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Adios Bleeding Heartland

The Department of Homeland Security has decided to start seizing websites for “copyright infringement”.

See example here: http://torrent-finder.com/

Thus far there are 76 websites reported seized under U.S. Copyright Law.  Apparently this was done under the auspices of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

Our favorite Iowa senator, Chuck Grassley just voted a newer broader reaching bill, Combatting Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act (COICA) out of the Judiciary Committee.  

In the past, Internet sites deemed guilty under DMCA were allowed to remove the offending portion of the website in question until the issue could be resolved. Apparently now the Feds are simply seizing the entire Domain.

Opponents to COICA seem to believe that if enacted as written, search robots could be used to find specific words and terms on websites, and then automatic seizure would take effect.  I have not had the opportunity to review the study bill in question, so further research is needed to verify or reject these claims.

Any BH readers with a sense of this issue?

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No RAGBRAI for my friends this year

My friends from Little Farm Fair Trade will not be showing up at RAGBRAI this year, along with several other long time participants. 

Little Farm is a tiny collective that provides Fair Trade coffee at a lot of fun events during the course of the year.  Like the Rainbow Gathering, Burning Man, and usually, RAGBRAI.  They leave a jar out for anybody that wants to drop in a donation, but don't charge for the coffee at any event.  It's a hippee cosmic kind of organic experience for them.

No longer.  Last year several people were charged for not having a vending permit along the route by various counties.  Taking a lesson from last year, the counties along the route this year have apparently decided to set fees for folks “vending” along the route.  Anything from $700-$1000 a day.  

Little Farm, and several of the others don't really even cover the cost of their gas on these trips, it's just something they do for fun and laughs, kind of a vacation.  

Now it will only be the big money folks along the route, not the fun mom & pop eccentrics.  Our loss.

UPDATE:  Here's RAGBRAI's response; http://ragbrai.com/index.php/2010/07/14/ragbrai-vendors-towns/

Finally, a Response From Tom Harkin on War Funding...

sort of.

"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Comittee, as given by John Kerry, member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971.

 Those in the Peace Movement have a lesson learned from Howard Zinn and Father Dan Berrigan, veteran peace activists.  In their opinion, the Vietnam War did not end until Congress stopped funding it.

To that end, a number of affinity groups from various activist communities have been calling on members of Congress to stop funding the U.S. activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This started last October.  A number of people started delivering petitions and engaging members of Senator Harkin's and Sentor Grassley's staffs on this issue in October.  Weekly, some members of the Des Moines Peace community have been delivering petitions, and evidence of atrocities, to staffers at both offices.  When there was no response from either senator, things were escalated to include non-violent direct action, in the form of sit-ins, with some people risking arrest by staying in the offices past closing time.  One woman, frustrated by a lack of response, escalated non-violent resistance to include a weekly "die-in" where she would simply lie on the floor, in solidarity with those being killed on the taxpayer's dime.  She would remain on the floor until federal Protective Service police would place her in a wheelchair, cite her for "criminal trespass", and then dump her on the sidewalk in front of the Des Moines Federal Building. 

During one of these "die-ins", a 12 year old became so frustrated by a lack of response from Senator Harkin, that she told her mom she was going to risk arrest by staying with her friend who was engaged in the die-in.  The police charge the mother with "Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor".  The local and national press picked up on this,  and the charges against the mother were eventually dropped. 

But, in the meantime many called on Senator Harkin for a response, including activist media mogul, Michael Moore.

Today, finally, after more than six months of delivering petitions, staging sit-ins, die-ins, involving national activists, and media, we finally got a response from Senator Harkin.  Since everyone in the local Des Moines Peace Community tend to not be millionaires or multi-national corporations who can hire a K Street lobbying firm to represent their interests, I guess we now know what it takes to get Tom Harkin's attention.  A complete transcript of the letter follows.


April 23, 2010

[Insert Name and Address of Constituent]  

Dear [Insert Constituent's Name]:  

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts regarding Presidents Obama's proposed strategy for Afghanistan.  

As you know, in December 2009 President Obama announced his decision to deploy 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan after conducting a thorough policy review.  These forces will supplement the approximately 68,000 United States troops already in Afghanistan at the time of the announcement- including 21,000 additional troops from the 42- nation NATO International Security Assistance Force (IASF), which will also be contributing at least 7,000 more troops.  This plan would increase the total international force to over 150,000, with 98,000 U.S. troops.  [ed. note, this number does not reflect the independent military contractors on the U.S. payroll, i.e. Halliburton, Xe (formerly Blackwater), KBR, etc..]

