Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fed releases overnight window draws

only when it is forced upon them. Now if we could just see the collateral these big banks offered to procure these loans.

What do you want to bet Goldman and Morgan borrowed money from the overnight window to pay back the TARP loans (and thereby freed themselves from government oversight).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Man without a class

Joe Bageant died Saturday.

Joe understood and voiced the plight of southern red necks like no other. Sometimes the truth relegates a man to no-man's land. My hat is off to you Joe. I hope something good awaits you on the other side.

Hat tip Nat Wilson Turner.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Music alert: Matt King plays Belmont

Matt King is playing this Saturday night at the Belmont Social Club. No cover charge. Join us if you wish. Good food and good music. Medicine for the soul:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chris Martenson

issues an alert.

Ignore at your own peril.

Plant your garden

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yesterday we closed on the land that will someday support Leah’s Red Hen Pottery (good Lord willing), and also bought half interest in Richard and Wilhelmena Walker’s Red Rock Store, both in Belmont, Texas.

The Belmont Social Club across the street from these properties continues to do good business. Their primary fare is barbecue and burgers during the day and steaks at night. Fridays there’s all you can eat catfish. They have a stage with live bands every Friday and Saturday night and occasionally at other hours as well. The building is rustic, maintaining the fa├žade of Goss’ store, but you’d never know it was the same place once you enter the doors.

I am pleased to announce that Matt King is scheduled to play Saturday night, March 26. I hope to attend and I am issuing an invitation to anyone that can make it to the event. Belmont is a special place and Matt an astounding musician. (Don’t tell Ronny Trash Matt’s coming around or we might all get kicked out of the place for being less than respectable.)

Like the rest of you, I’ve been following with concern the events in Japan subsequent to the awful earthquake that recently waylaid the place. Now would be a good time to be in the business of selling potassium iodide. I couldn’t find any.

I’m guessing (my crystal ball is no clearer than yours—hell, I don’t even have a crystal ball) that while the release of radiation from melting nuclear reactors is ongoing and tragic, the release of radiation will probably be contained to a degree and prove to have little effect on the North American continent. The economic effects are sure to be felt the world around. I think this puts an end to the building of new nuclear generators in the short term, and maybe forever.

The Bank of Japan has drawn a page from Bernanke’s Fed and hallucinated $350 billion dollars worth of Japanese Yen into existence over the last three days to effectively stop a Nikkei stock market meltdown. I am revolted by the fact that a few bastards will get extremely rich off of this calamity. Can you believe some Keynesian economists are saying this will prove good for Japan’s GDP?

As someone astutely suggested at Zerohedge, the people don’t need Yen. They need clean water, food, bricks, steel, cement and fuel. If calamities present opportunities for growth, how long til a Milo Mindbender motherfucker comes along and realizes he can get rich and save fuel by bombing his own country and getting the enemy to bomb theirs rather than wasting time and effort transporting this shit across the ocean? (Come to think of it, perhaps this idea already occurred to a few twisted souls…)

Ah well. Corn is planted and up. Water is running where we can. Orange top cane is also planted and growing. Manuel is preparing fields in Balmorhea. Closer to home, weeds rear ugly heads and I need to get my ass out of this chair and chop those heads off.

Plant your garden.

And then care for it so you'll have something to eat.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rock me on the water

I've somewhere between little and no time to write. Thankfully James Howard Kunstler came up with a few sharp-witted observations worth your time. In particular, I like the points he makes about the economic consequences of Japan on US treasury notes.

Rock me on the water

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Young'ns are pissed off

Can't say I blame them. Hat tip to Mike Ruppert:

Friday, March 11, 2011

We are not in control

Sabbath eve, March 11, 2011

Events over the past 24 hours prove one thing:

We are not in control.

Saudi day of rage comes and goes

with a whimper instead of a growl.

Amazing what a handful of cash can accomplish.

And when the cash doesn't work, this does.

Apparently Qudaffi is a piker when it comes to terrifying citizens.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Asses are puckered the world around

as Saudi Arabia's announced day of rage arrives.

Actually this is the first of several protests that have been scheduled. My guess is that the monarchy will fall in short order (by that, I mean within the next couple of years).

The first shots have been fired.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Take a stroll now and again through Zerohedge for news mainstream media outlets "forgot" to tell you.

And plant your friggen garden already. I cannot and will not feed all of you.

Hang on to your hat

Sabbath morn, March 5, 2011. Leah is gone to Oklahoma to help her brother move. So I inherit some but not all of her chores. It takes Leah all day to do what she does, from feeding and watering chickens, gathering eggs, suckling baby goats, processing milk, making cheese, paying bills, washing dishes, doing the books (I’ll go to jail first), making pottery…

She inherits some of my chores on the rare occasions I am gone, so it’s only fair I fill in while she is out and about.

The pace at which we proceed into the future has warped into hyper-drive. By the time I think of something that needs done years into the future, I realize the time is now. But thinking is easier than doing and if things aren’t done in time, they might as well not be done at all.

Spring planting is upon us. Martin planted half a field of non-genetically modified, open pollinated non-hybrid corn in an irrigated field yesterday while Victor, Juan and Pancho hastily patched holes feral hogs have made under and through the fence. In past years hogs have eaten freshly planted corn seed almost as fast as I can get the stuff into the ground. I called Dale Harper to see if he could make a run through the woods with his hog dogs and long knife, but he says he lost a couple of dogs last week to a particularly vicious boar and has a few more cut up and in need of healing.

