The Republic

by JASON | 8:12 PM in | comments (0)

Beijing, China -- The United States of America has tendered to China a written agreement which grants to the People's Republic of China, an option to exercise Eminent Domain within the USA, as collateral for China's continued purchase of US Treasury Notes and existing US Currency reserves!

On February 11, Bloomberg Business News reported that China was seeking "guarantees" for its US Government debt (Story Here), and it now appears they got it. Well placed senior sources at the US Embassy in Beijing CONFIRM the formal written agreement was delivered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her recent trip to China.

This means that in the event the US Government defaults on its financial obligations to China, the Communist Government of China would be permitted to physically take -- inside the USA -- land, buildings, factories, perhaps even entire cities - to satisfy the financial obligations of the US government.

Put simply, the feds have actually mortgaged the physical land and property of all citizens and businesses in the United States. They have given to a foreign power, their Constitutional power to "take" all of our property, as actual collateral for continued Chinese funding of US deficit spending and the continued carrying of US national debt.

This is an unimaginable betrayal of every man, woman and child in the USA. An outrage worthy of violent overthrow.

Before you run off to Walmart to buy up any ammo they have in stock....I'm diving deep for more sources besides one man's blog...I will keep you updated...I also appreciate any links or additional information. Thank you in advance!

Here's the update as of March 5th 2009...

The State Department says there is "no factual basis" to an Internet rumor that went viral over the weekend claiming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was willing to pledge American homes to China as collateral for Beijing buying U.S. debt.

The rumor, in various versions, claimed Clinton brought with her last month to Beijing a written agreement offering to extend to China the option to exercise eminent domain rights within the U.S. The rights purportedly were offered as collateral for China's continued willingness to purchase additional trillions of dollars in U.S. Treasury debt the Obama administration hopes to sell to finance projected federal budget deficits.

"There is no factual basis or substance to this report," Laura Tischler, a State Department press officer, e-mailed WND in response to an inquiry.

The massive amount of U.S. Treasury debt financing
is projected to increase the current $10 trillion national debt by 65 percent in just the first two years of the Obama administration.

Underlying the Internet rumor was the fact that a major purpose of Clinton's February trip to China was to make sure the Chinese would continue to buy U.S. Treasury debt in the trillions of dollars the Obama administration will need to fund the massive budgetary deficits planned for economic bailouts and an unprecedented expansion of the welfare state.

China and Japan are the two largest holders of U.S. Treasury debt, with China currently owning some $800 billion in Treasury debt securities.

While bloggers go into a frenzy about a rumor that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave Eminent Domain rights to China, which has been denied by the U.S. State Department, they ignore the real threat from one of the fastest growing economy's in the world.

These are the things that should give them concern:

* China owns 40% of our debts and that leaves the U.S. helpless if it decides to invade any of its allies. Or if it supports a North Korean attack on South Korea.

* If China decides to cash in the U.S. bonds it owns, there would be a total financial collapse of United States. If it decides to stop buying bonds, the U.S. Treasury would have to speed up the printing of dollars which would lead to crippling inflation.

* China has been on a major shopping spree investing in energy and natural resources all over the world, including in Brazilian, Russia and Venezuela oil and Australia's aluminium and zinc production.

There is much to worry about how hostility from China could affect the United States so worrying about Eminent Domain rumors is wasting a lot of energy that could be used in trying to understand the purpose of Clinton's trip to China and be grateful for what she has accomplished in keeping the U.S. from a total economic collapse.

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- China should seek guarantees that its $682 billion holdings of U.S. government debt won’t be eroded by “reckless policies,” said Yu Yongding, a former adviser to the central bank.

The U.S. “should make the Chinese feel confident that the value of the assets at least will not be eroded in a significant way,” Yu, who now heads the World Economics and Politics Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said in response to e-mailed questions yesterday from Beijing. He declined to elaborate on the assurances needed by China, the biggest foreign holder of U.S. government debt.

Clinton Talks

“In talks with Clinton, China will ask for a guarantee that the U.S. will support the dollar’s exchange rate and make sure China’s dollar-denominated assets are safe,” said He in Beijing. “That would be one of the prerequisites for more purchases.”

BEIJING (AFP) — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sunday urged China to keep buying US debt as she wrapped up her first overseas trip, during which she agreed to work closely with Beijing on the financial crisis.

Clinton made the plea shortly before leaving China, the final stop on a four-nation Asian tour that also took her to Japan, Indonesia and South Korea, where she worked the crowds to try to restore America's standing abroad.

In Beijing, she called on authorities in Beijing to continue buying US Treasuries, saying it would help jumpstart the flagging US economy and stimulate imports of Chinese goods.

"By continuing to support American Treasury instruments the Chinese are recognising our interconnection. We are truly going to rise or fall together," Clinton said at the US embassy here.

Later, Clinton met Chinese women's rights advocates at the US embassy but continued to steer clear of speaking on contentious human rights issues.

Instead, while taping an interview on a Chinese talk show, she focused on the need for China to help finance the massive 787-billion-dollar US economic stimulus plan by continuing to buy US Treasuries.

"Because our economies are so intertwined the Chinese know that in order to start exporting again to its biggest market, the United States had to take some very drastic measures with this stimulus package," Clinton said.

"We have to incur more debt. It would not be in China's interest if we were unable to get our economy moving again."

Clinton added: "The US needs the investment in Treasury bonds to shore up its economy to continue to buy Chinese products."

The US secretary of state had said on Saturday after meetings with China's leaders that Beijing was still confident in US Treasury bonds and expressed Washington's appreciation for the investments.

China is the top holder of US Treasury bills, with 696.2 billion dollars worth of the securities in December followed by Japan with 578.3 billion dollars, according to the latest official data from Washington.

On March 13th 2008, there was a secret closed door meeting of The United States House Of Representatives in Washington. In the history of The United States, this is only the fourth time a secret meeting was held by the House.

Here is what was allegedly revealed to the Reps:

* The imminent collapse of the U.S. Economy to occur sometime in late 2008

* The imminent collapse of the U.S. Government finances sometime in mid 2009

* The possibility of Civil War inside the United States as a result of the collapse

* The advance round-ups of 'insurgent U.S. Citizens' likely to move against the government

* The detention of those rounded up at The REX 84 Camps constructed throughout the United States

* The possibility of public retaliation against members of Congress for the collapses (especially Pelosi?)

* The location of safe facilities for members of Congress and their families to reside during massive civil unrest

* The necessary and unavoidable merger of The U.S. with Canada and Mexico establishing The North American Union

* The issuance of a new currency called the AMERO for all three nations as an economic solution.

The Russian's are excited and chattering away about to same article though...

Beijing - General Motors is doing it. The world's second-largest mining group is doing it. Russia, Brazil, and Venezuela are doing it. And China is loving it.

Squeezed between falling profits and the credit crunch, a growing number of troubled corporations and countries are turning to cash-rich China for a bailout. And with foreign assets cheaper than they have been for years, Beijing is on an international spending spree.

"The international financial crisis ... is equally a challenge and an opportunity," China's energy czar, Zhang Guobao, wrote recently in the official newspaper People's Daily. "The slowdown ... has reduced the price of international energy resources and assets and favors our search for overseas resources."

So far, the government has concentrated on natural-resource deals, securing supplies of oil and minerals in return for large amounts of cash. But private Chinese firms are also taking advantage of the crisis in other sectors: Diesel-engine giant Weichai Power is expected to buy a French plant that US automaker General Motors is selling off in its struggle to survive.

President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled the most expansive blueprint for federal government involvement in the US economy in more than a generation in a ten-year budget outline that showed this year’s deficit quadrupling to $1,750bn.

