Sunday, September 28, 2008

2 + 2 = ?

This past week hubby and I watched Richard Burton, et al, in the movie version of 1984 by George Orwell for the first time. Read up on our latest housing/investment/banking crisis and go rent this movie today. In our financial atmosphere we breathe in uncertain math until we need to be told the sum of 2 + 2. Could this be the last step down of our once Republic before Big Brother takes over?

No more numbers. It's off to the local orchard to buy apples and tomatoes to can for the long winter ahead. Hurricane Kyle is on it's way to the Maine coastline tonight. What's next?

Friday, September 26, 2008


A while ago on Colin Beavan's site NoImpactMan the topic of tithing (number 27 on the list) was addressed as part of "40 Steps on the Personal Path to Green".

Colin says,...
It follows, then, that part of environmental living might include tithing to help poverty, at least for the more wealthy among us, a subject that Peter Singer covered with great eloquence in the New York Times Magazine. In his article he wrote: “For more than 30 years, I’ve been reading, writing and teaching about the ethical issue posed by the juxtaposition, on our planet, of great abundance and life-threatening poverty. Yet it was not until, in preparing this article, I calculated how much America’s Top 10 percent of income earners actually make that I fully understood how easy it would be for the world’s rich to eliminate, or virtually eliminate, global poverty.”

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Simpler Bail Out

Let's give all mortgagees their homes outright. The first thing that every home owner who found himself owning his home outright would do is apply for some sort of equity loan or new mortgage. Banks would have balance sheets that balanced and people would have money to invest. Sounds good to me.

Then I found this in my email... too bad the math doesn't add up.

The Birk Bail Out


Iʼm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.
Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a 'We Deserve It Dividend'.

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonifide U.S. Citizens 18+.
Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child.
So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up.
So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00 per.
My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a 'We Deserve It Dividend'.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free; so let's assume a tax rate of 30%.
Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes; that sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.
But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.
A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?
Pay off your mortgage, housing crisis solved.
Repay college loans, what a great boost to new grads
Put away money for college, it'll be there
Save in a bank, create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
Buy a new car, create jobs
Invest in the market , capital drives growth
Pay for your parent's medical insurance, health care improves
Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean, or else
Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back.
And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.
If we're going to re-distribute wealth, let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 (vote buy)economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.
If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!
As for AIG, liquidate it. Sell off its parts.
Let American General go back to being American General.
Sell off the real estate. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here's my rationale. We deserve it, and AIG doesn't.
Sure it's a crazy idea that can never work. Maybe???
But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!
How do you spell Economic Boom?
I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion 'We Deserve It Dividend' more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC .
And remember, the Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

To Whom It May Concern

As a small business owner in the U.S. my husband has received a multitude of correspondance thru the years from investors, marketing firms, vendors, creditors, and management consultants. Several times a year a letter arrived through mail, fax, or email asking for his assistance in moving a large sum of money through his own account which could earn him a large commission. It read much like this business letter I found posted on JediMomma concerning the current financial blowup/breakdown.

From: Minister of the Treasury Paulson

Dear American:
I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.
I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.
I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.
This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.
Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

For more detailed information see The Automatic Earth.

LESSON: When meeting someone addicted to money, don't give them your bank account number.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The U.S. Economy

Credit: Jack Ohman, The Oregonian

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


We each take home our paychecks, figure our budgets, give some to charity, pay our bills, eat our food and heat our homes. What if tomorrow it was gone? Instead of a devastating hurricane of wind and water knocking out power for weeks, we had a typhon of play money. Your paycheck was worthless, no money for mortgage, or food, or fuel, or family. What's your backup plan?

Jedimomma's blog shares some insight into the current problem with money.

Paul Grignon's 47 minute animated presentation of "Money As Debt" tells in very simple and effective graphic terms what money is...
(Google MONEY AS DEBT to watch the video from

For current details of today's financial situation see Automatic Earth.

Certainly the Beast of Empire grows more rapidly every day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Family, Who Are They?

A couple decades ago in a conservative Christian church you could find me on Saturday mornings with a group of children up to four years old. We sang, told stories, played with props, learned to give money away for missions and prayed together. My soul laughed every week. I loved it. Once as we were singing about family and holding dolls representing different family members, I looked at each child with their family in mind. We were singing about mom, dad, sister, brother, grandpa and grandma, but some of these children in front of me were foster kids, some were from single parent homes, some lived with relatives. So our song about family began to change.

Today I am particularly thankful for family. Last week our youngest grandson and his mom stayed with us for a few days. Holding that squirmy, two-month-old hunk, listening to him breathe as he slept on my shoulder, whispering a one way conversation as Papa rocked him to sleep, watching him smile into his mother's face, hearing him coo his questions about life...all elements of the glue that holds families together. Our oldest granddaughter is getting married next month. It is probable that our next grandchild will be a "great" one. The beauty of that idea replaces regrets of growing older.

Kindergarten began last week. Grace brought home her first teacher's note. One comment on behavior read, "We have been encouraging her to get the things she needs in the room on her own, rather than telling other childern to get them for her." That's my girl. Not afraid to take charge. Several times when mom asked what she had learned in school that day, Grace replied, "Today I learned to be nice." (Again!)

LESSON: Seek to know each family member as an individual person that you love.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Food Rehab Boot Camp

Food Rehab Boot Camp establishes the philosophy of food attitude much like Sharon Astyk's post establishes the philosophy of neighborly love.


1. Admit you need help controlling your eating habits
2. Admit that help is available
3. Seek out that help
4. Surrender your current eating habits
5. Follow a designated plan (use the buddy system if necessary)
6. Practice the plan until "no" is as loud as "yes"
7. Graduate to independent eating choices

Last spring David and I jumped into the idea of converting to sustainable living in place, right here at our place, while we're working. Thought we'd just add vegetable gardening, water conservation, composting, starting plants from seed, rain water collection and storage, energy conservation, healthy eating, sharing our experience, etc., to what we already do. I started recording our progress in this blog. OK, all went well - for a couple months until the trouble began.

Our new and former life styles began to crash into each other as the opposties fought for dominance. New/old, unfamiliar/comfortable, chaos/order, empty/satisfied. We had jumped into all these new activities without enough education and experience to insure a successful change in life style. Further, as additional personal events added stress, our effort to change faded.

Since appetite is basic to all areas of change and we eat several times a day, we decided to focus on food. By getting down to basics - David found a diet with simple menus all set up for us - we could learn to discipline ourselves, to say "no" and carry it out, thus strengthening our ability to change our habits of eating and eventually our habit of living.

Right now we are still on the buddy system, helping each other say "no" to any food outside the diet plan. David has lost several pounds and both of us feel better. Soon we will be practiced enough to make significant progress on Chile Chews Discretionary Eating Challenge. (see button on sidebar)