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Category Archives: Soap Box

Every home has a soap box, but our soap box is our rants. A rant is little more than something we simply don’t agree with. These rants are simply one persons opinion on something. However, when we rant, we also give our solution as to how to tackle the problem with a solution. If no solution were given all we would be doing is to voice a complaint, complaints never solve the problem. You must take action with your complaint otherwise you do little more than cry over spilled milk.

Terminator Gene, Germinator Gene, GMO Seed, they all smell like money, not progress

Hate to say that all of these things mean one thing, and none of them mean more food for the starving…no, after crop data and research results are in, all GM seed (genetically modified) has proven is that is costs more to purchase the seed and forces you to use specific types of chemicals from specific companies only.  What do I mean?

What is the Terminator Gene? 

The terminator gene is a specific genetic sequence manipulation, where a new genetic sequence is inserted into a seed’s DNA.  Once placed there, the terminator gene renders the seed and crop in which it produces sterile.  Meaning no part of the plant is viable to use to replant the next years crops…so don’t bother saving the seeds from a crop with the GM Terminator Gene because you will never be able to grow anything, your plant and seeds are sterile.

The terminator gene was patented by the USDA and a company called Pine Land Co.  However, Pine Land Co was purchased by Monsanto and we know they love to control the world seed market via contamination.  It comes as no surprise they did what ever it took to own the terminator gene.

Why do we need the terminator gene in our food?  Well, we don’t but seed companies who have a horse in the race do.  They would love to have the world filled with nothing but their crop, earning them money.  The terminator gene has no agricultural or economic benefits to the farmers who grows the food we eat, or the consumers who eat the food the farmers grow.  Remember, you are what you eat, and frankly, no testing was done to find out how the terminator gene might impact a living thing (be it bug or human, insect or animal), so we frankly don’t know.  The only defense companies employing the terminator gene into their seeds and the only reason to subject us all into the digestion of this terminator gene is “It protects our intellectual property rights, you can’t save any seeds on the life we own”.  How does it do this?  Well, the plant and seed are rendered sterile, so we eat this gene, it gets inside us and the plant has it inside it……all it does is force everyone year after year to purchase all their seeds over and over and over, no saving a single seed from your garden for the following year, they simply will not grow.  In the case of Monsanto, who reportedly owns 90% of the world soy bean seed, it means that 90% of the soy beans planted around the world would have to be purchased from Monsanto directly, every year

…….so it means hummm……MONEY!  And according to the Sherman Anti Trust Act, that is a monopoly and should be prosecutable in the court system.  Only problem is, so many governmental officials were once employed by Monsanto or are currently enjoying the perks and benefits Monsanto forks out to purchase…I mean cough, cough “give perks to” them so I highly doubt you will ever see Monsanto coming under the fire of the Sherman Anti Trust Act…..EVER.  I mean all those people we vote into the White House, they aren’t going to give up their vacation condo, the use of a private corporate jet, the nice cars, the wads of cash………..Why do what is right when you can do what is wrong and get rich doing it, or pretending to look the other way?

Learn more about the Terminator gene here:

What is the Germinator Gene?

The germination or germinator gene is a gene which is placed into the genetic sequence of a plant, when introduced, you must purchase specific chemicals from the seed company just to get your seeds to germinate.  This is a lethal blow to the organic industry as the moment you apply the chemical required to get your seed to germinate and grow, you are no longer organic.  At the moment, this particular gene is not being used outside of study test groups.  I hope it never hits the market because I am an organic farmer and feel GM has no place on my supper table or in the bellies of any human being.

Are genetically modified seeds (GM) saving the world?

Depends upon who you believe or speak to.  The producers of GM seeds are painting beautiful pictures of no one suffering of starvation.  They advertise that the crops resulting from their seeds will yield more, require less chemicals and will suffer from fewer blights or bugs.  I mean that sounds great doesn’t it?  A plant which won’t get eaten by bugs, won’t get fungus and will produce bumper crops with less fertalizers…..who wouldn’t think this is a great thing!

However, the reality is not quite as beautiful as the advertising campaigns these companies have undertaken.

Read this article.   The quote below is from that article.

“After Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans were licensed in 1996, “a once-productive national family farm-based agriculture system (was turned into) a neo-feudal state system dominated by a handful of powerful, wealthy” owners to exploit for profit. Menem went along. In less than a decade, he allowed the nation’s corn, wheat and cattle diversity to be replaced by corporate-controlled monoculture. It was a Faustian sellout, and it helped Monsanto’s stock price hit an all-time high near year end  2007.

