Via: Frost Homestead
We found another “fart egg” in the nesting box that has two broody ameraucanas in it. We're getting quite a collection! Sometimes pullets lay these tiny eggs. I should have included a quarter for size comparison, they're really small. Come to think of it, for some reason I've never had a marans fart egg. It would be pretty neat to have all different colors. Has anyone else ever found a tiny chicken egg?
Via: Frost Homestead
Shout out to the anti-state tea partiers and those pesky anarchists!!! KEEP IT UP!!! Those that would use state power to further their own ends are losing!!!
HARRY REID: We have a situation where this country has been driven by the Tea Party for the last number of years. When I was in school, I studied government and I learned about the anarchists. Now, they were different than the Tea Party because they were violent. But they were anarchists because they did not believe in government in any level and they acknowledged it. The Tea Party kind of hides that.
They don’t say they’re against government, but that is what it all amounts to. They’re not doing physically destructive things to buildings and people, directly, but they are doing everything they can to throw a monkey-wrench into every form of government, whether it’s local, state or federal. That’s what it’s all about. And so, anything they can do to through a monkey-wrench in the wheels of government, they’re happy doing that. And I’m sorry to say that my friend from Oklahoma is helping them. Maybe not directly, but indirectly, and that’s wrong. Government is not inherently bad; government is inherently good. That’s why we have a Constitution and that’s what we direct the activities of this government based upon. (Senate Floor, April 23, 2013)
By: Mark KobaSenior Editor, CNBCPeter Cade | Image Bank | Getty Images
The growing underground economy may be helping to prevent the real economy from sinking further, according to analysts.
The shadow economy is a system composed of those who can’t find a full-time or regular job. Workers turn to anything that pays them under the table, with no income reported and no taxes paid — especially with an uneven job picture.
“I think the underground economy is quite big in the U.S.,” said Alexandre Padilla, associate professor of economics at Metropolitan State University of Denver. “Whether it’s using undocumented workers or those here legally, it’s pretty large.”
“You normally see underground economies in places like Brazil or in southern Europe,” said Laura Gonzalez, professor of personal finance at Fordham University. “But with the job situation and the uncertainty in the economy, it’s not all that surprising to have it growing here in the United States.”
Estimates are that underground activity last year totaled as much as $2 trillion, according to a study by Edgar Feige, an economist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
That’s double the amount in 2009, according to a study by Friedrich Schneider, a professor at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. The study said the shadow economy amounts to nearly 8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product.
Much of that money goes into cash registers, said Gonzalez, as personal consumption has risen since the recession.
“There is consumer spending in the short term, with people having money even if it’s not reported, and that’s boosting the economy,” she said. “But in the long run, an underground economy is telling us that things have to change.”
Shadow economies are usually associated with illegal activity, such as drug dealing. But anecdotal evidence indicates that off-the-books work in today’s job market includes personal and domestic workers, such as housekeepers and nannies.
“The jobs are in service industries from small food establishments to landscaping.” said David Fiorenza, an economy professor at Villanova University. “Even the arts and culture industry is not immune to working off the books in areas of music and entertainment.”
It also includes firms that hire hourly or day construction labor, information technology specialists and Web designers. Many who have a job that doesn’t pay enough take another one that pays under the table.
“We’ve always had people who make income without recording it, so it’s not really new,” said Peter McHenry, an assistant professor of economics at William & Mary College. “But the fact that more and more people are doing it shows how bad the job picture is,” he added.
The reasons behind the underground economy’s growth are fairly simple, according to Gonzalez.
(Read More: Spooked by Uncertainty, Little Main Street Hiring)
“There’s a lot of uncertainly about immigration changes and who will be legal, and about paying for Obamacare,” she said, adding that most workers in the shadow economy are in the country illegally. “Government rules are keeping businesses from hiring.”
A report from ADP Research Institute states that many employers, especially in low-wage businesses such as retail and food service, plan to reduce workers’ hours to less than 30 a week to avoid having to offer health benefits through Obamacare (or pay a fine).
“This type of regulation could put more people out of work and into an underground economy,” McHenry said.
But employers have their own agenda, according to Padilla.
“Businesses are not angels, and they exist to make a profit,” Padilla said. “They are going to do everything they can to keep costs down, and if that means paying people off the books, they will do it. The government doesn’t really have the resources to track down every business that does this.”
What the government is keeping track of is lost revenues. According to the Internal Revenue Service, about $500 billion in taxes were lost last year because of unreported wages, versus $384 billion in 2001.
