Archive for July, 2010

Feeding Seymour

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I ran across a website that visually represented how much money BP lost due to the oil spill.   I was incredulous.  That much money exists?  It is a loss they plan to recoup.  How do you suppose they will make up the loss?

They have convinced us to drive bigger cars, drink our water from a bottle, use more plastic and carry on with war, any war.  Oil men love war.  War is what truly feeds Seymour.  You remember the insatiable plant from “Little Shop of Horrors”.  I liken the oil (and coal) industry to Seymour’s need to keep his plant alive.  In the beginning it was a nice fun little plant.  Harmless, at least relatively.  The plant like the oil industry has gotten so big it is devouring the planet through wars and plastic and large ships and cruise liners that carry us and our crap across oceans.


We are convinced that if we all pile on a giant boat together life will be more fun.  We are convinced that the stuff we have is not good enough.  It all needs to be replaced by better stuff.  Most of the stuff is plastic and plastic is made from oil and the plastic is brought to us on giant boats that require massive amounts of oil.  This insatiable need has been brought to you by the oil industry.

We can’t blame oil entirely.  Coal is what fuels this nations heat and air and lights.  The current grid was set up by the coal industry and subsidized by the US government.  It was harmless and useful in its beginnings.  What a blessing to have heat and air and light due to the fabulous grid work that traverses the nation.  Except, now it too is like Seymour’s plant.  Dividing and devouring and convincing us that nothing else will do.

So let me share the website that prompted this blog…

http://www.visualeconomics.com/what-bp-could-have-bought-with-all-the-money-they-lost/

I wrote to my smart friend Fred who gave me this reply…

BP ‘s profit last year was $16 billion. The year before was $22 Billion.
We gave one bank $150 billion of the $750 billion bank bailout.
Bernie Madoff swindled $65 billion from investors.

So you see in the world of business BP’s loss isn’t so much. Don’t feel sorry for them. Don’t think how much good this money could have done because it pales in comparison to the money we waste on wars. Iraq I believe was $1,000 billion. That’s 112 times what BP wasted.

When you look at it this way — it isn’t oil and coal that feeds Seymour’s plant.  Economics feeds the plant.  How often does economic advantage take precedence over doing good?  Goodness faces doom when it gets in the way of the economy.

What truly amazed me is that 3.4 billion dollars would buy an ice cream sandwich for everyone in the world and yahoo is worth 20 billion.  Wouldn’t it be cool if yahoo bought an ice cream sandwich for everyone in the world?  There is probably a soy version for the lactose intolerant.

Wall Street Reform news

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The Top 10 Things You May Not Know About the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Posted by Jen Psaki on July 21, 2010 at 06:00 AM EDT

Here are 10 aspects of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act you may not know about — the online attention-deficit version.

  1. Stronger protections for consumers against unfair credit card practices like rate hikes for existing credit card balancesWhen my son had a traffic accident I didn’t work for a month to be at his bedside,  I had a credit card with a 9% rate that I never used, but kept for emergencies.  As soon as I used it the rate went to 18%.  When I called to complain, they dropped the rate to 16% and told me that was “standard practice“.   I told them this was “standard bullshit” paid it off and canceled the card forever.
  2. Mortgage brokers will be prohibited from making higher commissions by selling mortgages they know consumers can’t afford. But —  We love the stuff we can’t afford. We need to go back to –> we can only have what we can afford.  Then the cost of living will drop and the pay scales will rise and we’ll need less stuff.  Like “Happy Days”.
  3. Free annual credit scores so people can stay on top of their finances. [Clarification: free credit scores are available if you receive worse terms on a loan because of something on your credit report, or if you are rejected. You think this will make folks stay on top of their finances?
  4. No more taxpayer-funded bailouts. yay!! If a company can’t make it, it will have to liquidate.  If what they sell is junk, they need to go down. Like the company building junky jets for the air force — they went down.
  5. Greater input by company shareholders over how much a CEO gets paid.  Companies’ compensation boards are now required to be truly independent.  you mean they weren’t in charge of a CEO’s pay or compensation?
  6. Brokers who offer investment advice will have to act in the best interests of their customers, not their own financial interests.  Oh, yeah, like some federal law is gonna make that happen.
  7. Financial firms won’t be allowed to grow so large that if one fails, it will affect the entire financial system.   Isn’t that why we don’t allow monopolies? When did that change?
  8. There will be one agency whose sole job is to make sure that consumers get the protections they deserve and to set clear rules to hold banks, mortgage companies, payday lenders, and credit card lenders accountable.  It will be interesting to see how this works out. I’m sure you anti-government types are focusing on this one.
  9. Businesses can’t be charged extra fees for debit card “swipe fees” that exceed the cost of processing transactions.
  10. You can learn plenty more here at WhiteHouse,gov or at financialstability.gov
  11. Updated: To tack on #11, here’s a new animated video we’ve released to further explain Wall Street Reform.

RE:  My son’s accident–> I didn’t borrow from mother, father, sister, brother or friend, I had money sitting around doing nothing waiting for the inevitable shit that happens in life.  Something governments, companies and individuals all need to do.

“never talk politics at the dinner table”

Sunday, July 4th, 2010
fight nothingness

 These were not terrible people. They were normal people. They closed their eyes to evil or justified it, for the sake of peace or gain or national loyalty. I sometimes wonder (and fear) whether I would have done the same if I had been in that society at that time. It is so easy not to see, not to hear, not to understand, when one’s own peace or prosperity is involved. There have been times, after all, when I have allowed blatantly racist statements to pass unchallenged in the name of good manners, or of just keeping the peace. For so little of one’s soul, or at least a little piece of it, is on the auction block.”

The Reverend Kathleen Damewood Korb

Mr Trump has made mephistophelian bargains for power and fame using fear and greed as his catalyst.  His unfounded claims are believed and it is becoming impossible to sit idly by or “close my eyes for the sake of peace”.  Family dinners can be one of those places.  I am afraid to talk to people who like Trump.  Trump wants it that way.  He spreads animosity and values intolerance.  He incites violence and hate.  I find him to be a horrible person.  I believe a person who values what Trump values might run me off the road in traffic because of my Hillary sticker (or shoot me in the head). 

I’ll take that chance.  I’m an American and if I can’t

loving us more

My mothers rule,”Never talk politics or religion at the dinner table.”  Adhering to that rule makes for a peaceful dinner especially among friends and family with differing political values.  Once the plates are cleared and the wine and chocolates or coffee and cheesecake starts a few fists have pounded the table. There are times when we need to discuss and debate, to provide the other side of a point. Informing ourselves, sharing what we’ve learned removes animosity and hatred and misunderstanding.  Treat it like a caucus.  Not talking at all, not sharing likes and dislikes is only useful for augmenting paranoia. 

It is always important to challenge hate; challenge it’s source and find it’s solution. When you don’t like the way things are, there is always a chance for a different outcome.  Our conversations will look at all sides and possible outcomes when there are diverse views in mix.  Most often it boils down to are we better off doing nothing vs doing things differently? Health care reform is one of those issues are we better to put things back the way the were, leave things the way they are, or, work together to form a better health care system that serves everyone.

When fists are pounding or all capital letters are being typed, chances are a point is being made.  If you can speak about what you care about, to a person you disagree with, without denigrating or insulting them; then you may actually be heard.   The point of a conversation should be to liberate us from hate.  Hitler became powerful by making people afraid to speak.  Swiss Bankers and The Roman Catholic church included.

.

problem or solution
this point needs to be made one more time…
It is so easy not to see, not to hear, not to understand, when one’s own peace or prosperity is involved.

 


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