The document, which lays out ambitious plans to create universal health insurance and adopt an economy-wide carbon permit trading system by 2012, was heavily panned by Republicans.

Ron Paul @ CPAC

by JASON | 6:46 PM in | comments (0)

More Ron Paul....

American Resistance Movement

by JASON | 2:44 PM in | comments (0)

Informational your own judge!

I'm not going to engage in a for or against. What I will say is....these are desperate times! Be careful! I propose a solution though not the likes of which has been presented here....see the link...

Water Power

by JASON | 11:14 PM in | comments (0)

2nd Amendment

by JASON | 7:01 PM in | comments (0)

or YouTube version...

A Tucson, Arizona homeowner alerted of an impending home invasion by his security cameras, armed himself and took matters into his hands when four armed suspects attempted to break into his home last week.

In the surveillance video you see a vehicle pull up, and four men run out.

One of them is carrying what appears to be an AR-15 or M-16, a weapon which could be fully automatic.

The robbery happened in broad daylight.

The victim was able to get back inside his house, close his door, semi barricade it, reach for [a] weapon that was easily accessible," says Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Earl Gieron.

The homeowner shot at the suspects. He even put a bullet through the windshield of the suspects car, which is also caught on camera. The four men retreated and took off. All of them remain on the run.

On a side's some great weapon lubricant to protect your 2nd Amendment tools...

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The Truth via the Media

by JASON | 5:02 PM in | comments (0)

Law Enforcement

by JASON | 7:03 PM in | comments (0)

Across the country, the money crunch has gotten so severe that police departments, which are usually the last targeted for budget cuts, have started to feel the economic hard times.

The results of a survey of 233 major police and sheriff's departments released to ABC News show that cities are resorting to law enforcement hiring freezes, potential layoffs and overtime cuts as means to push back against budget crises.

With tax dollars drying up from a devastated auto industry, city officials in Pontiac, Mich., have slashed their police force by two-thirds in recent years. Phoenix, facing a budget deficit of $270 million, might delay filling 250 vacant police officer positions.

Atlanta has cut police salaries by 10 percent by shaving four hours off the workweek of every officer -- including the chief.

"We have been furloughing each and every police officer on our department including myself. We work 36 hours a week now, which equates to a 10 percent reduction in pay. And it also equates to a 10 percent reduction in resources on the street," Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington told ABC News. "We have 10 percent less manpower on the streets of Atlanta, and that's broken down 24 hours, seven days a week."

And the story in Atlanta is echoed throughout the communities surveyed by the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group that researches law enforcement issues and analyzes public policy.

27 percent of departments have implemented a hiring freeze for police officers.

12 percent are considering layoffs or forced retirements.

49 percent have reduced or eliminated funding for technology updates.

61 percent of departments have cut overtime, which is often used to boost police presence in high crime areas.

"We've already cut our overtime expenditures in half in the last three months," Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis told ABC News. "So already, we're seeing a reduction in the number of officers that are out there on the street, simply to try to stave off layoffs. We're doing everything that we can within our budget to stay away from layoffs, but we don't know if we're going to be able to do that."

Executive Orders

by JASON | 8:30 AM in | comments (0)

Executive orders are presidential proclamations or directives that have the force of law without prior congressional approval.

No constitutional basis exists for any president to legislate or make laws through executive orders.

What began as a narrow use of executive orders under extreme national crises has grown into executive discretion bordering on dictatorial powers." This growth in executive discretion is largely due to Congress' reluctance to exercise its legislative responsibilities. Congress has delegated broad discretionary authority in the name of flexibility, effectiveness or efficiency." Because of its neglect, the president has rarely been held accountable for his orders. In the words of Justice J. Jackson in Youngstown v. Sawyer: "We may say that power to legislate · belongs in the hands of Congress, but only Congress itself can prevent power from slipping through its fingers."4

Now, with the "stroke of the pen," an executive order effectively becomes the "law of the land." While some executive orders are appropriate uses of presidential authority, others violate the Constitution and threaten our civil liberties.

Congress must either abolish or amend the National Emergencies Act of 1976." It must hold the president accountable for his actions." Ultimately, we must all step up to the plate." "If we are to be saved from the autocracy that follows [the abuse of presidential power], Congress, the states and the courts must perform their duties under our system of divided and separated powers," said William J. Olsen and Alan Woll.47" Otherwise, in the words of Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Maryland), "We'll need another revolution."48


by JASON | 1:00 PM in | comments (0)

Sprouts are the most reliable year-round source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and many B vitamins (such as folacin). Sprouting seeds, grains, and legumes greatly increases their content of those vitamins. For example, the vitamin A content (per calorie) of sprouted Mung beans is two-and-a-half times higher than the dry bean, and some beans have more than eight times more vitamin A after being sprouted. Sprouts preserve our body's enzymes, which is extremely important. How do they do this? Sprouted beans, grains, nuts, and seeds are extremely easy to digest. Sprouting essentially pre-digests the food for us by breaking down the concentrated starch into simpler carbohydrates and the protein into free amino acids, so our own enzymes don't have to work so hard. Sprouting also removes anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors, and that makes sprouts even easier to digest, further sparing enzymes. Another anti-nutrient is phytates, which is what stops some people from enjoying grains such as wheat. Many people who can't eat unsprouted wheat find they can eat all the sprouted wheat they want with no problem

Almost any vegetable or grain can be consumed from sprouts. Broccoli, cauliflower, and mustard greens sprouts are loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, enzymes, and chlorophyll. In a recent study, 1 oz. of broccoli sprouts had the same cancer-fighting power as over 1½ pounds of fully-grown broccoli.

Sprouting 101 - No prerequisites required

There are two main types of sprouts, each using different equipment:

Bean Sprouts are traditionally used in oriental cooking. Seed is sanitized, soaked, spread into large bins, and placed in a controlled environment in which the humidity, water, nutrients, gasses, and temperature are constantly monitored. Unlike green sprouts, bean sprouts are grown completely in the dark.

Green Sprouts may be cooked also but are more typically found in salads and sandwiches. The most common green sprouts are alfalfa, broccoli, clover, cress, mustard, peas, radish and sunflower. Edible grasses such as wheat, oats, barley and rye can also be produced.

Start Sprouting!
Economics: Seeds can multiply 7-15 times their weight. At$4.00/lb.for seed, that yields 26 cents for a pound of fresh spouted indoor-grown organic greens!

Nutrition: Sprouts are baby plants in their prime. At this stage of their growth, they have a greater concentration of protein, vitamins and minerals, enzymes, RNA, DNA, bio-flavinoids, T-cell, etc., than at any other point in the plant's life--even when compared with the mature vegetable!

Organic: No chemicals, fumigants or questions about certification. You can trust it's pure because you are the grower!
Availability: From Florida to Alaska; in January or July, enjoy live anytime, anywhere, even on a boat or when hiking a mountain trail.

Space-Time: It's Easy! Just add water! No soil. No bugs. No green thumb required. No special lights. One pound takes grows in only 9 inches of space and takes 1 minute of care per day.

Freshness: Because they are picked the same day they are eaten there is no loss of nutrients sitting in crates or on grocery store shelves.

Digestibility: Because sprouts are baby plants, their delicate cell walls release live nourishment easily. Their nutrients exist in elemental form and the abundance of enzymes make them easy to digest even for those with weak digestion.

Versatility: More varieties of salad greens than on your supermarket shelves...including buckwheat lettuce, baby sunflower, French onion, garlic chive, Chinese cabbage, purple turnip, curly kale, daikon radish, crimson clover, golden alfalfa and more... Your salads will never be boring again!

