Call To Action: Please read…


Firstly, I would say that the energy prices that currently seem stubbornly high should fall substantially as the speculative premium evaporates and demand falls on a resumption of the credit crunch. The sucker rally that has spawned all the talk of green shoots is essentially over in my opinion.

The result should be a reversal of a number of trends that depend on the ebb and flow of liquidity – we should see stock markets and commodity prices fall, a significant resurgence in the US dollar and a large contraction of credit. The scale of the reversal should be substantial, as should its effects on energy demand. Demand is not what one wants, but what one is ready, willing and able to pay for, and in a severe credit crunch the capacity to pay for supplies of most things will be severely reduced.

As demand falls, and with it prices, investment in the energy sector is likely to dry up. Many projects will be uneconomic at much lower prices, meaning that the projects which might have cushioned the downslope of Hubbert’s curve (and the much steeper net energy curve), are unlikely to be developed. In this way a demand collapse sets the stage for a supply collapse that could place a hard ceiling on any prospect of economic recovery. That is a recipe for extremely high energy prices in the future…

The scale of the problem has been temporarily concealed by a market rally and the shovelling of tens of trillions of dollars of taxpayer’s money into a giant black hole of credit destruction. This has done nothing to reignite lending, but the temporary (and entirely irrational) resurgence of confidence has restored a measure of liquidity. As that confidence evaporates with the end of the rally, that liquidity will also disappear.

Deflation is ultimately psychological. Without trust we will see hoarding of the cash which will be very scarce in the absence of the credit that currently comprises the vast majority of the effective money supply. The combination of scarce cash and a very low velocity of money will be toxic.

Money is the lubricant in the economic engine and without enough of it that engine will seize up as it did in the 1930s, when farmers dumped milk they couldn’t sell into ditches while others were starving for want of the money to buy food. There was plenty of everything except money, and without money, one cannot connect buyers and sellers…

In my opinion, we stand on the brink of truly tragic circumstances.

See original article here

Local Money Supply Solutions: Mendo Time BankMendo Moola

Mendo Time Bank News


Thanks to everybody who responded to our requests for help!  Jenny Crawford and Courtney Senna will be doing orientations every two weeks at the MEC so please send your friends. Orientations for new members will be held the first and third Wednesdays of each month starting on Nov 4th. 6 – 6:30pm. Kip Webb and Daniel Frey will be posting flyers to help spread the word.

There is still more to do!  We need your help to organize social events, write a paragraph for the newsletter, update the website and organize group projects.

If you’re not quite ready to make a commitment, the best thing you can do to support the Time Bank is to use it. Be part of the change you want to see, help build our community. There’s no better way to save money, support your neighbors and friends and encourage positive movement toward a more sustainable future.  It won’t work without you.

Time Bank Radio Show

Jenny and Courtney are also starting up a radio program which will air for the first time on Wednesday November 4th at 6:30 pm. Tune in to KMEC. You will hear about what’s being offered and requested, answers to frequently asked questions,  and other useful and entertaining information. A reminder and more info from the hosts to follow.

Progress Report

Congratulations Time Bankers!  Together we have traded over 930 hours so far this year!  Our exchanges include yard work, house sitting, farm fresh eggs, healthy garden produce, tickets to the Ukiah Players Theatre, haircuts, massages and so much more.

Success Stories from our Time Bank

My Time Dollar Retirement by Rose Dakin

Every financial analyst will tell you that the key to successful investing is diversifying your assets. Your savings should be carefully invested in a mix of bonds, stocks, cash, gold and real estate. I have decided to use my account at the Mendo Time Bank to supplement my retirement plan, because time is an overlooked investment, and my retirement will require a lot of other people’s time. Not only that, but the value of time has increased with less volatility and more predictability than any other asset in the traditional asset mix. I feel well diversified, now, thanks to the Mendo Time Bank.

This is dedicated to the DDR Carpet Baggers for their plane ride home to Ohio and Texas


Maybe Farming Isn’t Supposed To Make Money

The Contrary Farmer

Talk about heresy. What if food production should not be part of either a capitalistic or a socialistic economy. The first commandment of agriculture states that you must put back into the soil the fertility you take out of it. That being so, the only real profit from food production is how good the food  tastes and how well it sustains health and well-being. Any actual money profit beyond that might simply be a sign that the farming is flawed. Failed civilization on top of failed civilization suggests that idea, but every new civilization that flourishes for awhile believes it can beat the system.

