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The Politics of Banking: Monthly Debit Card Fees Are Coming to a Bank Near You!

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Somewhere a bank executive in an office building near Wall Street was reading the Declaration of Independence, when a light bulb lit up over his head as he read the line “…all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” In short, if you’re used to something, you’ll probably suffer with it rather than expend the effort to change it.

I had a WTF moment last night during a broadcast of NBC’s Nightly News broadcast when dependable Brian reported that beginning Thursday, Bank of America would begin charging customers a monthly $5 fee just for using their debit cards… In fact before I realized I’d done it, I jumped up and yelled “WHAT???” at the top of my lungs (scaring the hell out of my cat sleeping peacefully beside me.)

The only thing that immediately came to mind was to wonder if Bank of America had recently hired suicidal financial advisors away from Netflix. Upon further research (in fear that my own bank was next,) I discovered that Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are plotting to do the same. This is definitely going to cause a customer backlash akin to the one that resulted in the Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act that limits the fees that banks can charge stores etc. for debit card purchases. In fact, this is probably the result of that amendment. Banks are famous for having a reserve of lawyers who go over federal regulations in advance to find ways around them before they’re even signed into law, so we naïve Americans should’ve seen this coming (refer back to the first paragraph of this article.)

After all Wall Street execs can’t survive without their 7-figure bonus checks every year.

For a decade or so now, the banks have plotted to do away with paper money, turning America into a plastic society. As a result, most Americans pay with debit cards for everything from a quick hamburger on the fly at the neighborhood McDonald’s to movie tickets with the family at the local theater. The banks loved this concept because they used to be able to get away with charging insane overdraft fees on each and every transaction if you momentarily lost track of your balance, and at the end of the month those last 12 morning coffees at Burger King on your way to work ran $35 each because you were overdrawn by a mere 16 cents; and they joyfully got away with it because at the time Wall Street owned and operated the GOP-led congress that made it all legal!

Like a good heroin dealer, they get you addicted to it by making it free and then when you can’t live without it they start charging you a bundle for it. This is the same trick that credit cards used on us lower middle classers. I had a great credit card with a wonderful interest rate on my purchases and I’d loyally used it for years faithfully ignoring fantasy-laced balance-transfer offers. One day I got a letter in the mail saying a predatory bank had bought my account and now all those little perks like free rental car insurance, no annual fees, and that low-low finance rate was now “a limited time only” deal and I’d now be paying 21.9% on my purchases. Oh but not to worry they gleefully assured – if I didn’t like it, it was really easy to fix… all I’d have to do is pay off that $4000 balance in a lump sum that I ran up before they bought the company, and go somewhere else.

I realized that the banks had learned the same lesson when I recently also had a perk-filled free checking account that earned a decent interest rate… then another bank bought them. Within months, that free safe deposit box was gone, those “points” that I was earning suddenly vanished, and then I was forced to close my savings account and transfer it to my checking account to satisfy a minimum balance requirement… of course this meant earning a much lower checking interest rate. Then I was informed that if I didn’t keep at least $500 in my new checking account I wouldn’t earn any interest at all, plus I’d be charged a minimum balance fee if it fell below $100 at any time! Meanwhile my money was merrily being loaned out to other victims like myself at high rates that guaranteed my bank a very healthy profit margin.

So far I’ve been lucky, but with all of the online banks competing for my deposits and transactions, my current bank should be forewarned that I’m gone if they start charging me just to use my debit card. The reason being that I’ll have to start withdrawing my checks the moment they’re direct deposited and paying cash, resulting in minimum balance fees and no interest at all… which is what they want in the first place. And there’s not a damned thing I can do about it, because I need a checking account to pay bills electronically… unless I want to pay a couple of dollars each for money orders to mail in payments.

And I’ll probably sit here and take it, because they know I’ll figure it’s too much of a hassle to change banks, and if I did the new bank would probably do the same thing anyway so why not keep my money where it is?

… Again back to the first paragraph …which is where we’re all stuck. (sigh)

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About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • One wonders why this development wasn’t foreseen and countermanded by the recent commission headed by Elizabeth Warren.

  • Indeed

  • Which is why you can’t trust the government, Jet — it’s always too little and too late.

  • From your mouth to god’s ear… or just god’s debit card?

  • Anonymous

    BofA is screwed.

  • Let’s hope so

  • and they have no one to blame but themselves

  • The day Chase starts whalloping me with a debit card user fee is the day I start writing checks for everything again. Those bastards!

  • Remember standing in grocery lines and groaning every time someon pulled a checkbook out ahead of you?

  • I thought the subtitle would be “The politics of…oooh…feeling mad.”

  • Oh great, now that song’s going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the night.

  • My sister in Oregon says Wells Fargo is going to begin charging $3 a month for hers

  • Miss Bob Etier

    The banks had the rates they are allowed to charge customers by twenty cents. Some banks are planning on charging $5/month. I don’t use my debit card 25 times a month, so–clearly–they aren’t trying to break even, they’re trying to break us.

  • Miss Bob Etier

    Oops…”had the rates…CUT”

  • After your title, now we’re even, Jet 😉

  • My heavens… for a moment I thought that was thunder

  • zingzing

    “BofA is screwed.”

    ha! as if. they know exactly what they’re doing. push the consumers off the debit and onto the credit. $5 a month isn’t much. but if it’s enough to push some fool into credit card debt, it’s priceless to the banks.

  • They’re trying to get us pissed Zing so the teabagger/GOP can repeal the law that allows banks to charge a $35 overdraft fee for each incodent… that’s anti-business

  • Thanks for sharing this well written report. Rated UP!

  • Thanks Chip, after my bankruptcy, I discovered that it felt just as good to swipe a debit card through the machine as a credit card, and I didn’t have to pay interest… and no fees-so I started using the damned thing for everything almost second nature.

    I was being serious at my outrage when I heard the news report.

    Now the banks are using the excuse that they have to make up somehow for the income the lost when they couldn’t charge outrageous overdraft fees.

    Poor things, they’re only pulling in 4 billion instead of 6 billion. We should get a collection together for them…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    My wife and I were BofA customers for twenty years – and we just closed our accounts two months ago. Whenever my retirement check came in on a Saturday, BofA would not allow it to be credited to my account until the following Monday, and the same thing went for holidays and three-day weekends. Of course they were trying to get every last penny of interest.

    So now I’m with Navy Federal Credit Union, and although their online banking isn’t as useful as BofA’s was, at least I can get my money when it comes in.

  • troll

    …zing – I suspect #5 refers to hacking action against BoA’s site…might be prudent for account holders to move to a credit union

  • troll

    …as Glenn has

  • Glenn, it’s a ploy to let you think you have money in your account when you don’t so they can charge you overdraft fees.

    I’ve heard dozens of reports like yours where a large check is witheld for days letting smaller ones accumulate for multiple fees. They pulled it on a soldier in Iraq who was charged 125 or more overdraft fees for cups of coffee costing him more than $3000.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Jet –

    We just had our bankruptcy finalized this past Tuesday, and our foreclosure is on October 25th…

    …and you know what? My wife and I have had precisely zero arguments about it. And just like you, we’ve discovered over the past five years of trying to avoid this situation that using a debit card feels as good as a credit card – heck, it feels better, because we don’t owe jack on what we buy with it.

