Sunday, August 10, 2008

Oregon City Lights

On Saturday, 2nd August 2008, Anna & I drove from home in Idaho to Oregon City to visit with my sister and brother-in-law. My sister has a trailer for camping and when we go to visit the trailer, parked beside the house, becomes our bedroom.

We went to bed and after a while I began having some sinus problems
and got up to work on the problem. I decided it was time for some fresh
air and stepped outside and was soon joined by Anna checking to see
if I was ok. From the front door of the trailer we could see some stars
but decided to move to the other end of the trailer where the view was

Clear starry night, some light pollution since we were in a city, but
because it was 1:30am all was quiet and the stars were plentiful. We
saw an airplane off in the distance traveling northwest with the
navigational strobe lights flashing and it soon ranged out of sight.
Then we saw another airplane approaching from the south with
headlights on as planes do for night landings, and the Portland airport
was about 20 miles due north. At first I had a feeling that the airplane
was not quite "right" but did not think too much about it. As we watched
it approach closer to us from the south, I thought "those landing lights
are really bright." Indeed, single lights could not be seen but the whole
front of the plane facing us was lit up with very intense beams. As the
plane moved through the sky it was eclipsing stars--as it came between
us and a star the star of course would vanish, then reappear as the
plane moved on.

Then it happened. The very bright lights of the plane, in two second
steps, began fading. Fade, fade, fade...step at a time until no lights
were on. All this while, and this was most interesting, the plane slowed to
a stop. Once the headlights were completely out, we saw that there
were no navigation lights flashing. The plane had completely vanished
from the sky, at least no lights to say it was there. Also, no stars were
being eclipsed in any direction from where it stopped and turned off the
lights. About 30 seconds after the lights were completely out, there was
a quick small flash, smaller than the outline area of the plane, and then
it actually vanished. Actually vanished because the starlight it blocked
now shown through and no star eclipses were in any direction from that

Plane? I don't think so.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Something Special

A chance to see something special

During the first two weeks of August, most every year now, there should be something rare happening in Payette Lake, McCall, Idaho. Many people have heard of these strange things around the world. The most popular strange thing is “Nessie” of Loch Ness, Scotland. This critter and similar around the world are known as cryptids, a term derived from the study of elusive or anecdotal animals or the study of cryptozoology. The third time I saw McCall's Sharley, was from Shore Lodge docks in 1969 having lunch with my Mother.

At the city of McCall, Idaho is Payette Lake. Don't confuse this lake with Upper Payette Lake which only has flying trout. Payette Lake is the home of Sharlie, seen by hundreds of people in modern times and is a long necked Plesiosaur. Native Americans have had stories about Sharlie since before recorded time and considered Sharlie as evil and dangerous.

I have watched for Sharlie all my life, half a century and I have made some critical observations from seeing Sharlie and extrapolated some very unique insights that answer some common questions. First the facts from observation: Sharlie surfaces once every three to five years, except lately, feeds both day and night remaining in this feeding mode for one to two weeks then vanishes. Sharlie is a “him” and Nessie is a “her," due to observational data. Feeding will last up to two weeks, never more, allowing a greater number of people to spot him. Since 1995 Sharley (or Sharlie depending on source) has been feeding at a minimum every August.

Some people believe that even if seen by reputable people, Sharlie –as well as Nessie—could not exist. This belief is based on modern observation, and not observations made before the food chain was obliterated with absorbed Iridium 192 worldwide. It is believed that there has to be a large population of breeders in order for the cryptids to have survived a mere 65 million years. Actually, Sharlie is a little older than that in measured years.  Dinosaurs lasted over 160 million years mainly because with very little death, time went by very slowly. Environmental pressures determined who lived and died over time. Keep in mind that there are no dinosaurs close to or within the iridium layer. Who would live or die had already been decided. Easy to figure that most lifeforms on Earth will already be gone before the next Earth killer arrives. In the future geologic record just a moment of time goes by between the end of most life and the next planet killer.

