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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Ken Heronheart's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, September 28th, 2016
9:04 am
Apologies for Link Spam due to account being hacked
My LiveJournal account was recently hacked. I apologize to anyone who was inundated with spam. The spam has been deleted and my password has been strengthened.
Monday, August 22nd, 2011
7:49 am
Biil CopperthwaiteTapered Wall Yurt Construction Log
I've finally managed to find a construction log for one (several) of Bill
Copperthwaite's tapered wall yurts. Eventually I should just buy a set of
his plans just because the yurts are so beautiful.

A Visual Chronology of the Building of

The Yurts at Tug Hollow
7:42 am
Posting to LiveJournal from Posterous
I had been using Posterous to simultaneously post to LiveJournal, Facebook, Google Buzz, etc. but the system brok a few months back and Posterous no longer seems to be able to post to LJ.  Does anybody know how to make it work again?  Also does anybody have any Google Plus invites lying about that they would be willing to send me?
Monday, March 28th, 2011
7:33 pm
Debut of the first practical 'artificial leaf'
This is very exciting news.  Now if humans would stop being so greedy, wasteful, and polluting; civilization might have a chance to continue on this planet.


Debut of the First Practical 'Artificial Leaf'

ScienceDaily (Mar. 28, 2011) — Scientists have claimed one of the milestones in the drive for sustainable energy -- development of the first practical artificial leaf. Speaking in Anaheim, California at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, they described an advanced solar cell the size of a poker card that mimics the process, called photosynthesis, that green plants use to convert sunlight and water into energy.

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
5:30 pm
Bingaman tells the truth about gas prices, is lonely in doing so
The punchline to this article is very simple: modest conservation laws enacted in 2007 saved more oil than the entire US proven oil reserve. The answer is not to drill, the answer is to conserve. 

via Byline

by David Roberts.

So I’m reading in Politico about Democratic fecklessness. (Yes, half my posts begin this way.) The problem is, whenever gas prices go up, Republicans benefit. They have a simple, powerful message ready to go, right off the shelf: drill here, drill now, pay less. Not enough drilling: that’s why gas prices are high. Drilling more: that’s how to lower them.

If a Republican is president, congressional Democrats and hippie enviro groups are blocking new drilling. If a Democrat is president, he and his cronies in Congress are pandering to liberals by blocking new drilling. It’s the same every time, so it’s all but inevitable that as gas prices rise they’re trying to tag Obama the “pay more at the pump” president.

In response, Democrats ... flail. Every time. They say “we can’t drill our way out,” but they pretend like we can get out by punishing commodity speculators, opening the strategic reserve, or implementing “use it or lose it” gimmicks. They accept the fundamental falsehood at the root of the conservative position—the way to lower gas prices is increase supply of U.S. oil—and then reject the most obvious implication of that premise, i.e., we should drill more.

The result is hesitant, incoherent, poll-driven mishmash. In other words, vintage Democratic messaging.

Into this fog last week came a beam of light in the form of an extraordinary speech from Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), which didn’t get the attention it deserved. Bingaman is not normally a talky guy. He’s not a McCain or Lieberman, on Sunday talk shows so often they keep toothbrushes in the green room bathrooms. Nor is he given to grand political gestures. He’s cautious by temperament (to a fault, I’d argue). Despite his reticence, though, he is among the very few senators who actually understand energy.

Apparently, he finally had enough of the overheated, unmoored ideological fantasies that pass for public discussion of gas prices. So he dropped some knowledge.

First, he explained that the price of gas follows the price of oil. Then he explained that the price of oil is set on the global market. It is largely unaffected by domestic policies like EPA carbon restrictions and Gulf oil permitting. It is only barely affected, and only at the margins, by U.S. supply, which flows from just 2 percent of the world’s reserves. (After all, U.S. production has been rising even as oil prices rise too.) The price of oil is shaped by supply constraints in petrostates, demand growth in developing countries, OPEC policy, and unrest in the Middle East. None of those, you’ll note, take place in America.

