Thursday, July 31, 2014
I hate to be a spoil sport, but we now have decades of pictures of varying resolution and this show wants us to believe that real development is taking place out in the open and plausibly photographed multiple times as well. My difficulty starts with building anything at all on the surface when it is so easy to penetrate the crust and build away while avoiding the hostile environment. In the event, we are having the usual suspects telling stories and zero corroboration.
What I am getting at is that just one picture would have triggered a massive effort to maintain full surveilance and that has not been the case. We also will have ample numbers of excellent photographs as well. This is something we know how to do well. So where are they?
Any such inventory will have long since been leaked in some way or the other. What I have seen is spotty with lousy resolution as well. Easily seen as a misidentification or a deliberate fabrication. In short, none of it is close to good enough.
Keeping a lid on such hard evidence is way too hard.
Syfy documentary to reveal the truth about aliens on the Moon
Posted by: Jason McClellan July 8, 2014
Conspiracy theories about Earth’s moon persist forty-five years after the first human visit to the Moon.
Some believe that the Moon landings never occurred, but instead were staged. Others believe humans have been to the Moon, but were warned to stay away by lunar residents. But, thanks to Syfy, the veracity of the claims about aliens on the Moon may finally be revealed in an upcoming two hour documentary titled Aliens on the Moon: The Truth Exposed.
Film news website Twitch reports that the producer of this documentary is Robert Kiviat, a producer known for UFO related content. He was a content producer for several episodes of the popular SyFy program Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files. He also produced the television special Alien Autopsy: (Fact or Fiction?).
On July 7, Syfy issued the following press release announcing the show:
ALIENS ON THE MOON: THE TRUTH EXPOSED
A TWO-HOUR SYFY EVENT DOCUMENTARY SPECIAL
LOS ANGELES (July 07, 2014) – Syfy will host the world premiere of ALIENS ON THE MOON: THE TRUTH EXPOSTED, a two-hour event documentary special on Sunday July 20, 2014.
July 20, 2014 marks the 45th anniversary of man’s first landing on the Moon. We’ve all seen the footage and know the “official” story from news reports, the Internet and for younger viewers, from the history books. But what haven’t we been told about Earth’s closest neighbor? What really happened on that historic day? What did our astronauts encounter on the lunar surface? And what don’t our world’s governments want us to know?
In this controversial special we will look at compelling evidence – including never-before aired NASA photos showing gigantic artificial structures – suggesting the Moon is being used as a base, and possibly a staging area, by a mysterious race of alien beings. We will hear from experts, as well as astronauts who have walked on the moon, and we’ll reveal new facts and proof for the first time anywhere. Also, viewers will see dramatic 3-D flybys of the lunar constructions derived from the actual NASA data, and get an exclusive look at footage of a purported “female” E.T. supposedly recovered during a secret U.S.-Soviet mission to the Moon in the 1970s.
Among the many shocking topics covered in the Special will be:
· Photos showing the undeniable existence of what look like installations, factories, saucers, hangers and huge satellite dishes, possibly trained directly on planet Earth. Viewers will learn that many of the extraordinary signs of an alien lunar presence exist hidden from view, on the far side of our Moon.
· A gigantic structure resembling a “Nuclear Power Plant Cooling Tower” rising from the floor of a perfectly round crater or “dish.” Located nearby, another large structure with a mile-long “pipe” extends out of it on a 45 degree angle and casts an obvious shadow.
· Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s startling interview where he reveals that a UFO followed the spacecraft for three days on its way to the historic moonwalk, and that a baffling “Monolith” has been photographed by NASA on Mars’ moon Phobos. Aldrin also assesses some of the lunar photos that strongly suggest alien structures have been detected on our Moon.
· Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s adamant contention that he knows for sure UFOs are real, that there is an alien presence visiting the Earth (and the space around us) and the U.S. government has been aware of it for several decades.
· Unidentified objects (dubbed “X-Drones” by researchers) that appear to be carving long, deep tracks many miles across the lunar terrain.
· Other “towers” that rise many miles up from the lunar surface (higher than anything made on Earth), photo evidence of a massive excavation operation on the Moon and telltale signs the picture may have been altered to hide the truth.
· Extensive “pipelines” crossing over the crater rims, in and out, and bridges spanning massive lunar canyons.
· A riveting Apollo 8 film showing what appears to be a huge “Smokestack” on the Moon – thousands of feet tall – releasing a “jet-like” cloud as the spacecraft passes over it.
· Russian Space Agency lunar orbiter photos of a 20-mile high “spire” clearly sticking straight up from the Moon’s surface, as well as a partially destroyed “dome.”
· Former NASA Photo Manager and “whistleblower” Ken Johnston’s claim that he screened an Apollo 14 film for a NASA astronomer showing five domed lights inside a crater, with one releasing a plume of steam. He says the key sequence was later spliced out! Johnston also reveals that during the Apollo 11 moonwalk, astronaut Neil Armstrong switched over to the medical channel to alert mission doctors, “Alien spaceships are parked around the rim of a crater, watching us!”
· Oil company executive Vito Sacchari’s exclusive TV interview where he tells his dramatic story of how he pressured NASA into letting him study 2000 lunar photos in 1979 which clearly contained massive alien structures on the moon.
