on any large scale—but I don’t operate in a vacuum and what goes on in the world around can and will affect the real world in which I live. So I try to stay informed.

As usual, I waited until the last possible minute to prepare my tax forms. Wait. Let me reword that. I waited until the last possible minute to beg Leah to prepare our tax forms. We have already given the IRS the money we owed, this year a large amount due to a once-in-a-lifetime windfall event, the maximum by percentage allowed by law, (36.5%, I believe), ignoring, I am sure, possible deductions and strategies we could have used if I was one of those rich fucks accustomed to making this kind of money, but the motherfuckers want more from me. How many cows you got? How many died? How many bulls? How old are they? Are your horses riding or breeding animals? A hobby or a legitimate business? How many bales of hay did you make? How many did you sell? What does this check say? Was that wheat you sold on such and such a date? Your writing is illegible. Where are your receipts for the goods you bought? Every fucking move I make has to be recorded and documented, with the very real threat of a gun in the face, confiscation of property or jail time as a consequence if I don’t comply.

OK. I will comply. Kind of. Barely. Under protest.

To the IRS: Fuck you cock-sucking, slime-sucking, motherless, goddamned bleating sons of whores. I resent the hell out of you prying into my life. I paid my taxes. More than I probably owed if I’d hired an accountant. Now, leave me the fuck alone.

All right. Got that off my chest. Feel a bit better for having done so, too.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, we’re nearing time for planting of winter crops which for us means broccoli, cabbage, turnips, beets, carrots, spinach, onions, garlic and perhaps a few more things that don’t come to mind. I planted snow peas to see if they’ll survive our mild winters as an experiment.

Oats are coming up in the fields and we’ve been plowing corn stubble under.

I haven’t yet sold my corn crop. While I did submit a sample to a grain company that specializes in corn for tortillas, they haven’t gotten back to me. The price of corn has fluctuated wildly over the past couple of months, starting in the low $3 range and ending at about $5.30 a bushel. Last week corn fell from the $5.30 price to a low around $4.60 and then climbed back to $5.30 by the end of the week, going up or down as much as 30 cents in a single day. Obviously the price is not determined by real supply and demand issues and those buying or selling real corn rather than the fake corn traded on paper don’t know what price they should pay or accept as payment.

While no one seems to mind the IRS calling us to task for every move we make, the Fed continues to create electronic dollars out of thin air and gives them to their buddies at the big banks and corporations without any real oversight. These motherfuckers got a money for nothing machine going. I wonder when the day comes that confidence in the US dollar is lost.

For me, that day is here. I feel better with a bin full of corn than a fist full of paper. I’ll end up selling the corn for dollars, because the tax man will accept nothing else. But I will do my best to turn those dollars back into something real as soon as possible.

The day will come when the veil is lifted and people see. When that happens, things are going to get nasty.

We’ve been had.

PS. Manfred Max Neef offers an economics lesson well worth your time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Concerning the Sabbath

Sabbath morn, October 2, 2010.

While I try to acknowledge the passing of the Sabbath, I rarely honor the day as I suppose someone of the Jewish faith or a first century Christian would have. Perhaps that’s because the command was to do all your work on six days and then rest the seventh. Nowadays Sabbath keepers tend to remember the resting part of the equation while ignoring the do all your work part. And of course, plants and animals don’t respect holidays. If they die on a Saturday because they’ve been neglected, you can’t raise them back to life come Sunday morning.

In my previous entry, I said, wise is the man that harvests his crops. I haven’t been so wise this year. In fact, one of the reasons I write about what I am doing is to guilt myself into doing a better job. Somehow seeing a recorded ledger of my failures spurs me on to do better.

Large amounts of produce have gone to waste in my garden this year. Even now I have unpicked black-eyed peas and peppers. I harvested only a tiny amount of okra; big plants with dried pods still wave in the wind as a reminder of my negligence. Harvesting entails more than just picking the stuff and putting it into a bucket. The food must be delivered to market or be properly stored, if not, it will rot or otherwise go to waste.

Hogs and chickens are useful as potential consumers of spoiled or excess produce from the garden. And I don’t have any hogs. That’s something I need to remedy to further our path toward a sustainable farm.

