Bank of America: “A new $5 fee to replace debit cards took effect in September; a rush overnight order costs $20. Previously, both services were free.”
Chase: “In February, Chase introduced a new basic checking account with a $12 monthly fee, up from the previous $6. The fee is waived for customers who make direct deposits that total $500 a month or maintain a minimum balance of $1,500.”
Citibank: “Starting in December, Citi said it will raise the fee on its basic checking account to $10 a month, up from $8. Customers will have to maintain a balance of at least $1,500 or sign up for direct deposit and online bill pay to avoid the fee.”
Wells Fargo: “The bank also plans to test a $3 monthly debit card fee starting Oct. 14. The fee will be applied to checking accounts opened in Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. The fee would be in addition to the fees ranging from $5 to $30 that Wells Fargo already charges.”
It’s a real shame banks have completely lost sight of what they’re core job is: to take our money and loan it to other people with interest. That interest is supposed to be how they make money. They’re not supposed to charge us so they can make money off of our money. It’s that sense of entitlement that the rich always accuse everyone else of having. So blatantly hypocritical.
But not all banks are abusive like this. I switched to an online bank which charges no fees period and, in fact, pays me interest. I’ve made 70¢ since I signed up in April. How much has your checking account made you?
The bank is called Ally. They used to be GMAC but rebranded at some point. They’ve been good to me so far. It’s a huge pain in the ass to deposit money, though. You have to mail a check in or do a wire transfer. I have an account with Square and it still takes a week (or so) to see the money, though Square claims a “next-day payout” on their site. I suppose I could transfer money from my Paypal account, but that would take 3 days still.
One of the nice things about Ally is that they refund all ATM fees. Since they don’t have any ATMs, you’re going to get charged for using other banks’ ATMs but this bank will refund those fees at the end of the month. So, there are alternatives to the BABs (Big Asshole Banks).
The sad thing is that I tried to go to a local bank—as in, a bank that only exists in the city I live in. Sadly, they wouldn’t let me open an account because I didn’t have a state ID at the time. This is a very odd requirement as Washington Mutual, a bank with ATMs all over the country, didn’t seem to mind my California ID when I opened my checking account with them back in 2008. Of course, WaMu got swallowed whole by Chase, whom I left earlier this year because they added fees.
We’re facing a world that is less and less favorable for the individual. But there are choices you can make that can save you money. You just have to hunt for them.
The next time someone talks about Obama's Birth Certificate, ask if Jesus had one.
I CAN’T BELIEVE I didn’t think of this sooner.
A bunch of years ago, I saw a fun little docu called “The God that Wasn’t There.” It basically sets out to debunk that Jesus was a real person and it does a pretty good job. Memories of that movie always come back to me whenever I see people refer to Jesus as a person who really existed. I just saw someone quoting a witness to the recent execution of Troy Davis as saying ”Jesus was killed on the cross not because he was guilty, but because we all were.”
My first thought was: “He was a fictional character. He was only fictionally killed on the cross. There’s no proof he ever really lived, no birth certificate… HEEEEYYYY!!!”
Maybe, as of now, no one has been upside down while reading his plan..
ARG! I can’t believe I didn’t notice this!! Good call, Coalspeaker! Damn.
I think it’s also odd that no one has tied Cain to the Bible story with his name in it—Cain and Abel. I can’t recall the exact details but didn’t one kill the other only to have God put the mark on him, thus cursing his entire lineage-to-come? For some reason, I feel like this was the explanation the Bible has for black people.
I haven’t picked up a Bible in so long, though. I suppose I should since it’s important to “know the enemy”. ;)
As the lawyers and judge who will try Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab move this week to outline the contours of his hearing, the Obama administration is trying to prevent a repeat attack. The White House announced last week that the CIA will try to assassinate Anwar al-Awlaki, the Qaeda-linked American citizen living in Yemen who tutored Abdulmutallab. Awlaki will be hard to find—he is currently hiding in southern Yemen, protected by his powerful tribe—but if a drone operator has a shot, he will take it.
Today, a drone operator took that shot. Awlaki was killed. In the coming days, the Obama administration will have to defend its decision in taking out an American citizen by a drone-fired missile.
