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Camels, Pumpkins… and Enterprising- Episode 068

Bill HeidWell, everyone from the Solutions From Science family has eagerly awaited the festivities coming to Thomson, Illinois this Saturday as we celebrate the grand opening of our new 12,000 square foot facility located at 2200 Illinois Route 84 (formerly the McGinnis Market).

Today on Off the Grid Radio, Bill and Brian discuss tomorrow’s gala, expanding on the roster of activities and events. When you compare the Solutions From Science story to the other solar company in the news these days (Solyndra), you can’t help but see the difference between allowing economic market forces to drive the development of a company, and using government funds to artificially prop up a company that eventually goes down the tubes, costing the taxpayers billions.

Off The Grid Radio
Ep 068
Released: September 23, 2011

Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Off the Grid News – the radio version of I’m Brian Brawdy, as always along with Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, how are you this morning?

Bill: Brian, I feel great today. As you know, we’re getting ready for our grand opening so I’m a little busy but – this week. It’s something … how long have we been planning this, Jeramy? For a year, maybe? Since we first got into the property? I’m just full of optimism, Brian. There’s just a lot going on at the place. We’re even working on our pumpkin maze right now, as the show is taking place – a pumpkin maze.

Brian: I can’t wait to be there.

Bill: You could get lost in the pumpkin maze.

Brian: Yeah. And the camel and the face painting and the food and the raffles … the “spin to win” – everything that we’ve got going on. This is going to be a rock-and-roll show – actually, a bluegrass rock-and-roll show.

Bill: We’ve got a bluegrass band, some friends of ours. We’ve got that.

Brian: Yeah! It’s going to be fantastic.

Bill: I think it’s also an opportunity for us to showcase things that we’re doing in solar and the things that we anticipate doing in geothermal. We have those displays. If anyone’s close – within striking distance, strike range or whatever the phrasing would be – of beautiful, sunny Thomson, Illinois, for this weekend – Saturday, right Brian? Saturday from 9 o’clock to 6 o’clock. Ribbon cutting at 9:30 and, as you were saying, festivities, happiness, fun for all. It’s for the children, Brian, when you really think about it, at the end of the day. It’s for the children.

Brian: Yes it is. And for people listening that are going “well, what is the striking range of Thomson, Illinois?” We’re just across the bridge from Clinton, Iowa. We’re welcoming people from a couple of different states, maybe even three states. Or if you happen to be hearing our voice – Jeramy was saying to me earlier, Bill, that we might be even trying to broadcast live so that the folks that live a little farther out – some of our friends that aren’t able to drive in or fly in – will be able to see some of the stuff going on this weekend as well.

Bill: I think if we can pull that off, it would be fantastic. Especially – we’ll make another announcement today – it’s important to know, we’re having a seed saving workshop four times – 11:30, 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30. Our friend, Aaron Whaley, our seed buyer and professional seed expert, will be there with Nick Huizenga from our own Heirloom Solutions seed room. They’ll be showing people how to take seeds and get them ready for next year so they can plant them. So if you’ve got heirloom seeds you can get them ready. If you’ve got hybrid seeds, too bad – wah wah wah – you can’t plant them, they won’t grow – like a mule, they’re not going to grow, they’re not going to reproduce after their own kind, as the Bible says. They’re just going to sit there and rot in the soil if you try to plant them. But heirloom seeds, which we sell, that’ll be taking place – and you know, Brian, a lot of people want to know how to save seeds. I’ve been bumping into people and of course I’m a gardener from way back. I just never really realized how much interest there is in a seed saving workshop. We’re really excited about having Aaron come down here and show people what they want to know.

Brian: Bill, I would say – as you know, and probably most of our listeners have gleaned over the last year or so of our show – is that I’m not the expert. I don’t have the history that you have. So I was blown away to learn about hybrid and non-hybrid seeds. There’s such a science to it. We’ve done shows here interviewing people a lot smarter than I am, when it comes to that thing. But I thought “you get a vegetable, you get a piece of fruit – you grab the seeds, you plant them in the ground, they’re going to come up.” I know it sounds like a sales pitch but I dig Aaron, he’s a nice guy, and I’m looking forward to learning a little more from him because there really is a science to it. People listen and going “great, I’ll get the seeds, put them in a package, keep them from freezing over the winter then I’ll put them in the ground.” There’s a little more to it so I’m looking forward to hanging out at Aaron’s seminars.

Bill: It’ll be great. For those that have a more – there’s a dark side to this – if you Google “seed saving, Iraq” or “seed saving, illegal,” there’s a lot of mysterious legislation, not only in this country but in other countries that are hovering around, hoping for an entrance point where it can find its way into our legal code where it makes that illegal – believe it or not. You can’t do this, from what I understand, you can’t do this in Iraq. One of the first things that we did when we went to Iraq and our military went in is we said to the Iraqis “we know you’ve gathered” – isn’t that the cradle of civilization, Brian?

Brian: Sure.