    But I agree with you as to why they’re starting to charge the debit card fees – at least NFCU doesn’t do that – yet.

  • I wonder how long it’ll take for the comments section here to veer to the problem of wild unwanted boa conscrictors in south Florida?

    …no not you Clavos-don’t be so paranoid 🙂

  • Speaking of which, I wonder how long it’ll take the teabaggers to blame this on Obama?

  • zingzing

    troll–because it came from anonymous?

  • Cannonshop

    #27 Here, or in general, Jet? ’cause it’s already shown up last night if you’re looking for the partisan hacks blaming Mr. Wonderful, who spent Taxpayer money to bail these guys out.

    I won’t link to the sites, but if you’re looking for GOP mouthpieces blaming BofA’s move on Obama, you need only look to Redstate or Instapundit.

    Personally, I don’t blame Obama in the least-for him to be responsible, he’d have to…y’know, be RESPONSIBLE-for something, anything, but he’s not. Just ask him.
    It’s all Bush’s fault.

  • troll

    yeah zing – Anonymous left messages around the twitterverse yesterday that BoA is targeted for action…read one that claimed to have crashed the site but didn’t check it out

  • Troll, while doing research yesterday, I couldn’t get on to their site, so I guess they succeeded.

  • 29-Did they/you complain that congress gave all that unfunded money to Haliburton without cutting funding somewhere else first? Did they/you complain when all that unfunded money was sent to New Orleans without cutting funding somewhere else? What about all that unfunded money we sent the victims of 911 even though we had the huge deficit Bush ran up for two wars?

    How many teabaggers live in houses that they didn’t pay cash for? How many of those hypocrites drive cars they didn’t pay cash for? How many of them pay for their groceries with credit cards irresponsibly using money they don’t have?

    How much would you be howling ANTI-BUSINESS!!! if he HADN’T bailed out the banks and they went under causing a bigger disaster than we have now?

    You’re back to whining about how Obama isn’t pulling Bush’s financial car out of the ditch that he drove it into fast enough… right?

    The Republican’s greatest fear is that Obama will give a speach next October urging everyone to vote Republican, because the Teabaggers will automatically give him a landslide victory before they realized what they were doing by automatically condemning anything and everything he says and then doing the complete opposite.

    “…every loyal Republican in Congress is charged with only one important and sacred duty; To make absolutely sure that this President accomplishes little or nothing during this term.”

  • zingzing

    troll–i guess if you take it literally, bofa went down. but that’s probably going to end up being more of an annoyance to bofa’s customers than anything else. that said, their homepage is “temporarily unavailable” at this moment, although it does appear you can continue on to online functions. that said, if anonymous is hacking the site at the moment, i’m not going to enter my login info.

  • jamminsue

    Jet, #32 – awesome….

    The Republican’s greatest fear is that Obama will give a speach next October urging everyone to vote Republican, because the Teabaggers will automatically give him a landslide victory before they realized what they were doing by automatically condemning anything and everything he says and then doing the complete opposite.

    Can I borrow this and put it on my FB page?

  • Jamminsue… It’d be my honor, and thanks

  • Cannonshop

    #32 Um, actually? Yes, yes I did. I also bitched about the creation of a gynormous new bureaucracy (Dept. of Homeland inSecurity and TSA) that basically does what a previous agency(in the case of DHS, the NSA) was created to do (Coordinate other agencies in the spy game).

    Now, see, my critique in #29 was in the nature of a joke related to the constant drumbeat from the left about how it’s all the fault of the last guy.

    BHO had FULL CONTROL for TWO YEARS. Congress, Senate, and Barack. Legislation, executive orders, all able to be steamrolled through by a pliant congress at the behest of their Messiah (and the attitude, from outside the Party, was percieved as just exactly that.)

    The excuse that “The last guy did it” works for about a year. AFter that, it’s an admission of enervation and disorder, of Impotence.

    When Harry Truman said “The buck stops here” he was referring specifically to the fact that the Responsiblity and ACCOUNTABILITY of the office demands that a President will, when necessary, take the blame in addition to the credit, even if a problem originates on the lower levels, and that he or she will take the steps necessary to correct problems, even if they’re caused by someone on lower levels, or previous occupants of the job.

    Obama is no Harry Truman. He’s barely a James Buchanan.

    Fact: He’s not doing what he MUST do, to be effective. The first step, would be to stop trying to pass the buck. Second would be to actually LEAD. BHO has the Senate in his pocket-still. 2/3 beats 1/3 more often than not, and there are enough establishment moderates who’re terrified of the Teaparty people in the GOP, that he could probably, with the injection of LEADERSHIP, win more than he loses in the House, too.

  • Of course I’d appreciate it if you’d fix the typo and spell it “speech”…

  • Cannon you’re implying that Bush’s financial disaster with the stockmarket and the banks could be cleared up in one year??? What ARE you smoking (and will you share?)

    While the democrats had control of congress, they didn’t have enough of a majority to override fillibusters and other obsstructional bullshit… but of course you know that.

    It still all comes down to complaining about Oboma not pulling Bush’s car out of the ditch fast enough… especially with the GOP standing on the side and refusing to help him, all the time heckling.

    Obama may have low poll numbers, but the congress’ is even lower. Lest you forget the American voter has an insanely short attention span and the President has a whole year to fix things before the election.

  • PS sorry for the delay in replying-I’m not getting e-mails when comments are being posted for some reason…

    anyone else having the same problem?

  • jamminsue

    #37, done, #33, thank you. I put your science page address with it

  • Cannonshop

    #38 no, Jet, but considering that BHO’s main strategem was to replicate what Bush did-only cranked to 11, ‘clearing it up’ becomes impossible in less than 10 years.

    Obama’s flaw on economic policy spelled out for you:

    He copied what Bush did, with a supercharger, then blamed Bush for the lack of positive results.

    Get it? If he’d been trying to do something DIFFERENT, that would BE different. He didn’t-so blaming the previous occupant doesn’t make sense. Bush’s whole response to the Stock Market collapse and the Housing mess, was to pump up the spending-and it failed.

    BHO bought off on it under Bush (during the election year, no less), then cranked the volume to 11 (spinal-tap style). That makes it HIS mess.

    If he’d opposed the first one, or didn’t do the second one (instead, doing, y’know, something ELSE) then he’d have grounds to criticize-once. More than once, and you’re admitting impotence.

  • Cannonshop

    And just to be really, really clear-our currency is based on confidence IN the currency-or ‘faith’ in the Government, if you want to phrase it differently.

    Admitting Impotence is NOT how you fix the confidence problem. it doesnt’ work in war, in construction, or on the factory floor. I guess it might work in ivory-tower-land, but that’s a realm segregated from reality.

  • Which flavor kool-ade are you drinking exactly?

  • Indeed, BHO is going to go down in history as victim of circumstances, not exactly the kind of legacy any president would care for. Is that how you envisage the eulogy on this tomb, Jet? If not, then why are you arguing to that effect?

    Obama surrounding himself with the Wall Street clique, the same clique that’s been parasitic on previous administrations, was as good as a guarantee that the fiscal policies would be continue unchanged. So no, I don’t buy neither his excuses nor your car-ditch analogy. The man wasn’t qualified for the office of the presidency and the past three years is the living proof. His strong suit, he’s an excellent campaigner, but insofar as his campaign promises are concerned and his performance in office, he’s been the greatest disappointment. “Fraud” is a better term.
    The American people have been sold a bill of goods.

