Saturday, August 26, 2006

Governor Richardson Makes Top 10 Most Popular Governors

I would like to see which Governors are held in high regard on a national level. I bet Richardson ranks highly there too. Anyone have a source?

Friday, August 25, 2006

America's Love Affair With Xenophobia Continues

According to this Denver Post article a geography teacher was placed on administrative leave for displaying flags from countries other than the United States.

A geography teacher displaying international flags? Madness!

Where does this guy get off? Doesn't he know that he is emboldening our enemies? Doesn't he get IT? We are fighting a war on terra, and we don't cotton to multiculturalism anymore. That school district provides him with a nice job where he gets paid with American tax dollars and he dares to display flags from other countries and, perhaps most insulting, the UNITED NATIONS in the same room as OLD GLORY?

I bet you an order of FREEDOM FRIES this guy is nothing but a pinko. I bet he voted for Kerry. I bet he thinks Howard Dean is a cool guy.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Greedy Bank Bastards Updates

I knew that there were other people suffering from the same abuses we endured at the hands of Wells Fargo, so I did a little blog search and I found this:

This is a great blog, and a wonderful entry...

Another young man hit hard:

This one is pretty terrible, insult added to injury.

This one reflects not one degree of fault on the part of the customer, and totally useless customer service

Here's MORE

These are just a few of the postings I found in a five minute search of blogs with Wells Fargo and fees in the subject.

We are not alone.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

From Steve Gillard's blog...and I orginally read this on The Liberal Journal (always a fine read)

"My parents live in a gated condo complex in the DC area, and are friendly with the gatehouse guard, a Vietnam vet who served in the Navy Seals and in the Marines. The fellow, who is in his early 60's, was in special units that had lifetime call-up provisions.

Well, now the Marines have called him up. For combat operations. In Fallujah.

So it's come to this. Our nation is now so desparate for recruits that we're not only forcing recent enlistees back for another tour, we are now forcing grandfathers back onto the battlefield?
This is what losing nations do when desperate, what happens when military adventures go so bad that all the healthy soldiers are killed. Maybe next we will be sending 14 year-olds and amputees as well?"

Reading this I thought back to growing up with my dad, an Army, Army Reserve, and finally New Mexico State Defense Force veteran. He was a great man, and every Saturday morning we would sit together and watch Bugs Bunny cartoons and he would polish his Army boots, just to be ready. Anytime there was a skirmish, a coup, a "world situation" that looked like it could blow Dad would get the boots out again and polish them, in the event he would be called up. I remember how silly we thought it was, a man of his age...40, 45, 50...thinking he would be called up to serve in combat, and how we giggled a little bit at his efforts. That thought makes me sad now because we lost him 17 years ago at just 53. Today he would be 70, and I am sure that he would have started polishing his boots like mad on 9/11, but I don't think today I would be giggling, for tomorrow he could be fighting in Fallujah.

Heather Wilson and Dubya

Is there anything else you need to know?
NM 1st District Voters do the right thing.
Vote Madrid for Congress.

New Mexico's 1st Congressional District Update

Latest Poll Shows Madrid, Wilson Locked
Latest Poll Shows Madrid, Wilson Lockedin Dead Heat for CD 1Wilson’s Negative Ad Attacks Having No Impact on Voters’ Choice
Despite more than a month of negative attack ads aimed at Attorney General Patricia Madrid by her opponent, Rep. Heather Wilson, the two candidates remain locked in a dead heat in the race to represent New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, the latest poll shows.
With less than 3 months to go before the November election, the latest district-wide survey of 400 likely voters in the district included a head-to-head ballot that shows the race statistically tied. Madrid wins 44 percent of the vote to 46 percent of the vote for Wilson. Just 10 percent of voters are undecided. In fact, since polling on the race began, Wilson – the incumbent – has never reached 50 percent; Wilson’s numbers have been stagnant.
“Heather Wilson dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into negative attack ads for more than a month,” said Madrid spokeswoman Heather Brewer, “but New Mexico voters are clearly more interested in issues – like gas prices and Medicare Part D – than in mudslinging.”
The poll further found that voters are dissatisfied with the job Wilson is doing in Congress and are looking for change. Just 47 percent of voters are positive about the job Wilson is doing and fully half (50 percent) are negative. Among independent voters, a 57 percent majority believe Wilson is doing either “just a fair job” or a “poor job.”
“New Mexicans are ready for a change,” Brewer said. “New Mexicans have had enough of Heather Wilson’s record of voting lock-step with George Bush on everything from misguided energy policies to the war in Iraq. They are looking for a real independent leader with a record of fighting for New Mexico. Patricia Madrid is that leader.”
President Bush, the poll also found, remains an albatross around Wilson’s neck. Fully six in ten voters (60 percent) are unhappy with the job Bush is doing as President. Just 40 percent are satisfied with his job performance. Among independent voters, two-thirds (67 percent) are negative about Bush’s job performance.
“Heather Wilson’s record is clear: She is not an independent,” Brewer said. “Heather Wilson has voted for every single one of George Bush’s misguided energy policies, every single one of George Bush’s tax breaks for the wealthiest 1.5 percent of Americans – and she’s never stood up to George Bush and asked the tough questions about this no-exit war in Iraq. It’s time for a change.”

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Greedy Bank Bastards, A Cautionary Tale

Anyone who knows me knows one thing is for sure.... I don't like to admit to mistakes, especially ones that show financial irresponsibility, but I feel like this is important information to pass along, and I hope you all help me in getting the word out, because it was something I just didn't know could happen, and I am sure I am not alone.