· Defense Department expert Dr. John Brandenburg’s warning that all the pictures of “constructions” on the Moon presented in the Special – including a miles-wide rectilinear “Complex,” a “Capsule,” and gigantic “wheels, huts or domes” with a platform above them – are more suggestive that “someone” is building a forward “base” than the photos that triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis. He adds the U.S. military must perceive this as a real threat, so close to us.
· A mysterious film reportedly showing a “female” alien aboard a landed lunar module after allegedly being recovered during a secret U.S.-U.S.S.R. mission to the Moon to examine an enormous fuselage-like structure photographed by Apollo 15.
The Special also features intriguing evidence that there could be a wider alien presence, such as footage of UFOs in our skies and in space, a gigantic “planet-sized disc” pulling plasma from the Sun, a “Lunar Factory” reportedly photographed by a Chinese Satellite in 2011 and images of a possible “Alien Moon Base” that made world headlines earlier this year. Also, a lunar “pyramid” photographed by NASA that’s almost identical to those found in ancient Iraq will be analyzed, as will the possibility the same alien race that might have helped ancient cultures advance could be the ones who erected structures on the Moon and are monitoring mankind for some unknown purpose.
As the press release indicates, Aliens on the Moon: The Truth Exposed will air on Sunday, July 20, 2014. But, according to Syfy’s schedule, this special will air multiple times, so check your listings.
This is a good little list of the natural misdirection that springs up around those seeking. It is enough to know that you are conscious as spirit and soul and are temporarly housed in this body. Think on that idea. Spirit and soul are much greater than physical life but exprience time and life through the physical component.
He is also quite right regarding light bringers and the legend of a saviour. It is unnnessary and thus does not exist.
The escape hatch for all spirits retreating from life has been the remberance of a great teacher who has gone before them. The greatest has been Jesus. What Swedenborg has shown us is that our culture imagines and realises its Christian afterlife as a first stage through which we all must pass. That is good enough to safely get there.
Any claims external to all that need not be trusted.
July 10, 2014
Free Spirit, Contributor
The world is rife with lies and deceptions – more than you can shake a shaky stick at. Spiritual lies breed confusion, fear, dogma and all kinds of other nonsense. At the same time they keep one fumbling about in the darkness separated from the truth. Spiritual lies are created by religious powers or sometimes by groups of people with the best intentions – but lacking the deeper spiritual knowledge. Spiritual lies are also dangerous as self-responsibility is deferred and the believers in the lies remain dis-empowered and not in control of their lives. So it always pays to exercise discernment.
Remember – you always have the choice in choosing what you want to believe.
So, what are the biggest lies out there in the spiritual / light-worker / new age movements?
1. The Galactic Federation of Light is coming to save the day.
Spaceships will land and the ‘cabal’ will be arrested along with government members, bankers and other members of the so called ‘elite’.
Well – even with the Prime Directive apart (aliens do not intervene in the external affairs of other races) – if this is the case, why the delay?
Why did they let 9/11 and similar events happen. Why did the Cabal not get arrested sooner?
Why did this landing not happen 10 or 20 years ago? We hear how everything is being put in place and with ‘one more push’ in collective awareness – the stage will be set for a mass landing.
This lie is dangerous as it promotes belief in a Saviour and thus people defer their spiritual work in the hope that a group of loving aliens will do the work for them. Meanwhile, their lives continue to unfold – and the promised landing never comes. There is always some reason why they are not here yet – and there will always be – because it is a lie. Period.
Truth - Everything is perfect and as it needs to be. Nothing needs saving. If you need a Saviour, you are a victim to something outside you that has your power – in this case those that peddle the Galactic Federation of Light lie.
Truth – There are higher-dimensional aliens/light beings that oversee matters. There are Star Beings out there. But there are higher dimensional laws that prohibit interference. and meddling in human evolution.
It is possible to contact higher-dimensional beings directly – rather than through an external channel or waiting for a government to fabricate a ‘disclosure’.
Anyone with a degree of self-responsibility and discernment in their lives will see through this one.
2. The Lightworker Lie – “Just one more push and we are through!”
Many a time do we hear this from the light-workers through channelled messages. Just one more alignment (the 17th Golden Ray attunement from Akara – or bearing some other similar exotic name) and one more push and the Earth and humanity will be happy ever after. This ‘pink and fluffy’ dream is just that.
Does the Earth look like this right now??
Meanwhile – the wars continue and the biosphere is in worse shape that ever before. After 20 or 30 years of light-workers being busy working to uplift the Earth – what is there to show for it on the outside?
People may feel good listening to the messages – but again, it is a dangerous addiction stunting real spiritual growth and again – discouraging self-responsibility.
At the same time the light-workers have no power in the world because the people that the light-workers are trying to help do not care. Pushing light into the darkness simply wastes energy. If one feels the need to change something outside – take a look in the mirror!
Truth – We all create our reality from within.