What follows is an inescapable conclusion (my emphasis):

But what can Congress do to help ease the burden of high prices for U.S. consumers, when oil prices are determined mostly outside our borders? I think a realistic, responsible answer has to be focused on becoming less vulnerable to oil price changes over the medium- and long-term. And we become less vulnerable by using less oil.

That’s it. That’s the crux of the matter. If we want to solve our problems with oil, we have to use less of it. That simple truth is what centrist Democrats generally refuse to tell their constituents.

Then comes Bingaman’s coup de grace. Check out this chart. The blue line is an EIA projection of U.S. oil imports from 2007. The red line shows what actually happened to imports after 2007 (they plunged!), and then projects forward from 2011. Witness:

Now, what does this mean? Why did imports fall after 2007? Why is the 2011 projection so much lower? In no small part, it can be explained by the fuel-efficiency provisions in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. Says Bingaman ...

... the amount of oil that we now will not need to import, or will be able to save, because of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, amounts to about 26 billion barrels. The difference between the blue line and the red line—that is, the amount of imported oil before and after the Act—amounts to about 26 billion barrels, according to [the Energy Information Administration]. This is greater than total U.S. proven oil reserves, which stand at 23 billion barrels.

Catch that? One modest set of efficiency provisions is going to save us more oil than we have in the ground. And because efficiency saves money, it will come at a net profit rather than a net cost. That’s a stunning fact. Why isn’t it in newspaper headlines?

Why? Because Democrats are always running scared. They’ve been scared off of the demand-side message by pollsters who tell them voters don’t like conservation, and by conservative concern trolls who invoke Carter, and by Beltway media CW drones who tell them that message will lose the morning.

But in the end, you cannot out bullsh*t a bullsh*tter. Dems are never going to win a war of id-driven manipulation against the Frank Luntzes of the world. The Luntzes and the Gingriches will always be more shameless. They’ll always go farther, lie bigger, pander more. Voters may not like extremists (and they sure hate congressional Republicans), but no one, not even much-heralded and largely mythical independents, likes prevaricating poll-watchers. At least the Republicans mean what they say!

The only thing Dems have going for them is that the demand-side message is correct. The truth is on their side. Domestic oil drilling may create a few jobs and pump temporary investment into certain areas, but it will not meaningfully affect global oil prices or the price of gasoline. The only way to be safer from oil shocks is to use less oil.

Rather than the Republican Lite message they’re using now, Dems should follow Bingaman’s lead and tell the truth, calmly, without hype or partisan rancor, but firmly. The American people might even appreciate being treated like adults.

Related Links:

On Rand Paul, toilets, and getting pottymouthed in the New York Times

Cities with the most energy efficient buildings: L.A., Houston, Detroit, Dallas

Good news: New EPA boiler regs include output-based standards

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
6:26 pm
Maine towns reject one-size-fits-all regulation, declare ‘food sovereignty’
via Byline

by David Gumpert.

In 2009, Maine farmer Heather Retberg learned that new regulations prohibited her from bringing her chickens to a neighbor’s approved slaughtering facility. She’d have to invest some $30,000 she didn’t have to build her own facility.

So Retberg shifted her focus to raw dairy instead, selling directly to local neighbors. When she received a notice last year from the Maine Department of Agriculture that she needed a permit, requiring investment way above what she could ever hope to justify with her minimal sales, she’d had enough. She got together with four neighbors similarly upset with the new regulator aggressiveness and, after concluding that state legislators weren’t especially interested in tackling the problem, they decided to seek help closer to home.

They drafted proposed ordinances for four neighboring towns that would sanction direct sales of farm products between farmers and consumers, without the involvement of regulators, and even without the involvement of lawyers, if everyone agreed. This spring, they began presenting their ordinances at town meetings—that New England institution that has stood the test of time—allowing all of a town’s citizens to vote yea or nay on proposed ordinances governing town spending, along with other purely local laws.

