This NY Times magazine piece about the credit rating agencies is depressing. Have fun.
As a side note, every time I link something about the housing market and the impending financial collapse to Tim via AOLIM, he comes back with an interesting post-apocalyptic fact. When I linked this to him, his response was:
“You know that deer and squirrels almost became extinct during the Great Depression?”
The kitchen sink Hillary has been tossing around belongs to China, and they’ll be wanting it back.
Urban Hunting Season. That should be fun.
Given that the vast majority of Americans get their meat on a styrofoam tray wrapped in plastic, most of them will starve before they figure out how to trap and kill a squirrel or a deer, much less dress and prepare it.
Don’t cry for the poor deer and squirrels.
Really? Is that true or just truthy? “Nearly extinct in certain locations” or even “one particular species nearly became extinct” might be one thing, but aren’t rodents pretty tenacious?
I’m thinking domestic dogs are gonna go LONG before the deer and squirrels. The deer and squirrel at least have the intelligence to get out of the way of the shovel when you swing it.
I’ll start to worry when we get some Cormac McCarthy “The Road”-style pregnant woman cum livestock and babies rotating on the spit.
Big shitpile isn’t the Seige of Lenningrad and sawdust bread loaves yet.
It gets better:
Petreus nomindated for CENTCOM.
Obligatory Iran Strike Speculation Here
There is a new memoir of the wars in Chechnya by Arkady Babchenko called “One Soldier’s War.” The book is basically about two things: getting shot at and scrounging for food because the Russian army can’t seem to feed its conscripts. Arkady recommends trimming the fat off of your dog flanks because dog fat is quite bitter.
One thing I am thankful for, I learned how to live off the land via hunting, fishing, and knowing what plants were edible. Bring on Doomsday!
Thank God and Arkansas for providing the expert on Rocky Recipes.
Given that the vast majority of Americans get their meat on a styrofoam tray wrapped in plastic, most of them will starve before they figure out how to trap and kill a squirrel or a deer, much less dress and prepare it
Not my neighbors. A couple of months ago, during breakfast, we looked out our kitchen window to see the headless deer hanging from the tree, left to bleed. Oh yeah, and there is the permanent deer stand on the other side of the property line at the back.
But then I live in central NY and you cannot kill these big rats fast enough. Fortunately, the coyotes (which I hear the in the farm fields across the road) are getting bolder.
I plan to keep the neighborhood deer herd as a reserve against the day we run through all the lobbyists and Congress critters.
You say depressing, I say comedy. On page two a Moody’s analyst gives a walkthrough of a package of 2,200 subprime mortgages, 75% of which are ARMs, and 43% of which lack written proof of income. Then he says:
Ski chalet! They’re thinking about subprime borrowers as if they have other secondary properties they could choose to sell rather so they can keep making payments on these houses.
I hear there’s good eatin’ on a Canada goose, too. Lord knows we’re lousy with those flying poop factories.
Heh sounds like my back yard in Upstate NY.
Lisa in Bama
Hmmm… I have been chasing squirrels off of my bird feeder. Perhaps I should let them stay and fatten up.
I look forward to the future Friday culinary blog posts. So John, how do you like your squirrel cooked. And beer blogging will be replaced by “What I found in the rain barrel today.”
Holy crap! Google is FAST! As of 8 – EIGHT – freakin’ minutes ago, Balloon juice is the top hit for “deer extinct depression.”
My guess is Tim is joshin’ you, John…or he’s just ignorant. But I can’t find anything to back up my claim. Someone did open a Snopes forum entry on it a couple weeks ago.
Oh for pete’s sake, it was an offhand comment that I coughed out of my subconscious in an IM chat. I think I heard it on NPR some time or other.
If we have to unpack the point, yes, deer populations were a tiny fraction of what they are now, but that’s due to several independent factors. Unregulated hunting is one of them. Another is that the eastern US was extensively deforested around and before that time and then regrown as a government policy (hear that libertarians? one benefit of a government with regulatory power is trees). I have no idea whether the NPR guys were right or just screwing around, like I said I don’t know what show it was or what was the context. But it’s true that around that time the deer population had a lot less far to fall then it does today.
