Thursday, July 28, 2011

Home Energy Generation

Steven Harris' Knowledge Publications series of books including Making Fuel at Home. Education site. Fuels video:

Generator by ftcenergy.

Biogas from cowshit for methane production for cooking and heating.
Biogas 3
3 Cubic Meter Biogas Plant

Biogas to Electricity. low/hi tech products.

Training centers:
Evergreen Institute in East-Central Missouri.
University of Colorado at Boulder Sustainable Practices Program
Solar Energy International in Carbondale, CO
Solar Living Institute in Mendocino, CA
(Both of the above offer work-trade internship programs, from 16 weeks to 7 months, Apr 1-Oct30)
Guide to Renewable Energy Training and Education

Monday, July 25, 2011

Opportunities in the Coast Guard Reserves

Machinery Technician; more info here and here. "A breadth of knowledge in all areas of machinery operation and maintenance from internal combustion engines (gas/diesel gas turbines) to environmental support systems (heating/ ventilations/ air conditioning), hydraulics, basic electricity, and areas of hazardous material recovery and control."

Health Services Technician; more info here.

Electronics Technician; more info here. 19 weeks in Petaluma, CA.

Electronics Mate; more info here.

Damage Controlman; a bit of everything including "welding; oxy-fuel gas cutting; firefighting; carpentry; plumbing; watertight closure maintenance; chemical, biological, and radiological warfare defense; and shipboard damage control. Advanced training in welding, firefighting, and shipboard damage control procedures are available for DCs assigned to cutters."

Information System Technician; Requires "a vast knowledge of electrical theory along with practical hands-on skills needed to manage, repair, maintain, and install telephone systems, and network cabling and computer systems." 25 weeks in Petaluma, CA.

Gunner's Mate; "requires skills in electronics, mechanical systems, along with hydraulics."

Coast Guard Reservist magazine

Direct Petty Officer Training Course. 3 weeks in duration at Cape May, NJ. Students arrive Sunday evening and graduate on a Friday. Training will consist of instruction and practical experience in military courtesies, drills and ceremonies, military justice, code of conduct, leadership and supervision, seamanship, uniforms, ranks and rates, career development, first aid and survival, fitness, wellness and quality of life, Coast Guard history, traditions, and values, safety, damage control, small arms, Coast Guard assets and missions, administration and personal finance, watch standing, security and communications.

* For detailed qualifications by rate, go to pages 6-7 and look at "STATEMENT OF UNDERSTANDING FOR ORIGINAL ENLISTMENT IN THE COAST GUARD" files. E.G.: Electrician's Mate, Electrical Technician, Machinery Tech, and Damage Controlman.

Re: Basic Training:

If you have prior military or professional experience, you might attend the program referred to as the Coast Guard’s Direct Entry Petty Officer Training Course (DEPOT.) This course is 3 weeks in duration at Cape May, NJ. Students arrive Sunday evening and graduate on a Friday. Training will consist of instruction and practical experience in military courtesies, drills and ceremonies, military justice, code of conduct, leadership and supervision, seamanship, uniforms, ranks and rates, career development, first aid and survival, fitness, wellness and quality of life, Coast Guard history, traditions, and values, safety, damage control, small arms, Coast Guard assets and missions, administration and personal finance, watch standing, security and communications. Click here to learn more about this program.

More info including 2011 Class Schedule.

Study the Pre-Training Guide.

And of course refer to the Helmsman.

Description of my program(?) --

Accelerated Petty Officer Program - If you are ready to learn an exciting new career field, have a desire to serve and are between the ages of 30 and 35, (we are currently accepting age waivers up to age 39), this may be the program for you. With a minimum of two years college (or equivalent), you will be eligible to ENLIST AT A HIGHER PAY GRADE, attend just two weeks of Reserve Basic Indoctrination, then receive advanced training in a critical field (Boatswain Mate, Machinery Technician, Operation Specialist or Marine Science Technician). Valuable training, an opportunity to serve, and immediate advancement are just a few of this program's many advantages.