Pushing on the outside achieves nothing
3. One Love is the answer to everything.
Of course – love is good – if it is the right kind of love. Love that has real, practical and transformative benefit is good for the evolution of humanity. A dreamy concept of One Love is less useful. This lie is dangerous because it makes you feel loved and comfortable in a nice, sweet bubble – but sooner or later the reality of life will pop the bubble and capsize your emotional boat. Then the love will be no-where to be seen.
Why? Because it is not real and enduring. It is just a concept created by an emotional void that needs to be loved. Because the love is not there – you imagine it and create a dreamy illusion of being loved by plugging into the ‘One Love’ dream. You also give away your unique individuality and your power to a false dream. The One Love dream can create a peaceful vibe to a degree – but this peace will rapidly vanish when reality comes to call, unless you have an emotional grounding and a deeper awareness of reality.
Some people are also still addicted to the feeling of being enveloped in the womb or addicted to the highs of romantic love. In the same way romantic love is not real love – the One Love experience is not True Universal Love. It is a tiny taster – but not the real deal!
Once one is emotionally healthy and whole – this lie loses its power.
4. If you are spiritual – you have to be poor.
We have all heard this one and this explains why there are not many light-worker board directors, executives or investors.
It also means that there is not much in the way of real spiritual teaching around and why there are not spiritual teachers on every High Street. What is not valued does not find prominence. Any self respecting teacher would also stop teaching or up their rates rather than choose a life of poverty.
Where did the lie come from?
It is a manipulation fostered by our own mind – backed up by unhealthy religious conditioning – so that you do not have to take responsibility for your life. You will then look to other people to do your work for you.
It is dangerous because it just incurs further suffering, frustration and pain further down the line as well as deferring your spiritual process. It also means if you are not in command of your life you can be controlled – the antithesis of spiritual freedom. The lie will also make you waste money on things that have no spiritual value such as the latest I-Phone, the latest app or the latest X-Box game – not to mention alcohol and tobacco.
Where you put your money is where your power goes and if you give your power to something death-affirming , you will hasten your death and separate yourself from spiritual truth. You have the power of choice – but if you want spiritual truth, choose wisely.
If you do not want to deal with the money – then someone else will. Money is connected with power as well as facilitating creation. If you shun money – then your ability to do good in the world will be seriously stunted – that is if you are looking to facilitate real change. Poverty causes suffering, decay, sickness and in some cases premature death. If you are poor – you have no power to uplift your life. This lie does people a lot of damage and if unchecked – leads people to be unable to care for themselves or function within society in a healthy manner.
If you cannot look after yourself and provide for your family – forget about saving the world or helping others – as you have nothing to offer.
Yes, you can be kind and compassionate – but with an empty cup – your ability to keep giving will be limited.
5. Everyone can do what they like and still become enlightened.
For example – you can still drink, cheat on your partner, eat meat whilst animals suffer and not clean up your act toward yourself and others- and you can still ascend.
The other variation of the lie is that everyone will ascend regardless of what they are doing (killing, raping, cheating, etc..)
The spiritual path calls for the refinement of the virtues of integrity, peace, truth, self-responsibility, awareness and discipline. If you want to ascend you have to master the path 100% and clear everything, from all lives prior. The bar is high but that is the reality.
Otherwise we would all have ascended long ago and would not be facing biosphere collapse.
Conventional spirituality packaged for the masses is popular because it does not remind you of the truth. It tells you what you want to hear (but not what you need to hear) so you carry on as normal and so find yourself asking the same questions again and again. It is because your reality only changes when you make changes in yourself. If you do not want to work on yourself – high level spiritual understanding will remain elusive.
Truth is often painful but pain is the fastest way to purification.
You can do what you like (you have free-will) but actions have consequences.
Every choice you make is yours and yours alone.
Choices create karmas and karmas create life experiences. If you have negative karma and want to clear it you can - but shoving it under the carpet and hoping for the best does not work for long!
What’s the good news? Well – once you have dispensed with the lies you will see truth. It is like washing the dirt from a window and seeing a beautiful design within the glass. Lies blur ones vision and prevent one from seeing with a clarity of heart and vision.
The Universe reveals itself when we are ready to open our eyes to the truth. Anything we are ready to know will be known to us at the right time. The Universe is perfect as it is.
Truth enables us to see perfection in the experience of Creation.
Then we are awakened, wise, undisturbed, free from pain and suffering – and at peace.
About the Author
Free Spirit is a Spiritual Master and a Teacher of Ascension after spending his whole life in pursuit of spiritual understanding. He is also the author of Keys to Immortality (his third book) and has some public discourses on You Tube. He also builds Merkabah structures to enhance dreaming as well as teaching dreaming workshops and providing personal and in depth spiritual mentoring to VIP clients.
His website is at
and his You Tube Channel is here
His Facebook Page features public Discourses and is here
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In spite of popular enthusiasm for ancient agriculture or even as I did growing up on a nineteenth century farm, it is really not meant to be fun. Mostly it is hard physical work and general all hands on deck drudgery. That is what newcomers all fail to grasp. We really need our power assisted technologies in order to see real sense out of our land.
On that front we are well begun but I expect that the biggest assist to high intensity agriculture will be robotic assistance. Just selective harvesting alone truly demands it and it is achievable. At the same time there are many protocols as yet unmechanized, not least been application of ditch and bank agriculture which screams for just that.
