Well it’s been a while since our last report hasn’t it so I’m happy you’ve picked up the latest edition. Today I’m covering how the ATF works in Minarchadia.
Bala, a coworker, is visiting from the Indian Subcontenent so I invited him over for a day. Seems the authorities back home are rife with regulations and consistently corrupt moreso than the statists quo just outside of Minarchadia. It barely seems possible but after chatting a while I beleive his situation back home is far removed from freedom. Luckily from here we were able to lay groundwork for him to begin some simple civil disobedience. Yes, back in the land where Gandhi lead a push against British control of salt – today they still are oppressed by the replacement regime and can not easily do many things taken for granted here.

Alcohol:

Sharing a few beers after work last month he had told me that he would like to brew beer. Little did he know that I’ve brewed more batches than I can remember. Back home he finds no shops with supplies but now he’s read up and plotting which items to carry back and what ingredients his friends and relatives may be able to return with later.

Yesterday we collected all the pots, malts and implements for making beer. I started the burner on a couple gallons of water and by the time I’d picked him up from the hotel the water was ready for steeping. He’d read a good book on how to brew so getting him the real feel for it all was nice, book-learning only carries one so far. He stirred while I poured malt. I went with a simple kit for his introduction, no need to get complex for someone on the first batch. I set the timer for the boil to start and then shared my advice on hops, dealth with adjuncts (orange peal and corriander seeds in this batch) and talked about fermentation times, siphoning to bottles (for the beginner and one who may have a real hard time ever getting a keg much less refridgerating five gallons at once) and of course cleaning and sanitizing! Those two are essential to brewing. He surprised me with what he’d picked up from the book in just one read. Hat’s off to Dave Miller for being a good writer. And I’ll suggest anyone who doesn’t have a local homebrew shop to visit www.rebelbrewer.com for books and kits and what have you. Rebel Brewer is not far from Minarchadia and run by some pretty free spirits and seasoned brewers. After the first batch was done we repeated it all with a slightly different recipe. He’s got it now!

 

Tobacco:
Hmm, I don’t smoke and no one around chose to that day. To me tobacco is something farmers grow up on the ridge nearby. Sorry if that left anyone hanging feel free to submit your own story about tobacco from your part of Mindarchadia.

Firearms:
This is one I’d done before with a few guys from over seas. It’s always nice to introduce someone to firearms and even more so if they come from a place where they are oppressed from keeping par with the basic weapons that criminals may use to an advantage. I noticed my new friend eyeing the shotgun in the basement. Since we’d finished brewing and hadn’t popped open too many beers during the process and oh yeah, we had lunch since then so I figured it’d be fair enough to step outside and give him a bit more hands-on. Earplugs, a target, couple of shells for the shotgun and why not empty a magazine in the 45 while we’re at it? We stepped out back and I showed him the how things worked, what safety precautions to observe and then how to load.
Next up was relax, exhale, point and click. He did well with the 45, about a 4 inch group round the bullseye. Shotgun took him a couple of tries but then he got it. Another satisfied visitor introduced to things we just take for granted around here.

That is all about Minarchadia for today.

 

Page 2 – Outside of Minarchadia

 

I’ll share something that’s bothered me about things where Bala is from. Seems farmers have been committing suicide at an alarming rate; up to five times the number for non-farmers. I asked my friend what was going on and he shared with me something new. Of course there is no one cause but of eleven reasons given by farmers in one study it seems that half the suicides are rooted in problems caused by or controlled by their government. Financially these small farmers are at a disadvantage to large scale agriculture who get favors and can afford to pay bribes where it benefits them. But now he tells me something different, something you don’t really get from the regular news. GMO. He says the farmers are no longer allowed to use seeds from their own crops, they must buy them. And just who is selling seeds? Monsanto.

The farmers are having to pay for seeds instead of using seeds from their previous harvest and these seeds cost more than regular seeds from before. GMO sounds good  since it is more resilient and higher yeild but that is not working well enough and it leaves these farmers with failed crops and in debt for the seeds they bought. Small farmers aren’t able to get commercial loans so they are left with unscrupulous lenders. This can all add up to a devistating recipe.

Further comments and reading on Indian farmers and the problems they face:
Farmer suicides are much higher than the general population.

“The benefit from the government package goes to middle level or large scale farmers. Arranging a loan from the bank is a lengthy procedure and banks avoid giving loans to small farmers who have poor capacity to repay the loan. Hence, these poor small farmers go to private money lenders who verbally negotiate the business. He will be repaying such loans until his death.”

Solutions regarding government apathy:
Government apathy and poor price for farm produce
1.Farmer should sell their farm produce on their own
2.Do not rely much on government
3.Farmers’ group can process raw products
4.Farmers should have their own warehouse
5.Farming as per market demand

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/india-farmer-gajendra-singh-hangs-himself-protest/
“Rising prices for seeds and fertilizers, and banking reforms that ended up forcing farmers to turn to loan sharks, have magnified the trouble.”

What isn’t mentioned in that last sentence is that the rising prices of seeds is because they are now forced to use GM seeds instead of thousands of years of traditional seed sources.

GMO seeds brings Monsanto into the picture and we see that here:
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/cottonseed-price-issue-continues-to-haunt-ap-telangana/article7220177.ece
After half a century of socialism failed the authorities in India have a booming economy due to relaxed business atmosphere. So long as they still attempt central planning with food and farm products it seems they have not learned principles that grow your tech businesses tend to apply just as well to other sectors. End the price controls, end the merchantilism and do what the farmers are asking. Free the market!