Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Where's The Growth?

*Natural Gas prices keep going up, demonstrating that demand is probably outpacing supply.* Yet, over the last few years, the last of our manufacturing industries have been leaving the US, like rats leaving a sinking ship.

Correction... I've been informed that Natural Gas prices have spiked and then dropped again. Thanks Bill. But that's for spot prices, consumer prices appear to be on the rise.
Richard Duncan and others have sounded the warning that by 2008, North American Natural Gas production will be in a steep decline.

The naysayers argue we have plenty of Natural Gas in stranded fields, like the one in a Fort Worth Texas suburb that exploded, leading to very exciting emergency council meetings.

If stranded fields coupled with frenzied drilling, is going to lead to decades of growth in production, when will it happen?

Graph compiled from EIA data.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Political Bias

After all the talk that continues to go around about how politicians pander to the extremes of the base and ignore the middle, I began to wonder how these panderings would look, graphed on in a chart.

I think this chart helps explain visually, why the far left and right, receives all of the attention.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bush deploys National Guard Troops to Wall Street

Bush deploys National Guard Troops to Wall Street
The Dissassociative Press
May 17, 2005 - Time 01:11pm

Amid rumours that a bear run is underway in Wall street, President Bush has sent over ten thousand National Guard Troops to Wall Street to help subdue the bears.

They are being equipped with tranquilizer guns, that are designed to spray high velocity darts into herds of the angry beasts. Once the bears are subdued, they will be humanely caged and shipped to Russia, where they will be taught to sing and dance.

In a press conference today, Mr. Bush said, "I know that everyone is worried about the bear market. Well we are a nation of laws. And there is no law protecting the sanctity of a bear market. We don't even know if these bears even entered America legally. And that is a great problem for unity governments that respect and love the principles of freedom against terrorism. I have authorized a war on the bear markets. We will send a strong signal to bear markets everywhere that they will not be tolerated. Where ever bears may be found, buying and selling bear market goods, Americans will be there, spreading hope and democracy through the use of any means necessary to our disposal.

The American people deserve the knowledge that our borders are protected from bears. That bears will not be welcome in our homes, or in our businesses or in the hallowed halls of our financial institutions.

Stephen Colbert first alerted me to this bear problem at a recent White House event. I took his words to heart, I heard, I decided. And will not rest until we spread freedom and democracy to every corner of the globe, where bears now hold sway.

A good friend of mine, you probably know him too, wrote an account of a bear trained to rape our wimmin. The words that Scooter Libby wrote about that awful event are etched in my mind and scribbled on the wall in my library, next to where I keep a roll of writing paper.

I want to send a message to bears everywhere, you will have no rest. You will not be allowed to hibernate. There will be no peace in this fight, as long as I am President.

Thank you."

In a Q&A session afterwards, President Bush did not rule out the use of tactical nuclear weapons, to halt the expansion of the current bear run on the markets.

Chicken Igloos?

I just happened to glance at an ad that google was kind enough to post on my blog. With my permission of course. When will that check be in tha mail?

It's for Chicken Igloos.

I'm not promoting them. I just think its a cute idea. They sell you a chicken tractor and the chickens. It's like a feathered ant farm. :)

A chicken tractor is just a moveable cage. You move it about your yard to keep the birds contained and safe and so that they don't eat all the grass in one spot. It also keeps them from pooping from the roof of your patio cover.

I'm not sure about the write-up for the breeds. Their description of barneveldars was that they are lazy birds and the chicks are yellow. Hrrmmm, the ones I just hatched came out brown and the little devils run and play like mad. I can only catch them now, because I'm bigger and have more experience. They run into the wire and don't know what to do. It won't be long before I'll just let them go.

I wonder if what they are selling are Barneveldars or if they just have mixed stock?

Still, the idea is cute.

On the right of this page is a link to BackYard Chickens. On it you can find pictures of home built chicken tractors.

My chicken tractor is nothing but a frame made of old pipe, surrounded by chicken wire. I only use it for chicks, to protect them and still elt them stay outside all day. Inside I put a pet carrier with a heater made from a lamp in a can, covered with a large jar, to keep the chicks off the light bulb. I cover it all with a towel.