“The effects of the underground economy are larger than we think,” said David Fiorenza. “The result is less tax money paid to the various levels of government.”
“Those working and not paying the taxes puts the burden on those who pay the tax,” added Fiorenza. “Taxes could be lower if the government where able to capture the underground economy instead of raising taxes on those currently paying the various income and payroll taxes.”
But the dangers of a shadow economy go beyond dollars and cents, analysts said. Workers who aren’t on the books don’t get Social Security or health benefits, and worse.
“People who do these types of jobs run the risk of getting exploited with lower pay or not being paid at all,” Gonzalez said. “There could be more exploitation if more people are forced into this type of economy.”
“Some income is better than none, but there is a reason we have certain regulations in place to protect workers and what they do,” McHenry said.
(Read More: Stealth Sequester? Where It’s Really Being Felt)
In the end, what’s happening below the normal economy should not come as too much of a shock, according to Gonzalez.
“People are running out of patience when it comes to finding a job and losing income,” Gonzalez said. “So it’s not that surprising to have workers take jobs that are in the shadow economy. But it’s a sign of how bad things are and how we have to get the real economy moving again.”
My husband and I are constantly looking for ways to lead a more sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle. Self-reliance is really the ultimate DIY, if you think about it, and as staunch “do-it-yourselfers”, we try to turn towards what the Earth has provided us for almost everything we need. Our modern society has burdened us with so many crutches disguised as conveniences that it can be hard to sever the cord. As with anything else, the best way to start is with baby steps. You can make safer versions of the cleaning and personal hygiene products around your house by hand, with natural, healthy and cost effective ingredients.
While cost effectiveness tends to be one of the driving reasons to making your own health or cleaning products, other factors should influence homemakers to begin making their own. Knowing where your product came from, knowing all the ingredients going into your product, and knowing how safe your product is for home use are important factors to consider. The first product I chose to make was shampoo, and for good reason, too. Look at your bottle of commercial shampoo; I guarantee there is at least one ingredient you either cannot pronounce or need to be a chemist to know what it even is. Sure, a chemist could draw out the chemical compound sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) for you, but chances are they will be loathe to tell you what it can do to your body. SLES is a chemical compound widely used in the commercial industry for its ability to foam easily, which is why it is widely used in shampoo, toothpaste, and hand soaps. However, most people do not know that SLES is a surfactant, meaning it is great at degreasing as well as foaming, which is why commercial carwashes use it in their soaps. Think about when you are in the shower and you have just rinsed shampoo out of your hair, it feels “squeaky clean,” right? This is not surprising, since that is the purpose of surfactants: they strip away grease. Shampoo does not stop with grease, though; it also strips your hair of the natural oils that keep it healthy. Now you have to add conditioner to your stripped hair and that means coating it in more chemicals to mimic “healthy” hair. Not a pleasant way to clean your hair, is it? Luckily, there are alternate ways of cleaning your hair. Baking soda is one of the most well known shampoos you could use and is great and controlling the amount of oil in your hair without stripping it completely. However, if you are like me and like the foamy, good smelling shampoo, give the recipe below a try and find out how much better your hair feels and looks without using harsh chemicals!
1/4 cup distilled water (you can find this in the bottled water or baby aisle at your grocery store)
1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap (I recommend Dr. Bronner’s® because there are no GMOs in their products)
2 tsp jojoba oil
1/8 tsp essential oils ( I like tea tree for disinfecting properties, but you could use any flavor you like)
Combine all ingredients, add 1/4 cup distilled water, and store in a flip cap bottle. To use, gently swirl to mix the oils and then add directly to your scalp a little at a time until the scalp is covered. There is no need to run it through all of your hair since shampooing is meant for cleaning the scalp.
Once you have made this shampoo, try experimenting with different essential oils and herbs to extract all the benefits they offer. The cost up front may be more than buying the commercial shampoo, but you will save money in the end since you can make this when you need it, and you will not have to buy the ingredients for at least another 4-6 months, depending on the size of your household. To stretch your dollar more, use baking soda in between sessions to control the oil that is in your hair. If you find your hair is getting dry or has static, give yourself a weekend when you are not going anywhere for a deep conditioning treatment. One simple way is to comb warm coconut/olive/jojoba oil evenly through your hair and let it sit for an hour, preferably in a warm place. Then you can gently shampoo and let the hair dry naturally. You may notice that it looks “greasy” but after a few more shampoos, your hair have luster and feel soft. Another way to condition is to dilute equal amounts of apple cider vinegar (with the “mother”) and distilled water. To use, simply spray and comb through your hair after shampooing. Be sure to rinse this out well, or you will smell of vinegar after your shower.