My husband and I have always prided ourselves on making sure that the bills were paid on time. We never had a late car, rent or mortgage payment in our lives. We worked hard to protect our credit, to keep the lights, phone and gas on, and to keep our family fed and clothed. It isn't easy with four kids, but somehow we always managed to hold it together, even if we ran right to the deadline, exhausted the grace period and brought our checking account to 14 cents we were pleased that we kept the balls in the air.

For the past two years we have banked exclusively with credit unions, and currently have two credit union accounts, one in St. Louis that offers us fantastic service and great interest rates, and one here in New Mexico for State Employees, like Charles. Recently we decided that we should have a traditional checking account, don't ask me why, because now I couldn't begin to tell you our reasons. So we opened a checking and savings account with Wells Fargo. Our personal banker was very nice, and we transferred the bulk of our direct deposit from Charles's checks over to that account.

Now, in an effort to always be on time with my bills and keep things like lights and phone on, I sit down most Tuesdays before payday and write the checks for the bills and stuff the envelopes, to be sent out in anticipation of the direct deposit arriving on Friday. They are sent off, and arrive at the vendors usually Wednesday or Thursday, at the earliest, but often days later, are processed through their systems and credited, then hit the vendor's banks, and then ours. I have never had a problem with the timing, everything was fine.
Well last week was no different. I got the payments in by the deadline, and on Friday I checked the account at 8 am and made sure that the deposit went in and nothing had gone through. Our previous balance was about $20, according to the system, and our deposit from Charles's check was in, fully credited. (Normally I wouldn't divulge such personal information but I feel it is important to the story.) I checked to make sure that all the balances matched up, and inspected the spending report, and everything was in good shape. I went about my day, and when I returned home in the afternoon after picking up the girls and buying a few things we needed at Walgreen's, I had a panicked message from Charles saying "Check the account, there are major problems."

I went back to the online banking system and couldn't believe my eyes. The account balance was just over $200, the deposit was marked "pending" and the previous day's balance was -$954!
Of course at this time it was end of business on Friday, so we had to wait until Saturday to hit the bank, which we did first thing. We sat down with a branch manager, who explained to us a little known law that had been passed a couple of years ago, called Check 21. What is boils down to is now a bank can look at the date a check is written, go back to that date in the account it was written from, look at the balance, and if the money wasn't there on THAT day they can bounce the check and exact huge fees. He said that it was slowly being implemented, and that they had just started enforcing it recently, initially giving credit to customers to get them used to the system. We had been with credit unions, who are loathe to enforce this on their customers, because they are customer owned and never knew of this. Of course, the information was provided to us when we opened our account, in the form of fine print in a thick book of banking information that came with stacks of papers, cards, fliers, and other things in our folder when we opened the account, in other words buried where we would never see it.

Now, the bank manager was very kind, sat with us for well over an hour, went through the account and reversed some of the fees, but not all. He said to sit on the account for a week, don't touch a dime of it, and let the dust settle and they would judge our discipline basically and make a decision about restoring more of those fees. Now, not only have we had our account pilliaged by the bank, our remaining funds are sitting there on hold. This is tremendously frustrating.
I write this not for sympathy, but to warn others. I know many people are accustomed to doing things like I am, but the times have changed and there are no more float times, no more leniencies, and no more leeways. I feel, personally, like all the laws now protect the corporations, and consumer protection is a thing of the past. I don't feel that this information is properly disclosed. I firmly believe that this is a great scheme by the bank to extract hundreds of dollars at a clip (in the form of $25 bounced check fees, $33 overdraft fees and sales taxes on both) on customers, whom are then scorned with the title "check kiters".

With no small amount of embarrassment over this situation I have decided to go public with it in the hopes of preventing it from happening to others. Pass the information along, it will save someone the aggravation and frustration that we are experiencing.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Take the Quiz

This is a great quiz to determine where you sit on the political spectrum. Give it a shot. I tested somewhere to the south and west of Ghandi.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Red Herring of the Week: Jon Benet

This week's red herring comes to us from Thailand, where a suspect was arrested in connection with the murder of baby beauty pageant queen, Jon Benet Ramsey, nearly ten years ago.

John Mark Karr says he was with her when she died, and that it was an accident. Investigators say he knows details not previously released to the public. His ex-wife says he was at home that Christmas, and couldn't have done it.

Salacious speculation and inconsistencies aside, this arrest has served to "back page" a lot of very important news items this week, since there is no more salient an issue than the arrest of a suspect in a 10 year old murder case.

But since people want to talk about it, and think it is such an important issue, I think I will put in my own opinion about this matter. First I think this arrest is probably BOGUS. This is a really sick guy, he does have a "Silence of the Lambs" quality about him, and it is probably a good thing that this man is not walking around free today. But I don't think he was anywhere near Boulder, except maybe after the fact in his deep, dark fantasies.

Second, while tragic, this murder was a LOCAL story, and I really resent national news camping on the doorsteps of the families of attractive murder victims. Ugly people die every day, in horrible, gruesome ways, but FOX and CNN don't hold nationally televised vigils for them. It is local news, Shepard Smith, go do your job and find out what the Bush administration is up to.

Third, isn't it time we realized that when you make children SEXUAL OBJECTS you endanger all children? Last night I saw a commercial for Entertainment Tonight promising, "New PROVOCATIVE photos of Jon Benet!" This poor little girl in her six years of life wore more make up than I have in all my 38 years combined. She was dunked in glitter, forced to wear dresses that made her look like a miniature Dolly Parton, and paraded around with other big haired little girls. She was made by her parents into a sex object, as are too many little girls.

I am the mother of little girls, and it infuriates me that our culture and media perpetuate images of children in a sexualized and stylized manner, and then feigns shock and outrage when evil men with dark hearts and minds perpetrate horrific acts on children. What makes these men tick??? Perhaps it is seeing images of small children made to look like adults, and knowing they don't have the strength to defend themselves.

Let's give kids back their innocence.