Wecome to Dragonwood Chronicles

Tucked away deep in the woods at the southern edge of the Tug Hill region of New York. Dragonwood is our off-grid sanctuary. Six acres of pond and gardens bordered by forest on three sides.

The project began in 1995, when after a long search, Debe and I purchased the property from a local logger. To date we have built a cabin, a bridge, out house, two sheds in addition to expansive gardens and stone work. We have a generator, propane lights, refrigerator and grill, a wood stove and modest solar system. A dug well and small stream suitable for watering gardens and other needs and a nearby spring for drinking water.

The Dragonwood Chronicles will serve to document the project with photographs and notes. Future projects will include additions to the cabin, a root cellar and a studio building.

Comments and questions are always welcome.

We enjoy hearing from people who visit Dragonwood Chronicles. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask questions.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Root Cellaring

Well,.... being that it is winter and all, I tend to do a lot more reading. One of my next projects at Dragonwood is a multi purpose underground building. The primary function will be that of a root cellar, so my latest read was Root Cellaring by Mike and Nancy Bubel. This book is an excellent read, well written and interesting but also full of specific detailed information on planting and growing root cellar crops, to harvesting and winter storage. The book also informs of the history of root cellaring and covers a variety of designs and suggestions on building your own root cellar and then how best to use it. I took this book out from our local library but have decided it is a must for my own library and will refer to it as a point of reference in my own root cellaring endeavors.

I happen to have an ideal spot picked out where I will have to do minimal excavating for a 10' X 12' earthship/cordwood root cellar. My intention is to divide this into two small rooms. One that will have a dirt floor and the other a concrete floor. There are advantages to doing this for different types of storage. The back wall and two side walls will be earthship style in that I intend to recycle tires rammed with dirt. The living roof will be supported by hemlock beams from some trees I need to clear for garden expansion and the front, northeast facing wall will be cordwood masonry. This design should not only function well, but have some aesthetic appeal and the side benefit of allowing me to try out three alternative construction techniques. Earthship construction, living roof and cordwood masonry, all of which I hope to include to varying degrees in other future projects.

The root cellar will a labor intensive project but will also be a good classroom as I get first hand experience in these alternative building methods. As in all of my projects everything is subject to change and the cordwood could easily be interchanged with slip form masonry once I am to that stage of the project.

I am looking forward to this project and Root Cellaring is an invaluable guide for me in this project. If you have any interest in putting food by without the use of electricity this book is for you! Highly recommended!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mortgage Free

I am constantly hearing from people looking to go off-grid. Everyone wants to do it, but few seem to have a plan. This book in my opinion is a must read for anyone wanting to buy property on or off grid and not be shackeled by a monthly mortgage payment.

Trust me this is for real! We did it.

Click on the image of earthwood in the sidebar to be redirected to their web site where you will find this book and many others by Mr. Roy!

Happy Reading and Good Luck!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The latest on S-510 - MUST READ!!!!!!


Hyper link functionality still not working copy and paste to read this important article.

Monday, December 20, 2010

THE GOOD LIFE by Helen and Scott Nearing

You've no doubt heard of this classic, first published in 1954 and then re-published with Continuing the Good Life in 1979. This is the ultimate back to the land bible that chronicles 60 years of self sufficient living.

The story of the Nearing's "Forest Farm" in Vermont and then their move to rural Maine has been and remains an inspiration for homesteaders of multiple generations. The book covers their search for rural land and then carving out an organic, off-grid life, long before anyone even used those terms.

The Nearing's political views were very controversial and therefore some folks are put off. Being a libertarian myself, my politics run counter to their ideas on collectivism, yet I can still admire them for the pioneers that they were. They held stead fast to their beliefs and lived it everyday in their lives.
I first read this book almost 30 years ago and have read it again and again since. It is as relevant today as it was when it was first written. If you are interested in self sufficiency this is a must read in my opinion!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tug Hill

This short video gives you a glimpse of the region. In talking with people from different parts of the country I often sense that many people picture New York City when they think of New York. It is difficult for some folks to imagine vast wilderness areas and pristine forests with clean rivers and lakes.