When we put corn into a bin, we put diatomaceous earth along the floor and then mixed some throughout the grain as it was added to the bin to keep weevils at bay. Most farmers treat their bins with phostoxin, a horribly lethal substance if not properly handled. I am told no residue remains from the use of this substance as it’s a gas that it emits that kills rodents and insects, but I remain skeptical. Grain buyers tend to look suspiciously at the dust the diatomaceous earth adds to the mix and therefore prefer the chemical.

So, it’s off to work today, because I didn’t do all the shit I should have this week. I won’t get it all done today either, but hopefully we will do enough to survive. As for those that advocate a return to the hunter/gatherer way of life: best I can tell it wasn’t near as great as the romantic notion many have, entailing periods of hardship and starvation. I pretty much accept the fact that the ground has been cursed and if you don’t work, you don’t eat.

Keep a hackin.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall has arrived

Sabbath eve, October 1, 2010

Nice weather for harvesting hay arrived this week after a rainy month of September so we’ve begun cutting and baling hay once again. Our barns however are full of small square bales so we will probably roll most of the grass into large round bales, a much less labor intensive endeavor.

Pecan harvest season draws near so the guys have been cutting, stacking and burning limbs and branches so they can mow the grass under the trees in the bottoms. My dad recently acquired additional acreage where the Guadalupe and San Marcos Rivers intersect; the new plot has almost 6,000 pecan trees of various improved varieties. I am less than well-versed in the art of raising pecans and more than a little worried about my new duties.

The new place is extremely prone to flooding, so every rain event from now forward will be a cause for consternation in my house. In these parts, the best grazing land is that created by flooding rivers, which also means that the best land is also the most dangerous for livestock. Quite the conundrum.

Those living on the gulf coast share similar concerns. The ocean provides bountiful food, scenery and entertainment; ports also provide work to those shipping or receiving goods from foreign lands, but proximity to the water brings the dangers of hurricanes and tropical storms, and now, hazards related to off-shore oil spills. Want the one, you get the other too. Life on the cutting edge appeals to me. I’d rather face death than live a boring life.

Speaking of the gulf, the Discovery channel has been airing a program called Swamp People, featuring a handful of Louisiana Cajuns that earn their living hunting alligators. While some might consider this a dreadful occupation, you’d be hard-pressed to get those people to walk away from what they do, or better spoken, who they are. I find Louisiana a foreign environment but I identify with the attachment these men and women have to the country that feeds them. I’d guess their transition to collapse will be much less drastic than that of someone attached to a life of leisure in a city or a suburb.

As Mike Ruppert is known to ask, would you rather fall from the penthouse to the sidewalk, or from the sidewalk to the curb? Ain’t much below when you already live in the swamp.

I got a call from a man named Dale today. Dale is my resident feral hog hunter. He’s black and works all the time at feed yards and livestock auctions. For fun he goes out at night with dogs and hunts hogs. I won’t go into details for you because I don’t want to draw heat on the man but I will say this much. The only tool he carries is a long sharp knife. Feral hogs have no natural predators in this country and multiply like crazy. They can be very destructive to gardens, fields and pastures. They also are a good source of food for those so inclined. I have a number of jars of canned feral hog meat in my pantry.

While some would wipe the hogs out, I like the idea of having such a source of food available in the wild. So we only hunt them sporadically, mostly when they’re destroying crops after planting or near harvest time. We also have deer and wild turkeys in the area, but hogs provide lard in addition to meat which I find indispensable in cooking for a southern palate.

We dug our first sweet potato this week. I’ve been pleased with the way they performed in our garden and am considering trying a larger plot in the field next year. There’s almost no way to plant the things other than by hand, with cuttings from the vines, so this may prove to be one crop where my idea of hand labor has a chance of working.

I’m getting soil ready for onions, broccoli, cabbage, beets, spinach, turnips and carrots, all of which grow through the winter in this region. Our pepper plants survived the summer and are producing lots of peppers once again. I have a crop of black eyed peas I hoped to harvest as dried peas, but with the unusual amount of rain we’ve had, a lot of the dried pods are molded. Thankfully I have only four rows of these instead of twenty acres worth (like last year).

We planted 120 acres of oats in our fields this week, to be grazed overwinter by cattle. If conditions are right, we’ll have the option of pulling the cattle off in mid February for a spring harvest of hay or grain. If conditions aren’t right, we can allow the cattle to graze them out, reducing the amount of hay needed to get our animals through the winter.