Farming has to be subsidized in modern economies because nature  can’t compete with money interest. An ear of corn, even the record-shattering 15-inch ear I found in my field yesterday,  has never heard of six percent interest. An ear of corn grows at its own sweet pace, come recession or inflation, which is the modern version of hell or high water. Every attempt to make it grow at a pace that matches the way we can manipulate paper money growth, results in some downside. (Eventually it happens with money too.) GMO scientists crow about their new seeds but there is little significant increase in yield from them, in fact in some cases, documented decreases. When an increase does occur it usually comes from lack of weed competition not an actual genetic increase in yield. Most above average increases in crop yields  come from  good weather. Monsanto and Dupont are trying to take the credit for the big corn crop this year when their very same seeds that produce a good crop on one farm result in only half a crop  two miles down the road where timely rains did not fall.

More at The Contrary Farmer

Doin’ the Dead Dino Stomp – No On A Letters (Updated)

[FLASH!! DDR will spend over a million dollars to kill our downtown! They have spent $800,000 so far according to the Press Democrat. That’s 10 to 1 spending against our local citizens and local democracy. Vote NO on A. -DS]

Letters to the UDJ


Running up the score

If you haven’t voted “No” on Measure A yet, Here’s why you should, now:

1. If Measure A passes, no environmental local regulation or control will be necessary for anything that is built on the old Masonite property by the current or any future owner.

2. If Measure A passes, the old Masonite property will be sold. “Everything is for sale,” Jeff Adams, the project director for DDR said at the October 8, 2009 debate on the merits of Measure A. Scott Wolstein, DDR’s top boss may be seen on stating that due to its economic condition, “DDR will not build any new projects.” DDR stock had a value of $74 per share in 2006 which dropped to $1.50 in March 2009 and was then declared ”junk” by respected organizations that value stock.

3. If Measure A passes, the so called “mixed-use” zoning would give the owner unlimited and uncontrolled choice and discretion on what is built or done there. DDR rendered its so called “specific plan” meaningless when it repeats, over 80 times, that the “plan is conceptual only and subject to change according to regional and market conditions.” Further no owner, present or future will have any responsibility to pay any consequences of what is built there.

4. If Measure A passes, all surrounding road work and public safety costs would be paid with county money leaving no funds for our already neglected roads and public safety needs everywhere else in Mendocino County.

5. DDR and Mendocino County Tomorrow, the local group it supports report they spend $514,871.89 as of September 19, 2009, on their campaign. All the money came from DDR; no local money.

6. There are no “yes” yard signs. No one wants one. All DDR can do is send glossy mailers and make meaningless promises on radio and TV.

7. DDR doesn’t give a rodent’s posterior about Mendocino County or we who live here.

Bailouts For Dummies

How To Save The World Blog

Lately I’ve been reading more about economics, in self-defence against all the corporatist-government thievery and lies going on out there.

I’m aware that most people find what is happening in our economy and financial systems unfathomable, so I thought I’d try to simplify the complex. I confess up front this is a substantial over-simplification, and I’m not a professional economist. Recent events really boil down to governments doing what they’re told to do because their self-serving advisors have made them so terrified of the consequences of not doing so, that they feel they have no alternative. It’s not so much “too big to fail” as “failure is not an option”.

Our modern economic system is founded on a false premise — that unregulated ‘free’ markets are the most efficient (free of waste) and effective (they will produce better ‘collective’ outcomes than markets that government manages or intervenes in). This has been repeatedly shown to be false, but it still governs mainstream economic, and conservative, thought. In most countries (other than the US and struggling nations) experience with the failures of the ‘free’ enterprise market system — laissez faire capitalism — has led governments to play a significant, if not dominant, role in economic regulation and decision-making. These are what are called “balanced economies”, where governments intervene to limit the excesses of self-serving private interests and to provide goods and services (like health care and education) that the majority believe should be available to all, regardless of wealth or income.

Where there is no balance, as in struggling nations where the government is weak or hopelessly corrupt, the result is a hegemony (total dominance) by a wealthy elite that effectively owns and dictates policy to politicians, regulators and judges. This near-monopoly of consolidated power is variously called corpocracy, corporatism, or fascism. Many right-wing ideologues like Mussolini believed such a hegemony was the much-sought “benign dictatorship” that would act in the collective interest more knowledgeably and efficiently than any democracy. There is a second school of right-wing libertarian ideologues, especially in the US, who believe that the ‘market’ is able to act in this fashion, and that any government intervention will necessarily worsen every situation.more


Flogging (and Blogging) a Dead Dino

More Letters to the Editor UDJ

No Property Rights
Clear Democratic Opposition


For months now, proponents of Measure A, most especially Jeff Adams of DDR, have been complaining about how poorly they’ve been treated by the County Board of Supervisors and by the planning process as a whole, which they suggest has been hostile, dilatory, and incompetent. Because of this, they say, they were forced to fall back on the only democratic process left to them: the initiative process.

