Friday, June 20, 2008

Banks are at it again!

My bank is in the town over from me, so I usually take money out from an ATM at my supermarket. The ATM owner is Citizen's Bank and they have just raised their fees from $2.00 to $2.75. That's almost a 40% increase just to use their machine. While I won't argue that there is a cost incurred for them to fill the machine, this fare increase can't be justified. Don't blame it on the high cost of fuel, I know that's a tempting excuse for justifying any increase whatsoever. These fees are now equal what you would pay at a 'captive audience' site like an airport or a casino.

But you come right down to it, aren't the banks one of the prime culprits of America's credit meltdown? While conservatives like to blame individuals for taking on risky debt, it was the loan officer's responsibility to ensure that bad loans not get processed in the first place. Back in the 1980's the issue reason for the economic collapse was the same - banks being to greedy with mortgage interest rates. Now they want *US* to pay for their bad decision making.

Is it any wonder why the American consumer is in so much debt. Back when people had equity in their homes, banks encouraged people to take out home equity loans to pay off their debt to credit cards (also owned by banks), and Bush's response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, was to 'go out and spend more money'.

In view of the fact that America's credit meltdown is due in large part to the banking industry's call for gluttony, they should take the lead to get the country back on its feet, by not ripping us off when they WANT us to use their machines by putting them in places where people on tight budgets go to same some cash, their local supermarket instead of an expensive night out at a restaurant.

Citizen's Bank should change its name - they have nothing in common with the people they serve.


Congratulations on the Boston Celtics upon winning their 17th Championship against their storied rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers! Paul Pierce and company did Red Auerbach proud!

Go Red Sox!

Go Bruins!

Go Patriots!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

An Appeal to Hillary

To Hillary Clinton:

If you don't want the country to wake up to George Bush's third term, I would urge you to give up your egotistical pursuit for homage to you and get behind the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, Barack Obama.

Women are in charge of many aspects of American society, so you and your hippie feminist supporters should stop complaining about sexism. You blame the media and others for not defending you? Many did, most notably ABC and MSNBC. Where were you when Ann Coulter was calling John Edwards gay? Didn't see you fight the right when John Kerry was being attacked by the 'vast right wing conspiracy'.

Both you and Barack Obama hold the same views on many issues, so the best way to support the working people of America is to get out now, admit you did not win the nomination, and do what is best for the country. Not everything is about you.

You are not the first woman to run for President of the United States. You won't be the first woman to run a country, you won't be the first female vice presidential nominee, the first female, Senator, Governor or Secretary of State. Get over yourself.

I used to respect you and read your books, but if this country wakes up to a McCain Presidency, we'll have two people to vilify. Ralph Nader and you.

Grow up and get behind the grownup.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sea Glass

Found a new hobby of sorts - looking for sea glass along the New England shoreline. A friend grew up in Hull and used to looked for sea glass as a kid. I lived near the coast, but not that near, so I was unfamiliar with the hobby. Most of the beaches we explore have been pretty much been swept clean, but I have found a few shards.

Sea glass, for those who don't know, is a piece of broken bottle, usually a beer bottle that has been discarded into the sea at least 50 years ago and has been worn down, rounded, and sometimes made opaque by the action of waves, salt and friction on the sand, by the rip tides.

I have found one piece of glass tht has the word 'Trade' on it and according to antique, it may be from anywhere from 1870 to 1940.

I spend a lot of time at the Library, but I have only taken out 2 books so far and one was about sea glass. You knew, that glass would be so fascinating. Especially since glass is made from sand and find a glass shard on the beach is essentially, the glass coming home to roost.

I think we should return to the era of the glass bottle. They are re-cyclable and the Pacific ocean north of the Hawaiian Islands won't become an ever larger dump for plastic bottles that will never degrade, just harm sea life.