First up on a Saturday morning town meeting in early March was Sedgwick, Maine (population approximately 900), where they’ve been holding these meetings in the town hall since 1794.

Citing America’s Declaration of Independence and the Maine Constitution, the ordinance proposed that “Sedgwick citizens possess the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.” These would include raw milk and other dairy products, and locally slaughtered meats, among other items.

It wasn’t just a declaration of preference. The proposed warrant added, “It shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights recognized by this Ordinance.” In other words, no state licensing requirements prohibiting certain farms from selling dairy products or producing their own chickens for sale to other citizens in the town.

What about potential legal liability and state or federal inspections? It’s all up to the seller and buyer to negotiate. “Patrons purchasing food for home consumption may enter into private agreements with those producers or processors of local foods to waive any liability for the consumption of that food. Producers or processors of local foods shall be exempt from licensure and inspection requirements for that food as long as those agreements are in effect.” Imagine that—buyer and seller can agree to cut out the lawyers. That’s almost un-American, isn’t it?

The approximately 120 Sedgwick citizens in attendance discussed the proposal briefly. (You don’t have a huge amount of time when there are 78 different proposals under discussion, as there were that Saturday morning.) When the discussion was over, all 120 raised their hands in unanimous approval of the ordinance.

Local farmer Bob St.Peter said afterward that he feels the vote creates favorable conditions for beginning farmers and cottage-scale food processors to try out new products. “My family is already working on some ideas we can do from home to help pay the bills and get our farm going.”

Next up, a few days later, was Penobscot, another tiny coastal town. About 100 people in attendance there, where a similar discussion to that of Sedgwick was held, and another unanimous vote.

But on the same Wednesday evening that Penbscot was having its vote, some residents of the nearby town of Brooksville were dividing on the proposal. There, the town’s Ordinance Review Committee had, a few weeks earlier, expressed concerns about the ordinance’s enforceability, should the state challenge the lifting of regulations, and also about potential liability issues and legal costs if anyone became ill from the unregulated food.

When the vote came up at town meeting, the committee’s recommendation was included with a secret ballot the 300 or so town citizens used to vote. The food ordinance lost by nine votes, 161 to 152.

But wait. Local organic grower and author Eliot Coleman discovered a possible glitch—that the proposed ordinance was preceded with a statement expressing the ordinance committee’s opposition, a bit of inappropriate electioneering, in his view. The ordinance may well get a do-over vote, likely by the end of April. A fourth town, Blue Hill, is due to vote on the ordinance in early April.

The notion of food sovereignty that has sprouted in coastal Maine may be gaining traction. Deborah Evans, one of the organizers of the Maine effort, says that since the Sedgwick and Penobscot votes, she’s heard from farmers around the country—some as far away as Texas—interested in proposing similar ordinances in their towns.

As demand for locally produced food expands, the pressures for such ordinances can be expected to expand as well, as small farms seek to avoid stifling regulation. The true test of their workability may well come when state or federal regulators decide that some local ordinance clashes with state requirements. In that case, we may see a court test of who has precedence. Given the pressures on farmers and regulators, such a clash and court test are probably inevitable.

Related Links:

Time to end the insane practice of lacing chicken feed with arsenic

How to milk goats in freezing weather—and make chevre [VIDEO]

Raw-milk producers take the initiative on pathogen testing [UPDATED]

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Monday, March 14th, 2011
8:56 pm
Fitzgerald: Dem. senators won’t be allowed to vote in committees
via Byline

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald wrote this afternoon in an email to his caucus that Senate Dems remain in contempt of the Senate and will not be allowed to vote in committees despite returning from their out-of-state boycott of the budget repair bill vote.

Read more at the WisPolitics Budget Blog.

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

12:39 pm
Not only do the Koch brothers want to destroy Wisconsin, they want to destroy the planet.

Waxman rails against Koch’s influence on climate change efforts 11

by Brad Johnson, grist.org
March 7th 2011 6:25 PM

Cross-posted from the Wonk Room.

