Convenience Fee’s

by David Friday, December 30, 2011 1:43 AM

It seems that now-a-days it’s become common practice to charge “Convenience Fee’s” to your customer’s for things that used to be free, like paying your bill.  These companies tend to twist the truth around and wrap it all up in fancy writing with fancy words and make it seem like they are doing you, the consumer, a huge favor.  You can pay your bill online, or via the telephone or in person with a credit or debit card, but alas we will have to charge you a “convenience fee”.

Well for those of you that may have bought the bullshit they are saying about these fee’s, let me set the record straight.  They are not doing anything to help you, they are not doing anything to make things easier for you, they are simply finding a way to take what used to be a business expense and finding a new way to shove it down your throat and make you pay for it.

For those of you that don’t know, or don’t care for that matter, any business that accepts credit or debit card payments is assessed a special charge by the bank that issue’s the card for every transaction that company processes.  So when you go to wherever and make that payment via credit card, the credit card company charges the company a merchant fee for that transaction.  The fee is usually a percentage of the charge, i.e. .5%, 1%, etc, or a flat fee, i.e. $2.00, $4.00, etc.  The merchant fee is not set in stone, and is different for every merchant, it is based on the amount of money that merchant basically charge’s, and is and can be different for every merchant.

In times long past, since greed and corruption took over America, this was called “the cost of doing business”.  I know, because I ran a business for over 10 years.  I took credit and debit cards for payments, so I had to pay this merchant fee.  And since I was a small business that didn’t do thousands of dollars in charges, my merchant fee’s were pretty high, but I didn’t mind because it was THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS.

Today though, companies look for any way they can to make more money, because that bottom line is what their investor’s are looking at and the only thing they care about.  Being fare, being understanding, BEING HUMAN are a thing for the past.  If they can take these fee’s, which they have had to pay themselves for years, and somehow find a way to make the customer pay for them, then hell, it’s makes the bottom line look better. Yes the economy sucks, people are out of work, people are losing their homes, and we have to decide between putting food on the table for our children or paying that bill, but those companies need to make more money, so they will find a way to make you, the consumer, pay for it, whether you can afford it or not.

I’ve read and seen the arguments, those that say that companies still give you options to pay your bill’s for free, sending in a check, paying via your bank’s online check system, etc. Well sure, cause cashing a check doesn’t cost that business any money, but charging your credit card does, so make the consumer pay for it.

When I was running my business I had to sign a merchant agreement that stated I could not charge more for a credit card charge then a cash payment, in other words, I couldn’t force a convenience fee off onto the customer.  Things have changed, credit cards have become the norm, banks have steered us into becoming dependant on debit cards, so now the rules change and companies are finding new ways to make money.  Gas stations offering lower rates on gas if you pay by cash for instance.  It’s a way to avoid those convenience fee’s folks, a way to improve the companies bottom line.

The sad part, you don’t have much choice, we’ve become a country that is laughed at by the rest of the world because we are a country run my companies.  Our politicians no longer work for us but work for the company that pays them the highest. The old SCI-FI movies and books or a future where corporations run the world appears to be becoming a reality.  There is no middle class anymore, your either rich or poor, no in between.

In the end, I think we are as guilty as the companies that do this to us, because we’re let it happen.  We’ve been so obsessed with material things, with the almighty dollar, that we’ve handed over our future way of life to corporations.  I’ll continue to bitch and moan about it, because it’s my God given right and because in America we can bitch and moan about it.  At least until the corporations get the politicians' to change the constitution and make that illegal too. I guess that will be next.

To all your Occupy protestor’s, I’m with you and behind you 100%, I just pray to God someone starts to listen, and things start to change.

Happy New Year…………………………………………. not so much

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Corporate | General | Political | Thats just Wrong

Coyote V. Acme Corporation

by David Friday, September 30, 2011 3:47 AM

I ran across this today and just had to share, I laughed so hard I could hardly see.

