Saturday, September 26, 2009

USDA Leafy Green Marketing Agreement (part three)

Proactive Leafy Green Agricultural Economics
Part three

Cash For Clunker

As the only real concern in America today in 2009 is exactly the same as it has been throughout our history and that concern is the creation of sustainable jobs, my “Combined Organic Waste Shaping Hidden Industrial Teamwork“ initiative should serve to do just that.

Affectionately dubbed “Cash For Clunker COWSHIT” and being of sound mind and body and fully realizing that for the sake of being politically correct, this title would most likely have to be renamed, it none the less gives the USDA the full responsibility of regulating any and all industries that are evenly remotely related to the safe and secure development of our nation’s entire 21st century advanced technology, organically based agricultural food sector.

To put the concept of the last statement’s thoughts into perspective, let’s look at two machines. One of these machines is the American dairy cow milk making machine, the other is the American dairy cow milk milking machine.

More to the point, let’s look at a collection of these machines.

Even more to the point, let’s look at the total combined industrial and economic interaction of these machines.

Still even more to the point, let’s look at the people (dairy cow farmers and dairy cow consumers) who constitute the trades that make, use, maintain, improve and ultimately invest their daily wages in these machines to assure they can healthily consume the food these machines help plant, nurture, harvest, process, distribute and ultimately re-process and in turn help reprocess their daily wages into sound future dairy cow industrial investments.

Having looked at all of this, what is the one thing the dairy cow, the dairy farmer, the dairy consumer and the dairy machine need in order to work effectively?

The picture above is of a single dairy cow milking machine. In its’ most simplistic description, this machine in and of itself milks dairy cows. Those who purchase this machine are presumably doing so because they have cows to milk. Those with a few cows might purchase one dairy cow milking machine whereas those that have many cows will probably purchase many dairy cow milking machines. Either way the dairy cow milking machine exists in our American economy. Because it exists, those that have milking cows benefit from both the purchase and use of this machine whereas those who consume the milk do as well.

While all of this is clearly obvious, the point is that even though this machine exists, nobody in America can within the constraints of the 20th century economic logic it was originally invented in, afford to actually purchase and more importantly operate the damn thing here and now in our 21st century economy. While we in America clearly had the capacity to invent the machine in our 20th century and in our 21st century have already demonstrated the capacity to invent and make many even more remarkable machines and in fact we literally have thousands of machines that are fully advanced and fully equipped and prepared to operate in our 21st century green economy, we can’t as of this very moment in 2009 operate the machinery we have invented nor operate the factories that these machines are supposed to be manufactured in.

Think about this.

Think about a scenario that casts the largest industrialized nation in the world as the parent of an all but still born 21st century industrial baby that through lack of family focus refuses to boom?

As there is something entirely out of whack with the overall dormant nature of our national industrial based economy, that something resides in the fact that we have failed to wed the isolated machinery of our 20th century to the equally isolated machinery of our 21st century. As a result, the dairy cow milk milking machine invented in our 20th century cannot operate for precisely the same set of reasons as the dairy cow making machine, the dairy cow farmer and the dairy cow consuming machine cannot operate in our 21st century. That reason is simple, even though we are all angry and our anger is clearly generating an awful lot of hot emotional air, emotional fuel is simply not the same as biofuel. Thus the answer to the question of what cow, man and machine need to operate efficiently within the hot air environment of emotional anger is a fuel source that turns that hot air into holistic nationwide industrial productivity.

To achieve this goal, and realizing that there are indeed thousands of 21st century green machines ready to come on line, the larger question is of course, how do we do turn intangible emotional anger into tangible agricultural productivity?

Defining how the milking machine is actually powered and who is benefiting financially from the fact that power to this machine is actually being provided is of course, the larger answer.

Without getting into an all but ridiculous diatribe over what power source will eventually fuel our nation’s dairy cow milking machines, the fact of the matter is, multiple energy sources do exist. But, as the dairy cow milking machine needs a power source to operate and in fact we don’t currently have a combined national energy source blueprint in place that would assure it’s operation for decades to come, how on earth can we expect to have an economy that produces the ultimate end product of organic milk in the first place?

Think about our current dismal 2009 national economic scenario.

The idle milking machine sits in a barn along with the equally idle organic cow.

Due to our inability to operate the milking machine, the organic cow is equally unable to produce organic cow shit. As that organic cow shit is an agricultural commodity in every bit the same manner as the milk the organic cow produces, the machine and the cow sit in a Wisconsin barn staring at one another and wishing they both had the capacity to communicate more effectively with the sadly non organic economists who have never figured out how to either milk the cow or make the milking machine.