The Tug Hill region is about the size of the state of Rhode Island and lays between Lake Ontario and the Adirondacks.

In addition to the core forest area there are many family farms, great cross country skiing and snowmobiling. The Salmon River and it's tributaries as well our many lakes and ponds make for great sport fishing. We also have a growing Amish population. Oswego county aloan now has over 300 Amish families that have moved here over the last five or six years. Wide open spaces, cheap land and an abundance of fertile soil and fresh water make this area very attractive for those who wish to live off the land.

It does take a strong spirit to endure our harsh winters. Lake effect snow piles up on average between 200" - 300" every year.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Act Now - Call Your Senator - Stop S510

Senate Bill 510, The Food Safety and Modernization Act is scheduled to go to vote this evening. Like many bills it is well intended, but like most bills there are unintended consequences and this is no exception. Do your own research. This bill sounds good to most, after all who doesn't want food safety?

"Agri biz" giants like Monsanto and others have been behind this bill for the last couple of years and it is now finally up for a vote. The bill is expected to pass. We must act now before it is too late. Do your own research.

This bill could harm if not bring about the end of small farms, especially small organic farms and farmers markets. Seed saving will no longer be legal. The Government wants to control food production and marketing at every level, but it's all in the name of safety.

I first blogged about this in May of 2009 when the bill was in committee in the House. It was known then as HR 875. I can't believe it has actually gotten this far. Then again most of Congress (both parties) receive huge contributions from the "Agri Biz" giants.

The scariest thing about this, is once open pollination seeds become illegal and are eliminated there is no turning back. We as a human race will be owned by Multi-National Corporations.

I for one will be hoarding my seeds no matter what. I guess I will be an outlaw, but I'll be damned if the government is going to tell me I can't grow food on my own property from my own seeds!




Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Sign Of Things To Come

"It's beginning to look a lot like......." Well you know the rest. Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it's that time of year and the lake effect machine will begin to crank up. The cold winds coming down from Canada over Lake Ontario will begin to dump prodigious amounts of snow on our side of the lake. Time to dust off the snow shoes and cross country skis. This morning we only had an inch or two but soon we will measure it in feet.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Are You Better Off Today Than You Were Four Years Ago?


Can't post the hyper link so copy and paste. Very interesting read.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out

Great article on the Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking and the lies that are foisted on us everyday by the Oligarchy.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mortgage Free by Rob Roy

Here is a must read for anyone who is looking to simplify their life, find that piece of land and build your own place without the burden of a large mortgage. Rob Roy is an outstanding author on a variety of "back to the land" type books. I get a lot people asking about Dragonwood and how we did it. How did we find our land? How can you own something without a mortgage unless you have a lot of money? Trust me it can be done. Until I write my book I recommend this one.

Rob Roy is the author of several excellent books and videos including Cordwood Masonry, The Cordwood Sauna,and his latest book Stoneview: How to Build an Eco- Friendly Little Guest House. Mr. Roy also runs Earthwood Buillding School near Plattsburgh, New York.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Putting Up Wood

We heat with wood and split most of it by hand. Yesterday my buddy "Timber" Dick Dupre spent a couple of hours at Dragonwood with his splitter. Sure made easy work of a good five face cords. It would have taken us many hours of hard labor to split by hand what we were able to do in less than three hours with the machine.

Photos, Top to bottom: "Timber" Dick Dupre running the splitter, KII rolling a log for me to "buck up" with the chain saw, and the bottom photo shows me gathering kindling.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Cabin at Dragonwood

The Simple Life: A Value Liberals Share with Libertarians

I stumbled on this article by Everett Sizemore. It ran in, of all places, the Huffington Post. A good read. I can't seem to post this as a hyper link so copy and paste, Sorry!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall 2010

The last week of October we enjoyed three days of "Indian Summer" with temps in the 70's and a lot of sunshine. Here are a few shots taken at Dragonwood over the last couple of days. A look up the driveway with all the autumn leaves. Also a couple of fall garden shots including our fall crop of leaf lettuce, leeks and one of our just planted garlic beds. This year we planted over 150 garlic cloves of six different varieties.

