Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cooking bread on top of a woodstove

The Cameron Stovetop Smoker bakes bread.
So do Stoneware bowls with lids.

Fitting it all on the stovetop was a challenge.

making the dough
The dough was based on what I could remember about a recipie I used to use a lot in Seattle.

3 cups warm water,
palmful of yeast,
wait 10 minutes,
add some raw sugar,
dash salt,
few shakes of cinnamon,
dried milk,
olive oil,
cup of uncooked oats.
6 cups white flour mixed in slowly
until it comes off the sides of the mixing bowl.
pour olive oil on top of ball,
roll it over in bowl,
cover, let rise til double in size.
punch down,
knead 5 minutes, add more flour
add more oil,
roll over,
let rise again til double in size,
punch down,
add more flour and lightly knead.
separate dough into 5 equal balls.
grease all baking pans lightly with Crisco.

making the bread dishes

cinnamon rolls
smash down one ball with heels of hands,
cover with apricot jam, cinnamon, and raisens,
roll into a pinwheel tube, slice,
lay out on baking sheet and bake 55 minutes.

put one loaf in bread pan, let rise
put one loaf in a stoneware jug with lid, let rise
one loaf in another stoneware bowl with lid, let rise
times varied, approximately one hour each.

garlic bread
slice one ball into thin pieces, lay on baking sheet.
top with garlic chunks, onions, basil and olive oil.

This stoneware is wonderful to cook with. It was purchased by Tim's mom way back when each bowl cost about $1.35 each. The family donated it to me last winter when they were cleaning out all their storage bins. The great thing about homesteaders is they save everything!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Camp Redington

Alaskan Webwriters is building a new website for Tim Redington. I did a lot of the research for this project last winter when I was a tent guest in his RV park. He's the one who started calling me the Tent Lady out here, after I told him Kathy, John's niece, an American history teacher in Hannsville, WA dubbed me the "tent woman." (http://nord.twu.net/acl/headquarters/html)
I became Tim's dog handler and wood stoker by default, during the Tonsina River flood when he had to go flag at Tonsina River bridge for 12 hrs a day, during a whole lot of 40 below weather. I had to soak the feed and used his computer to study while I was waiting for it to be ready. (Yes he still does it the "old-fashioned" way.) I'm happy to be able to put all that work to good use.Nordica is creating a gorgeous rotating template using Tim's family photos, many which were taken when he grew up on their family homesteads. These are amazing photos of a lifestyle that today, as Tim says, would mean the social services would have come and taken the kids away from the parents, every day. The goal at his new website is to honor the authentic Alaskan adventure ALL the old Alaskans lived, to advertise his RV park and campground, sell his woodworks, and share the momentos in his new museum.
We'll start running Tim's Iditarod auctions again next week. Not a lot of snow yet so we can get a bunch of inside work done before it's time to get out there and learn to mush! Gee! Haa!

Friday, October 26, 2007

my kind of people

From: http://madhousers.org/ajc20021016.htm
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 10/16/02 ]

The shelter people
In hidden corners of Atlanta and environs, huts for the homeless just seem to spring up. Call it . . . stealth housing.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writer

Nick Hess (left) of the nonprofit group Mad Housers hammers plywood to the side of a hut being built in Atlanta for a homeless person while another volunteer, Salma Abdulrahman, installs a window. A toy bat (top) greets visitors at another hut.

Online exclusive:
Funtown: A Third World village in the middle of the city

Faith & Values section

Nick Hess, the smooth-domed leader of one of the oddest construction crews in Georgia, gathered buckets of nails, bundles of hammers and his battery-powered circular saw last Sunday and hiked under dripping skies to a small grove of hardwoods in a concrete wilderness within view of Midtown's skyscrapers.

Once at the site, Hess, 32, and a half-dozen colleagues went to work, laying a simple concrete block foundation and raising modular walls. These builders, most of them computer geeks, are not skilled with the Skilsaw, but within two hours they were putting the roof on the finished structure. A homeless man who'd been sleeping under plastic tarps was waiting to take possession.

"We do the most affordable housing in the metro area," said Jim Devlin, a 41-year-old Little Five Points resident in an Aussie hat, as he pounded nails. "We build it and give it away."

These are the Mad Housers, a band of volunteers who deal with the problem of homelessness by cutting to the chase: Every Sunday they build houses.

Very small houses.

The base model is only 6 feet wide by 8 feet long, with a ceiling that's 10 feet high at the peak. Cost to the Mad Housers: about $350. Cost to the client: zero.

For someone who's been burrowing in kudzu, sleeping in Hefty bags or hunkering under a highway bridge, 48 square feet of floor space makes a world of difference.