None the less, on the roof of the barn that covers the cow and the machine is an expanse of space that could potentially house solar collectors just as on the peak of the barn is a point that can potentially harness wind energy whereas on the eaves of the barn hang rain gutters that could potentially collect and direct rain water to a storage system located at the foot of the barn. And of course, next to the rainwater storage system is an organic cow shit collection system that stores potentially high grade biofuel raw material whereas beneath the barn lies the potential of harnessing naturally occurring geothermal pressure that will produce heat for the organic cow, the milking machine and the farmer, his family and the family of barn cats that for one reason or another seem to enjoy organic cow milk just as much as the organic consumer of organic cow milk enjoys having a job in the cold, harsh winters of organic economic discontent.

As one would be hard pressed to find an American consumer here in 2009 that does not possess at least some theoretical knowledge of the technologies I have just described and that do have the potential of being incorporated into the physical structure of that barn, universal application of this knowledge remains locked in organically redundant theory.

If however, you have read and followed carefully the entire content of this essay, then you will be able refer back to the section where I wrote about regional organic farming and regional organic architecture. As you do so, let me remind you that advanced public utility infrastructure is very much understood by those who work in the public utility sector. Unfortunately, those who work in the public utility sector are designing massive public utility grids to facilitate the energy needs of millions while all but failing to realize that the organic cow has to be milked.

Think about this.

Having in turn floated the notion that the USDA should be fully in control of all industrial aspects even remotely related to the growth of our agricultural economy, the micro technologies that enabled us a nation to invent and produce the dairy cow milking machine are directly dependent upon the micro technologies of the public utility sector to be put into place on top of, outside of inside of or beneath the barn before anyone in America at all can even remotely expect to enjoy the whole organic benefit of cow shit.

Having said this, if our public utility companies are fully aware of the types of energy a specific region in our nation has the capacity to generate, then why on earth are we not through intelligent government oversight, installing the micro technologies that will “eventually” lead to the production of large scale regional public utility management?

Think about this.

If my understanding of our nation’s industrial history is correct, wasn’t the light bulb invented before a nationwide public utility grid was either invented or installed?

Think about this.

If my understanding of our nation’s economic history is also correct, wasn’t the Great Depression caused by our failure to envision that grid?

Having said this, with the emergence of so many new energy management technologies all of which are attempting to come on line simultaneously, wouldn’t it be beneficial to reinvent the process of application? If the first light bulb came before the first grid system and now today in 2009 we have many new light bulbs, let’s focus on the installation of these many new light bulbs rather than focus to the point of combined national and economic depression on the national public utility infrastructure that will “eventually” be required to coordinate, harness and effectively manage the economic system that supports the development of these many new light bulbs.

Think about this.

In as much as our industrial predecessor’s experienced economic collapse for their failure to actualize a nationwide public utility infrastructure, will we fail because we have failed to effectively “microtize” that infrastructure here in 2009?

Is the yin of one generation of public utility infrastructure totally at odds with the yang of the next?

Think about this.

Are the gods of our nation’s oil and natural gas companies and the gods of our nation’s coal and nuclear companies along with the gods of our nation’s solar and wind and geothermal and biofuel companies willing to be directed by the United States Department of Agriculture as opposed to being directed by the United States Department of Energy?

I mean could these gods be taught how to milk dairy cows and grow leafy green organic produce and in doing so come to the conclusion that a national public utility grid is actually a small concept as opposed to being a grand concept?

Could these gods also be directed by the United States Department of Transportation?

Are we collectively stupid, dumb, lazy and arrogant or are we simply having a difficult time overcoming our inbred 20th century alter egos that still worship ancient 19th century oil barons and equally ancient economists? I mean when do we actually get our very own and very dynamic 21st century green industrial stone rolling?

Within the wholly negative alter ego dynamic of America’s economic yesterday, every energy company was at odds with the other just as every department within the U.S. government was isolated from one another. Having every bit the same amount of knowledge of the history of American politics as I do American industry and American economics, I have to ask why it is that a politician from a farming state was constantly battling with a politician from a lumber state or a coal state or a state that produced national defense industries when every state all along had cows that needed to be milked and dinner tables that needed fresh lettuce?

In turn, I have to ask.

If the micro infrastructure of our larger national public utility infrastructure was first put into place barn by barn and house by house, would it not also be apparent that the micro infrastructure of our nation’s future transportation grid would naturally evolve as well?