You are born, you live, you die. This is true for 92% of all living species on earth. No argument there. However, for any species prior to the iridium purge of 65 million years ago, this may not be true. Many creatures and even plants were born (or sprouted) lived, matured, and stayed in that stage, mature. Of course anytime along the way any critter or plant could be killed or eaten—no unkillable supersaurs. Sharlie was hatched, grew to adulthood, and has remained there ever since. Sharlie is likely to be around 66 million years old and younger than Nessie.

Sharlie nearly always surfaces in the first week of August. Sharlie has never gone more than five years without being seen and lately nearly every year. That means that this year starting around the 1st of August, be at Payette Lake with your camera and zoom lens in hand. When done feeding Sharlie will travel along the south end of the lake from east (old Mill) to west and around to a secret point north of Shore Lodge, dive down about 20 meters and enter an under water cavern to sleep for 1 to 5 years again. When making his last cruise of the lake, Sharlie will be within 50 feet of the shore. Their is nothing more beautiful than being on a dock near the McCall Hotel and seeing that sleek six foot wide body cruize by just a foot or so under the water, or near the outlet of the lake seeing the head rise three feet above the water, and look in your direction while gliding in the water at about 10mph.

Geologist say it is just a lake formed by an ancient glacier, but I suspect the lake was their long before and the glacier moved over the top of the lake. Some spots in the lake are very deep. Near the outlet of the lake where the Payette River begins, on the McCall side of the bridge is a park for picnicking. Great place to wait for Sharley. Another great place to watch is from the Shore Lodge docks if they let you. They should have Sharley parties every August at the docks cheap enough the locals can join in.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Idaho Cattleman's Fish and Game

We should remember a few years ago the horrible situation created by the Idaho Fish & Game. On BLM open grazing land a herd of elk were eating grasses that the local Cattleman Rancher wanted for his cows. He called up the Fish & Game and they responded immediately with a helicopter and tried to “air” herd the large herd of elk away from the area. Several elk were killed including the Alpha Bull.
You may also remember earlier this year when a Cattleman Rancher did not want a Mountain Lion on his leased forest land. The Idaho Fish & Game rushed in and killed the Lion. Then they found she had four kittens. The only solution to this new profound problem was wringing the necks of the kittens and toss them into the bushes.

That is how the Idaho Fish & Game handles the wild game. If you read my blog you already know that the ranchers, sheep or cattle, cause a lot of their own problems with the wolves, and likely do not even know it. Now, lets see how the Fish & Game handles the people of Idaho. This is just my opinion, but I would think that the fish and the game of Idaho should be available for people who do not have enough food. Did you know that 16% of Idaho's children are listed by the Federal Government as STARVING. Also on the same list 40% of Idaho's population, mostly rural families, are FOOD INSECURE. This means families run out of food money before the next paycheck, or simply on a daily basis do not know where the next meal, or next weeks meals are going to come from. One group tried to address that issue and for five years, four times a year at the meetings of the Fish & Game board, begged with details for a reduced fee license for fishing and hunting. Finally, the formal proposal was put on the agenda for the commissioners to vote on. Read on....

Keep in mind that this report is accurate as of three years ago.

On 21 January 2005 the Idaho Fish & Game Commission (F&G) considered ruling on a proposal by the Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN) to establish a low income (within 185% of the Federal Poverty level) licensing system to help feed the poor and the working poor in the State of Idaho, or about 40% of the population.


In ruling against the ICAN proposal, the commission added there was sufficient roadkill and poached meat being distributed within the state, and in fact, the F&G was having difficulty in distributing it, that the regional food banks (FB) could not handle as much as was being processed. Further, the board stated that the food banks of Northern Idaho were so full of meat that they had no freezer space available. One load of meat that was destined to be delivered to Northern Idaho was refused and the meat had to be trucked all the way south to Donnelly for distribution.
The F&G then handed the ICAN representatives a list of 56 distribution centers by region wherein roadkill and poached meats were distributed.