    If black radicals like Cornell West openly criticize Obama and support an alternative candidate to run on the democratic ticket, it tells me something, and it should tell something to you too.

  • He’s doing the best he can with what he’s been handed… he’s doing better than you ever could, or Cannon or any of his detractors.

    I wish time could be turned back and America could see how President McCain would’ve handled this crisis with the valuable assist of Vice President Palin…

    Then we’d all be on our knees thanking god Obama’s in the White House.

    What was this article about again?

  • zingzing

    cannonshop, does reality have anything to do with your view of the world? bush was undoubtably president* when the economy got fucked up. it was tanking hard when obama entered office. since that point, it has actually steadily improved, although not fast enough. technically, we aren’t in a recession and haven’t been in one since the middle of ’09. the bailout worked. bush’s didn’t do the trick because it wasn’t big enough.

    now, we may dip back into another recession. if we do, THAT ONE would be on obama’s watch, even though there’s only so much a president (or the gov’t) can do about the economy.

    *see what i did there? it is, however, easier for a president to mess up the economy than fix it. destroying confidence is pretty easy. fixing it is not. economic policies from way back are as much to blame as anyone. the real culprit is the american banker and the american consumer (i mean dupe).

    if all you want to do is blame obama, you’re never going to solve the problem. it won’t go away if he does, and the next president isn’t going to possess a magic wand to make everything better.

    get to the real source of the problem and stop making yourself look like a fool.

  • Cannonshop

    #43 Jet, I don’t drink Kool-aid, I drink coffee, picked under horrific conditions by peasant labor in third-world-hellholes on plantations owned by multinationals which, in turn, are owned by the super-rich who pay no taxes.

    but it doesn’t invalidate my point-BHO surrounded himself with, if not teh exact same people Bush did, people who might be the envious little brothers of the people Bush surrounded himself with, and their policies are basically the same, with the same results, so giving him a pass for that is, frankly, kinda spineless.

    I don’t give Bush a pass, why should I give BHO a pass?

    Why should ANYONE give him a pass? because, what, he’s a Harvard grad instead of Yale? because his skin is darker? That would be like giving Bush a pass because his skin is lighter, which is not a go at ANY station.

    Divorce yourself from party loyalty and LOOK AT WHAT THEY DO-then, the sluggish economy starts to make more sense.

    Bush had Halliburton, Obama has Solyndra. Both of them spent money we don’t have to ‘stimulate’ an economy by paying off their big political backers, neither was successful in either halting (or slowing) the damage, and it could be argued (correctly, imho) that doing so only extended the damage and made it worse (with the power of compound interest).

    The only difference in toto between their programmes, is that Obama wants to raise taxes on people he disapproves of, and bush didn’t.

    that’s it. there’s your entire difference in policy. It’s made of fail, but stamped with the approval of guys like Krugman and Bernanke.

  • “… he’s doing better than you ever could, or Cannon or any of his detractors.”

    And your basis for saying so is …

  • You can’t call him Obama or the president can you Cannon? There’s that psychological thrill you get every time you type that capital H to make sure everyone knows his middle name is Hussein.

    We hate Hussein-never let anyone forget that right. I mean it’s not line JFK or LBG or even the simple “W”. It tells me a lot about how your mind works…

  • Roger I presume you’re implying that you’re arrogant enough to say you can?

    Better check the balance on your mental debit card my friend.

  • The coolaid is imported from Guyana, sorry you didn’t get the reference…

  • Cannonshop

    #48 his basis is that I’m not a Harvard grad who reinvented himself in the bare-knuckle world of Chicago/cook county politics, and that I have enough ‘character building experiences’ that I’d never survive the press anal-exam of running for office.

    And I look at things like a Mechanic, instead of a Grad Student.

    all of which may be true, but underscores the impotence of his hero Obama, who did all those things, and yet has governed on autopilot from the direction of the previous administration.

    With predictable results-if it didn’t work under Bush, the same policy won’t work under a Democrat-it’s not Party Affiliation or the name on the paper that makes a policy work, it’s the POLICY itself-it either works, or it doesn’t, and no amount of excuse-making or blamethrowing is going to MAKE it work.

    Bailout/Stimulus plans failed under Bush for eight years. Not just the last three when things hit critical mass, but the preceding five when things were circling the drain.

    (has everyone forgotten about the three hundered dollar ‘stimulus’ cheques?? fixed not a damn thing, did they?)

    ADDING to the burdens and expenses isn’t helping, a lesson that nobody seems to be getting in the mainstream Left or Right. Rewarding malinvestments isn’t working either-and didn’t work under Bush. But it HAS helped the Wallstreeters who infested both administrations-to an extent-but not an extent that reaches from Wallstreet to Mainstreet.

    and the problem sits on MAINSTREET, not Wallstreet, so solutions at the latter, while popular with Statists, haven’t worked and I would argue will not work, and may, based on prior performance over the last eleven years, actually be HARMFUL.

  • Oh

  • @51

    I’m far from any wonder that ever walked the face of this earth, but then again, it doesn’t take arrogance to say one could do better than the present occupant.

    Lots of people could, so count me in that number.

  • Cannonshop

    #49 I’ll call him “The President” when he starts ACTING like he’s the President, instead of some guy sitting in the office for a while while the real guy’s out to lunch.

    President…Chief Executive, top banana, boss, leader, the guy IN CHARGE, the guy who is RESPONSIBLE for the outcomes, the guy who fires people for non-performance and hires people to get things done.

    When Barack Obama stops acting like the helpless victim, and starts acting like he can Lead, starts formulating his OWN policy instead of continuing the failures of his predecessors, I’ll call him “The President”-because at that point, he will finally be doing his stinking job.

  • zingzing

    “that’s it. there’s your entire difference in policy.”

    come on, cannonshop. stand back for a moment and look upon your deep, deep ignorance. or maybe it’s just lies you tell yourself. do you really think we’re still careening off the cliff at the speed we were when obama took office? if you do, you aren’t even bothering to famliarize yourself with the facts. i don’t know why you bother to make up such blatant falsehoods. they’re see-through. it’s pathetic. if you were to use facts instead of rhetoric, that would be helpful.

    “The only difference in toto between their programmes, is that Obama wants to raise taxes on people he disapproves of, and bush didn’t.”

    huh. just that simple eh? and you know, you could also put that as bush wanted to give rich people (like himself) an economy-destroying boon, while obama didn’t see that as a good idea and wants to take that boon back. look at the real cost of bush’s tax breaks for the wealthy.

    and learn how to spell “program” like a good american. you are a sleeper agent. i just can’t figure out why the british would do it… hrm… given your proximity to canada, maybe it’s the canucks… how many loonies are they paying you, cannonshop? HOW MANY!?

  • @ 52

    Jet must suffer then from being overly impressed with Harvard or any other Ivy League school. Lest you forget, Jet, GW was also an Ivy-leaguer, so what does that tell you?

    If you tried to think for yourself rather than hiding behind other people’s degrees, we’d have a far more productive conversation.