If your try out a chicken igloo, be sure and write back about your experience with it!

Big Brother, Fascism and Bankruptcy

There is so much news and such exciting things going on, I can’t always be sure what I want to spend time blogging about.

President george bush is going to meet with select (hand picked) lawmakers and explain his illegal program to spy on Americans without probable cause, or a search warrant. The records they collect, including phone calling records and recordings of actual phone calls are property of the US Public. They are being kept safe for the government, by private corporations. We can be sure that records will be leaked and sold. Eventually I believe it’s certain that these records will make their way into financial databases, and will be a part of the credit reporting service. Local police departments will likely gain access to this system, and your neighbors working in local government will be able to snoop through these records to find gossip on you and anyone else they find interesting.

Over time, the government will find it necessary to release these recordings and records to the public under the FISA act. This will occur after administration changes when a new set of politicians sees the value in using these records to embarrass their opponents.

On the National Animal Identification System front, I’ve become recently aware of this marvelous Short Film by Chris Oakley. I’ve read industry articles that describe how using Radio Frequency Identifiers in the livestock industry, is a way to develop the technology, the tools and prove the safety of the system, for use with humans.

The idea being, that people will no longer need identification or carry credit cards to make purchases. When you walk into a store, your entry time will be recorded. As you wander about the store, your motions will be tracked and analyzed by marketing software that will help the store own better place products they want you to buy, to help you spend more. When you cash out, the register software will know you by your RFID, and the purchase will happen electronically, without the need for cash, credit cards or a wallet. Eventually, if you don’t have an RFID, you won’t be able to buy things. You won’t be sold food.

They plan to put this technology into cars, so that the car can recognize everyone in it and record the time spent in the car. The car won’t need keys, because it will know who is allowed to use it. With built in digital cell phone technology and GPS, your movements can be recorded all through your lifetime. Your home appliances will also recognize you and will customize their settings to your liking. When you walk in and out of the house your movements will be tracked so that the house can configure itself to your needs, readjusting thermostats and setting answering systems automatically.

But I’m too worried about these advances over the long term. These things require a wealthy society and continued technological and energy growth. I don’t think we’re going to make it that far.

Financially, our monetary system run amok and I believe this train is running out of track. It is so screwed up, it will take decades to fix, if Congress, the Senate, Presidency and the Supreme Court all agreed it needed to be fixed.

Right now, world oil production and by extension world energy production is quivering on a plateau. Is this the peak? I think so. And I think it is, because I believe that there are no super giant fields that can stand up to higher rates of sustained depletion.

If we are not at peak, we're certainly on a shoulder near the peak. And that means no significant production increases. No more growth.

No energy growth means, no industry growth. So now we're in an industry reshuffling phase.

And how does the finance industry deal with no growth? Well, they panic and create lots of money. Raw numbers mean profits, right? Print more money, and obviously you have more money.

The US government is dealing with the same price inflation the rest of us are. And inflation in simple terms is an increase in the money supply. To put it in perspective though, think of it as an increase in the supply of money as compared to goods and services. If the money supply rises at the rate that goods and services increase in volume, we see no price changes. If the money supply grows faster, then we have more money per goods or service and thus rising prices.

So the US government is dealing with inflation, by borrowing and thus creating more money. This leads to rises in prices, which leads to the need of the government to create more money to buy stuff with. This puts the US government in direct competition with private industry.

And the US government can’t stop. First, the corporations feeding off of it have powerful lobbies that own both political parties. They will not allow their hand puppets to change these policies. Secondly, the US government would have to stop increasing spending. A new way of looking at budget reductions would have to take hold. Right now, a budget reduction is a reduction in the rate that the budget is increased. We need to go the other direction; we need to have a budget that is smaller every year.

This would reduce the government’s competition with private industry. It would reduce the need for the government to be an economy unto itself. It would reduce price inflation so that people do see their monetary value diluted, month by month. People could save in safe financial instruments and not worry that inflation will make their savings worthless.

But this won’t happen. We will stay on course, stoking the boiler, going ever faster until the US Economy can no longer compete with the US government and the dollar becomes worthless.