I mean as America’s big three automakers are all but financially insolvent yet are still insisting there is some sort of need for blasting down the high way, when’s the last time anyone saw a dairy cow in a Corvette?

And, does the maker of the Corvette, or the Mustang or the Ram become a corporate stake holder in high grade organic corporate cow shit?

Where is Henry Ford and his simple Model T, organic assembly line methodology when we need him?

As we are unfortunately living in a time when debating the chicken and the egg has turned into a global essay on our collective national stupidity, the great irony in 2009 is that the coop that holds the chicken has a clearly defined need to be powered by advanced 21st solar energy technology today. As that chicken just like this author might on occasion have a desire to escape that coop and cross the road, if the road that it’s crossing is filled with vehicles on a decidedly more organic mission, might not the farmer who owns the chicken coop eventually be able to take his dairy cow for a ride in that Corvette?


As I have been designing alternative energy homes for close to four decades, the path to realizing the remarkable potential these homes have not only for our economy but for the health of the average American who has hired me to build them has much more often than not been blocked by local building officials who absolutely refused to accept the notion that such things as alternative forms of construction framing techniques or alternative forms of electrical wiring and plumbing, insulation, heating and cooling techniques had any viability whatsoever. Because of this refusal to embrace change in the housing industry, its’ failure simply mirrors the overall failure of our 20th century industrial economy.

Due to the extent to which the overall failure of this industrial sector implies the much larger failure of the American dream, the revival of this sector in many if not in all rationales being floated for the recovery of our nation’s economy is the single most important piece of our nation’s 21st century green industrial puzzle.

As the shift from a fossil fuel based market economy is benchmarked in the success of integrating various sources of energy with one another to produce a fully interactive national public utility grid and that same shift is benchmarked by the success of integrating a fully interactive fleet of vehicles that will ride upon a fully interactive national transportation grid, ultimately, the success of all grids comes down to the construction of homes.

Referring once again to the Great Depression and more specifically, referring to the year of 1937 and in turn referring to the emerging domestic lives of American military personnel after World War II, I will refer as well to Hollywood to narrate my point.

In the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” Jimmy Stewart plays an affable but determined building contractor whose feeling of insecurity over not being able to join his brothers and others in fighting overseas was transformed into becoming both a carpenter and community activist building a neighborhood filled with affordable housing for returning veterans that before the war, more or less had nothing.

In his role, he was pitted against the miserly banker who held the purse strings of a private bank as opposed to the savings and loan association whose purse strings were held by homeowners. As the miserly banker represented the banks that failed and caused the Great Depression, the savings and loan association represented the success of the United States of America Department of Commerce to establish in 1937, Standard Industrial Classification (S.I.C.) Codes.

(Please note: nobody in America knows the history and combined evolution of both S.I.C. codes and the Standard and Poors Industrial 500 Index better than this author. As I have studied the multiple tiered interrelationships of these remarkably resilient entities for almost four decades, this is a direct invitation to anyone in America who thinks they do to prove the fact that they might. I also have an odd sense of humor benchmarked by an ego founded in fact as opposed to fiction. Having said this, what do you think of the NAICS? Is it filled with flaws or is my imagination running wild?)

As the S.I.C. codes were established for the singular purpose of preventing another Great Depression, they were as well designed to not only connect the invention of the light bulb and nationwide public electric utility grid I mentioned earlier, but in turn connect our larger and much more organized industrial economy to an equally unified national industrial dialogue all of which in unison ultimately enabled us victory in World War II.

Having said all of this, and, once again comparing the times we are going through today with the times then, the singular difference between then and now is the fact that before the establishment of S.I.C. codes, it was a crap shoot that determined whether or not anyone in America owned a home at all. As S.I.C. codes disciplined and shaped the industrial structures that enable us to manufacture and mass produce the industrial weaponry of World War II, after World War II that same structure enable us to design Uniform Building Codes (UBC) which of course conformed to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) all returning veterans ultimately relied upon to shape the very self discipline that has made America America.

With all of these codes in place and with being victorious in WWII, our nation underwent a period of economic and industrial expansion that was unparalleled in the history of mankind.

That of course was then…

…and, I could go on and on and on and blah and blah, blah, blah and more blah, blah and blah…

…but this is now.