"C" school schedules.

Reservists required for 8 years???

Tricare info: includes maternity care, no acupuncture, no chiropractic, explore benefits A-Z.

More on Maternity Care:

Maternity (Pregnancy) Care
Maternity care is all of the medical services related to conception and delivery including prenatal and post-partum care (generally for six weeks after delivery) and treatment of any complications of the pregnancy. Generally, TRICARE covers all medically-necessary maternity care, but there are some limitations.

The health plan option you are using may determine where you receive your maternity care, either at a military treatment facility or from a civilian health care provider.

Prenatal Care
Prenatal care is the care you receive from the time you find out your pregnant until you deliver your baby. As soon as you think you may be pregnant, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider. Depending on your health plan option, this may be your assigned primary care manager (PCM). Remember, if you are enrolled in a Prime option, you may not self-refer to an Obstetrician or Gynecologist even for your pregnancy.

Regular appointments with your doctor are important to ensure the health of you and your baby. The first appointment is generally the longest and you'll find out the due date, explore your health history and determine risk factors. Frequent prenatal visits allow you to follow the progress of your pregnancy and your baby's development and give you the opportunity to ask questions along the way.

While all medically-necessary prenatal care is covered, there are some limitations.

Antepartum Services: When needed to determine the health of the baby or if you are determined have a high-risk pregnancy TRICARE covers amniocentesis, chordocentesis, chorionic villis sampling, fetal stress test and electronic fetal monitoring.

Ultrasounds: Doctors often perform ultrasounds at different times during pregnancy for different reasons. TRICARE will cover the ultrasound in the following specific conditions if you have ANY questions about coverage please contact your regional contractor.

* Estimating gestational age
* Evaluating fetal growth
* Conducting a biophysical evaluation for fetal well-being
* Evaluating a suspected ectopic pregnancy
* Defining the cause of vaginal bleeding
* Diagnosing or evaluating multiple gestations
* Confirming cardiac activity
* Evaluating maternal pelvic masses or uterine abnormalities
* Evaluating suspected hydatidiform mole
* Evaluating the fetus's condition in late registrants for prenatal care

Note: TRICARE does not cover ultrasounds for routine screening or to determine the sex of the baby.

Dental Care During Your Pregnancy: Research has shown that you may be at an increased risk for dental disease while you are pregnant. You are encouraged to have preventive dental care such as check ups and cleanings while you are pregnant. TRICARE offers three different dental plans depending on your beneficiary category. You should explore your options and consider enrolling in one of the TRICARE dental plans. Learn more...

Labor and Delivery
TRICARE covers medically-necessary services during your labor and delivery including anesthesia, fetal monitoring, and other services required for your care during your stay. TRICARE will cover cesarean section when needed. If you choose to have a cesarean section instead of vaginal delivery for your personal reasons, you may be responsible for some of the costs.

Facility/Provider: Usually, the plan you are using will determine the type of birthing facility you will use (military or civilian, office-based or freestanding, etc.). You also have different options for the type of provider who delivers your baby (obstetrician, Family
practice provider and or Certified nurse midwife, etc.). These types of decisions will be made by you and your provider during your prenatal visits.

The unexpected could happen and you could have an emergency need for evaluation during your pregnancy. Notify your PCM or OB provider and they can refer you to another facility if it is necessary to better care for you and your baby.

Length of Stay: Usually, you will stay in the hospital for a minimum of 48 hours after a regular vaginal delivery and 96 hours after a cesarean section. Complications of health may require a longer stay. If the decision to discharge home before these minimum length-of-stays
you and your provider must make this decision together.

Post-partum Care
Post-partum care is the care you receive after your baby is born to ensure your body is healing properly. TRICARE covers a minimum of two post-partum visits, but more if you had complications or if your provider thinks it's needed.

Newborn Care
After your baby is born, he or she is covered separately. You should register your baby in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) as soon as possible. Learn more...

