The Gypsy's Caravan

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ethanol from Corn raises price of food here and in South America

We've already passed laws mandating increased ethanol use, and ..

Farmers will have to increase planting of corn for ethanol by 43 percent to 30 million acres by 2015 to meet the government's requirements

The prices of fertilizer and corn doubled this year, sending the price of milk up and causing beef and hog farmers to close their businesses because the high price of feed has made them unprofitable.

Read the whole thing here

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pic of the Day

Friday, February 22, 2008

Our Energy Future

This is a very detailed analysis of our power options for the next 50 years, I urge you to go read it.

The keywords: distributed generation and efficiency.

Hattip: Shakes Sis

Winter Storm 'Destiny'

Woo Hoo, SNOW Day!

UPDATE: 11:50am

The other night was the last lunar eclipse for another two years, and I heard it would be a lot longer before we have another total eclipse. The date was on my calendar from the first mention. When the night came around, though, I was all snuggly in my bed, half asleep. Hubby was enthusiastically planning on going out in the frigid cold to watch. I was willing to let him.

Now, I was pretty tired that night, so I must admit I was a little grouchy when Hubby got into bed and started whispering in my ear: Sweetie, you really want to see this, you should come out with me... You'll regret it tomorrow if you don't get up.... You could get a picture for your blog.... It's not really cold out there, it's like a summer night... (this last outrageous lie was what got me out of bed.. ;)

ME, tongue planted firmly in cheek: Oh, Sweatheart, if you really loved me, you'd put my camera on the tripod and take the pic for me...

So, I was up the other night to get pics of the eclipse, and I, for the first time, put the 70-300mm zoom lens on my Nikon. I'm afraid I was half asleep, and didn't look at the lens before I went out in the pitch dark and cold. I got the camera on the tripod, but didn't figure out in the dark how to do the zoom.

Today I finally had the time to mess with it, and I have to say I have a new toy to play with now. Oooo the closeups! Nikon has some pretty good anti shake mechanism going on, the pics were rock steady.

Happy Winter, Folks!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I ask you, doesn't this ring true??

The central tenet in the Beltway religion is secrecy. That's how political and media operatives feel important and Serious: by having access to information about what our Government is doing that is denied to most Americans. If you want to persuade a Senator or journalist of anything, send a military or intelligence officer to hold a "classified" briefing or to provide a special leak, flatter them with how Super Secret the information is that they alone are hearing, and use the Utmost Serious Tones to make clear to them that these are matters of the highest importance. Feed a Beltway denizen scraps of secret information and they will be deeply grateful and unfailingly loyal.

I can just totally see Cheney's operatives going around congress in 2003, whispering all sorts of crapola into every Democrat's ear: Ooooo, secret - top secret, be one of the kewl kids like me, and vote for torture and the forever war!

It's from a worthy article by Glenn Greenwald. go read

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

New Poll:

American Research Group, Feb. 16-19, 2008, 1100 Adults, MOE +/- 2.6%

Bush Job Approval
Approve 19%
Disapprove 77%
Undecided 4%

Hattip : Shakes Sis

More Recalls of toys from China

By The Associated Press Tue Feb 19, 11:59 AM ET

The following recalls have been announced:

• About 64,000 Cinderella 12-volt electric, ride-on toy vehicles, manufactured in China by Dumar International USA, because the wires under the hood and in the battery compartment under the seat can short-circuit. This poses a burn hazard for a child riding in the car. The company has received 40 reports of overheating incidents, including several where smoke issued from under the seat where the battery is located. In one report flames shot out from under the car's hood. No injuries have been reported. The cars were sold at Wal-Mart stores around the country between August 2005 and February 2006. Details: by phone at 866-424-0500; by Web at or

• About 6,600 Spider-Man water bottles manufactured in China by Fast Forward LLC, because screws under the lid can come loose and fall into the cup. This puts children at risk of choking. The company has received three reports of screws coming loose, but no reports of injuries. The cups were sold at Sears stores around the country between July and August 2007. Details: by phone at 877-244-4433; by Web at

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pics of the Day

The late afternoon sun reflects off the remnants of snow left over after all this crazy weather.