Earlier decades of diversity and crop rotation preserved the country’s soil quality. That changed after soybean monoculture moved in with its heavy dependence on chemical fertilizers. Traditional Argentine crops vanished, and cattle were forced into cramped feedlots the way they are in the US. Engdahl quoted a leading country agro-ecologist predicting these practices will destroy the land in 50 years if they continue. Nothing suggests a stoppage, and by 2004, nearly half the nation’s crop land was for soybeans and over 90% of it solely for Monsanto’s Roundup Ready brand. Engdahl put it this way: “Argentina had become the world’s largest uncontrolled experimental laboratory for GMO” and its people unwitting lab rats.”

Step one is to ensure you purchase seeds from companies that have signed the NO GMO pledge.  You can find these companies listed here.  http://www.responsibletechnology.org/buy-non-gmo/non-gmo-seed

According to Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman, a former biotech specialist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “After 20 years of GM research and 13 years of commercialization, GM crops have a track record that allows us to evaluate their future prospects… The weak performance to date raises questions about how much more of our scarce research dollars should be devoted to this controversial technology… Let’s be clear. As of this year, there are no commercialized GM crops that inherently increase yield. Similarly, there are no GM crops on the market that were engineered to resist drought, reduce fertilizer pollution or save soil. Not one.”

Read Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman’s full news report here 

So if GM crops are not better, not drought resistant, don’t reduce fertilizer and don’t increase yield, why are the powerful chemical companies purchasing every seed company they can and trying to force them upon the population of the world.  Sadly, the fact that you are a human being is the very reason.  You require food and GM seeds earn more money because they are designed to work only with the chemicals the chemical company produces.  They are purchasing all of the seed companies that can be bought and are trying to force GM upon you because it means more money for them.  Your life, your health, the health of the earth, the health of the animal population, the dwindling bee population (thanks to triple stacking and BT plants)….none of this matters, what matters is the significant monetary increase and monetary generation for these companies.  This is why they want you to think they are better.  If we buy into the GM is better advertising, we are buying into a world of servitude for food to these companies.

Frankly I was born a free person, and I will go where I can remain a free person.  I will not have someone turn me into their servant for food so they can earn more money.  I will not subject my children or grand children to cancers, I will not subject myself, friends or family to a world void of morality so they can earn more money.

At the end of the day, all you have is your name.  Your name is attached to everything you do, why not produce a name of value?  Seems to me the most powerful human being and the most wealthy is the human that takes pride (which can’t be purchased), honor (which can’t be purchased) and compassion (which can’t be faked, not even with the greatest advertising campaign).  All these lies for money, and the lack of care or compassion towards life mean nothing.  The great campaigns trying to tell the world population how great they are might fool many in the population, but what good is a world of greedy fools?  A greedy fool always has to look over their shoulder because they surround themselves with a weak fools, and eventually one of those weak fools will discover their power and become a powerful greedy fool!  And that greedy fool has learned from the best, the original fool so they know how to turn the other greedy fools against the original Kings of the fools……watch your back—lmao

We look back and wonder how some of the ancient civilizations have disappeared, well I am quite certain greed was at the root of their annialation…..history has proven this fact over and over again.

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Gardening, Soap Box

 

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Saving your Seeds

I would like to share a link to a website that is promoting saving the bio-diversity of seeds.  http://www.savingourseeds.org/index.html  Now keep in mind you need to be careful about how you go about saving your seeds.  There are many regulations and patents out there.  In fact one corporation Monsanto, owns over 1,500 patents on food seeds alone.  Most of the seed companies out there are in fact owned by really four corporations and they own those seeds and the plants grown from them.

When considering saving seeds from your own garden or crops keep in mind a few important facts:

  • Don’t save seeds on a patented strain (most hybrids and thanks to Monsanto, almost every seed…check for patents)
  • Personally I don’t grow any genetic modification (GM) plants, I refuse to eat GM seeds!  I don’t want their fruits or vegetables and if it is a GM seed, you can bank on the fact that it is also patented.  If you save seeds from a patented variety, you can and will be sued for doing so as it is patent infringement.

Plants such as the tomato, you need to cure the seeds to make them viable.  The website above helps teach you ways in which to do this, please check them out.  If they don’t teach you what you need to know.  Hit the internet and do your research, just make sure you read lots of websites because chances of an inaccurate method are high.  Most people simply copy and paste articles and chances are, wrong information has been copy and pasted thousands of times.

