...Means I don't have a high enough rage quotient to rant on one subject, so I'll just laugh at a few lightweight burrs under the saddle of our culture.
1. When challenged to defend their very usurious practices, the "payday" or car-title lenders who typically charge up to 300% per annum on rolled over short-term loans have been unable to. Instead they resort to the typical oil company shrug of "it's market forces at work". All of us know that with a limited production capacity at their command, the oil companies are SERIOUSLY tinkering with the refined products "market forces", and raking in the excessive profits from doing that.
Now come the payday lenders with their amazingly uncivil practice of loaning money to deadbeats, then continually rolling over the loans at HUGE interest, then seizing any asset the deadbeat might actually acquire in a move to pull out of his/her hole. The OR Legislature goes after the lenders by crafting legislation to limit the rollovers, and cap the interest, and they howl bloody murder.
I can howl just as loud, and did. My editorial reply:
I open my Outlook this evening and find a severe op-ed whine by Carter Hardenbergh that the Legislature (almost unanimously) is about to lower the boom on his cousins in usury, the payday and title loan lenders.
The Hardenbergh op-ed was meant as a stirring defense of free enterprise, but the Pharisees had free enterprise also, if you will recall.
The catch phrase "it's the marketplace at work" is found in the snappy ending, and it is also found everywhere corporate blood-suckers feel that they need another excuse for their work.
As a conservative, please excuse me if I don't stand up and wave Old Glory at Carter Hardenbergh. I'm a long chalk more conservative than he'll ever be, and it doesn't take a moonbarking liberal to see that these rapacious and usurious lending practices are harmful to EVERYONE except the lenders skimming the profit.
The two best examples of corporate greed extant are the oil "it's the marketplace at work" business and the consumer loan industry.
Today's housing market decline is directly the result of the fringe operators in the mortgage loan industry, and excuse me, that decline DOES affect all of us.
A little history, Mr. Hardenbergh: we are a nation of laws, and for many generations (until the recent past) we had laws against usurious lending practices. During the pendency of those laws, this nation emerged as the greatest economic power in the world, and we raised the greatest and most powerful class of consumers on the planet. What part of that history is hard to follow?
Unbridled corporate greed such as these lenders practice is driving one nation after another to embrace the evils of Socialism, even after those evils have been demonstrated as a failed scheme for the past 50 years.
You sir, will have to look no farther than your shaving mirror to find a culprit for OUR shift to Socialism.
So, I fired THAT one down the local blatt's editorial pipe last night. We'll see if the chump I was writing about is a really big cheese in my city. If not, they'll probably publish the letter, but if he is a bigwig, they won't.
2. This little tidbit on the arrest of a major spammer. In addition to throwing the book at the a**hole, the investigators ought to actually locate every one of those zombie computers, and assess a civil fine against the owners. There is no excuse to be so farking dumb with basic computer security that your computer gets taken over as a spammer's tool. Those dummies need to feel a little heat as well as the spammer, because without the zombie computers, spam would be a very minor nuisance indeed.
3. Last couple of days, much has been made in the media of the infectious flights of "Patient X", a man with a virulent form of tuberculosis, one of the most transmissible diseases known to man (the invisible water droplets expelled from a light cough can infect everyone in a single space). It seems that this person deliberately evaded health authorities in several nations, authorities who were trying to do their jobs and protect their populations from infection. Then he snuck into the US from Canada (commentary later on porous borders).
Now, the identity of "Patient X" has been revealed and publicized, as it should be (anyone who has met him personally had better get to a doctor NOW), and HE IS A LAWYER!!! Are you surprised? I'm not, because the slimy actions of this idiot now have the perfect explanation. Hey, Georgia Bar Association: how about disbarring this idiot? He's an embarassment to even a pod of sharks like yourselves.
4. You can't fool Mother Nature: The ChiComs have been trying to "save" their Pandas, which face extinction because their natural habitat, upland bamboo forests, are almost gone (from human cutting of bamboo, not "global warming"). So, they AI'd and raised a Panda in a lab, and turned it loose in the wilds, where it had to flee for it's life from the other pandas, and fell out of a tree and died from the fall. Very telling in the article is that the ChiComs knew that this probably would happen, as they spend a lot of time trying to train the panda in the skills it would need to survive. Their training obviously failed, and so will their entire program unless they drastically revise it. The probably looked at the semi-successful California Condor program and thought they could get those results, but ground-dwelling animals of that size present more of a problem than do the condors.
Enough of this, I'm headed for the lunch table.