TRICARE offers well-child care for your newborn up to age six, which includes:

* Circumcision (before leaving hospital)
* Routine newborn care
* Comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention examinations
* Vision and hearing screenings
* Height, weight and head circumference
* Immunizations
* Developmental/behavioral appraisal

You'll schedule your newborn's first well-child appointment before you leave the hospital.

TRICARE does not cover the following services:

* Fetal ultrasounds that are not medically necessary (e.g., to
determine your baby's sex), including three- and four-dimensional
* Services and supplies related to non-coital reproductive
procedures (e.g., artificial insemination)
* Management of uterine contractions with drugs that are not approved for that use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (i.e., off-label use)
* Home uterine activity monitoring and related services
* Unproven procedures (e.g., lymphocyte or paternal leukocyte immunotherapy for the treatment of recurrent miscarriages, salivary estriol test for preterm labor)
* Umbilical cord blood collection and storage, except when stem cells are collected for subsequent use in the treatment of tumor, blood, or lymphoid disease
* Private hospital rooms

Machinery Tech
This course teaches enlisted personnel to perform as junior petty officers at the job entry level in the Machinery Technician rating. Students are taught principles of operation, maintenance and repair of machinery. The following topics are covered: hand and machine tools,
piping, tubing, flex hose, leadership, basic administration, hydraulics, internal combustion engines, lubrication systems, cooling systems, fuel systems, diesel engine overhaul, basic electricity and electrical equipment, auxiliary machinery, refrigeration, clutches, gears, shafting, and outboard motors.

Aviation Maint Tech
This course teaches the Aviation Maintenance Technician student, entry level skills, knowledge, and concepts required to inspect, service, maintain, analyze, and repair aircraft powerplant, powertrain, and structural systems; maintain, repair, and fabricate metal, composite, and fiberglass materials; fabricate cables, wire harnesses, and structural components; perform aircraft corrosion control, nondestructive testing, basic electrical troubleshooting, and aviation administrative record keeping.

Damage Controlman
This course provides classroom lecture reinforced with ample opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in hands-on lab applications, preparing members for entry level in the Damage
Controlman rating. Students are instructed in the principles of Carpentry, Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (CBR) Warfare Defense, Shipboard Watertight Fittings maintenance, Shipboard Damage Control procedures, Firefighting, Plumbing, Arc Welding, Oxy-fuel Cutting, and Oxy-fuel Brazing.

Electrician's Mate
Apr9-Aug17 (19 wks)
This course teaches enlisted personnel to perform as junior petty officers at the entry level job in the Electrician Mate rating. Training includes lectures and hands-on exercises on generation, control and distribution of electricity; the uses of electricity and the maintenance/repair of electrical equipment. The following topics are covered: AC and DC circuit analysis, batteries, power distribution systems, lighting systems, generators, motors, controllers, interior communication systems, electric power tools, galley equipment, laundry
equipment, scullery equipment, electric damage control equipment, small boat electrical systems, deck machinery equipment, and shore power.

Electrician's Technician
Mar5-Sept13 (28 wks)
This course is an apprentice-level electronics course, which is divided into eleven units of instruction, each dealing with a different aspect of electronics fundamentals. The course begins with an indoctrination and includes leadership, tower climbing, soldering, CPR, and safety. As students progress through the course, they receive instruction on technical training on specific electronic systems and equipment used throughout the Coast Guard. These courses encompass the
use of test equipment, technical publications and troubleshooting methods used for corrective maintenance to the lowest repairable level. Upon graduation students have the knowledge and skill necessary for maintenance and repair of electronic equipment.

BUT Electrician's Technician & Avionics Electrical Technician HAVE NO DATES THAT WORK this year, and are 28 and 20 weeks respectively. Another of interest is Health Services Technician (incl. EMT-B), 19 weeks.

"A" School Schedule.


Complete online ITC "Introduction to Hydraulic Systems" classes offered by North Seattle Community College at $9 per class for 13 classes, starting here.

