New Zealand Horticultural Property for Sale :.

My Mother and Father in Law are selling their farm in Kaikohe. I have been to the property and you wouldn't believe the quality of the soil out there. It's the elite, volcanic loam that most farmers and horticulturists only dream about.

There's an avocado orchard already in place, and a calla lily operation, complete with plastic houses, irrigation and packhouse. A brand new little cottage has been built on the property.

Check it out, and let Alison and Bruce know Kevin sent you!


Cryptogon Reader Contributes $20

At a time when everyone is feeling the pinch of much higher gas prices, MW continues to support Cryptogon! His generosity, over the years, has been extraordinary.

Becky and I decided that the next Cryptogon donation would go toward a NZ$35 membership at the Koanga Institute.

Koanga Gardens is a treasure trove of organic, heirloom seeds, plants and old-time livestock breeds. Thanks, MW, for helping us support such a critical resource to Northland.

Bacon Aftermath

The Bacon story generated more emails than any other story ever posted on Cryptogon.

Some excepts:

From ML:
I LOVED the "Bacon" post! I'm a 26 year old HS art teacher living in suburban St.Louis, but I grew up on a small farm in Perry County, MO. As a result, I'm rather familiar with the process of butchering a pig (and chickens, squirrels, and deer for that matter). I've often had the same thoughts about the ability of most Americans to transition to a low fossil fuel future. I'll listen to my students' heated debates about rappers or the NBA or whatever, and think to myself "These kids don't stand a chance."
From TH:
Thanks for the hard-nosed heads-up. I agree with what is said here. The crash will knock the sh*t out of us, even those of us who think we are preparing...
From JS:
When the sh*t hits the fan, you're absolutely right. Urban survivalists won't survive. Sure, the better of them may make it a bit longer. I've tried to clue in people in LA about that. What do you do without running water, and without food being brought in by truck, train, or plane? You definitely don't survive. I can't imagine most of the population of metropolitan population centers making it for more than a week, before food supplies run out. What do we do then? Get in a car and drive?
MM, an American, on being in NZ as the curtain comes down:
We're very lucky bastards to be here, out of the herd, far from the wolves.
Thanks to everyone who sent comments!

Peak-Oil Dad, Post-Oil Dad :.

"The problem today is that oil companies are too short-sighted, the environmentalists too far-sighted, and politicians only concerned with being elected. As a result, there will be a gap between the end of oil and a conversion to less destructive forms of energy. In this gap, all hell may break loose.

In my next article, I'll go into what I'm doing to prepare for the gap, as well as why I believe the gap can't be avoided. In other words, it will not be 1973-1974, or stagflation, all over again. I believe it will be the end of civilization as we know it -- and possibly the birth of a brave new world."

Oil Breaks Through Record $75 :.

Gas shortages on the east coast of the U.S.:

Oil smashed through record highs Friday, cruising past $75 a barrel on continued fears of a supply disruptions in Iran and Nigeria and reports of spot gas shortages on the U.S. East Coast.

U.S. oil for June delivery set a new trading high of $75.35 before easing to settle up $1.48 at 75.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, also a new closing record. The May contract expired Thursday at $71.95.


GOLD $621

Ok. Enough. Wake me up when it's at $650.


GOLD $618 :.

Well, well, well:

U.S. stocks slid on Monday as surging oil and gold prices stoked investor fears about inflation risks and overshadowed optimism about corporate profits.

Crude oil hit $70 a barrel for the first time since Hurricane Katrina as worries increased about oil producer Iran's nuclear standoff with the West, and front-month contract prices settled above that level for the first time since the New York Mercantile Exchange launched crude oil futures trading in 1983.

Airlines ranked among the sectors that took a beating from higher oil prices.

Gold prices in New York hit a 25-year high, closing above $618 an ounce.

"When There's a Nuclear Attack, That's When Buckets Are Used." :.

I don't have a quote of the day feature, but after this, I'm considering it. HAHAHA!

A principal trying to prevent walkouts during immigration rallies inadvertently introduced a lockdown so strict that children weren't allowed to go to the bathroom, and instead had to use buckets in the classroom, an official said.