I have deep reservations about the President’s plan to deploy these additional troops to Afghanistan.  I strongly believe that our brave men and women in uniform will continue serving with unparalleled capability, bravery and honor to fulfill their new mission.  I do not believe, however, that the future of Afghanistan rests solely with our military.  If the Government of Afghanistan and its security forces are not able to take control of the country, keep Afghans safe, maintain accountability to the Afghan people, and enforce and obey the rule of law, then any military success would only be temporary. Lasting success is dependent upon developing a better, more responsive civil government in Afghanistan, including combating rampant levels of corruption, forming strong regional partnerships, and equipping Afghan security forces to provide for the country’s own security.  That is why I feel that increasing civilian, economic and agricultural assistance and implementing good governance programs are just as important as military action.

In addition, I have strong reservations about how the President’s increase in troop levels will be funded.  I believe that our federal budget must account for the ongoing cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The open-ended spending of the past administration added a trillion dollars to the deficit.  We must have a responsible financial plan in place as we move forward.  Furthermore, I feel it is irresponsible to place the sacrifice of war on only members of our armed services and families.  I will work with my colleagues to find a way to fund this effort, instead of continuing to pass the full financial cost of our wars to future generations.  

Again, thanks for sharing your views on Afghanistan and the President’s decision with me. Please rest assured that I will continue to follow our progress in Afghanistan and will continue to pray for the safety of our brave young men and women serving so far from home.

Sincerely, Tom Harkin

United States Senator

Update, found this in my email inbox today, May 19.  

Dear Elton:

Thank you for visiting my office and expressing your views on H.R. 4899, the Supplemental Appropriations bill currently being considered by the Senate, and S. 3197, which requires a plan to withdraw U.S. armed forces from Afghanistan.  As you may know, the Supplemental was recently reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and will soon be considered by the full Senate.  I understand that you care deeply about these issues, and I will be sure to keep your views in mind as the Senate considers legislation on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Again, thanks for reaching out to me on this important issue.  I look forward to hearing from you again.


Tom Harkin

United States Senator

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Our Response To Local School Fundraising Scheme.

(I love this idea. You might also send the materials to members of the Iowa House and Senate committees responsible for education funding. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

When it came time for back to school shopping, my wife and I diligently went through the list of classroom supplies requested by our daughter's teacher, and purchased a couple of large shopping bags worth of stuff.

Then, last week, my eight year old came home with a fundraising request from her school. Basically, the school was asking us to fill out cards with our friend's and relative's names and addresses on them, to be solicited for magazine subscriptions.  A small portion of the proceeds would then be donated to our local school. There was a place on the card for a personalized message, and the sample message was, “Help my school!”

My wife suggested that perhaps the best way to help our daughter's school get adequate funding would be to address the cards to members of the Administration and Congress serving on various education committees with the message, “Fund Our Schools!”.

The following is a list of the people we addressed cards to, along with address information, should you find yourself in a similar situation and are inclined to follow our example.


Current Occupant

1600 Pensylvania Avenue | Washington, DC 20500


Secretary Arne Duncan

U.S. Department of Education  400 Maryland Ave, SW | Washington, DC 20202


Members of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education


U.S. Congressional Representative Dale Kildee (D Chair)

2107 Rayburn House Office Bldg | Washington, DC 20515-2205


U.S. Congressional Represesntative Mike Castle (R Ranking Member)

1233 Longworth House Office Bldg | Washington, DC 20515-0801


U.S. Congressional Representative Dave Loebsack (D Committee Member)

1513 Longworth House Office Bldg | Washington, DC 20515


Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families


Senator Chris Dodd (D Chair)

448 Russell Bldg | Washington, DC 20510


Senator Lamar Alexander (R Ranking Member)

455 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg | Washington, DC 20510


Marriage Equality Comes to Iowa (My Wife's Blog Entry)

(Thanks to Elton for posting this piece by Sally Frank, who has also been a trailblazer for equality. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

I just spoke to my wife, and she agreed to allow me to post her entry from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism today.

Since she is a law professor, I thought her take on this might be of interest to some.

Sally Frank is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Commission on Social Action and a Professor at Drake University Law School.  All views expressed are her own.

