Friday, February 19, 2010

Death of Common Sense Ruled 'Natural Causes'

Death of Common Sense Ruled 'Natural Causes'
Paul E. Rondeau

Today we discovered the passing of an old friend, Common Sense, who had been ill for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since both his birth and death records can no longer be found in government files.
    He will be remembered as having cultivated long standing but now discredited teachings such as:
- No one owes you anything;
- Don't spend more than you can earn;
- Life isn't always fair;
- Maybe it was my fault (and his infamous corollary Maybe I don't know everything.)
    It seems few will miss him.  Critics contend that Common Sense clung to outmoded principals.  "Simplistic ideas like 'adults, not children, are in charge' may be what people believed in the Dark Ages," said one critic, "but society is much more sophisticated today.  We now know that the Earth isn't flat."
   News accounts report that Common Sense's first visible signs of deterioration coincided with results of well-intentioned regulations to 'protect freedoms and promote tolerance' in public schools.  These facilitated much needed new protections such as charging a 6-year-old boy with sexual harassment for kissing a female classmate.  Teachers and student clubs could also now encourage acceptance of alternative sexual behaviors regardless of parents' wishes or the associated health dangers.
   Common Sense's health grew weaker with each new pretzel logic incident. Like when the State required schools to get parental consent to administer an aspirin and also ruled that children who were pregnant.and seeking to end their baby's life through a medical procedure called abortion needed to be protected by not involving their parents.
   His mood brightened when he thought he might have the answer to this paradox:  Perhaps many of these pregnancies were caused by incest and the students really were being protected by not informing the parents?  With some diligent research (almost an entire thirty seconds worth!) he confirmed that 99% of abortions stem from consensual sex and only 1% are reported as due to rape or incest combined.  Common Sense's mood once again darkened.
   One teacher who would only speak off the record said, "His depression really accelerated when sex and gender were determined to be totally unrelated and taught that way to children in K-12 schools.  He said he  he had done his best to serve humanity for a thousand years but now felt trivialized and marginalized.  I think it pushed him over the edge."
   The Superintendent of Progressive Public Education stated the accepted view for the record, "Common Sense obviously suffered from a severe mental illness.  He just didn't like being ignored.  Of course we feel sorry for him but today, it is our civic duty to protect our students from unscientific dangerous ideas like his."
   One friend of Common Sense who spoke on the condition of anonymity believes the final straw came when Tolerance was elevated to the transcendent virtue governing all others.  "I think Common Sense finally lost the will to live when the practice of his teachings became defined as ignorance and hate speech," he offered quietly.
   Political Correctness, also known as PC, was at first thought to be a person of interest in the death.  However, when questioned PC enlightened the investigators that Common Sense was obsolete and did not have the vision of the anointed.  Chastised investigators quickly realized that Common Sense died of natural causes and dismissed any need for further questions.
   Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Moderation, his daughter, Personal Responsibility, and his son, Tradition.  No media accounts note their passing.
   He is survived by four estranged cousins: I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, I Have No Shame, and I'm A Victim.  They issued this joint statement:  "It would not be appropriate to hold a funeral that may offend someone. We encourage condolences for Common Sense to be expressed silently." 

Editor's Note:  Those wishing to commemorate Common Sense should speak-up while they still can.

Monday, February 8, 2010

CHASE BANK: Let Them Eat Cake!

Flash back to October, 2008.  The U.S. financial system is threatening to collapse.  JP Morgan Chase takes  $25 billion in TARP funds in exchange for preferred stock.  Jump forward to June, 2009.  Chase wants to pay pack the rescue funds plus interest equal to approximately 4% APR.

“We accepted TARP funding because we believed it was in the best interests of our financial system and our country, even though our company did not need the capital,”claims their CEO in a memo to employees.  That seems true enough.  Chase reported profits of $5.6 billion in 2008.

But that's good, right?  They suddenly had an extra $25 billion in capital laying around courtesy of the American taxpayer that they did not need!  Chase could dedicate 100% of the TARP money to extend credit to small businesses and average citizens to help get the economy moving again. 

You know any small business or individuals out there that got a loan from Chase at 4%?  No?  Well, I bet you do know Chase credit card holders who rates were jacked up to 19%,  25%, and more.  Chase also took their low APR promotional "balance transfer" rates and jacked up the repayment schedule from 2% per month to 5%.  A $500 monthly payment was suddenly $1,250 month: a 250% cash-flow hit to consumers while unemployment was skyrocketing.

JP Morgan Chase:  The Good Neighbor Who Just Wants to HelpSince JPM just wants what's best for the country, then Chase Mortgage must be helping the millions of Americans struggling on the mortgage side, right?  They even say so in this January 2010 letter they sent out to thousands of homeowners who were 60 days behind on their mortgage payments;

"Your house is your home.  We want to keep it that us today so that we can help turn things around.  We need to talk--call (800) 848-9380 today....One of our loan specialists will work with you to determine your options."

The neighborly cover letter adds a P.S. " The enclosed legal letter outlines, in detail, your current situation... " But what does the attached letter say?

"Acceleration Warning (Notice of Intent to Foreclose)...If you fail to cure the default within 32 days, we will acclerate the maturity of you loan, terminate your credit line...and commence foreclosure proceedings....If this happens, Chase... will [also] be entitled to's fees....We have no obligation to accept less than the full amount owed....While the loan remains in default, we will...visit your property at regular intervals...