Hydraulic power is the backbone of the OSE Global Village Construction set machines.

ITC = Industrial Skills Training. Online skills classes directory here, including electrical, mechanical, PC, and logical thinking!

North Seattle Community College's Continuing Education eLearning Center directory of classes here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Topics of Interest

Farming Bubble Could Be Brewing As Farmland Values Boom.

Dmitry Orlov speaks at the Long Now Foundation. "By the mid-1990s I started to see the Soviet/American superpowerdom as a sort of disease that strives for world dominance but in fact eviscerates its host country, eventually leaving behind an empty shell -- an impoverished population, an economy in ruins, a legacy of social problems, and a tremendous burden of debt. The symmetry between the two superpwers were already too numerous to mention, and they have been growing ever since... But it is the asymmetires between the two superpowers that I find instructive... It turns out that many aspects of the Soviet system were paradoxically resilient in the face of system-wide collapse..." He goes on to list the details. His blog.

Nassim Taleb Says No to Big Corporations and No to Big Government

Philip K. Howard on Fixing Broken Government (Seminars About Long-Term Thinking) including a very intelligent breakdown of the dangers of public sector unions (33 min).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jeff Rubin on the return of jobs in the era of oil scarcity

"'Distance will cost money' is the mantra of the new local economy that will emerge from the ashes of globalization... The global economy is about moving things around from places where we can make them the cheapest to places where we can sell them for the most money... When oil's at triple digit levels, all of a sudden the wage advantage behind producing steel in China is absolutely dwarfed by the transport costs of first moving iron ore from Brazil across the Pacific Ocean and then moving it back across the Pacific Ocean in finished steel... Who would have dreamt that triple-digit oil prices would bring new life into America's rust belts, but that will be the new economic geography that is about to emerge from oil scarcity."

More on blue collar jobs turning into green collar jobs, unions, and the advantages of high carbon emissions costs.

From his website.

Lecture at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shop Class as Soul Craft

"Since the standards of craftsmanship issue from the logic of things rather than the art of persuasion, practiced submission to them perhaps gives the craftsman some psychic ground to stand on against the fantastic hopes aroused by demagogues, whether commercial or political." p18

"'Lack of experience diminshes our power of taking a comprehensive view of the admitted facts. Hence those who dwell in intimate association with nature and its phenomena are more able to lay down principles such as to admit of a wide and coherent development; while those whom devotion to abstract discussions has rendered unobservant of facts are too ready to dogmatize on the basis of a few observations.' - Aristotle" p23

What makes for a sticky job? One that can't be (1) sent overseas, and (2) automated. Examples of what can't be sent overseas are personal services that require face-to-face contact, site-based services like construction, maintenance and repair of physical plants, and the maintenance and repair of durable machines. It can be automated when it can be done according to rules, broken down to ones and zeros. p33-5

Scientific management separated the brain work from the grunt work on the factory floor, not to increase efficiency in time, but to to decrease cost, replacing skilled laborers with unskilled laborers. p39-40

"A man whose needs are limited will find the least noxious livelihood and work in a subsistence mode, and indeed the experience of early (eighteenth-century) capitalism, when many producers worked at home on a piece-rate basis, was that only so much labor could be extracted from them. Contradictory to the assumptions of 'rational behavior,' it was found that when empoloyers would increase the piece rate in order to boost production, it actually had the opposite effect: workers would produce less, as now they could meet their fixed needs with less work. Eventually it was learned that the only way to get them to work harder was to play upon the imagignation, stimulating new needs and wants. Consumption." p43

"From an economistic mindset, spiritedness or pridefulness appears as a failure to be properly calculative, which requires that one first be properly abstract. Economics recognizes only certain virtues, and not the most impressive ones at that. Spiritedness is an assertion of one's own dignity, and to fix one's one car is not merely to use up time, it is to have a different experience of time, of one's car, and of oneself." p55

"The difference is that on such a crew [vs team], you have grounds for knowing your own worth independently of others, and is the same grounds on which others will make their judgments. Either you can bend conduit or you can't, and this is plain. So there is less reason to manage appearances. There is a real freedom of speech on a job site, which reverberates outward and sustains wider liberality. You can tell dirty jokes. Where there is real work being done, the order of things isn't quite so fragile.