It's a weathertight, insulated miniature home, with roll roofing, a locking front door and a cheery wood stove piping in the corner.

One of their clients is Walt Turman, a 52-year-old auto mechanic and tree service worker, who has added a room to his hut plus space for the portable toilet. "This is the way I came up," says the former farm boy, surveying his cluttered domain a few miles away from Sunday's construction site. "I know about cooking on a wood stove 'cause my mama had to get up every morning and make breakfast on one."

Granted, what the Mad Housers do is at the margins of the law. Their huts, which they give away, are generally sited on property that they don't own. But for Mad Houser Vice President Hess, the choice between doing the right thing and doing the legal thing is a no-brainer. "We've been yelled at before and we'll probably get yelled at again."

Beth McCracken, who is studying to be a social worker at Kennesaw State University, wrote a paper on the Mad Housers for a class on grass-roots movements, and was so impressed she launched a fund-raiser to pay for a new hut. "Technically they try to fly under the radar," says McCracken, 34. "I think they're awesome. They're taking on a cause that's overwhelming -- the city can't handle it -- and they're helping out, one person at a time."

According to longtime member Frank Jeffers, 59, the original Mad Housers, who first cohered in 1987, were politically provocative. They built huts in "ostentatious places" to raise awareness of the homeless problem.

But quality control was low. The plywood was thin, the huts uninsulated, the windows too big. "They leaked heat like a sieve and they were totally unsecure," says Hess. "It was a good first pass."

Like many of their huts, that group fell apart in the mid-1990s. The Mad Housers regrouped about two years ago, focusing on shelter, not politics.

Today the Mad Housers succeed by thinking inside the box. For example, consider their unique wood stove design, created by Jeffers: It is built of four nested galvanized shop buckets, with a lid and a 2-inch-diameter vent pipe to carry smoke up through the roof. Perforations at the base control air flow. Cost: about $30. (Clients receive instruction in using the cheap stove, and its safety record is good, says volunteer Kurt Haas.)

The low-budget group, composed of activists, software writers and the formerly homeless, works the same way. The Mad Housers operate on a minimum of fuel, efficiently turning income into shelter. Their huts are exactly the length of two sheets of plywood and the width of one and a half, meaning a minimum of cuts per sheet. Classed as "emergency shelter," the huts are intended to finesse housing codes that apply to permanent dwellings.

Sometimes their overhead is so low they bump their noggins. At a recent "build" they used a plastic bottle filled with water for a level, and they were forced to flatten the hut site by digging in the dirt with pointy pieces of wood and their bare hands.

"We need a shovel," says Devlin during a Mad Houser meeting at a Midtown coffee shop. At the meeting they discuss the upcoming Sunday's construction activities and ways to capitalize on National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, which starts Sunday.

They also talk about a van. Hess, a computer programmer at Weather.com, reports that insurance on a "company" van will cost $1,500, the entire Mad Houser bank account. No van, man.

Their profile is low and their donations are low too. Yet support comes from a wide range of folks (including an anonymous donor who communicates only through a Washington lawyer).

Middle school students from Atlanta and Boy Scouts from Lilburn have helped on Mad Houser projects, with funds donated by the Georgia Vietnam Veterans Alliance. A Powder Springs church joined them on a build, and this summer the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta donated warehouse space so they could do some of their carpentry inside.

But they've yet to be embraced by the mainstream. Folks in Habitat for Humanity (where starter houses cost $46,000) prefer not to comment on the guerrilla builders. Hess doesn't even want to approach the "big box" retailers such as Home Depot for free plywood. He figures few corporations want to claim charitable deductions to habitual trespassers.

In the meantime, the slumping economy and promises of a cold winter keep business brisk. All two dozen of their huts are full, and there's a waiting list six deep, with requests for huts in places far from downtown Atlanta. (There are potential clients camping in woods around Marietta.)

Some supporters are troubled by the group's underground tactics, but sympathetic to their goals. Phil Greeves of Lilburn says he'd prefer it if the Mad Housers got permission instead of hiding their huts, but he acknowledges that in most cases they'd be denied.

Adam, Greeves' son, built a hut two years ago to fulfill the community service requirement for his Eagle Scout badge. The project changed their opinions about the homeless. "These were not unproductive people," says the father. "They were working Monday to Friday, and on the weekends they'd come out and help with the house."

On the ethics of madhousing, Bill Bolling, founder of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, comments, "I would say you ask forgiveness instead of permission in this case. This is a small legal question vs. a big social issue."

Mad Houser Peter Richards, a teacher at Paideia School, sums up the question this way: "In America," he says, "you have two choices if you're homeless: charity or trespass."