  • Cannonshop

    #56 and zing flies right past the point again.


    If you think, that’s the case, you obviously weren’t paying attention to those in Congress during that time.

  • Cannonshop

    #59 He had a pass from the press, and a party that worshipped him-and that party had both houses of Congress-with supermajority power.

    That makes it a double-fail, with popular support, a party that loves him, an unquestioning press support, he was unable to control his own partisans? makes him look even WEAKER.

  • Cannonshop

    #57 Roger, that’s not nice. Zing’s doing the best he can to keep up, being uncharitable is…uncharitable.

    and we don’t want to be mean-spirited, do we?

    (well, maybe I do, but you’re usually on a higher moral plane than I am, or at least, not as nasty as I am…)

  • Cannon when the man is saddled with a congress sworn to defeat every single thing he tries to do for this country?

    “…every loyal Republican in Congress is charged with only one important and sacred duty; To make absolutely sure that this President accomplishes little or nothing during this term.”

  • Cannonshop

    #62 then he’s in the same position that Bill Clinton was in in 1994-the result of which was that Bill Clinton was successful and presided over the only reduction in deficit or debt in hte last thirty years.

  • Cannonshop

    #62 (continued) Not to mention ‘good times’ economically. and Clinton’s congress was trying to get him IMPEACHED!

  • Why didn’t the stimulus work? That’s easy, but no one wants to admit it, but here goes.

    When Bush cut taxes on all those corporations it was because he was stupid enough to believe that those greedy rich men would use the extra money to create jobs and factories for the middle class.

    Instead the sonofabitches put the money in their pockets and off-shore bank accounts and walked away laughing their greedy asses off.

    Obama gave each of us $300 (because congress wouldn’t give him more) and he was stupid enough to think we’d go out and use it to build the economy by buying stuff so jobs would be created when the stores needed to restock the shelves-supply and demand.

    Instead the American people were so fearful of the lousy economy that the Republicans created in 2006-2008 that instead they too put the money in their pockets and walked away worried… then spent it on 6 tanks of gas to get back and forth to the job they were about to be laid off from.

    Here’s one for you…
    The next time a teabagger demands that the government cut something to fund something else. tell them to demand that a co-worker take a paycut to fund his raise.

    Here’s another
    When the Stock Market zoomed from the 8000s up to the 14,000s under Obama every GOP asshole said the stock market doesn’t mean anything. Now that it’s fallen back 4000 points all of the sudden it’s Obama’s fault.

    Can you say hypocrite boys and girls… I knew you could.

  • 60-your so-called super-majority included a bunch of “Conservative Democrats” that wouldn’t support Obama if their lives depended on it, claiming they were supporting the morals of their constituants.

    There was never a majority in congress big enough for Obama to accomplish anything… that’s why a lot of people voted dems out in ’10 because they blamed all of them for not supporting the president instead of blaming the “conservative” democrats that fucked with and deterred every thing Obama tried to do.

  • 64-for getting a blowjob and lying to his wife about it-basically because they couldn’t prove the Whitewater bullshit-especially since the whole country knew it was bullshit, set up by a GOP hired bitch that encouraged the whore to make a bigger thing out of it than there was.

  • I have no quarrel with zing, Cannon, though he knows he’s skating on thin ice. I’ll dive in and rescue him when it melts, and Jet too.

    I’ll just never buy the argument that a person who presumably holds greater power than any man alive is a victim of circumstances, not the idea that the party opposite had sworn that he should fail from day one.

    To claim that is to claim that they’re all racist, that they’re motivated solely by that fact that he happens to be an African-American, that if he were white, he’d be a greater success.

    Sorry, this proposition I’m not ready to accept.

  • Cannonshop

    #68 But Roger, Jet and Zing DO accept it, unquestioningly, in the face of evidence to the contrary, because it is an article of their faith.

    In a way, it’s like trying to explain the inconsistencies in the bible to a Fundie. You’re never going to do it successfully.

    They will continue to obsess on their faith.

    I mean, c’mon now. look at the excuse-making. I pointed out that Bill Clinton had the Congress gunning after him ACTIVELY and managed to pull off one of the better (economically) terms of office of any president in the last forty years-and this is coming off George Sr.’s mismanaged term which saw everything we just went through (but for the first time) including the bank failures, tanking stock-markets, foreign wars, and political blundering.

    That Barack Obama can’t do as well, or better than, Bill Clinton should be kind of a thing to notice-Bill had a deep anal exam against him going from day one, AND federal law enforcement blunders that included the fiasco at Waco. He didn’t sit and pule an whine about how nobody was being nice to him, he did his damn job and it worked.

    I didn’t like Clinton, but I can’t say he ever sat back and played the victim. B.H.O. and his supporters have no other card to play, but victim.

  • zingzing

    roger: “a person who presumably holds greater power than any man alive…”

    well, he’s no dictator. so in his sphere of influence, he does have that handicap.

    cannon: “and zing flies right past the point again.”

    if i missed it, maybe you could enlighten me. like it or not, the economy did improve after obama came into office. that it’s going downhill (maybe) again has a lot to do with a) europe and b) teabaggers causing our credit to be downgraded. obama hasn’t been creative enough, and he’s not forced his will upon congress. if he had done that, you’d be calling him a dictator again (remember those days?).

    but what was your point?

    the point may be to cry “doom! doom!” in order to win an election. investor confidence, is, as i think you said above, the real thing at issue here. yet the gop wants everyone to run screaming to the hills as their economy collapses around them. why? to win an election.

    it would be interesting to look at the relative state of the economy on a timeline showing when obama came into office and when the teabaggers came into office… and i wonder what you’d do with that information if it showed you something you didn’t want to see…

  • zingzing

    “Zing’s doing the best he can to keep up…”

    i’ll admit it’s pretty hard when you’re making stuff up off the top of your head. you improvise nonsense quite well.

  • When the hell did I say anything about Obama’s race? Assuming that shows how stupid you really are

  • zingzing

    “But Roger, Jet and Zing DO accept it, unquestioningly, in the face of evidence to the contrary, because it is an article of their faith.”

    cannon, did the economy improve (even if that means that it stopped going downhill so fast) after obama took office? yes or no. do you know? if yes, you need to reexamine your faith, which i think is probably stronger than mine.

  • Banks used to charge an average fee of 44¢, but are now limited to a maximum of only 21¢. This is expected to cost the banking industry billions of dollars. The Federal Reserve introduced the cap this summer, which many financial institutions opposed.

    The caps may reduce revenue at U.S. banks by $8 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg Government show. As a result, consumers and merchants will face new fees in different areas. According to news reports, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., the largest consumer payment networks, said they plan to raise debit card fees charged for small-ticket purchases to the full amount allowed under new rules.

    Bank of America announced on Sept. 29 that it will begin charging a monthly fee at the beginning of next year to customers who make debit card purchases. Whether they make one purchase with their cards or 20, BofA debit card users will pay $5 a month. They will not be assessed a fee if they don’t use their cards for debit purchases, and there will be no new charges for ATM usage.

  • You didn’t say it, Jet, but there is no other explanation why they, each and every one of them, would be against Obama (more so than any other president future or past). You need a claim this strong to be able to account for his performance. And since you do, racism is the only thing that can do it for you. It’s implicit.