One photo is of a small lake just down the road. Deb has painted this scene a couple of times and sold both originals. She also did a print from one of the paintings that has since sold out.

Will be up this weekend to cut and split more firewood. We will also begin putting things away for winter. Next week will be the beginning of November. Here in the Tug Hill region that means snow will be on the way soon. I will box up the solar panels and put away a lot of the garden tools etc. . I have seen things crushed by the weight of the snow. One year a garden cart was left out. The weight of the snow that winter all but destroyed it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Rock Run"

A Good Haul! KII and I never pass an opportunity to grab some good field stones when we have the chance. We have numerous ongoing stone walls and other stone projects as well as some Andy Goldsworthy style sculptures planned for the gardens. You can't have too many rocks. We have several piles in various places around the property. These get sorted every now and then into "rounds",corners,flats, uglies, etc.. This makes it easier to find the right stone for a given need.

We plan to clear about an acre for additional gardens and some fruit trees. Pulling stumps and bulldozing should produce a bounty of choice specimens next spring.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stone Wall Detail

I thought I would post this close up of one of the many stone walls that I have put up at Dragonwood over the years. This one is a little over 10 years old and look at the moss and lichen. It looks as though it has been there much longer. The stone work at Dragonwood is a never ending project. I hope to do some stone spirals and towers in time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer at Dragonwood

One of the many butterflies and moths that we see daily during the summer. The second photo is a hummingbird moth that likes the Bee Balm or "Oswego Tea" and at the bottom is a Lobelia Cardinalis, a.k.a. Cardinal Flower that grow wild around the pond. This year we have had a real problem with Deer eating our prized Hosta collection. In the past they have browsed the Hosta in the fall at the end of the season, so we really didn't mind, but this year for some reason they started munching in June. Not good. Deb is trying a variety of concoctions to dissuade them from eating our babies. "Senator Muskie" our new resident in the pond this year is a young male muskrat. He ate all of our pickerell and I think most of the arrowhead as we have hardly any this year.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Tax Laws Coming in 2012 - Buckle Your Seat Belts

The following article is from CNNMoney.com, hardly a "right wing" voice. If you own a small business, are self employed or even make a few extra dollars a year doing craft fairs or farmer's markets this effects you so I recommend reading this then talking with your accountant or tax advisor.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- An all-but-overlooked provision of the health reform law is threatening to swamp U.S. businesses with a flood of new tax paperwork.

Section 9006 of the health care bill -- just a few lines buried in the 2,409-page document -- mandates that beginning in 2012 all companies will have to issue 1099 tax forms not just to contract workers but to any individual or corporation from which they buy more than $600 in goods or services in a tax year.

The stealth change radically alters the nature of 1099s and means businesses will have to issue millions of new tax documents each year.

Right now, the IRS Form 1099 is used to document income for individual workers other than wages and salaries. Freelancers receive them each year from their clients, and businesses issue them to the independent contractors they hire.

But under the new rules, if a freelance designer buys a new iMac from the Apple Store, they'll have to send Apple a 1099. A laundromat that buys soap each week from a local distributor will have to send the supplier a 1099 at the end of the year tallying up their purchases.

The bill makes two key changes to how 1099s are used. First, it expands their scope by using them to track payments not only for services but also for tangible goods. Plus, it requires that 1099s be issued not just to individuals, but also to corporations.

Taken together, the two seemingly small changes will require millions of additional forms to be sent out.

"It's a pretty heavy administrative burden," particularly for small businesses without large in-house accounting staffs, says Bill Rys, tax counsel for the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Eliminating the goods exemption could launch an avalanche of paperwork, he says: "If you cater a lunch for other businesses every Wednesday, say, that's a lot of information to keep track of throughout the year."

The paper trail
Why did these tax code revisions get included in a health-care reform bill? Welcome to Washington. The idea seems to be that using 1099 forms to capture unreported income will generate more government revenue and help offset the cost of the health bill.

A Democratic aide for the Senate Finance Committee, which authored the changes, defended the move.