Bill: That area. We said to them – they’ve been doing this for however long we think that there’s been farmers in that area – “you can’t save your seeds anymore. We’d very much like you buy these corporate seeds from big American ag companies.” That was a little gift from George Bush to the farmers of Iraq, if that’s true. The stuff that I read, I think that it is. Of course our friend Alex Jones – I think I’ve heard a number of shows from him where it’s detailing that.

Brian: We’re working on a story, Bill, and I can’t say a whole lot – you know the content of it but we can’t say a whole lot more about it now, but we’re interviewing some people that – we’re trying to verify – but claim to be in the know is that there are certain executive orders, and the same type, as you say, pending legislation, waiting to wiggle itself in in a 1000 page bill – page 900, bottom paragraph, lower right kind of thing.

Bill: Sign it now, Brian, and read it later.

Brian: Read it later.

Bill: If you love me, you’ll pass this today.

Brian: If you love me …

Bill: Then we’ll read it together later on.

Brian: That’s why I’m confident that they have the same speech writer as former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, when she said “look, in order to learn what’s in the health care bill …”

Bill: [laughing] “ … you have to pass it.”

Brian: [laughing] “ … you have to pass it.” I’m such a huge fan of Nancy. I’m a huge fan of Nancy Pelosi.

Bill: That is the most ridiculous, crazy … you couldn’t have passed this off to the Founding Fathers to save your soul – pass this bill, make something law, make it an entrenched part of our society – affect hundreds of thousands, millions of people – without knowing what’s in it? Yet every piece of legislation, it seems like, that comes up now it has that little quantifier to it “we should pass this bill right now.”

Brian: yeah, because they don’t want it to see the light of day. How about executive orders, Bill?

Bill: It wasn’t even written when he said that, by the way – the Jobs Bill – it wasn’t even written.

Brian: And I’m hearing it’s not going to be written for a couple of more weeks till he gets back from vacation. They’re still waiting to write it. I was in hopes during – not the State of the Union, but when he gave the joint address to Congress – he said “I need bipartisan support. Let’s pass this bill right now.” I was hoping Vice President Biden was going to stand up and go “Rule of Order – we’ve got all the Senators here. We’ve got all the House of Representatives here. Let’s do a roll call vote. Mr. President, you want us to vote on it now?” Boehner would rise and go “I think it’s a great idea. We can go ahead and go with the Rules of Order. Let’s vote right now. On live TV. Get your hands up in the air. Everyone that’s a huge fan of this bill … you want us to vote now, Mr. President? Here you go. Right now. Everybody. In favor? Opposed?” It’d be too simple, wouldn’t it? Simpleminded guys like us, I guess that just wouldn’t have worked.

Bill: It wouldn’t have worked – well, it would have worked. To point out what you’re saying, it would have worked tremendously well for people interested in honesty and truth, but more important than honesty and truth, I think, vacations – you really need to spend some time relaxing before you ease on into anything as important a jobs bill like that that you don’t have written. Let’s not discount the importance of taking some time off, maybe playing a round of golf, eating a big bowl of fries and getting ready to come back and dig into it a little bit.

Brian: Get your head in the game, I guess, is what we’re saying. Get your head in the game. Well, he’s got a lot to get his head in the game about. We’re going to talk a little bit this morning about the economy. We’re going to talk about some of the other things – the number of people that are unemployed in our country – different things like that. He’s got a lot on his plate. And as you and I both know, no one’s going to fault the guy for taking a vacation. We want the sharpest version. We want the most lucid version of the President doing work on this kind of stuff and if it’s a vacation that brings that clarity and that lucidity, good for him.

Bill: Yeah, he needs to take a vacation maybe more often. But I think he really has taken a hit. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, you almost have to look at it and say “is this a bit much?” I don’t know. If other people are not working, you just have to say “come on, let’s dig in.” Isn’t there a shovel-ready project that you could be doing instead of playing golf? Isn’t there something that – could you be pulling weeds at the White House or something? I don’t know. I could give him a list of things to do if he would probably take my call …

Brian: I don’t think he takes a lot of folks’ calls. It seems more and more, every day, that he has his idea of how things are going to go. Clearly, he took the calls from the people from Solyndra.

Bill: Yeah, he called … they got in.

Brian: Took plenty of those calls.

Bill: Maybe some back and forth. Maybe they called him, got on his machine, he called them back a few times.

Brian: It could very well be. Oh, but you know what? You know why you and I will never know about those voicemails or how they went or what the content was?

Bill: No.

Brian: Because Reuters is reporting that Solyndra, the chief executive and the chief financial officer, now they’re fans of the Constitution – they’re going to invoke their Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer any questions that Congress may throw at them this Friday. So they’ll take $500 million dollars but they won’t take our questions?

Bill: You know, Brian, that’s a great place for us to take a vacation – I mean break – and come back to the next section. You’re going to hear more of the wit and wisdom of Brian and Bill, as we do our grand opening show – isn’t that what we’re calling this?

