Lunch for Two under $5 a Person

Lunch for Two

Pint of Shelled Lima Beans – $7
2 ears of corn – $0.66
Halipneo pepper – Sliced – $0.60
Steam in Rice Cooker

Medium Sized New potato – $0.60
Slice thin and make home fries. Add a little dried powdered hot pepper.

Medium Apple $1
Slice

Iced Mint Tea – Home Grown Mint- Free
(No tea Leaves Russian Style)

$9.80 / 2 = $4.90 Each

Also try shelling your own Lima’s.

Dido Joins the Tea Party

Dido: The federal government doesn’t make anything, they just collect taxes. I’m glad I don’t need them.

Plato: Really?

Dido: Yes I just got a letter from Donald Chump; he’s a friend of mine. The Federal government is unnecessary.

Plato: How wealthy is he?

Dido: He’s a Billionaire. He has a billion dollars.

Plato: A billion dollars of monopoly money?

Dido: No, US Dollars.

Plato: Maybe he would trade his billion dollars for a billion dollars of my monopoly money. I’ll go print some out.

Dido: No, he’s not going to trade you us dollars for monopoly dollars.

Plato: I thought he didn’t need the federal government. Why does he need U.S. Dollars?

Dido: You can’t spend monopoly dollars and you can spend U.S. Dollars.

Plato: Yes because the U.S. Government says they are legal tender for all transactions.

Dido: The federal government doesn’t make anything. See, he owns stock in coke and people want dollars so they can buy coke.

Plato: So he can make a billion dollars worth of Coke and trade it for what he needs?

Dido: No, see he owns things like stock in Coke. Coke sells Coke and that makes the stock valuables. Coke stock is worth a lot of coca-cola.

Plato: Say who?

Dido: Coke will pay good money to stock holders.

Plato: So if Coke doesn’t pay Donald Chump for his stock, his personal militia is going to make coke pay?

Dido: If they don’t pay shareholders, no one will buy more stock.

Plato: Coke has plenty of money now, they could just continue to run off their own money of they weren’t require to pay shareholders and if they did not hold shareholder elections anymore.

Dido: Donald Chump owns all kinds of Real Estate…

Plato: …and if a drug cartel is living in his house when he comes home?

Dido: Well the state and local police will kick them out.

Plato: Not the Federal Bureau of Investigation? By the way who pays for all those police when the state doesn’t collect enough taxes?

Dido: I don’t know what to say to you Plato.

Plato: Let’s just have some wine and enjoy the moment.

Feeding People: Tables

Trees were common in the Middle East thousands of years ago. The lands were deforested for ships, temples and other buildings. Unsustainable farming and land clearing caused the soil in the Middle East to become to salty to grow things over time. Deforestation means that many people in the world have alternatives to wooden tables. Traditional Arabic meals or Egyptian meals are eaten on a cloth spread out on a woven carpet with cushions. In Kenyan in the Green Belt movement, Wangari Maathai is trying to promote reforestation.

In North America there are still many trees. Many wild birds such as the Marbled Murrelet, require old growth trees. Old Growth Trees are so rare now they should not be cut. Much wood from the U.S. and abroad comes from clear cutting which causes soil erosion. In the future, wood should be certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to show that the forest was managed and only select cutting was used, which enables the forest to grow back faster, making it more productive. This also creates more jobs for foresters. The SFI certification is a green washing certification by corporations and should not be trusted according to the Dogwood Alliance. This can provide the wood if we need to build new tables.

Wood tables should last for many years as there are ancient wooden tables in museums and we have many tables today. The best way to make use of these tables is to resue them rather than putting them in land fills. Many tables are sold at estate and yards sales. Some are donated to the goodwill and Salvation Army. Many are sold on Craigslist or given away for free on craigslist. In New York they are simply put out on the curb and are free for the taking when you move in. Perhaps there should be an option to leave your furniture in the apartment when you move out and let the next person have it? This would greatly simply moving expenses. The Sierra Club organizes big yard sales for colleges when student leave where tables may be found. There is not so much need for new table in the U.S.A. Older tables can be sanded and even varnished to make them look nice when you recycle them in the varnish is old. Whether you choose to use a table or not, an eating place is an important part of eating and with the right actions we should have all we need.

http://www.middleeast.com/thecedars.htm

http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/Soil_salinity

http://www.soundvision.com/Info/recipes/mideasteid.asp

http://www.greenbeltmovement.org/

1992. Determination of threatened status for the Washington, Oregon, and California population of the marbled murrelet. Oregon Birds. 18(4): 120-121.

http://www.dogwoodalliance.org/content/view/14/47/

Saving Food

I heard on a talk show that the amount of energy we waste by making food that is wasted in the US is equal to the oil that we import, because it takes natural gas to make fertilizer. How do we recoup this energy?

