Friday, October 31, 2008

Homemaking ABC's

A ~Aprons--y/n If y, what does your favorite look like? Yes, definitely. My favorite is a purple (of course) full length chef's apron, but I use a vintage half length white one with blue and red polka dots most often. B ~ Baking--Favorite thing to bake? Cookies. C ~ Clothes line? Not yet, but soon. D ~ Donuts? Yes, especially baked instead of fried. E ~ Everyday--One homemaking thing you do everyday? Clean kitchen counters. F ~ Freezer--Do you have a separate deep freeze? Not yet, but SOON! I can't wait. G ~ Garbage Disposer? Compost bucket. H ~ Handbook--What is your favorite homemaking resource? Betty Crocker and the Internet. I ~ Ironing--Love it or Hate it? Or hate it but love the results? I love to iron, but rarely have the need. J ~ Junk Drawer--y/n? Where is it? Of course, it's in the kitchen. K ~ Kitchen--color and decorating scheme. Mostly white with green and oak. Vintage country. L ~ Love--what is your favorite part of homemaking? When my husband shows appreciation! M ~ Mop--y/n? Yes, a self-wringer so my hands don't have to get wet. N ~ Nylons, machine or hand wash? Haven't worn them for years, but I always did them in the machine. O ~ Oven--do you use the window or open the oven to check? I open the door. P ~ Pizza--What do you put on yours? Every Friday night is pizza night at our house. I use Martha White thin and crispy crust. Toppings are usually mushrooms, pepperoni, and extra cheese. Sometimes I throw some black olives and/or onions on, too. Q ~ Quiet--What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Read. R ~ Recipe Card Box--y/n? Yes, I think I have 2 or 3 in addition to my cookbook library. S ~ Style of house--What style is your house? The exterior is a 10-year-old modular ranch, but eventually the interior will be a French country castle. T ~Tablecloths or Place mats? Definitely tablecloth. U ~ Under the kitchen sink--organized or toxic wasteland? Very organized. V ~ Vacuum--How many times per week? The Pergo floor gets dust-mopped several times a week and spot-mopped as needed. W ~ Wash--How many loads of laundry do you do per week? 2-3. X's--Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off? Only when I'm planning a gathering at my house. Y ~ Yard--y/n? Yes, 2 acres. ZZZ's ~ what is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed? Letting the kitties in for the night, locking up, turning off the lights, and flushing the master bath toilet.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Loafing Around

I planned to bake bread yesterday, but I spent much of the day writing instead (see blog post below). So instead of coming home at 4 p.m. to the smell of fresh loaves in the oven, my hubby was greeted by the sight of me in the kitchen frantically getting everything into the bread machine to be mixed (there are limits to what this fibromyalgia patient can do). This was the first time I've tried my hand at making bread from scratch. I used the recipe for baguettes from King Arthur Flour as well as their wonderful bread flour. This recipe calls for making a 'starter' the night before, which I finally managed to remember to do. My husband is learning as well, since he had no idea that it was ok to leave the dough sitting out overnight. I nearly laughed out loud when he asked if I shouldn't put it in the fridge. Not if I want to the yeast to work! Baking bread is definitely not for the impatient. After mixing the ingredients with the bread machine on the 'dough' setting, I put my lovely little ball of yummy-smelling dough into a buttered bowl to rise for an hour. When the timer went off, I gently poked holes in the dough and turned it over to rise for 2 more hours. Phew! Time to make dinner. When the timer went off again, it was time to split the dough into loaves. It's a good thing that I used my biggest Pyrex mixing bowl, because the dough had grown to almost double. The recipe says it makes three 16" baguettes, but my pan holds only two loaves, so I split the dough in half. I bought a mezzaluna specifically for cutting bread dough, and it worked like a charm after I buttered the blade. After the dough rested for a few minutes while the oven preheated, I shaped the two loaves and made cuts in the tops. I sprinkled some water on them as directed for a crunchy crust, but I think next time I'll use a spray gun to mist them more evenly. Into the oven they went for about 25 minutes. Just before 10 p.m., I opened the oven door to see and smell two lovely baguettes. Here they are on the cooling rack: Photobucket One loaf will be devoured this evening with dinner. I'm making a romantic dinner of Lasagna Rustica. Wednesday is Italian night at our house, and a fresh baguette will make it all the more authentic. If there's any left over, I'm sure it will go well with the chili I'm planning for the weekend. The other loaf will be a gift to my dear aunt and uncle. I knew when I bought a double baguette pan that they would be getting a loaf whenever I bake bread. I cut the end off a loaf this morning, just to be sure it was edible. So far, so good. A nice crispy crust on the outside, but soft delicious bread on the inside. It tastes just as good as the dough smelled. I have to admit, I was not prepared for the effects that baking bread would have on my spirit. Not only do I feel accomplished, I feel satisfied down in my soul. Just knowing that I can take some flour, water, and yeast and make something so delicious is amazingly comforting. As is the fact that I will never again look longingly at the fresh baguettes in the grocery store, knowing that I can make it myself. But there's a more primal feeling that's been struck like a chord in my soul. Perhaps it's that I've finally taken a place in the long line of bakers in my family, a matriarchal lineage of kitchen witches. My spirit sighs as I take a place among them and they welcome me with open arms. "The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight." ~ M. F. K. Fisher (1908-1992) "[Breadbaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells...there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread." M. F. K. Fisher, The Art of Eating