    If you want to dissociate yourself from making this kind of implication, ameliorate your original claim. Calling me stupid is not going to cut it.

  • All right you’ve been learning political history from Texas Taliban altered texts.

  • And in any case, the present scheme by the banks is happening under your guy’s watch. I can understand your rage against banks, but banks will be banks, unless you were born yesterday.

    If anything, you should address your complaint to the guy in charge. This I could understand. But your bitching and mourning about Wall Street sharks for behaving exactly like they’re expected to while holding the present administration impotent and incapable of doing anything about it — is not only misdirected. I can’t really identify with it.

  • Of course you don’t… that went without saying

  • Jet, until you realize that both business and the government are against the people, we’ll never be on the same page.

    This is the reality you have yet to accept

  • Fortunately what is “reality” is not such simply because you pronounce it so my dear boy

  • Jet, if the point of your article is that banks will be banks, then what’s the point?
    I should think everybody here is pretty much aware of it.

    But I don’t think that’s your real point. Your real point must be that the Republicans bear all the blame and the Democrats none of the responsibility.

    Isn’t that really what it’s all about, Jet?

  • Cannonshop

    #73 in the aggregate, Zing, NO, it did not. there are always bubbles in a collapse-the recessions of the late Bush1 period had ‘upticks’ too-including then-record stock market days, hell, the Great Depression of the 1930’s had upticks-but the upticks, while heralded always as “Signs of recovery” have failed to be signs of recovery, just as similar upticks failed in the past. The economy is stagnant and losing ground, and has been since the last year of Bush II’s term in office. New job creation, has not matched the decline of the workforce, it’s lagged far behind, the temporary bumps in unemployment have more to do with people dropping off the Unemployment rolls when their benefits run out, than people finding or creating work.

    The financial wreck may hit bottom soon-or it may find another precipice to drop off of, but it has NOT IMPROVED. (Dept. of Labor media-make-believe put aside.)

  • Arch Conservative

    “Jet, until you realize that both business and the government are against the people, we’ll never be on the same page”

    From your lips to god’s ears Roger.

    There are too many one dimensional Americans these days. Democrats good, Republicans bad and the vice versa is unfortunately the sad extent of their analytical prowess. Individuals such as Jet and Glenn happen to be the poster boys for this phenomena right here at home on BC.

    However there is a distinction between the government being “against the people” and business being “against the people.” We all know that a businesses sole purpose for existing is to make a profit. It’s not advance the good of the majority of the population or to be the nice guy on the block and for the most part we don’t see business leaders claiming to be altruistic bastions of morality doing the will of the people.

    Government on the other hand, in theory at least, IS supposed to act for the betterment of the population. Every politician and his uncle Louie would swear up an down on a stack of bibles (stack of quarans for pitifully politically correct crowd) that everything he or she does is first and foremost an attempt to make life better for the average American as if we’re more likely to believe what they say than our lying eyes that tell us everything they do is to advance their own political career.

    To be certain both business and government have had a hand in bringing about the absolutely cheery, rosy economy that we all enjoy. However while I may find it objectionable that some douchebag I have never heard of who is the CEO of some company I have never heard of runs that company into the ground and walks away with 20 million dollars, I find it much more objectionable when I see the same politician on TV for the ten thousandth time looking me straight in the eye and lying as he/she tells me how much he /she cares about me and my fellow citizens all the while he/she has been taking money from ten of those douchebag CEOs and fifty other special interest groups and doing their bidding.

  • Insightful comment, Archie. I’d call it “privatization of the government.” But it was so from the very inception. Just as our Founding Fathers represented the plantation owners at the time, it’s no different with today’s politicians, and party-line divisions are but an illusion.

  • troll

    … but that’s probably going to end up being more of an annoyance to bofa’s customers than anything else.

    one never knows and can only do what he can to have an affect on the ‘zeitgeist’ or whatever you want to call it

    so – come on down to occupy albuquerque…we’ve occupied territory at the corner of University and Central in solidarity w/ the worldwide occupy movement and are in the beginning stages of working out our approach to direct democratic decision making

  • exactly, one never knows …

    Who would have thought the Arab Spring would ever revisit the land of the free and the brave?

  • jamminsue

    “Arab Spring,” which is a silly name to use, as what’s happening has been part of the US much longer. Whatever you call it, it is here because too many people now know they are being permanently squeezed into the poor group. They have to tell their kids can’t do as well as they did, and will never approach what their grandparents managed to accumulate.

  • troll

    jamminsue – we can look at our moment as a chance to re-evaluate the merits of our system of accumulation…not necessarily a bad thing that our traditional path to ‘happiness’ is blocked

  • In fact, it presents us with the opportunity (as every crisis ought to).

  • Arch Conservative

    “party-line divisions are but an illusion.”

    While that may be true Roger it’s not true that the dividing lines between differing ideologies and sociopolitical philosophies is an illusion. Those are very, very real. It’s why my moniker is “Arch Conservative” and not “Arch Republican.” As a general rule I do not despise all Democrats, just all those who who subscribe the perverse, degenerate ideology known as “progresivism.”

  • Arch Conservative

    Oh and what the hell is “Arab Spring?” A new soap along the lines of Irish Spring?

  • Yes, Archie, the differences you are alluding to a real indeed. As to your #91, I suppose it’s a kind of soap with a bit of hash thrown in for good measure.

    Like Eddie Adams used to say, you ought to smoke it sometime.

  • Arch, I used the example of Netflix and their apparent financial suicide to illustrate that people are going to be fleeing these banks in droves. The other banks will hold off as long as possible until they’ve netter BoA’s customers before they’re forced to impose their own fees.

    This has nothing to do with politics-it’s bad business

  • 91-Roger Arch only knows what something is if it’s been featured on Fox News-you should know that by now

  • Arch and his ilk and me and mine are like flying buttresses holding up a building. We’re bothe pushing BC from our respective sides… if one of us walked away the building would fall down

  • @94

    I have no idea, Jet, where Archie gets his news from, but I presume his #91 was in jest.

    (I may be wrong, of course.)

  • 700 arrested after protest on NY’s Brooklyn Bridge

    NEW YORK – Protesters speaking out against corporate greed and other grievances were maintaining a presence in Manhattan’s Financial District even after more than 700 of them were arrested during a march on the Brooklyn Bridge in a tense confrontation with police.

    The group Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in a plaza in Manhattan’s Financial District for nearly two weeks staging various marches, and had orchestrated an impromptu trek to Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. They walked in thick rows on the sidewalk up to the bridge, where some demonstrators spilled onto the roadway after being told to stay on the pedestrian pathway, police said.

  • zingzing

    archie mostly seems to pick his facts from his ass, so i’d look there first, jet. and then recoil! recoil! the horrors within!

  • Here’s the link to a NYT article on the subject, along with the video.

    The question of the moment, however — where was zing at the time?

  • @98

    Is this a concerted effort to trivialize Archie (reminiscent of the Moonraven fiasco as per Kurtz’s recent narrative)?

  • Roger’s been drinking Koolade too?

  • Why?

    Because I made note of your participation in the effort?

  • zingzing

    “Is this a concerted effort to trivialize Archie (reminiscent of the Moonraven fiasco as per Kurtz’s recent narrative)?”

    archie does that just fine himself. and kurtz’ “narrative” was something of just that. his cherry-picking was a bit outrageous on that one.