Taken from Just For Laughs

 

Coyote V. Acme
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT,
SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT, TEMPE, ARIZONA
CASE NO. B19294, JUDGE JOAN KUJAVA, PRESIDING
Wile E. Coyote, Plaintiff
-v.-
Acme Company, Defendant

Opening Statement of Mr. Harold Schoff, attorney for Mr. Coyote:

My client, Mr. Wile E. Coyote, a resident of Arizona and contiguous states, does hereby bring suit for damages against the Acme Company, manufacturer and retail distributor of assorted merchandise, incorporated in Delaware and doing business in every state, district, and territory. Mr. Coyote seeks compensation for personal injuries, loss of business income, and mental suffering causes as a direct result of the actions and/or gross negligence of said company, under Title 15 of the United States Code, Chapter 47, section 2072, subsection (a), relating to product liability.

Mr. Coyote states that on eighty-five separate occasions he has purchased of the Acme Company (hereinafter, "Defendant"), through that company's mail-order department, certain products which did cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper cautionary labeling. Sales slips made out to Mr. Coyote as proof of purchase are at present in the possession of the Court, marked Exhibit A. Such injuries sustained by Mr. Coyote have temporarily restricted his ability to make a living in his profession of predator. Mr. Coyote is self-employed and thus not eligible for Workmen's Compensation.

Mr. Coyote states that on December 13th he received of Defendant via parcel post one Acme Rocket Sled. The intention of Mr. Coyote was to use the Rocket Sled to aid him in pursuit of his prey. Upon receipt of the Rocket Sled Mr. Coyote removed it from its wooden shipping crate and, sighting his prey in the distance, activated the ignition. As Mr. Coyote gripped the handlebars, the Rocket Sled accelerated with such sudden and precipitate force as to stretch Mr. Coyote's forelimbs to a length of fifty feet. Subsequently, the rest of Mr. Coyote's body shot forward with a violent jolt, causing severe strain to his back and neck and placing him unexpectedly astride the Rocket Sled. Disappearing over the horizon at such speed as to leave a diminishing jet trail along its path, the Rocket Sled soon brought Mr. Coyote abreast of his prey. At that moment the animal he was pursuing veered sharply to the right. Mr. Coyote vigorously attempted to follow this maneuver but was unable to, due to poorly designed steering on the Rocket Sled and a faulty or nonexistent braking system. Shortly thereafter, the unchecked progress of the Rocket Sled brought it and Mr. Coyote into collision with the side of a mesa.

Paragraph One of the Report of Attending Physician (Exhibit B), prepared by Dr. Ernest Grosscup, M.D., D.O., details the multiple fractures, contusions, and tissue damage suffered by Mr. Coyote as a result of this collision. Repair of the injuries required a full bandage around the head (excluding the ears), a neck brace, and full or partial casts of all four legs.

Hampered by these injuries, Mr. Coyote was nevertheless obliged to support himself. With this in mind, he purchased of Defendant as an aid to mobility one pair of Acme Rocket Skates. When he attempted to use this product, however, he became involved in an accident remarkably similar to that which occurred with the Rocket Sled. Again, Defendant sold over the counter, without caveat, a product which attached powerful jet engines (in this case, two) to inadequate vehicles, with little or no provision for passenger safety. Encumbered by his heavy casts, Mr. Coyote lost control of the Rocket Skates soon after strapping them on, and collided with a roadside billboard to violently as to leave a hole in the shape of his full silhouette.

Mr. Coyote states that on occasions too numerous to list in this document he has suffered mishaps with explosives purchased of Defendant: the Acme "Little Giant" Firecracker, the Acme Self-Guided Aerial Bomb, etc. (For a full listing, see the Acme Mail Order Explosives Catalogue and attached deposition, entered in evidence as Exhibit C.) Indeed, it is safe to say that not once has an explosive purchased of Defendant by Mr. Coyote performed in an expected manner. To cite just one example: At the expense of much time and personal effort, Mr. Coyote constructed around the outer rim of a butte a wooden trough beginning at the top of the butte and spiraling downward around it to some few feet above a black X painted on the desert floor. The trough was designed in such a way that a spherical explosive of the type sold by Defendant would roll easily and swiftly down to the point of detonation indicated by the X. Mr. Coyote placed a generous pile of birdseed directly on the X, and then, carrying the spherical Acme Bomb (Catalog #78-832), climbed to the top of the butte. Mr. Coyote's prey, seeing the birdseed, approached, and Mr. Coyote proceeded to light the fuse. In an instant, the fuse burned down to the stem, causing the bomb to detonate.