Worthington Elementary School Principal Angie Marquez imposed the lockdown March 27 as nearly 40,000 students across Southern California left classes to attend immigrants' rights demonstrations.

Marquez apparently misread the district handbook and ordered a lockdown designed for nuclear attacks.

Tim Brown, the district's director of operations, confirmed some students used buckets but said the principal's order to impose the most severe type of lockdown was an "honest mistake."

"When there's a nuclear attack, that's when buckets are used," Brown told the Los Angeles Times. The principal "followed procedure. She made a decision to follow the handbook. She just misread it."


GOLD $606

Mmmmm hmmm.


I helped slaughter a pig the other day. Becky's cousin, Paul, had fattened a pig, and we were out at the farm on the creature's last day.

The setting seemed right for killing a pig. There was rain outside. A bare lightbulb illuminated the barn. The pig snorted about its pen (known on that farm as "maximum security"), oblivious to what was about to happen.

Feeling the cool evening breeze and noticing the smell of animal manure in that barn, I thought about all the pundits and articles and armchair collapse theorists (of which I am one) bloviating on the Internet. Sitting in front of a nice, clean computer, writing about corruption and fascists and Peak Oil and killer robots suddenly seemed ridiculous. None of those topics really mattered for much out in that barn.

Learning how to get food without the assistance of a supermarket or a restaurant (or a dumpster, for some of the bum pundits---bumdits?---out there) matters a lot. It probably matters most of all. (Water actually matters most of all, but that's a different story.) Talking about how everyone, the government, or the person or group of your choice should behave, waving signs about it, making websites about it, selling t-shirts with pithy comments... That's a waste of time. How many people involved with all of that can resolve the food issue for themselves?

Get food that wasn't moved by truck or plane. And get it without paying money for it.

Set your computer mouse down and try that one for a while.

Paul shot the pig in the head with a .22 caliber rifle. I expected the animal to drop dead immediately, but that's not what happened. The cartridge had gotten wet, so the bullet didn't kill the pig. Instead, the pig went nuts, running around with blood going everywhere. Paul was inside the cage with the injured pig.

I think I was partially in shock when I asked Paul, "Do you want me to reload the rifle!?"

Paul, probably assuming that the other cartridges were also wet, drew his knife.

"Nope. We're going to do this the old fashioned way." I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was something like that.

He proceeded to wrestle the pig to the ground. It may have had a bullet in its skull, but it wasn't going down easily. Then Paul stabbed it through the heart, twisting the blade so as to sever as many vital veins and arteries as possible.

The sound the creature made is the part I won't soon forget. The thought of it stands my hair on end even now. The pig flopped on its side, squealing, flinching, blood shooting from the mortal wound.

Less than a minute later, we had a large, dead pig, laying in a pool of blood and slop. I'll spare you the details of how we had to immerse the pig in hot water as we scraped off the hair, and the evisceration that followed, and what happens to the tub of entrails and the severed head.

What's the point of this story, you might be wondering?

All the talk about living a sustainable lifestyle, preparing for the crash, re-visioning the future etc. etc. is mostly a waste of time. By engaging in this sort of endless babble, all you're doing is postponing the acceptance of the hard---and sometimes ugly---realities involved with practicing what you preach.

As I helped Paul lift the bloody, dead pig out of the cage, that's when it hit me:
People, in general, aren't just going to wake up one day and be able to do this. People used to do this, but too many generations have passed since this was considered a part of everyday life. How will people go from office cubes to this? No way, man. No way!
The people who supposedly "get it" are taking classes on everything from permaculture to biodiesel, they're attending feel-good-me-too Peak Oil meetings, they're making websites, they're waving signs, they're writing books, they're buying books, they're selling books. Don't forget the endless DVDs and bumperstickers... and underwear, baseball caps and pins. It's nonsense!

If all you're doing is telling people about the next big Peak Oil lecture or contemplating your navel and your Toyota hybrid's place in the universe, you are in for the shock of your life when it comes time to dispense with all the bullsh*t.

My point, with all of this, is that if you don't get off your ass and figure some of this stuff out now, while the system is still somewhat functional, you're going to be in deep sh*t when things finally unwind.

Police Surveillance Cameras in New York

They hate us because of our freedom!

Military Coup in the United States of America? :.