Brian: I think we should. We’ll let Jeramy decide, but I think it should be the grand opening show and we invite everyone. If you can hear our voice and you’re within driving distance of Thomson, Illinois, this is a Saturday you’re truly not going to want to miss. Your family will be involved – you’re just going to have a blast. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to run to a quick commercial break. When we come back, more about our grand opening special and a lot of cool things I’m going to be talking about with Mr. Bill Heid. Come on back after this short commercial break.

[0:11:23 – 0:15:40 break]

Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Off the Grid Radio. I’m Brian Brawdy, as always with Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, you’re not the type of guy that ever brags about yourself, but we’ve been doing a lot of press releases this week, leading up to our grand opening, September 24, 9:00 to 6:00, Thomson, Illinois. We’ve been talking to media outlets – NBC, CBS, FOX News – and the conversation, inevitably, returns to something along this kind of tag line “who needs Solyndra when you have Solutions from Science?” Another one “as Solyndra fails, local solar company soars.” So I thought maybe you could comment a little bit – because solar’s getting a bad name – green energy is getting a bad name now because of Solyndra. They’re filing for bankruptcy; their CEO’s taking the Fifth in the Congressional testimony coming up on Friday. But Solutions from Science, our parent company, the company that you’re the CEO of, we’re doing great.

Bill: I think there’s a difference and I’m blushing in self-effacing humility as you’ve read those headlines. I think the difference is there’s such a thing as a command economy. That’s probably what the Soviet Union was accused of, certainly for most of the Red Chinese history, perhaps even today. There’s a lot of that, there’s a lot of imperialism going on there. But in Europe, pretty much the state is god – everywhere you go the state is god. If you try to tell consumer what they want, they have the right still to say – other than health care, right? – they have the right to say “I’m not going to make that purchase.” So if a company like Solyndra gets these grand ideas and starts promoting charts and graphs and saying “this is where we’re going to go. This is the future,” and they don’t have any customers, they don’t have any tested bottom-up marketing where they went to people and said “is this something that you want? – to consumers – that’s what the American system is all about, Brian. That’s why I’m excited – still excited about living in this country. There’s still “the consumer is king,” we vote and top-down socialistic command and control, despotic, crony capitalism – whatever you want to call it – just simply does not work because it’s not built from the bottom-up. We talk about biblical principles, building things from the bottom-up – never despise small beginnings. When you build things from the top-down – Pharaoh built things from the top-down, “here’s what’s going to happen,” and every despotic ruler in history has built things from the top-down. Edicts, fiat – that’s the mantra, right? Remember “The Ten Commandments” – Yul Brynner – “So let it be written; so let it be done.” That’s the law. That’s what it is. No one gets to vote. But we still get to vote with our dollars here. I think that the problem with these guys – they built this elaborate campus, they built all of these technologies that maybe were wonderful, I don’t know, but did they have a customer? Did they have a customer, Brian? That’s something that anybody with a business – you need a customer before you need a business card. My guess is, they had a whole bunch of loans based on a dream and it was a dream that was very favorable to administrations like the Bush administration and certainly the Obama administration – but really had very little, like most big socialist programs, had very little practical traction to the consumers. Let me tell you something else, Joseph Stalin wanted his nation to be a leader, a competitive leader, in the steel industry. The Soviet Union today is still riddled with all of these empty shell, elephant graveyard type, giant, nobody there plants that are all over. They’re testimony to this sort of thinking. It doesn’t work from the top-down. When government gets involved in subsidizing anything, it just simply does not work. It always fails because it creates disequilibrium in the marketplace. It creates bubbles. We have a housing bubble that’s a function of this. Wherever you go, wherever you see, if the government says “we’re going to try to get more of something” – I’ll tell you a good example right now, Brian, it’s corn. We have corn all around us, a lot of it’s waiting to be harvested here in Northern Illinois and Iowa. We’ve got a lot of corn, despite some bad weather. But you pull that ethanol program out from underneath corn – corn’s what, $7 or $8? She’s going to drop like a rock. Then all the farmers are going to say “but we bought land based on $7 corn.” Then you’re going to hear these pity pieces talking about farmers and, to some degree, I think that there’s validity to it, of farmers who were tricked into the bait – low interest loans to buy the land for $7 corn. Is corn really at $7? Maybe not. So you pull that out and it’s problematic.

Brian: Bill, I think I read not too long ago that for the first time ever more corn is being used for the production of ethanol than is being used for food.

Bill: I think that’s the case.

Brian: Which I found very, very interesting.

Bill: Yeah, I think that’s the case. But it just exemplifies what we’re discussing, that these programs … and I’m not going to be so [inaudible] to say that they’re not well intentioned, but what do we say about the road to hell? Paved with what?

Brian: Paved with good intentions.

Bill: Paved with good intentions. Whether you’ve got a despotic dictatorial, top-down meanie like Hitler or Stalin or Mao, creating edicts, or you’ve got some sort of soft President Bush-like “yeah, we’d like to promote more people. We’d like to get more people to own homes.” No matter what the variety or variation of this sort of thinking is, it always causes problems.