The city hasn't prosecuted any Mad Housers in recent memory, says Sandra Walker, spokeswoman for Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, though the city has asked that some structures be removed. "It's an unfortunate situation," says Walker. "It's what [the Mad Housers] feel they have to do, but certainly we have to respect the right of the property owners, and follow the laws."

The Mad Housers will always remove huts if asked by the property owner, says Haas. The group tracks ownership by checking plats, and on at least one occasion disassembled a village when the property changed hands. It will also take down a hut if a resident causes a problem for the neighborhood.

Haas says he doesn't know whether the huts pose a liability risk for landowners, but adds, "In general the sites where there is a clear property owner, the property owner is tacitly aware they [the huts] are there."

Many "hutters" stay a short while, saving enough money to get an apartment or subsidized housing, at which point they turn their huts over to the next in line. Others stay longer. "This reminds me of Boy Scouts," says Joe, a Ghanaian expatriate who has been in his rustic shelter for five years.

If constructing stealth housing is a trend, it's a quiet one. Jim Reid, a perennial candidate for public office in San Francisco, has designed a 10-by-10 house to be mass-produced for that city's homeless, but none is currently in use, perhaps because of the $12,000 price tag.

A similar movement rose and fell in Chicago, and a group in Canada called the Peterborough Collective is trying to raise interest in similar shelters. "It can snowball, even if it's not a big ball," says Richard Van Slyke, an independent videographer who has been taping a documentary about the Mad Housers for four months.

One thing that Van Slyke and others notice about the group is that it is motivated by a desire to do the right thing, even though few of the Housers seem to connect that desire with a religious affiliation.

Salma Abdulrahman, a telecommunications software programmer, says her urge to volunteer with the group doesn't grow out of her Muslim faith as much as from her basic character.

"We're all human beings, we're all people, when you come down to it," says the 24-year-old. "I'd be doing this if I were any religion. It's just part of my personality."

On a drizzly, mackerel-clouded Sunday at another hut site, Abdulrahman is demonstrating her philosophy by hauling wheelbarrows full of firewood from hut to hut, while Jeffers wields a chain saw.

This small village of huts is located on the bones of a ruined amusement park called Funtown. Turman once visited Funtown as a child, when school buses brought a pack of teenagers up from his Heard County high school. Now he lives next to the defunct merry-go-round, which is reduced to a weed-cracked concrete pad.

Here residents carry their water and heat with wood. They grow vegetables and make their own charcoal under Joe's guidance. Turman powers his portable TV with a 12-volt car battery.

"We're just trying to get society back into some kind of balance," says Jeffers, pausing for some cowboy coffee perking on a galvanized drum fire. "Some people have got so much more and other people don't have any heat."

What they provide, says Hess, is hope and dignity, along with a dry place to sleep. "Once you give people a certain amount of hope," he says, "civilization begins there."

Funtown: A Third World village in the middle of the city

The ferris wheel was hauled off long ago. The bumper cars are gone. Algae grows in the empty swimming pool and the concession stands tilt in slow-motion collapse.

Funtown, an amusement park that once drew revelers from around the metro area, is a ruin. But there is new life on Funtown's grave.

In this wild, secluded corner of Southwest Atlanta, hidden among the scrub mimosa that push up through Funtown's asphalt walkways and parking lots, is a village of about 12 tiny huts, built by the Mad Housers over the last 10 years.

While some residents of the village have gone on to less primitive housing, others find themselves happy with this simple life: carrying water, cutting wood for their durable homemade woodstoves, and growing vegetables.

Walking on the nearby streets was scary for Barbara Ann Triplett, who lived here for a few months, but once inside the village she felt safe. "Every one of them [the other residents] was there to protect me," she said.

Another resident from the early days of the village said the mosquitoes and ants were a problem, not to mention the scary isolation and the cold weather (this was before the huts were insulated), "but other than that it was fine," she adds with a smile.

This resident left before the gen-car arrived. The gen-car changed everything.

Always looking for ways to humanize the environment for the residents of their huts, the Mad Housers, led by president Frank Jeffers, figured out a way to turn a junked 1985 Mercury Capri into light and hot water.

Jeffers, whose group builds emergency shelters for the homeless, calls it the "co-generation car" -- gen-car for short. Mad Houser Bill Callison bought it for $200 (it already had 250,000 miles on it), then the transmission burned out. He had it towed to the site. Callison and Jeffers began upgrading the Capri, and eventually had it outfitted with two 90-amp alternators and an array of six golf-cart batteries in the trunk. Nearby "hutters" connected themselves to a home-made electrical grid, and, voila, there was 12-volt light.