"Information reporting improves tax compliance without raising taxes on small businesses," the aide said. "Health care reform includes more than $35 billion in tax cuts for small businesses ... indicating that during these tough economic times, Congress is delivering the tax breaks small businesses need to thrive."

The new rules could drastically alter the tax-reporting landscape by spotlighting payments that previously went unreported. Freelancers and other independent operators typically write off stacks of business expenses; having to issue tax paperwork documenting each of them could cut down on fraudulent deductions.

More significantly, the 1099 trail would expose payments to small operators that might now be going unreported. If you buy a computer for your business from a major chain retailer, the seller almost certainly documents the revenue. But if you buy it from Tim's Computer Shack down the street, Tim might not report and pay taxes on his income from the sale.

The IRS estimates that the federal government loses more than $300 billion each year in tax revenue on income that goes unreported. Using 1099s to document millions of transactions that now go untracked is one way to begin to close the gap.

While all but unnoticed at the time -- a Pennsylvania business group issued the first warning last October as the idea emerged in draft Senate legislation -- the 1099 rule changes began sparking attention in the blogosphere in the last week. The libertarian Cato Institute called it a "costly, anti-business nightmare"; Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., introduced legislation last week that would repeal the new 1099 requirements.

The notion of mailing a tax form to Costco or Staples each year to document purchases may seem absurd to small business owners, but that's not the worst of it, tax experts say.

Marianne Couch, a principal with the Cokala Tax Group in Michigan and former chair of a citizen advisory group to the IRS on small business and self-employed tax issues, thinks the bigger headache will be data collection: gathering names and taxpayer identification numbers for every payee and vendor that you do business with.

But she also sees a silver lining in the new law.

Her firm already recommends collecting tax data on all vendors, since the IRS requires that you have it on hand at the time of the transaction, not just at tax-filing time. And eliminating the corporate and goods exemptions at least means that businesses will no longer have to pour over every transaction to determine if it needs a 1099. The new rule is simpler: If it crosses the $600 threshold, it's in.

"There are probably going to be some hiccups along the way, because systems will need to be redesigned," says Couch. "But overall I believe it will make compliance on the payor end a lot more streamlined and easier."

In any case, the final impact of the law won't be known until the IRS issues its regulations on the new law, which aren't expected to arrive until sometime next year. The IRS has not yet commented on when it will release regulations or schedule public hearings, and an agency spokesman was unsure when it will do so. The new requirements kick in January 1, 2012.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

President Obama and The Jones Act

President Obama and the Jones Act
By Roland de Beque on Jun 14, 2010 in American History, Disaster Management, Economics, Energy, Environment, Land use, Property Rights, Trade, free market

Any vestiges of goodwill and support for President Obama that I hold are vanishing faster than the Gulf Coast wetlands. Our “green” president is directly responsible for the escalation of the worst man-made environmental disaster in American history.

The catastrophic explosion of Deepwater Horizon on April 20 was not directly caused by Obama, obviously. Does any rational person believe that Obama stands to gain by the situation in the gulf, either by causing it or by standing idly on the sidelines while oil continues to pour into the gulf? But standing idly by is precisely what this administration has done, when getting out of the way is what it needed to do.

According to ForeignPolicy.com, within two weeks of the rig explosion the governments of Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and even the United Nations offered assistance. The response of the Obama State Department:

“While there is no need right now that the U.S. cannot meet, the U.S. Coast Guard is assessing these offers of assistance to see if there will be something which we will need in the near future.”

Similarly, De Standaard, a Dutch news site, reports that Belgian and Dutch dredgers possess technology to combat the gigantic spill in the Gulf. Two Belgian companies, DEME and De Nul, and their Dutch competitors are set up to handle the task in part because construction of ships required to undertake a large-scale cleanup would cost twice as much to build in the U.S.

Why would the Obama administration refuse the help of foreign entities? Because of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. Also known as the Jones Act, the federal legislation is a protectionist measure designed to support the U.S. merchant marine industry. It requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried by ships flying the U.S. flag, constructed in the United States, and owned and crewed by U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Written into the Jones Act are provisions that allow for waivers in cases of national emergency or strategic interest. Even President Bush, in his less-than-stellar response to Hurricane Katrina, did not hesitate to waive the Jones Act in order speed up the distribution of oil and gasoline to areas where pipeline transmission systems were damaged or destroyed.