Last Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned Iowa’s ban on same sex marriage in a unanimous opinion authored by arguably the most conservative Justice on the Court.  It is obvious in reading the opinion that the Court is anticipating the negative reaction it will get from some.  After describing the ordinariness of the twelve plaintiffs and how they stand out only because of their sexual orientation, the Court went on to give a civics lesson.  It reminded its readers of the roles of each branch of government and that it was fulfilling its role in determining the constitutionality of a statute.  The Court then summarized its history of leadership in civil rights issues.  The first case in the territorial Iowa Supreme Court ruled that no one could be property and therefore refused to allow the return of a fugitive slave years before the Dred Scott case, it outlawed school segregation and ruled against separate but equal in the late 1800’s.  It was also the first state to admit women to the bar.

Another important aspect of the ruling was that it analyzed discrimination based on sexual orientation with heightened scrutiny.  This is the level of scrutiny used when reviewing laws discriminating on the basis of gender.  To pass this scrutiny, the government had to show that the law was closely related to a significant governmental interest.  The Court held open the possibility of analyzing future cases involving sexual orientation under the even higher test of strict scrutiny which is the test used for race discrimination.

Once the Court determined how to review the statute, it analyzed every argument raised to support the marriage ban and found all of them lacking.  It then addressed the unstated argument- – the objections of some religious groups to marriage equality.  In a footnote, the Court specifically referred to Reform Judaism’s support for marriage equality.  The opinion clearly stated throughout that the issue before it was civil marriage.  In this section of the opinion, the Court made clear that religious marriage is up to each religious group and would not be affected by this ruling.

Lastly, the Court ruled that Civil Union or any other attempt to address the ruling without having civil marriage would fail constitutional tests.  This ruling, as with all rulings from the Iowa Supreme Court will be effective in twenty-one days, unless the County seeks further review.  The County Attorney has said he will not do that.  Thus, we in Iowa are ready to welcome our own residents and those from around the country to come and get married starting April 24.  (There is a 3 day waiting period from getting the marriage license to getting married, though.)

I was in the County Courthouse the morning that the ruling was issued and the excitement was palpable.  Several people were stopping by the courtroom of the judge who issued the ruling that was upheld by the Supreme Court.  He quickly told us that the cake we saw sitting there was because it was his birthday not to celebrate the ruling.  Modestly, he said merely that he was glad that the Supreme Court had found his reasoning sound.

Friday night, there were celebration rallies throughout the state.  In Des Moines, about 1,000 people came for a rally that lasted just over one hour.  Many had tears in their eyes as we greeted the plaintiffs, their lawyers, and those from organizations supporting them.  Des Moines’ mayor also spoke.  There were similar rallies with hundreds of people all around the state.  One speaker mentioned discussing with a California chapter of her organization how to celebrate Iowa.  She announced that there would be popcorn on the street of the Castro that night. After the rally there was a party celebrating the ruling, which was widely attended.  The joy is still palpable today.

For those wondering about the possibility of an amendment to the state constitution, nothing will happen soon.  A letter was read at the rally from the majority leaders of our state assembly and state senate hailing the ruling and saying that given the short time left in this legislative session and the pressing budget issues facing the state there would be no reason to waste time debating this issue.   A constitutional amendment in Iowa has to pass two separate legislatures before it can get on the ballot.  This is the first year of our current legislature.  Thus, no amendment can pass for at least 2 ½ years.  The momentum may not be strong to amend the constitution either.  Even a conservative columnist for the Register suggested that people look at the tourist dollars the ruling will bring before they get too upset and try to overturn the ruling.

To read the ruling of the Court, go here

and click on ruling.

Posted by Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism on April 6, 2009 4:55 PM |  

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Cramer v. Stewart

I'll own it, I'm a big Daily Show fan.  Jon Stewart has seen me through some tough times these past few years.  After a hard days work dealing with the consequences of being an activist, [FBI surveillance, named on terrorist watch lists, months of incarceration] and that just for speaking out about stuff, it's been nice to be able to just kick back and get my “news” from America's most trusted name in fake news.

Sadly, that all changed for me last Thursday night.  Sure, my folks lost a bunch of money out of their retirement stuff. My daughter had a morgage with Countrywide and ended up sleeping in her car for a couple of months after they foreclosed on her. And now, I'm having a really hard time picking up any part time work.  I'm as upset about the whole corporate greed thing as anybody.

Be that as it may, the last thing I want to see on the Daily Show is real news. I don't need that shit.  If I wanted real news, I would turn on the real news.  I want fake news, news in small doses edited with a healthy dose of sarcasm and wit.