Many have asked why I do not teach or give the methods behind how to save seeds here on my blog and the answer is simple, because I will get sued!  These companies love to make money, and frankly they don’t make enough money from seeds alone so they love to go out and police every home or rural garden.  They offer rewards to individuals willing to tattle on their neighbors via “tip lines”, so even in rural areas farmers needing money love to rat out even their own mothers for the money.

Just make sure you aren’t infringing upon any patent laws, preserve the seeds according to the species and always have your crops tested at the end of the season for contamination from any GM seed in your area.  Even if you don’t plant a GM seed variety, if your crops are contaminated by the GM variety, you are guilty of patent infringement, hence why it is important to fork out the money each and every year to ensure your crops have not become contaminated.  Better you find out and not save them than to have a company like Monsanto show up and sue you for everything you have because you saved your own seed.

Anyhow, know how to properly preserve your seeds.  If you are going to store them for more than one season, know how to do so in order to keep the seed viable.  Without seed, you can grow no food, without the diversity of all our little gardens, we will suffer from blight when the world turns into monoculture thanks to companies like Monsanto and others that are trying to force you in that direction.

Millions of people died in Ireland due to the potato blight because they grew one variety (known as mono culture), when their potatoes died, so did their people as they had nothing to eat.

I will talk later about the patented gene called “the terminator” gene which is owned by the United States Government as well as the “germinator” gene which requires you to purchase specific chemicals from the producing seed company in order to get your seeds to germinate at all.  But right now, I would like to ask those of you using heirlooms, you work diligently to keep them GM (aka contaminate) free and you store them properly so that we may all keep this world from being forced into a monoculture system which will kill us when that crops develops a blight.

So what does GM or patented seed mean?  Read this report.  http://gmwatch.org/component/content/article/10558-the-worlds-top-ten-seed-companies-who-owns-nature

For the record, many ex high up CEOs from Monsanto now hold high up governmental positions.  And for the record, the fact that these “governmental leaders” state they are not in bed with Monsanto (yet accept their cash, vacations, condo’s, cars, homes and more from them).  Here is a little tid-bit of reality folks….

At a July 2008 meeting, Monsanto officials announced plans to raise the average price of some of the company’s triple-stack maize varieties a whopping 35 percent. Fred Stokes of the U.S.-based Organization for
Competitive Markets (OCM) describes  the implications for farmers: “A $100 price increase is a tremendous drain on rural America. Let’s say a farmer in Iowa who farms 1,000 acres plants one of these expensive corn varieties next year. The gross increased cost is more than $40,000. Yet there’s no scientific basis to justify this price hike. How can we let companies get away with this?”

The U.S. government is currently subsidizing sales of Monsanto’s triple-stack maize seed by offering lower crop insurance premiums to farmers who plant  it on non-irrigated land – because the biotech maize reportedly provides lower risk of reduced yields when compared to conventional hybrids. The pilot project is especially specious because the U.S. government relied on data from Monsanto to substantiate the claim.

Once they own they crop, they control not only the price, but the food….when they own both the price and the food, they own the world.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Gardening, Soap Box

 

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Global Genocide, happening in your neighborhood, all for money!

Okay I really had a hard time trying to place a title on this post.  So many titles are strong and most will think its just another gloom and doom post.  The reality of this problem just makes me sick.  The fact that it is backed by our government who is out there trying to get all the other Nations of the world to agree with them and do the same thing makes me even sicker.  But the thing that scares me to death is that we have become more and more powerless by the day over things like our own genes that we were born with.  And if something goes wrong with those genes, you have to pay a corporation through the nose to do anything with the gene because they made it to the patent office and own the gene you were born with.

So where am I coming from today?  Well, I want to speak with you about several things, but the first thing is the change that Bush Jr. made at the patent office.  You no longer have to create something to get it patented, you just have to be the first one to the patent office.  Having said this, everything on this earth is patentable.  And companies with lots of money are running a race at the patent office.  Sadly this is a really bad thing for the society at large.

For example, the gene that is responsible for causing breast cancer was patented.  How does this impact you?  Well, all of the Universities and corporations doing research on breast cancer were brought to a screeching halt.  Why?  Because they are doing research on a gene which is now owned by a corporation.  More specific Myriad Genetics in Salt Lake City now owns the BRCA gene.  And sadly they have brought breast cancer studies and the sharing of this information to a screeching halt.  After all, they own the gene and anyone doing research on it must pay them money to study what they own.  If they do not pay Myriad Genetics what ever they want, and go ahead and study it, they are sued for patent infringement.  Many Universities right after the gene was patented were already sued for patent infringement and have decided that they simply can not continue their research or studies because they frankly can’t afford the fines and fees to do so now that the gene is owned by a corporation.