This shampoo recipe is a quick and easy way to start taking your life back from the toxic fetters that corporations have placed on you are your family through the making and selling of untested and unsafe products. There are many resources available, (through books and the internet), that can give you more tips and instruction on replacing all of your cleaning and hygiene products with safer and more effective alternatives.
I don’t usually post news about current events, violence, or the “police state” – instead I like to stick to gardening, DIY projects and the “agora” or free market. To me, discussing solutions is way more important that pointing out problems. Today I read an article that left me feeling inspired and empowered, it was written by our friend George Donnelly about the Boston Bombings from his vantage point. He not only discusses the realities of what happened in Boston, but what he sees as the solution. The solution is 100% in line with out message here at Sovereign Living and I really wanted to share! Please read and enjoy as much as I did!
Reposted in full, with permission from : http://georgedonnelly.com/libertarian/boston-police-state-failed
Boston Tried a Police State and it Failed
Yesterday in Boston.
Yesterday a major US city – perhaps as many as 1 million people – was put under martial law. Business and universities were closed. Public transit and Amtrak were padlocked. Paramilitary cops from multiple states rolled down Boston’s residential neighborhoods in humvees with manned machine gun turrets on top. In full battle gear, these guys – they looked like soldiers – called people out of their homes. They then searched the homes. Boston became a ghost town and a police state for a day. And Bostonians cheered them for it. Some even called for a parade to honor the men who treated them like prisoners in their own homes.
This grand show of force, which even the FBI admits is unprecedented, was carried out for the purpose of catching a suspected terrorist – a 19-year-old honor student – who stands accused of deploying pressure cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon. These bombs reportedly killed 3 people and injured 170.
Think about that. Boston was turned into a giant prison for a day to catch a teenager with pressure cooker bombs.
What does this mean?
1. Terrorism “Works”
For a maximum investment of perhaps $1 or $2 thousand dollars, ideologically-motivated individuals can cost the economy perhaps as much as $1 billion dollars in economic output. Nobody yet knows how much it costs to shut down down Boston for a day but $1 billion is about how much the city produces on a daily basis. The return on investment for an enterprising terrorist could be as much as 500,000%.
The brothers Tsarnaev succeeded in gaining a lot of attention for themselves. Chechnya will benefit from this attention. People will want to travel there. People will want to understand what has been going on in Chechnya. We all want to understand why people do these kinds of things and people now want to understand these brothers.
In short, the boys in blue created a tantalizing incentive for others to copy the Tsarnaevs. The Tsarnaevs’ terrorism “worked” but only because the Boston government helped them make it work. This is not a conspiracy theory. By overreacting, the governments at work here magnified the Tsarnaevs’ effectiveness. The Tsarnaevs didn’t shut down Boston. They didn’t put paramilitary troops on the streets of a major US city. The governments at work here did that.
2. The Demand for Tyranny is too Damned High
People will put up with a lot – really a lot – in the name of safety.
- Turn the city into a war zone with soldiers and humvees? Sure.
- Lock down my proud city as if it were a prison? No problem.
- House to house searches without legal basis? It’s ok.
- Snipers aiming at me and my family while I wait on the sidewalk for my house to be searched? Yep, it’s legit.
- Cheer the guys doing all this, let them high-five my kid, suggest throwing a parade for them? Yep, it all happened.
It was like the TSA came out to your house for the day – and you were thrilled about it.
The ability of the US population to cheerfully accept tyranny is nothing short of amazing. If this doesn’t rouse people from their slumber, then anything that will rouse them is going to be too late.
3. The US is Shockingly Weak
It was just a 19-year-old kid with pressure cookers and guns. He didn’t even have fully automatic weapons. Yet everyone was so scared that they willingly cowered in their homes and complied with every request made of them.
Imagine if this kid actually knew what he was doing. Imagine if there were a dozen of these guys in multiple parts of the city or multiple parts of the country operating simultaneously. They could have brought the whole country to a standstill.
I thought America was a great country – a powerful country. I thought it was the best country in the world. That’s what they tell me at least. Is this the country that defeated Hitler in World War 2? Is this the country that put a man on the moon? If these events are meaningful to you, then you need to question what the hell happened. You can defeat Hitler and Tojo, you can hang Saddam and assassinate bin Laden, but you cower in fear of a 19-year-old kid?