Although I expect President Obama to waive the Jones Act eventually, why did he not act to do so when offers of assistance started coming in? Some have suggested it was a sense of pride, but I believe it stems from Obama’s belief that his administration—the federal government—is and should be the solver of all problems.

There will no doubt be plenty of blame for this catastrophe, but if there is anything that Obama could have done to forestall or lessen the amount of damage to the Gulf Coast he should have done it. His continuing failure to do so is contributing to an environmental nightmare beyond belief. This is an epic failure by the Obama Administration.

This is the time to waive the Jones Act. This is the time to issue a plea to anyone in private industry—foreign or domestic—who has a potential, even unproven, method to clean up afflicted coastline or to protect threatened areas to get to the Gulf as soon as possible and put it to work in a coordinated effort. This is the time to throw out the rulebook. This is the time for Obama to remove the roadblocks that keep Gulf Coast localities from receiving the supplies they have requested. This is the time to let local and state governments to do whatever they need to do and to do it right now.

The ecosystem of the Gulf Coast is going to be altered. Wetlands will disappear, likely to be replaced with open water. Life up and down the food chain will suffer and die. In some instances whole species face the possibility of extinction. How we respond will define us as a nation and, ultimately as a species.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gov't Shares Blame for Oil Spill

Libertarians say government shares blame with BP for oil spill

WASHINGTON - Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian Party, issued the following statement today:

"The federal government and BP share the blame for the large oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"When the CEO of BP appeared at a Congressional hearing yesterday, Republicans and Democrats predictably engaged in finger-pointing and blame-ducking, trying to score political points. Their fingers should have been pointed at themselves.

"When President Obama gave his Oval Office speech on Tuesday, there was one important word missing: the word 'liability.' The president never mentioned that, thanks to liability caps provided by the federal government, BP was able to engage in riskier activities than it would have otherwise. If BP had known in advance that it would be fully liable for all damages related to an oil spill, it probably would have taken greater safeguards. When you know that your liability will be strictly limited, cutting corners becomes a lot more attractive.

"The spill will cause a lot of damage to the property and livelihood of people living along the Gulf. We have a well-developed system of civil courts to help people obtain compensation. Unfortunately, the legislative and executive branches have inappropriately trampled on this territory, and they seem to be trying to take the place of the courts.

"The president has apparently convinced BP to put $20 billion in some kind of compensation account. He said in his speech that it will be 'administered by an independent third party.' Will this third party be able to decide what 'legitimate claims' are, and how much they should receive? Assessing damages should be done by courts, not by political bureaucrats appointed in backroom deals between the president and a large corporation.

"The president could have taken the opportunity to talk about getting government out of the energy industry, and allowing the free market to guide the future of energy production. Unfortunately, he instead blamed the free market for government failures, and discussed his hopes of increasing government interference in the energy industry.

"For decades, Libertarians have warned against putting trust in government regulatory bureaucracies like the Minerals Management Service (MMS). While costing the taxpayers a lot of money, these agencies generally fail to deliver the kind of protections they promise, they tend to become corrupt, and they discourage vigilance on the part of citizens by lulling them into a false sense of security.

"When large companies and the government start working together, the results can be disastrous. Congressional liability caps, the MMS bureaucracy, and BP have all cooperated to create a costly disaster that should never have happened."

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website. http://www.lp.org/

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Blue Angel Hosta

Our Hosta collection is ever growing. We now have well over 30 different varieties and Deb is always looking for more. She has become obsessed, a real "Hosta Freak". I even see a series of paintings in the near future.

This Blue Angel above is one of my favorites. I especially like the blue foliage. Other favorites include Orange Marmalade, Yellow River, Dream Weaver, Sum and Substance, Katie Q, June, as well as some of the variegated varieties like Patriot, Minuteman, Whirlwind, Wide Brim and Francis William.