The rationale here seems self-evident. First, Awlaki has already been linked to two recent attacks in the U.S.: Abdulmutallab’s attempted bombing and also the Fort Hood rampage, where Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan went on a shooting spree at his home base, killing 13 people and wounding 30 others. (Hasan was advised over the Internet by Awlaki.) Second, Awlaki’s ability to speak English and recruit Westernized Muslims poses a continuing threat: just last month, he called on Muslims living in the United States to carry out similar strikes in the coming months. Eliminating him now, the White House claims, will do much to prevent a third attack. And third, the optics are great: Obama is a president who has promised to bring the fight to Al Qaeda.
Unfortunately, the administration’s argument is based more on frustration and assumption than real strategy. Killing Awlaki will do little to disrupt Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Inside that organization, he is a nobody—at best, a midlevel functionary in a local branch. There are dozens of men who could do more harm to the United States, and killing Awlaki would only embolden them and aid in recruitment. For an organization as resilient and adaptive as AQAP, his death would be a minor irritant, not a debilitating blow. The futility of such a strike should give Obama pause before he greenlights the assassination of a fellow citizen.
Unless that guy had a gun to someone’s head and refused to drop it, killing him was absolutely unjustified. This is disturbing to no end. The American Founding Fucking Documents explain that all humans are created equal and that we all get certain rights—like the right to a trial. Awlaki, to the best of my knowledge, never had a trial. To the best of my knowledge, he never killed anyone either.
You know, Timothy McVeigh once said that the reason he used violence to send a message to the USG was because he felt that violence is the only language the USG understands. I don’t know if that’s true, but violence is certainly the language the USG likes to speak in.
Memo to Jon Stewart: Shit like this is why the media doesn’t take Ron Paul seriously.
Because the media thinks executing Americans without trial is a good thing?
OH, duh—of course they do. The media loves death and destruction. #StupidMe
For the record I don’t like Ron Paul. I agree with him on a vast number of issues but disagree with him on quite a few, as well. The whole “assassinating American citizens because we don’t like them” is one of the things I agree with Ron Paul as it goes to the whole “protecting human rights” thing—you know, that’s the stuff the US Constitution guarantees all humans. Cuz like, we’re all supposed to be created equal and stuff.
I really dislike glib sayings like this. They’re meant to make us feel better but really you’re just treating the symptoms with this sort of pithy crap. The reality is that for some people life does *not* go on and ignoring that fact gives Mr. and Mrs. Hallmark a hard-on because they know they can sell more cards with useless drivel to people like YOU who can’t think for themselves.
I say this as someone who’s come close to death more than once, had friends who have died, other friends who almost died and hey, I know someone who *is* dying, someone very close to me, actually. So, do me a favor Glibby Von Piths-a-lot and go take a long walk off a short pier—I bet that death will be contrived and cliche enough for your tastes.
The most ridiculous brand of human being, in my opinion, is the one who responds to online privacy concerns with “Everything on Facebook is public. I don’t have anything to hide.” I’m interested in what these people say when they realize that Facebook automatically sends certain purchases to your profile without your permission, and that its cookies track and record every Web site you visit on your browser even when you’re logged out of Facebook. But hey, it’s all public, right?
That’s it. Game over. Just deleted my Facebook account.
Well, this doesn’t surprise me too much. After all, every one of us should be aware that we’re not Facebook’s customers. Facebook’s customers are advertisers. We are Soylent Green fed to the advertisers—aka, what advertisers pay Facebook for is made of people. Our eyes, our traffic, our behavior patterns. This is how big brother really works. It follows you where ever you go and knows whatever you do. If you don’t mind having your every move tracked and exploited by Facebook, they’ll be happy to provide you with a place to connect with friends and family and a place to post links, pictures and video that you can share with said friends and family.
I hate to sound jaded, but I don’t know if Facebook being all KGB on us is that big of a deal. I mean, so what? We’re being exploited. So? I mean, it’s lame we don’t get a bigger piece of Zuckerdouche’s financial pie (we just get the services Facebook offers), but in the end, what are we losing?
I’m not saying we’re not losing anything, it’s just that I’m honestly not sure what it is.
