Harvest is always hard. This year is no different in that respect. Six
day weeks and ten hour+ days, really takes the wind out of your sails.
Who ever thought up the idea of the "romance of wine making" should be
drowned in a vat. In Europe, each region grows a couple of different
types of grapes. They harvest for 2 weeks, throw a party, and go home.
Here in Northern California, we have been going at it for about six
weeks now. When it is over, everyone will collapse in an ecstasy of
unconciousness. Because we grow everything, we have early ripeners like
chardonnay and late ripeners like syrah. It even appears that the
harvest may be over early, in a couple of weeks, instead of grinding on
to the first of November when rain will bring "la pointe finale" to this
Getting back to the thread, it is to be hoped when we cruise past "peak
oil", cheap carbs, and cheap meat, we may get our health back. Hopefully
we will see adult on-set diabetes as a thing of the past. I can easily
afford to lose 30 to 40 lbs. Maybe, one day, we, who can store food as
fat, will be the healthy ones again.
Of course we may get the same results in a less bucolic fashion, if the
pirates of Wall Street have their way.
Long day. Time to go out to the garden and throw the frisbee for Beau,
the McNabb. Lilly, the shepherd seems to have fallen in love with a
silicon bung, which dances away from her when she drops it. Wish JoeSB
could be here to enjoy the spectacle.
You never did overcome the hubris implied in the question of planting
next year's crop, Charlie. I'm sure we'll get to it eventually. Keep
your pots and ladles handy. This may be a rough one.
I wonder if we could get Kucinich and Paul to run on the same ticket?
Everyone else seems beholden to the "man".
Now where did I leave that bucket of margaritas?
Hubris it may be, but chance favors the prepared mind, or so someone
Tryin' to make some decisions about which way to go. Thinking about a
fair part of my limited space on some things to beef up my seed
vault... amaranth, quinoa, squash, other grain crops. Problem with
squash is the space requirement and the distance requirement ot prevent
Yeah, we'll do this discussion sometime.
Yeah, fat chance that. We will only get more, or much more, of the
same, if we even have elections.
Margaritas.......feh......waste of good tequila.
Yes it is eaten but I have never mastered the art of cooking it and don't
want to do so. It is a very low fat meat and as you would know, marbling in
meat makes it tender. I'd rather eat less top quality beef than try to eat
any of the roos round here, or buy roo.
And are delicious! Also have good fibre if one chooses the right breeds.
That is why I was so surprised that it wasn't mentioned in the article. I'd
hate to see what hybrids would produce when/if the manure hits the fan -
might be OK for the first year at a pinch, but then knowing about the need
for distances between crops and true to type seeds would be vital.
Ummmmm. I don't think I ever want to eat anything the Aboriginal people ate
except honey from native bees. Roo doesn't appeal to me so snake and lizard
is right off the agenda. Hunter gatherer lifestyle would not be my first
preference for native peoples food.
Yes it is. I'm always amused when I read posts from the boys (and I do mean
boys) in the survivalist ngs. I always think to myself that they probably
don't own a handkerchief between them and the thought of owning a metal
buket would never cross their collectivley small minds. It all about who
has the biggest and best weapon.
I dunno. Mel Gibson in his younger days was very easy on the eyes. With my
luck, I'd only come across the mutants.
I read a very interesting article today about the predictions for Global
It wasn't online but I have looked up a cite which may possibly interest
In brief, the article says that climate scientists agree that a raise in
temperatures should be confined to a max of 2 degrees but most scientists
had now recognised that this figure was already beyond what could be
achieved - more likely a rise of 3 degrees or more was most likely. Even a
1 degree rise would result in loss of a third of fresh water from the
earth's surface and Australia's Barrier Reef was doomed to die. A rise of 2
degrees would result in Greenland losing its ice and thus raising sea levels
and more heat waves in Europe where the 2003 heat wave cost 35K lives and
loss of production in the order of $12B. A 3 degree increase would result in
carbon sequestration that currenly happens in the soil would be thrown into
reverse and carbon dioxide would be released into the air. 2-3 degrees
would result in loss of most of the Amazon rainforest and so it went
I agree, and was speaking more about regional climate issues that
determined what crops they did raise and storage issues and the like.