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Throwing Away Oil

America's addiction to oil is not limited to fuel, contrary to popular thought. True, 81% of our oil use is for fuel, but where does the other 19% go?

Before crude oil can be used it must be refined into one of three products: (1) a fuel product such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, kerosene, or liquefied refinery gases, (2) a non-fuel product such as asphalt, lubricant, solvents, wax, or (3) petrochemical feedstock such as benzene, toluene, xylene, ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene, naphtha, or gas oil. Fuels are used to for space heating, transportation, electricity generation, crop drying, cooking stoves, water heaters, and lamp oil. Non-fuel oil-derived products include asphalt, lubricants, petroleum coke, road oil, solvents, and wax. Petrochemical feedstocks are used in the production of fertilizers, plastics, paints, pesticides, herbicides, medical equipment, and synthetic fibers. (Credit: Petrochemicals: Is Oil Too Precious To Burn?)

That the ubiquity of oil in American life goes unnoticed is astonishing. About 3% of the oil we use ends up as roads (asphalt is petroleum-based). We drive our cars on those same roads to get to the stores where the products are wrapped in plastic and sit on plastic shelves and get rung up through a plastic price scanner. Plastics are petroleum-derived products as well. Even "wood" furniture is rife with pressed foam mouldings, again a petroleum derived product. The vegetables we eat are fertilized with and protected from bugs by petroleum products. Artificial fertilizers and pesticides come from oil. Synthetic materials in our clothing are often petroleum derived as well. In a sense, we eat it, we wear it, we sit on it, we drive with it, we store our sandwiches and cola in it. Oil is absolutely everywhere. (Credit: Oil And Ethics: American Consumption and Entitlement Egoism)

When I was a kid, water came from a faucet and pop came in glass bottles. Only supermodels drank bottled water, and pop tasted so much better. I remember the quart bottle of Pepsi in our fridge and getting to keep the change after I hauled cartons of empty bottles into the store for my aunt.

Long before recycling became a mantra, grocery stores had bottle return bins at the front of the store and paid cents per bottle. I don't remember any awareness campaigns to encourage people to recycle glass bottles; you just did it. Collecting bottles for the refund was always an option, whether they were found along the roadside or in the kitchen.

Soon after I went to college, wine coolers became popular. That's the first time I remember seeing 2-liter bottles. It didn't take long for all of those glass pop bottles to be replaced with plastic. Shortly after that, the bottle return bins in the grocery stores disappeared, replaced by a decision on grocery bags--paper or plastic?


Each year, 29 billion plastic water bottles are produced for use in the United States, according to the Earth Policy Institute, an environmental organization in Washington, D.C. Manufacturing them requires the equivalent of 17 million barrels of crude oil. The amount of PET plastic on U.S. shelves has more than doubled in the last decade, according to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR). The increase is a result of the surging demand for bottled water. In 2005, seven and a half billion gallons of water flooded U.S. shelves – roughly equivalent to the average amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in three hours. That’s 21 times more bottled water than the amount available on shelves in 1976, according to U.S. government data. Of the 2.7 million tons of plastic PET bottles on U.S. shelves in 2006, four-fifths went to landfills.



In recent years, plastic waste has proliferated wildly with the spread of the plastic beverage bottle. Glass, and to a lesser degree aluminum, have given way to ubiquitous single-serving plastic soda bottles that now flood supermarket shelves. How did it happen? Here's the irony: It was the veneer of recyclability - cultivated by the plastics industry - that led to this explosion.

In 1988, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) established a set of numerical codes to aid in sorting plastics for recycling. The codes - three "chasing arrows" surrounding a number as a sign of recyclability - were "deliberately misleading," says Daniel Knapp, director of Berkeley's Urban Ore, in his 1996 report on the plastics industry. In the words of Bill Sheehan, director of the Athens, GA-based GrassRoots Recycling Network: "The plastics industry has wrought intentional confusion with that symbol. They [packagers] were just getting out of glass, and this plastic had no recycled content, while glass did. [The SPI codes] gave plastic an environmental patina."

In 1990, the Coca-Cola Company, the world's largest soda maker with half the global market, promised to begin making its bottles with post-consumer recycled plastic. Although Coke produces over 20 million plastic soda bottles every day in the US, none of them contains recycled plastic, according to the GrassRoots Recycling Network. Nor is Coke held responsible for their disposal.

Instead of finding ways for manufacturers like Coke to close the loop on their waste, the American Plastics Council (APC) touts the recyclability of plastic, along with its significant weight benefit over glass (which allows some transportation fuel savings); on the other side, manufacturers like Coke fight against any legislation mandating the reuse of plastics that so many Americans diligently put in collection bins.

But what happens to the plastic after it is collected? Does it actually get "recycled," returning to where it came from, staying out of the garbage dump? Not according to environmentalists, industry experts, recycling managers, and plastics brokers. Despite collection efforts, only a handful of manufacturers actually take back what they make, and less than two percent of collected plastic gets made into new food containers, like soda bottles. The rest ends up in products like fleece jackets, non-food containers, commercial-grade carpet, plastic lumber, and park benches - or gets thrown out.

Plastics sold for recycling are divided into two broad groups: high grade, which is very clean, has minimal contamination with other types of plastic, and is made into containers; and low or fiber grade, which is made into much less demanding products like jacket fill, fleece, carpets, and industrial plastic strapping.

The vast majority of recycled plastics are fiber grade. Data from the Washington DC-based Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) show that, in 1996, 77.6 percent of recycled plastic went to fiber-grade non-container applications, 20.6 percent to non-food containers, and just 1.7 percent to new food containers.



What is the Life Cycle of a Plastic Bottle?

America's dirty little oil secret: Plastic bottles and bags

2008 House Bill 2422 (Prohibiting the sale of petroleum-based water bottles)


During WWII, civilians participated in the "war effort" by rationing supplies, including rubber tires, passenger automobiles, typewriters, sugar, gasoline, bicycles, footwear, fuel oil, coffee, stoves, shoes, meat, lard, shortening and oils, cheese, butter, margarine, processed foods (canned, bottled and frozen), dried fruits, canned milk, firewood and coal, jams, jellies and fruit butter, and medicines. During the 1973 oil crisis, coupons for gas rationing were printed but never used. In both instances, a national speed limit was enforced to conserve fuel. There were major ad campaigns to encourage people to conserve energy.

Contrast that to today.

After the September 11 attacks, Bush simply asked Americans for their “continued participation and confidence in the American economy.” From the International Herald Tribune, 1/14/03: Bush did nothing to mobilize public opinion to accept the sacrifices that war implies — the first thing a leader would do. Tax cuts could go ahead as planned, and energy saving was dismissed out of hand. “Go shopping” was the administration’s message.