I have four partially constructed green houses needing covers. And very little time to do all the work on my plate.

Each year carries new challenges and one year is rarely like another. If you plant crops, some will fail. But you have to risk failure in order to learn what if feels like to win.

Best plant your seeds and trees. And you’d best harvest your crops when you have them. Lots of people plant crops; quite a few less harvest a crop. Wise is the man that harvests his crop.

Life goes on and we all have to eat.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Down by the river

Well, it ain't exactly the Rio Grande, but instead a piece of the Guadalupe as it runs by our place at Belmont. Paul Speir, publisher of my book, Ruminations from the garden, came by last weekend and interviewed me briefly. It's not the best of quality and I am what I am, flaws and all. For better or worse, here it be:

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Left/Right paradigm is over: it's you vs. corportations

An article worth your time


Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.

I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power. The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.

This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.

Wanna be a farmer?

My on air conversation with Mike Ruppert spawned additional thoughts. Particularly the last question he asked which caught me by surprise. What advice do you have for some 20 something out there….

I’ve often concerned myself with the fact that the average farmer/rancher is getting old and there are almost no replacements from the subsequent generation. I don’t fault the generation: it’s more a matter of the tide into which they were born that created the current condition. The trend was for one farmer to do more with less and that left no financial incentive for a young person to take up the trade.

However, times are changing. I believe opportunities abound for young people that haven’t already spent years investing in another occupation, studying and practicing the art of growing food. The master plan of the powers that be seems continued consolidation and mechanization of agriculture.

I am convinced the plan will fail.

Instead, out of sheer necessity, I think re-localization and diversification away from the big ag monoculture equation will become the new rule and the key to our survival.

I don’t envision a return to entirely antiquated methods of farming, but instead hybrid variations incorporating parts of the old and the new.

The elderly will soon pass away and with them, the knowledge passed from one generation to the next.

On the economic front, I believe we have entered an era when expensive mansions, fancy cars, resort properties and any other non-essentials will depreciate sharply in value. Essentials will become scarce and will maintain or increase in value regardless of the value of currency, be it dollars, yuan or gold, unless we have a government takeover of farms and farm products (it has been tried elsewhere and that too will fail).

Perhaps now is the time to consider becoming a farmer. Believe me when I tell you that it’s a challenging endeavor. And that the work can be quite rewarding.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Radio interview

I'm scheduled for an interview with Mike Ruppert Sunday at 9pm eastern on his new radio show, the lifeboat hour.

We'll be talking chicken, pigs, cows, vegetables, and diggin in the dirt. Maybe some other things as well. Also be taking calls from the public.

Listen here if so inclined.

Archive, here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hope remains

Sabbath eve, September 24, 2010

I’ve been in a funk for a couple of days, low of energy and feeling somewhat light headed. I don’t know exactly what caused this condition to arise, but I know I compounded the equation by engaging in an Internet orgy of doom when I should have been out doing something instead. There’s a time for everything, including studying the condition of our condition, but I need breaks. Too much bad news incapacitates me.

So this afternoon I shut off the computer, went out to the garden, started a rototiller and began plowing soil. We’ve had abundant rain, way above normal for the year, and grass and weeds were in the process of taking over an area that I had plowed less than a month ago. As the machine chugged and churned through the earth and tender vegetative matter, my mood began to lift.

I’ve focused a lot of attention of late on the current industrial model of feeding ourselves and the fact that absent cheap and abundant fossil fuels we will not be able to continue living as we now do. In doing so, I have pushed aside other lessons learned not only from a study of history but also real experience.

We’ve all heard how many man hours of labor a gallon of gas contains. But statistics can be misleading. As I watched the tines of the tiller chug through the ground, I realized how terribly inefficient the machine I was operating actually is. A vast majority of the energy that machine produces is wasted when compared to the efficient way a man with a sharp hoe would move through the same ground. Likewise, when you consider a car, the weight of moving that much iron and the friction created by the speed at which we travel in an automobile makes the machine terribly inefficient. We can and will get by on less energy.

I know for a fact that a healthy man with access to fertile soil, seed, a supply of good water, and hand tools can grow more food that he and an average sized family can consume from a garden plot. Coupled with an array of animal products, that family can do much more than just survive, it can flourish. Cooperative efforts on larger plots of land can and will work as well, despite the opinions of naysayers.