Brian: And then you have Bill Clinton, former President Clinton, yesterday, Bill, saying that the green technology is failing because we’re not putting enough money into it. So here’s former President Clinton going “look, guys, we need more, not less,” but that’s not a business model for you. For either current CEOs or entrepreneurs, or budding CEOs listening to our show, that’s a great piece of advice – before you get your business cards, make sure you have a customer.

Bill: It’s certainly what the market wants. I don’t know that it’s any genius on our part here at Solutions from Science as much as we live … and, Brian, you and I have talked about this many times – every day, in Africa, in the Serengeti, a lion wakes up hungry. Every day a little baby wildebeest is born and that little baby wildebeest has just a few minutes to get up on its feet and start moving with the herd. There’s a little battle going on there, because you’re going to lose a lion or you’re going to lose a wildebeest. Something’s gotta give in the old Jack Nicholson sense – something’s gotta give there, and something gives there. The real world, the free market, is a kind of a brutal world where people lose their businesses, where someone goes out of business. 80 percent of small businesses fail because they bring something to the marketplace that the marketplace says “no, we don’t want that” or they’re mismanaged. It’s a brutal world that I live in, that you live in, that we live in here, collectively, at Solutions from Science because we have no subsidies. Every day we wake up, like that lion or like that little baby wildebeest, trying to get things started and trying to get the customers interested in solar. As you know, we’ve started to do solar in a small way. We decided we’d do it in a backup way, that we’d like to see folks get a little taste of solar in graduations, in increments, so that they could feel what solar can do on a small level before we want them to commit $100,000 to do their house. We’d like to show them what $1800 does in a backup situation. And it gets them familiar and it gets them friendly to solar and you can see what the potential is. We’re excited about what we’ve done. It’s market-driven, it’s bottom-up and just the very antithesis to the Solyndra problem.

Brian: And I would say, you travel, you bump into people that see some of our national commercials, and everyone’s a fan of solar energy. Then they see the PowerSource 1800 or even the PowerStation now, which has become a really popular model of ours, then that’s counterbalanced with this whole Solyndra story. It just made me scratch my head. So I wanted to ask you about that, because the media in the local area responding to our requests for interviews for you, leading up to the grand opening, they’ve been all over that tagline.

Bill: I think it’s a good traction point because I don’t think that the marketplace is saying no to solar, I think the marketplace is saying no to socialized solar. We have to be careful how it’s subsidized. I understand what President Clinton … all these folks went to universities where some version of Keynesianism is taught. President Obama did, Bill Clinton did, George Bush did at Yale. They are taught that you can get something for nothing, that you can kick start, that you can create things out of thin air. I think there is an illusion that comes from the idea that you can temporarily create something. If you print a whole bunch of money, you can make the housing market boom. If you change the game, if you lower interest rates, if you lower required deposits – whatever variations you’re playing with – maybe it’s Operation Twist or something that the federal open market committee’s working on – you can definitely see some short-term gains. The problem is, Keynes said, “in the long run, we’re all dead.” But what he didn’t really realize is, what about the time from the time that you’re going to be dead and the time that you operate these programs and they go sour or create bubbles, balloons, that inevitably get pierced and popped – creating unbelievable hardship. There’s towns here, Brian, you can drive through because of this housing market, to give you an example, you can go to Rockford not too far from here, and certain parts of Rockford as you near downtown – every house is for sale. Every house. You drive up some streets, there’s signs everywhere. There’s heartache there. There’s people losing their homes. There’s banks with “what are we going to do with this house?” And there’s going to be heartache everywhere. If you pump up the solar industry and you give it a lot of artificial credits and then letting it off that life support system – inevitably becomes the question – when you let it off life support, a good percentage of those companies die. Then there’s your articles in the newspaper or online where all of these companies now are going under so we this big thing, “solar companies going under.” Well, that’s because you’re taking them off life support. They shouldn’t have been alive to begin with. They had to steal money from taxpayers and nurture them to the point and then when you wouldn’t nurture them anymore, they go away.

Brian: It most certainly went away for the work force that was Solyndra just a few months back. Ladies and gentlemen we’re going to run to a quick commercial break. Come on back for the second half of our show, here at Off the Grid News.

[0:27:17 – 0:31:34 break]

Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, this show, in addition to getting you ready to prepare for the worst, we’re getting you ready for Saturday, September 24. If you’re anywhere in the area – and Bill, you should know, Jeramy Skyped me a little bit ago and said we had people as far away as Michigan calling in to see if they could attend this Saturday, our grand opening. Huge event, as you know. All kinds of cool things going on for the family, entertainment, cool stuff when it comes to our products – solar, geothermal. I’m excited to see the general public and what they think of our new solar oven. All kinds of cool stuff going on at our ribbon cutting, our grand opening, of the new corporate facility and heirloom market in Thomson, Illinois – this Saturday, from 9 to 6. You’ll get a chance to meet Bill Heid. You’ll get a chance to meet the entire crew, actually. So if you have the opportunity, come on out – Thomson, Illinois. Great music, great food, great entertainment. It’s going to be a good time all the way around.

