Next meeting:
Sunday, November 13, 2005—at McNeill's, 5:30 p.m.

Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 11:56:36 -0500
To: BANG list
From: Sarah Machtey <mudhome [at] netzero [dot] net>
Subject: Change of plan - BANG meeting at McNeill's NOT the bank

The Brattleboro Area Natural-building Group meeting tomorrow (Sunday, November 13th at 5:30pm) will be at McNeill's (90 Elliot St.) instead of the savings and Loan because somebody really screwed up and forgot to pick up the key. According to the fifth amendment, I don't have to tell you who.

Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 12:43:03 -0500
To: Sarah Machtey <mudhome [at] netzero [dot] net>
From: Tad Montgomery <>
Subject: Re: Change of plan - BANG meeting at McNeill's NOT the bank

Ryan Ahern should be the bartender that evening -- he's a great guy.

What a whack of great presentations lately! Sarah Highland wowed 'em with her knowledge of and experience with straw clay, timber framing, and more in the middle of last month... and then five days later we had David Eisenberg peeling away the misconceptions and filling in the blanks of the big picture. Whew. Coming up on November 4th, there's Towards Zero Net Energy Homes with the world-class thinker and doer Marc Rosenbaum—which, we understand, has about sold out.

We've got a "normal" meeting on the way Sunday, November 13—have a little fun reliving the high points of recent events maybe, and start looking forward. There may or may not be a topic, presentation, or Q&A session. Our most recent regular meeting in October turned into one of the most interesting and useful ones we've had: an impromptu Q&A spontaneously developed with Erich Krueger of ReNew Building Materials & Salvage about his experiences building the strawbale house he and his family lives in. Great info, plenty of laughs. Ya just never know.

Mark will be fresh back from the Greenbuild conference in Atlanta (he gets to go for work)—there may (or not) be interesting things to report from the world of cutting-edge mainstream green building.

Head over to the back door of the Brattleboro Savings & Loan, at 221 Main St., McNeill's Brew Pub on Sunday, November 13, and join us! We'll get going around 5:30; Chris Martenson might have the room immediately before us (see below). We have the room until 8:00 for anybody else who likes to straggle as much as some of us do.

Feel free to bring some food to share.

The bank wants the outside doors kept locked. Ring the bell at the back door and someone will come up and let you in. Then it's your turn: go up and let the next person in when the bell rings—and ask them to do the same for the person after them.

The second series of Chris Martenson's four-part presentation about money and the economy has wrapped up—but, fortunately for those who missed them, he'll be doing it again. Chris is an engaging speaker who can translate the language of the financial world for us normal people, unraveling the mysteries of the monetary system. He's not selling anything. He doesn't claim to predict the future. He's not a wacko. He's really smart. And it's a lot more interesting than it might sound. For more details, email him at

Promo stuff:
If you are concerned about the direction of the economy, or simply want to know more about how our financial and economic systems actually function, you should attend this four part series.

"Did he say economics zzzzZZZzzzz...?"

Don't worry! This will be a brain twister, for sure—but not because it will be droll or boring.

Rather, you will find yourself stunned and asking "Holy cow, how can this be? How can the situation be this dicey without any sort of national discussion from either party?"

Dicey, he says?

Luckily, you don't have to take my word for it:

The economy of the United States is, in the words of former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volker, "skating on increasingly thin ice." From a former fed chairman these are powerful words and, unfortunately, all too true.

Poorly taught in school, and even more poorly covered by a complacent US press, it is little wonder that a working understanding of our economy is hard to come by.

We will fix that.

WHAT: Four sequential (and additive—best if you can attend all of them) economic presentations and discussion sessions covering the following:
1. What is money? How is it 'created'? (This is much more profound than you might imagine.)

2. History and Consequences of US Monetary Policy (subtitle: "uh oh").

3. Recent data—consumer & government debt, energy (oil, refined products, & NatGas), housing, stocks, & bonds.

4. Scenarios and options—"what might happen, when, and what steps should be taken?"
WHO: Dr. Chris Martenson has an MBA from Cornell and PhD from Duke, worked in corporate finance for a fortune 50 company, invests extremely actively, and has led this economic lecture twice in the past receiving excellent feedback. Dr. Martenson follows a wide variety of financial markets on a daily and often minute-by-minute basis.

COST: Your time only.

Why is he doing it? Because it's important.

In related goings-on, one of Marcia Bourne's sustainability groups (doesn't she have, like, half-a dozen of them?) will be having an informal screening of the powerful film Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh on November 21. Email Sarah at <mudhome [at] netzero [dot] net> for details.

photos by Mark Piepkorn
and Sarah Machtey