Mobile factories are one thing but demand a certain type of large field. This has led to poor husbandry practices that need to end. Replace all that with small robotic farm devices and quality naturally rises.
Farming the apocalypse
When my life came crashing down I took shelter on my farm, surviving with 11th-century tools like the sickle and scythe
by Keith Ferrell 4,100 words
Keith Ferrell writes fiction, non-fiction, and computer games. The former editor-in-chief of OMNI magazine, his latest book is History Decoded (2013), co-written with Brad Meltzer. He lives on a farm in Virginia.
When there is a likelihood of even small amounts of snow, sleet or ice, I move my car to the top of the hill that shelters my farm. If I need to run errands during such times, I just walk up the hill to it. The car is old, our drive is steep and close to a quarter-mile long. Depending upon how deep the snow, and how often my attention is caught by something else, the walk can take a few minutes or half an hour. Upon returning, I park in the same place, and walk back down, carrying the day’s mail and my small purchases through the woods. Emerging from the forest at the base of the hill and seeing my farm covered in snow, I think of it as cut free from time – and myself cut free as well.
My car can take me to neighbours, to stores, to town. Across the meadow, my house, a (mostly) converted barn, contains telephone and internet connecting me to friends, relatives, colleagues, a universe of information and distraction, the modern world. Right between them lies the sliver of land I use to try my hand at agriculture, as it was practised 1,000 years ago.
The transition from hunter-gatherer to farmer has always fascinated me. The ability to plant, cultivate and harvest crops stands alongside the emergence of self-awareness, control of fire, the wheel, and the development of mathematics and written language as one of humanity’s transformational events. We became something different once we began to farm.
I have found something like that taking place in me. For a variety of reasons – partly financial, partly intellectual – I have approached my land with tools that, for the most part, would have been available in 1014: scythes, sickles and mattocks recognisable from paintings and tapestries of 11th-century farms. How long would I last if thrust back by time machine or a collapse of the sort popular in apocalypse porn?
Calling my 35 acres a farm is misleading, though not so misleading as calling myself a farmer, something I never do. My neighbours are real farmers: they make their living through agriculture. Their fields and pastures are large and orderly, cultivated and fertilised, tended by workers and machines. My fields, tended only by me, are disorderly, improvised, often overgrown. Yet without saying so aloud, I have, over the past couple of years, come to think of myself more and more constantly as a farmer; as a sort of farmer anyway. An 11th-century (or so) sort of farmer, actually, although I am well aware of how little I would have in common with the real thing, and how poorly my skills would prepare me to live in that time.
I arrived in the 11th century through circumstances in my life and career. Purchased in the mid-1990s as a weekend and summer home, a getaway, part of the farm’s attraction was the old barn, already half-converted into living quarters. The downstairs had electricity, running water from a good well, a water heater, a tub and a toilet, a septic system. There was a range in the kitchen. The place had a phone line, which meant that we had dial-up internet (virtually the only option at the time). The nearest town, Rocky Mount, with just over 4,000 people, was 15 miles away. On clear nights with the lights turned low, the stars came out nearly as brilliantly as they would have a thousand years before.
The first couple of years of ownership had a peaceful pace – peaceful, that is, once I arrived here at the end of a work week or the beginning of a vacation. At the time, I was still editor-in-chief of OMNI magazine, often travelling throughout the country and around the world. My wife was teaching high school. The farm was our weekend refuge, a place for rejuvenation, for gardening and exploring. I left most of the fields in meadow, hiring a neighbour for a few hundred dollars to bring in a tractor and mow them a couple of times a year. I enjoyed watching an experienced farmer drive a tractor dragging a brush hog – a cutter for taking down thickets of briars and small trees. Most people with a weekend farm would have had the sense to buy a small tractor or at least a riding mower. Not me. It would have made sense to buy a four-wheel drive vehicle, too, not to mention a generator for times of power outages, but I never did.
When a major snowstorm struck during the first winter we owned the place, we stayed back home in Greensboro, North Carolina, 90 miles away. I wished I’d been at the farm. I wanted to know what it would be like to be snowed in and cut off, perhaps without power. I discussed such things with friends. We had all read some post-apocalypse fiction – Stephen King’s The Stand (1978), Robert Heinlein’s Farnham’s Freehold (1964), Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Wild Shore (1984) and, above all, George R Stewart’s Earth Abides (1949). After I purchased the farm, my friends and I agreed that when the ‘crash’ came, my place was where they would head.
This was a matter of mirth and curiosity but not much more at the time. The 35 acres and the barn-cum-cabin were a reward for the years I’d spent in offices or travelling for magazine-related business. I had no interest in an off-hours life as a gentleman farmer. I just wanted a peaceful place to go.
That it would become far more should have been clear to me the first night I spent there, in chilly October, electricity and phone not yet turned on, no running water, no heat. There was a wind outside, and I read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story ‘Young Goodman Brown’ by oil lamp at probably the same level of illumination available to Hawthorne himself when he wrote it in 1835.