Bill: And if you drive or fly – I suppose, Brian, you could still book your flight from Phoenix or LA, or you could even take the redeye to Chicago and drive out and be here on Friday night.

Brian: Well there are camel rides. So I would say to people … say you’re going to say “I couldn’t fly from Los Angeles. That’s all the way towards Chicago.” And I go “well, if you don’t come to Thomson to ride a camel this weekend, how far would you have to fly in order to ride a camel?”

Bill: What’s the next closest spot you’d have to go to? Probably Dubai or someplace?

Brian: Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking. Somewhere in the Arabias. So I think we’re still …

Bill: That’s a more expensive flight so consider beautiful, sunny Thomson, Illinois. Hopefully it’s sunny. When you said you were talking to all kinds of media people – outlets – I thought you were going to say we were talking to all kinds of meteorologists.

Brian: I’ll check real quick … let me just check here. I was told it’s going to be great but let me check to make sure.

Bill: Weather can change. You know that above all people.

Brian: Absolutely. But in Thomson – yeah, you know what? They’re saying now “a chance of scattered showers,” but you know how many times you’ve heard “scattered showers” and nothing shows up? It looks like we’ll have some rain tomorrow, possibly, but Saturday is looking great, so if you’re up for the ride … the nice thing is even if it sprinkles a little bit it’s not going to do anything, Bill, to dampen the festivities – the party that we’re going to throw – all of the people giving the clinics are going to be there. You mentioned in the earlier segment about Aaron and the seed saving seminars. We’re going to have great specials on all of our gear. In addition to being very educational there are going to be some great prices, some good food, local vendors are coming. What did Jeramy say to me this morning, Bill? A thousand of our posters have been requested and put up around the Tri-state area.

Bill: There’s a lot going on. I had also said I liked the idea that you can’t dampen. Brian, listen, you can’t dampen our long-term optimism, our long-term view of sustainability and our perspective. I think that’s something that you can’t dampen. If you do come here, ask to talk to Brian or Bill. We’d love to meet you if you do drive over. Don’t just wander around the pumpkins. Maybe you want to buy a pumpkin – we should have the area’s largest supply of pumpkins in this part of the country. But introduce yourself so that we can chat with you. Some people are shy but we’ll have orange shirts on that say “Heirloom Market” and if you see someone with an orange shirt walk up and say “where’s Brian? Where’s Bill?” Brian, listen, they’ll know where you’re at because you’ll be on the stage and you’ll be – Jeramy’s laughing – you’ll be on the stage making sure everybody knows what’s going on. You’re doing the emceeing and I’m very happy to have you be doing that.

Brian: Thank you very much. It’s my pleasure. I love helping to spread the word of everything that we have going on at our parent company. I think what makes it easy for me, Bill, to be terribly candid is that it’s good karma. For me to be able to personally be involved in a team that’s helping people should there be an emergency situation, or helping folks that need to cut back on their monthly electric bills or their food bills or their water bills – it’s a good gig. It’s personally a great gig for me in that I’m not selling sports cars, not selling … liquor and cigarettes. I’m working as a part of a team to spread a message that could absolutely make people’s lives easier and, in some cases, could even save their lives. It’s an absolute pleasure to be doing it and I’m looking forward to hanging out at the new store, all day this Saturday, September 24, from 9 to 6. As I said before, Bill, great food, great prices, great education – all kinds of people there teaching us the things that our listeners, our customers, even the customers that have walked in the front door of our store in the opening couple of weeks as we were testing things out that have said “I’d really like to know about this,” and ladies and gentlemen, you should know, Bill went ahead, found the experts to answer those questions and they’ll be joining us in Thomson this Saturday as well.