As for squirrels, feh. It’s apocryphal as far as I’m concerned, only good for scaring little kids and West Virginia bloggers over IM.
I nicknamed my room mate’s dog “Emergency Food Supply”, but he doesn’t appear to appreciate it. The dog does come when I call him, however.
Tim 1, West Virginia 0
The local farm supply store has had a run on vegetable seeds, and it seems that some folks are starting to stockpile rice, veg oil, and grains. Where I live in upstate NY, wild turkey season opens next week. A gobbler or two tastes delicious after brining and some time in the hickory smoker. Fresh trout have been a staple for me since the opener on Apr 1. Regarding deer (one of my favorite wild foods), I’ll wait. The does will be dropping their fawns next month. By july, there will be plenty of free meat on the side of the highway. Just be sure to gut it out before it bloats or the crows get to it.
Sqirrels aren’t one of my favorites, but if you skin them when their still warm and parboil them first, they’re ok.
I’ll take cottontails any day instead.
I would imagine that the cost of the hunting licenses in NJ/NY/PA plus the cost of ammunition, etc. (if my boss is to be trusted on this) vastly offsets the savings in actual food cost.
Then again….if you’re just shooting off your back porch…
I believe the old edition of Joy of Cooking has a couple of good squirrel recipes in it.
I also understand that rat tastes quite good if fed almost exclusively on bread and cracker crumbs and moldy cheese.
(Thanks for this information should go to my father-in-law, who was in the Polish Resistance during WWII.)
Didn’t Huckabee brag about grilling squirrel??
In the Washington DC area, late 70s, there was a HUGE pigeon problem… but then, thousands of Vietnam refugees were dropped into Arlington and Fairfax counties, Virginia. Suddenly, the overpopulation of pigeons disappeared.
Sams Club and Costco are placing limits on the amount of rice that can be bought by a customer.
I think that the overall economic effect of the shitpile depends on the size of the tantrum that the financial sector takes once the chickens start coming home to roost. The bigger the tantrum (meaning they start jawboning massive layoffs in order to make profit levels), the bigger the downslope. With the proper leader in power, the bully pulpit probably would go the long way to keep these a-holes in check.
I find it quite amusing that MOST Americans have no clue how “post-apocalyptic” (as you so nicely put it!) The Great Depression truly was.
My family has all sorts of hair-raising stories handed down – all confirmed by my recently-deceased grandmother – about a single meal a day of boiled grass and ox-tail soup. Or cracking open ALL bones to get at the marrow. Yummy! ANYTHING that moved was fair game for dinner. Deer were almost wiped out in the Catskills and squirrels were quite scarce – as were most other living things. My grandmother had a recipe for using EVERY PART of a bear. The thought of this still makes me gag.
On the upside, the will to survive is mighty fucking strong in most humans. Thank god we’re omnivores!
One way or another, we’ll survive.
I’m not sure why John is worried about a scarcity of wild critters in WVA. Surely the animals are confused and disoriented since the mining companies started knocking off the mountain tops again.
By the way, you’ve got to be pretty desperate before you even THINK of eating squirrel or bear (LOTS of fat and gamey and tough as all hell!).
Rabbits aren’t bad (taste like chicken) and deer will do in a pinch.
But, then desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
Actually, pigeons (rock dove) were brought to North America as a potential food source. Though I wouldn’t eat the ones living in an urban environment, the grain fed ones that hang out by the silo are pretty good. The breast meat (the only part worth chewin’ on) is dark and tastes a bit like liver. Squabs (before they’re feathered out and leave the nest) are very good. Pigeons are easy to obtain. Just go their roost at night with a flashlight and a big fishing net.
Next I’ll tell you how to find the makin’s of a mess of frog legs. Quite nice fried in butter with a drizzle of lemon.
I’m… suspicious of the extinction claim. Or in the case of deer, I know that they did become rare, but the reasons are more complex and may not apply.
Deer was overhunted in the late 1800s – to the extent that the alleged (source not immediately available, I’ll dig if wanted) national whitetail population in 1900 was ~500,000. In 1930 the number (again alleged) was ~300,000. The hunting of the 1930s wasn’t the sole cause for the threat of extinction of deer.