Just to be clear, eating too much meat is the biggest energy waster. 70% of farm land is used to grow food to feed cows. Americans eat about 2-3 pounds of beef a week on average. Cutting this down to the Surgeon General’s 1/4 a pound a week or less would save the most energy of anything. Growing food on small farms that use animal waste and crops residues to fertilize would also save energy. What about the food that gets thrown out?

First, we need to support gleaning. Charities like “Gleaning for the World”, Society of St. Andrew, and the Weld Food Bank gather food left in the field by machine harvesting. Society of St. Andrews has volunteers who can give a family the vegetables it need for a year for just $100 in donations. These Charities should get donations and volunteers until they can cover all crop areas. Society of St. Andrews also redistributes potatoes that are over stocked during the trucking process. This counters the huge amount of food left in the fields and distribution.

Second, shop from a store that donates nearly expired food to local food pantries and groups like food not bombs. Also give and or volunteer at local food banks. A food bank like the Central Virginia Food Bank takes dented cans, day old bread, and other still good items and prepares meals and distributes groceries to needy families. With volunteers and donations they can provide $12-$25 worth of food to a family for $1. This counters waste in retail stores.

Third, reduce waste when you eat. In restaurants which offer huge portions, share an entrée or get just an appetizer or soup. At home, let the food in your fridge run out before the next trip to the store. This can be healthy. I find myself eating that broccoli and lettuce that I bought but did not eat as fast as the walnuts.

Ideally with all this advice followed, huge amounts of the interior of the USA would not be used for farming and could be a vast restored Prairie National Park complete with a Prairie Trail to Rival the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail. Ecotourism and Bison watching could replace low paid farm jobs and farm debt. This would mean no excess runoff in the Mississippi River so the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico would go away and the seafood industry would be restored. Better Stream buffers would mean less flooding of the Mississippi for St. Louis and New Orleans. All this could start from wasting less food.

Ideology vs. Reality

I volunteered with the Jaycees for a few years. They took responsibility in the community by chopping up firewood left from the city tree service and delivering it to low income elderly people to heat their home. They supported a non-profit camp for the physically challenged, a very good part of the community.
As with most groups I’ve join there was an ideology that would not stand the test of reason. The creed stated that “Economic Justice could best be won by free enterprise”. I take this to mean that free enterprise can somehow provide economic problems without government. Government would be another way to provide economic justice.

The problem with this is that free enterprise is created by governments. Free Enterprise is conducted with dollars, Euros, and Yuan. These are all created by governments. The Federal government guarantees that you can exchange dollars for goods and services. Without the federal government dollars would just be paper collectors items.

The fact the stock shares can be exchanged for money is enforced by the SEC. Bush reduced white collar crime fighting staff at the SEC. That led to the Bernie Madoff Scandal where people learned that their shares could not be exchanged for dollars. What about the deed to you house, the title to your car. All registered by governments. What if thieves come to you town to steal your gold and jewelry? Local Police and the FBI arrest them. Without any government we would not “own” anything.

So free enterprise is entirely the result of government laws going back through recorded history. Only Pirates “own” goods without the government. So I liked the Jaycees and the non-profit good that they do for the community and I enjoyed volunteering there. But as with many organizations, ideology is unattainable and unrealistic. It is just a way to get funding for good causes.

Calcium Vegan Health Shake

Black Bean Powder (Asian Grocery Stores)
Black Sesame Powder
Berries
Coco Powder

Phasing Down Mobile Phones

Before mobile phones I used to hit the land line to make plans for the weekend. For a while after mobile phones, I enjoyed the spontanaity of Mobile Phones and last minute social planning. But then everybody else got more spontaneous too and I found myself missing event and people on weekends. Facebook events has been a good new way to do things. But I have found myself going back to land lines to make some concrete plans each Tuesday. For now I may go as far ad to consider and iPod Touch WiFi Skype phone that only works in WiFi areas to pick up voice mail and make calls. That’s a radical shift from mobile phone culture but it may be my new way to communicate.

What is Truth?

Is truth based on reality or what the group believes? My religion teacher once said that truth was based on a Corporate Experience as opposed to a reality that exists independent of what we believe. The book 1984 Winston Smith was told by the Inner party member that 2+2 was equal to 5 if they said it was. The Inner party member was saying that he could make the group believe anything and that would be the truth. I often feel like Winston Smith.