    “where was zing at the time?”

    probably working.

  • Damn it Zing, if you’re going to involve me in a conspiracy at LEAST send me a memo so I can get all dressed up… or undressed as the case may be.

  • Arch Conservative

    “This has nothing to do with politics-it’s bad business”

    Really? I kind of got the impression that you thought it was about politics when your created the post in the politics section and then discussed politics in your article.

    “I have no idea, Jet, where Archie gets his news from, but I presume his #91 was in jest.”

    Of course #91 was in jest. I thought that was obvious. As for watching Fox news…..I’d venture that I watch far less of Fox News than Zing, Glenn, and Jet watch of MSNBC and we all know that MSNBC is to objectivity what Paris Hilton is to mankind’s quest to colonize space. I don’t watch much Fox news at all. Rather I watch the local New Hampshire news and if I’m online I often checkout the drudge report, infowars.com, prisonplanet.com, lewrockwell.com and other such sites.

    Moonraven? There’s a blast from the past. Wasn’t she BCs own resident expert on obscure South American political figures that no one gives a damn about?

  • zingzing

    jet, the perfect conspiracy is the one in which the principle players remain ignorant of their roles. you’re just a puppet.

    archie: “I’d venture that I watch far less of Fox News than Zing, Glenn, and Jet watch of MSNBC…”

    actually, i watch more fox news than i do msnbc. don’t own a television. but fox news has enough bits that go viral for being so silly… i probably see 10x as much fox as i do msnbc.

    i also tend to read the ny post (a murdoch rag). my straight news i mainly gather from cnn. i actually tend to avoid stuff that’s too slanted to the left. huffpo is a no-go.

    so there goes archie’s latest theory. (at least on me.)

    “Wasn’t she BCs own resident expert on obscure South American political figures that no one gives a damn about?”

    and on calling everyone racist and misogynistic. all white people are genocidal racists that live in gringoland, apparently.

  • My carrier doesn’t run MSNBC in its basic service so I’ve never watched Arch-never assume

  • I find it helarious that the Key Word finder is displaying bank ads just below the “There I said it” banner.

    How about doing BC and me a favor and click on a few?

  • “Is this a concerted effort to trivialize Archie?”

    You mean like his effort to trivialize Jet and Glenn, ironically unaware of his own lack of dimension?

    “(reminiscent of the Moonraven fiasco as per Kurtz’s recent narrative)”

    I enjoyed Moonraven’s antics, but surely you of all people, Roger, know you can’t trust everything Alan writes. No surprise whose side he took with his agenda.

  • bru-ha-ha-ha he bellowed twisting his mustache and grinning evilly

  • soon I will draw you all into my e-ville coven! {:^pbpbpbpbp~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I think that’s the first comment that I’ve ever had deleted….

    And Archie – I don’t watch MSNBC at all – they’re not even available on the DirecTV package I have. Just another one of your assumptions about us raving liberals….

  • @109

    I’m aware it’s one-sided, LB, but he makes a convincing case.

  • That’s not hard to do when you pick and choose the evidence.

  • zingzing

    roger, read the “annotated” versions, so you can go see the context. it’s amazing he decided to provide “annotated” versions, as a simple reading will show you he’s ignoring a lot of moon’s more reprehensible characteristics and he’s also ignoring qualifying statements that totally change the meaning of his “case.”

    i don’t believe you were around for moon’s first bowel movement around here. she was an insult machine. even people that agreed with her in some ways would get insults and accusations of racism (based on the fact that the commenter was white, and nothing else).

    i don’t like it when anyone gets banned (except irv from kurtz’s site, which is just hilarious). but she was pretty annoying. when she wasn’t totally fun. i don’t think i’ve ever “met” a more ridiculous woman.

  • Will do, zing.

  • @103

    Why no comment on #occupywallstreet, zing? Cat got your tongue?

  • zingzing

    this is the first day i’ve had either off or to myself in nearly three weeks. just started two new jobs (i have five now… ugh) and have been rather haggled. on my days off, i’ve gone to two funerals, and on my next day off, i’ll be leaving town.

    i’m sorry, this thing has happened at the wrong time for me.

    but as far as what i’ve seen, the police have displayed both ridiculous idiocy (that tony guy ought to be put on trial) and their usual amount of bullying along with probably less-reported moments of good policing.

    the protesters haven’t really gotten their message (other than that they don’t like wall street) out there in any real way. i’m still not sure quite what they’re after. or at least it’s too vague. i’m not going to decide whose fault that is. i have no idea. but it hasn’t gotten through to me, and that’s a problem.

    i like being busy, but this month is threatening to give me an ulcer as it is.

  • Igor

    It should be clear to the dullest wit that the banks are an oligopoly and that we have no refuge from their malevolent rule. Of course, they´ve privatized the federal government which now acts to dragoon Americans into indentured servitude for the banks and acts as their bill-collector.

    If you don´t like BofA, how do you signup with the competition? There is no competition. They´re all the same and they arrive at fee schedules and design the latest ripoff in monopoly board meetings where they can apply their latest ripoff across the board.

    I used to have hopes for the Credit Unions but now they´re wired into the same oligopoly.

    If we´re to have any hope perhaps there´s some in state-chartered banks instead of federally chartered banks.

    The cash economy is being hemmed in by government/bank spying and permitting at transition points, like these wire-rack debit cards which now require the buyer to register with the feds/banks before actually using the damn things.

    Orwells dystopia is being actually implemented, but not by the damn commies but rather by the capitalists. And it looks like they are at least as evil as the commies.

  • zingzing

    and yes, i have read the “manifesto” you posted to that thread. many of the grievances i agree with, but many i find pretty vague and/or petty. it looks like it was put together by a committee of people with various complaints. i dunno whether they’re really going after wall street practices or big business in general.

    now i don’t particularly like either, as wall street practices are the real culprit behind our economic downturn, and given the bloomberg article that came out today, i think big business can go to hell.

    but please. student debt? yes, it would be great if it was forgiven. but i dunno. you should have gotten grants. animal rights? how is all of this connected? it just seems like a big, blunt bunch of complaints.

    yes, big business/wall street will be subjected to their complaints. but why on earth would they listen?

    i’m glad these complaints (not that most people know the specifics) are out there. but they never haven’t been. and the specific complaints aren’t getting vocalized at this point, only the vague anger at a general target.

  • @ 118

    Well, zing, I hope it grows on you. I posted all the relevant links on Jordan’s thread, so you may look at them at will — including some of the analyses of the movement.

    What’s that with “keeping busy”? That’s not the picture I have of you.

  • Didn’t see your last comment while I posted nine. Anyway, some people argue that’s the strength — no specific demands. Once demands are made and met, things tend to stabilize and everybody goes about their business. I’d rather like the idea of keeping the revolutionary spirit up and in the air — a heck of a change of pace from the present stagnation in both our do-nothing houses, pox be on them.

    You haven’t lived through the sixties, but what’s happening right now is similar in tone — people are just being fed up with America and what it had become, and conventional channels of dissent are longer workable. So yes, I’m glad there’s a whole lot of shaking going on, because we desperately need it,

    So yes, in addition to grievances against politics as usual and corrupt business practices with respect to which our government turn a blind eye, I see is as a counter-culture movement by and large, against a culture that has become contaminated by greed and corruption in both business and the government.