At some point I will photograph and document them all.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Consumer Price Index is a Lie

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Jim Rogers by Ron Hera.

HRN: You mentioned that the US is the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. Do you think that will lead to high inflation or hyperinflation in the US?

Jim Rogers: Well, there will be inflation. First, you have to have inflation before you can have hyperinflation. I mean, we have inflation now. If you go to the shop, whether it's groceries, or education or insurance or health care, prices are going up for everything. The government lies about it in the US. Some countries lie, many countries don't: Australia, China, India and Norway. Many countries don't lie about it and acknowledge that we have inflation. Others lie about it, the UK and the US, but if you go shopping you know prices are up.

HRN: Are you saying that the American Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is a lie?

Jim Rogers: In my opinion, yes, of course it is. Have you looked at it? They've changed their accounting several times in the past few decades. When housing was 20% to 25% of the CPI and housing was going up, they didn't count it, saying rents weren't going up, and then when home prices started going down, they counted it. It's the same with many things. It's staggering some of the tortuous reasoning that the BLS has used over the past 25 or 30 years. When the price of gasoline goes up, they say it's not really going up because it's better gasoline, better quality, therefore you're getting more for your money. I mean, it's endless, the stuff that they say and for some reason people sit there, although more and more people are catching on, and accept what the government says. As I said, in other countries, they acknowledge that there's inflation. I don't know how there could be inflation in Australia and not in the US; how you can have inflation in Norway or India and not in the US, but the US says there's no inflation.

To read the entire inerview go to
http://www.lewrockwell.com/rogers-j/rogers-j99.1.html or click on the link below for Lew Rockwell

Jim Rogers' English language books include Investment Biker: On the Road with Jim Rogers (1994), Adventure Capitalist: The Ultimate Road Trip (2003), Hot Commodities: How Anyone Can Invest Profitably in the World's Best Market (2007), A Bull in China (2008), and A Gift to My Children: A Father's Lessons for Life and Investing (2009).

Friday, June 4, 2010

Some Photos from this Spring

A Luna Moth paid a visit and hung out clinging to the cabin one day. They are common visitors this time of year.

The second photo is our granddaughter helping water the garden. The garlic is taller than she is.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Double Dip Recession?

Double Dip Recession Risk Is Near: CIO
Published: Wednesday, 24 Feb 2010 | 8:07 AM ET Text Size By: Robin Knight
CNBC Assistant Web Producer

The global economy looks set to plunge back into recession as the sovereign debt pressure currently rocking Europe intensifies, Ashok Shah, CIO of London & Capital, told CNBC Wednesday.

"There's a risk of a double dip recession round the corner," Shah said. "Given the sovereign debt crisis that is going around the Mediterranean countries, this is going to put a lot of pressure on Europe."

The economic outlook for Europe is deteriorating very rapidly and that is adding to the factors dragging on the economic recovery, Shah told CNBC.

Concerns over the strength of Europe's power-house economy, Germany, deepened Wednesday after its gross domestic product growth was shown to have stagnated in the fourth quarter. German private consumption fell in the quarter, official data showed, suggesting the country's economic recovery may not be assured.

Germany's Economic Recovery StallsGreek Strike Grounds FlightsItaly Masked Finances Worse than Greece: Pangalos
Shah also pointed out that other major European economies such as Italy have still not escaped the recession.

If the economy does slip back into recession, governments won't be able to tackle the problem with more stimulus measures because they are already doing everything they can in that direction, Shah said.

"Everything that the authorities can do is on the table right now. The key question is can they keep it going rather than increasing it because the room to increase is very limited," he said.


It's too early for debt-laden governments to start cutting their public deficits because the recovery is so fragile, he told CNBC as Greece was gripped by protests against planned cuts to its public spending.

Meanwhile the cost for countries tapping fresh capital is rising, which could be a sign that the stock market is about to stall, he said.

"The credit default swaps on the sovereigns have been rising quite rapidly. This is telling you that the cost of capital is rising and when the cost of capital is rising in essence equity markets really can't make any progress," he said.

"After the huge rallies of last year I think it's time for the markets to consolidate," he added.

