Government Shutdown: Day 5

The burnings continue.

I ventured outside today just before dawn in an attempt to forage something to eat. It was a bountiful day. Between the rat and the bowl full of grubs, tonight we will dine like kings and queens. Perhaps in one of those moments, I will look at my wife and family and remember what life was before the great shutdown. Perhaps I will gaze across the carved rodent between us and remember what it was to not live every moment in fear, to never know whether today will be the day we starve, or tomorrow, or the next day..

But such memories never come. Instead we huddle in the dark and hold our breath while the murderous calls of the marauders carry by on the moonlit breeze. We’re out of food, out of water.

A sudden roar of cheers erupts from nearby, and I crawl to the window, attempting to identify the source. My stomach drops as I take in the scene before me. A circle of marauders has gathered in my neighbor’s yard. They’re yelling to the sky in fits of enraged celebration. With all the lights out, it’s darker than normal, but I can still make out enough. Enough to know our time is close at hand. Swinging from the grand oak tree that used to shelter bushes and a bird house, is the silhouette of a man. A man known to me and to my family. A silhouette with whom I have shaken hands, waved at, and until that night, called my neighbor.

“What is it, Daddy?”

“Nothing sweetheart. Now finish your dinner, for we are blessed.”

Government Shutdown: Day 4

It’s been three days since the government shutdown. Already the night sky is lit with the ember glow of distant houses set ablaze.

Day 4: I spotted marauders in my yard this morning. They attempted to gain entry to the house, but the barricaded door held well enough for the time being. I know they will return in greater numbers before long. Last night we ate the last of the dog that we cooked over the smouldering remains of the couch. The lights have been out for days, and the air has taken on the thick stench of charred wood and death. I fear that we may not be able to hold out much longer. We’re nearly out of provisions.

The mashed up cacophony of motorcycle engines and gunfire exchange is coming closer with each night. Had only we known the real cost of smaller government! Had only we known the price of such vapid debate in the halls of congress! Now I fear that there are far more dire questions to be asked than just “Who will build the roads”

BubbaCast # 88

Back from Boston with some updates, listener feedback, and looking for self sufficiency in an urban environment.

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An Open Letter to Senator Saxby Chambliss

I recently contacted my Senator about the recent events pertaining to NSA Surveillance and the actions of Edward Snowden. I received the following boilerplate response.

Dear Sir:

Thank you for contacting me about the recent disclosure of classified information related to the National Security Agency (NSA). I appreciate your concern on this important issue.

In approximately June 2013, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified information related to NSA’s activities to the media. The characterization of this information by Mr. Snowden and the media has in many cases been inaccurate. Unfortunately, these disclosures have already damaged our national security. We now know that because of these unauthorized disclosures, terrorists have learned more about how we gather information on them and are taking different tactics to thwart detection.

Ensuring security must be consistent with respect for the constitutional rights of all Americans, and there is strong oversight of these programs by all three branches of government. Congress has worked closely with the Executive branch over two administrations to ensure that these activities fully comply with the law, and we will continue to do so. These programs are also carefully reviewed by the Judicial branch on a regular basis.

As Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I will continue to engage in vigorous oversight of our intelligence activities to balance national security priorities with individual rights. Ultimately, the threat from terrorism remains very real and these lawful intelligence activities, which we know have prevented over 50 terrorist attacks since 9/11, must continue. As the Committee and the Senate consider legislation relating to our intelligence collection activities, I will keep your thoughts in mind.

If you would like to receive timely email alerts regarding the latest congressional actions and my weekly e-newsletter, please sign up via my web site at: www.chambliss.senate.gov. Please let me know whenever I may be of assistance.

Here’s my follow up response.

Thank you for your thoughtful response, senator.

Many Americans, myself included, view Edward Snowden as a patriot and a hero. The argument that Snowden has somehow empowered terrorists to dodge the behemoth surveillance machine of the United States is weak at best. There is no excuse for the actions and tyranny that have been brought to bear against the American people in the name of some nebulous enemy. Put simply, what our lawmakers have done through this legislative incrementalism is a crime beyond reproach.

The extent to which these invasive practices have proliferated, the lack of transparency to the citizens of this country (to which Congress is allegedly accountable to), and the blatant collusion between the three branches to erode our rights demonstrate to me with striking clarity that our republic is fundamentally broken. Based on my observations, I believe it is our representatives in Washington who pose a much greater threat to our personal freedoms than any external entity possibly could today.

Thank you again for your response.

Sincerely,

BT

BubbaCast # 87

Heading down to the beach house. Pontifications on Bees, Wells and other stuff.

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BubbaCast # 86

Bee Ass and Essential Oils.

Gardner’s Apiary

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Standlee Hay Product Reviews

standlee

A couple months ago I was approached by the Standlee Hay Company to conduct a series of product reviews for some of their hay feed products. I was provided with a $120 dollar voucher to purchase and conduct an unbiased evaluation of several products for use on our farm. We chose to evaluate their alfalfa hay pellets, alfalfa hay cubes, and shredded beet pulp products.

After several weeks of using the products, we have come to the conclusion that Standlee produces what anyone would consider to be a premium forage product. In short, we were impressed.

We have used beet pulp for years, and have generally felt pretty good about the quality of the product that we get from the feed store. To our surprise, the Standlee beet pulp product stood out immediately as soon as we opened the bag. It smelled noticeably richer and fresher than we were used to. It was also a darker color and consisted of larger flakes. This seems to infer that Standlee uses higher quality beet shavings and uses more molasses in the manufacturing process than other brands.

Both the alfalfa hay cubes and alfalfa hay pellets were used interchangeably. Neither of these products should be fed straight out of the bag, but rather soaked in warm water to soften them up before feeding. We feed native alfalfa hay already, so our animals had no problem making a transition to a mix of whole forage and commercially refined forage product. We observed that both products were bright green and fresh smelling. Of the two, we were really surprised how much alfalfa actually is packed into the pelleted feed. In fact, if we were to recommend only one product from them, it would probably the alfalfa pellet. A cup of alfalfa pellet expands to nearly the volume of a full scoop after soaking in warm water.

Based on our experiences with with evaluating these products, we were very pleasantly surprised by the quality and value of the Standlee Hay feeds, even at the higher price point that a premium feed generally sells for. We had no problems with any of our animals while on the feed. If you’re considering a commercial forage-based feed, we can tell you from experience that the Standlee product line would be worth looking into.

Accepting Bitcoin

Bitcoin has been in the news recently and is quickly gaining steam as a robust and anonymous currency – essentially a viable replacement for cash in the digital realm. For those of you that understand the economic underpinnings of personal liberty, you will also understand how important it is to get involved with this project.

As such, we’ve been busy little bees working to modify our shopping cart logic to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. You’ll soon see it under the payment options as part of the checkout process. Stay tuned!

More info on Bitcoin:

Bitcoin Home Page
Wikipedia Entry
Bitcoin May be the Last Global Economic Safe Haven – Excellent Article from Businessweek

BubbaCast # 85

We take some feedback, pontificate on shiny economic distractions, and talk about springtime bee keeping.

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