I also know that oil is not going to run out entirely overnight, everywhere, at the same time. I do think the time will come when a dystopian society is formed, denying the benefits of the cheap energy oil provides to many of us, so I am considering ways to use less. But I also know that the ground where I live has some oil remaining below and will have for years to come. There will be those that figure out how to extract and use some of that oil outside government and corporate control of the resource.

Those that focus on the law of entropy without also studying the mechanisms of rebirth and reconfiguration on this planet miss valuable clues to our future. Plants take water in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll and create glucose which forms the basis for simple sugars, complex carbohydrates and fats. Throw in nitrogen which certain plants can also extract from the air and store in their roots and you have the basis for all proteins. Herbivores consume grasses and redeposit nutrients into the soil. Put these equations to work in sensible and well thought out arrangements and you will eat.

We can’t save everybody be we can save ourselves if we choose to do so. Our biggest enemy will prove to be those that choose only to take from others and offer nothing in return. I know I will lose some of you with this, but so be it. While I believe certain prophecies of gloom and doom will be fulfilled, I do not live in fear of these events. I expect a dystopian society to emerge, perhaps a one world government. And I expect that society to fail catastrophically. In the same way natural disasters or occurrences plagued the ancient Egyptian empire of Moses’ day, today’s disasters may prove the only hope for those desiring freedom in the face of tyrannical government interference, subjugation and inequity.

It took great faith for Moses and his people to walk away from the comfort of homes and the food supplies they had become accustomed to into the uncertainties of an empty desert but they did what they had to do. I expect many of us will face similar challenges.

If the Jewish parable doesn’t work for you, consider the prophecies of aboriginals elsewhere. Just about any culture has its seers. And if that doesn’t work for you, then at least consider the past and the cyclical nature of the rise and fall of empires. We are headed for a fall. When we fall, we're taking the rest of the world with us.

I look forward to a time when local communities rise from the ashes and come together to find new and better ways to get along with this planet. I may not see that day, but I feel confident that someone will.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Breaking chains

Sabbath eve, September 17, 2010

Rain shortened my workday, once again, at least until the necessary evening chores came along which must be done regardless of weather conditions. Earlier, I saw one of our goats in labor. I moved closer to discover that a kid was already out and moving so I left the nanny alone. About thirty minutes later I saw the kid stand and nurse. I failed to notice another kid had been born and lay dead on the ground alongside the nanny.

Had I been there for the second birth, the kid might very well have been saved. Sometimes whether an animal lives or dies can be as simple a matter as removing a piece of the sack in which they are encased to allow the baby to get that first breath. Here’s what’s certain. I was not there. The animal died. Once dead, there is no bringing that dead animal back to life. At least one of the neighborhood coyotes will eat tonight.

Leah is out in the rain moving the nanny and the surviving kid to a stall so they won’t have to stand in a wet pen. Left out, even with the protection of our pack of livestock guard dogs, there’s a chance that one of literally thousands of coyotes in the immediate area might sneak in and snag dinner in the form of the surviving kid.

This morning I read a blog where a woman complained about having to go out and milk her goats. For her, buying and raising goats seemed a good idea until she realized that her spouse and her children would not drink the milk, nor are they interested in helping milk goats. If you have any kind of job at all or a government check, if not, it’s cheaper and easier to buy milk than it is to extract your own from an animal. Milk animals, be they cows or goats, must be tended to twice a day, even if milked just once. There are no sick days, bad weather days, weekends, holidays, or excuses unless you have someone to fill in, and apparently she doesn’t.

I’ve seen this scenario play out time and again. People leave the city for a homestead with some idyllic notion of their own little house on the prairie and soon find themselves in a hell of their own making. They plant seeds, hoping to grow things organically. Bugs eat the crops, if not, then weeds take over, if not that, some other impediment arises. If by some minor miracle they do manage to overcome all these obstacles and get food grown, they discover growing and harvesting food by hand is brutally hard work and the produce must be picked on time and immediately processed or it begins to overripen or rot in short order.

Then excess crops get harvested, more than can possibly be processed, given there are only 24 hours in a day, so the homesteader decides to try and sell some of their hard earned produce.

