Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You can't have your cake and eat it too

I routinely see and hear people protesting the cost of gasoline and or diesel, and in the next breath, protesting methods used to extract the oil from which these are made due to environmental concerns.

Do they not know that the only oil left is increasingly difficult to find and inherently dangerous to produce when found?

So, which is it going to be?

Meanwhile, another off-shore well has blown out and is spewing fuel--methane this time--into the atmosphere. (hat tip to Collapsenet).

And I have no plan that involves parking my pick-up truck, until it's forced upon me.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It ain't about the bomb

I tire of hearing lying pricks like Obama and Santorum trying to scare us with Iran the boogeyman. It ain't about Iran building a bomb. It's that Iran wants to sidestep the petrodollar.

Which at some point will lead to bombs.

It isn't only Iran. Previous administrations that have tried to do abandon the petrodollar: Hussein in Iraq and Khadafi in Libya.

Here's a rundown of current attempts to sidestep the dollar.

As one of an ever dwindling number of American farmers, the artificial value of the dollar due to political gamemanship has done little to help and a lot to hurt. While I did get subsidized fuel, fertilizer, etc. out of the deal, I also had sharp penciled economists forcing the latest in mechanization and methods down my throat, the products of which are all owned and supplied by a few major corporations, and obtainable only by signing a life away to a few friendly lending institutions, freshly stocked with free money, courtesy of the Federal Reserve and our Treasury Department.

Failure to comply with this plan meant failure to survive econmically.

So don't ask me to cheerlead the war to keep the scam alive (aka the war on terror, drugs, etc.).

We should be paid for what we do, not who we are, same as everyone else.

Those that choose to be suck-asses or scam artists should not be rewarded.

And in the end, won't be.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ready for your chip?

The arrogance of those that buy everything from a store and sell nothing they produce astounds.

Nonetheless, calls for a cashless society continue.


David Birch, a director at Consult Hyperion, a firm specializing in electronic payments, says a shift to digital currency would cut out these hidden costs. In Birch’s ideal world, paying with cash would be viewed like drunk driving—something we do with decreasing frequency as more and more people understand the negative social consequences. “We’re trying to use industrial age money to support commerce in a post-industrial age. It just doesn’t work,” he says. “Sooner or later, the tectonic plates shift and then, very quickly, you’ll find yourself in this new environment where if you ask somebody to pay you in cash, you’ll just assume that they’re a prostitute or a Somali pirate.”

Sunday, March 18, 2012

National defense resource preparedness act

(hat tip: Dig.)

Obama signs national defense resource preparedness act.

While Obama signed this piece of shit, believe me when I tell you, the Republicans are on board also.

They will come for you land, your water, your seed, your equipment, your animals, your oil, gas: whatever the fuck they want, under the auspices of "national security".

White House Executive Order.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My other website

I allowed to die a natural death today.

I don't think it will be missed.

Denninger on Taibbi on Bank of America

Started out reading Denninger this morning which led to this, penned by Matt Taibbi.

Bank of America sucks.

As do the bastards that enable them.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Daylight savings scam

Monday morning, March 12, 2012, second work day of the week.

Every year about this time, I announce I am not going to make the switch to daylight savings time. For all intents and purposes this is my new year’s resolution, and like that of most, my commitment waivers at some point, when my schedule is forced to comport to the rest of the world by which I am surrounded, good little unquestioning industrial slaves they tend to be.

So today I sit at 7AM, my time, and for that matter the time of the chickens and cows accustomed to my arrival, typing on this computer. In a couple of minutes people will begin to arrive and I will ignore them, silently cussing our collective stupidity, until eventually the will of the masses bends my own. As I age, I tend to bend less easily.

I planted seed last week, pinto beans (for dried beans) sweet corn, blue lake green beans, yellow and zucchini squash, green and white striped Cushaw gourds, cantaloupes, watermelons, cucumbers for pickles and a row of okra. It’s a little early for some of this, but we’ve had regular rains and unusually mild weather so I figured I’d better get while the getting is good. I also set out 144 tomato plants and 78 pepper plants of differing varieties. It drizzled for a couple of days after and then warmed up. I can almost feel the seeds springing to life underground.

The transplants took and potatoes are off to the races, most about 6” tall already with a few stragglers just beginning to appear. Shallots and onions are well on their way to maturity. Broccoli is done for, we’ve been feeding leftover plants to hogs and goats. Most of the cabbage is harvested and a two crocks of kraut near ready in the room next door. The few heads that remain in the garden are massive, upwards of ten pounds apiece. Beets also are ready, cilantro starting to bolt.

We harvested about a third of our spinach patch and filled five large tow sacks. I helped Leah sort and can spinach Saturday and Sunday. Figured if we paid ourselves $10 an hour, we had about $4 per pint invested in labor, not including the cost of lids or any cost in growing and harvesting the produce.

I will not sell you a jar of my spinach. If I did, the cost is $20 a pint. Unless you are a lawyer or a Wall Street banker. Your cost is $200 a pint and you should consider that a bargain, considering what I get for your time.

Martin also planted 5 acres of non-hybrid white field corn right before the rains. Lamentably, he convinced me that we needed to spray glyphosate (generic Roundup) on a field where we intend to plant grain sorghum as the weeds got a jump on us and would interfere with planting and cultivating down the line. I have not yet been able to entirely wean myself from the industrial model of farming. As Dmiti Orlov stated recently (paraphrased): What works in the new paradigm won’t work in this. What works in the current paradigm won’t perform in the next.