Bush added during a press conference in December 2006 that 2007 will “require difficult choices and additional sacrifices” from the American people: "As we work with Congress in the coming year to chart a new course in Iraq and strengthen our military to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we must also work together to achieve important goals for the American people here at home. This work begins with keeping our economy growing. … And I encourage you all to go shopping more." (video)

In July 2008, Bush touted last year's energy law that requires 40 percent auto fuel efficiency gains by 2020. He also urged Americans to conserve fuel but rejected any suggestion that he launch a national campaign to reduce energy use. "I think people ought to conserve and be wise about how they use gasoline and energy, absolutely," he said, stressing that consumers are "smart enough" to figure out how far they want to drive.

Without leadership at the top levels of government, there's a disturbing dichotomy. On one hand, there is the American Chemistry Council's ad campaign that asserts plastics are "essential" to life. On the other hand, cities, states, and even other countries are taking matters into their own hands by banning plastic water bottles and grocery bags.

Even when oil prices were predicted to top $200 per barrel, no one was really advocating conservation, and certainly no one was linking plastics to oil. The focus has continued to be on gas prices. It has become obvious that our government and corporate America, particularly car manufacturers, have no intention of weaning our country from our oil dependence. So we'll have to take the initiative and do what we can ourselves.

A first step should be to STOP THROWING AWAY 30 MILLION GALLONS OF OIL A YEAR in the form of plastic bottles and grocery bags. Bring back glass bottles and the infrastructure that was in place for recycling them.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Ant and the Grasshopper

The Ant and the Grasshopper

Æsop's Fables (sixth century B.C.)

In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”

“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; “we have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food, and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew:



Excerpt from When All Hell Breaks Loose by Cody Lundin, international self-reliance expert

Are you an ant wannabe? Do you constantly talk about the brown stuff hitting the fan, but do little or nothing to address your talk, preferring instead to crank up your headphones and dance?

Due to the nature of my profession, I know plenty of ant wannabes. They wail and gripe about Armageddon, the Hopi Indian prophecies, the end of the Mayan calendar, the return of Jesus, Elvis, or the mother ship, Y3K, the New World Order, black holes, plague epidemics, depleting ozone, judgment day, earth changes, killer asteroids, and exploding, dying, or newly created suns. After they have talked at me, ant wannabes typically end their monologue with a coy look and the phrase, "Well, when the end comes, I know where I'm headed... haw-haw." Where they're really headed is straight into my stew pot, so I hope their unwanted visit brings them prefattened.

Ant wannabes, be warned, your less-than-positive actions are contributing to the mass hysteria of the planet. Please shut up, calm down, and do something useful with your time instead of needlessly scaring others. In addition, nothing could be more obnoxiously insulting and arrogant than assuming you will be welcome to take shelter and eat the food of anyone who has bothered to prepare as they saw fit while you spewed negative words and did nothing. Helping those who have been trying to be self-reliant and found themselves caught in a tight spot by a twist of fate is another thing altogether. When the talking stops, people show you who they are and what they feel is important by where they devote their action, time, and money.


Ants are social insects who form colonies ranging from a few dozen to millions of highly organized individuals. Colonies are sometimes considered superorganisms, because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity collectively working together to support the colony. Ants have colonized almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are remote or inhospitable islands. Their success has been attributed to their social organization, ability to modify their habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves.

This behavior was noted over 2500 years ago by Aesop in the fable above as an example for us to follow. Human beings may have many of the same qualities, but we have one thing the ants don't: freeloaders. People who expect others to take care of them, particularly in hard times, when they are fully capable of doing for themselves. Worse than the grasshopper, who learned the lesson as it lay dying, freeloaders never learn that they are their own responsibility. The grasshopper did not play all summer and then take food from the ants; it died. Aesop's lesson was about being prepared, not about rewarding irresponsibility.

Once disaster strikes, it's too late to prepare for it. Even when a crisis is imminent, it's usually too late, as anyone who has tried to get gas, water, or batteries during a hurricane can attest. Only the first in line get what's in stock, so depending on getting it at the store when you need it is much too short-sighted.