Now that everyone in America owns a home (or at least they thought they did up until 2006 when this severe recession first started taking on clearly definable symptoms of 20th century money tree root rot) all of these homes which of course are as architecturally dated as the wonderful life, post WWII manic depressive duffel bag dreams of property valuation we cling to, the real industrial value of these homes is zero.

Did you hear me?

Did you hear what I just said?

Homes across America are valueless. The reason they are of no value is that they were built with 20th century technologies that have no value as well. In turn, the mortgages held on these homes are of no value because the financing mechanisms of these homes remain attached to 20th century industrial investment portfolios that have virtually no financial legitimacy. Essentially we are all living in make believe, American Dream dollhouses.

Think about all of this for a moment, a very long and looming and tenuous moment.

“Hi! My name is Betty and I’m your Century 21 real estate broker here in Salem, Massachusetts, and yes indeed I do have the perfect little Cape Cod for you. It was built right after World War II on the very grounds that Matilda the Witch was burned at the stake on. Yes I know it’s a little dated but it’s well built and I have a friend who owns an antique shop and I just know she has the perfect little hurricane lantern that’s just right for this cute little nook over here. The electric? Well I know your concerned about fires but I have a friend on the historic preservation committee who has a friend in the city building department that will (wink) come over and check it out (double wink) forya. Oh, you mean electric to power technologies? Well, I’ve heard about that, but, well, let me just look into that (wink) forya. The price, “oh the owner is very flexible”. I think (wink) we can probably negotiate him down. How about 3.7 trillion. Fine then, let me make the call. Oh, speaking of hurricanes, can I have a copy of your Lehmann Brother’s investment portfolio. Do you like witches? I like witches. Do you like witches? I like witches. It sure seems cold and drafty in here. It must be Matilda’s Ghost. She seems to come around every time I show this place. I have do go now. Do you like coffee? I like coffee. Let’s have coffee. Do you like witches? I have to go now. Oh, look they have tulips. Do you like Tulips? I like Tulips. Did ya (wink) know Tulips are green? I just feel so totally organic today. Let’s hug. Do you want to see my Ruby Slipper’s? Oh, look at that foundation. It appears as if it is melting. Do you have a bicycle? I smell smoke. Do you like mirrors? I like mirrors.”

Is it any wonder at all why we are experiencing financial problems?

In as much as our president and his team, all of whom I completely support and believe in are attempting to override the post traumatic affects of these post WWII manic depressive industrial wounds, the greater masters of our 20st century make believe dollhouse universe don’t reside in Washington D.C. These clunkers instead reside in the city halls of communities throughout our nation that they and they alone control.

Within this political control they are virtually assured their economic control of the community as well. Regardless of any national building standards that are designed to foster legitimate nationwide dialogue over the construction of modern, energy efficient housing and in turn provide an otherwise sensible mechanism for both nationwide industrial and economic expansion, these people instead adopt what I call either the “It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood I Am Special Prozac Syndrome” or the “Hillbilly Pet Elephant and Donkey Playing Bingo Syndrome”.

The former of course is relegated to those who happen to live in a socially progressive and better educated urban community that happens to house one award winning, LEED certified, Platinum house costing ten times more than any of the other over priced and over financed homes in their community. These are the folks who are the ultimate proactive, socially conscious environmentalists who with their collective team effort could easily legislate the placement of organic toilets on every street corner in Oak Park, Illinois, co author add on legislation that would assure Ernest Hemmingway’s signature was etched in every toilet seat and in turn assure additional legislation that would provides the architects of the Wright Foundation exclusive license to design prairie style foundations for these toilets and of course offer Beatrix Potter signed organic toilet paper to visiting world dignitaries.

The later boasts double barreled fifty five gallon wood burning stoves allowing the owner of such a devise to claim both energy and political as well as financial independence from the United States of America. Hillbillies specializing in the fine art of bar room brawling assert their political independence daily by visiting the local liquor store while in between their daily jaunts from the bar to the liquor store occasionally stop by the empty union hall to share deeply touching and equally philosophical soap box stories crafted from outhouse memories shaped by a cousin with a steel plate in his head from Korea.

American flags abound in such communities, but with both the local republicans and democrats half drunk, the position of the flag is directly determined by the contents of the truck tire that serves as the base of the flagpole. Filled with floating mosquito larvae, half full or half empty floating vodka bottles, the sobering political moment for these communities come on veterans day when collectively these folks finally manage to figure out that not only is the American flag red, white and blue, but it actually does have a proper and patriotic position to fly in which unfortunately is always at half mast.

All of what I just described would be really funny if in fact it wasn’t so God awful true and so God awful dangerous to our national defense.