I guess I don't blame Jon at all, he did what he felt he had to do.  I have to put the blame on Jim Cramer.  He wanted to use this self-induced “feud” with Jon Stewart for purposes of self promotion.  

What I simply can't believe is that Jim Cramer is so far removed from the pulse of real America, that he thought he could get away with being “cute” about being a Wall Street pundit at this point. 

 I've seen where folks have compared Jon's interviewing style with Cramer to an old school Mike Wallace face-off.  For me, it looked more like an Edward R. Murrow moment.

I'm going to miss my old Jon Stewart, he was a really fun and witty guy, the guy who helped define an era of my life. But now, I can never look at him the same, not after squirming in my seat for the twenty minutes of that interview.  

As for Jim Cramer? Maybe if the folks at CNBC and the other so-called “Mainstream” networks had stuck to the REAL news, my beloved Jon Stewart wouldn't have had to go there.

Become a Virtual Texas Sheriff's Deputy, It's Fast, Easy, and Fun!

 [Just saw this story on CNN I felt I had to share]
In a twisted turn of events, I see that the Texas Border Sherriff's Coalition has created a website called BlueServo.
Various hidden cameras at border areas across a range of Texas counties, are hooked up to direct live feeds.  Everyday folks turned “Virtual Deputies” can login from anywhere, sit at their computers and watch the live feeds, alerting area law enforcement to any “suspicious” activity in an instant.
So sign up today to become a “Virtual Texas Sheriff's Deputy”, and you too can spy on our “neighbors from the South”.  It's simple, fast, and offers hours of fun! Don't delay, join today!  Helping secure Amerika's Liberties and Freedoms for the “right kind of people” [you know who you are] has never been easier.
Kick back in the comfort of your own home and sit in smug faced amusement as the hopes, dreams, and an entire year's savings of non-white people are dashed to dust in an instant as local law enforcement agencies spring into action.  Cheer as another post of “Access to Texas Denied” appears on the screen, and maybe, just maybe, your eagle eyed vigilance helped make that happen.  So drug smugglers and would be terrorists beware, thousands of bored underachievers are watching every single move you make.
Coming soon, similar access to live feeds at police departments all over the country????

Mother F***ing Patent Vultures

Well, I have spent the past half decade working on developing some manufacturing capability based partly on patents and intellectual product some engineer friends and I developed.

Only to find out, in the eleventh hour, after investing thousands of hours in development and tens of thousands of dollars in tooling and patent rights, that it just ain't going to happen right now.

Thanks in part to the dot com collapse, and trends established then, certain licensing firms created this idea of becoming “Non Producing Entities”, or NPE's.  These firms purchased internet and telephony patents for pennies on the dollar and waited until someone used some piece of intellectual property which infringed on the patent, or close to it. And then sued them for intellectual property infringement.

While this might not be a bad strategy in theory, in practice it has become broader and more industry wide.  Now, I am told, this practice is entering the “Green Tech” arena bigtime.

Patent Vultures, or more nicely put patent trolls have people on staff whose primary job is to search any new and innovative product against existing patents.  If there is a close fit, these entities then file suit against the company producing the item, requiring substantial litigation, with many companies simply settling out of court to reduce costs, and taking this on the chin as “the cost of doing business”.

As I was told by the patent attorney my partner is using, if we put any new product line out for sale to the general public, we will be sued.  Guaranteed. And we will have to go to court to defend ourselves. Even though some of these patents have been successfully defended in the past, and rights firmly established.

I don't have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on attorneys, so I'm pretty nervous and frustrated. Basically out of business before I can even hire anybody to produce the product.

So much for trying to save the planet and create a few jobs.



Freegan Cookoff Coming Soon

(After dmd mentioned that whole competition thing, this is what I came up with. Crossposted in part, from La Vida Locavore.)

 I had kind of a wild thought the other day.

In the course of “Collecting Donations” for the local Catholic Worker and Food Not Bombs folks, I know where to get my hands on some pretty upscale food.

I see that they have like these Chef competition reality shows all over the durned TV. With that kind of competition in mind…

How much fun would it be to dumpster up some food from some of the more bougie places, and assign “contestants” the task of coming up with a “gourmet” menu based only on what you can scrounge from a dumpster?

I have a pretty decent solar oven that folks could cook with, and if you did this as a fundraiser, charging folks per plate? Sliding scale, of course.