Native Amercians relied upon maize, beans, and squash, all which stored
well and were quality sources of nutrition. Supplemented with whatever
meat was available.
Yeah, the boys in MS are not too helpful anymore. During the run-up to
Y2K, there was a lot of good info posted there and I saved some of it.
Manuals dealing with water purification and the like. Stored a lot
more info in the meatware.
Thanks. You are seeing more articles stating that things are much more
dire than we are being led to believe.
This month's National Geographic was all over the global warming issue,
as well as the biofuel issue. The map insert dealt as well. National
Geographic has been devoting a lot of research, ink and electrons to
Here are online links to the issue and articles.
Seems as if more and more people are at least acknowledging this,
except the friggin' morons that have hijacked this country.
One quick question. What are some reliable sources for news in your
country, region, etc? I know less about Australia than I thought.
If you mean News (as in what journalists think we should know) the ABC isn't
too bad. Governments of all persuasions try to shut them up so they can't
be too bad.
As for climate and crops etc the gov agencies are good. Like
Take care that some like the last are State based (there are only 8 if you
count territories) and Oz is a big place so what goes in one State might be
quite different to another.
And this will give you the bird's eye view
Well the US is blessed in many ways with less marginal land/climate positive
factors than we are/have, so perhaps the effects aren't so evident to your
people, but I am frequently amazed at some of the comments I see about
global warning from US residents. Denial is the most frequent response.
No-one here is doing that anymore - even our Prime Minister has finally
realised that it's a problem and he's a good friend of Geo. Bush.
Thanks Charlie - will look at them later have a small person trying to get
me to read him "The Grandpa Book".
Do you mean for reading online? Start with the CIA factbook which is what I
always read to learn the basic govt structure etc of a country I don't know
about - a good start.
Dumb question. Of course you'd want to read online as it's the easiest way
if you can't get to our bookstores or newsagencies.
That's a bit difficult these days. We've had 11 years of an extremely
conservative government headed by Bush's mate, John Howard (our Prime
Minister) and unfortunately during his time, changes have happened to this
country that I hoped never to see in my lifetime.
He has a wonderful patter that, if one doesn't listen closely and doesn't
analyse what he says or the impact of his policies, sounds pretty good. All
the good warm, fuzzy buzz words that make people feel comfortable and secure
and lull them into thinking all is right in their world. You'd know them:
'democracy', 'freedom', 'respect', 'security' yada yada.
He's just like a magician, watch the right hand while the left hand is
really doing something else and that something else is usually not going to
benefit anyone but the richest and most powerful. He's really very
authoritarian in his outlook and intent - often described as '1950s Man'
because that is where he is trying to drag us back to in terms of attitude
and societal thinking.
His real agenda is to stay in government and I have to say that the man is
perhaps the most brilliant politician this country has ever had. That is
not a compliment. He is a supreme political animal but he is not a real
'leader' for the country. He is a good leader for his party but is not
really interested in what is happening to the well being of the population
as a whole although he disguises that be saying the right words. He is very
good at fooling most of the people most of the time.
He has made the sort of political appointments that you would be used to in
the US, but which have never really been a factor of this country's
political landscape till his government. Sure, previous governments have
done the odd 'job for the boys' thing such as the occasional nice
Ambassadorial post in some gorgeous location for former politicians but
these have been few and far between in the past as our Diplomatic service
(and all other civil service jobs) have always (till this government) been a
career service - they do it for the whole of their worjing lives regardless
of the party which holds power. The old catch cry of civil servants was
that they worked for the people of Australia and would provide advice to
government "without fear of favour". No civil servant who cares to remain
employed would give any advice without fear these days. Anyway, our current
government has made political appointments left right and centre to any
board or civil service job where they can get away with it and they are all
designed to gag or to reduce real political comment/dissent/criticism.