By running the car for a few hours three times a week, the residents could recharge the battery array enough to run lights and portable television sets for the seven hutters who were interested.

Jeffers also retro-fitted the car's cooling system, running hot water from the water pump to a coil of copper tubing in a nearby 50-gallon drum. Water inside the drum was heated through this primitive heat exchange, while water from the coil was returned to the car's radiator. Residents had hot water for dishes and bathing.

"For less than $10 a week in gasoline we had power and hot water for about seven people," says Callison.

Unfortunately the gen-car is no more. After five years supplying the needs of the village, it died last spring. Still, says Callison, "that was the best $200 I ever spent."

-- Bo Emerson

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Communitarian freedom

Been following Peter Myer's elist again because I want to know what's happening with the financial markets. I opened up discussion that included critisizm of Eric Hufschmid's research. I admit I quit following the 9/11 research years ago, especially after I realized many leaders in the "9/11 truth movement" (like Catherine Austin-Fitts) support communitarian sustainable development and the communitarian freedom-means-slavery movement.

Apparently, Eric is convinced 99% of truth seekers online are Zionist agents for change. I can see why the movement doesn't like him much. I do agree with his assessments of Alex Jones and other highly visable "patriots" who NEVER speak out about communitarianism, and I think many of them spread disinformation. Eric also mentions Rense and Makow as suspect, who have featured my articles, and Rense interviewed me on his radio show twice last year. Both men said they don't know anything about communitarianism, and yet they were willing to share my research on this topic with their audiences. So few people know what it is it's entirely possible they really didn't know. But now that they do?

So I decided to check around Eric's site to see if he has anything on communitariansm. Instead I find his "solution" page endorses all of Amitai Etzioni's lovely Zionist communitarian ideas. Eric offers us a better UN as a solution, abolishing our nation, creating semi-independent nations, and abolishing organized religions. He also praises World Parks, a controlled economy, forced sharing, and some very innovative concepts for change. What does that make him? His focus is entirely on Zionism, and he doesn't appear to think it's even remotely possible that there may be a small group of Chinese women behind the scenes running the whole NWO showdown. Our research shows Zionism to be another parcel in a bigger package, and even though it is certainly as big a parcel as freemasonry, the Vatican, the Bilderberg and other secrets we'll never know, there's no evidence it is anything more than just one clever piece in the global dialectical games.

The horrible picture above is from his What is Zionism? article, and I wish I'd have found it and attached it to my last artcle called Dialectical Freedom (posted below). In response to this little Iraqi girls' question, Hegel would have said "No, not until everyone in the world looks like you do." War IS the ultimate force for change. Does Eric understand what Hegelian freedom is? Do we?

It also just occured to me today that the reason most people I meet expect me to "help" them for free is because communitarian "thinking" already permeates our entire country. If the rules say, "each according to their abilty, each according to their needs," then people are justified in thinking that since I have the ability and they have the need, then I should volunteer my time to help them. I fell for this all my life. But, I've identified another way the dialectic controls me. Oh boy. Now I'm only 98.9% controlled by Hegel's invisible formual for changing the world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Interior GerTee coming together

Took a couple days off from construction to arrange the kitchen and pull out my winter gear. It started snowing an hour after we got back from Anchorage. It's staying about 27 above so far and I can already see I should've made sure I had a 24' x 24' heavy tarp on the outside roof. I have to seal off the entire floor and should have laid tarps down first. Learning so much about important things like ventilation and how to layer the inside roof insulation. I have to create a space behind the Radiant Guard and the outside roof tarp because the roof needs to be the same temp on both sides. I'll use the parachute Ron gave me for that, then I'll staple the RG insulation over it. Don't have enough insulation left for the walls and floor and my roof sucks, but last year at this time I was in a wall tent and it was a LOT colder (by Nov 2 it was 40 below zero). If I start to feeling overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of me, I only have to look back and I'm real happy to have this funny little hut-tent this winter, even with all it's quirky problems.

I'm surrounding the woodstove with metal tables and shelves so I can keep water and food warm. I also have a place to rise bread now, making my first loaves tomorrow.

The new living area fits 4 friends. We had a little house warming party last night. I made moose pot roast and Sharon cooked up a pot of yummy potatoes. We made a gravy out of the juice. It was such good meat. Both the moose and the potatoes came compliments of friendly neighbors.

Snowed last 2 days... think I have enough coats and snowpants? I kept finding gear at garage sales for practically nothing and I figured I can't have too many dry ones if I'm going to be out in the snow all winter getting wet cutting wood, trapping, or falling off a dogsled.

The rugs sure helped inspire me. Got all three at Salvation Army for $42.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What is Mechanism Design?