I still haven’t sold all of last year’s crop of corn, but if futures prices on my computer are to be believed, it’s worth exactly twice as much as it was the day it was harvested.

The ground in which we’re planting corn is fertilized with chicken shit. I won’t use an herbicide. But I am applying a pesticide for corn root worms, better known as cucumber beetles in their adult manifestation. I will not be the guy with a sob story for not having organic corn to sell if I can help it. Nor will I be the guy selling corn as organic when it isn’t. I have already seen the first adult cucumber beetle and a tiny grasshopper in my garden.

If someone has a good and affordable organic solution for these bastards, I want to hear about it.

I bought Orange Rox cane seed this year; three of four 50-pound packages arrived at the post office, one, according to postal records has been in transit from Dallas since February 21. I’m no longer holding my breath. I hope to plant the seed for cane syrup/molasses. The leaves and stalks left over from the cane press make good livestock feed. The seed heads are similar to milo, which makes excellent chicken feed. I’ve never tried making homemade syrup but it was a staple crop on sustainable farms in this area a few generations back and I suspect it needs to be once again.

Potatoes have sprouted in the garden, as have English peas. I replanted gaps in a row of beets that had been damaged by unusually cold weather last month; they have sprouted and are growing. About a third or less of the beets I previously planted re-sprouted from the bulbs with an irrigation; the rest folded and died completely.

I harvested spinach right before the freeze; the re-growth is ready to harvest. Leah cut cabbage while I was gone to Balmorhea; a crock full of sauerkraut brews in our kitchen.

A group of fifteen feral pigs grew to nineteen when one of my hands caught four more young pigs. Their mother, a young sow, has been consumed by the various people and canines that live and work on our farms. Not all eat pork. I do.

Two Percheron broodmares near foaling dates; both are said to be bred to a mammoth jack.

Eleven of twelve Great Pyrenees pups Chiquita whelped grow by the day.

I sent a calf to be processed. I know how to do this, but just couldn’t find the time. I did tell the butcher to save the fat so we can render tallow which we use (alongside lard) in place of cooking oil. I am told the meat is ready to be picked up.

Glen Zumwalt and crew have continued burning branches in the Dos Rios pecan orchard despite the current burn ban. One visit from the local fire department sent Glen to seek a burn permit. Unlike me, Glen was not to be deterred. The pecan bottoms are green and not in danger of burning out of control on most days, but area-wide the land is getting dry and the danger of wild fires remains high.

I expect less than normal rainfall in our piece of the world this year (and yes, this is our piece of the world).

Another man is hedging our pecan orchard and Glen is removing non-productive trees from the orchard to give more room to other trees so they will produce more and better pecans. We fertilized our pecans with chicken litter this year, so I am anxious to see how they perform.

I met with Link Benson yesterday to see about installing an underground pipe so we can irrigate the orchard from the San Marcos River. The place came with water rights but the previous owner has not used them for a couple of years and the system in place is in a state of disrepair and inadequate even when functional.

The best part of raising chickens is the shit they leave behind. Broilers have consistently made money in these parts as well, but I see this as an extremely fragile endeavor, totally and absolutely dependent on an abundant supply of cheap fossil fuels. I am not saying we won’t be able to continue raising chickens, just that we won’t be able to continue raising chickens like we now do if and when the fuel supply is interrupted.

The fuel supply will be interrupted.

Hang on to your hat. The ride’s about to get a bit rough.

Friday, March 4, 2011

On the precipice

Sabbath eve, March 4, 2011

What a week. As if I don’t have enough to do around home, I took Manuel out to Balmorhea and began the process of starting a produce farm. Fuel is going up daily; diesel was $3.60 a gallon when I left and 20 cents short of $4/gallon by the time I got back one day later. We’re planting corn, preparing to plant milo and sorghum cane we hope to use to make syrup.

We’re working on a pottery studio for Leah and rebuilding an old general store originally built from hand hewn rock in Belmont, 1879, a mile from my door in a partnership with Richard Walker and his wife Wilhelmena.

Last week we received word the local post office in Belmont will be closed.

Turmoil is spreading throughout the Middle East. While mainstream media ignores all but Libya, various degrees of unrest prevail throughout the region. A day of rage is slated for March 11th in Saudi Arabia.

It is hard to understate the potential repercussions that could arise if Saudi Arabia experiences a revolution along the lines of what is unfolding in Tunisia, Egypt or Libya. Oil prices could easily exceed anything seen to date, even highs set in 2008. I don't think $8 to $10 gasoline is out of the question.

A Saudi parable:

My grandfather rode a camel
My father drove a car
I flew an airplane
My son will ride a camel

Laugh while you can.


Potatoes have come up in my garden as have a couple of rows of English peas. It's time to plant sweet corn if you live in South Texas. Still a bit risky to put out tomato and pepper plants or plant frost succeptible plants like cucumbers, squash, blackeyed peas, okra, etc. Pinto beans need to be planted soon to avoid late spring heat that will diminish yields.

Plant your garden.