The Panic Is On: The Great Depression

The film starts with Jimmy Durante singing “Give a Man a Job”.  The film gives a narration of The Great Depression thru film clips of that time period, from the roarin twenties, the stock market crash, the Union Textile Strike, Concord, NC in 1934 and onward.  There were soup kitchens galore run thru charities, churches and even private individuals in basements, bet that won’t happen next time, too many government regulations.

The people of the great depression were amazing people,  men were carrying signs saying “Unemployed will work any job”, bet you wouldn’t see that now, that was a time when Americans did jobs Americans won’t do now.   There was a welfare system but those who had to take advantage of it didn’t stay on it when things got better, not like today when welfare is a career.

The Farmers Holiday Association blocked product getting to the market to increase prices, much like the government paying dairy farmers to sell their cows to increase the price of milk.   While the practice of blocking product from getting to market was illegal, as one farmer put it, “seems to me there was a Tea Party in Boston, that was illegal too”.

15000 unemployed veterans of WW I march on Washington  for cash bonus promised, the Senate votes no on giving them their promised bonuses.  Troops were dispersed to disband the veterans and burn down their shanty settlements.

A short included in this film was an interview with a Zuni Indian on the Cochita Reservation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who stated the White Man was just too greedy and this was the result, truer words were never spoken.  The Great Depression will be a cakewalk compared to the coming “Greatest” Depression.

“Economic depression can not be alleviated by govt action,” says Hoover, maybe someone should tell Obama.

Only available until august 15

Civil War Recipes


Assistant Commissary General of Subsistence – Lt. Col. C.L. Kilburn – Notes on Preparing Stores for the United States Army and on the Care of the Same, etc, with a few rules for Detecting Adulterations – Printed 1863

Under Hard Bread

Should be made of best quality of superfine, or what is usually known as extra superfine flour; or better, of extra and extra superfine, (half and half). Hard bread should be white, crisp, light and exhibit a flaky appearance when broken.  If tough, solid and compact, is evident the fault is either in the stock, manufacture or baking; it should not present the appearance of dried paste. If tough and pasty, it is probably manufacture from grown wheat, or Spring wheat of an inferior kind. In all cases it should be thoroughly cooled and dried before packing. Kiln drying, where practicable, for long voyages, is particularly desirable; but if really and thoroughly dried in the oven, hard bread will keep just as well and its flavor is not destroyed. To make good hard bread, it is essential to employ steam; hand work will not do.

The dough should be mixed as dry as possible; this is, in fact, very essential, and too much stress can not be placed on it. Good stock, dry mixed, and thoroughly baked, (not dried or scalded) will necessarily give good hard bread.  If salt is to be used, it should be mixed with the water used to mix the dough. Both salt and water should be clean. Bread put up with the preceding requirements should keep a year; but as a usual thing, our best bread as now made for army use, will keep only about three months.  Good, bread, packed closely and compactly should not weigh, net, per barrel, more than 70 or 80 pounds; should it be heavier that 80 it indicates too much moisture.  The thickness of the biscuit is important; it should not be so thick as to prevent proper drying, or so thin as to crumble in transportation. The quality of stock used for hard bread can be partially told by rules mentioned in the article ‘Flour,’ as far as they apply.  The term ‘sprung’ is frequently used by bakers, by which is meant raised or flaky bread, indicating strong flour and sound stock. The cupidity of the contracting baker induces him to pack his bread as soon as it comes out of the oven, and before the moisture has been completely expelled by drying.  Bread of this kind hangs on breaking; it will also be soft to the pressure of the finger nail when broken, whereas it should be crisp and brittle.

The packages should be thoroughly seasoned, (of wood imparting no taste or odor to the bread,) and reasonably tight.  The usual method now adopted is to pack 50 pounds net, in basswood boxes, (sides, top and bottom 1/2 inch, ends 5/8 of an inch,) and of dimensions corresponding with the cutters used, and strapped at each end with light iron or wood.  The bread should be packed on its edge compactly, so as not to shake.

Bread thoroughly baked, kiln dried, and packed in spirit casks, will keep a long time but it is an expensive method. If bread contains weevils, or is mouldy, expose to the sun on paulins, and before re-packing it, rinse the barrel with whiskey.