It's 29 today, yesterday it was 50 degrees - with motorcycles whizzing past.

The pounding rain the other day didn't melt the snow, it just saturated it. Then it froze solid overnight, only to surface melt in the warmth yesterday. It's a frozen world out there today, with a stiff, cold breeze out of the north.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Open Letter to Mr Lieberman( I - CT)

Senator Lieberman,

Waterboarding is indeed torture, and you, sir should be ashamed.

Here's how a REAL American faces up to our challenges:

Chairman Reyes:
" I, for one, do not intend to back down - not to the terrorists and not to anyone, including a President, who wants Americans to cower in fear.

We are a strong nation. We cannot allow ourselves to be scared into suspending the Constitution. If we do that, we might as well call the terrorists and tell them that they have won."

Keith Olbermann:

"If the President seems to be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, it means we can safely conclude… there is no baby.

Because if there were, sir, now that you have vetoed an extension of this eavesdropping, if some terrorist attack were to follow…

You would not merely be guilty of siding with the terrorists…

You would not merely be guilty of prioritizing the telecoms over the people…

You would not merely be guilty of stupidity…

You would not merely be guilty of treason, sir…

You would be personally, and eternally, responsible.

And if there is one thing we know about you, Mr. Bush, one thing that you have proved time and time again… it is that you are never responsible.

As recently ago as 2006, we spoke words like these with trepidation.

The idea that even the most cynical and untrustworthy of politicians in our history — George W. Bush — would use the literal form of terrorism against his own people — was dangerous territory. It seemed to tempt fate, to heighten fear.

We will not fear any longer.

We will not fear the international terrorists — we will thwart them.

We will not fear the recognition of the manipulation of our yearning for safety — we will call it what it is: terrorism.

We will not fear identifying the vulgar hypocrites in our government — we will name them.

And we will not fear George W. Bush.

Nor will we fear because George W. Bush wants us to fear."

Mr Lieberman, you are a crass liar, and a shaking, wet-your-pants coward.

I am ashamed that they call you a Senator from Connecticut.

Very Sincerely

*check out the post at Firedog Lake

Monday, February 11, 2008

Snowy Sunday

It was coming down thick and fast yesterday, and there I was, going from window to window snapping off shots.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

President Petulence Demands...

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration foresees a sharp rise in the capture of al-Qaida-linked terrorists in the coming year and is asking for more money to pay for tips that may lead to their arrest or death.
Translation: President Prissy Pants took out his Majik Eight Ball of Prophecy and it told him (or maybe it's 'God' whispering in his head...) that he'll be capturing more terr'ists this year - "So fork over some money so I can buy me some innocents to torture for their made-up 'intelligence'!"

He can demand the money for his cronies, he can demand the money for war toys, now he can even demand money to throw around in an effort to corrupt people over on the other side of the globe, but he won't allow Congress to set aside the money for Children's health or for the Education of our own citizens, or for the continuing relief of our fallen soldiers.

It just makes me heartsick.

go read

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bush "balances" his budget on the backs of Seniors and the Poor

Somebody please take his credit cards away! Bushco's new budget relies on:

"...nearly $178 billion in savings from Medicare over five years_ nearly triple what he proposed last year. Much of the savings would come from freezing reimbursement rates for most health care providers for three years. An additional $17 billion would come from the Medicaid program, the state-federal partnership that provides health coverage to the poor.

~ SNIP ~

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the Bush budget would project the 10-year cost of the program, from 2008 to 2017, at $915 billion. That's $117 billion less than what had been forecast last summer. The agency attributed the lower estimate to smaller increases in the cost of medicines, and better deals negotiated between insurers and drug manufacturers.
If they wanted deals between the payors and the manufacturers, why did they make it illegal for the govt to negotiate with the manufacturers? Seems to me they'd have a lot more leverage if they did the whole thing in one go. If he's seriously thinking that this would balance the budget, then he must have been criminally negligent to sign the bill in the first place without negotiation being included.

Crooks and morons are running the asylum, friends. For more of this article click here

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