So I ask “What are the merits of the two approaches.” I contend that without truly studying reality independent of our existing notions we never would have advanced as a society. Discoveries of science, technology, medicine, environmental science, social work, finance, business were made based on testing ideas in the real world and seeing the truth that exists as opposed to a preconceived notion. Scholars have to be willing to change their beliefs based on the evidence that we see to progress out of the Stone Age into the modern age.

So what is the advantage of truth as corporate experience? One might say that it provides a unity of people. But actually corporate beliefs can differ from one group to another, causing wars over small differences in group beliefs. Truth based on reality is actually a more unifying force because controlled experiments can be repeated be separate scientists in different parts of the world. As peer reviewed journal publish finding scientist in different parts of the world reproduce the experiments meaning that scientist all of the world agree much more that they disagree and disagreements are usually resolve by enough experiments.

I find the most common use of truth based on a group belief is illustrated by the book 1984. The ones who can use a group belief and control can control people and cause them to make decisions that go against logical assumptions. If you can move the masses against what is best for them and others you can gain power and control. Some people see limitless power as the main goal of the life. Many more are happy to be controlled by others if they can deny responsibility for their actions.

I feel the continued advancement of the U.S.A. and the world will depend on how many people chose to dig deep and follow a truth based on facts. That being said religion can encourage people to use their knowledge to help others rather than take advantage of others. That defines a good religion in my beliefs. But people will not be able to help each other if they do not understand the problems that others face. People will not be able to avoid harming others if they do not understand the problems each of our own actions causes others. This is more important in a global society where your breakfast drink may have been picked by someone on the other side of the globe.

It Pays Us More Leave Trees Standing than to Cut Them Down

 

 

Best Practices:

 

1. Better site design can also reduce the need to clear and grade 35% to 60% of total site area.

 

2. Virginia Model Development Principles state: “Clearing and grading of forests and native vegetation at a site should be limited to the minimum amount needed to build lots, allow access, and provide fire protection. A fixed portion of any community open space should be managed as protected green space in a consolidated manner.”

 

 

Better Home Values:

3. Property next to green belts can be 5% to 30% more valuable.

 

Water Treatment

4.  Congaree Bottom Swamp in South Carolina provides 5 Million dollars of sediment removal.

 

5. The Peugeot sound area spent 2.3 Billion on storm water retention facilities because they lost 37% of their tree cover over 20 years. Atlanta, Georgia will have to spend 2 billion on storm water retention for losing 20% tree cover. Wetlands were worth about $10,000 an acre in 1980 dollars for storm water treatment.

 

6. Riparian forest buffers remove an estimated 21 lbs of nitrogen per acre per year for

$0.30 per pound, compared to $3 to $5 per pound for Washington, D.C. area

wastewater treatment facilities (CBP, 1998).

 

 

Reduce Heating and Cooling Bills

7. “Energy savings of 10% can result by adding as little as 10% tree cover to buffers near buildings (CBP, 1998).”  Some people and businesses have seen as much as 20%-40% savings.

 

 

Reduce Spending to Reduce Taxes

8. A home build without the needed trees left standing “costs that locality $1600 more than is returned in taxes and other revenues said a Prince William County, Virginia report in 1998

 

9. “The cost to treat the quality and quantity of storm water from a single

impervious acre can range from $30,000 to $50,000 (CWP, 1997).

 

Control Flood Damage 

10. Farmers in Conservation Program Fared Better in Ohio Floods

 

Notes

1. Pg 5  http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_&_water/documents/swmecon.pdf 

2. Pg 6 http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_&_water/documents/swmecon.pdf

3. Pg 20 http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_&_water/documents/swmecon.pdf

4. Pg 21 http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_&_water/documents/swmecon.pdf

5. Pg 20 http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_&_water/documents/swmecon.pdf

6. Pg 23 http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_&_water/documents/swmecon.pdf

7. Pg 22 http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_&_water/documents/swmecon.pdf

8. Pg 24 http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_&_water/documents/swmecon.pdf

9. Pg 25 http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_&_water/documents/swmecon.pdf

10. http://www.edf.org/article.cfm?contentID=7678

 

 

Quiz, how is the U.S. helping the Iraqis?

http://www.fcnl.org/issues/item.php?item_id=3201&issue_id=35      

Issues: Iraq

 

  

5th Annniversary Iraq War Quiz- ANSWERS

Printer-Friendly Page 

Send to a Friend  

 

Updated: 3/17/2008 Posted: 3/14/2008

5TH ANNIVERSARY IRAQ WAR QUIZ ANSWERS

 

 

1) What percentage of Iraqis, according to a BBC/ABC poll conducted in August (during the “surge”), are “opposed to the presence of coalition forces in their country”?