Only 34 of the 56 sites could be verified as actually existing. Listed inclusions that could not be verified were “Various Churches,” “Several Churches,” “Several Private People,” “Churches,” “River of Life Family,” “Jesus name Tabernacle,” “Mormon Churches,” “Catholic Churches,” Subs for Santa,” and “Private Individuals.” Remember, these are the official names the F&G has for distribution locations. These were not verifiable.
Attempts were made by ICAN personnel around the state to contact churches if they still existed, and churches in general asking if the F&G meats were being delivered. The ICAN members contact lists, forged from phone book yellow pages, totaled 423 churches across the state. When asked about the meats from the F&G, only one answer was consistent, and that answer was “NO.”


Not all food banks in Idaho are developed the same. In fact, many in the state would be more properly termed “food pantries” and have no freezers and many with no routine clients or routine operating hours. These factors make it impossible to accept meats, and if accepted from the F&G have no true method for distribution. Many of the pantries reported that they distribute dry and canned foods only and on a case by case basis, or “walk-ins” only. So these locations, besides not able to handle F&G meats, also report they have never seen F&G meats. When you remove the Dry Goods Pantries that work a case-by-case basis, you are left with only 21 locations from the F&G list that have some freezer space and some routine clients.


That last paragraph identified the remaining 21 locations that had the capacity and the infrastructure to accommodate donated meats from the Idaho Fish & Game. However, there still remained the question, “Do you or have you ever received meats from the Fish & Game?” As you can see, 5 organizations reported that they routinely receive the wild game meat. Routinely, without exception was defined as 3 or 4 times a year. These locations were Region (2) Lewiston FB; Region (3) Cascade WICAP, Boise County Sheriffs Office; Region (5) SEICCA; and Region (7) Idaho Falls FB.


As these final 5 were located, one more question remained, “Would you share the wild game meat with other than your listed clients?” Only 2 answered yes, if they had enough, and indicating in both locations that there was never enough. These 2 locations were SEICCA and Idaho Falls FB.
So, with ICAN showing the Fish & Game that 40% of the people in Idaho were officially listed as either FOOD INSECURE or in the STARVING category, the F&G ruled against affordable licensing in favor of all that meat being distributed, which was a total lie. The F&G obviously does not care about the people of the state, just the money.

Discovery Process: Using the internet and such search engines as Google to find locations, phone numbers, and in some cases the proper identification of food banks listed by the F&G, only 34 could be verified as existing. But that was not all the resources available. ICAN at that time posted a membership of 3,000 families across the state using phone books and contacting county information. All the information was accumulated by me and using a cell phone, a total of 247 minutes was logged to verify the information. Also, in some areas when no one answered the phones, members of the Idaho Community Action Network were called to make onsite reviews and locate contact information. For instance, a member named Darvin made local calls to see who was the current caretaker for the Troy FB, and returned the information of the managers name. The FB was pantry only with no freezer and due to lack of funds or food, was used rarely through the year. The Troy FB listed by the F&G had actually changed their name five years earlier to the Sojourner Alliance. In the case of “Churches” listed by the F&G, every church in every region of the state found was contacted. None contacted could be verified as being part of the Fish and Game Distribution.

Some of the stories encountered: In their ruling the F&G specifically stated that the foodbanks of Northern Idaho reported that “they were so full of meat that they had no freezer space left.” A few years ago the northern food banks reorganized into the Community Action Partnership of Northern Idaho. Smaller food banks were centralized into regional outlets and as a partnership, assist each other in times of stress. Each has a specific client list and walk-ins are screened for “need” and added to the list. Connie at the Lewiston Food Bank said that they could not share the wild game when it came in.They service 400 clients and distribute food once every three months. When I mentioned roadkill, Connie said that the Fish & Game could no longer process roadkill because they were taken to court two years prior when people got sick. Connie was very clear that the wild game was distributed only to the Lewiston clients and there was never enough to go around.

Another branch of the Community Action Partnership of Northern Idaho, the Grangeville Food Bank was also relayed the F&G story about too much meat. Mike Flynn's first remark was “It would be great if they did.” In continuing conversation he said that early last year he saw some meat marked “wild game” in the freezer, but only a little. He did relay an interesting story. He said, “Last Christmas the Fish & Game called and said they had some meat for us and we could pick it up at Western (Western Meats, Inc., Grangeville) and when we went to get it, the meat was gone. The manager at Western said that the Fish and Game officer came back in as soon as it was wrapped and took it with him. The Food Bank got nothing.”