So though the RFID, NSA spying and all the rest is really scary fascist stuff, being implemented right now, in the long run, these policies are taking the US on the same course the USSR took. And that’s right into bankruptcy.

Hang on! You can put a bag over your head if you like, but it won’t help.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Freedom of Information Act

This little flap about recorded phone logs and calls has really taken off.

One side effect of such activity, that people need to consider is that once these calls are recorded, many will get leaked to the public. Especially if they are interesting and involve politicians, celebrities and captains of industry.

And doesn't the Freedom of Information Act cover such materials? After a period of time has passed and it's determined that a call has not National Security significance, then it must be made freely available to the public.

So if your calls are recorded, and it turns out you're not a terrorist, then the public has the right to get copies of your calls. Then they can be freely published on the internet and downloaded to iPods for hours of fun.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

You Can Trust Me This Time, Honest.

After lying to us for years, to start and continue a war so that he and his friends could profit from bloodshed and death, we're supposed to believe him now?

If he'll lie to profit from dead and wounded American Soldiers, why not lie about this too?

He did once say that Armadillos dig holes. So he has been caught telling the truth. It's just a rare occurrence.

Bush: We're not trolling your personal life

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional Republicans and Democrats demanded answers from the Bush administration Thursday about a government spy agency secretly collecting records of ordinary Americans' phone calls to build a database of every call made within the country.

Facing intense criticism from Congress, President Bush did not confirm the work of the National Security Agency but sought to assure Americans that their privacy is being "fiercely protected."

"We are not mining or trolling through the personal lives of innocent Americans," Bush said before leaving for a commencement address at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Biloxi.

Monday, May 08, 2006

City Codes And Livestock

Jim Robb reminded me of this topic. I had thought in the past to write about it. So here it is. It's in answer to is comments in Crop Circles...

Are you thinking about livestock in the suburbs? Chickens, rabbits, ducks, etc...?

When my rooster count passed one, I was worried that I was going to be in violation of city codes. Everything I knew about animal ordinances, I learned from hearsay and internet searches.

Finally, I called animal control and asked them. They told me that in recognition of changing demographics (buying the hispanic vote), the city had decided to remove all restrictions on owning livestock.

I'm still limited to 4 pets in my city, but I can have lot's of other kinds of animals.

Of course other code enforcement rules still apply, such as rules for structure types, cleanliness, etc... If my backyard starts to take on the unpleasant aspects of a farm, I'm sure soemone will be happy to come have a talk with me.

These things are worth a phone call, to determine what's fact and what's hearsay. You might be surprised at what you are allowed to do in your own city. You might only be required to have a permit and agree to certain restrictions.

If your city does not allow for any livestock, you could always show up at a council meetings and present an argument for small scale exceptions.

The City of Dallas for instance, allows chickens but has a limit of one rooster per lot, and an additional rooster for each extra acre of land you house them on.

Some folks I know of keep their birds indoors, or use the don't ask don't tell policy, and keep only hens. Roosters are bad about telling everyone where they live.

I've noticed also that folks that ask neighbors their opinion about getting birds receive more negative responses than folks that already have them and ask their neighbors if they are bothered by them.

The idea of a neighbor getting birds seems worse than having a neighbor with birds. Imagination can work against you in this case. Forgiveness is often better than permission.

Also, check out http://www.backyardchickens.com The site has a discussion forum and lots of members from all over the US. You may hook up with other people in your area and find ways to pressure your city leaders into passing more homesteading friendly legislation.

Good luck! The more of us that are seen doing mini-homesteading the burbs, the more acceptable such aberrant behaviour will become. At some point, we could once again become the norm.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Crop Circles...

Here's an updated photo of my front yard crop circle. The Artichokes are starting to gain a bit of height. I added in salvias around the edge to offset them. The artichokes are said to reach up to five feet in height. The salvias, two to three feet. In the center I added asparagus that has sprouted but is thin and wispy. It's proably not visible in this photo.

Here are my Barneveldar chicks. Out of a dozen eggs, three hatched. Most of the eggs didn't show any sign that they were fertile. I gave one of the chicks (not pictured here) to my sister.

These chicks were hatched on April 27th.