Once I finished reading, I took a walk to the edge of the woods. Though Hawthorne’s character, drawn by dark forces, had actually entered, I wasn’t ready yet. I came back inside and slept well. The next morning, I found myself thinking that I could live here and, if need be, live here just like this. Later in the day, I returned to the city and, once the work week began, found myself in offices, on airplanes, travelling around the country and the world for OMNI, talking and writing about the future. But now I thought more and more frequently: I could live there, on my farm.
Not that I planned anything of the sort.
Planning is one of the skills that grew along with agriculture. Organisation, community, co ordination, the ability to anticipate, were all essential to farms in the 11th century. If you are going to have a crop next year, you had better store and save some of this year’s seeds. Not to mention storing food itself against the non-productive and often harsh months that punctuate the farm year. You must store the knowledge of how to plant those seeds and harvest their products, passing down that knowledge from one generation to the next.
That endeavour – growing food and feeding family, tribe, village, community, nation, world – occupied humanity for most of recorded history. Improvements in agriculture and husbandry, the domestication of animals, came slowly over hundreds and thousands of years.
When people travelled, they brought back tools that helped their farming improve: new cultivars and new methods and implements. Gathering mastery of metalworking made tools more effective and efficient. A metal-tipped spade, shovel or hoe isn’t just an advance in toolmaking; it enables fewer people to produce more food, releasing others to work at new vocations. That’s how the farm freed ever more individuals to lives as merchants, millers, weavers, smiths.
Until I held a scythe by the snathe, as one might a baseball or cricket bat, I didn’t appreciate just how innovative grips were
By the 11th century, most of the non-mechanised tools at my disposal had been used for centuries – yet the spade and sickle, the shovel and hoe, would remain foundational for centuries to come, into modern times. My father, now 90, once spoke of reaping wheat by hand, of ploughing behind a mule, of watching my grandfather drag logs behind a horse, then working those logs into railroad ties by hand. My dad left the farm, but my neighbours recall when their own ancestors worked fields by hand and with farm animals, although their farms now are mechanised and have been for decades.
One memorable day, a neighbour showed me how to sweep the long, curved blade of my wood-handled scythe to slice tall grass or stalks of grain cleanly at ground level. Done properly, scything is not a chopping or hacking action. It is fluid and rhythmic, performed with muscles at the waist more than the arms. Who knew?
The scythe I used had evolved since ancient times. By the Middle Ages, its sharpened blade would have been fashioned by a blacksmith, with his own long years of experience and skill. The addition of lateral grips to the scythe’s snathe (the long, wooden, often curved handle to which the blade is attached) improved the farmer’s ability to control the implement, and made its use more efficient. Until one attempts to use a scythe by holding on to the snathe, as one might a baseball or cricket bat, it’s difficult to appreciate just how innovative the grips were.
My attraction to scythes and other ancient artefacts was curiosity, even indulgence – a city boy playing with old farm tools – until our full-time move to the farm in 1997, a year after OMNI ceased its print edition and I became a freelance writer again.
The permanent move was prompted by an illness. As a result of that illness, my wife was unable to continue teaching, and the vagaries of a freelance income couldn’t be counted on to support two homes. So the farm became our home. We had hoped to build a small, real house, and make the barn-cum-cabin my office and library. The small house never got built.
I planned an ambitious but not oversized garden 100 yards from the old cabin, and hired a neighbour to till it. Twice a year, I had neighbours bring in tractors and brush hogs to keep the meadows clear. I filled my garden with tomatoes, beans, peas, onions, squash, cucumbers, corn, herbs. I set up a small desk in a glade overlooking the broad creek that ran next to the garden. With pencil and paper, I wrote large parts of two books there, scratching my way through hundreds of pages as the seasons passed, then returning to the 20th century to type them into the computer in my office. When fall arrived, I hired a neighbour to mow and brush-hog the fields and meadows clear once more.
Supporting all of this was fine so long as the freelance economy was good, and the approach of the millennium brought boom times for freelancing. But freelance writing is, in many ways, the very definition of a hunter-gatherer profession, and my freelance markets collapsed as the internet rose up.
But by far the most devastating factor was the mental illness, at first difficult to treat and ultimately intractable, that overwhelmed my wife. Her darkness deepened until she retreated almost totally not only from the world at large, but also the world at hand – the farm we had once shared. Where once she explored our fields and forests as avidly as I, she soon ceased going outdoors at all unless it was for a visit, generally fruitless, to a doctor or therapist. I found myself becoming a caregiver.
Yet even as I cared for my wife, for lack of funds I was increasingly unable to care for the farm. Weeds grew. Brambles began to spread. The forest encroached upon what I now saw had been an artificially maintained illusion of order.
Unmown, my lawns and meadows became seas of tall grass and impenetrable thickets of briars and blackberry canes. In some areas, the grass reached shoulder height; the briars grew even taller. The pleasant walk to the big garden and the glade beside the creek became an obstacle course blocked by brush and thorns. I lost one meadow, several acres, to scrub pines, and a good portion of another. Whether kept clear with tractors and mowers, or scythes and brush axes, cleared land is artifice, and artifice takes work.