As to squirrels, I’ve not seen anything either way, and would be interested in a cite or two.
Doug H. (Fausto no more)
(That’s two – TWO – geek references in one day! Ah-ha-ha!)
I suspect that during the depression, people were throwing out less and less food scraps. This meant that deer and squirrels stopped coming around to forage though the garbage. (Likewise, people were probably actively chasing off these critters if they had a backyard garden.)
So for a while at least, there was less backyard wildlife which lead to the “scarcity” urban legend.
The rice rationing is fairly localized.
If I were a cynic I’d blame this on:
1. The fact Costcos are popping up all over the place which may lead to not enough staples to go round all of the stores.
2. USA Rice Federation hoping to spark a rice hoarding frenzy. Panic = Profit!
But I know any rice shortage is caused by kindly capitalists sending it overseas to feed the hungry. [snort]
HAHA OH WOW
My wife teaches high school science in WV, and takes part in an internet-based environmental forum on deer overpopulation my organization runs. Her kids are sure they could survive any national catastrophe (economy tanks, environmental disaster, etc) by hunting our very abundant deer. She tells them that would work for a short while, until our numerous deer got wiped out. She’s right. With our current human population, all game would be wiped out in very short order if food supply became a real problem.
fyi, the eForum is here:
You might be right about rice, kinda like the 2008 version of duct tape and builders plastic.
In a pinch? A good deer roast is much better than most beef you’d find in the supermarket. Moose meat is also tasty, and you can get a LOT of meat off of one of those buggers.
I always feel a little bad about eating deer, as I think they’re a lovely animal. But, at least they would have had a better life and quicker death than most commercial beef.
For a real “thrill” (by thrill I means scary) on real estate go to hotpads.com and look a the “Foreclosure Heatmaps” (bottom right) and zero on your metro of choice. just make sure you are prepared.
my pop grew up in the depression, he used to tell me about times when the whole family (4 kids!) had to live off a loaf of bread for a whole weekend.
Since no one else has linked to this yet.
“Would ‘ave been a palace to us.”
Bambi on a spicket. Yum.
Indeed. And conservationists’ warnings would go unheeded. It’d be like poor Lisa in the Johnny Appleseed mockup from the Simpsons, when Homer shoots the last two buffalo.
From the article:
Gee, ya think? Why did they have “official protection” AT ALL??!?
Good thing there are so freakin’ many deer then. For once that works out.
Hm, I don’t have a gun, but the deer come for the apples on our tree in the fall by the dozens and a snare would be pretty easy to arrange, one with a bell so we’d know to get the big, very sharp kitchen knife out. I know my knots. I bet I could find the jugular on a deer… it’s got a long neck. And then, um, I’d just call one of the Chinese students to come help cut it up because I’ve seen their markets, everything they buy is alive when they take it home. I heard that one of them already took down an urban deer last year… just couldn’t resist.
If that fails, we have those dried beans we’ve been hording. Which will work until we run out of garlic to season them with. After that, we’ll have to keep a close eye on each other.
Um, Krista, about that running out? The current estimate is 30 million deer in the US. I realize that’s one deer per ten people in the nation (approximate), but that’s still a lot of deer to get through for extinction.
About those 30 million deer?
There used to be at least 4 (maybe 5) billion passenger pigeons, until Americans started hunting them as a cheap food source.
The last one died in 1914.
““You know that deer and squirrels almost became extinct during the Great Depression?””
Heh. One of my bandmates is a hunter in PA. He’s invited me along many times, and this year I’m taking him up on it.
Ka-pow! Then some blood and offal, and then dinner for a few months I’ll bet.
After you’ve had your garden devastated by the bunnies and bambis a few times, “cute” is not the word that comes to mind. “Mobile lunch”, maybe.
Hey, my old man ate squirrel in the 30’s. Pig brain, too.
It can be done.
Being a strict humanitarian, I will restrict my consumption of people to those too stupid to be allowed to live.
Geezer, not hunted as a cheap food source. Oh, and hunted over a long period of time – decades of heavy hunting.
If we hunt deer that heavy for that long we’ll run out. Of course if we HAVE to hunt that heavy for that long we’ve got other problems – most of which will probably result in a significant decrease in the number of hunters needed or available…