There is this groovy little neighborhood park right down the street from here where folks from all walks of life pass by, I think I might honestly give this a try.

And what better way to educate folks to food waste and the Freegan lifestyle? And where else are mainstream folks going to get a chance to mingle with the homeless on a social level?

And I just found an online text of one of my favorite essays of all time, entitled Dumpster Diving. Check it out, Lars Eighner's writing in this is sublime. 


Clean Coal, as Explained by the Coen Brothers

(Such a great ad, I had to put it on the front page. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

Just saw this new ad from the Reality Campaign on Common Dreams, directed by the Cohen Brothers [Fargo, The Big Lebowski, etc….].

This is a lot more direct than the ubiquitous “Clean Coal” ad with the fellow in the hard hat running around in the desert.  Glad to see the Coens climbing on board the Clean Coal bandwagon.

With any luck we'll finally get this clean coal technology I've been hearing so much about.  Energy independence from foreign oil is what it's all about after all.  Ah, I love that fresh scent of progress in the air!


Market Meltdown and Cybernetic Revolution??

Recently had a chance to listen to a talk from some truly deep and profoundly geeky folks from Mr. desmoinesdem's alma mater on this whole “Market Meltdown” situation.
In a nutshell, a prevailing concern is that Moore's Law may have reached it's exponential limit.  Moore's Law, formulated in 1965, states that transistor density in integrated circuitry will double every approximately 18 months or so.
This has essentially held true from the 1950's through about 2006-2007, and now we have some fairly powerful computing devices, and the cybernetics revolution has driven the world economies into the stratosphere as a result.
However, it seems that a limit may have been reached on the density of transistors in any given chip, and now a plateau has been reached, if not an outright apex of a bell curve, in terms of cybernetic development. 
With this plateau/apex achieved, economic growth patterns are possibly affected significantly.
Some futurists (Kurzweil, et al) predict that there will be a molecular nano-tech revolution which will propel Moore's Law for decades, perhaps centuries, but this is not a consensus view by any means.
Without a breakthrough soon, things may slow to a crawl, and with economic downturn and rising energy costs, the actual cost of production will increase to the point that no new “improved” Integrated Circuit computing chips will ever see the kind of market share that popular computing devices enjoy at this very moment.

On the upside, as a result we may have to rely on paper ballots instead of Diebold electronic voting machines, with theft of elections by fascists somewhat difficult as a result. Downside, I would expect to see neo-cons and conservative Republicans trying to pump billions into the information tech sector to prevent just such a tragic outcome.  


(This is for the purposes of generating thought and discussion only, the author of this diary is neither an expert in economics, physics, or cybernetics.  He is into farming and blacksmithing.  And if we run out of oil, he has a nifty solar distillation apparatus that can make two gallons of fuel per day out of garbage.  Plenty of fuel to run his 1948 Allis-Chalmers tractor well into the 21st century, and waaay beyond HIS life expectancy.)

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To Hell With High Seed Corn Prices

I guess I'll be forced to own it now.  I'm a sixth generation Iowan, taken off the land during the 1980's farm crisis, relocated to Des Moines with a federal subsidy as a “displaced farm worker”.  So, I guess I have no room to complain about all them Wall Street Bankers getting federal bailout money.  But when the Savings and Loan in Bloomfield, Iowa collapsed, I didn't get any federal assistance until after my dad decided we had to sell off the farm since I didn't have enough money to pay the taxes.  Too late by then to do me much good. 

After all that hurt, rage, and anger, the last thing I EVER thought I'd be complaing about was the high price of Seed Corn.  But you know what?  Actually feels kind of good now that I find myself in the midst of it.

And why do I find myself complaining about the high price of seed corn these days?  Well, read on, gentle reader, read on… 

Next to Bear Creek Friends Meeting House (ca.1865) in Earlham, Dallas County, Iowa is about 23 acres of open farmland.  This land is held in an estate trust by a member of the Meeting, and was in a 10 year federal “set aside” program until this last year.  The family needs it to make some kind of income, and if no-one steps up to the plate, it could wind up in chemically intensive ag, or worse, development for McMansions.

Or at least that was the threat made, in all probability, to get me off my rear and engaged in meaningful action.