  • Maurice

    I use USbank and I am amazed there is no charge for the Bill Pay. No doubt it is coming.

  • zingzing

    “What’s that with “keeping busy”? That’s not the picture I have of you.”

    heh. well, generally, i don’t work a lot of hours, but i make a lot of money during those few hours that i do work. these last several weeks have been more full of those types of hours. bidness be growing, and growing in ways that i like (ie–making money from music-related activities). i can’t keep up this amount of work, but if i did, i’d be a candidate for fucking becoming a republican. god bless my laziness, eh?

    “You haven’t lived through the sixties, but what’s happening right now is similar in tone…”

    tone, yes. but they had specific goals in the 60s. civil rights and anti-war are both targeted and admirable. there’s no focus here. or at least none, again, that has been communicated to the public. there’s no figureheads who can speak to the public and get them whipped up. where are those people?

  • For some folks, animal rights activism is the first step away from apathy or away from defeated resignation of the status quo. It doesn’t have to be radical — it can take the form of encouraging REDUCED consumption of meat, or suggesting humanely-run Temple Grandin-style animal husbandry, or publicizing cosmetics companies that don’t test on animals. It’s part of a world-view of kindness and life-affirmation that has significant overlap with that of human rights activists and liberty people (the ones who have a heart.)

    Animal rights activists already have an awareness of the soullessness of some big businesses — they’re already used to activism and they add to the synergy of people trying to get the attention of big business for other reasons.

    The attention doesn’t have to be adversarial (though sometimes with the real sociopaths at the top, it has to be). The activism might encourage people in the system to get back in touch with their consciences, or to get up the courage to be whistle-blowers, or to make changes within the systems they understand, within networks of like-minded people that might be forming even now.

    PS Hope your baby nephew is OK? PS Hi Roger. Am busy myself, just poppin’ in twixt chores.

  • “to” the status quo, not “of.” I’m sure there are other mistakes…I’ll just let it go.

  • Dang, I hate it when I turn the comments page with such a trivial comment. Sorry everybody. goodbye.

  • troll

    zing – we have learned from examples in Argentina Mexico Spain Egypt etc that consensus takes time sometimes…if an #occupy rushes it I’d be concerned that not every viewpoint was sought heard and considered

    as the chant goes – this is what democracy looks like

  • troll

    btw – a personal observation is that the occupy movement is attracting some of the best of the teaparty types – those who stand for community and don’t give a hoot about gender-id or religious pref and the like

    as someone at Liberty Square tweeted earlier today – we are beyond the republican democrat conflict now

    I don’t know if the time is ripe for real change – time will tell – but it’s certainly worth the effort

  • zingzing

    if that was aimed at me, irene, i love my meats, but i do sympathize with animal rights in every way. i’m a cat lover, #1, and experimenting upon animals is cruel in many ways. if it’s for science, i’m ambivalent… i don’t know quite where i land on that question. if it’s for commercial purposes, i’m against it.

    as for the baby nephew, if that was also for me, that’s why i’m going out of town next weekend. that and a james blake concert. bass heaven! and yes, he is ok. off the apnea monitor and doing well.

  • zingzing

    ugh. well. #130 was for #125.

    troll, i’m perfectly for the sentiments of the occupywallstreet group as it goes. i’m just not sure i want to become a part of it yet.

    i do like a good riot, however. and if it comes to that… well, i’ll get in touch with my 20-year-old self and we’ll go over it.

  • troll

    zing – I din’t mean to be pushing you…I only meant that it’s worth the effort to me

    with luck further police riots will be avoided

  • zingzing

    well and good, troll. i agree with them on many levels, including the method. but i can’t find the point yet.

    antagonizing? great. but for what purpose? there’s nothing out there that defines their point of view. (and i don’t think there will be, but that may come.) once they have something that a person like me can latch onto and believe in, you know i’ll get my ass down there.

    at this point, however, it’s just a protest against something. i can get behind it, but i won’t get arrested over it.

  • Troll LOOKS like a baby nephew! (and has good taste in tea party types.)

    My daughter is a vegan. I’m still buying groceries for a football player who has no time for his sister’s nonsense and for his dad who likes to hunt. It would be very difficult for me to give up lamb, which are like…baby animals.

    So, I’m not even close to being a vegetarian, but I don’t think all PETA people are nuts, the way I used to.

    The PETA website has some thought-provoking material on the human rights aspects of going vegan. They’re getting harder and harder for me to dismiss as throwers-of-paint-on-mink-stoles.

    As for make-up, it’s so easy to find inexpensive cruelty free cosmetics that it’s really no sacrifice to go that route.

  • All right that does it… 5 sane comments in a row??? You’re trying to scare me-right?

  • I had to jinx myself did’t I?

  • 29 days til Halloween.

  • As for focus of movements like this, troll alluded to it. It’s about community. People are coming together, expressing their best selves, finding common ground, and then deciding what to go after.

    At this stage of the game, #wallstreet may be primarily more about building coalitions and getting people ready to work for change TOGETHER, instead of splitting into ineffective warring camps.

  • zingzing

    irene, your last paragraph is probably true. i hope so, anyway. or let’s hope so.

    that’s a good point. and i hope it continues, if that’s the overriding sentiment behind it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cruelty to animals?

    I remember reading a story back in the early 1980’s how someone had discovered that whenever a tree is cut down, there was a spike in certain high frequencies – whether of sound or of electromagnetic origin, I can’t remember. But the premise of the story made it plain that the author thought that the high frequency was a sort of scream. I’ve never been able to find that story since, perhaps because it was junk science or perhaps because the forestry industry wouldn’t want something like that to become common knowledge…but that story begs the question – do plants have awareness? Nobody knows. Many plants turn to face sunlight. A few catch and ‘digest’ insects. No one can say that plants have awareness…but no one can say they don’t, either.

    I hold life as precious. Except for mosquitoes, I normally try to trap insects that I find inside my house and take them outside. Not all the time, of course, but as time and the particular situation allows.

    But where do we draw the line? I mow the grass. I wield the weed-whacker and hedge-trimmer with deadly efficiency. But the only animal I’ve ever intentionally killed was a possum (with a baseball bat).

    So in the final analysis, I think I’m a rank hypocrite when it comes to this matter. I deplore the unnecessary taking of animal life, but I enjoyed a good Wendy’s hamburger earlier today. And I strongly support the right of a woman to have an abortion, but I strongly oppose the death penalty.

    So when it comes my mind on this matter, inconsistency is the only consistency. Time for me to go to bed.

  • We’re with Citibank: no word on debit card fees as yet, but they were kind enough to inform us this week that effective next month, they will begin charging a monthly fee just for the privilege of having an account with them.

    Of course, should we just happen to maintain an aggregate monthly balance of $6000 or more on our checking, savings and money market accounts, this fee will be waived. Well, doesn’t that just want to make you sit down and shit.

    Since my wife and I don’t take kindly to having our money held hostage, we’ll be transferring our balances to our credit union accounts, and making absolutely sure Citi knows why.

  • Trees screaming? No, that was bollocks. Plants don’t have a nervous system the way animals do or even anything remotely analogous to one.

