Archive for March, 2013

Banks: Money for Nothing and Our Checks for Free

29 March 2013

Just when I think banks have done about as much as possible to destroy the American middle class I read something like this:

“It Can Happen Here: The Confiscation Scheme Planned For U.S. And U.K. Depositors”

If you don’t want to read the whole thing, here’s the core:

Although few depositors realize it, legally the bank owns the depositor’s funds as soon as they are put in the bank. Our money becomes the bank’s, and we become unsecured creditors holding IOUs or promises to pay (see here and here). But until now the bank has been obligated to pay the money back on demand in the form of cash. Under the FDIC-BOE plan, our IOUs will be converted into “bank equity.” The bank will get the money and we will get stock in the bank. With any luck we may be able to sell the stock to someone else, but when and at what price? Most people keep a deposit account so they can have ready cash to pay the bills.”

Adam Smith warned about banks and bankers. Few listened to him.

Lack of attentiveness and failure to read the fine print, both problems of the American middle class–



Bon Appetit!!

29 March 2013

The USA has an obesity epidemic, so perhaps having a better informed populace will help us restrain our appetites. It’s worth a shot at least.

“Top 10 Disgusting Ingredients You’ve Probably Eaten Today.”

Knowledge is power. Gotcher bugs–and sand and God knows what else–go eat’em.

In other words–bon appetit!


Far Away and All Too Close

26 March 2013

Some Americans value safety above all else and think that gated communities, guards, and guns will provide it. Not necessarily.

I have a Facebook friend who lives in a far distant country. He just posted this:

This is getting rather insane. A month or so after all four tires of my car were stolen at night out of the driveway, the house next door gets burgled at 2:30 pm in the afternoon. At gunpoint. One member of that family came looking for help up the street and found our guard missing. So went further up the street to another ex judge’s guards for help and they said it was not their job to help out. By the time they were told to get round to it, the burglars had left. So much for —— being a nice habitable place.

I’ve trimmed any identifying info from the post just in case some people in his country might want to know that —— ain’t invulnerable. In all likelihood, neither is your home in America or elsewhere.

Know your neighbors and keep your eyes open.


Battle Cognitive Dissonance–Practice the Scientific Method

20 March 2013

These few, succinct sentences appeared on Upworthy.

Scientists resist change too, of course. Conventional wisdom looks sooooo correct until that moment when it becomes completely indefensible.


Monarchs Decline–More Proof of Man’s “Success”

15 March 2013

I used to see many monarch butterflies each summer since we live in an area that grows a considerable amount of corn and milkweed was a prevalent weed. In fact, we used to have a large patch of milkweed along one of our ditches. I handpulled it all decades ago when I found out milkweed is toxic to horses.

However, a few years ago, when I first started reading about the monarch decline, I planted some milkweed in the fenced and generally horse-free native grass and wildflower garden that surrounds our house. Last year, the single monarch butterfly I saw year landed on the milkweed in my garden.

My few milkweed plants aren’t enough, of course. Articles like this one from NPR assure me of that:

“Monarch Butterfy [sic] Population Falls to Record Low, Mexican Scientists Say”

I read articles like this every day, and it’s getting harder and harder to deal with the cognitive dissonance of those who say everything’s just fine. Monsanto’s just fine. The climate’s just fine. Everyone should buy, buy, buy, eat, eat, eat, breed, breed, breed–but only if they’re white–and then drive, drive, drive.

Everything’s NOT fine. So there.


Say It Ain’t So!

14 March 2013

“Koch Brothers to Purchase Major American Newspapers–Truth Held Hostage?”

It’s going to take me a while before I can read this all the way through. Right now, I’m making Bill the Cat noises.


10 March 2013

From what I’m hearing from folks in the conservation community, it might not be possible to save this species even if promises were to be honored. Severe drought in these areas will probably make replanting the (once) native species of trees difficult.


Summit County Citizens Voice

Non-native bugs threatening habitat for endangered songbirds

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Conservation advocates say non-native tamarisk-eating bugs have gone haywire, destroying habitat needed by endangered southwestern willow flycatchers, native songbirds that need thick riparian vegetation to survive.

The exotic beetles were imported from Asia to destroy invasive tamarisk plants seen as a threat to water resources, but now the bugs have invaded the nesting areas of southwestern willow flycatchers in southern Utah, Nevada, and northern and western Arizona. If the beetle spreads farther without mitigation, it could seriously threaten the flycatcher’s survival, according to Dr. Robin Silver, with the Center for Biological Diversity. 

Efforts to eradicate tamarisk are costly and labor-intensive, and some recent research by the U.S. Geological Survey indicates that exotics (including Russian Olive) use about the same amount of water as native willows and cottonwoods.

In June 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture temporarily restricted release…

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Grim Gets Grimmer– Wait for Grimmest

7 March 2013

Wasn’t it Peter Ward of the UDub who once said something like “Thank God for Global Warming”? His research indicated that, were our climate behaving normally, we should be going into a glacial age. That was many years ago though, and now the latest data shows this: “The Scariest Climate Change Graph Just Got Scarier”


The Land of the Free to Plunder

7 March 2013

I just read “Holder Admits That Department of Justice Believes Big Bankers Are above the Law.”

This old news still irritates me to the point where I find myself spitting and spinning like a cartoon duck. Despite the obvious facts, I still find it almost unbelievable that the US now openly shrugs and says, that’s just the way it is.

Call me an idealist, but I honestly expected just a tiny bit of bank reform after the messes of the last couple of decades. But nooooo. Things just get more open, more blatant, more outrageous. Instead of reforming banks, we get to reform our whole way of life to conform to the new ruling oligarchy’s view of the world.

I for one do NOT pledge allegiance to the Banks of the United States of America, and to the Profit for which they stand, one Mass of Corruption, untouchable, indivisible, with Profit and Greed for those in control.

Excuse me now. I need to go sharpen a pitchfork. I’ll most likely never use it, but it’s a handy tool.

I doubt that most Americans have the desire or awareness to even want to try to take back the country, especially considering the amount of economic pain most of us would endure in the years of at least attempting to remove all the cancerous growths from our system. I hope I’m wrong.


Politicians: Stupid or Merely Insane (and Stupid)?

4 March 2013

Here in Colorado, Democratic governor Hickenlooper drank what he was told was fracking fluid.

That, I thought, was proof enough of the state of American politics.

Now I read this: “Washington State Rep. Ed Orcutt Claims Bicyclists Produce More Pollution Than Motorists”

As if I needed more proof that almost no one does any research.