So here we have life saving research that was once going on to save lives, some corporation thanking President Bush Jr. manages to get a gene, which they did not create, patented so that they could make money on the right to do research or tests on it.  But it could get worse, I mean if I were to get breast cancer, and I go through treatment to alter the gene causing the breast cancer, could they sue me, the patient, for patent infringement because I asked to have their gene (which they did not create, I was born with it) altered to save my life?  And since they so-called “OWN” the gene, can I sue them because it is killing me?  Nope, they didn’t create it, they only own it, so if I want to do anything with it, I have to pay them, but they have no responsibility for or over it because they didn’t create it, they simply own it.  I love how the patent office is protecting them and their ability to earn income, but releasing them from any and all liability arising from it.

It makes me sick that so many companies own the genes in which our bodies are made up of.  And they do so for one reason, TO EARN A BUCK!  In this case, Myriad Genetics got it patented and brought research to a screeching halt, on top of this, since they own the gene, they are the only company that can to a blood test for it, and you have to pay their price to see if you carry this gene!

Read the following article for a story of what it did to a Texas teacher who at 28 years old discovered she had breast cancer.  MSNBC News Report on Breast Cancer Gene

Keep in mind that the ACLU took them to court over the ability to have the BRCA genes tested in laboratories not owned by them, they won the first lawsuit, but Myriad Genetics and their legal counsel feel the decision will be overruled in their counter suit and any laboratory doing testing on their patented gene will be retro actively sued for patent infringement.  Keep in mind, this gene was not created by them, they simply patented it due to the fact that LIFE can now be patented thanks to Bush Jr.  The only thing you need is lots of money and to be the first person to the patent office.  After that, you can sue, sue, sue everyone using, trying to use or even doing research on it for patent infringement.

Makes me wonder who owns the crab grass in my yard.  That stuff keeps growing all by itself, I wonder who I owe money to because I use it by nature producing it in my lawn.  Worse yet, if I want to get rid of it, I wonder if that would be a patent infringement as well.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Soap Box

 

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Who are you voting for as President?

Many people have been asking me which candidate I am backing in the next Presidential race.  Well, sadly my vote and backing has not entered the race yet!

Give me a man or woman who does not have a campaign budget in the millions! Is not backed by the “special interest” groups, cleans and cooks for their families themselves without the use of a housekeeper, drives themself to work in their own car without the services of a driver, knows how to balance their bank book and knows when there is no money in it, they can’t just raise taxes to keep spending money they (we) don’t have, a candidate that wears a suit from a warehouse, not a designer name, doesn’t own a single pair of prada………

Give me a candidate that leaves from the west coast, with a backpack and camping tent on their back and a budget just large enough to cover the bare necessities just like how the rest of us are living.  Whos campaign trail is to walk across America with their own two feet all the way to D.C. by the time we vote.  Give me a candidate that has calloused hands from working just like the rest of us do!  Give me a candidate that is willing to work for their evening meal along the way.  A candidate who pitches their tent on the side of the road in the beginning because no one knows who they are.  A candidate who fully appreciates a hot meal of some squirrel they found along the way and doesn’t complain that their prime rib wasn’t cooked to perfection.  Give me a candidate that simply will not accept any donations or perks from any special interest group and is willing to say “No, not going to happen, the poor, the tired and the hopeless can’t afford this!”

Give me a candidate who fully understands and is one of the real Americans earning less than $80,000 per year, with a college education, struggling to keep their family home and food on the table.  Because the “real” Americans aren’t the rich who can afford to wipe their ‘arse with cash when they are expelling their fine wine and lobster from the meal they ate the night before.  A candidate who understands that any meal not made of ramen noodles is a “gourmet treat”.

Give me a “real” American Candidate, one that lives like the rest of us do, struggles like the rest of us do, has no money to run for Presidency but can walk from coast to coast, is willing and happy to do so in order to understand what the “real” American public is going through in order to survive.

Give me a candidate like this and I will tell you who will get my vote!  I will even gladly walk many miles with them as they travel in the shoes of so many of us “real” Americans.  I would not only walk many miles with them, but I would gladly bring them a glass of ice water on a hot day, the shirt off my back because theirs is tattered and my sneakers, even if they were my only pair, because theirs had holes in the soles.

Its fine and dandy that our Presidential Candidates are able to stay in 5-star hotels, in their best suites.  It is fine and dandy that our Presidential Candidates are driven to work, have a housekeeper to make their beds for them, are paid for by the special interests groups backing the rich corporations that have ruined America.