Yesterday’s show of force actually made everyone more vulnerable by showing just how weak, frightened and cowardly people in the US are. Not only are the government cops a threat to freedom but they actually make you less safe!
The Proper Reaction
The proper reaction to a criminal (and let’s remember that the surviving Tsarnaev brother hasn’t been convicted yet) is to boldly (but tactically) proceed forward against him until he is neutralized.
Human life is precious. All life is precious, in fact. It demands protection. But there is something more important to me than my life – my self-respect. My self-respect demands that I not allow another person to control me through fear. It demands that I have courage. It demands that I resist evil.
We all feel fear. When there is a gun to your head, you have no choice but to comply. But we must not allow the fear to control us. We must not allow the gun, or the pressure cooker in this case, to become internalized and control us even when it is physically absent. Otherwise, any old boogieman can – and will – come along and enslave us.
If you allow an angsty teenager with a pressure cooker to frighten you into abandoning your daily routine and cowering in your home as if it were a prison, then you desperately need to re-evaluate your posture towards life. Reclaim your self-respect, Boston.
Bostonians could have sent a powerful message of courage to the world yesterday by continuing with their lives as usual. Now that would have served as a great deterrent to future terrorism. And the suspect would have been caught more quickly.
Should People have Cooperated?
When a dozen paramilitary cops with fully automatic battle rifles backed by a guy on a humvee turret and snipers come to my house, the words ‘voluntary’ and ‘cooperation’ have no place. I would be a fool to resist. They have guns to my head and the heads of anyone with me. It’s now too late to resist. I don’t blame anyone for cooperating. I blame them for cheering their oppressors.
Would an AR-15 have Helped?
Would having an AR-15 battle rifle and a high-capacity magazine have helped anyone (other than the paramilitary forces) survive the Boston lockdown (as one politician suggested)? No. It would be suicide for you and yours to fire on the paramilitary forces (not to mention not being constructive) and in the tight spaces of an urban area, I would rather have a handgun to defend myself from a home intruder.
The Police State for a Day Experiment Failed
It’s absolutely fascinating to me that only when they lifted the lockdown did they find the surviving Tsarnaev brother. That’s when the owner of the boat Tsarnaev was hiding in came out of his house and noticed something amiss.
Boston was turned into a police state for a day. It was an experiment. It failed miserably. The governments in operation there rallied all of the military might at their disposal with a near-complete suspension of liberty and they failed to find the man they were looking for – until they lifted their siege.
The bottom line is that the man on the street, the civilian, the regular joe, is a more effective agent for public safety than any hopped-up government employee with body armor, night vision, full-auto rifles and flash-bangs. Just like with Flight 93, the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber, it was the regular folks who played the key role in neutralizing a suspected terrorist – not the cops or the TSA. That should be a sobering fact for any law enforcement cheerleader.
What do we do now?
The Boston Lockdown confirmed what many of us already suspected. The climate for personal liberty in North America is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.
- Those who favor arms will surely get more arms and better training. And they should.
- The lawyers will sue. And they should. It keeps them busy.
- Those who like protesting and running for office will do more of it. And they’re annoying so they should definitely stick to that.
- Those who are getting themselves put in jail for liberty should stop. Governments have an unlimited ability to incarcerate. And taxpayers have little sympathy for people who “break the law.”
- If you really want to do something useful, I think the best way forward is to practice what we preach. Become more resilient. Build more prosperity, for yourself and others. Build those personal bonds that constitute the emergent order of a free, decentralized society.
- And become stronger, both physically and spiritually. Because the road ahead is a long one. While there are no easy solutions, I foresee a lot of fun working them out.
Bonus: Here’s how the troops handled an individual video-recording them from his own home.
Bonus #2: Here’s what a house search under martial law in Boston looks like.
About George DonnellyPrepare yourself mentally for freedom, be a part of the evolution to a new libertarian society and learn how to defend yourself from the ravages of aggression with your host, libertarian activist George Donnelly. [Read More …]
By dayna Over the years, Radical Unschooling has been mistaken for “permissive parenting,” and many judgments have been made about it based on this misbelief. The truth is, Radical Unschooling is an extension of Attachment Parenting philosophy and is a very hands-on, involved approach based on connection, rather than control. The philosophy is about being a child’s […]