People say they want organically grown food but they don’t want to see a bug bite or any other blemish or imperfection and they want the food dirt cheap. In other words, they don’t really want organically grown, hand harvested food. They want something labeled organic that looks just like the shit sold in the grocery store and are willing to pay a few extra cents to get it. The vast majority, even if they buy “organic”, buy at some megastore that will not purchase raw food products from small scale producers. If you’re sitting at a farmer’s market selling stuff, you’re not at the farm taking care of the plants and animals in your charge. Most of those that do sit at farmer’s markets make their money fucking farmers out of their crops. Either you sell these middlemen stuff dirt cheap, less than the cost of production if your time is accounted for, or they go buy produce from the same place the big stores do, except they get the lower end stuff, repackage it and sell it as homegrown produce.

It takes time to do things by hand which, unless a person has a cache of money put aside, cuts into other money making endeavors which tend to be hard to come by anyhow if you live in what I would consider a favorable spot for a homestead. When raising food produced or gathered by hand, you’re competing with what amounts to foreign slave labor. By slave labor, I mean working your ass off for less than $10/day.

I could not do what I do if I didn’t have the family support of others that derive income from non-agricultural ventures. In my case, that help came in the form of a windfall that evaporates by the day. The vast majority of those that work on a farm, even of the mechanized and most modern variety, have similar arrangements. Either they inherited their land and/or someone in the family goes to town to earn money to pay bills.

When I pay someone to hand harvest crops, I lose money. Every time, without fail. And old saying, which is a whole lot less funny than it was the first time I heard it: If you want to make a small fortune farming, start out with a big fortune.

If I offered all the corn three field hands harvested today instead of the money I paid them for their efforts, to a man they would decline the offer. If that corn was all they got paid, they wouldn’t be back to work tomorrow. What they earned in wages is more money than the corn they picked can be sold for, if they could sell it at all (and that is highly unlikely). I’ve gone as far with this endeavor as I can. The rest of the unharvested corn the combine missed will be plowed into the ground.

Economic chains have forced farmers to mechanize, cut costs and grow Frankenfoods. We waste significant amounts of the food that we grow. Breaking these chains seems near impossible, but we had better figure out how.

Lives depend upon it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Do not pity the Democrats

Chris Hedges has written a good piece concerning the condition of our condition. Now if more of his liberal constituents would take notice...

An excerpt:

Investing emotional and intellectual energy in electoral politics is a waste of time. Resistance means a radical break with the formal structures of American society. We must cut as many ties with consumer society and corporations as possible. We must build a new political and economic consciousness centered on the tangible issues of sustainable agriculture, self-sufficiency and radical environmental reform. The democratic system, and the liberal institutions that once made piecemeal reform possible, is dead. It exists only in name. It is no longer a viable mechanism for change. And the longer we play our scripted and absurd role in this charade the worse it will get. Do not pity Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. They will get what they deserve. They sold the citizens out for cash and power. They lied. They manipulated and deceived the public, from the bailouts to the abandonment of universal health care, to serve corporate interests. They refused to halt the wanton corporate destruction of the ecosystem on which all life depends. They betrayed the most basic ideals of democracy. And they, as much as the Republicans, are the problem.

“It is like being in a pit,” Ralph Nader told me when we spoke on Saturday. “If you are four feet in the pit you have a chance to grab the top and hoist yourself up. If you are 30 feet in the pit you have to start on a different scale.”

All resistance will take place outside the arena of electoral politics. The more we expand community credit unions, community health clinics and food cooperatives and build alternative energy systems, the more empowered we will become.

More at the link.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Looking for a combine

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sabbath eve came around and I couldn’t find a word to write if my life depended on it. I didn’t work particularly hard this week; we had rain, even the threat of floods, so I did little more than the usual chores and a bit of work in the garden. However, I seem to be suffering from cumulative fatigue, not so much of the physical nature, although my fifty something year old body seems not to work as well as it once did, but instead from the general strain of life in a time of crisis.

As documented in past writings, getting the harvest in this year has been difficult. To add insult to injury, this week I got an invoice for crop insurance. OK. This is a self-inflicted wound. I signed up for the abuse. That doesn’t make the pain any less real. If there was any chance of a profit from the crop I raised, the goddamned insurance premium will get it. All of it.