Give me a true American, one that understands the real backbone of America is her people—-and her people aren’t JUST the rich and beautiful, America’s real people are the poor, the hard workers, the homeless…..something our current Presidential Candidates only understand in words.  Only they don’t really understand the meaning of the words……..just the words themselves.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2011 in Soap Box

 

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Mass Evacuation, are you as scared as I am?

We have been watching and reading much in my book club on the subject of the German Wars of the 1940’s.  I found my thoughts often wondering what those people must have been going through as they were evacuated from their homes and villages.  I know when Hurricane Katrina hit, we discovered that as a Nation, we are ill prepared for a massive evacuation.  Be an evacuation from a natural disaster or an act of war, what would we really be facing if we were evacuated?

Many of you may be thinking that “they didn’t have cars or trucks back then”, most were under the power of their feet or carts and animals.  Many feel that since we have automobiles, trailers, RVs and the likes at our disposal an evacuation would be very easy to deal with.  All I have to say about this is look at “rush hour traffic”.  Now consider that most of the population is not on the roads during this time, not even a majority of the population.  Why?  Because not everyone is going in the same direction or even working on the same shift; yet look at how badly the roads are congested during the hours of rush hour.  Now tack onto this congestion the fear and panic people will be going through in the event of an evacuation.  I simply don’t see it possible for a safe evacuation of the large cities to occur in an expeditious manner.

Are we really prepared?  Do we have an evacuation plan put into place with our families?  And if we are evacuated, without reliance of the Government to provide your shelter and food, do you have the ability to live somewhere for a month or longer should something happen requiring an evacuation?

This has been a heavy thought upon my shoulders as the American Government continues pushing forward, invading more and more countries in the name of “domestic safety” and a perceived threat of terrorism.  I mean since before recorded history there have always been people wanting to make war, and there have always been threats in the middle east, but my thoughts are driven away from these far away lands and back to the personal safety of my friends and family here at home.  China has told the United States to “back off”, they don’t threaten often so I think we need to firmly consider the fact that they are genuine in protecting their neighbors borders for their own personal safety of their Nation.  And this just scares me because the U.S. Governmental Leaders show no signs of taking the threat seriously and continue invading more and more countries.  More than ever before, I firmly believe that China is capable as well as having the backing of many other Nations should they follow through with their threat to protect themselves against the forces of the United States Military.

Based on this, and I am not saying that WWIII will happen, I think that the players have taken their stance and right now are posturing, so the potential is there.  Based on this potential, what will we do?  I have seen the faces in photographs, even in modern media as people are evacuated due to war, they look hopeless.  True, they are evacuated into government set up camps, but has anyone seen the numbers of the people who die in these camps?  Food is limited, personal hygiene is limited and so many end up sick and die from things like dysentery.  Illness spreads like a wild-fire when you take thousands of people and put them into a camp designed to house only a few hundred people.  Tack onto this the stress they are under, and the body naturally becomes more susceptible to disease.  We aren’t talking thousands of years ago, we are talking in recent history within the last ten years here.  So don’t think technology is set in place to avoid this because it simply isn’t.

What is my families exit plan?  How will I keep them safe and how will we honestly ever get to safe ground living where we live right now?  How long will it take when the millions of people who live within a 20-mile radius of us are all trying to do the same thing……….

These are questions I think we all need to be thinking about, be it a natural disaster or an act of war…..if it happened today, what would we do?

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Soap Box

 

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Bank Robbery, the new American health plan

First I would like to go on the record to state that I do not think robbing a bank is the thing to do.  So no one go out and rob a bank because I told you this guy did.  But he did it for a reason many have turned to crime here in America. He did it for health care.

While many companies spent their bail out money in many ways, I would like to point out a few:

  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac employees were thrilled their employers were bailed out.  It meant they would get their yearly bonuses of $20,000 or more (my neighbor got over $80,000 bonus from Fannie Mae).  Prior to the bail out they were told they would not get their yearly bonus in addition to their yearly raise.
  • JP Morgan used it to purchase four very vital new corporate jets to fly around their CEOs

I could go on and on and on, but it was our tax dollars that bailed out these companies when they should have failed.  Other companies would have stepped up and with any luck would have run their companies smarter.  I think they should have failed….but NO, we spent billions for them to continue doing business the way they always have, the way that failed them in the first place, only the CEOs making all the failing decisions got bonuses and pay raises to run their companies into the ground.