    Plants are aware, though: of the sun, of seasons, of the location of water and food and, often, of predators. And they do react to these things, although their reactions are chemical, not conscious.

  • The theory about trees emitting sounds when cut down alearting others is covered in a book called “The Secret Lives of Plants”

  • 141-What they want DRead is for you to keep you savings in your checking which pays lower or even no interest.

  • Doc, there actually IS something in the tree/plant theory. I remember reading of experiments years ago that showed that plants can distinguish between people who prune them or feed them. It may be chemistry and not a nervous system, but awareness is awareness, so the scream analogy is a reasonable way to explain things in non-technical terms.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Like I said, it may well have been junk science – it probably was. But I am still hesitant to say that plants are not aware. I would say that any awareness is certainly not like our own, not as we understand awareness. But can we categorically state that plants are not aware of sun, of rain, of the change of seasons?

    No, we can’t.

    There was a time when we thought that animals were dumb – but we’ve since found that animals ranging from elephants to blackbirds (and even fish!) use tools and can have distinct personalities.

    Just something to think about the next time you’re having a beer by yourself on a quiet Tuesday afternoon.

  • contribution/ They can tell the difference, and they’re taking down names. /contribution-ended.

  • Um guys? I was only joking when I predicted in the beginning that the comments of this article would somehow wander off to problem wild boa constrictors in southern Florida… it’s getting closer and closer. 🙂

  • Tree consciousness is a system that not only gathers and processes information, but also acts in response to the information gathered to regulate many forces that are present upon the planet. Trees themselves are simply vehicles, conduits for tree concsciouness. Tree roots come in many sizes and shapes that enter into the ground. These roots interact with all of the roots of all of the trees, bushes, grasses and other plants that are near by. They intertwine and embrace each other, some extend very far, some very shallow, but all have roots and the roots all intertwine. They all connect.

    They form a vast network that covers the earth. Indeed, even the deserts have plants that are planted into the sand, and those roots interconnect. And under the ocean the aquatic plants have roots that interconnect. Covering a great deal of the planet, there are roots. These roots are very sensitive. They are continually collecting information about plate tectonics, about the condition of the ground water, about the condition of the soil, the microbes, and all of the things that grow in and under the earth, and the condition and flow of other substances under the earth. Petroleum products, the crude product, the oil, the gas from which we extract petroleum. And all of the other subterranean substances and occurrences – earthquakes, everything that happens below our feet is monitored by the roots. The roots are an integral part of tree consciousness.

    Then there are the tops of the trees, out onto the branches, the limbs, the leaves, the needles. This is another vast interconnected data collecting system about the quality of the air, the substances that make up the air, the ozone, the ozone layer, the sun, the winds. Everything that exists above the ground, that is planted in the ground also collects information. The information that is collected by root, and by branches and leaves is communicated through the trunks of the trees. The trunks of the trees are conduits, channels through which the energy flows and is communicated.

    Tree consciousness is a vast data collection system, an awareness of the condition of many aspects of the planet. Indeed, most aspects of the planet. In addition to being a data collection system, tree consciousness is also a regulatory system. The trees assist in this by responding to the data collected and attempting to regulate the condition of many of these systems. We already know that plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. This is but one way in which the trees (in which tree responds to the needs of the planet – by producing oxygen. The roots also assist in filtering the soil and enriching the soil and in filtering and enriching the ground water. The trees shed their leaves, their needles and enrich the soil as they decompose and become part of the Earth. An example of the regulatory abilities is in times of drought in the Summertime, many trees will shed their leaves prematurely in an effort to conserve water, to keep the water in the soil. The tree will minimize its needs in order to conserve, will respond to the information it is collecting. This tree consciousness is a vast energy. It is essential to the planet. Without this data collection and regulatory system, the planet would not survive.

  • Re:149 Of course if you’re going buy tree spike food for it, don’t use your debit card!

  • But can we categorically state that plants are not aware of sun, of rain, of the change of seasons?

    Um… Glenn, did you actually read my #142?

  • The Secret Life of Plants is so many hundred pages of pseudoscientific hokum.

    Chris, while I agree that “animal” analogies are sometimes helpful when discussing the capabilities of plants, and while there’s a good chance that the average tree is not overjoyed by being cut down, I can’t find anything to support the “electromagnetic spike” theory, or anything to suggest that plants can emit a distress signal anything like as intense as the screams of mammals and birds.

  • Um… when smoked correctly there are plants that scream… trust me on this

  • Um guys? I was only joking when I predicted in the beginning that the comments of this article would somehow wander off to problem wild boa constrictors in southern Florida… it’s getting closer and closer. 🙂

    A bloodcurdling scream shattered the calm of a quiet south Florida neighborhood today. Responding to 911 calls, police and fire crews arrived at the scene to discover that a tree had fallen onto a house, demolishing it. Curled around the branches of the tree was a 20-foot boa constrictor.

    After making a few inquiries, the emergency services personnel were able to determine that the scream had resulted not from the householder realizing that the tree he’d just chopped down was going to land on his house, nor by him catching sight of the alarmingly large snake that he had not hitherto realized was sitting in said tree, but had in fact been emitted by his wife, who at that precise moment had happened to open a letter from Bank of America.

  • @ #153: I wouldn’t know, but I can check with Mrs Dreadful.

  • Dear god… what have I done?

  • “It’s alive… it’s alive!!!”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    A great gaping maw
    Sings the life of mutant greens
    “Feed me now, Seymour!”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    errata – “greens” should have been singular.

  • Either way I’ve got that silly song stuck in my head now… thanks

  • Greg

    Well, of course BofA and all other banks will find ways to make up for their lost revenues. Did anyone really expect them to cheerfully write off their losses and move on? Whoever did expect that probably also believed that retailers will be passing their savings on to their customers. Ever since the Fed cut the debit interchange fees it was obvious to anyone who was paying attention that consumers will end up footing the bill. http://blog.unibulmerchantservices.com/debit-card-fee-limit-lifted-to-24-cents-consumers-will-still-pay-for-it

  • As he veers merrily back on subject, feeling dizzy and yet queazy in the process. Greg doesn’t know how to write a link for an obvious plug, but we’ll forgive him this once.

  • I’d like to take this opportunity to take credit for getting the thread back on topic. And also for ending the recession. Wait, the recession isn’t over? Then strike that. It’s Obama’s fault.

  • Obama brought the thread back on topic?!?

  • clavos


  • …and a mutarre to you to! How are the pythons down your way?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    ah – singular, not plural – thanks, Clavos.

  • clavos

    De nada, Glenn.

  • As big banks try to drive customers from debit cards to credit cards, credit card swipe fee reform is something congress is going to have to take a very close look at.

    With banks now charging their customers more fees to make up for lost revenue from lowered debit-card swipe fees, lawmakers will be too scared to tackle the issue.

    It’d probably be political suicide for a member of Congress to take on credit interchange fees because all of their constituents will probably be slammed soon with the debit card fees.

    Somehow I don’t see financial services companies backing down if credit card interchange fees are threatened.

    This is never going to die. It’s too important for the credit unions and the banks who rely that cash coming in.

    Frankly, when two elephants fight, the grass underfoot gets crushed,.. and we’re the grass