Well, my, my.  Chase really is just being a good neighbor. You can't get much more friendly than that.  If you are unemployed and delinquent on your mortgage, they will regularly come out to visit you without being invited!  (Not actually you but the property and you're there too so it's kinda the same.) 

Meanwhile, just call the 800 number for help. (Well yes, it actually connects you to the collections department--but that's just semantics.)  Their 'loan specialists' is actually the collections department but they will help you and give you options.  (OK, so they really just compile a lot more information about you, your friends, and family, your employer and finances to help them with even more collection calls.)

They will help you get a loan modification if you qualify.  (Of course, you must agree up front that any information you give them will be used to help Chase collect a debt.)  But hey, what are friends for?

The bank might even 'help' you with a loan modification like they did a senior programmer in hard hit Michigan who has been unemployed for 18 months:  The bank agreed to modify his mortgage by pushing back the two payments he was behind.  In turn, they would just increase his $900 mortgage payment that he can't make to $1,200 per month.  Now why didn't he think of that?

Or, Chase may go the extra mile to help like they did for the executive in Virginia who had never missed a payment in over six years but hadn't had a paycheck in 14 months. He paid early withdrawal penalties from his IRA in order to make mortgage payments to Chase payment until recently. 

When he called to tell Chase that he scraped enough money together to make a payment, he asked for just a little help like their letter said: Could Chase just waive the two months of late payment fees that had accumulated?

Chase to the rescue!  Well, not quite.  They wouldn't waive their own arbitrary late fees but they would be happy add them on to what he owed to the mortgage.  Oh, and by the way, even though the account would now only be past due 8 days, they would still exercise "their right' to call him every 5 days.

JPMorganChase:  Never a Truer Patriot
Well, that's just business, right?  If super patriot Chase accepted $25 billion of taxpayer dollars just for the best interest of our country, they must have some patriotic plan for the rest of us taxpayers.

The New York Times gained access to a confidential conference call just four days after JPM accepted the money.  When a senior JPM executive was asked about the impact on lending, he explained the real plan: “What we do think (the $25B] will help us do is perhaps be a little bit more active on the acquisition side or opportunistic side for some banks who are still struggling....I think we have an opportunity to use that $25 billion in that way and obviously depending on whether recession turns into depression or what happens in the future, you know, we have that as a backstop.”

Oh, so JPMorganChase never planned to use the money to loan to small businesses, stimulate the economy, or help the housing market.  JPM would use it to buy up other companies or keep it for their own rainy day fund.

So JPMorganChase for suffering taxpayers who actually put up the $25 Billion is this:  Let them eat cake.

Marie Antoinette would have been proud. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gay Community or Gay Cult?

Do self-proclaimed gay leaders use cult-like messaging to keep those with same-sex attraction from questioning themselves or the cause?

A cult is defined "as a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols." Another definition is: "any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person [or persons] usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease..."

Gays certainly hold their sex as sacred above all else: tradition, faith, common sense.   And they certainly claim that only they have divine insight into how this is all normal.  Everybody is else is ignorant, homophobic, or both.  Sound familiar?

Only after it becomes known that a group does something wildly illogical do we call them a 'cult'. Meanwhile, the cult members remain convinced that it is they who are the enlightened ones and they see the rest of us as lacking. 

For example, having unlimited anonymous sex in bath houses even though you are killing yourselves.  Or, insisting that even with a plethora of cancers, STDs, mental health issues, and substance abuse higher than anyone else, that homosexual behavior is healthy and normal.  Does this sound logical?

People choose their own propaganda to support what they need to believe. And an isolated compound is not necessary to become a victim of that propaganda. You can be alone in a crowd.

Thirty-nine people in San Diego killed their "earthly containers" in order to be taken up in a space ship hiding in the tale of the Hale Bopp comet. Only then did the public know Heavens Gate as a cult.

I lived near a idyllic ski town north of Montreal called Morin Heights. A decade later, friends called to tell me that five people there had burned themselves to death. A video left behind explained that they believed that this transported them to be reborn on a planet called Sirius. More than 60 other members of Order of the Solar Temple members repeated the bizarre ritual in Quebec, France and Switzerland over the next three years.

See if you recognize these rhetorical drums beaten 24-7 by gay leaders:
  •  DESTINY: You are born homosexual. Being gay is your destiny. Be proud and embrace it.
  •  LOVE: Only total affirmation of homosexual behavior is love. Anything less from family and friends is homophobic. Anything less from you is denial and 'internalized homophobia'.
  •  BELONGING: Don't try to leave homosexuality: you will fail and you will harm yourself. You will be a traitor to yourself, your gay friends, and the cause.
  •  TRUTH: Only gay leadership know Truth because they have the vision of the anointed. Gay worldview must be forced on others because society is sick, not gays.
How are these messages any different than a cult?

If you convinced that you were trapped in homosexuality with no hope for change, no matter how unhappy, conflicted, and unhealthy this made your personal life, what propaganda might you need to believe?

And, after doing what you are told, embracing your homosexuality, and still not feeling happy and healthy, who might you blame?