Unable to maintain mine with costly, large-scale mowing, I found myself in retreat against the incursion of vines and canes and trees, but it was a retreat that taught larger lessons than I had ever learnt from the years of bounty. When I could afford to have the land cleared every spring and fall, I could walk anywhere I wished, and do so in shorts and tennis shoes during warm weather. Walking much of my property now requires stout boots as well as heavy pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and even then I accumulate scratches and cuts from the briars. The difference between grapefruit-sized stones turned up and thrown aside in an instant by a tractor, and a stone dug and worked out by hand was one my mind already knew – and that my body soon learnt.
Could a 21st century man survive as an 11th century field worker? We lived here, and I was on my own
I learnt other things as well: to appreciate the wild grasses and flowers consuming fields that had once been mown; to work my way through blackberry brambles with a brush axe, in the thickest spots, and on hands and knees with heavy clippers and loppers. Working at ground level, I learnt to hear the quiet: the gentle sounds that the curved blade of a sickle (the baby cousin of the scythe) made slicing through canes, the rustle and scurry of rabbits and mice through the underbrush; the buzz and whirr of bees; the angry calls of birds displeased at my intrusion on their world – and once, the unmistakable chatter of a rattlesnake.
Working so close to the earth, I found the early farmers fuelling my thoughts. In a fundamental way, I was like them. Lacking the money and wherewithal to have my fields clear in mere hours, I asked myself: what could I do with what I had?
The parameters of an experiment began to take shape. I would see how a 21st-century man – one who bought his farm with income from writing, editing and speaking about the future – survived as an 11th-century field worker. After all, we lived here, whether I could afford to keep the fields cleared or not. I was on my own.
The 11th century farmers I conjured would have had children, relatives, perhaps a draft animal for ploughing and hauling. But with my wife self-confined to the house, our son married and only infrequently here, I was my sole source of labour, so I picked my spots to make my stands, to preserve in certain areas at least something of the sense of a farm, of what a farm is, what it provides. I did my best to keep the areas nearest the house – the yard and even a stretch that could honestly be called a lawn – neat and mowed. I put in a vegetable garden closer to the house than the big garden had been.
And I kept that 11th-century idea in my head, a vision and a game. If I cranked my lawnmower, or on occasion a neighbour’s borrowed tiller, I did so while roughly calculating what the equivalent of an hour of mowing would be in true horse – or ox – power. I thought of what that would have meant to my imaginary predecessors who I saw, vaguely, as living on the edge of some great forest in England or on the continent, cut off from cities and towns. My imaginary predecessors moved to Ireland, from where I learnt about loy ploughing, an ancient approach to hand-tilling hilly and rocky soil inaccessible to horse teams. The loy is closest to the tool we now know as the spade, and the spade was a tool I owned. I would take my spade and dig in, working out rocks and roots, cutting a furrow as straight as I could manage (not very), moving sod and soil to either side of the trench. A few hours’ work, and I could plant a few seed potatoes.
My most constantly used tool was the mattock, which offers a pointed pick on one side of its head and a hoe-like blade on the other. Also a favourite 1,000 years ago, the mattock’s two heads, one for digging and one for cutting, give it a versatility that I find unmatched. The spade was once called the ‘poor man’s plough’ and I thought of my mattock, which I used to break ground, chop roots, pry up rocks, turn and prepared beds, the same way. Restricted to one tool, I would choose the mattock.
Only gradually did I realise that I had far more in common with a post-apocalypse survivor – and chronic illness, not to mention financial challenges, are apocalyptic in their way – than with an 11th-century farmer. Those farmers, after all, knew what they were doing; their whole lives would have been spent doing it. They were far more prepared for a post-apocalypse life on the land than me or almost anyone I knew.
A central truth about living closely on the land is that the land itself will show you what you have accomplished and what you have done wrong. Mine mostly showed me my mistakes. Opportunistic pines, finding purchase and uncut when small, soon became trees. Blackberries, spreading beneath the ground, erupted, their briars making familiar pathways impassable. The first emergence of an invader is the time to catch it – something I failed to do. This year’s seedling pines are next year’s forest covering a portion of a favourite meadow.
But even in the spots where I put in the time to keep things clear, especially my garden, my struggles were obvious. Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in a journal entry from May 1843 of the honesty a row of peas imposes upon the planter: ‘My garden is an honest place. Every tree and every vine are incapable of concealment, and tell after two or three months exactly what sort of treatment they have had. The sower may mistake and sow his peas crookedly: the peas make no mistake, but come up and show his line.’
The deer and rabbits and groundhogs didn’t care how straight my rows were as they dined upon them
My own rows – perfect in the days of having the ground tilled by tractor – now rarely rose straight, their twists and turns mocking me and imposing irony and honesty upon my thoughts. Was my declaration to ‘do what I could with what I had’ just denial? My circumstances all but demanded that I let the farm go, and with it the freelancing, to move back to Greensboro or another city where I could find a job. But I kept on.
During the worst of my economic problems, I came close to losing it all, and wondered if that might not be the best thing for myself, my wife, and the land. Someone else, I knew, could come in with money and equipment and open it up in a season. This wasn’t, after all, a species-wide apocalypse, but a personal one – I could pack up, leave, start over elsewhere. But I continued to believe that both my career and my farm could be turned around – and that if I really had to, I could survive on what I grew.