Actually, them using Apple computers *is* smart. Faulting them for it isn’t. I mean, what’s the alternative? Using virus-ridden, craptops with a 10+ year-old version of Windows on them? Seriously, it’s this kind of cynicism that really pisses me off.
"Ohhh, look how hypocritical they are! They hate corporations but they’re drinking Starbucks."
Right because I’ve got a thousand things going on AND I’m trying to help the world be a better place by going to a protest and YOU’RE pissed because I didn’t have the time to find a non-corporate coffee house when there’s a fracking Starbucks on every goddamn corner of NYC.
"Oh, look at those idiots—they’re protesting oil drilling yet, how did they get here? By their car, right? HA! HYPOCRITES."
Right, because it was clearly the choice of every car owner that the overwhelming majority of cars have internal combustion engines in them. Why, the last time I bought a car (well over ten years ago) I walked RIGHT into the car dealer and let my demands be known: “I WANT A CAR AND I ONLY WANT ONE WITH AN INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE IN IT! NO OTHER KIND OF ENGINE WILL DO, DAMMIT!! YOU HEAR ME!?!?! NO OTHER KIND!”
I remember years ago, when I went to see “The Corporation” at the Nuart theater in Los Angeles, I went to pay for tickets and the guy in the booth was like “Ohhh, you’re using a credit card to buy tickets to see ‘The Corporation’? Shame on you.”
I furrowed my brow and said simply: “Um, what?”
He shrugged and just handed me my tickets and my credit card back. Of course, I didn’t tell him what I was thinking which was this: “Using cash is no different, sir. The Federal Reserve is pretty much the same thing as a corporation and along those lines, I would ask you this: what would you have me pay for my tickets with, shells like on the Flintstones? Should I transfer my cash into another debt-based currency like the Euro or something? Or should I trade you some fucking cattle?”
The next time you’re about to say something glib that would end in the phrase “oh, the irony,” STOP. JUST… stop. Then, think for a moment and realize what you’re doing:
1) you’re being stupid and judgmental.
2) you’re looking for a reason to write the person off and not trying to understand who they are, what they want or where they’re coming from (only then can you legitimately write them off).
3) being a douchebag. I’m sure I wouldn’t approve of all of the choices you made today, either, but you don’t see me going around saying “OH, LOOK AT THAT GUY, HE’S BEING CRITICAL OF SOMEONE ON THE INTERNET. WHAT A LOSER! I’M SO MUCH BETTER THAN HIM BECAUSE… um… because… I’m BEING IRONIC ABOUT IT. HA! SEE? I’M STILL BETTER THAN HIM!”
“From 1995 to 2010, the government handed $16.9 billion in farm subsidies to people involved in making four common junk food ingredients: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, and soy oils. Over the same time period, $262 million went to subsidizing apples. ”
“CALPIRG did some math: “If these agricultural subsidies went directly to consumers to allow them to purchase food, each of America’s 144 million taxpayers would be given $7.36 to spend on junk food and 11 cents with which to buy apples each year,” CALPIRG said in its statement. That’s “enough to buy 19 Twinkies but less than a quarter of one Red Delicious apple.”
Yet another one to file under “No Shit, Sherlock.”
And we subsidize these assholes directly by buying this unhealthy food.
I’m so happy to see a slow but definite emergence of a kind of “common sense.” We’ve still got a long way to go, but perhaps one day we’ll all be able to understand how any system taken to the extreme (like capitalism) is a bad thing (sure, you and I know how obvious this is, but most folks? CLUELESS). For years I’ve been hearing about how companies have a right to do what ever they want because they’ve got to earn a living.
"Hey, the government is giving handouts to farmers? They should take ‘em! I’d take ‘em!"
"Outsourcing jobs and salaries to other countries? Good for them! Companies need to make as much money and save as much money as possible!"
"Companies can give as much as they want to political campaigns? Why not? They’ve got as much a right to representation as we do!"
I could go on, but I really really don’t want to. :(
No, cork it and let that settle in for a second. This would not happen to us in this country and in this “justice” system and in this white supremacist culture that lets us think it’s the…
Um, no. When one person is put to death “legally” it harms all of us. I understand whites have it easiest because it’s supposed to be “our society” but the reality is that if the system wants to let you fall between the cracks, it can. Period.