 

d. 79% of Iraqis are opposed to the presence of coalition forces in their ocountry according to a poll conducted in August by BBC, ABC, and the Japanese broadcast service NHK. This is the third poll conducted by this group, and each consecutive poll shows an increase in disapproval of US-led coalition forces.

 

 

Return to Quiz

 

 

2) What percentage of Iraqis believe that the “surge” has made the security situation worse, according to a BBC/ABC poll conducted in August?

 

d. About 70% of Iraqis believe the US “surge” of extra troops over the past six months has worsened the security situation. This is according to the aforementioned BBC/ABC/NHK poll conducted in August of 2007, and published last September.

 

 

Return to Quiz

 

 

3) In 2006, the US-led forces dropped an average of almost 4 bombs per week in Iraq. In 2007, how many bombs per week were dropped in Iraq?

 

a. About 28 bombs per week—<air strikes have increased by a factor of 5.

 

 

Return to Quiz

 

 

4) How many guns has the U.S. distributed in Iraq and then lost since the U.S. invasion in 2003?

 

b. 190,000 weapons are missing.

The Pentagon has lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to a governmental report released last August.

 

 

Return to Quiz

 

 

5) How many Iraqis are currently held in US detention facilities without charge?

 

e. 25,000 Iraqis are currently held in US prisons without charge. The number of detainees has greatly increased during the months of the “surge” and the number is expected to double through 2008. Some detainees are as young as 11 years old. It is estimated that there are 100 Iraqi orphaned children imprisoned and in US custody. There are another 60,000 Iraqis detained in Iraqi prisons, including 700 orphaned children.

 

 

Return to Quiz

 

 

6) Fill in the blank: Approximately one out of every _____ Iraqi marriages were ethnically mixed marriages before the 2003 invasion.

 

a. one out of every three Iraqi marriages

While there are no official statistics, many sociologists estimate that up to a third of all marriages in Iraq were mixed along ethnic and sectarian lines prior to the US-led invasion of 2003.

 

 

Return to Quiz

 

 

7) During the surge, how has the rate of Iraqis fleeing their homes changed?

 

a. The rate of Iraqis fleeing their homes has quadrupled during the surge.

 

The Iraqi Red Crescent Society released these finding this November, in an analysis of displacement rates inside and outside the country since the surge began in February. An estimated 2.3 million Iraqis were forced to flee their homes, becoming either refugees or IDP’s (internally displaced persons). 8 in 10 were residents of Baghdad, where there was the highest concentration of US surge troops. Over 83% of those refugees were women and children under 12.

 

 

Return to Quiz

 

 

8. How many times has the US met with Iranian officials to discuss reducing the violence in Iraq?

 

 

c. The US has had 3 bi-lateral discussions with Iran. US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Kazemi Qomi held face-to-face talks in May, July, and August of 2007, the highest level public contacts between the two sides for 27 years. There has been no meeting since. Iranian officials said that a new round of talks would be held on March 6th in Baghdad and that the US cancelled the meeting, but both US and Iraqi officials denied that negotiations had been scheduled.

 

 

Return to Quiz

 

 

9) In May of 2003, Iran made a proposal for negotiations with the United States. Secretary of State Powell, his deputy Richard Armitage, and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice took the proposal to President Bush, but Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney stopped the effort, explaining that “We don’t speak to evil”.

 

Which of the following items were on the agenda that Iran proposed?

 

 

e. All of the above was the correct answer.

 

In this May 2003 “Grand Bargain”, Iran proposed to cooperate with the US on its nuclear program, stabilization in Iraq and counter-terrorism throughout the Middle East, and implicit recognition of Israel. In exchange Iran asked that the US offer a “security guarantee” and commitment to disavow all intentions of regime change, along with an abolishment of sanctions, and “recognition of Iran’s legitimate security interests in the region”. Former Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ambassador Kharrazi reported that the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei as well as former President Khatami was active in the drafting of this proposal.

 

For more on the story of this proposal and the administration’s rejection of it, see New York Times’ journalist Nicholas Kristof’s account of the events and links to the full text of Iran’s “Grand Bargain”.

 

 

Return to Quiz

 

 

10) Fill in the blank: As the British withdrew from Basra to this last fall, the violence against British and Iraqi security forces ___________.

 

d. decreased. As the British withdrew from Basra to this last fall, the violence against British and Iraqi security forces decreased by 90%.

 

As the International Herald Tribune reports: “The presence of British forces in downtown Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city, was the single largest instigator of violence, Maj. Gen. Graham Binns told reporters Thursday on a visit to Baghdad’s Green Zone.

‘We thought, ‘If 90 percent of the violence is directed at us, what would happen if we stepped back?’’ Binns said.

 

 

Return to Quiz 

« Older entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.