That bail out money should have been spent on more important things, things that are more vital to the American public, things far more valuable to the tax payers than a yearly bonus or new corporate jets.  I don’t know like food, shelter, bridges that are about to collapse, roads that have reverted back to nearly dirt…….

As usual however those that take our money have never spent it very wise.  We had no choice but to trust that they would, because even if we don’t trust them they are going to take it any way.  The Federal Government released a report stating that the Medicare system would collapse by 2018, yet in good faith many of us have paid Medicare and Social Security for more than 30 years….we will never see a dime, yet they continue taking big chunks from our paychecks?  Do I have faith they will save it……hell no, they already said it will fail by 2018 – 2035 so I know the money I was forced to trust them with will not be there by the time I am old enough for it.  To learn more about Social Security and Medicare that you have paid into since your first day of public work go here:  http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/13/news/economy/social_security_medicare_trustees_report/index.htm

So what is our American population turning to now that they are broke?  They are robbing banks for the sum of $1.00.  Read more about it here: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/seo/man-politely-robs-bank-for-1-lands-free-healthcare-in-prison/3453

There is a comment in the article that his actions have upset tax payers.  Well I am a tax payer and I am not upset by him or his actions to get health care.  I am upset by a Government, that we have all trusted with billions of dollars that have spent it unwisely forcing people to feel this is the only way they can do anything.  I have paid into the Social security and Medicare programs since the year 1977.  And it will be another 30 years (because they keep raising my age limit) before I will be old enough to collect either.  The funny part is that as it stands now, I have to be 72, which happens to be 3 years longer than the current average life expectancy.  Go figure!  And no, Social Security and Medicare are not paid post mortem.  I am more upset that the Government will have taken money from me each and every month for 61 years, promising me to manage the money they take so that I will have retirement and medical insurance.  Well they only part of the contract that has been upheld is mine, the part where I fork over the money.  That wasn’t the promise!  They have defaulted on their contractural obligation to all of us.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Soap Box

 

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Help! I’m being robbed!

And so are you!  I want to jump up on my soap box today and talk about “credit banks”.  These are banks that manage accounts for box stores.  You know, you open a line of credit with a store and go about shopping.  I know, there are “regulations” out their protecting (supposedly) your good credit.  And if you have never skipped or been late on a payment they can’t just up and decide to charge you 30% interest.

So a few years ago, before the new regulations went into effect my sewing machine died.  I earn part of my living in sewing the pelts of the animals I raise, quilts, pageant dresses and the likes.  I must have a really good machine to help me earn additional income.  Call me crazy (Lord knows I am as of today) but I purchased a $12,500 sewing machine.  It does everything I need it to do and a few “extra” touches that have enabled me to expand my customer base.  For the average household sewer it is far more machine than you would ever need.  However since it assists me in supplementing my income, it is what I need.  Now at the time, I didn’t have but $6,000 saved up, so I gladly signed up for the “credit account” at the local sewing store.  Interests rates were high back then (pre economic collapse), but due to my good credit I was able to get their lowest interest rate which is 9.99% fixed.  My payments at the time were $145 per month of which I paid $200 each month to pay it down faster.  Sounds good right?

Wrong, with the new regulations I noticed in January they were tacking on a “purchase” balance and charging 29.99% interest.  I didn’t know what this was and each month have been sending in my payment plus this odd balance in which they were charging this 29.99% interest to.  Since the month of January my monthly payment has gone from $145 to $185, yes, that is a $40 monthly increase to my payment.  I was all confused so I decided to call the credit company to find out what is going on.

After pressing 1 for english, entering my account number and the # sign, I was then directed to key in my address and press the # sign.  This took me to another menu where I was prompted to enter my birth date MM/DD/YYYY and the # sign.  So I did which took me to another menu where I was prompted to enter Social Security number followed by the # sign, annoyed by this point because in between each and every prompt for information from me I had to listen to a 2 minute sales pitch.  Sadly I HAD to listen to this because if I pressed 1 as prompted, I would be signing up for all sorts of monthly “service” fees for this that and the other “programs” they were offering.  Sometimes I had to press 1 for the next menu options, sometimes I had to press 2 for the next menu options.  Amazing how this particular credit bank, which I can’t name because I am certain GE Money Bank would get upset with me for mentioning them.  Anyhow, I kid you not when I say I was on the phone for over 15 minutes pressing this, pressing that, listening to their adnausioum for “Other ways we care about you and your credit” sales pitches.  Finally after 15 minutes I finally get the option to press 1 to sign up for monthly credit insurance, press 2 for monthly unemployment credit insurance, press 3 for monthly long-term disability insurance or press 4 to hear my balance and last payment information, press 5 to get the address to send them more money, press 6 to go back to the main menu to start again, press 7 for payoff information, press 8 to learn more about their “credit insurance programs” or yeah press 9 to speak with a customer representative.