Seems old Adam Smith’s invisible hand has been sharpening a pencil of late and the bastard knows how much it costs to raise a crop, to the penny. If you are a good old boy and play exactly as the government and its handlers dictate, they allow just enough profit to continue on in indefinite servitude and perpetual debt. And they do dictate how things are done.

An example: After suffering the abuse that hiring a combine to harvest my crops entails for the past couple of years, I decided to go online to see if I could find a small combine at a reasonable price so we could harvest our own row crops. I typed the words small combine into a search engine, only to discover those words have become mutually exclusive.

In the late 70’s and early 80’s we owned our own combine, a John Deere model 6600. A larger version had just come out, the largest to date: a 7700 model. That 6600 model got repossessed along with the rest of the equipment we had and the farm on which that equipment worked. It was about then I began smuggling marijuana for a living. That’s a long story, so I won’t bother you with the details other than to say I have not owned a combine since, nor have I kept up with the models that have been made in the interim years.

So, as I search though lists of used combines, I notice a trend. Each and every time a new model came out, it was larger, of higher capacity and significantly more expensive than its predecessor. There was no improved version of a similar sized machine to be had.

Consequently, if you wanted to continue farming, you had to farm more acres with larger equipment and use less people to do so. Either that or get good at fixing used worn out equipment with obsolete parts which, if found, proved cost prohibitive.

The trend applied not only to harvest equipment, but also to tractors, plows and planters. Monsanto’s Roundup-ready crops began to dominate the market, with them no-till planters and spray equipment necessary to grow that type of crop. Over the years, four-row equipment gave way to eight rows and now twenty rows, perhaps even more in real farm country. Around these parts, a single farmer might plant a few thousand acres instead of a couple of hundred. In Iowa or Nebraska, it’s not uncommon for a single farmer to work 20 thousand acres. His tractor is set up with global positioning satellite equipment. He drives to a field, pushes a button and sits back while the tractor steers on autopilot. You’d have to jog to keep up with a moving combine and it might be cutting and threshing the grain from a forty foot swath of ground while simultaneously dumping into a truck or a trailer as it moves through the field. And that farmer is probably harvesting better than 200 bushels to the acre where we once considered 100 bushels to the acre a record breaking event.

The truth is, modern farming techniques use less fuel than the older ways, which involved mechanical and or manual cultivation of crops instead of herbicides. Modern crops are cheaper to raise, per unit, and have higher yields per acre than ever achieved in the history of this planet.

I find myself in the unenviable position of advocating less efficient, more labor intensive methods, a losing argument for most.

Unless you consider the black swan.

Nassim Taleb once wrote, (and I paraphrase): the more complex a system, with the greater amount of redundancies and fail-safes, the less likely it is to fail. But, when it does fail, and it will fail, the more catastrophic that failure will be.

I don’t know what will trigger the event; endless possibilities exist, but I do know that our very complex and seemingly efficient and fail-safe way of feeding ourselves will fail, and when it does fail, the failure will be catastrophic, perhaps greater than any recorded failure in the history of the human race.

Call me crazy. In the meantime, I’m still looking for a small combine.

The idea of harvesting grain by hand on any scale other than for personal use is too much to consider at this point. Even for someone as crazy as I.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sugar and spice and everything nice?

Here's a video of my grandaughter beating some young boy in a Brazilian jiu-jistsu tournament in Houston a couple of weeks ago. Poor kid. One of my grandsons also won a gold medal at the event.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fidel comes clean

Soviet style Communism no longer works in Cuba.

Let's see: Communism (large scale Socialism with a gun pointed at your head) has failed. Capitalism (large scale corporatism with a gun pointed at your head) is failing. What other kind of authoritarian bull shit can we try?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Deflationist view on the economy

Delivered by Stoneleigh of the Automatic Earth.

Listen or read:


Friday, September 3, 2010

Post harvest economics

Sabbath eve, September 3, 2010.

I’m no accountant, but I can count. I am no economist either, but I do recognize the smell of bull shit when it comes along. More on that later.

To begin, an update on the corn harvest. I failed to mention last week that I had about 5 acres of yellow corn planted in an isolated field. It too is a non-hybrid, non-genetically modified variety, yellow trucker’s favorite, should you care to know. I had a hard time acquiring this seed and planted the field with hopes of making enough to plant on a larger scale next year.