Bill: And, Brian, we’ve got watermelons, cantaloupe as you say – I know some people say musk melon, I know you like to say cantaloupe – pumpkins and other market items. There’s a lot to see when you get here so it’s worth the drive. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that we had a petting zoo. Phone the neighbors, wake the kids, we’ve got a petting zoo. I’m sure we’ve got quite a bit – you can keep the kids occupied quite a while, while you chat with us about off-the-grid technology, politics, if you want to talk about the craziest stuff in the world, believe me, Brian and I are prepared. We have UFO people talk to us all the time. We have people that have been taken aboard ships that talk to us. We’d love to chat with you. Oh, here’s something – Jeramy just made a sign that said we have a PowerSource giveaway. We’re going to give away – come in and you sign up, it doesn’t cost you anything – “it don’t cost nothing” as they say. Come in and sign up and at the end of the day we’re going to draw for a PowerSource. That’s an $1800 value and you don’t have to be here to win it. We’ll phone you, email you and let you know that you’ve won. That’s an important thing. If we could, Brian, we’re just talking about our long-term optimism – that “can do” American attitude. I think if enough of us get together and share this vision of sustainability and getting off the grid and being independent, self reliant, this country’s going to make it. But, that’s my long-term optimism side of this. Let me accompany it with a little bit of short-term pessimism. Jeramy’s saying we’ve got three minutes but – can I read you a couple of numbers? I came across some data that … we’ve got Europe exploding. And trust me when I tell you, Greece is going to default. That’s in the bag and that is going to cause a cascading event because there’s a lot of money in French banks over there and US banks over there and then there’s money – our money’s in French banks. This is like dominoes. Remember our friend Hank Brock – “the dominoes of destruction”? That’s what happened in the first Great Depression. There’s an incredible number of dominoes that start to fall. It was Anstalt Bank originally that went down in Austria, I believe. That started the Great Depression here. So don’t think, folks, that because we’re insulated here, living in our own world – our situation is bad enough – but don’t think for a second that we don’t live in an international community because we do. What happens in Greece, what happens in the “pigs” as they call them – Italy was just downgraded, I think a while back Lloyd’s of London in as stealth-like manner as they could, withdrew as much money out of some of these countries and some of these banks as they could. This is happening slowly and quietly. But here’s the part, Brian, I want to make sure everybody understands. These guys are going to keep their game face on, all the way to the end. Even if they plan on defaulting, they’re not going to tell you. They’re not going to make an announcement because then their currency’s going to … everyone’s going to shed all of those assets, instantly causing a major panic. But they could even be – I’ve heard rumor – that Greece even has new currency printed and that they’re planning a default. I don’t know these things but that’s what I’ve heard from some fairly reliable sources. The idea is, our listeners value truth and I think most of them are the most honest people in the world. So if they see a news report, they think that that’s true because they would never in their wildest dreams conceive of lying to buy time or to do this or that. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that others out there won’t do that to you, because I think that’s what we’re seeing with Europe, that’s what we’re seeing in that part of the country and in many countries where it’s coming but they’re all playing a little bit of a shell game and they’re putting up the best possible front that they can for a while, just while they draw their assets down, while they escape, while they do this or that. Then somebody’s going to get a haircut on this thing in Europe and it’s going to be huge. It’s going to be monumental. Americans will feel it.

Brian: Bill, I know we only have a couple of seconds before we go to commercial break, but here’s a question I’d like to ask you and maybe our listeners can think of during the break. You think of our good friend, Big Ben Bernanke. He’s talking about – remember the Twist? I wish it were the Chubby Checker song but he’s going to do the “Twist” where he fudges some of the figures to make interest rates even lower. Or you look at Tim Geithner or you look at any of the people that are part of the President’s economic team, how do folks that missed 2007 into 2008? How did folks that missed the Freddie and Fannie? How did folks that missed, arguably some of the biggest economic turmoil in the last 80 years – how are these the experts that we keep turning to? The same people that, as you say, are going to hold everything close to their chest while the rest of us get haircuts – how is it that we keep turning back to these same experts, time and time and time again when that’s the expertise that got us in the hot water in the first place. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to run to a quick commercial break. Stick around. Bill’s going to be able to answer that question as soon as we get back from this short commercial break, here at Off the Grid News.

[0:42:32 – 0:46:50 break]

Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Off the Grid Radio, one of the better ideas for off-the-grid living. Join Bill Heid and the entire team this Saturday, September 24, from 9 to 6, in beautiful Thomson, Illinois, for the grand opening – the ribbon cutting, the big shindig that is the new corporate offices for Solutions from Science. Bill, I know you’ve got to be fired up. I want to get back to the question here in just a bit about why do we keep trusting the same experts over and over and over again. But you’ve got to be proud. I know you’re not prone to have that type emotion but when you see the new building, when you study the geothermal, all the solar, everything that’s gone into Solutions from Science over the last few years, Saturday’s got to be a big day for you.

Bill: I think it’s going to be a big day. And I am proud of what everyone on our team has accomplished. It really is something. It’s something to see and just the fact that the thing is heated and cooled with geothermal as well. It’s a lot of fun how much we’ve erased our costs there. Geothermal is something also that there’s traction there. That’s something that’s going to play an important part in the future of this country, but it’s going to be ground-up marketing rather than top-down policy making that really makes that happen.

Brian: I would say, Bill, if I can interrupt, you’ve proved that. In the battle between Solutions from Science and Solyndra, you started at the bottom, worked your way up; here’s Solyndra taking $500 million dollars then coming back, we hear now, maybe even asking for a second loan when some of the folks there had some questions as to whether the first loan was even going to help or not. I would say that in that battle between Solutions from Science and Solyndra, the business model, the philosophy, the passion, the simplicity in faith of having a cool product, knowing that you have clients and customers that are going to embrace that product, I think is the huge news story about this weekend.

Bill: It’s a lot of fun because we’ve built the company up around our customers. We didn’t build the company up and then try to get customers to us. I think we built it up around what customers want, what they tell us their needs are. So there is a big difference. I wouldn’t know what $500 million looked like. I’d love to see it in a pile someplace and maybe take a picture of it, but I have no idea – that kind of money is an amazing thing to me and how that money flows back and forth in these loans. It’s really ridiculous.