"Not surprisingly, it is the office rather than the job site that has seen the advent of speech codes, diversity workshops, and other forms of higher regulation. Some might attribute this to the greater mixing of the sexes in the office, but I believe a more basic reason is that when there is no concrete task that rules the job -- an autonomous good that is visible to all -- then there is no secure basis for social relations. Maintaining consensus and preempting conflict become the focus of management, and as a result everyone feels they have to walk on eggshells. Where no appeal to a carpenter's level is possible, sensitivity training becomes necessary." p157

"A regard for human excellence is the aristocratic ethos... It is the ideal of friendship -- of those who stand apart from the collective and recognize one another as peers. As professionals, or fellow journeymen, perhaps... People of aristocratic sympathies are alive to rank and difference, and take pleasure in beholding them. I think most of us have this response when we see talent, but we have become inarticulate about it. It seems illegitimate to give rank its due in a society where 'all children are above average,' as Garrison Keillor says of Lake Wobegon. Yet it is precisely our attraction to excellence -- our being on the lookout for the choicer manifestations -- that may lead us to attend to human practices searchingly, without prejudice, and find superiority in unfamiliar places. For example, in the intellectual accomplishments of people who do work that is dirty, such as the mechanic. With such discoveries we extend our moral imagination to people who are conventionally beneath serious regard, and find them admirable. Not because we heed a moral injunction such as the universalist egalitarian urges upon us, but because we actually see something dmirable, and are impressed by it.

"The lover of excellence is prone to being drawn out of himself, erotically almost, in a way that the universalist egalitarian is not. The latter's empathy, projected from afar and without discrimination, is more principled than attentive. It is similar to bad art and mathematical shoelaces, in this regard; it is content to posit rather than to see the humanity of its beneficiaries. But the one who is on the receiving end of such empathy wants something more than to be recognized generically. He wants to be seen as an individual, and recognized as worthy on the same grounds on which he has striven to be worthy, indeed superior, by cultivating some particular excellence or skill." p203

"The practitioner of a stochastic art, such as motorcycle repair, experiences failure on a daily basis...the experience of failure seems to have been edited out of the educational process, at least for gifted students. Those who struggle academically experience failure all the time, and probably write off attempts to sugarcoat it with "self-esteem" as another example of how deranged adults can be. But the praising of gifted students for being smart, by parents and teachers, has a far more pernicious effect, especially when such praise is combined with the grade inflation and soft curriculum that are notorious at elite schools. A student can avoid hard sciences and foreign languages and get a degree without ever having the unambiguous experience of being wrong." p204

Monday, July 11, 2011

Susan Witt on Winona LaDuke's land trust model for the White Earth reservation

"The White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, in the turn of the century a group of well-meaning quakers said to the poor dears, you don't understand about private ownership. Let us help you survey this land and divide it into individual lots and give private ownership so you can have the experience of it. But the Ojibwe culture is to use multiple parts of the land -- so there're the lakes where the rice is harvested, there's the brush with the best raspberries, there's the timberland for the hunt -- so the community as a whole, as an integral community, moved through the whole of the land.

"Suddenly it was divided up into little lots, and with the consequential mortgaging of the land and losing the land to outsiders, their once intact reservation got divided up with holes in it, so people couldn't travel across it. LaDuke has used the community land trust model... the goal is to recreate the land intact, and then give long-term lease rights, so that people actually can own their buildings, own their homes."