Investors need to see firm plans from governments to reduce their budget deficits, Shah said.

Tim Harris, CEO of Harris Capital, told CNBC that further weakness in the economic outlook could spark a flurry of selling in the stock market.

"People are the conservative side of neutral right now and it's going to take a macro sign, a crack in growth more so than inflation, which is going to get people to run for the hills," Harris said.

© 2010 CNBC.com
Topics:Central Banks | Interest Rates | Greece | Credit | Recession | Politics & Government

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Getting Off the Grid by Gwen Caldwell

Getting off the grid and other solutions

Our country is bankrupt, untold thousands have lost their homes, food and gas prices continue to rise and the good news is?
by Gwen Caldwell

My energy feels depleted every time I read the news. I am more thankful than ever that I used the television for target practice...I'd probably be suicidal if I had to actually watch the news!

We live in times unlike this country has ever seen. Hope is dwindling in many areas of the country of ever recovering from the inevitable financial and credit collapse. It's not even a matter of if it will happen, in my humble opinion. It's a matter of when. I struggle to get my arms around what that will really mean to us in our day to day lives. Certainly, it will not afford us the current freedoms we enjoy. I see tell tale signs of martial law knocking on our doors. Chaos at best.

Like many other people I am very concerned, because I have a young child at home. I already struggle to keep food on the table and a roof over head. I know with certainty that it's going to get worse before it gets better. How do we adress cost reduction without compromising standard of living? How do we insure a food source? How do we cut safe on energy, heating and cooling bills.

Sustainable communities have sucessfully been transforming lives for decades. They create community, a food source and good health with organic gardening, small animal husbandry, cost effective, alternative, off the grid, alternative energy living environments. It's about making a committment to participate in your living enviroment. To merge into a total living system for sustainability.

There is just that kind of community currently forming on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It will serve as a model community and education center that can be duplicated anywhere, with very little money, a bit of hard work, committment to live a life that is not plugged into corporate America to maintain your standard of living.

People call and ask me about debt, the car they're still making payments on, etc. Get out from underneath your debt! Drive an older model car to reduce cost, insurance, etc. Cut up your credit cards. Consolidate them if possible on a zero percent interest rate. Move into a smaller house to reduce cost. Install a wood or pellet stove. Sell your excess. Use it to stock pile esstential food and living items, especially canned and dried meats, staples, dried fruits, nuts, pastas, beans, etc. I don't really recommend stockpiling canned foods, because they have no nutritional value, with the exception of canned tomatoes and beans. Guns, ammo, water and filters. Convert to solar or wind...make your own it's much cheaper. Make sure you have fishing and hunting supplies. If you're in the country get a few chickens, rabbits and goats. Buy heritage or non-hybrid seeds to grow your own food. Food will be your greatest asset! If you have a guns...get ammo..a lot of it, while you still can. If you don't have a gun., get one and a lot of ammo, while you still can. A bow and arrows, and traps will be useful. Learn to dry and can meat in the event that the grids are shut down, so it doesn't spoil.Canning supplies will be helpful.

Make a mental note of the day to day items you and your family currently use. Do an inventory of what you have for storage and canning supplies. What you don't have and will need buy first, then fill in the other non-essential and creature comforts. I would definitely advise you get a lot of hydrogen perioxide, apple cider and regular vinegar, lemon juice, honey, cayenne pepper, olive oil and cinnamon. All of these can be used medicinally for just about anything that ails you and then some!Aslo non-perfumed bleach to purify water. Vitamin, medicines, herbals and a good first aid kit.

Sh*t is going to hit the fan! Get ready! Your beautiful furniture and decor will not feed you, house you, nor will it keep you warm for the winter. Get rid of it! Buy vegetables when they are on sale and dehydrate them. Buy in bulk. Start a food co-op with your neighbors and share in the cost of buying bulk. Buy a book to learn about local edible plants and medicinal herbs that grow in your area. Learn them and use them for better health and to reduce food costs.

For more information visit www.freewebs.com/voiceofwomensustainabiltyproject

Monday, February 22, 2010

Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.

~ Arthur Miller


Off The Grid

Off The Grid
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