At the Cottonwood Food Bank, Sister Barbara Jean said they had some freezer space, seldom holding any meat, and in the three years she had been there, there was never any meat from the Fish & Game as listed by the F&G. The St. Mary's Hospital runs the Food Bank. She also begged me to try and get some meat because they had a lot of hungry people.

At the McCall Health and Welfare, no one knew for sure if wild game actually had been delivered but if it was it may have been given to just anyone standing nearby since no one would know what to do with it.. That conversation seemed to include a lot of fuzzy logic.

Freda Gilbert at the Payette Lakes Food Bank and Robert Hall at the Donnelly Food Bank work eleven miles apart but are in constant contact with each other. When I relayed the F&G story about too much meat in the North and it had to be taken all the way to Donnelly to unload, Freda said “No Way!” and Robert Hall said, “Not only NO, but hell no.” Robert has been begging the Fish & Game for the whole six years he had been there and said that now they hang up on him and refuse to give him any forms. He said he was told several times in the last few years that he could not have any of the wild game.

End of report.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Wolf Knows

There is one unasked question: Why do wolves do so well in Yellowstone, with numbers maintained by the wolves themselves, and why in the surrounding states do the wolves multiply uncontrolled and present a great threat to ranches and ungulates?

There is one fact that the State Fish & Game does not want you to know about the introduction of wolves into our state. But before I can adequately explain to you what this is, I need to cover other topics and then tie them all together. So please be patient in your reading.
First, you need a way of proving for yourself the context and facts of what I am explaining to you. Try to find someone who has been stung by a hornet. In our area the more common hornet is called the “bald-faced hornet,” which is really a type of wasp. The poison this hornet gives the body when it stings, in fact all of the wasp family,  is an extraordinary chemical soup and can be deadly—even if you are not usually allergic to bee venom. When you find someone who has been stung by the hornet, ask them what would happen for the next year if they wandered outside between April and November. What, you ask, would happen? Any hornet within a mile would immediately stop what they are doing and make—please excuse the pun—a beeline to that person. The next thing that happens is not an immediate sting, but what is called a “Head Butt.” If looking in the right direction they can see the bee coming at them in a straight line and then impact the forehead, and then bounce off unharmed and circle around for another hit—deciding in the process if you needed stung again to leave there territory. It is called “auto-response to a chemical tag.”
This note from”Another feature unique to the wasp and hornet is that the venom contains a pheromone which alarms all other wasps in the area and invites them to join the attack on the victim. That pheromone may remain with the victim for years in their breath and sweat.”
The upshot of it all is that whatever you eat, whatever is injected into you, or whatever is absorbed by the skin is thereafter, for some length of time, in your sweat and in your breath. More importantly, this is true of all mammals. Try eating a lot of garlic. Then two days later see if anyone can smell it on you. They will, of course find it in your sweat and breath long after you have stopped eating the garlic.
By the way, on that garlic, how close do you have to be to a garlic to smell it? For this purpose, lets pick an arbitrary distance since everyones' nose is a bit different. I tested for myself with the garlic on the kitchen table, and three feet was about it.
So I could smell an unbruised garlic at three feet. Had I bruised or squished it, the distance would have been more like from here to the neighbors house. Did you know that depending on the breed of dog, a dogs nose is considered to be from ten to one hundred times more sensitive than the average human? So if my sniffer finds a garlic at three feet, a pug will find it at 30 feet and a bloodhound will spot it at nearly 1000 feet away to each smell it at about the same level. There seems to be two reasons for this greater sensitivity. One is the way a dog moves the air. The same volume of air will be move back and forth through the olfactory lobes of the dogs nose—the in and out sniff.
If I ate that clove of garlic the average dog would be able to smell it in my breath and sweat from maybe 50 feet away, every day for a long time. Poor dog likely would stay clear of me. If I got a tetanus shot, the average dog would know from 50 feet away.
The other reason would be the special convolutions of the internal nasal passages that allows a dog to smell so well. That is why a dog is a good companion if you have cancer or epilepsy. The dog will sense changes in the body long before the human senses can notice changes. The changes are broadcast in the human sweat and breath.
Did you know that wolves can smell at about 1000 times better than a human? That same garlic that I can smell a three feet, a wolf can smell at 3000 feet or better. If I get a tetanus shot, a wolf who smelled me the day before at 1000 feet and then smelled me again after the shot would know the difference. The wolf would likely consider that I am sick because I do not smell “right.” How we smell in day-to-day life with a normal diet and no shots or medications is normal to the wolf. A genetic memory in the wolf confirms how we should smell. If we have had shots or medications, then we would smell wrong or sick. It is a natural reaction for the wolf to weed out the sick. If the chemical tag in the breath or sweat indicates that a mammal is sick, it then becomes a target for food to keep that mammals population clean. Read about wolves and understand that behavior for yourself. The wolf knows because of the wolf nose.
Sheep, cattle and other domestic animals are given shots, medicated food, and medicated salts. So often I have seen salt blocks out in the free range land. These are not the white mineralized salt blocks, but more usually the pink medicated salt blocks. Most horse owners know that if the only salt block available to the horse is the medicated type, the horse can get sick and even die. The reason is that they overdose on medication while trying to get enough salt. Very often the blocks are used by all the ungulates; therefore, all the ungulates in the area of a medicated salt block are medicated and they then all appear to the wolf as sick. Give your cattle shots and they smell wrong and therefore are sick. Give your sheep medicated feed and they smell wrong and therefore are sick.
All the problems with the wolf population are caused by the human managers of the domesticated herds and this medication spills over into the wild ungulate population via salt blocks and similar devices and the wolves do what they are designed to do. The wolves clean out the sick animals. When sheep are vaccinated for clostridial diseases, these medications cross the placental barrier and are expressed in the newborn. The newborn are therefore considered sick by the wolf nose.
Ranchers are angry about the wolves killing their animals. The ranchers do it to themselves through lack of knowledge about the medications being given. The hunters are mad about the wolves taking down the elk and deer herds, but they do not blame the ranchers for making the cattle medications available to the wild ungulates.
The wolf nose knows. Through mismanagement of medications we are giving entire herds of ungulates to the wolves for dinner. There would be far fewer domestic attacks if all medications including salt blocks were kept at the barn under control and at least a day, if not two days after medication should go by before the domestics are allowed to run free. Don't blame the wolf for being right, blame the ranchers for being wrong.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gas is Cheap