Thank God I thought, finally I am going to speak with someone to find out what the heck this 30% interest charge is.  OH NO “All calls are answered in order of received, your current average wait time is 21 minutes.  Are you kidding me, I have already spent nearly that amount of time pressing buttons for them.  Well, my wait time was not 21 minutes, it was nearly 26 minutes and when the customer service person greeted me, well didn’t really greet me, asked for me to enter my account number–which I already had.  He didn’t even say hello to me, thank me for holding so long, now he asked me for my account number, then my full name, then to verify my billing address, then my birth date in MM/DD/YYYY format, then the last four of my SS#, my mothers maiden name….OMG I was nauseous again.  I noticed that he spoke with a thick accent, good god, I’m speaking to India….go outsourcing.  So 5 minutes later after he read off “this call may or may not be recorded for training…….”  Then at last “How may I help you?”

Gosh it was really hard to understand him.  But I asked “What is this “new purchases” balance that you are charging me 30% interest for.”  He responded, no 30%, 29.99% interest, you no charge 30%.”  Okay well, thank you for the correction, but please not I do not call $1.99 a dollar, I call it $2.00.  “You not right, only charge 29.99%”.  But this doesn’t roll off my tongue as easy as 30%, can I please call it 30%? “No, not charge 30%, charge 29.99%.  By now, I know my “complex” question will be too difficult to get through to this guy and clearly we have a language barrier, so I ask for someone who speaks English because I am having difficulty in understanding his Engrish.  He says “just a moment”…..click.   >.<  Oh no, please tell me he has not hung up on me, I really don’t want to go through the stinking press this, listen to this, behind door number 3 is this great credit insurance plan for just $19.99 per month, push the right button or it will show up on your next statement phone system.  I sat on the line, in hopes that he had not hung up on me….in fact I sat on the line listening to dead air until the loud beeps started to indicate that my phone was off the hook, please hang it up.

I had to take a break.  It took me over 30 minutes of my time to get that far only to be hung up on.  I went outside, tossed the balls around for the dogs to catch, gathered my wits and my breath, then went back inside.  Hmm, maybe I will check out their website, that has got to be better than wasting my time just to speak with someone in India.

So you have to enter all your personal information on their website, to include giving them your email address so they can “no we not spam it”–hogwash.  So I do, then before I can look at their website, I get locked up by a pop-up, “Would you like the security of knowing your payments will be made for you if you become unemployed”?  “Yes” or “No thanks”—-I selected “No Thanks”, but wait there is more, how about this “additional fee for this other service?”  NO THANKS,  “Hang on, we have an even better program it’s called………” NO FREAKING THANKS!     On and on the adnausium continued.  Listen you idiots, I just want to know what this ever-growing balance is on my account that you are charging 30% interest to, and how do I go about paying that off because 30% interest is just highway robbery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Need I say that I spent over 25 minutes setting up my online account and pressing the NO THANKS box and when I finally had my online account set up, entered all my personal information, said NO NO NO NO NO NO NO to all the “additional services” I finally got into their website.  Sadly, there was nothing about where the balance they were charging 30% to originated.  I was really upset by now because I have wasted several hours trying to get an answer to this question.

I know what many of you are thinking, “why not just write a letter?”  Been there, did that.  I admit, I don’t have any personal checks.  I use my banks bill pay services to send out payments.  So when I found myself writing my letter, I also had to go to the bank to get a money order so I could staple my letter to the payment in hopes of getting an answer.  A month went by, no answer.  So I got another money order, this time I affixed it to my letter with so many staples that it could have gone through a hurricane and not have become detached from my personal letter.  No answer, in fact I have done this for five months in a row and no answer.  So I know not to waste my printer ink or time in writing yet another letter for them to throw away or “we did not receive a letter” answer.

Totally miffed now because I really don’t have the time to do this to get an answer to my question, I yet again pick up the phone and subject myself to press this, enter that, hit the # sign, be careful what you press or you will add all sorts of services you don’t want to your account, followed by the # sign.  I am an American, who took out a credit account with an American company, but I known damn good and well that I am calling India because the company would rather pay $10 per day than employ an American for $10 per hour.

