Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rant against "capitalism"

The wealthiest people are deliberately creating a wealth divide. This divide is getting bigger and it grows faster every year... and they show no respect to those they are taking their wealth from. Through the use of lobbyists, corrupt politicians, subsidies and The Federal Reserve, they have turned the gun of the government onto the masses. Admittedly, in this period of fantastic wealth, they've had no need to use that gun other than metaphorically to keep the proles in their place. Hint that this is happening... http://crookedtimber.org/2006/05/23/incarceration-rates/ "Land of the Free" my ass. Better lock up the disaffected before they have a chance to yell, "revolution!"

The issue I have with this subprime lender fallout? That I can GUARANTEE that every capitalist's hero, Greenspan, knew about and quite possibly encouraged the situation. The whole thing with mortgages being wrapped up into tradeable securities and creating a ~30x leveraged financial instrument is going to cause fallout that we may not be able to recover from for a long time ala The Great Depression. And please, don't even suggest that he didn't know how all of this was going to affect the economy (and the money supply) - if he didn't know then he is truly incompetent. But if he did know, god save his and his keepers' souls.

The wealthy know The Game is up and are trying to shake out every last penny from our pockets before everything falls apart. What pisses me off is that it wouldn't be heading this direction if they weren't so damn greedy and power hungry. The master tightwad himself, Henry Ford, even knew that minimally taking care of his workers made him far richer than squeezing every last penny from them.

Meh, but what else would happen with a system (The Market) that has greed and envy as it's lifeblood?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Autumn Memories

I love the fall... the crisp in the air not yet quite biting at my nose, the bright sun playing with the ominous gray clouds, but mostly... the leaves.

I remember, as a kid, putting on my jacket and gloves. They'll keep me toasty warm. The leaves crinkling under my feet, twhish thwash, as I run through them with complete abandon. I round the leaves up, pushing them into a little pile. And, as soon as it's big enough... JUMP! Over and over again, going deep, almost to the solidness of the earth.

And then, breathless from my simple joys, I just lie there on my back, arms and legs spread wide. The leaves warming me, protecting me from the wind. Breathing in the sweet, tangy smell of the leaves. Happy that I'm alive.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Random Thought

No one ever learned anything by only doing things they knew how to do right.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Diversity, Habitat Mimicry Key to Permaculture

A seeming contradiction for me is that industrial monoculture agriculture, focused on higher and higher profits from greater and greater yields, gives considerably less yields and requires more energy (effort) than biodiverse permaculture. From Biomimicry of native prairie yields more bioenergy than corn ethanol - mongabay.com December 7, 2006 we find that:

Diverse mixtures of plants that mimic the native prairie ecosystem are a better source of biofuels than corn grain ethanol or soybean biodiesel according to a new paper published in the Dec. 8 issue of the journal Science.


... the study "shows that degraded agricultural land planted with highly diverse mixtures of prairie grasses and other flowering plants produces 238 percent more bioenergy on average, than the same land planted with various single prairie plant species, including monocultures of switchgrass." The researchers estimate that the prairie would yield 51 percent more energy per acre than ethanol from corn grown on more fertile land and would require far less energy to grow.


"Fuels made from prairie biomass are 'carbon negative,' which means that producing and using them actually reduces the amount of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere. This is because prairie plants store more carbon in their roots and soil than is released by the fossil fuels needed to grow and convert them into biofuels," explains the University of Minnesota news release. "Using prairie biomass to make fuel would lead to the long-term removal and storage of from 1.2 to 1.8 U.S. tons of carbon dioxide per acre per year. This net removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide could continue for about 100 years, the researchers estimate. In contrast, corn ethanol and soybean biodiesel are 'carbon positive,' meaning they add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, although less than fossil fuels."

Is the problem that we're stuck on always doing things the old way because it "works"? Is it because biodiverse permaculture is not particularly suited to machine harvesting? Is it because current farming is too invested monetarily? We clearly know the consequences of factory monoculture agriculture -- loss of nutrients through topsoil erosion, nutrient "poisoning" of downstream (pun intended) systems, excessive use of petroleum byproducts, and a substantial negative input-to-output energy balance (10 calories of petroleum inputs result in 1 calorie of food energy).

Competition, only the strongest survive might work for capitalism but doesn't work in nature. Cooperation and diversity seems to be a key feature in all abundant, resilient systems.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Proper Boundaries

I learned long ago that when something doesn't go "my way," what's happening is the universe is telling me my perspective is flawed and I need to fix it. I have an unquenchable desire to figure things out. Insatiable.

How did I get there? I realized that what's going on outside of me is not a part of me. It's about having appropriate ego boundaries -- knowing where I End and others Begin. It's about being diligent with those boundaries by not letting others 'into' me and by not forcing me 'into' others.

As tiabin says very succinctly:

In other words, if I hear my internal monologue getting all inflamed and upset about something it puts up a red flag for my consciousness that something is off kilter.


I cannot control circumstance, but I can adjust my mindset. So I’ve gotten in the habit of identifying strong emotion I experience as an indicator that there is something wrong in my head, and NOT the circumstance.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Edible Forest Garden: Borage

One of my interests right now is in securing a sustainable food source for my family and local community. I think that Edible Forest Gardens are the way to go. More about that later...

Borage looks like a potential multi-use plant with greens, seed, oil, medicine, nectary, and predator insect shelter uses. It appears to be invasive, however, it's rated to Zone 7. For Zone 6, if it requires a cold frame or thick mulch to protect it from the winter, then I should be able to limit it's spread. Since the leaves are rich with potassium and calcium, should be able to cut the plant back when it does get vigorous and use it in a compost tea!

Here are some medicinal facts regarding borage:

Thanks tiabin!