I bet you all think that the price of gas has increased. This is simply not true. Gas is a commodity ( something from the earth ) like coal, copper and silver -- at least the crude oil that gas is made from is a commodity. Very few commodities have actually increased in true cost in the last five years. I am well aware of the fact that you have to give more cash at the pumps to fill the gas tank, but don't blame gas for it or the companies that sell it. In fact, companies like Exon and so on only contribute an average of 7% to the cost of gas. In fact if you are removing the Corporate gas companies cost + profit for making the gas you only remove less than 25 cents for each gallon. So $3.50/gal gas only drops to $3.25, and certainly does not account for the difference between gas in 2003 costing $1.50/gal to what it is today. Lets try an explanation.....

Lets say I am having a yard sale and I need $10 in change to get it going. No one is coming by so I get the bright idea to start another yard sale on the neighbors lawn. I need another $10 change for that one but I don't have it. So, I borrow the $10 from that neighbor and the neighbor, at the end of the day, wants the original $10 plus 10% of all proceeds to pay for using their lawn. No one is stopping at either yard sale even though during the day I kept dropping the prices.

Lets say the Nations' Gross Domestic Product (GDP), what we make and sell to the world, has stalled. The nation has enough cash flow (change) to make what is needed, but sales are really low. The economy is stalled, and the year is 2003. The FED decides to trigger the economy by supercharging some of the industries in the US. To do this, they need more cash and order the US Treasury to increase the rate of printing money (cash for the new yard sale). The US Treasury begins selling 10, 20 & 30 year notes to cover the cash they are printing and sell these notes to other countries on the earth. (borrowing the money). This action by itself does not seem to do any good, so the FED drops the interest rates on borrowed money to banks to just 1% (dropping the prices).