I find myself straddling a dying way of life and that of a future not quite manifest, but much closer than most suspect, or at least that’s my take.

OK. It’s 7:30 Central Standard (Don Henry Ford Jr.) time. I need to go to work. People are wondering where the hell I am. The cows think something’s wrong with the people.

Someone is waiting at the door and my fucking phone is ringing.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hell in the Henhouse (blood in the yard)

Post Script to this land is your land: Went to bed Friday night thinking things were well.

Saturday morning had me singing Hell in the Henhouse (soon to be released song written by Matt King and Ray Wylie Hubbard).

It started when a worker friend arrived and left his grandson out in the yard. The boy knocks on the door. Next thing I know, Leah is screaming at Polly, a Queensland blue heeler. Polly has bitten a goat in the hock region and the goat can't get up. My guess is that the boy tried to shoo the goat and she helped the only way she knows how, by attacking the goat. I felt obliged to beat Polly nonetheless. The goat regained her feet and tended to her baby, albeit with a limp and a few bloody bite marks on a hind leg.

After enjoying coffee with Leah, I leave the house, milk pail and can full of warm water in hand, ready to milk cows.

A otherwise healthy looking but dead goat awaits near the feed room, the second unexplainable death in a week. I drag the poor thing off and cut it in pieces for the dogs.

Then someone comes up the drive saying one of our cows has a calf that got under the fence; black headed buzzards are about to kill the thing. Luckily, I arrive in time to thrwart their breakfast plans.

The cell phone rings.

Hay customers arrive.

The cell rings again.

Another truck pulls up to tell me buzzards are trying to kill one of my calves.

The irrigation machine I left running last night has not moved, but instead sprayed thousands of gallons of water in one spot, flooding that area while the rest of the circuit it should have traveled remains dry.

By the time I get around to the cows, the water in the pail is cold and the cows are looking at me like, Where the hell you been?

Sometimes more is not better.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Black markets

As a kid, we routinely shopped black markets of Quito, Ecuador to get things not available through "legitimate" channels.

Looks like the same has become necessary here in the good ole USA, courtesy of our jailers.

Americans Will Need “Black Markets” To Survive

Friday, March 2, 2012

This land is your land....

Sabbath eve, March 2, 2012.

Spring is in the air. I start days wearing a long-sleeved shirt but soon peel down to a t-shirt and sweat, nonetheless. We’ve had no winter. Decent rains in January and the early part of February have faded of late. Computers continue to give us chances of moisture. Quintin, a farmer friend of mine, says he saw dust devils in January—a bad omen. He says he doesn’t feel good about the year.

I take his dust devils over a computer forecast for rain.

Corn requires more water than grain sorghum, so grain sorghum it will be, good Lord willing. I also hope to plant cowpeas for hay under irrigation, a practice long abandoned in this area. Cowpeas, being legumes, fix nitrogen into the soil. I over-farmed my irrigated field, trying to grow forage for cows through the horrible drought. I do have the advantage of copious amounts of chicken shit for fertilizer, but even so, I think we need to rotate our crops and give the soil a break now and again. Cowpeas serve as green fertilizer when plowed back into the soil.

We had an explosion of clover this year, nature’s way of healing pastures after drought killed off most of the grass. With the clover came problems—producers in the country, myself included, lost cattle to bloat. The alternative would have been losing them to starvation, so I am not complaining. Clover is also a legume.

Unfortunately, the herbicide most people use on hay patches kills clover along with the targeted weeds. I think spraying may prove a costly mistake, especially if we fail to get more rain. I’d rather have bales with a few weeds than have nothing to bale.

Cattle numbers are low; consequently cattle prices are high. A good calf will bring almost double the price it did last year.

We have a decent winter garden, cabbage in the field, sauerkraut in the crock, spinach getting huge. Onions are doing well, potatoes just breaking out of the ground. There’s beats, turnips galore, and some really good cilantro. The broccoli is pretty much done for, but pigs in the pen think the whole damn plant pretty good stuff.

We’re aerating the soil in pecan bottoms and applying chicken litter. Preparing to irrigate, if need be.

I’m milking three cows and Leah makes cheese, only now in a big vat once a week instead of daily. The leftover whey that doesn’t make it into Ricotta gets soaked into corn the pigs eat.

For rest, Leah throws pottery.

I’ve paid almost no attention to our mares over the last couple of years, especially after Racing Rhinocerous died. When I least expected it, a friend told me that Gaff, a multiple graded stakes winner could be bought. I offered what I thought a cheap price. To my surprise, the owner accepted. Looks like I am back in the Thoroughbred breeding business.

Gaff is by far the best horse I’ve owned. He won $560,000 and blistered tracks around the land doing so. He’s a sprinter, my preferred type, a son of Maria’s Mon.

I’ve heard it said a man with a yearling will never commit suicide. Something about hope, I suppose.

We pasture bred our mares last year to a cheap stallion no one will like except for Leah and me (Sheck My Goyo). Gina’s Patience delivered our first foal in three years this morning. More are on the way. Abraham tells me he’s a champion.

Manuel is back from Mexico, with him the blessing his presence brings. I didn’t give hiring Manuel a second thought, despite having quite a few people already on the payroll. He’s cutting pecan wood from limbs that fell in the bottom and helping with the chores. A hand like Manuel always pays his way.

I know times are tough and there are lots of reasons to be afraid, but I am determined not to let fear dictate the way I live, no matter how dark it may seem.

This world is ours, despite pretenders to the throne.

Make of it what you will.

Veterans for Ron Paul march on white house

Chickenhawks shit their pants: