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Open thread 1/8/24

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  • ghostsniper January 8, 2024, 9:28 AM

    WOW man, the colors!

  • Joe Krill January 8, 2024, 11:11 AM
  • ghostsniper January 8, 2024, 2:42 PM

    Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
    As a rule I am against debt of any kind.
    It’s hard to go forward when you’re going backward.

    I used to “do” credit cards and much of the time I used them to my advantage.
    But, as inevitably happens, income dropped off temporarily and I got behind in the credit card payments. Once you do that they stick it deep.
    So deep that it’s very difficult to get out of the hole.
    They raise the interest rate to the moon and you end up in a downward spiral.
    Only if the stars align can you make that leap across the chasm of despair and pay them off.
    Not everyone is that fortunate.

    Through a stroke of luck I got that chance to jump and did just that.
    I paid off my credit cards and cut them up.
    That was 17 years ago.
    Nothing but cash and ATM transactions since then.


    5 years ago my bank told me someone in Kuwait used my ATM card to purchase over $3000 in construction materials and they wanted to know if I did that?
    They said they called me because the amount spent was unusual.
    While on the phone with the bank they told me my card was used again for an $800 payment to a hotel in San Diego. They shut my card down, did not hold me responsible for the errant charges, and told me I have to go to the bank and get a new ATM card.

    Well, 2 years ago the same sort of thing happened again and again I had to get another ATM card.
    Fearing there may be a time when someone, some how wipes out my bank account, I decided to get a credit card and pass the responsibility to someone else.

    So I got a credit card but I didn’t use it. As it turns out, if I have a credit card but do not use it that makes my credit score go down.
    Say what???

    That’s right. When I first got the card they said they will email me once a month with a report.
    The first report said my credit score was 815. The second report, a month later, said my score was 785 because I have an open account with no balance, and apparently that is a bad thing.
    So I went out and bought something with my almost new credit card.

    I felt guilty. I was not used to spending money that I didn’t own. Like I was doing something wrong.
    Yes, guilty. I spent someone else’s money. That’s not normal. I couldn’t wait for that bill to come in the mail so I could hurry up and pay it and get out from under that guilt trip. On the 8th of the month that bill came in the mail and BLAM! I wrote a check and it was in the mailbox the next morning.

    The following month credit score was 796.

    So I kept doing that, buying a lil sumfink every month and then promptly paying the bill and my score got up to 835 where it has settled in. Problem is, I don’t get out enough to actually use the card, so I converted my online purchases to that credit card. Seems I spend more money online than in person.

    Well, after a few months the score slipped down again and the reason given was that in relation to my income I do not have enough credit accounts and and I should get some more.

    They even made a few suggestions on which cards I should get, the ones with the “best” rates of course.

    No way hose-say.

    That’s that slippery slope I mentioned earlier.
    They make their profit off people sliding all over that slippery assed slope and I’m not going to be one. Now that we live rurally I have the upper hand in this thing because there is simply no place around here to use a credit card. I have to drive 45 mins to get to any place where money can be spent and I don’t do that very often. So by default, the credit card company can go pound sand.

    Now, the point in all of this.

    The first year I got that new credit card more credit card solicitations by mail started coming in. This was a new thing because since 2006 I had no credit so the credit card companies never solicited me.
    I suspect they solicit people that already have credit cards in the hope that they are sliding all over that slippery slope and may get another card to bail themselves out. You know, you get behind in the payments, so you use another card to pay off the first one. That unfortunate merry go round to bankruptcy. That ain’t me, Jackson, but they keep on trying.

    So, last Jan 2023 I decided to start saving these credit card solicitations that I received in the mail, to see how many they send me in a year. I had a suet box sitting over there and when a solicitation came in the mail I put it in that box. Today a solicitation came in the mail and that reminded me that I need to tally up the ones I had received over the past year.
    Here is the breakdown and total:

    Capital One – 22
    American Express – 11
    Sapphire – 9
    Discover – 3
    Freedom – 1
    Slate Edge – 1
    Total – 47

    Forty seven credit card solicitations in 1 year. Almost one a week.
    I have to carry those things from the mailbox to the house, then I have to pay to dispose them.
    So even though I don’t do business with these credit vampires they still cost me money via the broken window syndrome. The mail deliverer and the trash company make money off of me because the credit card companies deem it so. That kinda pisses me off, and I don’t know a work around.

    Another angle to this credit card business is that they charge in the high 20’s percent for interest if you get behind on your bill. Now, say I get laid up in the hospital or something and my credit card bill doesn’t get paid on time, I will automatically get dragged on to that slippery slope of the 20+% interest rate – forever more.

    No sir, I don’t like it.

    There’s got to be a better way.

    I don’t like unnecessary risk and all aspects of this world-prison we are in are becoming more risky in all ways each day. I am interested in reducing risk, across the board, and being as gray as a gray hoon can be.

    Just off the top O’ my head I believe the time may be here that I need to get rid of the cards, both credit and ATM, and only spend cash, in person. Yeah, that will cramp my style, but it may be necessary in order to stay out front of the potential problems. Paying by cash has it’s own built in problems but they are problems I can mostly control. And that, to me, is the most important thing.
    Having control, as much as humanly possible, over my ENTIRE life. I will be doing some heavy pondering on this subject until I can create a long term workable solution.

    • Snakepit Kansas January 9, 2024, 10:15 AM

      When you can get to the point that you don’t need to borrow money, your credit score is irrelevant. If you do have credit card debt then get a second job. Get a third job and pay that off. At 20%+ interest rates you are going to have to grind and grind. A couple years ago I had a gob of bills hit at once. I should have prepared better…. I could take it in the hind quarters or I could get a part time job(s). Picked up some additional hours at the gun range and got a liquor store job in addition to my regular job. Got me through the holidays without carrying any CC debt. After a few months I was a tired SOB and lost 10 pounds, but I smile knowing I didn’t let those bastards get over on me.

  • DT January 8, 2024, 3:40 PM

    Pretty much illustrates how I feel right now. When we were young, we sought drugs like this. I’ve now reached the age where they prescribe these drugs even though I no longer seek them.

  • Casey Klahn January 9, 2024, 6:46 AM

    Spaze Aliens at the Mall, Jewizh Tunnels in Brooklyn, pentagon melt down at the tippy top…dogs living with cats, plagues of locusts…

    It’s my unfortunate office to go off on GEN Austin, the AWOL SecDef. I had to GooGull back to make sure that, indeed, the pentagon kept the Xhina balloon secret from the Commander in Chief (Biden), and then Biden kept that from us the citizenry. Yes, I remembered it correctly. That is some shit, Americans! The only reason a year after the balloon debacle that we don’t have a national outrage about it is that it sits squarely in the absurd file. Your mind will not go around it.

    Then, GEN Austin pulls the same move in the form of disappearing for a few days at the hospital (will he come back transitioned??). Turns out the president’s cabinet hasn’t sat since October. Nobody at the White House even missed the good general. The national command structure is in complete disarray, and out of control. Do I recall that Obama also didn’t like to cabinet? Why would a guy when he’s a fukn dictator anyway??

    It’s unlikely that Biden will fire the SecDef, as he already said such. Make them pay at the ballot box. Compared to Austin, MacArthur was a boy scout.

    • azlibertarian January 9, 2024, 12:28 PM

      * Austin has every right to have his medical needs met. But he is a public servant, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and the President, Congress, and the public deserve to know when he’s out of commission. Who wants to bet that Austin has one of those BuckRogers@gmai!.com fake email addresses that the Chinese are monitoring and they were well aware of Austin’s absence while almost everyone else in the .gov didn’t?
      * BTW, as of this writing (1PM MST, 1/9/24), Austin is still hospitalized. Reuters invades his privacy by telling me that he’s dealing with an infection following treatment for prostate cancer. He’s functioning as the Secretary of Defense from the hospital bed at Walter Reed. This bothers me. He is incompacitated to the degree that he’s hospitalized. I might be able to understand if we were talking about the Secretary of the Interior, but I want more out of a SecDef….he is part of the decision-making to launch a nuke.
      * Moreover, they’re looking for the scapegoat…..and it looks as though they’ve decided on Austin’s Chief of Staff.
      * Yesterday I listened to an interesting YouTube on this story. https://www.youtube.com/live/qqND4Ny16xU?si=mPU1SBjJsyH5f3vM
      Stealing a couple’o points from there, each one of these players have a staff, and often their staff’s have staffs. These staffs don’t always work well within their offices, or with other staffs, whether that be up, down or laterally on the wiring diagram. Also, I agree with one of the final points of the video that it is off-putting for the public face of the DoD Public Affairs office to be a military officer.
      * Ideally, a White House works with it’s Cabinet and runs the .gov through the respective Cabinet heads. I don’t think that it has worked that way for quite some time. There’s always someone with the title of White House Czar for This or That who is actually running This or That policy and the guy over at the Department of This or That is just a figurehead.

      • ghostsniper January 9, 2024, 2:23 PM

        “…but I want more out of a SecDef….he is part of the decision-making to launch a nuke.”
        I’d sleep better at night if ALL of the current administration were dead.
        But that’s me.

        I’m working ardently on making the entire farce of gov’t in general irrelevant.
        Look at this current clown circus, can any sane person believe having this administration in charge is better than no one at all? Every dam thing it has done has not been just wrong, but as wrong as humanly possible. These people aren’t american citizens, they are criminals. That’s why it is not possible for me to have any faith or support in their existence. I wish all of them, down to the janitor in the deli, a painful death and forfeiture of all assets.

        • azlibertarian January 9, 2024, 3:50 PM

          I’d sleep better at night if ALL of the current administration were dead.
          But that’s me.”

          Yeah, seriously. While I agree that Biden, Harris, Austin, and the entire gang are worthless, corrupt, inept, or all of the above, I was speaking more generally. I ducked under my desk as an elementary-school-age kid (and I suspect that you did too) and I want a federal government ready to fight a war at a moment’s notice. When the SecDef is hospitalized without the White House or his Deputy (apparently) knowing—as Casey said above, in effect AWOL–what would happen if the Russians or the Chinese chose that moment to launch a nuke at us? The SecDef has a key role here.

          …• When a foreign attack occurs or another scenario potentially warranting a nuclear response arises, the President will convene with the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other relevant military commanders and policy advisors to develop a response.
          • If the President determines the use of nuclear force is appropriate, then he or she would
          authorize such action using the “football”—a suitcase containing communication tools and a codebook which is always kept near the President by a U.S. servicemember.
          • As part of those procedures, the President would identify himself or herself using unique codes stored on a “biscuit” that he or she keeps with him at all times and transmit a launch order to the Pentagon and U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM). The Secretary of Defense or other official would then generally verify that this order came from the President.
          • STRATCOM would then execute the order by communicating it to multiple land- and water-based nuclear weapons teams, who conduct their own verification process and eventually launch….”
          [emphases, mine.]

          Look. I don’t like Mayorkas. I am sooooo glad that Garland isn’t a Supreme. Wray is a disgrace. They all deserve to be impeached. But I see those as political questions. Here, Austin left America naked for that period while he was AWOL. I agree with Casey above that Austin won’t be fired and he won’t be impeached. There isn’t enough political capitol to impeach Mayorkas, Garland, Wray, or let’s not forget, Biden. But Austin’s secret hospitalization (read: “AWOL”) is unforgivable…he was on duty and he left his post. For crying out loud, he’s former 4-star…..he Court Martialed soldiers for less.

  • Joe Krill January 9, 2024, 12:38 PM

    If this doesn’t piss you off, I don’t know what will?!!

    Democrats and Republicans announced $1.66 Trillion “Bipartisan” Package.

    What the bill includes you might ask?

    – $65.5 BILLION to Ukraine
    – $14.4 BILLION to Israel
    – $5.318 BILLION emergency funding to CBP to process illegals faster
    – $2.352 BILLION emergency funding for ICE
    – $755 MILLION FOR U.S citizenship & immigration.

    More money to fund wars and more more money for illegals to invaded your country faster.

    • ghostsniper January 9, 2024, 2:31 PM

      It just keeps getting better and better doesn’t it Joe?
      The longer it takes for this thing to snap, the more time the criminals have to dig the hole even deeper, meaning even more difficult for us survivors to dig our way out.

      The underlying theme I have to keep reminding myself of is, I didn’t spend any of that money on that list nor did I sanction anyone to spend it, therefore, it is not my responsibility.

      In a sane world, where people are held specifically responsible for their actions, you will find less irresponsible actions. Your list is the result of the reverse. Expect this criminal activity to continue and increase exponentially. Remember, you didn’t do it.

      • Snakepit Kansas January 10, 2024, 4:20 AM

        One of these days the new currency will be 9mm ammunition and Snikers bars.

  • ghostsniper January 9, 2024, 2:33 PM

    If the us gov’t really wanted to close the border, it would be closed.

  • ghostsniper January 9, 2024, 6:07 PM

    What’s worse, a unbelievably expensive and criminally incompetent gov’t or no gov’t at all?

    IOW, would your life be better off being forced to wear a huge and useless backpack or none?

  • Casey Klahn January 10, 2024, 4:08 AM

    Watch Poland. It has the winds of war about it right now. Eurofag globalist vs. Christian Nationalist (so-called) and the lib guy is arresting conservative politicians.

  • Deborah HH January 10, 2024, 6:53 AM

    Everything Husband and I own is paid for. Mostly we pay in cash. But Husband uses three credit cards for particular services (internet and our website fees, trash pickup, fuel, et cetera), and those credit cards are set up to “ping” our cell phones when a transaction is placed. That ping is a small miracle and lets us take immediate action if those credit card numbers have been stolen.

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