First comes the housing boom with people borrowing money from banks to get a home beyond their means. The bank takes twenty loans each valued at $100,000 for a total worth of $2 million and sells this bundle to another finance company for the $2 million. The actual money is not there, just the paper saying it will eventually be paid. The bank is in the clear now. Many of the "bundles" included secure contracts and ARM's, adjustable rate mortgages, but it is not the banks problem now. The mistake the bank makes is taking the $2 million and loaning it back out for more mortgages, but not at a one-to-one basis. They loan at a multiple of 67 times (on average for every bank you know). In other words, for each real dollar the bank has, $67 are loaned out.

To make up the difference, the bank borrows from the FED the extra $66 dollars needed to cover their position. The new money makes new loans for mortgages and these get bundled and sold for face value, and the FED has to order the Treasury to print more money.

That begins a wild ride that makes banks rich on paper, and fuels a whole new industry called loosely "financials." The bundles look so good on paper that besides a foreign country buying US Treasury notes, they - the financial industry - buys the bundles too.

All of this happens from April 2004 until April 2005. Congress says to the President, "Aren't we printing an awful lot of money?" And the President says, "No, Congress, life is great." The President then ordered the US Treasury to quit reporting the M1 & M3 monthly reports. These reports can be used to calculate how much more money is being printed than what is needed to support the annual GDP, Gross Domestic Product.

Everything described continued until present day. By Presidential order we have already stated that the M1&M3 are no longer reported, and to make the GDP look better a few other minor things were done. When calculating the annual rate of inflation the White House ordered that Food, Health Care and Fuel no longer be counted. When estimating unemployment, only count the actual number of people drawing on the Unemployment Insurance fund. No longer count the individual state estimates of the unemployed not drawing the insurance.

Here are a few facts for you to chew on. Since 2004 the annual rate of inflation has been around 20%. "OH NO!" you say. Yes, this is true. Inflation is the amount of money printed that is greater than the needs of the GDP. True inflation has nothing to do with the cost of butter at the local store. That is a different inflation called "consumer inflation." As long as the extra money was floating around and being used in the Housing and Financial areas, it did not impact the rate of consumer inflation. Consumer inflation deals with stagnate excess printed money. Consumer inflation began last August (August 2007) when ARM's began adjusting upward (a monthly mortgage payment went from $700/month to $1400/month on average.) People could not pay, defaulted on the mortgage, and --think about it-- all along the line of where the "bundled" contract went to, suddenly there was no income from that part of the bundle. Banks and Financial businesses suddenly began reporting their profits were posted wrongly, then later, as defaults increased the "paper" became less valuable.

Nationwide, more than 410,000 families lost their homes last year, and the rate of loss is increasing.
This means that more money is being left "stagnate" and consumer inflation is increasing. It means there is just too much cash available. The FED's answer to this problem is to print more money.

Ok, I said the price of gas is about the same as it was in 2003. Consider that I said the money supply (true inflation) has increased 20% per year since then or for 5 years. So each year the money itself has devalued at 20% of the total money that is in existence. A dollar today is worth far less than it was in 2003. It takes many more of those dollars to purchase the same product as in 2003 because the dollars are worth a lot less.

2003 gas at $1.50 at a 20% loss in the value of money you are using to buy the gas means that in 2004 you had to pay $1.80.

2003: $1.50 X 1.2 (20% increase) = $1.80
2004: $1.80 X 1.2 = $2.16
2005: $2.16 X 1.2 = $2.59
2006: $2.59 X 1.2 = $3.11
2007: $3.11 X 1.2 = $3.73

So $3.73 would be the cost of gas because of the extra cash that is being pumped into the system. But gas is going higher. During 2008, generally, any price of gas beyond the FEDs $3.73 is caused by increased demand by India, Japan and China-- Mostly China. It is your dollars that are worth 20% less each year that is costing you at the pump, not the cost of the gas. If you adjust the currency inflation since 2003, the cost of gas is the same, or would be very nearly the same except the global inflation in gas which is also nearly 20%. Gas should rise in price during 2008 to reach about $4.78 a gallon for regular. Then it will level out for the year from August through about April 2009 as the economy bottoms out in a severe recession. The recession brought about by the price of gas will divide the citizens between the "haves" and the "have nots." The Middle class will be wiped out.