Meals: Make sprout breads from sprouted wheat, rye, or barley. Snacks from sprouted peanuts, hummus dip from sprouted banzo, cooked vegetable side dish made from sprouted green Chinese sautes from mung, adzuki and lentils, even sprouted wheat pizza!

Ecology: No airplanes or fuel/oil consumed to deliver food to you. No petroleum based pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

Sprouts are baby green plants. Like all helio-tropes, they follow the sun from dawn to dusk. Through the miracle of photosynthesis, they create their own food (carbohydrate) from sunlight. Jars are simply not designed to accommodate this natural growth process. Sprouters wit: vertical orientation, on the other hand, work in harmony with the natural movement of green plants. They permit your sprout greens grow like vegetables in your garden. In this book, we will be using colander style vertical sprouter. Borrowing from the Orient's love bamboo as a cooking utensil, we will use a simple, widely available bamboo basket as our sprouter in the step by step discussion of how grow sprouted baby vegetables indoors. In this sprouter, the sprout roots support themselves by winding into the weave of the basket instead soil. Once firmly anchored, they grow straight and stand tall. Our technique will apply to any sprouter with a vertical orientation and ample height for growth. Vertical sprouters grow the seedlings the way vegetables grow the garden. Each seed gets proper exposure to light and air. The seed hulls that are normally trapped inside a jar are free to fall naturally. This makes less cleaning work for you, and the grow sprouts are free of this dead matter which can cause rot. Some the hulls are heavy, such as sunflower shells, which become entangled in the mass of roots making the whole lot inedible. Other varieties are 4-6 inches tall and even if they could grow in a jar, would not fit. While jars are okay for basic bean sprouting, they were never intended for the more sophisticated indoor gardening of salad greens.

Top 10 Reason to Sprout

1. Only Pennies Per Serving- One tablespoon of organic seeds will fill a quart jar with several ounces of sprouts. A 4-ounce package will supplies several pounds of organic sprouts. Even larger crops are to be had with our other sprouting supplies, equipment and accessories.

2. Simple and Easy- It takes less than a minute per day to grow and prepare sprouts with the proper organic sprouting supplies and accessories. Sprouts will grow nearly anywhere indoors, in any season with the proper sprouting accessories. Sprouts require very little space and travel well. They are the ideal vegetables for campers, boaters and RVers. Complete, easy-to-follow instructions are provided in the sprouting equipment kits, on the seed package labels and in the Handy Pantry’s book, Sprouting for Health in the new millennium.

3. Fresh and Fast- This “garden in your kitchen” grows very fast with our quality organic sprouting supplies, in any kind of weather. No digging, planting, weeding, pests or chemicals involved. And there’s no long wait, as in seasonal outdoor gardens. Just 3 to 7 days to a bountiful, nutrition-packed harvest. When stored in your refrigerator, they will stay fresh for days- even weeks if rinsed properly.

4. Toxin-free Food- Organic Sprouts are as sweet and pure as Nature intended food to be. The Handy Pantry supplies only natural, untreated seeds, with up to 99% rates of germination, grown especially for sprouting. Almost all the organic sprouting supplies we now carry are now organic.

5. Complete Foods-Sprouts are real health food. They are full of life- as you will see in how fast and luxuriously they grow with the proper supplies, equipment and accessories. The right combination of sprouts contains everything needed for life and health. All their many nutritional elements are easily assimilated and readily available to your body. When home-grown, you know they are pure, and you can enjoy them at the peak of their perfection.

6. Tasty and Delicious-Bursting with flavor, you may be surprised how truly delectable they are when they are grown with the proper sprouting equipment. Enjoy them in salads, on sandwiches, stir-fried, steamed, or even baked in wholesome, home-made breads. You will find several recipe ideas in our book, Sprouting for Health in the 90’s. Check out our sprout recipes!

7. Highly Nutritious-Several contain more protein than cooked meat-at a tiny fraction of the cost. The presence and balance of amino acids makes this protein more digestible. All sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and fiber. When exposed to light, several become rich in chlorophyll. For specific nutritional qualities of each, see Sprouting for Health in the 90’s.

8. Low in Calories / Low Fat-One fully-packed cup of organic alfalfa sprouts contains only 16 calories. Sprouts supplies your body with simple sugars for quick energy. Sprouts contain no cholesterol and provide several essential fatty acids. Sprouts are the perfect weight-loss accessories and body-purification food for the 90’s. With the accessories and equipment offered here you will be on the road to a much healthier life.

9. Help Detox your Body-Chlorophyll helps cleanse and oxygenate the blood. Enzymes aid in the digestion and assimilation of nutrients, and contribute to the body’s life force. Fiber aids elimination and their lecithin helps the body get rid of cholesterol. A raw food diet is one of the best ways to detox your body. With the proper Organic Sprouting supplies, equipment and accessories you will never be without this super food.

10. Build your Immune System- Antioxidants supplies protection for you from radiation and toxic chemicals. They are an equipment of sorts to help the body to cleanse, detox, rebuild and heal itself. Organic Sprouts are rich in antioxidants and supplies protection for you from the health scourge of the 90’s— toxic build-up. Antioxidant enzymes are especially important, because they are essential for the proper function of the immune system. Organic sprouts are one of the best sources for these important nutrients and with the proper organic sprouting supplies, equipment and accessories you will be able to build up your immune system.

Good sprouting technique doesn't take a "green thumb" , just a good set of sprout instructions on how to sprout seeds and paying attention to four factors: the right amount of moisture, the correct temperature, the free circulation of air, and minimal light. By rinsing them a couple of times daily, you keep them moist. You also wash away carbon dioxide and other metabolic wastes that could cause souring or spoiling. Using cool water when rinsing ventilates and cools the sprouts to prevent overheating. Proper drainage prevents excessive moisture that can cause mold and rot and is essential in how to sprout seeds. The ideal sprouting temperature depends on the seed, but generally lies between 70 and 85 degrees F. To protect the tiny growing things, keep sprouting containers away from cold drafts, direct heat, or any light. For free air circulation, at least one-third of the container must be empty. Sprouts expand 6 to 10 times over a few days, so give them plenty of room to grow. Sprouts are very light sensitive and need to be covered during the early stages of the growing cycle.

The Six Rules of How to Sprout Seeds:

* Rinse often.
* Keep seeds / sprouts moist, not wet.
* Keep seeds / sprouts at room temperature.
* Give them plenty of room to breathe.
* Don't put too many seeds in any one container.
* Keep them covered - no light.

Sprouting wheat berries is trouble-free and well worth the three-day wait that it takes for them to grow into nourishing little green sprouts. Once the small berries develop a small sprout on the end they become what is classified as a “living food”, and are ready to be eaten as sprouts. Raw fruits and vegetables that have never been cooked are considered to be “living foods” and are the most beneficial to our health.

Live foods, like wheat berry sprouts, have miraculous amounts of cell restoring properties that help repair and build up our system towards resistance to sickness and disease. This is one reason why eating raw foods is so important in our daily diet - eating four to five servings of live/raw foods daily is absolutely imperative to having good health.

Two or three servings of your raw food intake can be from your very own wheat sprouts that you grow yourself! Wheat sprouts are excellent in salads, soups, and tossed on any cooked food, such as rice, pasta, and vegetable stir fry dishes. When the stir fry is finished cooking, and it is taken off of the heat, toss in several heaping tablespoons of sprouts to the dish or add them to your own dish for extra nutrition. Wheat sprouts are very tasteful and add a nutty like flavor and chewy texture to the foods.

Sprouting wheat is an easy way to have fresh, nourishing sprouts for your favorite foods at anytime. Your smaller children will truly enjoy helping you to bring to life these small wheat kernels and they will probably like the nutty flavor they bring to your dishes. Wheat berries are already nutritious just as they are for making breads and other whole wheat foods, imagine how much more nutritious they will be after they develop into a living food – the wheat sprout.

The nutritional content of the wheat berry quadruples in some of the vitamins and minerals through the sprouting process. For example, once the wheat berry is sprouted, vitamin B-12 quadruples, other B vitamins increases 3 to 12 times, vitamin E content triples, and the fiber content increases three to four times that of whole wheat bread! According to research undertaken at the University of Minnesota, sprouting increases the total nutrient density of wheat berries. Here is an example of what happens to the wheat berry once it sprouts. It’s absolutely amazing!

* Vitamin B1 (thiamin) increase of 28%
* Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) increase of 315%
* Vitamin B3 (niacin) increase of 66%
* Vitamin B5 (pantathenic) increase of 65%
* Biotin increase of 111%
* Folic acid increase of 278%
* Vitamin C increase of 300%

How to Sprout Wheat Berries

You will need a wide mouthed quart sized pickle jar, or other jar, and a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth. Fill the jar half full of water, add three tablespoons wheat berries and let stand over night. The next morning strain and rinse the wheat berries using a fine mesh strainer. Cover jar with a terry cloth or mesh screen and hold it in place with a rubber band.

Place sprouts on their side facing towards a window so they receive light, but not sunlight. Rinse sprouts a couple of times a day. I rinse my sprouts in the morning and in the evening. Within three days you will see that your sprouts have come to life. If the sprouts are not green than they need more light. It only takes a few hours for the sprouts to turn green and come alive with chlorophyll and abundant life giving nourishment. Once your berries have sprouted they should be kept in the refrigerator to retain freshness. Isn’t that easy?

In my home, I like to have two jars of sprouts going at one time so I will have always have sprouts on hand. In which case you can start another jar of sprouts on the second day of the first jar. An excellent way to look good and feel well throughout the day is to eat healthy snacks. I mix wheat sprouts with raisins or other dried fruits such as dates, prunes, and figs, and sometimes I add pecans or almonds to this mix. This is a great tasting snack that you can bring along to work with you to provide energy throughout the day. You can also pack this mix in your children’s lunch box for a nutritious protein filled snack.

You can sprout several different types of seeds. Try alfalfa first; alfalfa sprouts are tasty and easy to grow. They are ready in about six days. Most sprouts grow more quickly in the warm summer months and more slowly in cooler temperatures. You can also sprout wheat, clover, cabbage, lentils, mung beans, radish seeds, soy beans and fenugreek seeds. If you sprout wheat or lentils, I recommend that you eat the sprouts quite early, such as on the second or third day at the latest. Wheat and lentil sprouts are rather hard to chew after that, although they are certainly still good for you. I do not recommend trying to sprout mung beans or soy beans at first. Mung sprouts are fussy and soy bean sprouts can have a rather strong odor. I am very partial to radish sprouts because they are a bit "hot" or spicy, just like a radish. Yum. Your local health food store or co-op probably has more information on seeds for sprouting. Don't hesitate to ask.

It is important that you obtain unsprayed, FRESH seed for sprouting. Stale seed does not germinate (sprout) very well. It is a good idea to smell the seeds that you are about to buy. Do they smell stale, old or rancid? If so, shop elsewhere. It is wise to purchase your seeds someplace where they sell a LOT of seeds. This helps ensure freshness. You do not want to buy huge amounts of seed at a time, either. Start with perhaps half of a pound or a pound at most. At home, we keep our seeds in separate glass jars with tightly-fitting lids. And of course, keep the seed dry until you are ready to grow!

Plain tap water is usually fine for rinsing your sprouts. If your harvest is small, you might consider filtering your tap water, or letting it stand for a day before use. These ideas often help if you are having trouble getting the seeds to germinate. It is normal for some of the seeds to NOT sprout. Most should, or the seeds are too old.

For the first few days, your sprouts do not need sunlight. After all, seeds normally sprout underground. For the final couple of days, it is a good idea to put them in the window to get sunlight. This will "green up" your sprouts and help them grow more quickly. Continue to rinse and drain the sprouts right up until you eat them.

One of the healthiest things you can do is eat a jar or two of assorted sprouts each day. Sprouts are a complete protein, just like meat... but without the fat and other negative aspects of dead animal muscle. Sprouts are loaded with enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Eating a lot of the different kinds of sprouts gives you a virtually perfect diet. Sprouts are inexpensive and really tasty when you grow them yourself. Sure, you can buy them in a store. You will also pay more and get a much less fresh, and much less flavorful, product.

In order to have two jars of sprouts to eat each day, you need to START two jars each day. This is why you need all those jars that we mentioned earlier. If you start two jars daily, and the sprouts take six days to be ready to eat, then you need twelve jars. Starting three jars each day means 15 jars, and so on.

It does sound like a lot to eat two jars of sprouts per day. Remember, though, that each jar will not be full. Normally, the sprouts will only fill the jar half to two-thirds full. Also, sprouts take up a lot of space. Try making a sandwich using sprouts instead of lettuce. You will find that when you press the slices of bread together that the sprouts crush right down to very little. So eat your sprouts!

How should sprouts be eaten? Raw, that's how. (Soy sprouts would be the exception here: they are better cooked.) When you make a salad, use sprouts for a base instead of lettuce. Then add the cut-up vegetables that you like best on top of the sprouts. Feel free to use different salad dressings if you wish. I am in favor of ANY dressing that gets you to eat a lot of sprouts.

Should you find that you have too many sprouts ready on a given day, you can refrigerate them. I suggest loosely covering the jar opening with an inverted small sandwich beg to keep the moisture level inside about right. Avoid storing the sprouts in the back or bottom of the refrigerator where it is coldest. Frozen sprouts do not appeal to most people.

If I had just one piece of health advice to give to a person, it would be to eat a lot of sprouts. People who do are so much healthier. There's only one way to prove this for yourself, and that is to try it for yourself.

List of Wheatgrass Juicers

Another source for sprouting info

Other resources

Growing Wheatgrass – a beginners guide

This guide shows you one common way to growing wheatgrass at home. Because wheatgrass isn’t frequently available in the average high street, many juicing enthusiasts look to growing wheatgrass at home. You may be able to find wheatgrass in specialist health food stores, alternatively you can buy organically grown wheatgrass online.

Soak around 500g of your wheatgrass seeds in water for 8 hours. Just before the end of the soaking period prepare a 20 x 10 inch seed tray (of around 2 inches depth) by adding about 11/2 inches of moist compost and potting mix. Try to use an organic growing medium. After soaking, drain the seeds, rinse thoroughly and then drain the seeds again.

Spread the seeds evenly over the compost mix. Add another half inch of soil your growing medium and then water the seeds using a watering can with a rose so as to give an even distribution of water. Your compost mix should be moist but not sodden. It is vital to keep your soil moist whilst the wheatgrass is growing so the tray should be watered everyday. You should then cover the tray either with moist newspaper, another tray, or plastic bubble wrap. This covering helps to keep the moisture in.

After 3 days the wheatgrass should be a couple of inches in height. You can then remove the cover off the tray and place the tray in a position where the wheatgrass will receive good amounts of indirect sunlight. You should not place the Wheatgrass in direct sunlight as this can cause drying out of the soil which inhibits growth. The sunlight will enable the sprout to produce chlorophyll which will quickly transform the yellow wheatgrass sprouts to a vivid green colour.

You should harvest when the wheatgrass is about 7-8 inches in length as this is when it is at it’s nutritional peak. To harvest your wheatgrass simply trim an a centimeter or two above the soil surface with a pair of scissors or a chefs knife. You should rinse your crop thoroughly before putting it through your juicer.

The time to harvest after you remove the seed cover is about 4-5 days but this can be increased/decreased by changing the temperature and light levels in your growing micro-climate. 65-68° F is a widely accepted temperature for growing wheatgrass in. If the temperature is too hot or the air is too humid then mould formation can occur. Some people are allergic to mould and it is also bad news for people who suffer from asthma. If mould does form in your wheatgrass then trim the wheatgrass well above the mould to avoid ingesting the mould. For more information see the wheatgrass FAQs.

If you harvest more wheatgrass then you wish to juice that day then simply transfer the excess wheatgrass into an airtight container and refrigerate. The wheatgrass should keep for a few days.

Once you are familiar with

* the time cycle associated with growing wheatgrass (which will differ for different climates and seasons)
* how much juice a tray yields
* how much wheatgrass juice you consume each day

you will be able to plan when to plant your next tray of wheatgrass to ensure that you have a constant supply of fresh grown and harvested, nutritionally packed wheatgrass that has been produced using organic methods. Growing your own wheatgrass is also the most economical way of obtaining a regular intake of the the green wonder juice!

Basic sprouters

There are three forms of basic sprouter, sprouting tray, the sprouting jar and the sprouting bag.

Sprouting trays
Sprouting trays are one or more trays that you spread your seeds across. They normally have drainage holes in the bottom of the trays to allow water that rinses the sprouts to drain off freely. A tray sprouter may have drip trays built into it and may have tray lids to help retain moisture levels in the sprouting environments air. Tray sprouters often offer a 'modular' design where trays can be stacked on top and next to each other in a snug fitting modular fashion to make economical use of the room space you have allocated to sprouting.

Sprouting Jars
Sprouting Jars are probably the most well known form of sprouter and are often peoples first sprouter. You can make your own sprouting jar whereas commercial sprouting jars tend to have sprouting functionality built into them such as an angled storage and perforated lids to aid in efficient drainage. Sprouting jars don't tend to have as good air circulation as other forms of sprouter which means that you may have to rinse your sprouts more often.

Sprouting bags
Sprouting bags are sometimes chosen in preference to sprouting jars because they allow better air circulation and drainage due to their porous nature. Sprouting bags are often made of hemp fibre which is a natural fibre that drains freely. Sprouting bags also make rinsing and drainage as simple as can be as they are simply dipped and swirled for rinsing and then hung up to allow for drainage (this is however not the least messy of sprouters). Sprouting bags are the best option for those that travel a lot as you can easily pack your sprouting bag and a selection of seed packets into any travel bag. Do not be tempted to make your own sprouting bag from plastic carrier bags as the drainage and air circulation will be poor. Sprouting bags are especially popular for sprouting beans and seeds.

First, you must soak most seeds and grains for about 8 hours. I generally soak them overnight for convenience. Begin by putting 3-4 tablespoons of seeds into your sprouting/soaking container (when sprouting grain, I sprout 1 cup at a time) and cover generously with purified water. At the end of 8 hours, or when you get up in the morning, thoroughly drain the seeds/grain.

Next, rinse the seeds/grain for about 30 seconds under rushing tap water. This is a very important step. When I first started sprouting, I tried to rinse my seeds using water from my purification system. There was not enough volume and pressure to rinse the seeds thoroughly. I ruined several batches of seeds before I figured out what was going wrong.

After rinsing your seeds, make sure you drain or shake of any excess water. If your seeds are left to stand in excess water they will rot…Avoid the disappointment of ruined sprouts by rinsing and draining thoroughly.

Now that your seeds have been soaked, rinsed and drained once, they will begin sprouting. From this point you should continue rinsing and draining 3 times daily until they are finished, about 3 days: I have found that routinely rinsing and draining my sprouting seeds once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening before I go to bed results in successful crops every time.

Another principle which aids in successful sprouting is using an effective sprouting container. In the past I used a mason jar with a sprouting lid. I never had consistent success with this method and therefore grew quickly disillusioned with sprouting. The lids never fit properly and it was difficult to rinse and drain the seeds properly.

Since the old days of mason jars and mesh lids I have discovered the Easy Sprouter. This simple plastic sprouter has several parts that make all the sprouting steps easy and convenient. I have 2 Easy Sprouters. That way I can sprout seeds and grains at the same time. The Easy Sprouter is inexpensive, convenient, and portable. And most importantly they will yield a good harvest of sprouts every time…as long as you follow the three simple steps...soak, rinse and drain.

More Wheatgrass and Juicing resources

Sprouting Instructions
Yields approximately 1 Cup (1/2 lb.) of Sprouts

Put 2/3 Cup of seed* into a bowl or into your Sprouter.
Add 2-3 times as much cool (60-70 degree) water.
Mix seeds up to assure even water contact for all.
Allow seeds to Soak for 6-12 hours.

Empty the seeds into your sprouter if necessary.
Drain off the soak water.

Rinse thoroughly with cool (60-70°) water.
Drain thoroughly.

Set anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between Rinses.

Rinse and Drain again in 8-12 hours.
And, perhaps one more...
Rinse and Drain in 8-12 hours.

We usually stop here. We like our sprouts small.

Depending on your climate and the time of year you are sprouting and most importantly your personal preference - You may Rinse and Drain again at 8-12 hour intervals for several days. However - we prefer to sprout only to the point where most of the seeds have sprouted tiny (1/4 inch) roots, which is typically after just 2 or 3 Rinse and Drain cycles.

As always, we suggest that you taste your crop at EVERY RINSE - including the very first - just after the Soak period. The soaked seeds are already alive and though they may not be their most nutritious they are still very nutritious - they are already without enzyme inhibitors (a very good thing indeed) so they'll digest themselves and nourish your cells without requiring anything from your body!

Grow them for as long as you like (as long as you continue to Rinse and Drain every 8-12 hours) and find out for yourself when they are most delicious! If you grow for a week you'll have grass growing as well as roots.

Experiment! Have Fun! It's All Good!

Your sprouts are done 8-12 hours after your final rinse. Be sure to Drain them as thoroughly as possible after that final rinse.

The goal during the final 8-12 hours is to minimize the surface moisture of your sprouts - they will store best in your refrigerator if they are dry to the touch.

Transfer your sprout crop to a plastic bag or the sealed container of your choice - glass is good too - and put them in your refrigerator.

Note: Grains do not store well in refrigeration so you should try to grow just what you need. It isn't actually that they store poorly, it is just that grains are cool weather crops, so though they slow down quite a bit, they continue to grow - even in the refrigerator.


By Kurt Saxon

...But now to get to the main subject; the perfect 3.3 cent breakfast. This is just one example of a food which is easy to process, nourishing, energy and health giving and costs practically nothing.

It is simply four ounces of wheat, sprouted for 48 hours, cooked overnight in your thermos and put in your blender. This makes a large bowl of breakfast cereal which tastes wonderful and will give you more energy than you can imagine.

There are several steps to processing this food but it takes only a few minutes in all as you bustle about in your daily routine.

You probably already have most of what you need but you should equip yourself with what you lack.

First, look up your local feed and seed store, even in a city, and call them. Ask if they have, or can order, 50 to 60 pounds of hard red winter wheat, untreated (treated seed is strictly for planting). There is no reason they should not be able to provide it.

It will cost between $7.00 and $8.00, depending on your location. Say it costs $8.00 for 60 pounds or 13 cents per pound. You will use 4 ounce portions. That is 4 times 60 or 240 breakfasts or 3.3 cents for each breakfast.

One thing you will need is a Stanley Aladdin narrow-mouthed thermos bottle. These cost $19.00 at Wal-Mart, are almost unbreakable and will last a lifetime. Don't be tempted to get a wide-mouthed thermos, if you mean to cook in it. It holds 3/4 cup less than you need. Also, the cap has a wider surface, which keeps it from holding the heat of the near boiling water needed for actual cooking.

Next you need two quart jars. Mayonnaise jars or similar will do. To cover them get some nylon window screen from the hardware store and cut two six inch by six inch squares. Put four ounces of wheat in each jar. Put the screens over the jars and hold them in place with large rubber bands. Fill one jar one-third with water and set it near the sink overnight.

Next morning pour out the soak water and drink it. It is vitamin-rich and a good morning tonic. Upend the jar in the sink to drain. After the first draining, flood the wheat about every four hours before bedtime and drain it. The idea is to keep the wheat moist.

At the last flooding the first day, just before bedtime, flood the second jar and let it set overnight like the first. Next day, drink the water and treat the second as the first, flooding both every four hours or so.

On the second evening the first jar of wheat will show sprouts protruding from the ends of the grains. Now it is ready. It is part grain and part fresh vegetable. Its protein and vitamin content is higher and it is altogether a more complete food, rich and amazingly nutritious and, again, a complete meal for less than 4 cents.

Empty the sprouted grains into a two cup measure and put four more ounces of wheat in the jar, flood and set aside overnight as before. Now you have a perpetual routine taking up no real time and producing a fantastic amount of food for little cost.

With the sprouted grain in the two cup measure fill it with water to the two cup mark. Then pour it into a saucepan on the stove and add two more cups of water and a few shakes of salt to keep it from tasting flat. Heat it to a boil, which takes about five minutes.

You will need a funnel to pour the water and the grain into the thermos. Take a gallon plastic bottle; milk, bleach, vegetable oil, etc. and cut it in half. Use the top half for the funnel.

Fill your thermos with hot water to preheat it and then pour out just before filling with the grain. While the grain is still boiling, empty the pan into the funnel and so into the thermos. You will have to use a spoon to push part of the grain from the funnel into the thermos, as well as some of the grain from the pan. At any rate, do it quickly so you can cap the thermos to contain the heat.

Cap then shake the thermos and lay it on its side so its contents don't bunch up, and leave it overnight. Next morning, pour the contents into a blender and pour out part of the liquid into a cup. Drink the liquid as it is rich in vitamins.

With just enough liquid to cover the grain, turn on the blender at low. Then increase the speed until the grain is all ground to the consistency of oatmeal. You can add cinnamon or any other flavoring if you like but you will find it has a delicious taste of its own.

You do not need much sweetener as the sprouting has created quite a bit of wheat sugar. You can add cream if you like, but I like mine plain. In fact, I just blend the wheat with all the liquid and drink it.

You will be surprised at the energy you feel even a few minutes after eating. Not only will it enable you to be more energetic and alert until lunch time but it will also be an excellent weight adjuster.

For instance, if you are overweight, that energy will make you more active and you will lose weight. If you are underweight, its carbohydrates will be burned up as energy and that same energy will activate and increase your musculature.

There is one possible drawback to this 3.3 cent breakfast. If you are active, no problem. But if you live a sedentary lifestyle and are sluggish, you may get the runs. Not chronic, just loose. However, this would only last a few days. After all, this is whole wheat, with all the bran. People have been eating roughly ground whole wheat for thousands of years. Up until about eighty years ago only the very rich ever ate white bread. Sluggish intestines were a rarity except among the wealthy.

Consequently, only the rich got colon cancer. Colon cancer is caused by the buildup of carcinogens on intestinal linings. The rough bran from whole wheat and coarsely ground corn kept the intestines of common folk free from any such buildup.

The same goes for oatmeal, which has recently been touted as the perfect bran food. It is a staple of the Scots and is high in protein. But what with the bran craze its price has risen much higher than its nutritive value.

So back to the wheat bran and its unsettling effects on the innards of sluggards. This is only temporary. Any radical, even beneficial, change in the diet will cause a reaction. The intestines are not harmed, any more than unused muscles are harmed after a first day of horseback riding. The nether quarters doth protest but they soon get used to it. No need to overdo it to bowleggedness though.

So I am not suggesting this to be your whole breakfast permanently or that you make whole wheat your staple food. What I would suggest, however, is that you challenge yourself to make it your whole breakfast for two weeks.

You will save money. You will experience fantastic energy. You will lose/gain weight. You will even get cleaned out and regular and will realize that you will never really need a laxative, even Metamucel, from then on if you eat only one serving each day. You will lower you risk of colon cancer. And you will never fear starvation as long as you have sense enough to buy whole grains in bulk.

This Sprouted Wheat Bread recipe is so simple and delicious; you won’t believe it is made with only one ingredient. Yes, that’s right, bread made from one ingredient. In order to make it you need to plan ahead (about 3 days). Here’s how it’s made….

1 cup wheat berries
Sprouting equipment
Food processor with S blade
Small Pyrex type bowl (heat resistant)
Crock-pot with low setting

Soak wheat berries for 8 hours or overnight. Then rinse and drain the berries three times a day for the next 32 hours or until the wheat berries have sprouted ¼ inch tails. For more information on sprouting go to our sprouting page.

Important: Make sure the berries are well drained before processing into dough. In other words, don’t rinse after they are finished sprouting!

Place the sprouted wheat berries into your food processor with the S blade in place and pulse until the berries resemble bread dough and form a ball around the food processor blade.

Remove the ball of dough from the food processor. Shape the dough into 1 small ball. You may want to sprinkle with freshly ground corn meal. Place the shaped dough into a small Pyrex type bowl that will easily fit into your crock pot.

Place the cover on your crock-pot and turn to its lowest setting. Cook the bread for approximately 8 hours or until the bread is a rich, dark brown. The top of the bread may crack and it will have a tough, thick crust on the outside and a moist, brown bread on the inside.

This bread is very rich, delicious and extra nutritious because it uses sprouted berries. Because it is so nutritionally dense, you only need a small piece to accompany your salad or soup entrée. This recipe will serve about 4. Your sprouted grain bread recipe will stay fresh in your refrigerator for about 1 week.


by JASON | 9:46 PM in | comments (0)


by JASON | 9:38 PM in | comments (0)

New Hampshire

by JASON | 9:14 PM in | comments (0)

New Hampshire state House Representative Daniel Itse has stirred the political pot with his bill, House Concurrent Resolution 6: “A RESOLUTION affirming States’ rights based on Jeffersonian principles”, under which New Hampshire would secede from the United States if the federal government attempts additional usurpation of power under five specific circumstances, including “Further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition…”

Glenn Beck conversation with Representative Daniel Itse...

(NaturalNews) Nine state legislatures have either passed or introduced bills intended to reaffirm their state's sovereignty as laid out in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution. Another twenty states are expected to introduce similar measures this year. While the ramifications of these resolutions are still uncertain, one thing is clear. People are sick and tired of the federal government's usurpation of power not granted to it by the Constitution. They have had enough of fear based economic terrorism and underhanded promotion of policies and procedures that bypass public scrutiny and the will of the people.

News bite

by JASON | 11:59 AM in | comments (0)

An Oklahoma City police officer wrongly pulled over a man last week and confiscated an anti-President Barack Obama sign the man had on his vehicle.

The officer misinterpreted the sign as threatening, said Capt. Steve McCool, of the Oklahoma City Police Department, and took the sign, which read “Abort Obama, not the unborn.”

Chip Harrison said he was driving to work when a police car followed him for several miles and then signaled for him to pull over.

“I pulled over, knowing I hadn’t done anything wrong,” Harrison said in a recent phone interview.

When the officer asked Harrison if he knew why he had been pulled over, Harrison said he did not.

“They said, ‘It’s because of the sign in your window,’” Harrison said.

The officers confiscated Harrison’s sign and gave him a slip of paper that stated he was part of an investigation.

Harrison said he later received a call from a person who said he was a lieutenant supervisor for the Internal Investigations Department and wanted to know his location and return his sign to him.

According to Harrison, the supervisor said the Secret Service had been contacted on the matter and had told them the sign was not a threat to the president.

“The Secret Service called and said they were at my house,” Harrison said.

After talking to his attorney, Harrison went home where he met the Secret Service.

“When I was on my way there, the Secret Service called me and said they weren’t going to ransack my house or anything ... they just wanted to (walk through the house) and make sure I wasn’t a part of any hate groups.”

Wonder how much tax money that bumper sticker cost us???

Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) won’t live to see May. The government will take them over within the next 60 days. The announcement may come as soon as tomorrow evening.

Chicago Tea Party

by JASON | 1:24 PM in | comments (0)

Food Storage

by JASON | 9:47 AM in | comments (0)

Minnesota's suggestions for food storage and emergency preparedness...

Building an emergency kit today will help you and your family gather the food, water and supplies that you'll need for future emergency situations. After you answer just a few questions about your household, you can print customized shopping lists for three days, one week and/or one month supplies of food and water. You can also print a plan for determining quantities of food and water for one year.

* The customized shopping lists are intended only as general guidelines for food and water storage in your codeReady Kit.
* Food amounts are based on servings from five basic food groups.
* If there are foods that you or your family don't like or can't eat, substitute other foods in the same food group that are more appropriate.

In my series, Simple Peace of Mind, I set a goal of working over the next 12 months to build up an emergency fund of three months worth of expenses. Part of that is saving up cash, part is making sure we have three months worth of food and household goods on hand at all times.

When I started really couponing in earnest, I discovered the idea of stockpiling when items are on sale and drawing from that stockpile as needed when prices are higher at the store. That way, you are always buying at the lowest prices. Because sales tend to be in 12 week cycles, the best strategy is to buy enough on sale to last you 12 weeks, or about 3 months. The longer I couponed, the more comprehensive our 3 month supply became.

By now, I was really curious to learn What is food storage? From poking around on Food Storage Made Easy and a few other places, the best I can determine is that Food Storage is a system of preparedness in case of an emergency, such as a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina. In the event that you lose power, you would have nonperishable foods, an emergency kit and safe drinking water stored that you could use to be self sufficient for a certain length of time. The basis for food storage appears to be religious (Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Mormon - please feel free to correct me if I am wrong) and many folks reference the entries in the bible that refer to safely gathering in your family and being prepared for what is to come. The religious guideline seems to be three months full food supply and twelve months worth of grains, rice, beans and similar items. Again, if anyone has more info on this, please feel free to comment.

Reference material and online suppliers...

I personally like wheat the best for long term storage. Best bang for the buck in terms of calories and nutrient profile. You get a 600% boost if you sprout it...see my post on sprouting...

NWO History

by JASON | 11:17 PM in | comments (0)

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is a number issued daily by the London-based Baltic Exchange. The index provides "an assessment of the price of moving the major raw materials by sea. Taking in 26 shipping routes measured on a timecharter and voyage basis, the index covers Handymax, Panamax, and Capesize dry bulk carriers carrying a range of commodities including coal, iron ore and grain."

The Baltic Dry Index is a daily average of prices to ship raw materials. It represents the cost paid by an end customer to have a shipping company transport raw materials across seas on the Baltic Exchange, the global marketplace for brokering shipping contracts. The Baltic Exchange is similar to the New York Merc in that it is a medium for buyers and sellers of contracts and forward agreements (futures) for delivery of dry bulk cargo. The Baltic is owned and operated by the member buyers and sellers. The exchange maintains prices on several routes for different cargoes and then publishes its own index, the BDI, as a summary of the entire dry bulk shipping market. This index can be used as an overall economic indicator as it shows where end prices are heading for items that use the raw materials that are shipped in dry bulk.

The BDI is one of the purest leading indicators of economic activity. It measures the demand to move raw materials and precursors to production, as well as the supply of ships available to move this cargo. Consumer spending and other economic indicators are backward looking, meaning they examine what has already occurred. The BDI offers a real time glimpse at global raw material and infrastructure demand. Unlike stock and commodities markets, the Baltic Dry Index is totally devoid of speculative players. The trading is limited only to the member companies, and the only relevant parties securing contracts are those who have actual cargo to move and those who have the ships to move it.

The run up from 2005 to the end of 2007 was primarily due to Chinese demand for industrial precursors to production and its shift from coal exporter to importer. There was also a shortage of supply for dry bulk cargo ships and a large backlog at shipyards. The combination of these two factors caused a nearly 200% gain in the index. In the past 6 months, the index has lost 85% of its value as demand for shipping is plummeting. This is due to a simultaneous convergence of several factors. Chief among these is the rapid slowdown in the "global growth" phenomenon. In addition to this, credit has been nearly impossible to get for the purchase of goods and the payment of time charters on the vessels.

Baltic Dry isn't a Latvian deodorant or an Estonian cocktail. Rather, it's a number issued daily by the London-based Baltic Exchange, which traces its roots to the Virginia and Baltick coffeehouse in London's financial district in 1744.

Every working day, the Baltic canvasses brokers around the world and asks how much it would cost to book various cargoes of raw materials on various routes—150,000 tons of iron ore going from Australia to China or 150,000 tons of coal from South Africa to Taiwan. Brokers are also asked to consider variables such as the type and speed of the ship and the length of the voyage.

The answers are melded into the BDI, which appears in shipping publications such as Lloyd's List and on the screens of information vendors such as Reuters and Bloomberg. Because it provides "an assessment of the price of moving the major raw materials by sea," as the Baltic puts it, it provides both a rare window into the highly opaque and diffuse shipping market and an accurate barometer of the volume of global trade.

The BDI is a good leading indicator for economic growth and production. After all, it doesn't deal with container ships carrying finished goods. It deals with the precursors to production: bulk carriers carrying building materials, cement, grain, coal, and iron. Unlike stock and bond markets, the BDI "is totally devoid of speculative content," says Howard Simons, an economist and columnist at People don't book freighters unless they have cargo to move.

Because the supply of cargo ships is generally both tight and inelastic—it takes two years to build a new ship, and ships are too expensive to take out of circulation the way airlines park unneeded jets in the Arizona desert—marginal increases in demand can push the index higher quickly. And significant increases in demand can push the index sharply higher.

Current status...

1/21/09 The level of idle container ships has risen to 255 -- 5.5% of the global fleet, a historic high.

On 20 May 2008 the index reached its record high level since its introduction in 1985, reaching 11,793 points. Half a year later, on 5 December 2008, the index had dropped by 94%, to 663 points, the lowest since 1986.[8], though by 4 February 2009 it had recovered a little lost ground, back to 1,316.[9] These low rates move dangerously close to the combined operating costs of vessels, fuel, and crews.[10][11]

By the end of 2008, shipping times had been already increased by reduced speeds to save fuel consumption, but lack of credit meant the reduction of letters of credit, historically required to load cargoes for departure at ports. Debt load of future ship construction was also a problem for shipping companies, with several major bankruptcies and implications for shipyards.[12][13] This, combined with the collapsing price of raw commodities created a perfect storm for the world's marine commerce.

Today's level...

The downside of a credit bubble - deflation: the collapse of market demand. What this means for you...