In addition to reducing all Mr. Coyote's careful preparations to naught, the premature detonation of Defendant's product resulted in the following disfigurements to Mr. Coyote:

1. Severe singeing of the hair on the head, neck, and muzzle.

2. Sooty discoloration.

3. Fracture of the left ear at the stem, causing the ear to dangle in the aftershock with a creaking noise.

4. Full or partial combustion of whiskers, producing kinking, frazzling, and ashy disintegration.

5. Radical widening of the eyes, due to brow and lid charring.

We now come to the Acme Spring-Powered Shoes. The remains of a pair of these purchased by Mr. Coyote on June 23rd are Plaintiff's Exhibit D. Selected fragments have been shipped to the metallurgical laboratories of the University of California at Santa Barbara for analysis, but to date no explanation has been found for this product's sudden and extreme malfunction. As advertised by Defendant, this product is simplicity itself: two wood-and-metal sandals, each attached to milled-steel springs of high tensile strength and compressed in a tightly coiled position by a cocking device with a lanyard release. Mr. Coyote believed that this product would enable him to pounce upon his prey in the initial moments of his chase, when swift reflexes are at a premium.

To increase the shoes' thrusting power still further, Mr. Coyote affixed them by their bottoms to the side of a large boulder. Adjacent to the boulder was a path which Mr. Coyote's prey was known to frequent. Mr. Coyote put his hind feet in the woon-and-metal sandals and crouched in readiness, his right forepaw holding firmly to the lanyard release. Within a short time Mr. Coyote's prey did indeed appear on the path coming toward him. Unsuspecting, the prey stopped near Mr. Coyote, well within range of the springs at full extension. Mr. Coyote gauged the distance with care and proceeded to pull the lanyard release.

At this point, Defendant's product should have thrust Mr. Coyote forward and away from the boulder. Instead, for reasons yet unknown, the Acme Spring-Powered Shoes thrust the boulder away from Mr. Coyote. As the intended prey looked on unharmed, Mr. Coyote hung suspended in air. Then the twin springs recoiled, bringing Mr. Coyote to a violent feet-first collision with the boulder, the full weight of his head of forequarters falling upon his lower extremities.

The force of this impact then caused the springs to rebound, whereupon Mr. Coyote was thrust skyward. A second recoil and collision followed. The boulder, meanwhile, which was roughtly ovoid in shape, had begun to bounce down a hillside, the coiling and recoiling of the springs adding to its velocity. At each bounce, Mr. Coyote came into contact with the boulder, or the boulder came into contact with Mr. Coyote, or both came into contact with the ground. As the grade was a long one, this process continued for some time.

The sequence of collisions resulted in systemic physical damage to Mr. Coyote, viz., flattening of the cranium, sideways displacement of the tongue, reduction of length of legs and upper body, and compression of vertebrae from base of tail to head. Repetition of blows along a vertical axis produced a series of regular horizontal folds in Mr. Coyote's body tissues---a rare and painful condition which caused Mr. Coyote to expand upward and contract downward alternately as he walked, and to emit an off-key, accordion like wheezing with every step. The distracting and embarrassing nature of this symptom has been a major impediment to Mr. Coyote's pursuit of a normal social life.