By the way, When the FED says "loans" or the Congress says "bailout" or the President says "rescue," please change their terms for the correct term: " taxpayer" You, your grandchildren and many more generations COULD pay for these vote-buying terms, unless the USA announces bankruptcy. You may also want to consider these tidbits: We are borrowing money from China and paying it to the Oil Countries (like Saudi Arabia) at the rate of $2 Billion each and every day. So every day we are $2Billion more in debt to China. China and Japan each own over $2 TRILLION of our currency (dollars). India falls short at only a little over $800 Billion of our dollars in their vaults. The reason that the current Administration wants to bomb Iran is NOT due to any nuclear processing facilities. It is because they are the only oil producing nation that has dumped the dollar as a basis for selling/trading oil, and have instead switched to the Euro. This is destabilizing our overseas purchasing power for oil.

Where does all this lead? The president elect of 2008 will win or fail depending on how much that person understands basic ecconomics and technology. So far, none in or headed for Washington DC have shown any indication of economic knowledge other than Ron Paul. It appears that no matter who we have for president, a deep recession/depression will occur and will last until December of 2012. Fire the FED, bring back gold into currency, and maybe the economic damage can be repaired in time for our great-grandchildren to manage society.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


I would like you to stay with me for a story. Before the story is finished you will realize that it may be the most informative Timber / Forest Service story you have ever heard. I swear it is totally true and factual. If I dug deep enough into my shed, I would find the receipts and other critical data to back it up, the shed is full and the data is at least 10 feet from the door – a dangerous place to go.

First, I would like to throw out a fancy term: “Thermally activated dihydrogen monoxide.” That is just another way of saying “warm water.” So when I tell you as an engineer I was the Plant Foreman for a process called “Thermally coupled enzymatic hydraulysis” which was the official name of the process, you know it may not be as fancy as it sounds. What we really made was a cream colored, creamy textured, low odor fish fertilizer. If you find fish fertilizer on the shelves, it has had the same basic treatment that we used except that it was processed at a much higher temperature (140º), made at a thousand gallons a day and is dark and stinky (smells like rotted fish.) Our product was made at 110º slowly at just 100 gallons a day. A fishing team using big nets would bring in carp from the Snake River, the carp would go through several stages of grinding, travel through a transfer unit that coupled heat from steam into the fish, and then on to the processing. Enzymes would be dripped into the fish and it would go through a series of digesters to be liquefied and then on to more processing. At the end of the total operation was a product that could be diluted and sprayed from a crop duster without neighbors complaining about the smell. Now you have the background.