What is mechanism design theory?
Richard Adams in Washington

Monday October 15, 2007

Guardian Unlimited

The gap in knowledge between buyers and sellers, and the costs and consequences for the efficient operation of a market, is at the heart of the groundbreaking research by the winners of this year's Nobel prize in economics.

Three US-based economists - the game theory pioneer Leo Hurwicz, along with Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson – were today awarded the 2007 prize for work spanning 50 years in a branch of game theory that has come to be known as mechanism design.

In its statement announcing the award, the Nobel committee said: "The theory allows us to distinguish situations in which markets work well from those in which they do not. It has helped economists identify efficient trading mechanisms, regulation schemes and voting procedures."

While highly abstract and mathematical, mechanism design theory has concrete applications in the real world. It can provide important justifications for government intervention in the operation of markets such as health care, as well as helping to construct rules that attempt to avoid the disparity in information between groups of buyers and sellers.

That gap in knowledge is known in economics as "information asymmetry" and it has become one of the most widely studied aspects of the discipline.

In recent years economists such as George Akerlof and Joseph Stiglitz have been awarded Nobel prizes for their work in the field.

Because sellers have an incentive to seek the highest possible sale price, and buyers have the opposite incentive, and both parties have different levels of knowledge about the overall value of the transaction, the final outcome may not efficient for the economy as a whole. Mechanism design theory attempts to identify these breakdowns and avoid them where possible.

The influence of mechanism design theory can be seen in the structure of auctions, such as the UK government's sale of 3G mobile phone licenses in 2000, which netted the exchequer more than £22bn in revenue. That was thanks to an innovative procedure designed to squeeze potential buyers into making bids that reflected what they saw as the true worth of the licences, and prevented them colluding to pay lower prices.

Prof Hurwicz began working on forms of game theory with the influential economist Kenneth Arrow, who first outlined the pitfalls of information asymmetry in the 1960s and was awarded the Nobel prize in economics in 1972. But Arrow's work built on some of Hurwicz's research in the 1950s, and Hurwicz was regarded as having been overlooked, until now.

Myerson is a prolific author of academic papers and computer software tackling the subject. He is best known as one of the authors of an influential principle in mechanism design theory, the Myerson-Satterthwaite theorem, which finds that one side of a transaction stands to make a loss of some kind when two parties trade a good where they each have hidden and differing information.

Maskin has worked on the optimal design of auctions, alongside his colleague John Riley, and was hired to advise the Italian government on the operation of its bond auctions. He has previously worked as a research student and visiting fellow at Cambridge University.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007

Thanks to Gary for sending me this link. The topic deserves a lot more of my attention. The above article describes a perfectly crafted Hegelian "solution." Now we have a highly abstract and mathematical "game" theory that has concrete applications in the real world. Oh yippie.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dialectical Freedom

Here's a sneak preview of my next article for newswithviews.com.

What's the Big Idea?
Part I: Dialectical Freedom
By Niki Raapana
October 18, 2007

Ever wonder how American officials can use the word freedom to describe actions that eliminate freedom? Unbeknownst to most Americans, there are two vastly different definitions of what freedom means. In the U.S.A., freedom is articulated in the people's laws that govern their government. Under the original American system of law, government servants are required, by law, to "protect and maintain individual rights." That's rarely even cited anymore. The more popularly used definition is Hegel's Idea of dialectical freedom.

Georg W.F. Hegel's distinctive philosophy of history was created to oppose "the rationalist view of history, freedom, individualism, and reason, and the rationalist insistence on man's ability to control his own destiny." (1) To Hegelians, man is not born free at all. Rabid anti-American philosophers say man is born only to become a faceless member of the community. According to Hegel, human freedom can only be achieved when all individuals subject themselves to the totalitarian authority of the state. Therefore, mankind should be tricked, cajoled, pushed and/or forced, if necessary, into meeting his destiny, however reluctant he may be to the Idea. Why? Because God himself is the author.

"God is the author of the Idea; he also supplies the force which moves the Idea in history, and this force is the dialectic." (2)

When Hegel claimed the dialectic as God's special force behind all human progress, he cloaked it under the highest authority known to man. But Hegel wasn't the first philosopher to use the dialectical process (and God) to change people's religious and political beliefs. Creating fake problems and offering fake solutions is a timeless concept. Trick, divide, confuse, and conquer is another well-used, ancient rhetorical formula. It was used by infiltrators and spies assigned to "diplomatic" positions inside enemy courts.