My peas tasted no less sweet for the disarray of their rows. Potatoes dug from soil roughly worked with spade, shovel and mattock were firm and well-shaped, tasty and nourishing. I never used synthetic fertilisers. Whatever I produced was nurtured, instead, with compost, manure (during the years we had a horse), chopped leaves and hay cut with a scythe. I ate plenty of blackberries from the canes that sprouted across once-mown fields, and appreciated the animals – hawks, fox, even bear – whose population increased along with the spread of habitat. The deer and rabbits and groundhogs didn’t care how straight my rows were as they dined upon them – and in any true apocalypse, they could feed us, too.
But time exerted its effects. Planting a large crop of anything by hand took so much time that plans for other large plantings went unfulfilled. This season or phase of the moon for planting this crop; this temperature means it’s too late or too early to plant that one. Eleventh-century farming was a pre-sunup to post-sundown endeavour, or nearly. Yet even my reduced livelihood required that far more hours be spent at my desk (and not the one by the creek) than in my fields. For everything I accomplished outside, far more tasks and chores – not to mention plans – languished undone.
Still I held on. When my son came to visit last November, I dug potatoes to share with him and with other members of my family. I was still here.
During those seasons when my approach works well, having a visitor remark on how attractive my land is, how nicely it is kept, provides a pleasure as deep as receiving a compliment for a piece of writing.
But I know the truth – these past few dark years, this place I love so much resembled a backwoods hollow straight out of Deliverance.
Yet things are looking up. The year 2014 promises to be a good one at my desk, giving me the lift I need to work my farm. In light of the lessons of the last few years, I am ready to reconsider my strategy and renew the fight to reclaim more from the briars and the canes and the pines.
Our modern era’s dependence upon technology and, especially, chemical and motorised technology, has divorced most of us from soil and seeds and fundamental skills. The schism would challenge survivors in any post-apocalypse world. Without modern agricultural technology, and the production and distribution systems that are built upon it, hunger would arrive quickly in most cities and towns, with starvation close at heel. A cinematic global apocalypse would see most of the survivors dead by starvation within months if not weeks. Those who made it through – farmers and gardeners, undoubtedly some preppers, maybe (or maybe not) me, would find themselves in subsistence and endurance mode for years. Planning and long-practised rhythms were at the core of the 11th-century farmer’s life; improvisation, much of it desperate, would be the heart of the post-apocalyptic farmer’s existence.
I find I’ve become better at both. Oddly – or maybe not – as life improves, I find myself looking at powered equipment less longingly.
But I do have my eye on a custom-crafted, straight-snathed European scythe.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I too find this disquieting for different reasons though. Li Kai Shing was the first guy in when the military led Deng's efforts to invite capital investment back in the early eighties. Li was heavily affiliated with the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank then and ultimately this led to the need to rebuff chinese advances. Thus it is plausible that Li has been asked to leave quietly as his protectors have all aged out as well.
This could well be driven by the reshaping of the internal political structure that we know is going on leading to prudent divestiture.
It is also noteworhy that the chinese military has become unwisely frisky over the past two years. All that makes me nervous, let alone if I had assets in country and was exposed to credit risk.
The richest man in Asia is selling everything in China
bySimon BlackonApril 16, 2014
April 16, 2014
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile
Here’s a guy you want to bet on– Li Ka-Shing.
Li is reportedly the richest person in Asia with a net worth well in excess of $30 billion, much of which he made being a shrewd property investor.
Li Ka-Shing was investing in mainland China back in the early 90s, way back before it became the trendy thing to do. Now, Li wants out of China. All of it.
Since August of last year, he’s dumped billions of dollars worth of his Chinese holdings. The latest is the $928 million sale of the Pacific Place shopping center in Beijing– this deal was inked just days ago.
Once the deal concludes, Li will no longer have any major property investments in mainland China.
This isn’t a person who became wealthy by being flippant and scared. So what does he see that nobody else seems to be paying much attention to?
Simple. China’s credit crunch.
After years of unprecedented monetary expansion that has put the economy in a precarious state, the Chinese government has been desperately trying to reign in credit growth.
The shadow banking system alone is now worth 84% of GDP according to an estimate by JP Morgan. The IMF pegs total private credit at 230% of GDP, jumping by 100% in the last few years.
Historically, growth rates of these proportions have nearly always been followed by severe financial crises. And Chinese leaders are doing their best to engineer a ‘soft landing’.
If they’re successful, the world will only see major drops in global growth, stocks, property, and commodity prices.
If they fail, the spillover could become pandemic.
This isn’t important just for Asian property tycoons like Li Ka-Shing. Even if you don’t know Guangzhou from Hangzhou from Quanzhou, there are implications for the entire world.
Here in Chile is a great example.
Chile is among the top copper producers worldwide, China among its top consumers. With a major slowdown in China, however, copper prices have dropped considerably.
Consequently, the Chilean economy has slowed. The peso is down nearly 10% against the US dollar in recent months, and the central bank is slashing rates trying to prop up growth.
There are similar situations playing out across the globe.