Now, on to the story. One day in May 1992 Jim and Fred showed up in uniform at our Payette, Idaho processing plant. A friend of a friend had told Jim about our product and what wonders it did for his sick fruit trees. These two men in their Forest Service uniforms wanted to try it. So we supplied all the information and they returned in two days with check in hand and a 100 gallon plastic container on the back of a Forest Service truck. We filled their tank from ours and sent them on their way. They headed back to their Wallowa-Whitman Forest Service office and got with a crop duster friend. Jim and Fred showed up a few days later with the tank of fertilizer. The crop duster tried a few gallons and said it clogged his nozzles. He was going to go to a slightly higher nozzle size, but wanted us to re-screen the product. We ran it through a tighter vibrating mesh and returned it to their tank. Jim and Fred left to apply the fish to a stand of fir trees under siege from beetles and drought. Time went by and we nearly had forgotten about that sale.
One day, again in uniform, Jim and Fred returned. The owner of the plant and I were in the office when they came in all smiles and totally excited. During the past 4 months the trees became healthy and the beetles were almost non-existent. They said that was great and all they had hoped for. But their real excitement was from what happened next. A forest fire was in the region and had topped out, or was “crowning.” When the fire got to the sprayed trees it was no longer crowning and burned only along the ground cleaning the area; in other words, the perfect cleansing fire leaving healthy trees behind. Jim and Fred said they planned to submit the results to “higher-ups” and get funding to spray more of the forest. Sounded just fine to us. They left, we were happy to have learned the true value of our product, and we did not see them again for a long time.
One day Jim showed up at the office in just jeans and an old shirt. He was there unofficially just to tell us what happened. When they submitted their data and a request for more funding they were called into the office of their boss. They were told in no uncertain terms the following: They did not use fish on the trees. They did not see any benefits of such an action even if they had done so. To say anything about the project would be considered an act of sedition and severe penalties could result.
Jim went on to explain that each year they submit a budget request based on money spent through the year and expected costs in the upcoming year. Simply put, a budget is submitted each year about 10% higher than the last budget request. What the fish fertilizer did was show a way to protect the trees and the wildlife and in the process totally destroy the Forest Service budget. Think about firefighting. Currently the Federal cost of fighting just the national forest fires is greater than $ 1 Billion annually. That does not include national or state parks, BLM fires, or fires encroaching on homes and businesses. Those are all funded separately. It is not just the firefighting directly that the money is spent on. Consider firefighting crews hired in the summers, all the food, all the equipment and all the mismanagement. To use a simple and cost effective method to save the forests would destroy the Federal Budget for fighting fires. People would not get hired, equipment – including C-130's – would be sold at auction, and worst of all, Senior Forest Service personnel would be put into early retirement at lower pay since the new budget would not be able to support a government structure with too many chiefs and not enough.... well you know how it all goes.

The beetle invasion of the West is important for another reason. It allows the expenditure of funds in ways that, in the long run do not work. This will help maintain the Forest Service budgets. Using the beetle infestation as an excuse to continue logging prevents the natural evolution of the people of the region. Wherein one generation just cleared some ground and lived off the land, mostly from the forest critters, the next generation learned to use large 2-people saws to harvest timber for local mills. The next generations changed to allow greater cutting of the forests to feed large regional mills. When the big mills closed, that generation evolved into learning maintaining a small residence and living off the land. This in turn led to the next evolution which was to maintain a healthy forest for tourism and working at the well known tourist traps; including, but not limited to: Forest excursions, fishing, dining, boat trips, and many more. Unfortunately, the lessons of clear cutting have been learned. The carbon exchange system takes several generations of trees to get reestablished and until then, Montana, Idaho, Eastern Oregon, and Washington do not have any "really" healthy trees. Thus, the beetles invade, but the fish product (natural, organic, non-toxic) that I used to produce would create the healthy trees, reestablish the carbon transfer chain between trees and rid the forests of the beetles.

That is the story and I hope you stayed with it to the end. It is a true story. Now you can believe it or not but you can certainly see for yourself the proof of it. Keep in mind that it officially never happened and you will not be able to get anyone to confirm it. So, look for yourself. Bring up Google Earth, and in the block titled “Fly to...” type in “Bridgeport, OR” and once zoomed in to that town, “fly” (or use the ruler) north by northeast at a bering of 16º for just 3.5 miles until you find a dark solid patch of trees. If you back out a ways, you will find scattered patches of trees but only one trapezoidal shaped large patch of trees about 1 mile on the base and 1 mile height. Zoom in to any nearby area and see the results of a terrible forest fire. Zoom into the patch of forest and see the healthy trees. The Google Earth picture is only a year or so old and much of the nearby forest is beginning to return in patches. But the healthy, original patch in its trapezoidal shape is still visible. This patch of forest has no bark beetles.

Update, November 2011: This last summer I went to the area and still did not see any sign of beetle invasion. Around the trapezoid area the forest is recovering from the fire of nearly 20 years ago and on those trees is the occasional limb showing signs of stress. On the latest Google Earth the trapezoid is still clearly visible; however, ten years ago you could make out the lines that the airplane took in spraying, and today those lines are blurred from the spreading healthy trees.