I’ve heard this sad story told in the Ukiah City Council Chambers and in County BOS meetings. I’ve read it in this newspaper when proponents of Measure A have been quoted. I’ve heard it so often I’m afraid that voters may view it as true instead of seeing it as a political strategy intended to cast DDR as the good guy just trying to exercise its private property rights and move its progressive project along. In this fairy tale, local government staff and officials, of course, are the bad guys getting in the way of progress.

I want to remind everyone who cares about this ballot initiative of a few simple facts that seem to have been forgotten. First, when DDR purchased the land, it was zoned industrial (as it is now). Presumably, they knew this. They have never had a private property right to build a retail mall on the land nor does County government have to bow to their desire to change the zoning.

Second, as we all know, the current BOS is opposed to rezoning the former Masonite property precisely because John McCowen and Carre Brown replaced two supervisors who favored it. Let’s not forget that Mr. McCowen and Ms. Brown campaigned strongly against the rezoning. Their large electoral victories were not only democratic but a clear statement of opposition to the DDR project. It was not a hostile local government nor an incompetent planning process that forced DDR to bring in a guerrilla team of signature gatherers to put Measure A on the ballot. It was desperation. And all the whining to the contrary can’t change it.

Monster Mall Unnecessary


What are the Differences between Bio-Intensive Agricultural and Biodynamic Agricultural Practices?



The above question has been asked of Charles because he has gardened and farmed both Bio-Intensively and Biodynamicly for over 20 years. In the above case, the author’s farm was certified biodynamic by the Demeter Association of the United States, a division of the International Demeter Certification Organization and Organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers Association (CCOF). Prior to this, the author gardened organically for over 20 years, employing the original organic method developed by Sir Howard of England and adopted by John Rodale in the United States. These organic practices have since been corrupted and diluted by both State & Federal CDFA & USDA governmental regulatory agencies.

From 1985 until 2000, Bio-Intensive practices were employed in his market gardens of the Certified Organic biodynamic farm in Compche, California. During that period, the author also served on the board of Directors of Ecology Action until 2004.


The criteria normally used to judge farming practices is to ask if the practice is sustainable & do the farming practices employ any method or material that would be detrimental to ones health by eating the food grown by these methods? Both the Bio-Intensive and Biodynamic and the older form of Organic practices (pre-USDA), complied with both of the above two criteria.

The oldest of the above practices is the Biodynamic method. It was synthesized by Rudolf Steiner in 1924 from ancient folk & peasant practices employed in the Orient and Persia over 6,000 years ago and more recently by Russian & European farms over the last 1,500 years. The Oriental farming practices have been proven to be sustainable for over 6,000 years. Bio-Intensive evolved from Alan Chadwick’s interpretations of R. Steiner’s biodynamic concepts.

Now to the differences between BI & BD practices

Simple lifestyle tweaks key in climate change fight


WASHINGTON—The United States could cut greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of France’s total annual emissions by getting Americans to make simple lifestyle changes, like regularly maintaining their cars or insulating their attics, a study showed Monday.

If U.S. households took 17 easy-to-implement actions—like switching to a fuel-efficient vehicle, drying laundry on a clothesline instead of in a dryer, or turning down the thermostat—carbon emissions could be cut by 123 metric tons a year by the 10th year, the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found [PDF].

“This amounts to … 7.4 percent of total national emissions—an amount slightly larger than the total national emissions of France,” showed the study led by Thomas Dietz of Michigan State University’s department of sociology and environmental science and policy.

“It is greater than reducing to zero all emissions in the United States from the petroleum-refining, iron and steel, and aluminum industries, each of which is among the largest emitters in the industrial sector,”  the study said.

But the lifestyle changes come with a much smaller price tag and no great change to the way Americans live.

At present, U.S. direct household energy use accounts for 38 percent of the country’s carbon emissions, or 626 million metric tons of carbon—a whopping eight percent of global emissions “and larger than the emissions of any entire country except China.”

To quickly bring down those numbers, the researchers suggested greater focus on consumer behavioral changes and less on efforts to develop new technologies and put in place so-called cap and trade regimes.

The researchers grouped 17 actions Americans could take to reduce carbon emissions into five groups: weatherization, switching to more efficient equipment, maintaining equipment, adjusting appliance setting—such as the temperature on water heaters—and modifying daily personal use.