Out of the Blue

I've mentioned my neighbor's giant Liriodendron (tulip tree) a couple of times in the past. Most recently I confessed I am starting to hate it, in spite of its soaring magnificence. The thing just drops crap everywhere, including our rain gutter, and it's completely lost its charm at this point. My neighbor recently asked my feelings about this, and I was candid, while still trying to make it clear he should keep his tree if he really loves it. He expressed misgivings about it himself, saying it may be literally getting the axe. The other day there were tree guys in their yard, but they just trimmed at some smaller stuff and left. I guess they were just messing with us, because they are back this morning, and it's obvious operation mayhem is in full effect. I have real guilt pangs, as this is a glorious old tree, but it also was a terrible neighbor. This has the potential to become an even greater regret if it turns out the lost shade makes the BlueTower considerably hotter in the summer, but for now with mixed feelings we'll bid adieu to this giant wooden litterbug. Apologies to Joyce Kilmer, but I think that I shall never see a thing as lovely as a stump. In that spot at least.

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26 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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26.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 21, 2016, 08:53
26.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 21, 2016, 08:53
Sep 21, 2016, 08:53
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 22:33:
Yeah, I've never understood why people put up with that. I'm 54 and I have had a checking account since I was 12 when I needed it for my paper route. And the only time I ever paid a fee for my savings or checking account was when I was a poor college student and I let my the checking balance slip below $100 a couple of times. I'm also at a credit union, but I'd be willing to go to a named bank if they had services I wanted but couldn't get at the credit union. However, I don't suspect that would actually ever happen.

And in fact, last year my credit union started charging if you received monthly paper statements. The first month I was charged, I went over and asked about it. Asked, "I've been mailed paper statements for 25 years without charge, why do you need to charge me now?" They waived the fee for my account.

I'm with a credit union now but before that I was with big name banks for a long time. Most of the accounts I've held them had a "minimum balance to rebate monthly fees" bit and I've always used it. I keep an emergency fund in a highly liquid account and that's usually enough to avoid ever paying fees. There are also several no fee banks online now too. There's no reason to ever pay bank fees, they are entirely unnecessary. The bank makes enough with the money you let them hold onto and for the average person the interest on their debts.

If you add the cost of a lifetime of bank fees and factor them with the time value of money you're giving up a chunk of a house. It's pretty crazy.
Avatar 51617
25.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 23:15
Kxmode
 
25.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 23:15
Sep 20, 2016, 23:15
 Kxmode
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 22:05:
Kxmode wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 19:03:
jdreyer wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 17:48:
I'm really not getting why you think this would be turned into a witch hunt.

So who do you arrest? Those doing the deed, those directing the act, or those facilitating the practice through the corporate environment and "cross-sell" mantra? It is very easy to cast a wide net and arrest people en masse, and then only release those who are found innocent, but do remember that U.S. citizens are innocent until proven guilty. It is important that there be probable cause for an arrest. Otherwise, doing what you propose would eventually turn into a witch-hunt. Does this help clarify my point?

Point not clarified. What you're bringing up is a concern any time a crime is committed, big or small. I still don't understand why you think this would be any different.

The opposite is more of a concern, that nothing is done. Remember the subprime loan crisis? Remember how we treated that with kid gloves? Remember how many people went to jail? Almost no one, despite causing the collapse of the world economy and the loss of trillions of dollars.

To your first point, I understand it and agree. However "probable cause" as a law provides the legal basis for reasonable grounds for searching, pressing a charge, and so forth. If law enforcement authorities indiscriminately began arresting anyone at Wells Fargo because of their employment in proximity to the fraud, there's no "probable cause." This is called mass arrests (a.k.a. the witch-hunt I was talking about earlier), and according to the 1944 Commission on War Crimes, indiscriminate mass arrests are designated as war crimes (something the United States abides by).

In the U.S. mass arrests only occur in certain circumstances. For example, when more than 700 Occupy Wallstreet protestors participated in an unauthorized march across a busy bridge, that action caused all participants to be in violation of the city's laws. Further, the police did not arrest them immediately. They gave the protestors plenty of time and opportunity to stop what they were doing and only started mass arresting when they refused.

As for the 2008 meltdown, it is even harder to prosecute people because this event was not isolated to one person or bank but it was a systemic issue related to the entire financial sector. Who do you arrest? Those doing the deed, those directing the act, or those facilitating the practice through the corporate environment and "cross-sell" mantra? It's much more difficult to answer when the scale and scope was global in nature.

However, the strength of these for-profit banks is also their greatest weakness and our biggest weapon against them. If enough people stop doing business with these types of banks, like I have then, their profits will dry up. This forces them to do something drastic. Moreover, if enough of them fold, this forces the entire banking industry to change its ways. In other words money talks. So force them to listen to you with your wallet. It works for video game publishers.
"Listen, Peter... with great horsepower comes... the sickest drifts..." - source
Avatar 18786
24.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 22:33
24.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 22:33
Sep 20, 2016, 22:33
 
Yeah, I've never understood why people put up with that. I'm 54 and I have had a checking account since I was 12 when I needed it for my paper route. And the only time I ever paid a fee for my savings or checking account was when I was a poor college student and I let my the checking balance slip below $100 a couple of times. I'm also at a credit union, but I'd be willing to go to a named bank if they had services I wanted but couldn't get at the credit union. However, I don't suspect that would actually ever happen.

And in fact, last year my credit union started charging if you received monthly paper statements. The first month I was charged, I went over and asked about it. Asked, "I've been mailed paper statements for 25 years without charge, why do you need to charge me now?" They waived the fee for my account.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
23.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 22:20
Kxmode
 
23.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 22:20
Sep 20, 2016, 22:20
 Kxmode
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 21:38:
Kxmode wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 19:03:
It is important that there be probable cause for an arrest. Otherwise, doing what you propose would eventually turn into a witch-hunt. Does this help clarify my point?
Being the good guys really sucks sometimes. Although I am loath to agree, I'm afraid I must. There has already been some reporting of people who quit rather than participate in the program. But if you are a $12 an hour teller / customer service rep. would you be willing to buck management and lose what you probably consider a "good job"?

Oddly, they were also firing these people at a rate of 1,000 a year for five years. So it seems like there was a lot going on there and I suspect we have only heard a small portion of it.

Yes! And this problem is not isolated to Wells Fargo; although it appears to happen more often with them only because of their size. It's likely going on in some smaller form or fashion at Chase, Bank of America, and even banks in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Any bank that is a publically traded enterprise, by their very existence, is putting greed and shareholder interest ahead of their customers.

I've never been able to reconcile why I would ever want to put my money in a for-profit bank who's entire existence is to make a profit at my expense. It's like giving your hard-earned money to a drug addict for safe keeping. They can't help but abuse your trust over and over again and revert to their addiction. When they get caught it's the same old sob story, "I'm sorry! I'll never do it again." And yet, they keep doing it because they can't help it.

The last for-profit bank I was at was Washington Mutual. Today I bank at a credit union. Despite Wells tellers constantly trying to convince me why their checking accounts are better than those at my credit union, my typical response now is almost always going to be: "You may be right, but at least my Credit Union doesn't open up fake checking and credit card accounts to boost numbers to shareholders." I will be sure to say that loud enough so people in line behind me can hear. Eventually, they get the picture and stop pimping their garbage. If I didn't want a Wells Fargo checking account 11 years what makes them think I want one today?
"Listen, Peter... with great horsepower comes... the sickest drifts..." - source
Avatar 18786
22.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 22:16
Quboid
 
22.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 22:16
Sep 20, 2016, 22:16
 Quboid
 
RedEye9 wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 11:47:
Thanks to everyone that recommended "The Night Manager", it's good.

Right, I'm going to have to watch this. If it's not amazing, I'm blaming nin!
Avatar 10439
21.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 22:05
21.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 22:05
Sep 20, 2016, 22:05
 
Kxmode wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 19:03:
jdreyer wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 17:48:
I'm really not getting why you think this would be turned into a witch hunt.

Apparently there are blatant paper trails, given that these were financial transactions that had to be approved by the agents who forged the paperwork then benefitted from the crime.
Is it possible some might be swept up? Possibly, but that's the case with any crime, and the vast majority of the time those people are cleared.

So who do you arrest? Those doing the deed, those directing the act, or those facilitating the practice through the corporate environment and "cross-sell" mantra? It is very easy to cast a wide net and arrest people en masse, and then only release those who are found innocent, but do remember that U.S. citizens are innocent until proven guilty. It is important that there be probable cause for an arrest. Otherwise, doing what you propose would eventually turn into a witch-hunt. Does this help clarify my point?

Point not clarified. What you're bringing up is a concern any time a crime is committed, big or small. I still don't understand why you think this would be any different.

The opposite is more of a concern, that nothing is done. Remember the subprime loan crisis? Remember how we treated that with kid gloves? Remember how many people went to jail? Almost no one, despite causing the collapse of the world economy and the loss of trillions of dollars.

Yeah.
If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends. Slava Ukraini!
Avatar 22024
20.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 21:51
20.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 21:51
Sep 20, 2016, 21:51
 
Ha! Just a saw a clip of Elizabeth Warren dressing down the Wells Fargo CEO at the senate hearing today. Once again, sometimes it sucks to be the good guys. He probably deserved to be taken out to the south lawn and be publicly flogged. Oh well...
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
19.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 21:38
19.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 21:38
Sep 20, 2016, 21:38
 
Kxmode wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 19:03:
It is important that there be probable cause for an arrest. Otherwise, doing what you propose would eventually turn into a witch-hunt. Does this help clarify my point?
Being the good guys really sucks sometimes. Although I am loath to agree, I'm afraid I must. There has already been some reporting of people who quit rather than participate in the program. But if you are a $12 an hour teller / customer service rep. would you be willing to buck management and lose what you probably consider a "good job"?

Oddly, they were also firing these people at a rate of 1,000 a year for five years. So it seems like there was a lot going on there and I suspect we have only heard a small portion of it.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
18.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 19:10
18.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 19:10
Sep 20, 2016, 19:10
 
I've got 2 trees in my yard I want to get rid of. One is a chestnut tree, that drops little spiked balls all over the yard that are akin to mini maces with hypodermic needs on them. They can basically go through the sides of your shoe and when pricked, it itches like crazy. They also clang around inside the lawnmower. The other is some kind of giant tall tree that overhangs my neighbor's property. The previous neighbor offered to go in 50/50 on getting a guy to cut it down, and I agreed, but she sold the house before we arranged it. I'm not sure the new neighbors would go for it, and I don't want to put the notion into their head that I'm willing to cut down that tree and then have them expect me to pay for it (it will be at least 1-2k).
17.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 19:03
Kxmode
 
17.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 19:03
Sep 20, 2016, 19:03
 Kxmode
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 17:48:
I'm really not getting why you think this would be turned into a witch hunt.

Apparently there are blatant paper trails, given that these were financial transactions that had to be approved by the agents who forged the paperwork then benefitted from the crime.
Is it possible some might be swept up? Possibly, but that's the case with any crime, and the vast majority of the time those people are cleared.

So who do you arrest? Those doing the deed, those directing the act, or those facilitating the practice through the corporate environment and "cross-sell" mantra? It is very easy to cast a wide net and arrest people en masse, and then only release those who are found innocent, but do remember that U.S. citizens are innocent until proven guilty. It is important that there be probable cause for an arrest. Otherwise, doing what you propose would eventually turn into a witch-hunt. Does this help clarify my point?
"Listen, Peter... with great horsepower comes... the sickest drifts..." - source
Avatar 18786
16.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 18:26
16.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 18:26
Sep 20, 2016, 18:26
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 14:39:
Kxmode wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 14:25:
If anyone is interested here's the video of the Senate's hearing of Wells Fargo's CEO John Stumpf regarding unauthorized opening of checking and credit card accounts.


All those people should be arrested for identity theft. And I bet this didn't just involve the bottom rank people. This requires a serious investigation.

But it won't, because white collar criminals rarely do time, even less so if they fund the campaigns of senators and congressmen.

You saw that the exec overseeing this earned $125 million, right? It's damn near unfathomable to me that people earn this money without an ownership stake.