The government has also criticised our judiciary in ways which are totally
alien under the doctrine of the Separation of Powers.
They've also brought the idea of negative political ads from the US where
they were apparently designed to put people off going out to vote. Since we
have what is an effectively (but not in reality) compulsory voting system,
that is also making waves.
The impact of 11 years of this government has been the most appalling
dumbing down right across the board. I don't know if this is happening
world wide (which also seems to be on a dumbing down track from what I can
see) but that's what living here feels like - the newspapers aren't worth a
pinch of manure anymore and even the ABC which David recommended and which
is still the best we have, has been so starved of funds (it's government
owned - similar to PBS perhaps??) that it can't do what it used to do.
One of the favourite tricks of this government in the dumbing down stakes is
for certain members of the government to appear on the right wing shock jock
radio shows which are only listened to by morons so they get a sympathetic
hearing and all the morons ring in to ask puerile questions and tell the
pollies how they approve of their action for the next authoritarian action
they are about to take. This is then picked up by the mainstream and we get
moron level reporting in the mainstream press as a result. I despair
My prime interest outside my home and friends is largely politics but as you
can imagine, that interest crosses into things like the environment, the
ecomony, social history related stuff. I think it was Clinton who said
that all politics is local. I don't know that I'd agree with him as I tend
to be a big picture person who sometimes gets lost in the small and/or local
Anyway, a lot of the reading I do these days is in book form although I do
try to keep up with the press too. There is one journalist for whom I have
the utmost respect for her incisive mind and knowing how not to be conned by
our political masters. Her name is Michelle Gratton. After her there is
one other journalist called Larie Oakes who would rate after her. On
climate change you may be interested in this book
know you won't be able to get your hands on it but basically it is written
by someone who used to be part of Howard's inner circle (but the author is
now very obviously off their Christmas card list :-) - sort of like Al Gore
in turning away from the mainstream view). I also read what these days in
this country would rate as a left wing publication but a few years ago it
would have been considered to just be a middle of the road journal providing
analytical comment http://www.dissent.com.au/ (This publication would be
considered to be a Commie manifesto to most US midwest people I suspect :-)
The world has tilted too far to the right to my way of thinking and I seem
to be in a minority because I don't want to live in a world where no-one
seems to want to ask difficult questions or analyse issues or gives a shit
about their fellow man.
Life as others seem to want it, all seems to be about home renovations and
getting a bigger, better, newer, faster...............whatever. It's like
the whole world went to sleep witht he end of the Cold War. I don't care if
I have several old TVs, don't have an MP3 player and my computer is pedal
powered. I must be getting old. All I want is becoming increasing
unavailable or difficult to find.
Now I realise that my diatribe may not have covered what you want to know.
What sort of news are you interested in? If it's just normal news then
there are bulk papers both national and local. There are also specialty
press such as rural press coverage for farmers/agriculture. Our press is
probably less parochial than that of the US as America is a news maker and
you can afford to ignore the rest of the world being the richest most
powerful nation of earth but Oz is a news taker. One advantage of being a
little, unimportant country at the what others see as being the bottom of
the world is that we get news from all around the world. Our major national
press will include articles sourced from organisations such as 'The
Guradian' or 'The Independant' or other major UK and sometimes US
Publications such as 'The Washington Post', 'NY Times' etc. It's not as good
in terms of analysis as it used to be, but at least there is some of it is
Good rant Farml. The Communist Manifesto seems so quaint by todays
standards. Since we acquiesced to the Bush Putsch, the fascist forces
have elected Merkel, Sarkozy, Brown, Harper, and your own John Howard.
This is going to be difficult to turn around as most of the candidates
for the American Presidency want to continue the eternal war on
terrorism, i.e. those opposed to corporate rule of the world.
Since we acquiesced to the Bush Putsch, the fascist forces
An interesting development here has been that the top man in Australian
policing, has recently said that the biggest threat to Australia's future
security is global warming. This has upset Howard a great deal as he says
it's terrorism. I agree with the cop's assessment.