Speaking at the Center for American Progress Action Fund today, House Energy Committee ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) railed against the toxic influence of Koch Industries on efforts to fight global warming. Waxman, who fought polluters to pass the Clean Air Act of 1990, is dismayed by the level of outright science denial among the Republican Party today, exemplified by their votes to slash and burn environmental protection, and the Upton-Inhofe bill to reverse the scientific finding that carbon pollution threatens public health:

It apparently no longer matters in Congress what health experts and scientists think. All that seems to matter is what Koch Industries think.

Watch a compilation of Waxman's remarks:

See Video:

"Science denial, partisanship, and the rising power of special interests are deeply intertwined," Waxman said, "and they feed off each other." He explained the vicious circle fueled by Koch Industries, the private petrochemical conglomerate, and the Republican Party. "Koch Industries benefits immensely from the rollback of EPA regulations, so it backs Republican candidates who advocate this position. And it funds groups that attack science and it organizes anti-regulation demonstrations. Republican strategists see a partisan advantage in attacking efforts to address climate change, so that leads to a growing acceptance of science denial."

In the question-and-answer period, Waxman was asked why industry is split on climate change, with some companies supporting action, and others opposed. After discussing how he has worked with coal and oil interests to bring them on board to action, he returned to David and Charles Koch:

The Koch brothers, I think, are unique, because they're not just interested in their financial well-being, they're interested in ideology. They are uniquely involved in the right wing of this country. They are financing the Tea Party movement, and the Republican Party, and they're making the politics pay off for them both ideologically and economically.

"So there are industries that we're never going to completely satisfy," Waxman concluded. "We'll do our best to hear their concerns and try to be responsive to them. But if their position is nothing, no way, no how, it's hard to compromise with that kind of position."

Original Page: http://www.grist.org/article/2011-03-07-waxman-rails-against-kochs-influence-on-climate-change-efforts

Shared from Read It Later

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
8:39 pm
Emailing tweet from: DefendWisconsin (Defend Wisconsin)
The TAA did an incredible job organizing the initial occupation. DefendWisconsin: TAA Exec Board has voted to encourage people to STAY in the Capitol. You risk arrest for nonviolent civil disobedience #wiunion Original Tweet: http://api.twitter.com/1/DefendWisconsin/status/45695831843667968 Sent via TweetDeck (www.tweetdeck.com)

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

6:47 pm
5:26 pm
Walker’s stubbornness wearing thin on Republican lawmakers
via Byline

Senator Jauch wrote in a letter today:

Since Governor Walker introduced this legislation, I have talked with Republican lawmakers and former Thompson Cabinet officials every day to seek a pathway to find common ground. Those conversations revealed that 6 or 7 Republican Senators hated the collective bargaining provisions but felt pressured by Governor Walker to vote for the bill.

The reality is that there is a strong majority of legislators who don’t want to get rid of collective bargaining but voted against the wishes of the constituents because they were compelled to vote with Governor Walker. Recently Representative Stone, a Republican candidate for Milwaukee County Executive, admitted that he voted for the budget repair bill but did not agree with getting rid of collective bargaining. I have spoken with a number of Republican representatives who voted for the bill and are hoping the Senate will adopt compromise language.

Yesterday, Governor Walker said that he had been working day and night to find a solution to the issue. The fact is that he has held more press conferences blasting Democrats than there have been meetings. It took his Administration 18 days before a request was made for a meeting.

Senator Jauch’s letter was released on the same day as a set of e-mails released by Governor Walker’s office detailing correspondence between his staff and Senate Democrats.

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Saturday, March 5th, 2011
4:11 am
Rural Wisconsin reacts to Governor Walker's budget bill - Dane101
This is actually a hopeful article.  If Walker alienates enough rural Wisconsinites the Republicans will lose a major part of their base. 

via Byline


Rural Wisconsin reacts to Governor Walker's budget bill
Before I moved to the Madison area I lived in Reedsburg, a small rural community of 9167 (according to the 2010 census) located northwest of Madison. In 2008, Reedsburg was hit very hard by the summer floods that emptied Lake Delton. ...