The first stage of a dialectical conflict is when two opposing sides are pitted against each other. The sides can be real or imagined. For every dumb idea there exists an equal (if not dumber) counter-idea. Eventually they're balanced into togetherness. (How they're "balanced" is still cloaked in mystery.) The final solution does not have to follow any familiar mathematical pattern. (1 versus 2 = 12). Each solution in a dialectic may become a new theory in a new conflict. The favored dialectical set-ups continually reinvent themselves into more confusing solutions, theories, and anti-theories, until the "final" theory occurs in a form so perfectly ridiculous it gives rise to no antithesis.(3)

Hegel's version forces people to pick a side from an edited list of options, which will (hopefully) all lead to the same result. With carefully selected choices handed down for generations, the vulgar masses (4) are taught to use the dialectic against each other in everyday life. This sets up future conflicts which can be manipulated and controlled. The tool most often used to rewrite the past, it's usually explained as a new problem-reaction-solution paradigm and/or thesis versus antithesis equals synthesis.

Millions of people worldwide believe that humanity has a collective date with destiny. Christians, Muslims, Jews, and other religions have a specific view of their own role in the final spiritual awakening of Mankind. All ask their devout followers to submit their lives to the will of God. For some religions, total servitude to God's authorities on earth is also mandatory for membership. Many theologians predict there will be huge wars coming at the end of time. The Bible calls it Armageddon. According to Hegel, the wars end when every human on the planet gives up their individual freedom and bends their will to the state. Hegel described a global police state as achieving a "World Spirit."

"The progress of man toward the realization of freedom has been and will continue to be costly; wars and conflicts of all kinds, being the essence of the dialectical process, create misery for mankind. But, again, happiness is not the goal of man, the goal is freedom, and this can be accomplished only through an understanding of the process of and through subjection to the state, the material means by which the Idea progresses. As the state is necessary to the march of the World Spirit and is a means to that end, so the individual is a means to the end of the state which serves that purpose." (5)

There are no rules or limitations on how each nation moves the Idea forward. After the USSR and China, the USA-UK-Israeli alliance is the greatest and most powerful Hegelian vehicle for change produced thus far. United nations that imprison, torture and murder people for incorrect (or individualist) thinking may appear to be led by bloodthirsty tyrants with a bizarre definition of "freedom." But to the enlightened few, they represent God's will on earth. To a Hegelian, "the end justifies the means."

The Americans' logical premise was that all men are born with certain inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American Declaration of Independence said they "found these truths to be self-evident." Opponents of the America system disagreed. They were not convinced reason can be employed to show logical relationships. ("Human values are determined by passion or feeling." Hume) The American's federal Bill of Rights echoed state constitutional guarantees; protecting individual freedom was the only legitimate purpose for the U.S. government. As one political textbook compiled by American professors in 1964 tells us, "Hegel completely repudiated these views." (6)

Hegel said history proves that the dialectic is the only way to achieve freedom.

"When men understand that there is an Idea, that the state and its institutions constitute its temporal manifestation, and when they accept and subordinate themselves to the state and its institutions, then they are free. This is Hegel's definition of freedom. It consists, not in freedom from the state, but in understanding and accepting the Idea, which, in practical terms, means subordination to the state. Freedom is not exemption from authority but subjection to it. This is the ultimate realization of freedom. Not all are capable of understanding the paradox, but the progress of history shows that more people are attaining such a capability." (7)

Like Moses and his Ten (613?) Commandments (8), Hegel's grand Idea came from none other than God himself. But, only especially trained/indoctrinated people are capable of consciously helping God to move the Idea forward -- all others will do it without knowing. "All men are instruments, but some are more active and valuable than others." (9)

There is one man alive who best represents the Hegelian paradox. This is Dr. Amitai Etzioni. Etzioni calls his Idea the "Spirit of Community." Etzioni has a very small but effective following in the United States. One of his many recent accomplishments was grading state's driver licensing agencies for compliance with the emerging National ID database. He's been advising U.S. (and other) Presidents since 1979. He's a huge supporter of merging the U.S. military with the United Nations and the European Union (he calls it, "Europe: A Beautiful Idea.") Global Communitarians have their hands in everything from the Bible Curriculum Studies Program to new laws for regulating the internet. (10)

A self-professed Fabian raised in a British kibbutz to be a Middle Eastern terrorist and a Soviet soldier, Etzioni went on to study under the famous social commentator, Martin Buber. Buber's ideas catapulted him to the head of the "new" scientific study of human societies in the 1950s. Buber based his "I and thou" theory on Hegel's Idea of Community and Talmudic Law. (11)

The mostly unfamiliar Babylonian Talmud is an ancient oral and written series of debates between Jewish Rabbis. Considered to be the world's oldest legal code in continuous existence, the complex and difficult Talmud is often defined as a dialectic.(12) For over ten centuries, Jewish and Christian scholars have searched for deeper, hidden meanings in the Old Testament and the Torah. Some of the more creative scholars use a technique called exegesis.(13) Exegesis can be used to identify similar phrases in a text and then combine the words together in a new sentence in order to make a new meaning (which partially explains why the Talmud's called a dialectic).