ACK, 34 minutes later I get an even thicker accent and a woman in India.  “How may I help you today?” ” Yes, I would like to know where the balance you are charging 30% interest on originated and how I go about paying that off?” was my reply.   “You pay off your account?  Okay just a moment”…….”No I am not paying off my account I want to”…….to late, the painful silence, then starts up the recorded messages, “To obtain payoff information on your account please press 1”  ZOMG, are you shitting me?  Back into the system of mashing buttons I go.  I was in luck, it only took me 15 minutes of pressing this and that followed by the # sign to get back to a customer service representative in India.

Yes you can help me today by telling me where the balance you are charging me 29.99% interest on.  “Vat is you interest you no pay”.  Vat?  What does vat mean?  —–Oh you mean THAT….okay of all the live people in India I have gotten on the telephone, she has the lightest accent.  Maybe I can understand this one.  “So that is the interest that I have not paid correct?”  Ves, you no pay interest, vee put inta new purchases you no pay till end”.  Wait a minute, I don’t pay interest on my account with my monthly payment.  “No you no pay it, vat be payin at end”.  Wait I’m still confused.  I make my monthly payment on time each month, so where does this interest come from that you are saying I don’t pay?  “Vee put da payment on your balance, you no pay maintenance fee and you no pay interest till you pay off.  You must be happy with us, we no make you pay new purchase balance, only original balance, you pay new purchase balance off later, you pleased, you be happy”.

Okay, I will spare you the painful call to India in trying to get to the bottom of this.  Due to regulation changes by the Federal Government on my account serviced by people in India to save a buck in this great land of “vee no pay American workers, vee outsource to India and make you press buttons so you no learn to speak Indian”.

The bottom line is they found a loophole in how to charge us more interest.  When I make my monthly payment they apply my entire payment to the principle balance.  The principle balance has a fixed rate of 9.99%, because I make my payments on time, they can’t state I have broken my contractual obligation to raise my interest rate.  That is part of the new governmental regulation changes.  Since they can not earn more money because I meet my contractual obligation, they got creative.  They charge a monthly maintenance fee, this is considered a “new purchase” and does not grandfather into the 9.99% interest, they then code it as a “new purchase” and charge an interest rate of 29.99% to the monthly maintenance fee.  Sadly, it doesn’t stop here.  The 9.99% interest charged to my original balance is not paid with my monthly payment, nope the 9.99% interest is placed into the “new purchases” column and is charged 29.99% interest.  Yes, you read that right, I am charged 30% interest on my 10% interest.  My whole payment goes towards the original principle balance, none of it goes towards the interest or maintenance fee.  This is why in a short 6 months my payment has jumped $40 bucks.  It will continue going up because I have to pay 30% interest on my 10% interest and their monthly fee, while they only apply my monthly payment to my principle balance.

Can anyone say this is robbing me?  I feel like I am being robbed.  So I asked if I could send in two payments, 1 payment for my monthly payment and 1 payment to pay off the balance they are charging 30% interest on.  The answer I was give was NO.  If you send in 2 payments, they will both be applied to your original principle balance.  Once you pay off your original balance, you will then only see one charge for the “new purchases” that we are charging you not 30% interest on, we only charge you 29.99% interest on.

Way to go American Governmental Regulations, way to go India, this is why I should have stuck to my cash only life.  Things like this are why we should NEVER charge a penny and certainly never open up an account with a retail box store….or any store of any kind.  How they are applying my payments I feel is totally set up to simply eek more money out of the population and sadly they are within their regulated right to do it this way.  I will be working hard on that sewing machine in the next few months to simply pay it off! With my payments going up right now around $6.00 per month, if I take the next 4 years to pay like they want me to (remember I am calculating it at the current $6.66, but we all know how interest goes it, it will progressively become larger and larger).  Anyhow, if I take the full 4 years to pay off my balance with the way they process payments my payments will go from their current $185 to $500…..whoda thunk!

At the end of 4 years, with them calling the interest charge a “new purchase” and their monthly processing fee a “new purchase” just so they can charge me 29.99% interest, I will be paying in excess of $320 per month JUST for this 29.99% interest way of applying payments.

I can not stress the importance of the fact that banks don’t work for us.  If you give them your cash–they will spend it however they want, wise or not, collapse again or not.  When you see their brilliant ads showing how they are building communities, helping a single parent fix their home or feed their family….don’t buy into it.  They simply want your money to play with, they are doing anything but “working for the betterment of YOU”….its all about them and they will figure out ways, as they have!, to bleed you dry of every penny they can get.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Soap Box