Talk statistics all you want, but statistics don’t mean shit when it’s *you* on trial. So as long as any human can be put to death by accident, we need to fight the death penalty.
We’re all potential Troy Davises, regardless of our ethnicity. End. Of. Story.
“The United States is a country symbolically founded on the ideas of liberty and justice for all. Yet it is also founded on the practice of ethnocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of African peoples and their descendents, the removal of Spanish speaking citizens and a harsh and unjust policy to Asians—including exclusion acts.”—
“Republicans pretend to loathe judicial overreach. They rail against activist judges who “make law” and pound their chests about original intent, but the truth is that since the 2000 Bush v Gore decision, there has been an ever accelerating wave of radical judicial activism from the right. Conservative judicial decisions have overturned two hundred years of rules designed to prevent just what we’re now seeing, ownership of both the media and political system by a very wealthy few. The greatest pretense in American politics is this: that our politicians can be utterly dependent on money given to them by contributors, but not be influenced by the source of those funds. It’s not true. It’s never been true. Now that the judicial takeover of our electoral system is complete, there’s not even any reason to hide it. This is a bribe-based system—an oligarchy all the way to the core.”—
“I believe “Blackwater” will have a unique appeal to gamers, particularly on the Kinect platform. The physical, visual and virtual feel of participating in a mission brings a level of excitement and realism to the game that is hard to match. And frankly, it’s fun. I think gamers will really enjoy playing the game.” — Erik Prince, founder of the controversial military contractor Blackwater, speaking to CNN of his new first-person shooter, Blackwater, developed for Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360. Yup, that is happening. (via newsweek)
The final sequence will be particularly cinematic…(per Wiki):
On September 27, the New York Times reported that during the chaotic incident at Nisour Square, one member of the Blackwater security team continued to fire on civilians, despite urgent cease-fire calls from colleagues…The incident was resolved only after another Blackwater contractor pointed his weapon at the man still firing and ordered him to stop.”
I wonder if any of this was covered in the mainstream news. I heard about it lots on Democracy Now, but I’ve given up on the MSM for them blowing off stories like this in the past (among other reasons).
Regardless, it is seriously messed up when a company like Microsoft won’t suffer any recourse from its customers (like a boycott or a sell-off of Xboxes) when something like this happens. I mean, the video game is based on murderous mercenaries who really did kill a bunch of civilians (and got away with it) while being paid with American tax dollars. Too bad the United States Government doesn’t have to worry about a boycott any more than Microsoft does.
“In 1980, fewer than 500,000 Americans were in prison; today, the number is 2.3 million. To put that statistic in perspective, the median incarceration rate among all countries is 125 prisoners for every 100,000 people. In England, it’s 153; Germany, 89; Japan, a mere 63. In America, it’s 743, by far the highest in the world. Include all the U.S. residents currently on probation or parole, and our country’s correctional population soars to about 7.2 million—roughly one in every 31 Americans. All told, the U.S. incarcerates nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, even though it’s home to only 5 percent of the world’s inhabitants.”—
Sorry, but, you need to run screaming from anyone who uses the word “perfect” and means it.
If I had the time I’d dig up all the quotes where he talks about shutting down the Board of Ed and other parts of the government that actually do good things (believe it or not). To me, a quote like this is just the tip of the full-of-shit, ego-riffic iceberg. The last guy who was this confident in himself ran our country, government and economy into the ground.
Trust no one. This system can’t be saved. Politics is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Unregulated corporations are the iceberg. It’s such a drag watching all of this happen in slow motion—so slow people don’t see it happening.
Which is great, when true. Alas, ethics tends to drift into law and suddenly, we have things like “hate crimes” which essentially put the deaths of some above the death of others. I understand, it’s to compensate, but it still feels wrong. I mean, it’s what every racist and homophobe is afraid of: their rights being treated as less important than the minorities. By codifying hate crime, you’re fulfilling the XYZiphobe’s biggest fears.
It’s one thing to be protected, but another to have the loss of your life valued more than the loss of anyone else’s life.
Hate crime legislation may mean well, but really, it’s big brother telling us “wrongthinking is punishable.”
Think of it this way, should a killer of a gay man get a lesser sentence because he can prove he’s not homophobic? It’s like you get a “discount” for being a less-bad person.