As the Court is no doubt aware, Defendant has a virtual monopoly of manufacture and sale of goods required by Mr. Coyote's work. It is our contention that Defendant has used its market advantage to the detriment of the consumer of such specialized products as itching powder, giant kites, Burmese tiger traps, anvils, and two-hundred-foot-long rubber bands. Much as he has come to mistrust Defendant's products, Mr. Coyote has no other domestic source of supply to which to turn. One can only wonder what our trading partners in Western Europe and Japan would make of such a situation, where a giant company is allowed to victimize the consumer in the most reckless and wrongful manner over and over again.

Mr. Coyote respectfully requests that the Court regard these larger economic implications and assess punitive damages in the amount of seventeen million dollars. In addition, Mr. Coyote seeks actual damages (missed meals, medical expenses, days lost from professional occupation) of one million dollars; general damages (mental suffering, injury to reputation) of twenty million dollars; and attorney's fees of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Total damages: thirty-eight million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. By awarding Mr. Coyote the full amount, this Court will censure Defendant, its directory, officers, shareholders, successors, and assigns, in the only language they understand, and reaffirm the right of the individual predator to equal protection under the law.

Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, February 26, 1990, p. 42--43.

Tags:

General | Awesome

Solving the AT&T T-Mobile Deal

by David Friday, September 16, 2011 1:36 AM

The Justice Department has sued to stop the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, but chances are it will still happen since AT&T will ultimately payoff Congress and the whoever else they need to in order to get it passed.  Welcome to America.

Anyway, here’s a novel idea, hold AT&T accountable to their promises.

What’s going to happen in the end is, is that AT&T will have to make some “concessions”, but besides that, what about all the “good” things this merger is supposed to bring, like all those new jobs?  Well, hold them accountable.  Ok the merger, but then stipulate that they have 1 year or perhaps 2 years for all these promises of theirs to come to fruition and if they don’t, then you will be fined $1 billion dollars per year until you either rectify the situation or break up the company.

Stop stuffing money in your pocket, secretly giving the OK to crap like this, and facing the America public and saying “I’m working for you!”.  Try doing the right thing once, and oh, sometimes simple is the best way to solve a problem.

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Awesome | General | Political | Corporate

September 11, 2011

by David Friday, September 9, 2011 3:31 AM

In a way it’s sad to call this the anniversary of the September 11 attack on our country.  A anniversary brings to mind things like wedding, commitment basically love, hope and joy.  This anniversary not so much.

It is important we remember this date though, just as Pearl Harbor was a date that “will go down in history”, September 11 is a date that will also “go down in history”.  Innocent people lost their lives that day, our country forever changed, our attitudes, our way of life altered forever.

Yes, in the end we got the bastard that master minded it all, but that is little comfort to those that lost loved ones that day.

I will remember this day for the rest of my life, and I will forever be grateful and Thankful for the men and women in our armed services that have lost their lives, and given so much of themselves to protect this country.

My prayers go to those that lost someone on 9/11, and my prayers go to those souls that were lost.

We can never forget, MUST never forget.

God Bless America

Tags: , ,

General

President Addresses Congress

by David Friday, September 9, 2011 3:25 AM

Yesterday, Sept 8, 2011, President Obama addressed Congress and explained his new bill that he is sending before Congress called the “The American Jobs Act”.

Interesting speech, but then again President Obama is renowned for his great speeches, how he can turn heads, make people listen, get people to believe, but actually deliver nothing.

I am a regular American man who is tired of the politics that go on in Washington, everyone is out to either make a name for themselves, get money from lobbyists', or whatever it is they do except doing the job they were hired to do.  Yes hired, WE hired you, remember us, the people that voted you into office.  We interviewed you, you told us what we wanted to hear, how you would change things, make things better, but you lied to us.

Anyway, back to the Presidents speech.  It was interesting, he had some good ideas, but as always failed to explain how he was going to pay for it.  Something I find very interesting about this President is how he is always doing whatever he can to push legislature down our throats for “our own good”, but always failing to explain how the hell he’s going to pay for it.

Christ, we are in debt past our proverbial eyeballs, the United States credit rating has been reduced, we’re in the depression/recession that is damn near as bad as the great depression, but you just keep bloody spending money.  I know it’s printed on paper, but Holy Crikes Batman, you can’t just keep printing money and think that will solve it.