America slept through everything from JFK to Iraq... Then there's 9/11, probably the greatest scam in history. Americans, in general, slurped it up and went shopping afterwards.

The bigger the lie, the more Americans are willing the buy it. No, charge it. Better yet, refinance it!

So, if some military junta took over the reigns of power from the present military junta, I think the vast majority of Americans would think something like this:

Is WalMart open?

The "environment of apathy" Janos characterized as a forerunner to a coup seems to have arrived in America.

U.S. Plots 'New Liberation of Baghdad' :.

Liberation will feel even better the second time around! Yeahhhh! Man, it's going to be freedom fries all around! Get that Iran thing going too. Liberate the whole damn planet to Hell and back!

THE American military is planning a "second liberation of Baghdad" to be carried out with the Iraqi army when a new government is installed.

Pacifying the lawless capital is regarded as essential to establishing the authority of the incoming government and preparing for a significant withdrawal of American troops.

'Ugly American' Abroad: Worryingly Accurate :.


Loud and brash, in gawdy garb and baseball caps, more than three million of them flock to our shores every year. Shuffling between tourist sites or preparing to negotiate a business deal, they bemoan the failings of the world outside the United States.

The reputation of the "Ugly American" abroad is not, however, just some cruel stereotype, but - according to the American government itself - worryingly accurate. Now, the State Department in Washington has joined forces with American industry to plan an image make-over by issuing guides for Americans travelling overseas on how to behave.

Under a programme starting next month, several leading US companies will give employees heading abroad a "World Citizens Guide" featuring 16 etiquette tips on how they can help improve America's battered international image.


:. Reading

Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture by Andrew Kimbrell Readers will come to see that industrial food production is indeed a "fatal harvest" - fatal to consumers, as pesticide residues and new disease vectors such as E. coli and "mad cow disease" find their way into our food supply; fatal to our landscapes, as chemical runoff from factory farms poison our rivers and groundwater; fatal to genetic diversity, as farmers rely increasingly on high-yield monocultures and genetically engineered crops; and fatal to our farm communities, which are wiped out by huge corporate farms.

Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America by Bertram Myron Gross This is a relatively short but extremely cogent and well-argued treatise on the rise of a form of fascistic thought and social politics in late 20th century America. Author Bertram Gross' thesis is quite straightforward; the power elite that comprises the corporate, governmental and military superstructure of the country is increasingly inclined to employ every element in their formidable arsenal of 'friendly persuasion' to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Americans through what Gross refers to as friendly fascism.

The Good Life
by Scott and Helen Nearing
Helen and Scott Nearing are the great-grandparents of the back-to-the-land movement, having abandoned the city in 1932 for a rural life based on self-reliance, good health, and a minimum of cash...Fascinating, timely, and wholly useful, a mix of the Nearings' challenging philosophy and expert counsel on practical skills.

Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth by David Bollierd In Silent Theft, David Bollier argues that a great untold story of our time is the staggering privatization and abuse of our common wealth. Corporations are engaged in a relentless plunder of dozens of resources that we collectively own—publicly funded medical breakthroughs, software innovation, the airwaves, the public domain of creative works, and even the DNA of plants, animals and humans. Too often, however, our government turns a blind eye—or sometimes helps give away our assets. Amazingly, the silent theft of our shared wealth has gone largely unnoticed because we have lost our ability to see the commons.

The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It: The Complete Back-To-Basics Guide by John Seymour The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It is the only book that teaches all the skills needed to live independently in harmony with the land harnessing natural forms of energy, raising crops and keeping livestock, preserving foodstuffs, making beer and wine, basketry, carpentry, weaving, and much more.

When Corporations Rule the World by David C. Korten When Corporations Rule the World explains how economic globalization has concentrated the power to govern in global corporations and financial markets and detached them from accountability to the human interest. It documents the devastating human and environmental consequences of the successful efforts of these corporations to reconstruct values and institutions everywhere on the planet to serve their own narrow ends.

The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener This expansion of a now-classic guide originally published in 1989 is intended for the serious gardener or small-scale market farmer. It describes practical and sustainable ways of growing superb organic vegetables, with detailed coverage of scale and capital, marketing, livestock, the winter garden, soil fertility, weeds, and many other topics.