~ 1h14m here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Conservative on Preparing for the Fall of the State

Surviving the Fall of the State

by William S. Lind

The Discarded Image is the title of C.S. Lewis's last book, and perhaps his best. On the surface, it is a discussion of medieval cosmology and the Ptolemaic universe. In reality it is about very much more, including the medieval refutation of the modern notion of "equality," which decrees that people are interchangeable. That vast error lies at the heart of many of the ideologies which made the 20th century such a horror and which still gnaw at the vitals of Western civilization. Lewis recognized that on many matters, our medieval ancestors were wiser than ourselves.

Lewis's book was brought to mind by a letter from a reader of this column, who asked a difficult question:

…having read all I could lay my hands on about 4th generation warfare (including your books), something is missing. You are still discussing 4th generation warfare at the state level…What can individuals do to prepare for 4th generation warfare? What can my family do?

My correspondent has grasped the most difficult point about Fourth Generation war. In its ultimate form, it is not something we face "over there," in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Nor is it an import, like 9/11. Fourth Generation theory says that the state here, in the good old USA, is also likely to break apart as Americans too transfer their primary loyalty away from the state to a wide variety of other things. The conflicts among these new loyalties will in many cases be sharp enough to generate fighting.

In the face of this possibility, or maybe probability, what indeed are individuals and families to do? I think the answer, if there is one, begins with my friend David Kline's farm.

David Kline is an Amishman. He farms about 200 acres in Holmes County, Ohio, good land that supports a herd of forty to fifty dairy cows. He has some modern equipment, such as milking machines, but his life does not depend on any of it. In today's world, his farm provides him a good living. In a Fourth Generation world, his farm would still provide well for him and his family.

I am not talking about "survivalism" here. The Kline farm represents much more than that. As I have said to David more than once, what he and other Amish are doing is preserving an understanding of how to live in reality for the time when all the virtual realities collapse.

Virtual realities lie at the heart of Brave New World, aka the New World Order, "globalism," "democratic capitalism" (as the neo-cons define it), etc. The bargain Brave New World offers is this: if you will only do as Marcuse advises and trade the Reality Principle for the Pleasure Principle, we will enmesh you in virtual realities that will make you happy. True, you will lose your free will, because our virtual realities will condition you to think as we want you to. But they will also give you anything and everything you want. So what if none of it is real? All that matters is that you feel happy, right now.

As our medieval forefathers would quickly recognize, this is Hell speaking. Hell has always loathed reality, because in reality, Christ is king. Wiser than we, the medievals were interested not in felicitas but in beautitudine — not in being happy but in being saved. Had they been given a television or a video game, they would have smelled brimstone.

Not only do virtual realities lead to Hell, they have another drawback, one that a Fourth Generation world will soon bring to the fore: all of them, without exception, eventually collapse. The complex structures and vast resources required to sustain them are evanescent. The realities of the Fourth Generation are hard and sharp, and they will slice and dice virtual realities like, well — dare I say the Scimitar of Islam? Many Islamics, unlike most Christians, seem to recognize Brave New World for what it is.

Which brings me back to David Kline's farm. Is the answer to my reader's question that we should all become Amish? No, because in the end some of us will have to fight or the world will have no place for the Amish. Should we all live like Amish farmers? Here the answer is closer to "yes." At the least, even if we do not farm, we need to separate our lives and the lives of our families from the virtual realities and live in reality itself. The small family farm may not be the only way to do that, but it is a good way.

David Kline's farm is itself a discarded image. But it is an image America discarded not very long ago. As David says, "I just farm the way everybody did fifty years ago." David edits Farming Magazine, a thoughtful and literate quarterly dedicated to teaching others, Amish and non-Amish, how they too can make a good living from a small farm, farmed the old way. His discarded image is one we can find, still living, perhaps not too far down the road.

My correspondent concluded, "How do you apply non-state warfare to family protection? Give me only those practical items that can be implemented on the individual and family level." Well, I don't know many things more practical than an Amish farm, nor better at protecting families. And I do know that answers to the Fourth Generation and to Brave New World, false images both, can only be found at the individual and family level, because that is where the decision to live by the Reality Principle must be made.

January 28, 2004