AS THAILAND'S simmering internal conflicts show no sign of abating, threatening the political stability needed to get the country's economic engine cranking, world trade is falling like a house of cards. The worldwide financial crisis that transmitted to the real economy has now transmitted to global trade. And the picture is dreadful.

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is a daily average of prices for shipping major raw materials issued by the London-based Baltic Exchange, which traces its origins back to 1744. Since its inception in 1985, BDI measures international shipping rates for dry bulk goods such as iron ore, coal, grains, cement, sand, gravel, fertiliser, copper, etc. On May 20, 2008 the index reached its record high of 11,793 points, the highest since its inception. On December 5, 2008 the index plummeted to 663, the lowest since 1986. The fall represented a 94 per cent crash.

There are reasons for the world to take note of this relatively obscure economic indicator. First of all, while most indicators on which the market relies to forecast the future base their research on information that is weeks and months old, the BDI is current. Each day the Baltic Dry Exchange tracks hundreds of brokers around the world for price quotes on transporting goods, and aggregates them to form the BDI. The index therefore is a real-time reflection of the relations between supply and demand.

Second, since the BDI tracks the cost of shipping raw materials (as opposed to intermediate or finished goods) which are the precursors of economic output, it provides a rather precise measurement of the volume of global trade at the earliest possible stage. And since global economic activity at the end of the day influences the equity markets, movements in the BDI often predict or precede similar moves in the equity markets. The BDI started dropping drastically in early June 2008, before the global equity markets went into a tailspin.

Third, unlike most economic indexes, the BDI is completely devoid of speculative elements. No one will book an ocean freighter on a hunch. There is no room for manipulative or "massaged" data. The price is the price.

On January 21 the number of idle container-ships rose to a historic high of 225, or 5.5 per cent of the global fleet. On January 13 shipping rates hit the big zero as trade sank. Freight rates for containers shipped from Asia to Europe fell to zero - the first time since tracking began over two decades ago. The fall underscores the dramatic collapse in world trade, which represents a significant window of opportunity for the recovery of world economies. The dire prospects in the banking sector around the world means a scarcity of credit, which means a reduction in the availability of letters of credit required to load cargoes. This, in combination with the high debt load for future ship construction and the collapsing prices of raw commodities, is the making of a perfect storm for world commerce.

If past is prologue, we all have reason to feel dread. The Great Depression in the US in the 1930s led to the New Deal, which saw a huge injection of government funding into the economy along Keynesian lines. It also witnessed a rise in protectionism. President Roosevelt, to an extent, was able to stabilise the financial sector with the federal spending programmes, but the New Deal also necessitated higher tariffs to protect the US economy. Ultimately, Roosevelt was not able to resuscitate world trade until World War II. Economic dissatisfaction tends to breed war.

(From Edmund Conway of the UK's Telegraph)“Freight rates for containers shipped from Asia to Europe have fallen to zero for the first time since records began, underscoring the dramatic collapse in trade since the world economy buckled in October." The BDI (Baltic Dry Index) has plunged 96%, and while it is a very volatile indicator of shipping trends, the latest phase of the shipping crisis is different. The malaise has spread to core trade of finished industrial goods, the lifeblood of the world economy. Shipping journal Lloyd’s List is reporting that in Singapore are now waiving fees for containers traveling from South China, charging only for the minimal ‘bunker’ costs. Container fees from North Asia have dropped $200, taking them below operating cost.

Bloomberg is quoting Frontline Ltd, the world’s biggest owner of supertankers, as saying that about 80 million barrels of crude oil are being stored in tankers, the most in 20 years, as traders seek to take advantage of higher prices later in the year. (hat tip to Investment Postcards from Cape Town)

"If cargo trade stops, a whole lot of supply chain disruption starts....

If cargo trade stops, the wheat doesn’t get exported. If the wheat doesn’t get exported, the mill has nothing to grind into flour. If there is no flour, the bakeries and food processors can’t produce bread and pasta and other foods. If there are no foods shipped from the bakeries and factories, there are no foods in the shops. If there are no foods in the shops, people go hungry. If people go hungry their children go hungry. When children go hungry, people riot and governments fall."

Industry sources said they have never seen rates fall so low. "This is a whole new ball game," said one trader.

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) which measures freight rates for bulk commodities such as iron ore and grains crashed several months ago, falling 96pc. The BDI – though a useful early-warning index – is highly volatile and exaggerates apparent ups and downs in trade. However, the latest phase of the shipping crisis is different. It has spread to core trade of finished industrial goods, the lifeblood of the world economy.

Trade data from Asia's export tigers has been disastrous over recent weeks, reflecting the collapse in US, UK and European markets.

Korea's exports fell 30pc in January compared to a year earlier. Exports have slumped 42pc in Taiwan and 27pc in Japan, according to the most recent monthly data. Even China has now started to see an outright contraction in shipments, led by steel, electronics and textiles.

A report by ING yesterday said shipping activity at US ports has suddenly dived. Outbound traffic from Long Beach and Los Angeles, America's two top ports, has fallen by 18pc year-on-year, a far more serious decline than anything seen in recent recessions.

"This is no regular cycle slowdown, but a complete collapse in foreign demand," said Lindsay Coburn, ING's trade consultant.

There’s been some low-bandwidth chatter lately about the plunge in the Baltic Dry index, which is intended to track the price of shipping dry cargo along key routes. In the sort of “oh . . . wow . . . ” manner passing drivers remark on multiple collisions on the highway, it’s been noted that the BDI is down. A lot. While the BDI has been dropping for months, now, the real collapse took place from the week after the Lehman bankruptcy. From a level of 4,949 then, the BDI had, by last week, come down to 1,149, for a decline over about a month of 76 per cent. This doesn’t represent some piece of high-concept securitised paper meeting its Maker in front of a judge; this is the real world of physical assets being employed to do actual work. I had followed shipping in past years, but had never seen a rate of change like that one. So I called friends of mine around that world to get a little closer to the car wreck.

I had wondered if the BDI was truly representative of real-world values, or if it was oversold in the way some credit default swap indices might be. Nope. Ships really are that cheap. As one broker told me: “I just chartered a Handymax to go to the US Gulf from India for $1,000 a day. So the BDI really is pretty accurate.” A Handymax vessel would typically displace about 40,000 deadweight tonnes. You would notice it if it dropped anchor near your dock. The cash operating costs are at least $1,500 to $2,000 per day. On top of that, figure another couple of thousand dollars a day for the capital costs.

Now to put that in presidential election language, what does that mean for hardworking, middle class, average, families who are sitting around the kitchen table playing by the rules? Why should they care that some Greek or Lebanese is underwater, so to speak, on his ship?

How about because what you need to stay middle class and average, or hardworking, is being carried on those ships? Those low charter rates indicate that not much is being shipped, apart from cargoes going from one corporate subsidiary to another, or from one highly creditworthy entity to another.

It all goes back to that Lehman bankruptcy. Among the more serious casualties of that colossal failure of leadership was the letter of credit business. There is nothing more vanilla than the l/c for an international shipment. One bank tells another bank that it will accept the credit risk of an individual importer or exporter. They document that, with forms that have been around forever, then clerks and computers shuffle the paper around. A fee is charged, and goods are released for shipping, inspection, and delivery. The most boring business in the world. Until it stops.

As for freight rates, they will have to recover to the point where the owners can cover their operating costs. That could take a few months longer than you would think, because the cost of mothballing a ship for that period could be higher than keeping it going at today’s rates.

As one ship broker told me: “Values are down by half within the past six months, but nothing is actually being sold right now. The problem isn’t with a single trade route. It’s global.”