Friday, November 11, 2011

Good morning to you all on this bright, sunny but cold Friday.  Temperature at about 30 degrees.  Everything outside doing well so far.  The blueberries have developed a red tinge but they are doing very well.  I have high hopes for next year.  The mums, roses, lemon balm, thyme are all looking very good.  Still have a couple of blossoms on the roses and the mums are doing very nicely.

I have already turned off the tv news.  They are giving way too much attention to Perry's 'brain freeze.'  I have already received all the information I care to get on the Penn State child rape scandal.  It is in the legal system now and that is where I leave it.

Huffington Post has a good article on unemployment benefits and the big banks.  I have some experience with prepaid debit cards and unemployment because that is how I got my meager benefits the couple of months I qualified for them a while back.  I don't know what company serviced the card though it wasn't JPMorgan.  But I do remember the contortions I had to go through to avoid fees.  I couldn't make more than four withdrawals per month and there were fees for using the wrong ATMs.  I was able to avoid the whole thing by transferring all of the money at once to my bank checking account.  But if I hadn't had that account somebody would have been raking in a slice of what little I got.  Unfortunately, this set up is good for two of the three parties involved.  States get someone else administering the program and have eliminated the cost of paper checks.  The banks get a fee from the state for administering the program and get the fees from the unemployed as well.  What is worse I don't know if the first person featured in the article would do any better getting a checking account because many banks are phasing out the free checking services so, if her balance dipped below what ever amount the bank set, she will be assessed a fee.  Damned if you do; damned if you don't.

I don't think it is any kind of an accident that at the same time increasing numbers of this kind of report are appearing that the oil and gas industry are stepping up their ad campaigns emphasizing the environmental safety of their processes.

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