From Pine View Farm

October, 2011 archive

Poor No More 0

News report that poverty is cured because poor man has cell phone

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Slapping the Hand that Fees It 0

Apparently, some banks are reconsidering debit card dipping:

Chase and Wells Fargo are joining the list of banks that won’t be charging customers to use their debit cards, as the backlash over Bank of America’s planned $5 monthly fee continues.

The retail banking arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. will stop charging $3-per-month fees for using debit cards when its current pilot in Wisconsin and Georgia is completed in November, a source with knowledge of the bank’s plans told The Associated Press. The individual asked not to be identified because the bank has not officially announced the program will not go forward.

I still carry cash for my Wawa cup of coffee.


Update from the Foreclosure-Based Economy 0

When I sold my house in Delaware, I did not take in as much as I had hoped (though I was not under water, having instinctively distrusted all those banksters who wanted me to “refi to take the cash out”), but you have to play the cards you are dealt.

Apparently, not waiting was the correct strategy:

New Castle and Sussex counties fared best in terms of year-over-year sales, rising 5.3 percent to 1,241 in Sussex and dropping just 2.5 percent to 3,328 in New Castle. Kent dropped 11 percent to 888 homes sold in the first nine months.

Sales prices slipped 10.5 percent over the year to a median of $170,000 in Kent and 6.6 percent to $198,100 in New Castle. Since 2008, median prices have fallen 20.1 percent in Kent and 13.9 percent in New Castle.

That’s all the counties in Delaware.


Picking the Ponies: the Republican Racing Form 0

Mike Littwin handicaps the Republican field. A nugget:

4. Newt Gingrich. Going for the McCain get-your-dog-off-my-lawn vote. He might get it.

5. Rick Santorum. Wants to debate every night. The only time anyone pays any attention to him.


Dustbiters 0

Yesterday was a ho-hum day on the responsible fiscal front. Only one bank got blanked. (I was busy watching the ball game.)



John Cleese, from the Quotemaster (subscribe here):

I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel, and incompetent comes naturally to me.


Goldman’s Sacks 0

Greg Palasi, writing at the Guardian, reports that Goldman has started an offensive against the tiny People’s Federal Credit Union because People’s providing banking services and moral support for Occupy Wall Street. A nugget:

In 2008, the US Treasury handed Goldman Sachs a check for $10bn from the Troubled Asset Recovery Program (Tarp), the bailout funds given to desperate commercial banks. A few eyebrows were raised: Goldman was not desperate, and it certainly was not a commercial bank. Yet – abracadabra! – Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson transformed investment bank Goldman into a commercial bank overnight. (Paulson’s prior post was chairman of Goldman Sachs. Just saying.)

But there was a catch: Goldman would have to return a chunk of the public’s billions in the form of loans for low-income customers and members of its “community”, as required by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977. Problem: Goldman has, it seems, no low-income customers, nor a “community”. Goldman was directed to find poor people and a community and hand over some cash.

So Goldman looked down from its riverfront tower in lower Manhattan and discovered Peoples. Over 80% of Peoples member-owners have low incomes. At least 65% are Latino.

Follow the link for to see an interview with the author.


The Great and Glorious Patriotic War for a Lie 0

Leonard Pitts, Jr., sums up the war in Iraq. A nugget:

The surge worked? We should not have been there.

Americans killed by roadside bombs? We should not have been there.

Iraq becoming more stable? We should not have been there.

Service personnel coming home? Great. But we should not have been there.

Moreover, once there, we should have been universally appalled at the breathtaking cynicism with which the war was prosecuted.


A Consummation Devoutly To Be Wished 0

It’s silly and pointless, but it couldn’t be aimed at a more deserving target.


More Facebook Frolics 0

Kids have no couth, curmudgeon dept.


Facebook Frolics 0

There’s no friend like a Facebook friend.

Back on September 29th, a couple living on Robin Road in Wrightstown posted their vacation plans on Facebook.

“They put in there where they would be going on vacation and when they would be away and the friend just took advantage of it,” Newtown Police Department Lt. Glenn Forsyth said.

Knowing they were away, police say one of the couple’s Facebook friends, 36-year-old Steven Pieczynski of West Amwell, New Jersey, broke into the couple’s home and stole jewelry, gift cards, coins and DVDs.

A neighbor, a real human breathing person not in cyberspace, got suspicious and wrote down the mope’s license number.


America’s Original Sin: Not a Point of Pride 0

The Confederate Flag may be your history, but it doesn't have to be your heritage

My ancestors wore the gray.

I can honor their memory without honoring (or repeating) their errors.

Via Contradict Me.


And This Surprises You How? 0

From Bloomberg:

Credit-rating companies routinely award higher rankings to debt issued by banks and corporations that pay them the most, . . . .

’nuff said.

Details at the link.


The Fee Hand of the Market 0

Click for a larger image.


The (Job) Creationism Myth 0

“Job creators” my anatomy.

Whirlpool Corp. (WHR), the world’s largest maker of household appliances, said it will cut more than 5,000 jobs and reduce capacity by six million units after lowering its earnings targets as consumers rein in spending.



Johnny Carson, from the Quotemaster (subscribe here):

People will pay more to be entertained than educated.


Press Coverage 1

Warning: A bit of language.

Via Will Bunch.


Endless War, Endless Profits 0


Mitt the Flippity-Gibbet 0

Once there were flappers. Now there is flipper:


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Promulgate politeness to your progeny:

Jones’ 7-year-old son found a loaded gun under a bed in his Englewood neighborhood home and accidentally shot his younger brother through the top of his left leg as the toddler was sleeping in his bed. The gun belonged to Jones, police said.