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011
6:48 pm
Canvassing to recall Republicans
ericming5: Want to help, but can't make it to Madison this weekend? Here is the list of statewide canvass locations in your area. http://bit.ly/eTF025 Original Tweet: http://api.twitter.com/1/ericming5/status/43484130985521154 Sent via TweetDeck (www.tweetdeck.com)

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

5:42 pm
Cornstalked: As the 14 Wisconsin Democrats run, meet the numerous Illinois Tea ... - Daily Caller

This is an article from a tea party paper about how the Wisconsin 14 are being tracked and harassed.   I wonder if there is a way to do the same thing to the Republicans. Imagine if every time they came put of a restaurant there was a crowd chanting "Shame! Shame!"?   http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNHWPUSe-4IiO_FCyhUqPY3G4iO2nQ&url=http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/01/cornstalked-as-the-14-wisconsin-democrats-run-meet-the-numerous-illinois-tea-party-activists-giving-chase/
via Byline

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Monday, February 21st, 2011
2:16 pm
A guide to social media campaigns against Scott Walker's agenda for Wisconsin public unions - Isthmu
Some useful resources in the campaign against Walker.


A guide to social media campaigns against Scott Walker's agenda for Wisconsin public unions

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Monday, February 14th, 2011
8:22 am
Music Tags
Note to Self:

When on a binge of downloading legal free music from Endless Boundaries links; make sure to take notes about artists and albums because some of these files have no tags and really uninformative file names.

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Thursday, February 10th, 2011
5:37 pm
Squirrels like water
One of the good things about winter is that I can watch the squirrels performing their acrobatics in the naked treetops. When they scamper through the maple trees, the twigs knocking together sound like water rippling.

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
10:22 am
Nuerochemistry as ecosystem
Lately I've been doing some reading on nuerochemistry.  The best way I've found to think about it is as an ecosystem.  Different nuerons rich in receptors and release sites for different nuerotransmitters.  Some nuerotransmitters inhibiting neural firing.  Some neurotransmitters facilitating neurons firing.  Very much like plants in a forest. 

It gets really trippy if I reverse the metaphor and think of a forest ecosystem as a brain.  Different trees releasing various aerosols that inhibit or stimulate the growth of various plants.  Wind currents which are influenced by the growth of various plants inhibiting or facilitating the dispersal of those aerosols.  As I said, it can get very trippy...

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Friday, August 27th, 2010
10:10 am
The Internet and the Sixties
Terence McKenna used to say that the Sixties were partly the result of this country actually following through on a commitment to universal education, ie you could go to the University of Wisconsin for $500 a semester or the University of California San Francisco for free.  He also said that the social upheaval of the Sixties was due to large numbers of people actually being educated in the liberal tradition of Western Civilization (combined with psychedelic drugs).  The stultification of the Eighties was essentially due to the mainstream's crackdown on the universities and their being turned into trade schools for MBA's.  Now we have the Internet, which is, or can be, a form of near universal education.  It will be interesting to see what will happen.  The universities had the advantage of a long established tradition of curation.  There were respected teachers pushing students towards difficult but rewarding subjects.  The Internet has limitless distractions next to near limitless knowledge.  I can't help but be reminded of a book called "Amusing Ourselves to Death". Will people be able to pull itall  together into something worthwhile?   I don't know.  It will be interesting to see.

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

Thursday, August 26th, 2010
4:07 pm
King Stropheria Mushroom

Last summer I sowed some King Stropheria mushroom spawn in a patch out
front of our house. I missed the first flush this year (they had
already started rotting when I noticed them). I had a feeling I
should check them today and sure enough the flush has started. The
two buttons on the left are about the size of two thumbs put together.
The one on the left, I stir-fried and ate. Good stuff. The biggest
ones from the last flush were larger than the palm of my hand.

Posted via email from Ken's posterous

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