Agent Etzioni combined dialectical idealism, dialectical materialism, dialectical capitalism, and dialectical Zionism into one huge social theory, and in the 1980s he introduced it in upper academia as a "new idea." (14) Now it's the law of the land. Fortunately for collective mankind, Community Police were formed everywhere in the 1990s to enforce the new behavior laws, and wise judges are being trained to see beyond archaic national laws and customs. Many new courts exist around the world ready to bring on the Big Idea.

The 102nd U.S. Congress adopted the Seven Laws of Noah. (15) The Judaic Law Institute was launched in D.C. for teaching Talmudic Law to American judges and lawyers (a move applauded by three U.S. Supreme Court Justices and President Bush). (16) The U.S. Supreme Court began using the Talmud during decisions in 2005. (17) The Sanhedrin Court was re-established in 2004; their goal is to be the mediators in all civil disputes, worldwide. (18)

The EU's Court of Communitarian Environmental Law is emerging as the model for a global regional justice system.(19) The International Criminal Court is established in Rome. (20) The International Court at the Hague, Netherlands is home to the Earth Charter, which rests in an "ark" and is referred to as "The Environmental Ten Commandments." (21) UN Local Agenda 21, the communitarian blueprint for sustainable habitat re-development, is replacing constitutional property law across America. (22)

It helps the Idea move forward a lot faster when gullible people dive headfirst into every dialectical conflict that "sounds good." (Pick a side, any side.) There's a modernized activist movement of useful idiots who passionately believe the U.S. Bill of Rights changed from a legally binding contract between free, individual citizens and their government servants into a list of UN-Hegelian Human entitlements. "To the degree that they are instruments of the Idea, they are unwitting instruments." (23)

Many U.S. politicians openly gush about how wonderful Etzioni is, like Senator Hillary Clinton in "It Takes a Village." All American parties and candidates promote Etzioni's Hegelian solutions; all wisely ignore the profound and lasting influence the Hegelian Idea has on our now formerly free country. Not even freedom-loving candidate Rep. Ron Paul will challenge the authors of the Big Idea. Perhaps it is only through an understanding of the dialectic that we can ascertain the breadth of their influence.

"A proper comprehension of the meaning of the idea can be achieved only through an understanding of the dialectic. The dialectic combines the methods of analysis and synthesis in the study of history and makes possible a true understanding of history." (24)

Etzioni's theory of balancing individual's liberty and rebuilding a global community is so perfect it gives rise to no antithesis. Man will be led into many more violent battles before he can achieve spiritual perfection. War is the ultimate vehicle for progress. We must fight, even for no reason at all. To disagree is to challenge God's infinite wisdom.

---The End---


1. p. 345, "Political Thought, From Plato to the Present," Section on Hegel pp. 344-361, McGraw Hill Series in Political Science, published 1964

2. p. 346, ibid

3. "What is the Hegelian Dialectic?" at http://nord.twu.net/acl/dialectic.html

4. Norman Cantor, "Inventing the Middle Ages"

5. p. 350 ibid

6. p. 344 ibid

7. p. 350 ibid

8. http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm

9. p. 350 ibid

10. http://www.bibleinschools.net/so-called-bible-scholars-say-jesus-was-born-nazareth

11. http://www.gwu.edu/~ccps/etzioni/A267.htm

12. http://www.skeptically.org/hebskaka/id16.html

13. http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic-197930/exegesis

14. http://janda.org/b20/News%20articles/GW,%20the%20Communitarian.htm

15. http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/7laws.html

16. http://www.iatlaw.org/Default.aspx?link=category&cat_id=1

17. http://www.come-and-hear.com/editor/capunish_1.html#n9

18. http://www.unitednoachidecouncil.org/index.php/Main_Page


20. http://www.icc-cpi.int/home.html&l=en

21. http://www.uga.edu/columns/991129/preview.html

22. http://www.conselldemallorca.net/webs/agenda21local/index.php?lang=en

23. p. 350 ibid

24. p. 346 ibid

Friday, October 12, 2007

Alaska's Adventure Highways

Drove the Glenn Highway into Anchorage yesterday. This was my camera's view of the
Matanuska Glacier and the Chugach Range, at 100 mile, from the Long Rifle Lodge.