Not to mention, China could put the entire global financial system on its back just by dumping a portion of its Treasuries in order to defend the yuan.
Now, you’d think that a major credit crunch with far-reaching consequences in the world’s second largest economy, its largest manufacturer, and its largest holder of US dollar reserves, would be constant front-page news.
But it’s not.
Most traditional investors are unaware that what’s happening in China will likely have far greater implications to their investment portfolios than the policies of Janet Yellen and Barack Obama combined. At least for now.
And folks who don’t see this coming and keep buying at the all-time high may see their portfolios turned upside down. Quickly.
At the same time, some investors who are conservative and cashed up may realize a real ‘blood in the streets’ moment.
Again, using Chile as an example, I’m starting to see over-leveraged property owners coming to the market in droves ready to make a deal. This is great news because my shareholders and I are able to buy far more property with US dollars than we could even just six months ago.
I expect this trend to hold given that China is just at the beginning of its process.
It’s said that the Chinese word for “crisis” is a combination of “danger” and “opportunity”.
This isn’t entirely accurate. ‘Weiji’ can have several meanings, but is probably best translated as ‘dangerous’ and ‘crucial point’.
We may certainly be at that crucial point, and now might be a good time to take another look at your finances and consider selling before a major crash. The richest man in Asia certainly thinks so.
About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.
I do not think that anyone really gets it. The door is now open for Israel to settle its Gaza problem permanently. That requires a nasty war in which every remaining shred of organized resistance is rooted out and yes those tunnels are all blown in.
There will be no intervention by anyone, including the USA. Everyone else either cannot intervene or see the benefit of not. Once settled Gaza will have an independent government that is acceptable to Israel. If Israel appoints a governor to makes sure of this, then that will likely be his only task.
The payoff for the West Bank is that they can get on with making their own arrangements without the extremists in their face. Better solutions then become possible and plausible.
I also expect Southern Lebanon to see the way the winds are blowing and make their own deals as well. In short, the Great Conflict is almost over and requires only a generation of healing.
Netanyahu warns of prolonged conflict in Gaza
JERUSALEM — Reuters and The Associated Press
Published Monday, Jul. 28 2014
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday his country must prepare for a long conflict in the Gaza Strip, squashing any hopes of a swift end to fighting that has already cost more than 1,000 lives.
In a televised address, a grim-faced Netanyahu said that any solution to the crisis would require the demilitarisation of the Palestinian territory, which is controlled by Hamas Islamists and their militant allies.
“We will not finish the mission, we will not finish the operation without neutralizing the tunnels, which have the sole purpose of destroying our citizens, killing our children,” Netanyahu said, adding that it had been a “painful day”.
More than 1,000 Gazans, most of them civilians, have died in the three-week-old conflict. Israel has lost 52 soldiers to Gaza fighting and another three civilians have been killed by Palestinian shelling.
Hamas and Israel blamed each other for an explosion at a Gaza park Monday that killed at least 10 Palestinians — including nine children playing on a swing — in a horrific scene that underscored the heavy price civilians are paying in the conflict.
Israel’s military said rockets misfired by Gaza militants were responsible, while Gaza officials blamed Israeli airstrikes.
The blast took place on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Earlier, the Israeli army said Palestinian fighters had slipped across the border from the Gaza Strip, with media reporting casualties in an ensuing gunbattle.
Israel says four soldiers were killed in a mortar attack earlier Monday. It says another five soldiers were killed in combat in Gaza.
Israel’s military said it struck two rocket launchers and a rocket manufacturing facility in central and northern Gaza after a rocket hit southern Israel earlier in the day. The rocket caused no damage or injuries.
Amid a slowdown in the fighting, rescue teams uncovered five bodies in a village east of Khan Younis, said Saed al-Saoudi, the commander of the Civil Defence in Gaza. Earlier Monday, the Palestinian Red Crescent said it deployed 15 ambulances to the area to search for bodies amid the rubble.
The Israeli military also said it dropped leaflets over Gaza City on Monday afternoon, warning Palestinian residents in the coastal strip that Israel “will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians, and the consequences will be severe.”
In New York, an emergency meeting of the U.N Security Council called for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire.” And while it was the council’s strongest statement yet on the Gaza war, it was not a resolution and therefore not binding.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, according to a statement from his office, in which he voiced his dismay with the announcement. “It does not include a response to Israel’s security needs and the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip,” he said.
Palestinian UN ambassador Riyad Mansour also did not hide his disappointment.
He said the council should have adopted a strong and legally binding resolution a long time ago demanding an immediate halt to Israel’s “aggression,” providing the Palestinian people with protection and lifting the siege in the Gaza Strip so goods and people can move freely.
“You cannot keep 1.8 million Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip in this huge prison,” Mansour told reporters. “That is a recipe for disaster. It is inhumane, and it has to be stopped and it has to be lifted.”
Israeli U.N ambassador Ron Prosor also criticized the statement, though from a very different perspective: He said it lacked balance because it didn’t mention Hamas, the firing of rockets into Israel or Israel’s right to defend itself.
The Security Council’s presidential statement called on Israel and Hamas “to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected cease-fire, based on the Egyptian initiative.”