Brian: Bill, that raises a very valid point and gets me back to my question before the break. There is no big bundle of $500 million for you and me to have our pictures taken. Somebody in Geithner’s office – someone, somewhere in the government, hit a button on a keyboard – not like an armored truck grabbed this money and drove it over. Everything’s done – it’s not even money anymore it’s an electronic promise to guarantee another future promise. So how did we get in this position? You talked before about having traction – how do these same folks continue to keep traction going “I’m a PhD from Harvard … I’m a PhD from Yale …” We’ve got all kinds of professors and politicians, but do we have anyone in the current administration that’s actually run a business?

Bill: I think generally what mankind wants – you asked earlier, why is it that we always look to these folks? I want to read you these numbers but I think it ties in well because these numbers are produced by Americans and their leaders. I think the accountability goes there. But I think if you go back in the Bible, and I think it’s in Judges where everyone wants the people of Israel – they were living under God’s law in all spheres, they had the individual was responsible for himself, family had its own laws, church had its own laws and certainly the civil part of the country had its own laws. Everyone used Godly standards from which to judge their behavior. At some point they said “we don’t want this anymore. We want a king like the other nations.” There’s this part where Samuel is whining about that a little bit and God tells him “don’t worry. They’re not rejecting you, they’re rejecting me.” From my standpoint, Brian, it’s a rejection of moral standards, Godly moral standards. And when you reject Godly moral standards, you lose your courage as individuals, as self-reliant individuals. Certainly our forefathers had great courage as self-reliant individuals. For me they’re great examples of how we should live. But I think the more we want someone to do something for us, the more we turn to experts – and that’s the theme of Off the Grid News, isn’t it? Take back some of your life. We want to farm out our thinking. You and I on this show, we’ve talked about farming out so many different things. We’ve talked about farming out your food, farming out the education of your children to public schools. People ultimately have got to the point where they now watch the nightly news or listen to their favorite show and they’ve literally farmed out their thinking. All they come away with is a few talking points. They have a parade of experts that are brought on. How people can watch TV at night I have no idea. It’s the same old retread, paraded experts out, saying the same old things. It’s really disgusting. We talk about having a different paradigm and I think folks need to have their own paradigm. If we’re going to get out of this thing, you need to find a different standard and you need to find a different paradigm for just what the nature of reality is because we’ve been sold a lie. How’s that for a short answer?

Brian: Not only is it a great answer, it’s the perfect segue – talking about a difference in paradigm. It sounds like a commercial transition but it’s important, I think, Bill. I’m sure you know this. We have George Müller’s – one of George Müller’s books – we’re going to have on our website and have for people at Off the Grid News that are interested. Talk about someone that – whether he was forced or adopted a paradigm shift – George Müller is somebody you’re a fan of for that reason.

Bill: I think that there’s always … it’s edifying to read biographies of folks who started small. George started with nothing. As a matter of fact, George was a drunk and George was a trouble maker. George was in debtors’ prison for a while. Something happened in his life, he became converted. He’s changed his life and at that point – his conversion wasn’t the end of his being. He didn’t say “I’m saved and now I’ve got a life insurance policy.” He said, rather, “this is the beginning of a new paradigm.” George spent his life working with orphans, working with missionary projects. Just the effort that he put in of self-sacrifice. He took care of orphans, Brian, he took care of 3,000 orphans – I think in that range, over his 70-year ministry in terms of the orphanage field. What’s interesting is, I think why we need to read George Müller is we’ve got troubled economic times coming here. He was in Bristol, England and the economy wasn’t exactly in the greatest shape there. There was a lot of abandoned kids and what happens when the economy gets bad – you see social functions disintegrate at all levels. Unfortunately, the family tends to break down a little bit too. That’s the environment George found himself in. The environment that we live in the world today – I’ve got a few numbers here that I want to – and we’ll get back to George in a second but I want to give you that we’re going to be in George Müller territory here very soon. We’re at $14 trillion in debt right now. But I read this thing the other day that the Obama – that his budget, the Obama budget, that takes us up through 2021 that he has laid out, we’re actually $26.3 trillion in debt by 2021. $26.3 trillion. That does not count unfunded liabilities and the big three – prescription drug, Medicare, Social Security. Get this, here’s $112 trillion and this is a million dollar liability for each taxpayer. So every one of us, just for this unfunded part, owes a million dollars. We’re all going to have to be the kind of millionaires that Barack Obama wants to tax in order to pay off his deficit. It’s a crazy, swirling vortex. The state debt lies at $1.6 trillion – this is now, this is not then. Local debt, municipalities – $1.7 trillion. Personal debt? $16 trillion. $16 trillion worth of personal debt and 44 million people right now on food stamps sort of sums some of this data up that I’ve been looking at. You can’t tell me that given our GDP, given our growth rates, that we’re going to produce our way out of this mess. It’s literally impossible. We spent more money … now when George Müller was young, he went to debtors’ prison, Brian, because he got drunk and spent more money than he had. He went to prison. This is a world that we’re fast going to enter again. I don’t know if there’ll be debtors’ prisons but there’ll certainly be heartache and grief, probably beyond what George Müller could have ever dreamt of. We’re heading for some hard, hard times. I know we get yelled at for being fear mongers when we say that, but there is no way you can look at these numbers … and as you said earlier, take the concept of you’re going to take the same folks that got us into this miss and you’re now asking them to create budgets that get us out. How can that possibly be true?