Lowering taxes, offering incentives to companies for hiring people out of work, that is all great-n-dandy, but it isn’t going to solve the problem.  The problem is companies aren’t hiring, in fact they are cutting back.  They ship jobs overseas because it’s cheaper, and they reduce their workforce here but are still able to make a return on their investment and make as much, if not more, money then before.

All in all, what the President outlined was interesting, will it actually do any good, I hope so but I sincerely doubt it.  Under the cover’s you could tell it was politics' as usual. As of yet, the GOP hasn’t really responded, but they better be damned careful when they do, and watch what they say, because the American people are fed up, and rightly so.

It will be interesting to see how this play’s out, and to see the outcome.  The elections next year are going to be driven by what happens, but in the end politics' will win out and unfortunately, we will lose.

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General | Political

Our jobs going abroad

by David Tuesday, August 23, 2011 11:27 AM

Could someone, ANYONE, please explain to me how companies in the United States can willfully fire people then send those jobs over seas to India and be able to sleep at night?

Millions of people are out of work, good hard working talented people who would take almost any job they can find to just have one, and companies in this country just send work to India and elsewhere because they can get help for 25 cents on the dollar.

Congress and the President don’t know what to do to help the country, well let me think, hmmm, maybe STOP shipping job’s over sea’s when you have perfectly talented people here willing and wanting to work!

I love this country, I really do, but each day I love it a little less. 

It’s so damn sad.

Tags: , ,

General | Political | Thats just Wrong

Corporate Boom Town

by David Friday, July 22, 2011 10:07 AM

Strong second quarter earnings for most of America’s top corporations.

Unemployment still high.

Corporations still laying off and not hiring.

Sometimes it ain’t worth getting out of bed.

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General | Political | Thats just Wrong

Debt Talks

by David Sunday, July 17, 2011 12:34 PM

Mr President and members of Congress;

Please pull your heads out of your butts, stop thinking about yourselves and what is best for you, and for once in your lives do the right thing.

Thank you, from a disillusioned voter.

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General | Political

For my Father

by David Thursday, June 16, 2011 1:25 PM

This is from Linda Ellis’s The Dash, a 36 line poem that has touched millions of lives around the world.

How You Spend Your Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the date on the tombstone from the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came his date of birth and spoke the following date with tears, but he said, what mattered most of all was the dash between the years.

For that dash represents all the time that he spent alive on earth … and now only those who loved him know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own, the cars … the house … the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend the dash. So think about this long and hard … are there things you’d like to change?  For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel.  If we could be less quick to anger and show appreciation more … and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

if we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile … remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?

Spend in well!

In Loving Memory of my Father

Raymond P. Brune

July 17, 1929 – June 12, 2011

 

I miss you Dad.

Tags:

General

Drugs and TV Advertising

by David Thursday, January 20, 2011 3:08 PM

Watching TV this evening, and one of those commercials came on advertising a new drug, you know the ones I’m talking about.  Those commercials for Viagra, Cialis,stuff for asthma, etc.

Well usually I just either fast forward past them (thank GOD for DVR) or get up and get a drink, but this time I listened too it.

I don’t recall the name of the drug, but I believe it was for people with asthma, but as the listed the possible “side effects” of the drug, I almost fell off the couch.

Now I have never had asthma, but I have a couple friends who do, one who get’s asthma attacks that are very severe, so I can understand how bad asthma can be.  But the side effects where everything from possible blindness, to a “severe brain imbalance”, to liver damage, not to mention wetting your pants when you walk by a working microwave.

Just kind of killed me, I mean a drug is supposed to help you, not possibly kill you.  I know all drugs have possible side effects, whenever I get a prescription I always read about the possible side effects, but it just seems lately the drugs they are coming out with, or at least advertising, are getting out of hand.

I think I’d rather live with the illness honestly, the risk my genitals falling off or my brain exploding.

Tags: , ,

General | The TV did it again

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