Having said this, there are some things and some dreams both of these community stereotypes have in common. The first is access to the internet. Both of these groups have access to the internet and as a result, both of these groups have a considerable amount of knowledge about alternative forms of energy. Both of these groups also have dreams of owning homes that are as unique and beautiful as the ones that cost millions they see on the internet. But neither group has access to these technologies, the industries or the jobs that should be making their own homes just as technologically advanced but much more affordable and clearly more drug and alcohol free.

My point here is simple. Just as a broad spectrum of nationally focused economic initiatives surfaced after the Great Depression and as these initiatives had an industrial base firmly attached to them, Through the all encompassing leadership emanating from FDR’s wheel chair and the White House he rolled through, every American got busy building something that was good for every other American.

Given the fact that local building officials are for all legitimate purposes hired by local governments to certify the fact that the homes in their communities meet certain national building standards and given the fact that the prerequisite for establishing those standards is to bring industries into communities that will enable both the private business and labor sectors to flourish, these standards are as well designed to keep the public service, safety and utility sectors of a community healthy as well.

While there truly are many remarkably exciting technological transformations taking place in every sector of American industry and government here in 2009, There is not yet in place the architecture of actual human communication as opposed to absolutely useless theoretical electronic communication that will insure these transformations are assimilated into the every day lives of every day Americans. While these entities of assimilation actually do exist and have existed for many moons, none of these entities rising moons are at present in conjunction with one another.

As I began this essay on behalf of The Cornucopia Institute, I stated as well that I just like so many other Americans operate from within a broad spectrum mindset. Within this mindset is the realization that many if not all existing entities that make up the regulatory body of our federal government must adjust this mindset to accommodate basic American economic growth.

The United States Green Building Council is clearly one of these entities and as far as this author is concerned, the establishment of this council will go down in America’s industrial history as the single most successful economic paradigm of our 21st industrial century. The architecture of its’ structure is brilliant as it adds substantial meat to the bones of the meal that will in no uncertainty bring affordable state of the art energy technologies into every building in America.

But, its’ architectural potential at this point in time is unfortunately still on the drawing board. More theoretical in substance than successful in practical application, the drawing board is in actuality a chess board and the USGBC is the hour glass sitting beside that chess board watching and waiting for the ongoing 20th century pet elephant and donkey wars in Washington D.C. to finally come to an end.

Once it does, the army of the true elephant, which is the United States Chamber of Commerce will merge once again with the army of the true donkey which is the AFL-CIO , under the disciplined (is morality any different than discipline?}, educationally based governance of the United States Green Building Council.

The United States Green Building Council enables all such dreams to be fertilized and all such ambitions to be realized. Working in conjunction with the United States Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO, the legal benchmark and thus the greater moral purpose (yes it’s perfectly okay to talk about collective American morality) of the federal USGBC is the establishment of a regulated and compassionate 21st century proactive industrial economy that can be immediately injected into every single city and town in America.

The chambers of commerce in every city and every town and every village in America are suffering for precisely the same reason as the unionized workers of America are suffering - while dialogue abounds, spell checking remains redundant.

But, again there is the solar collector. In this author’s mind, every home in America should have four solar collectors attached to it:

The first and most important collector is the one that links every home in America to the public utility grid that has throughout our nation’s industrial evolution served to harness separate industrial power producing processes into a collective grid of sustainable economic growth for all.

The second solar collector is the architectural envelope that every American family within the context of a fully actualized American Dream of home ownership can live quite comfortably and leisurely inside off.

The third solar collector is the ability of local businesses to thrive as a direct result of outfitting their businesses with the products and technologies local, well educated master tradesmen and women have the capacity to install into the architectural envelopes that house the sleeping babies of our next generation.

The fourth solar collector is the financial institution whose analysis of both mortgage lending and local community investment is benchmarked by the assurance that within the average American housing envelope, resides an investment portfolio fully backed not only by the federal government but by the much larger industrial blueprint the federal government has proactively legislated as being paramount to the greater financial good of the thousands of communities that make up the organic regions of our nation’s casual and friendly but none the less hard working network of 21st century industrial processes.

As far as the 20th century corporate model is concerned, what on earth is the point of continuing the discussion unless of course one studies the notion of community reinvestment? Within this model, all viable corporations remain fully intact whereas those that are not simply turn into low grade retailers of highly discounted, non organic cow shit.

Eat your leafy greens!

M. Patrick Dahlke

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