Army Hardtack Recipe


* 4 cups flour (perferably whole wheat)
* 4 teaspoons salt
* Water (about 2 cups)
* Pre-heat oven to 375° F
* Makes about 10 pieces

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add just enough water (less than two cups) so that the mixture will stick together, producing a dough that won’t stick to hands, rolling pin or pan.  Mix the dough by hand. Roll the dough out, shaping it roughly into a rectangle. Cut into the dough into squares about 3 x 3 inches and ½ inch thick.

After cutting the squares, press a pattern of four rows of four holes into each square, using a nail or other such object. Do not punch through the dough.  The appearance you want is similar to that of a modern saltine cracker.  Turn each square over and do the same thing to the other side.

Place the squares on an ungreased cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn each piece over and bake for another 30 minutes. The crackers should be slightly brown on both sides.

The fresh crackers are easily broken but as they dry, they harden and assume the consistentency of fired brick.

Swedish Hardtack

* 1 cup water
* 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
* 3 tbsp. honey
* 3 cups rye flour (or 1 1/2 cups rye & 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
* 1  1/2 tbsp. brewer’s yeast (optional)
* 1/4 tsp. salt

Mix liquids together.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Combine the mixtures, stirring to moisten throughout.  Form a ball.  On a floured surface, flatten the dough, and roll out thinly. Cut into squares and prick each cracker with the tines of a fork a couple of times.  Transfer to lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 425° F for around 8 minutes, checking to be sure not to over-brown.  It is best served warm.

Economic Woes Lead to Proliferation of Tent Cities Nationwide

The govt has bent over backwards to make sure the homeless have no place to go and no voice, they don’t want us to survive.  They’ve made feeding the homeless a crime and now they are trying to make housing them a crime too.  The govt caused the problem, now their trying to bury it.

By Joshua Rhett Miller

Published August 11, 2011

Lakewood, N.J. –  While millions of Americans hold their collective breath as Wall Street wreaks havoc with their life savings and retirements, residents of Tent City, a tiny makeshift community about 70 miles south of New York City, have more immediate concerns: finding their next hot meal.

For this collective of homeless and unemployed former landscapers, service industry workers and military veterans, the mention of “tarp” is sure to start a conversation about temporary rooftops, rather than a debate over President Obama’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.

At Tent City in Lakewood, N.J., very few are lucky enough to leave.

It seems like a scene straight from “The Grapes of Wrath,” but this is no Great Depression novel. This story takes place in 2011, and this New Jersey tent city is one of an untold number of such encampments across the United States, where unemployment has reached 9.3 percent and approximately 3.5 million people are likely to be homeless in a given year, according to the most recent estimates by the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Joe Giammona, 31, has been homeless for nearly four months, after moving from Florida following a relationship that “just didn’t work out,” he said. He briefly stayed at a rooming house in Asbury Park, N.J., but the accompanying drugs and violence chased him away. A former landscaper and general contractor, Giammona lost his job when his boss had to slash payroll.

“Ever since then, it’s been impossible to find a job,” he said. “They’re just not hiring at this time. I’ve been everywhere.”

Clad in a “Cape Cod” T-shirt, black sweatpants and filthy white sneakers, Giammona said he has relatives throughout New Jersey but refuses to “accept help” from anyone.

“I try to make the best of it,” he said, while turning a hot dog on an outdoor grill. “I hope for hope.”

Despite the optimistic outlook, Giammona, who looks for employment daily at nearby industrial parks or for any odd job as a day laborer, said life outside is no picnic.

“You’re either rich or you’re poor,” he said. “There’s no in-between anymore.”

The Rev. Steven Brigham of the Lakewood Outreach Community Service Ministry established this tent city five years ago for Ocean County, N.J.’s unemployed and disenfranchised residents, many of whom had previously lived paycheck to paycheck. Whether by loss of a job, the death of a loved one or a failed marriage, the American Dream has turned into a waking nightmare for the camp’s inhabitants.

The 2-acre, public-owned campsite, which sits just off a state road, is composed of dozens of tents, teepees and wooden shanties that will easily buckle with winter’s first heavy snowfall. Residents cook food donated by local churches on outdoor grills, and there’s even a shower room. When nature calls, outhouses are found fully stocked, and portable generators provide just enough juice to charge cell phones or fire up the radio for that night’s ball game.

The amenities might be sparse, but for those in the “homeless hole,” they can be invaluable to the soul, according to Brigham.

“Once you fall into the homeless hole, as I call it, it’s very difficult to claw your way back out,” he said. “But it does happen.”

Marilyn Berenzweig, 60, and her husband Michael have been living in Lakewood’s tent city for 17 months. Previously of Queens, New York, Berenzweig worked as a textile designer, but lost her job due to the souring economy.

