Watch out for new charges and fees

The Planning And Foresight blog has a useful warning for those of us who may not read all those e-mails and circulars from our banks with enough attention. The slow collapse of our economy will bring about new fees and taxes so that the government and companies can maintain their cash flow. For example, my … local bank decided that all savings account that have been dormant for 6 months or more will be assessed a maintenance fee of $6.00/month. While $6.00 a month is a small amount, the total cost for one year is $72.00 for digitally maintaining an

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The calls to kill get louder

As a grimly relevant adjunct to my previous post about crime, cops and communities, the voices calling for racially-based violence (especially against police) got louder last weekend. Members of the #FYF911 or #F**YoFlag and #BlackLivesMatter movements called for the lynching and hanging of white people and cops. They encouraged others on a radio show Tuesday night to “turn the tide” and kill white people and cops to send a message about the killing of black people in America. One of the F**YoFlag organizers is called “Sunshine.” She has a radio blog show hosted from Texas called, “Sunshine’s F***ing Opinion Radio

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Cops, crime, corruption, communities and violence

I was terribly saddened to read of the pointless, senseless murder of yet another peace officer last week, this time in Texas.  It’s the latest in a string of deaths on duty for the ‘thin blue line’, and there’s no end in sight.  Sheriff Hickman said of the latest tragedy: Hickman said Goforth was apparently singled out only because he was wearing the uniform of a law enforcement officer. The sheriff made it clear he felt the shooting was tied to a national backlash over several recent killings of unarmed black people by police officers. “When rhetoric ramps up to

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The Cinder Cone

Courtesy of a link at Miss K’s place, we find this very interesting video of a group of friends building their dream in the hills of Washington state.  The music’s nostalgic, the fun they’re having is obvious, and everything’s laid back.  I enjoyed it.  Watch it in full-screen mode for best results. I wouldn’t want to live in a tree house myself, but a cottage on one of those headlands . . . that might be very nice indeed. Peter

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When a win isn’t a win after all

We’ve spoken several times before about the parlous financial situation in various States, including Illinois.  It looks as if that parlous situation is having wider effects. After years of struggling financially, Susan Rick thought things were looking up when her boyfriend won $250,000 from the Illinois Lottery last month. She could stop working seven days a week, maybe fix up the house and take a trip to Minnesota to visit her daughter. But because Illinois lawmakers have not passed a budget, she and her boyfriend, Danny Chasteen, got an IOU from the lottery instead. . . . Under state law,

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Around The Blogs 2015-08-29

Time for another collection of interesting posts and articles from around the blogosphere. # # # Nicki at The Liberty Zone fisks an idiot who objects to an NRA sticker on a vehicle.  It’s superb!  Go read. # # # Jill Kandel, who works with prison inmates, reflects on ‘The Doors We Walk Through‘. # # # Reflecting on the Sad Puppies campaign for the Hugo Awards this year, Brad Torgerson talks about what he’s experienced and learned.  It’s not pretty . . . but it’s real.  I think he did a great job under the most trying of circumstances.

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Losing our moral direction?

Four events over the past week have made me think long and hard about the moral mess in which we find ourselves in this country. First, there was the Hugo Awards debacle, in which two sides with widely differing opinions, having harangued each other for months, finally had at it in a no-holds-barred award ceremony that left one side triumphant – and the other infuriated and energized to come back at them even harder next year.  There were, ultimately, no winners in the fight;  only the guarantee that the Hugo Awards themselves would be the ultimate losers.  Civility and common

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So you want more Zatoichi action?

I had a couple of e-mails protesting that the video clip I put up last night, when talking about the newly remastered DVD edition of Zatoichi, the Blind Swordsman, was not a very good sword fight at all, and made no sense. I’m not sure that many of the Zatoichi sword fights make any more sense . . . they have more bodies and blood and screaming going on than you can shake a stick at, and they’re clearly way over the top.  Nevertheless, they’re immensely entertaining, and fit the Japanese culture that produced them.  Here’s another video:  the sword

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A Presidential election hypothesis . . .

Just thinking aloud here.  Bear with me. FIRST:  Donald Trump seems to either scare the crap out of, or piss off, most of the Republican Party establishment.  So far, so good.  Anyone who does that to those ***holes can’t be all bad. SECOND:  I suspect the Republican Party establishment will move heaven and earth to nominate anyone but Trump as that party’s Presidential candidate for 2016.  They’ll use every trick in the book, and a few that no-one’s ever written down, to accomplish that.  They want someone they can control, who’ll parrot their message and be faithful to the moneybags

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