Saturday, June 20, 2009

This from the grass is always greener file

People who can't get married, people who want to get pregnant, people who want Hummers, people who want to own their own home, people who have to see the newest movie, people who use credit cards, people who . . .

Friday, June 19, 2009

And the war goes on . . .

Which war you ask? And I answer. The war that gives those in power the excuse to keep on making war while civilian men, women, and children take the brunt. The war that takes the resources we could use to actually save lives and build a better world and uses them to destroy that world. The war that keeps on creating victims who become soldiers with a reason to hate the world that took away their ordinary life and replaced it with death. The war that the politicos justify by explaining over and over again the amount of fear we need to have of the terrorist tendancies of our enemies. The war that gives all those people who support it jobs and a reason to keep on making war not peace.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Votes don't matter nor voters neither

That is really the only conclusion one can come to after last Friday's election in Iran and then today's approval by the House of a War Spending Bill that includes the following:

"The war spending legislation (just passed by the house) carried a hodgepodge of other provisions, including $5 billion to expand the role of the International Monetary Fund in shoring up the world economy, $1 billion to encourage U.S. consumers to trade in gas-guzzlers for more fuel-efficient new cars, and limits on the administration's ability to bring terrorist suspects from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba to the United States."

Politics again rears its ugly head. Trade off the IMF aid for friendly grades from Europe, trade the aid to car manufacturers for seeming to help the auto industry and the consumer, trade the limits on the Admin of Guantanomo for getting the Republicans to pass the IMF part, and trade the Democrats their anti-war feelings for some down the road support from President O.

This isn't what I voted for, hoped for, wanted. But what the hell, I am just one voter.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Public Parks

Here in California this morning the sun is shining and the parks, and the playgrounds, and the beaches are calling and the public is crawling on its new "funemployment" way, only to find that the Non-Girly Man has decided to close them all on this oh so sunny California day.

We are a state in crisis and we've got to crack down or cut back or something else to deal with this crisis or else, he says. So close down the parks, shut down health services, summer schools, even social services for the elderly and the poor. "Cause "God, in his infinite wisdom, knows that these are the things that are dragging us down and holding this great state hostage.

But, you know what? I have a different idea. Lets shut down the whole state. No highway patrol, no colleges, no street repair, no fire fighting, no politicians in their fat little offices deciding the fate of the rest of us. Shut it all down and let's just go to anarchy. It can't be any worse than this living under the constant threat.

But, you know what else? I am still open to other answers. Just drop them in my mailbox. Yes, that's it over there, laying on its side and looking crushed.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

If your credit is bad

According to an article in the June 7, LA Times Business section, "The credit report is becoming the latest hurdle for unemployed workers in a dismal U.S. job market. Up to half of employers use credit screening to weed out potentially troublesome hires, though estimates vary, and the practice is on the rise." So a person applying for a job, a person that has been hit by the foreclosure market and the job loss market that has reached 9% and rising has developed a case of a loss in credit status, is that what I'm understanding? Is this supposed to be news?

The article goes on, as though point A leads to point 2, "Money woes could signal disorder in an individual's personal life that could translate into slipshod work habits, some staffing experts said. Companies lose billions annually to employee theft. A sterling credit history, they said, points to a worker who is more likely to be disciplined, trustworthy and reliable." So the workers having lost the home they bought because they thought they were secure in their job which they lost because the company they worked for laid off workers because the company itself had to apply for bankruptcy protection are now suspected thieves?

The fact that the credit industry is in full pull-in-your-head turtle mode apparently doesn't play a part in this analysis either. American Express has recently joined a number of other credit card companies in the following. First, they notify you that your available credit balance has been lowered to just above whatever the current balance is. Then they notify you that because they can, they are raising the interest rate on your current balance by 10 or 15 or, in some cases, 20%. This happens whether you are current and have a great payment history or not. Another company, Advanta, just closed its doors. Toodledoo ducks. And oh by the way, before we go away, you available credit has been lowered because you've had too many inquiries in the last 12 months and (since we lowered your available balance) your accounts are now too close to their limits.

Anyone else sense the circle here. The companies, and not just the ones you give permission to, are checking your credit history. Because you are applying everywhere and anywhere in hopes of landing something, that means a lot of credit checks which means your credit gets lowered and your credit report shows this. Yuck, or that other word that sounds like it but starts with F.