I was raised from a very young age to believe that the end of the world was close at hand, during a time when living off the land was a popular ideal. Being prepared for disaster has been in-grained in me for years and has come in handy on several occasions. I am thankful for the fact that I've lived nearly all my life in a rural area, where self-reliance and frugality are the norm and where we have the room and the freedom to do more. I have learned lessons passed down from the Great Depression generation, which still have great practical value for those living in poverty and are generally better for the environment. I have great respect for those who live simply that others may simply live. I may not always practice as thoroughly as I'd like this way of life; I work hard to provide for myself so that I can enjoy some comforts while I can. But my husband and I have taken many things into account when establishing our own home, and we're doing what we can as we can. We're prepared for short-term crises such as power outages and blizzards, and we're working hard to bring longer-term plans to fruition.

If you haven't already developed a support network and a plan for the worst-case scenario, please do so soon. Discuss options that would take care of everyone in your 'tribe', which may not necessarily be family. Different situations may require different plans. Don't assume that you'll be able to pile everything in the minivan and drive to one location or that you'll be able to even know what's going on with some of your loved ones. Remember when the phone networks were overloaded on 9/11? Remember the chaos after Hurricane Katrina? Remember the traffic from the evacuation for Hurricane Ike? Start with the people (and animals) who live with you, and then widen the circle for circumstances that may allow or require more travel. By planning ahead and working together, big expenses may be more manageable.

Don't assume that you will be welcomed with open arms and fed from a limited supply that was stored with a certain number of people in mind. "Ants" who have a year's supply of food and water for 4 will not last long if 6 "grasshoppers" are invited in. I don't know if I'd go as far as Cody Lundin with his stew pot, but a locked door and a shotgun might be what you get if you come knocking at my door in dark times. Those who would be welcomed already know who they are.

Are you an Ant or a Grasshopper? As Frank Sinatra sang, everyone knows that ant can't move a rubber tree plant, but he's got high hopes!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Let's Get Fiscal

Please realize that when the government spends money, it comes from the American taxpayers. They are spending OUR money. As citizens of this country, we not only have a right to demand responsible spending, it is our duty. We the People ARE the government; those folks in Washington are simply representatives who are supposed to work for us.

I don't understand the intricacies of the federal budget or the "house of cards" economy, but some financial basics apply to government spending the same as they do to household spending. The principle of not having more going out than coming in is a good example.

As of this morning, the Senate has passed a bill to provide hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out Wall Street. Like anyone responsible for a household budget, I think that something else is going to have to give. This money (or much of it) could come from other areas of the budget instead of raising taxes on already overburdened taxpayers.

So let's see where we're spending, shall we?

Right at the top is financing the "War on Terror". This includes both Iraq and Afghanistan. With enactment of the FY2008 Supplemental and FY2009 Bridge Fund(H.R. 2642/P.L. 110-252) on June 30, 2008, Congress has approved a total of about $859 billion for military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks.

Don't get me wrong. I fully support our troops, and I certainly don't advocate cutting spending that impacts their safety. But we were told, among other lies, that Iraqi oil was going to pay for this war. Now we see our own economy in real trouble, and the Iraqi government has billions in recent oil revenue surplus, much of which also came from us paying the highest oil prices in history. The American people should not be gouged at all, let alone twice, particularly at a time when oil companies are reporting record profits. Now that Iraq has gotten its oil production and exports back online, they should take over the cost of reconstruction at the very least.

According to Senator Joe Biden during tonight's VP debate, we've spent more in Iraq in 3 weeks than in Afghanistan since 2001. Recent reports are that Al Queda is rebuilding their stronghold there, bolstered by support from Pakistan. Considering the facts that these are the terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks and Osama Bin Laden is still at large, we should move troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan as soon as feasible. There's no doubt in my mind that the repercussions of the Bush Doctrine will require our military presence in that region for quite some time, which will cost taxpayers even more.