Tie vines (Morning Glory) had formed hedge-like trellises on the stalks of yellow corn. Quentin made a couple of passes with his combine and decided not to harvest the rest, leaving some three acres un-harvested. He then moved to our Belmont farm and harvested the rest of the white corn which yielded 90 bushels to the acre, despite significant losses to feral hogs over the last month or so.

I sent a couple of men to pull ears of yellow corn and sack it. The men earn $60/day, plus housing and utilities. They picked for 4 days and still are not done. Yesterday, two men picked 30 bags of shucked corn still on the cobs. I’ll be generous and call their haul 30 bushels of shelled corn. To be fair, these men have other duties and did not spend the entire day picking corn, but their efforts would be considered a full day by city standards. Corn prices have jumped to $4.64/bushel, historically a high price. Last week, local feed mills offered me $3.50/bushel as if they were doing me a favor. So at today’s price the value of the corn they picked is $139.20, delivered to market. I have seed, fuel, fertilizer (chicken litter but that too costs money to haul and spread), labor, and machinery costs, not to mention the cost of land invested in the crop. So I paid $120 in harvesting costs to pick up $140 worth of corn.

My men are not getting rich earning $60/day. The work is brutal. For the record, earlier in the week another man thinking he wanted a job in our field lasted one hour before hitchhiking home without bothering to collect a check and yet another picked one sack and expects to be paid for a full day for his effort. So I’m really losing money on the deal without even accounting for other production costs.

The point I’m making is that the food you eat is ridiculously cheap, and the day fossil fuels become scarce or expensive is the day your food bill is going to skyrocket. If you’re lucky enough to be able to buy food, that is….

And now, to back of the envelope economics. Recently, oil field lease prices in our region have spiked. The target appears to be a formation called the Eagle Ford, a shale type zone that was not profitable to drill with vertical well technology. Land that could have been bought outright in southern Gonzales County for perhaps $1,200 an acre a few years back is now fetching $4,000 an acre for mineral rights alone. A friend I know tells me there’s a company, one of several, that has budgeted a billion dollars for acquisition and exploration in Gonzales County for the coming year. That’s one company, one county.

Now tell me, where in hell is all this money coming from?

Here’s what I suspect. It starts with the Fed and zero interest loans to major players, made from thin air. There’s a lot of money out there but most of it isn’t in circulation. With the recent woes in the Gulf of Mexico, and potential problems with foreign sources of imported oil, it takes no genius to figure out that domestic sources of oil will fetch premium prices.


As Bush learned during Katrina, throwing money at a problem doesn’t necessarily fix ills. Money doesn’t build houses, hands do. You need cement, bricks, mortar, steel, wood and nails. Fuel to power machines. And the sweat of workers.

Throwing money at oil fields doesn’t necessarily mean increased production either. To begin with the oil must be there. Then a hole has to be drilled with much greater precision than in days of old. Expensive fracking techniques have to be employed in shale type formations due to the lack of permeability. There is no such thing as a 100% success ratio when drilling wells.

I am of the opinion that this oil is going to be very costly to find and produce. We have lots of money chasing very little product.

I’ve read the deflationist’s arguments and I understand where they come from. I leaned more toward their models than the rest in months past, but as time goes on, it seems they fail to take into account the extraordinary efforts of the Fed and the Treasury Department to pump money into this economy by whatever means they can conjure.

The Bernanke hypothesis implies that if you pump enough money into the economy, eventually most bad loans on the books will be cured and people will go back to work. But the money is being hoarded and piled up in the accounts of a tiny segment of our population. Despite what they say, the Fed is buying stocks through the Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and the rest of the Wall Street insider crowd. And I’m guessing they’re also buying oil leases through major banks. That, despite the fact that leases are already reaching prohibitive values assuming the current price of oil.

I don’t know exactly how this ends, but I am relatively sure it won’t be like that the Great Depression of the 30’s. I expect a hyperinflationary collapse, at some point, at least for integral goods and services like food and energy. We have too much money chasing not near enough goods.

I could be wrong.

I do know this. The rest of the world is not going to sit back and let us continue to create money out of thin air, indefinitely, without paying a price.

James Kunstler that said the first Depression was best described as want in a time of plenty. And that the next event will be want in a time of scarcity.

I don’t know what that looks like, and I doubt you do either. But we are about to find out.