We've finalized our package deals and settled on prices for the various options available to our local business neighbors, both from Alaskan Webwriters and at KennyLake.com. The above website is a good example of a small site that fits the basic criteria for advertising a locally owned business. The physical lodge is very clean and rustic, it has a nice dining area and bar, clean bathrooms, and, it loooks like this is the view from every one of the motel rooms too. This lodge is about half-way between Kenny Lake and Anchorage. It would make a wonderful half-way destination on a 2 day trip out to the Wrangells. We'll be stopping there on our return trip to drop off a brochure. Maybe they'll have an interest in being a Vacation Packages affiliate merchant. We've decided to start the Glenn Hwy portion at 100 mile... just past civilization.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Ultimate Tin-Foil-Hat

Installing the Radiant Guard on the roof made a HUGE difference in how much wood I need. This material is awesome! It's so light I can easily lift a 1000 sq ft roll. It cuts easily and doesn't rip when I drag it under the rough spruce beams. The makers claim it reflects 97% heat, so just to check it out, I stood in front of a roaring fire blasting heat on my face and put a sheet in front of me. It totally blocked it. I am sold on this stuff. I'm putting it on the floor now too.

I've been cooking on a woodstove for over a year now. This summer I found this little stovetop thing at Dean Wilson Jr.'s garage sale. As lifelong Alaskan trappers and an outdoor sports family, they had a lot of neat, quality stuff (and lots of little boy clothes). I was already really happy with all my goodies and gifts for Nordie and Freddie, but this one item has changed my life out here.

I got it right before my pregnant daughter arrived, and she needed good meals. Now alone, I drink coffee and smoke cigarretes and mostly eat oatmeal and top ramen. In the past 2 months I've made 2 self-rising pizzas, biscuits, red salmon, pork chops, meatloaf, baked potatoes, steamed-baked veggies and cheese rye crisps in my Camerons' Stovetop cooker.

So...hmmm.. will it bake a cake too?

The recipie said 25 to 30 minutes cooking time. It was fully baked on my stove in one hour and 40 minutes. Had to keep the new front door open cause I had to keep a HOT fire going, but it was worth every trip to the woodpile. It turned out so good and it's gone... and that's the real "sign."

Next I'll try bread and cookies. Come on up Kath! We be cookin' now! Bring shorts and flip-flops... this is practically a bath house.

Laying the last of the floor corners and not doing a very good job, but only because it's thin plywood and I didn't lay enough beams.

This will work if it's done right. Because I built it, everyone who comes over has to walk softly, heh.

Even out here I have a steady flow of traffic. We had daily guests all summer.

This is our friend Lisa with Freddie. I trained her to wait tables at Gilpatrick's Hotel Chitina last summer. Lisa is 19, cousin to our buddy Roger who convinced us to come out for an extended "visit" last year, worked for Sharon up here at the Merc this summer. It was always nice to go up there and see her friendly, smiling face. She's a mommy too and soof course she had to rush over to see Freddie right away.

Here's our friend Catherine Gilbert outside Gertee. She's a picker on her way outside to make baskets and study plants across America. Her new blog will chronicle her adventure and catalog plants and herbs and baskets she makes along the road.

We just met a family from New Hamshire who are spending the winter with us. They are really good kids, he's a hard worker and she's a smart, dedicated young mother. their son is adorable and they're also good Catholics raised to understand the dialectical transformation of their Church. We liked them immediately and want to see them make it out here. Plus, he's a carpenter and a logger so I don't have to worry about wood anymore.

I made a door out of a window I found and a few 2x4s, a 2x6 and some leftover wall slats. I tried to be "traditional" and covered the whole outside like the Mongolians do, but I wanted light. In the bottom right of the picture on the far left is my new Rubbermaid garden cart with a dump. It's making my life a lot easier, I use it to haul supplies, water, laundry and wood.. and the other day I took it back in the woods with my chainsaw and started cutting up spruce logs. I can do it!!!!! But... it'll be nice if I don't have to in 40 below. It's about 30 above today, so it's still pretty nice out.

Lots of local meetings coming up, I keep finding them wherever I look. I'm going to start a calender in about 2 weeks. We're going to Anchorage to place another order with the printer and will have books mailed asap. Our apologies for the long delay.. our printer is 250 miles away and they won't deal with us via email or phone... very frustrating, but now we know.

I've been invited back to Darren Weeks' radio show. He's one of my favorite people I've met from my ACL work. Darren keeps up on current events, so I'll learn a lot and it should be a nice chat. Hope some of you can join us. I'll post the time and how to listen in when it's confirmed.

Thank you to all the people who have offered to send us supplies. It's nice to know we haven't been forgotten. The current address is HC 60 Box 229R, Copper Center, Ak 99573.