Next is the "War on Drugs". The mainstream media conveniently forgets that we are currently financing three failing wars, not just two. Check the War on Drugs Clock to see money spent on the War on Drugs this year.

So how about we stop funding DEA raids on the sick and dying? Yearly since 2003, Rep. Hinchey has offered an amendment to the federal appropriations bills that would prohibit the DEA from spending taxpayer money to raid, arrest, or prosecute medical marijuana users or their caregivers in the 12 states that have legalized medical marijuana, but it has never passed.

While we're at it, why not legalize cannabis altogether? Not only would eliminating the enormous cost of arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating thousands relieve some of our financial distress, it would open the way for an economic boom that's as GREEN as it gets. There are 2 sides to that shiny coin: marijuana regulation and industrial hemp.

If marijuana were regulated in the same manner as tobacco or alcohol, for instance, the tax revenues from its sale could turn the huge loss into a profit. I'm not the first to suggest this; in June 2005, notable economist Milton Friedman and over 500 of his colleagues wrote An Open Letter to the President, Congress, Governors, and State Legislatures projecting $10-$14 billion annually in savings and revenue from legalization of cannabis.

Legalization could provide thousands of new jobs, from farms to transportation to advertising to sales. Marijuana prohibition takes valuable resources away from law enforcement that could be used much more productively to pursue other more serious criminals. The arrest and prosecution of 734,000 people on marijuana charges, almost 90% of which are for possession alone, costs taxpayers between $7.5 billion and $10 billion annually (NORML Report on Sixty Years of Marijuana Prohibition in the U.S.). More people are arrested on marijuana charges each year than for all violent crimes combined (Federal Bureau of Investigation table 29). It just makes more sense financially, particularly in rough economic times such as these, to abandon this failed prohibition policy.

Industrial hemp (by definition, industrial hemp refers to those strains of cannabis sativa l. containing less than 1 percent THC, a psychoactive compound) could help solve a number of issues. Nearly every country in the world has legalized hemp production––the United States is a rare exception, with more than $6 million in imports annually. Incredibly, hemp is the only crop that is legal for Americans to import yet illegal to grow. David Bronner, President of both the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, says, "Industrial hemp is about sustainable agriculture that saves our forests, reduces use of agricultural chemicals, and cuts carbon emissions by replacing petroleum-based products like fiberglass in insulation and natural fiber composites." Renewable, fast-growing hemp could allow major industries to reduce their dependence on nonrenewable, fast-disappearing resources and move toward sustainable production. Hemp fiber offers greater durability and breathability than cotton, which accounts for 25 percent of the pesticides sprayed on the world's crops.

The most successful emerging industrial use of hemp fiber is in the automobile industry. "Biocomposites" of nonwoven hemp matting and polypropylene or epoxy are pressed into parts such as door panels and luggage racks, replacing heavier and less safe fiberglass composites. European hemp fiber made into biocomposites by Flexform in Indiana has been used in more than a million cars and trucks in North America. Automotive applications alone are expected to push European hemp cultivation to over 100,000 acres by 2010. Emerging technology for injection molding of natural fibers is expected to accelerate growth of this sector.

Hemp grown for both seed and biomass has a stalk yield of up to 3.5 tons per acre, which would make it an economical source of cellulose for ethanol production. Farmers in the Midwest could welcome hemp as a profitable addition to their marginally profitable soybean and corn rotations.

Hemp oil contains the most EFAs of any nut or seed oil, with the omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs occurring in the nutritionally optimal 1:3 ratio. As a bonus it offers the higher-potency omega derivatives GLA and SDA.

Most industrial hemp facts above were copied from

Hemp is Hip, Hot and Happening So Why Are American Farmers Being Left Out? - Utne, September-October 2004 (Vote Hemp)

So my suggestion is for our government to rein in spending by ending the "War on (some) Drugs" and taking the "War on Terror" to the terrorists in Afghanistan. I'm sure that there are many other ways that spending could be cut, such as cutting the heavy subsidization of corn crops. I'll leave that to others more educated on those subjects. After all, this is just my opinion.