“That’s an industry that has almost completely vanished in the last few years,” she said. “All of my friends are out of work. It’s all gone to China.”

Berenzweig, an avid reader who doesn’t watch television, studies survivalist skills, particularly how early American housewives maintained a fire, chopped wood and heated water for cooking and cleaning.

“Survival is very hard without the modern conveniences,” she said. “We took about a month to prepare and I camped as a child, but [Michael] kept saying, ‘What do you mean no electricity?’ But really, we’re busy most of the day.”

Berenzweig — whose wooden shack is flanked by caged birds, including a talking starling — said most of the campers are comfortable with the surroundings.

“We manage to adapt and make the environment adapt to us, too,” she said. “I could live here for the rest of my life, that wouldn’t bother me.”

Ocean County officials, however, are currently entrenched in a lawsuit to demolish the camp in a case that has reached New Jersey Superior Court. A status conference on the case is scheduled for Sept. 13, according to the campsite’s attorney, Jeffrey Wild.

“As soon as our firm learned that homeless men and women had been sued for ejection and that they had no other place to go, we agreed to represent the homeless and seek to fight the underlying problem: the lack of any available emergency shelter in Ocean County,” Wild wrote in an email to “My fathers and his sisters were raised by a single mom during the Great Depression. They often could not make rent, and often had to leave in the middle of the night the day before rent came due. Thus, I have always known that with a little bad luck — a lost job, an illness — any of us could be homeless.”

Similar legal fights are occurring nationwide. In Providence, Rhode Island, tent cities have sprung up in a city park off Pleasant Valley Parkway, forcing city officials to seek a preliminary injunction to eject the homeless group. Campers without a permanent residence also took to public property in Colorado Springs, Colo., before its City Council passed a no-camping ordinance in February 2010. A homeless outreach program there continues to seek housing for small families at motels and shelters.

Elsewhere, like in Virginia Beach, Va., more than 20 residents of a tent city were told to vacate in April the small cabins they called home. Similar situations have also unfolded in Olympia, Wash., and Sacramento, Calif., where homeless advocates and authorities have long negotiated for a city-sanctioned encampment.

Meanwhile, back in Lakewood, when asked what he’d tell Obama if he had a chance to meet the president during his Midwest listening tour, Brigham said he hopes to hear how Obama plans to stop the steady outsourcing of American jobs .

“Outsourcing American jobs to other countries is causing the average American to be out of work and unable to support himself,” he said. “If at all possible, [Obama] needs to take measures to stop that outsourcing so the average American can carry his own weight.

Brigham said he’d also like to see Obama — the “captain of the ship” — focus on building more affordable housing on small pieces of land.

“Homes that people can really afford,” he said. “Build them small.”

Moving away from the country’s dependence on oil would also go a long way toward recovery, Brigham said.

“He’s got to make some serious moves to get off the oil,” Brigham said of Obama. “It’s an addiction and it’s going to destroy us unless we’re able to adjust and get to a more sustainable form of energy.”

Above all, Brigham said he’d like to see Obama “raise the spirits” of the average American.

“We don’t want to see the boat go down and he’s the captain of the ship, so he has to do something or say something to make us feel better about the situation of our nation,” he said. “It’s so bleak out there.”

Photo’s of the Great Depression 1929 vs 2011

I will posting a series of these pictures and events and doing a comparison to todays’ depression that we’re NOT in.

The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange just after the crash of 1929. On Black Tuesday, October twenty-ninth, the market collapsed. In a single day, sixteen million shares were traded–a record–and thirty billion dollars vanished into thin air. Westinghouse lost two thirds of its September value. DuPont dropped seventy points. The “Era of Get Rich Quick” was over. Jack Dempsey, America’s first millionaire athlete, lost $3 million. Cynical New York hotel clerks asked incoming guests, “You want a room for sleeping or jumping?”  (Wait for it! Coming soon.)

Police stand guard outside the entrance to New York’s closed World Exchange Bank, March 20, 1931. Not only did bank failures wipe out people’s savings, they also undermined the ideology of thrift. (Govt has been closing banks for the past 4 years now for a total of  383 thus far, will yours be next and will you be able to get your money.)

Unemployed men vying for jobs in 1930

Umemployed vying for jobs in 2011

Tent city or as they were known as shanty towns in 1930’s

This is a sign outside a tent city in Colorado in 2011, hundreds of tents, one of many Obamaville’s across the country.