On the other hand, American corporations have embraced the weather and
figured out how to make money on the misery of its' displaced masses in
New Orleans by replacing low cost housing (and the communities that they
were part of) with condos, and replacing public schools (and the
attendant loss of teachers) with charter schools. Did I mention that
this displacement of people was displacement of "black" skinned people?
Bad on me. It's called ETHNIC CLEANSING. Sort of like having our very
own Israel in our very own back yard. In any event, when those proud
condo owners move in, they won't have to see many people of color in
"their" neighborhoods, just lots of peckerwoods like themselves.
Global warming will offer more such opportunities.
As far as terrorism is concerned, America would get more "bang" for its'
buck by providing clean water and water treatment to the developing
world, instead of trying to bomb them into peace.
But then there isn't as much profit in building "stealth" water pipes as
there is in building "stealth" bombers.
Anybody awake out there?
On Sun, 30 Sep 2007 12:48:23 -0400, William Wagner
Heh heh.......nice to see you here in the belly of the beast, Bill.
Commondreams is a great place to spend some time. Great articles, and
good commentary following. Enough good news there to drive anyone back
Hang out at alternet a bit also for more cheery stuff.
Charlie, listening to Moby......"Extreme Ways"...really, really loud.
<snip of really good overview, which I appreciate....thanks, for your
thoughts *and* the time involved.>
I thought on this remark, about all politics being local, and perhaps
Clinton was being more honest than appears on the surface. Past the
local level, it becomes business, just another part of the
corporatocracy....which might be defined as fascism. Even so at the
local level, oftimes. In the US, regardless of how anyone counters,
national politics is business and the beneficiaries are seldom the
Follow the money.
I decided it was about time I checked my attribution and it was Tip O'Neill
who apparently said it, but given that it is such a good quote it wouldn't
surprise me if Clinton used it too. Can't remember where I got it from now.
Yep. But also, if you are a politician at the national level (as opposed to
the municipal level) what is considered 'local' is of rather a higher plane.
You wouldn't believe some of the comments you hear from US residents
about a a great number of deadly issues.......it's frightening and sad.
We are in a world of hurt here, and it isn't looking better, day by
day. From your other post is sounds as if Oz is headed down the same
Small people......I assume you mean grands and I have two and another
due in thirty days. We give them all of ourselves that we can while we
still can. They are the the main reason for my fears now......I'm not
going there now, but I am sure you know what I mean.
What is the Grandpa Book? Never mind......I just looked it up and it
sounds like one I need to get.......thank you.
Phooey..........you caught yourself before I could make some wise-ass
Actually that is not quite right. Before the Iraq war, the opinion polls in
Oz were 65% AGAINST the war whereas in the US it was about the same
percentage FOR the war. Our PM made the decision to send troops off in the
face of strong local opposition and that opposition has hardened more but
not hugely for the time that our troops have been a way. Our PM, who is
quite cunning sometimes, also obviously realised that body bags were not a
good look for him so he only sent a very few troops (IIRC it's in the order
of about 1200 troops) and made sure that they were in a relatively safe area
of Iraq. That way, he could be seen to be supporting our allies but wasn't
running too great a risk. Bush can still claim that the US has an ally in
Oz but given that our contribution is so small, he's obviously desperate to
continue to have any allies.
I would believe it, I've read quite a few of them and probably argued about
the dopier comments too. :-))
It is heading off to a place that doesn't please me, but it seems as if
there is finally an emergence from the years of slumber. We have an
election imminent and all the polls are suggesting that the government is in
major difficulty. It seems to me that people have just turned off and are
no longer listening to anything the government has to say. I'm not
convinced the alternative government will be any better than the current lot
but at least a change might be heading in the right direction.
My ankle biter is about to turn 2 and I think that he will grow out of these
books by Todd Parr very soon, but it is a good learning book for teaching
who is grandpa, granma, Mum, Dad etc. He likes to have them read over and
over again. I'll be delighted when he wants a real story that won't bore me
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