Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bizarro Weather

RE wrote an interesting piece on the Doomstead Diner, Springtime in Alaska, about the bizarro weather conditions globally. While they are seeing an unprecedented melt in Alaska, extreme drought in California, and 120F temps across Australia, 30 of the last 50 days in Minneapolis have seen temps below 0. It is often very cold, and very windy. Like today, sun shining, temps @ 21 dropping to -18, with winds like you see in the spring and fall; -20, they are saying again, for Monday. Might not see temps above 0 before Wednesday. I wonder about my fruit trees and grape vines.

There is a reason climate change denial is getting louder. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Treason cum Revolution begat Coup

Article III, Section 3, of the US Constitution, suggests a limited definition of treason:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

Conventional thought would have it, this implies actual assist, of a clear enemy, such as giving him money, sustenance or protection, in a time of war, against the United States of America; or, directly as a citizen waging war with an enemy, against us. We think in terms of the young disillusioned kid who gives up his middle class life to go to East Africa, to fight for Islamic fundamentalists, al Qaida and associates. Or first generation immigrants sending money to their former home to fund terror groups. Or the guy who liberates documents pointing to gov malfeasance, that we might know what our government is up to in their myriad fronts in their war on just about everybody (they even describe a "war" on poverty). Never mind this Federal Government is suspected of financing and perhaps directly arming al Qaida and affiliates in Libya and Syria at least. Empowered by dubious claims after 9/11: the Patriot Act, NDAA/Indefinite Detention/Executive Discretion on Habeas Corpus, the proliferation of drones, NSA surveillance of every digital communication, militarization of the police, the enormous, bureaucratic Department of Homeland Security, two hideous wars and dozens of conflicts - one begins to wonder, who's side is who on? What is treason, exactly?

Concerning Citizens United, and the recent DC Appeals repudiation of an open Internet, one begins to ask, who is funding what, in the best interest of this US of A? Just about anyone on earth might invest in our corporations, can invest in any Fortune 500, including Defense contractors. GE has more foreign employees than American, pays next to nothing in Federal taxes. The Supreme Court designation of such entities as "persons" with most of the rights of a citizen, such "persons" international in their scope; that money is a form of "free speech"; so that 10's of billions of dollars of free speech from "persons" for whom their prima facie duty is fiduciary, to the shareholders whatever their nationality, greater than the obligation to any one Nation-State. Which after 13 years of exceedingly lucrative (for some "persons") war, fracking, asset bubbles, increasing global pollution, my free speech emails to my Congressional representatives are worth what, exactly? Sold to international corporations to track my consumer/political sentiments, probably.

But of course, that would make pretty much everyone who funds international corporations (and banks), a traitor by degree, if those who have given so much power to these "persons" international in their scope and inherently conflicted in their allegiance, are such. Making me something of a traitor for shopping at them (hard to survive economically if I don't). Which then, we wouldn't be a bunch of traitors, but a revolution. "Without a shot fired," said a fellow blogger, JeffZ, when I told him my theory. True, but then, there have been many shots fired in defense of corporate imperialism.

What comes next for democratic America, if corporations and banks make the rules? Based on policemen recently acquitted for beating a homeless man to death, paid vacations for beating people up, otherwise turned into para-military; affluenza as a legal justification for the wealthy to kill the comparably poor; total surveillance capabilities; the absolute domination of the MSM, in the making of the public discourse; everywhere de-regulation, writing laws for corporate/banking benefit (ALEC, TPP, TAFTA), filling gov institutions with corporate and banking revolutionaries, the revolution appears to be complete.

Which, given the civic ignorance of Americans generally, you get what you pay for. I'm not optimistic about any counter-revolution. What with most of those talking about the Constitution, waving it as they would a bible,     and the gun crowd among them as likely to deny climate change as they are peak oil; believing, to dismantle government would be a return to some happier time - yet as prey to corporations as any political body, and often fawning of the "job creator" oligarch; such a counter-revolution would look to be more fascist in it's scope than nurturing of freedom, and open. 

So it seems, democracy for the last 40 years at least, was something we said we wanted, but we got a revolution whether we wanted it or not, without objecting much, and it seems we have entered, or are coming out of, or proceeding through, some grotesquely proto-darwinian Time of the Caesars. Anyone ready for a Clinton/Bush Presidential battle?

What we have now is the pageantry of Democracy, without the substance. What do I hear people talking about in bars, public places? Money and sports, mostly. Bread and circuses.


So really, it's not a revolution or treason, but more like a coup, or hostile takeover. Which is what WWIII is going to be about, presumably, as WWI was about the deposing of monarchical empires, that this will be about the deposing of political nation-states in favor of direct corporate and banking rule. All important legal concerns funnelled through a tribunal in Brussels. That should be fun. Seriously, TPP and TAFTA might accomplish it, without the war. Orderly transition, to corporate and banking totalitarianism. The end of America as a free, sovereign state, unto it's dissolution. Republic cum imperial hegemon begat plutocratic corporatocracy.

Otherwise I'm hopeful that all fifty states de-criminalize cannabis, and a very different kind of eco-nomic thinking emerges. LOL.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Walk Off The Earth (Covers)

 (Did you hear that bell? My camera takes a max of 3:00m/vid, though I started it again and it recorded the rest)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Garage Greenhouse Journal 01132014

Twenty days, from Dec 6, 2013 - Jan 09, 2014, we had temperatures here in Minneapolis below 0F (12 all last winter). From the evening of Saturday, January 04, to the afternoon of Wednesday the 07th, it did not get above 0F, with temps as low as -23 on Tuesday, -20 the night before that. The temp was as low as -11 into the 09th, not exceeding 5F until Friday mid-day.