Brian: Bill, what’s happened to us though? Because I’m torn now. I want to say to you that when all of the things that you just referenced come to pass, that human beings will survive. You saw that interview that I did not too long ago in the advance of Hurricane Irene. They’re like “what’s the one thing you can tell … what’s the most important thing people need to know?” I said “human beings are survival experts. Have a plan. Have a kit. And you can pull off some amazing things.”Then the other side of me, and this is where I’m torn, Bill, the other side is “how did we get in this position? It’s easy to go “look what government did to us,” until you look at our personal debt at $16 trillion. So what happened to the human mind? And when I ask you “evolved” I’m not getting into a Big Bang, Big Breath debate. I’m not getting into the debate between the secular and the sacred. But have we evolved? Have we grown in such a way that the human brain just doesn’t focus on finances anymore? Doesn’t do what’s right long-term? Haven’t we gotten to the point where now we either have to throw our grandparents under the bus, or we have to throw our grandchildren under the bus. What’s happened to the human mind?

Bill: I think when you reach prosperity – I think it was Cotton Mather that said “being faithful begets prosperity; then the daughter eats the mother.” That’s a little vivid but Cotton never minced too many words. The Bible talks about this idea of once you get all of your wheat in the barn, your corn in the barn, once you get your 401K, that we tend to forget where it came from. We tend to forget the principles where prosperity is derived. Where do they emanate? We all know we need to work but what are the principles? What are the foundational levels that exist that create prosperity? They’re certainly not debt. They’re certainly not Keynesianism. This whole thing’s probably going to blow up and then how the American people react to that – you could either end up slaves – if you still say, as you pointed out earlier, “we need a leader. We need a leader. We need a leader,” then you get a Hitler, any time there’s this kind of thing. But if we say “we are self-reliant, independent, God fearing people. We already have moral law that we are required to be obedient.” Then there’s a way out because we’ve got a standard that transcends our own little whims. I think that’s – you go back to Solyndra again – I think what the founders would have worried about is they were worried about their enemies, they were worried about what they would call depravity, but they were also worried about themselves. They knew that they would have a propensity to favor their friends and financial transactions. That’s why they built this stuff in. We just got back from filming Dr. Eidsmoe’s presentation on the Constitution in Spokane, as you know. One of the most important points, I think, of the discussion is just how important it was that they wanted to bind themselves down with the chains of the Constitution. But now we’ve gotten – to make your point – we’ve gotten so far out that we don’t even need the Constitution. In other words, the Constitution, there’s chains on there, they bind you down. We’ve found ways, because you’ve given the Constitution to an immoral people a la John Adams and Ben Franklin, that warned you that it wouldn’t work for an immoral people. We’ve given it to an immoral people – us – and we find ways – people say “what about the Constitution?” Well, what about it? People find ways to spend around it and we live in a world of bureaucratic and administrative law. We’re not bound down by anything and I think that’s what’s killing us, is Jefferson’s idea. I don’t know if he foresaw this but you take an immoral people and they figure out ways around stuff. Go watch the movie “Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room.” People are always out there figuring out ways how to get around things.

Brian: I think that’s a great thought to leave it on, because even in a survival situation, Bill, you can take that same almost human ability to find your way around things and apply it, as you said, to be able to survive what is arguably in our immediate future in our country. Before I let us go though, Bill, I want to once again congratulate you. Grand opening this Saturday, September 24, Thomson, Illinois. Come on out. All kinds of great food, great music, great specials, great gear, great people. We’re going to have the grand opening of our new – Bill, the other day I said “it’s the blend of cutting edge technologies with old world charm.” It really is. I want to get you to comment real quickly on this Saturday and then we’re going to go ahead and close.

Bill: I just love to welcome everybody to come. I think it’s going to be a great time and, as I said before, I’d love to meet you. I’d love to show you around, show you what our vision is – it’s certainly one that’s different than Solyndra. Let me finish my part, Brian, by quoting George Müller because I think we want a way out and here’s one of the ways out how he changed his life. He said “I’ve joyfully dedicated my whole life to the object of exemplifying how much may be accomplished by prayer and faith.” There you go.

Brian: Bill, I cannot think of a better quote to end with. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much, as always, for listening to Off the Grid Radio. We truly enjoy your questions, your comments, your critiques, your show ideas. Please continue to email us [email protected]. You can find us on Facebook – And, as always, follow us on Twitter @offgridnews. Our producer Jeramy is going to work diligently this weekend so if you can’t join us in person for the grand opening in Thomson, Illinois, he’s going to work to have it up on our Facebook page – again, for the live streaming video. On behalf of Mr. Bill Heid and everyone at Solutions from Science, our parent company, and Off the Grid News, we really want to thank you. We know an hour is a very valuable chunk of your day and it’s always an honor whenever we have the opportunity to share it with you. Until next time, this has been Off the Grid News.

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