I have this twenty-three acres provisionally leased for this year.  Some folks want to do an exploratory CSA on it, and that's fine.  Now I only have 21 acres to deal with.  It's been in grass for several years, and there IS a limited market for grass hay, but I figure it might be nice to do ten acres in row crop to make sure all expenses are covered. And I guess it's up to me to see that all the expenses get covered since I'm the one signing the lease.  Five acres was in traditional row cropped corn last year, so it's a no brainer to crop that off, and plow under another five acres for corn this year as well.
With this thought in mind, yesterday I called to see about buying some seed corn.  To plant 10 acres in corn means that one half unit per acre (40,000 seeds) are needed to ensure a mature stand of 28-30 thousand corn plants (high infant mortality in corn, there is).  Each unit being roughly 80,000 seeds, or one(1) fifty pound bag, so to plant ten acres I need five “units” on hand, just to be safe.  The only seed I could find at the local markets near Des Moines are triple resistant multi-generational hybridized GMO genetically patented seed corn.  This seed is selling for, get this, $200 a unit.  That's one hundred dollars an acre to plant.  And this seed is resistant to herbicides, anhydrous application, etc… None of which I would EVER put on corn.  But, it was all that was available at the first place I called, and I asked the nice young woman on the phone when I would need to reserve the seed to ensure that it was available to me.  She asked me how many units I would need to reserve, and I told her five units.  There was a long pause, and finally she said, “I'm sorry sir, we have a twenty-five unit minimum.” And then just hung up.  Shit.
I did some further research, and found some old school “organic” open pollinated seed corn for, get this now, $70.00 per unit at: http://www.openpollinated.com/.  And they will sell one to five units. no problem, no questions asked. Now that is like $35.00 per acre in seed cost.  Hmmmm.  And since I am not planting in high density with all kinds of groovy chemical application, I'm only going to get about 100 bushel to the acre max yield anyway.
And this gets better if you think about it like I do.  Since this stuff is “open pollinated” I can save a few patches and hand harvest the best of the best this year, and save 250-300 pounds of seed for next year, no cost for the actual seed.
But, [caveat extended] here's the difficult part, in order to plant the seed corn NEXT year, it has to be shelled from the cob, which, if done by hand, manually, would take me all damned winter.  So, in order to achieve a modest “economy of scale” I need to pick up an old hand cranked corn sheller like my granddad and great granddad used to shell off their seed corn.

When the farm crisis in the 1980's took me off the farm we sold off our old corn sheller, so now I don't happen to have one.  And the only one's I've seen around lately are cluttering up the lobbies at all the Crackerbarrell restaurants my Mom makes me go to.  Figures, a nice piece of technological wizardry reduced to wall art. 

After much searching, I finally found a brand spanking new, smaller version, here: http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/corn_sheller_hand_operated_crank_manual_antique_walnut_stationary.aspx

At $97.00, this is really gonna cut into my operating budget this year, but the savings in time and energy versus hand shelling are worth it. If I have to get a job at Wal-Mart as a greeter during the X-mas season to offset the difference, well, we all have to make a compromise somewhere… 

More Lemon Socialism

Paul Krugman, upcoming recipient for the Nobel Prize in Economics, wrote an interesting article in the NY Times carried by Common Dreams http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/02/02-1 yesterday.

The title of Mr. Krugman's article is “Bailouts for Bunglers”.  In this article, Mr. Krugman's major thesis is to ask the Obama administration to Nationalize the banks needing bailout capital, citing the “Lemon Socialism” rule.  In a nutshell, Lemon Socialism is where losses are socialized, profits are privatized.

I'm trying not to get personal here, but when they foreclosed on my friend's and family's businesses and homes, there was no safe”bailout” for them, they lost everything.  My oldest daughter is currently living in her car in Dallas, TX. One of my closest and oldest friends was forced to lay off half a dozen loyal employees into this economy with very little hope of finding another job as an auto mechanic.

No one rewarded any of my friends and family for the decisions they made which forced them into these circumstances, and I'm not asking anyone to reward these folks. It just seems criminal that those whose unbridled greed created the current market meltdown should receive compensatory bonuses for a “job well done”?

President Roosevelt saved capitalism for another 75 years when he initiated his plan of economic recovery.

Maybe President Obama should just let it go down in flames, I'm already paying to help out my kid, and I paid my friend more than it was worth to have him help me fix the brakes on my car recently (I could have done the job myself), I'll be damned if I'm willing to help foot the bill to pay some Wall Street banker a multi-million dollar salary for helping create this mess. 

Make the bankers give up their homes to the folks who lost theirs, I say.  Maybe if the financial wizards of Wall Street had to spend the winter living in THEIR cars they could come up with a solution all on their own. no help from the government.