I did not open up the garage greenhouse; the racks were outside in the greenhouse, the whole of that early 2014 deep freeze.

I think the saving grace was, it was sunny most of that time.

No heat source but solar:

It's reads 36, 46 outside. Level one. A few left.

The jugs are frozen solid. 31, down here.

Level two.

Level three.

Level Four. Not much left on any level, but the spinach. But they're alive. :)

Garage Greenhouse Journal 12212013

Garage Greenhouse Journal 12012013

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mea Culpa

There was much talk of accountability, in the alternative media recently, having to do with beginning-of-year predictions. Particularly having to do with the peak oil community, those having to reconcile their predictions, against media and industry claims that America is on the verge of energy independence, fracking giving the appearance of a paradigm shift, away from scarcity, toward abundance: Many in the peak oil community predicting a collapse in production that has not materialized. Others have made similar claims, about debt, or food production, or water scarcity, myself included. It goes to integrity; or lack of it, if we do not acknowledge claims we have made that turn out to be less than accurate.

So I would like to offer something up, in the way of self-accounting. Not a failed prediction, but a dumb sabotage of another man's business.

Recently in the Doomstead Diner Forum, I said this about Mark Shepard's Restoration Agriculture class, upcoming, the week of the Summer Solstice.

Like I said in the Monolithic thread, skip paying for it. You can show up with a tent and hang out, anytime. Mark will put you to work some, but not overly much. Talk your ear off about every bit of the farm, if he has the time. Show up with roamer and he can be the tour guide. Otherwise, there isn't that much that Mark can teach you that roamer doesn't know. You aren't paying for the information as much as you are the fellowship.

Mark Shepard owns and operates New Forest Farm, a working farm based on the concept of perennial agriculture, particularly as it has to do with hybrid hazelnut and hybrid chestnut production. He has done excellent work, proving that hazelnut and chestnut are a potential replacement for corn and soy, much less fossil fuel input required, either in fuel or the chemicals necessary to corn and soy industrial production.

He is offering a Restoration Agriculture Design Course, this June 14-21. The cost is $1200. I have no doubt it is worth every cent; I'm sure it will be attended by very interesting people. Seriously, if there is any class anywhere more important for the long term strategy of Humanity on planet earth, I don't know about it.

For the record, I do not know Mark Shepard, and Mark Shepard does not know me. I was talking like I knew him, based on hearsay. At the time I did not even know how to spell his name (Shepard, not Shepherd). As for my statement about my friend Roamer, an occasional presence on the Diner forum, knowing as much or more about what Mark Shepherd will teach, that is preposterous. Roamer has worked at New Forest Farm; Mark Shepherd lives there, built the farm, operates the farm, knows the land.

As for Mark Shepard wanting random people to drop-in on New Forest Farm, unannounced, I suspect he is like any other landowner - that it would be best to ask first.

This comment of mine I highlight, is me blinded by my antipathy for the current capitalist arrangement, the economy by fiat, of the bank, corporation, industry, military and government; blinded, so that I cannot distinguish friend from foe, so that I cannot see when I am attacking what I should be supporting. Attacking capitalism for the sake of attacking capitalism. Otherwise making an ass of myself, making shit up to make it look like I know what I'm talking about.

Why is Mark Shepard asking for $1200, for a five day class? Probably for the same reason Toby Hemenway is touting an $11,000, nine month permaculture immersion course, in Sebastopol California. One, to teach; but also, to keep up with debt payments, taxes, inflation. America created $11 trillion in debt with a $3 trillion increase in the Federal Reserve balance sheet, since 2000, for $6.5 trillion in GDP growth. We are all feeling that pinch, that increased debt maintenance.

How can I begrudge Mark Shepard's desire to maintain his farm? How can I not support that, of all things, as a model of what the future could look like?

I did the same thing, in a Diner thread about Monolithic dome building, a discussion in part centered on a class many of the Diners are taking, @ Monolithic headquarters in Italy, Texas. Like, 'I don't need the class, because if I want to build a dome I'll build one.'

Image: Monolithic Dome Homes This beautiful home in Galax, Virginia is owned by Chris and Maddy Ecker. The Eckers have submitted several articles regarding their findings as a Monolithic Dome owner. Read what they have to say.

I said this, knowing nothing about how Monolithic constructs their domes. Reading more about it, I was like, I don't know what I'm talking about.

Fact is, I've been on a negative spiral of late, becoming sloppy about my Internet presence. Contemplating global debt; the polluting asset ponzi that is fracking; copper/nickel sulfide mining in northern Minnesota, one generation of mining for 10-25 generations of pollution; the Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific trade pacts that threaten to make (totalitarian) corporations lords of the earth; Dollar as reserve currency and petro dollar weakness; Fukushima et al nuclear poison pills; military-industrial surveillance state America; Industrial Ag destroying the capacity of the land to feed us, feeding us food that supports Wall Street expectations for Health Care profit/growth; Higher Education as a banking/corporate enslavement racket; another housing bubble; climate hijinks; the vast difference between reality, and the narrative of the MSM, prepared for mass consumption.

A negative spiral that turns a sense of hopelessness into self-abuse, which then leaks out sideways in comments like the one about Mark Shepard, or my attitude toward Monolithic domes.

Since I started this blog, I have tried to make it clear, I am merely a messenger, an interpreter of the times. I am not some expert you must believe; do your own research, use your own head, learn to trust your judgement. I am human. 

So let me state, the classes taught by Mark Shepard and Monolithic, are as important as any I know of, for the long-term strategy of human existence on planet earth. But don't take my word for it. Consider supporting their work, in any way you can. And others like them, doing equally important work, as a means to perpetuate what they are teaching. That we might learn to live in balance, with all life, on this earth.