I'm not certain to what degree "overseeing" goes. Given her level in the company, it's possible that all she ever saw was a report with KPIs. I honestly have no idea and haven't looked into it. Maybe she was the exec in charge of this program, maybe she was the exec in charge of all of retail. While it'd still be her domain, she wouldn't have had any kind of day to day decision making on this topic in the latter case.
15.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 17:48
15.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 17:48
Sep 20, 2016, 17:48
 
Kxmode wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 17:19:
jdreyer wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 16:00:
Apparently, all 5000+ people came upon this idea on their own, according to Wells Fargo: "The way the incentive program was designed incidentally encouraged this illegal behavior." Each person should be held accountable for their actions, which means charged with identity theft and punished accordingly. That's up to 15 years in prison and 10s of 1000s in fines. All of them working for the same company does not excuse the illegal behavior. And it's not a witch hunt. That implies charging people that didn't commit the crime. Is it a massive undertaking requiring hundreds of people and many years? Yes, but letting them off will simply encourage the behavior again.

If it's discovered that upper management encouraged this illegal behavior in any way, then they should also be held accountable. The RICO statutes are often used for cases like that.

What you're describing is "Ignorantia juris non excusat". However, I am suggesting that it's very easy, in the interest of pursuing that Latin maxim, to turn this into a witch-hunt where using extreme measures in pursuit of justice results in swift convictions regardless of actual guilt or innocence. American history is rife with such examples.

I'm really not getting why you think this would be turned into a witch hunt.
Apparently there are blatant paper trails, given that these were financial transactions that had to be approved by the agents who forged the paperwork then benefitted from the crime.
Is it possible some might be swept up? Possibly, but that's the case with any crime, and the vast majority of the time those people are cleared.
If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends. Slava Ukraini!
Avatar 22024
14.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 17:19
Kxmode
 
14.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 17:19
Sep 20, 2016, 17:19
 Kxmode
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 16:00:
Apparently, all 5000+ people came upon this idea on their own, according to Wells Fargo: "The way the incentive program was designed incidentally encouraged this illegal behavior." Each person should be held accountable for their actions, which means charged with identity theft and punished accordingly. That's up to 15 years in prison and 10s of 1000s in fines. All of them working for the same company does not excuse the illegal behavior. And it's not a witch hunt. That implies charging people that didn't commit the crime. Is it a massive undertaking requiring hundreds of people and many years? Yes, but letting them off will simply encourage the behavior again.

If it's discovered that upper management encouraged this illegal behavior in any way, then they should also be held accountable. The RICO statutes are often used for cases like that.

What you're describing is "Ignorantia juris non excusat". However, I am suggesting that it's very easy, in the interest of pursuing that Latin maxim, to turn this into a witch-hunt where using extreme measures in pursuit of justice results in swift convictions regardless of actual guilt or innocence. American history is rife with such examples.
"Listen, Peter... with great horsepower comes... the sickest drifts..." - source
Avatar 18786
13.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 16:00
13.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 16:00
Sep 20, 2016, 16:00
 
Kxmode wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 15:43:
jdreyer wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 14:39:
Kxmode wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 14:25:
If anyone is interested here's the video of the Senate's hearing of Wells Fargo's CEO John Stumpf regarding unauthorized opening of checking and credit card accounts.


All those people should be arrested for identity theft. And I bet this didn't just involve the bottom rank people. This requires a serious investigation.

But it won't, because white collar criminals rarely do time, even less so if they fund the campaigns of senators and congressmen.

It was identity theft, pure and simple. The problem is who do you arrest? When a single individual commits fraud it is much easier to arrest that person and charge them with the crime. However, when it is systemic corporate fraud, who precisely do you arrest without it turning into a witch hunt? So short of the CEO falling on his sword and letting himself be arrested it will be almost impossible to arrest a single person or a group of individuals.

Apparently, all 5000+ people came upon this idea on their own, according to Wells Fargo: "The way the incentive program was designed incidentally encouraged this illegal behavior." Each person should be held accountable for their actions, which means charged with identity theft and punished accordingly. That's up to 15 years in prison and 10s of 1000s in fines. All of them working for the same company does not excuse the illegal behavior. And it's not a witch hunt. That implies charging people that didn't commit the crime. Is it a massive undertaking requiring hundreds of people and many years? Yes, but letting them off will simply encourage the behavior again.

If it's discovered that upper management encouraged this illegal behavior in any way, then they should also be held accountable. The RICO statutes are often used for cases like that.
If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends. Slava Ukraini!
Avatar 22024
12.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 15:43
Kxmode
 
12.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 15:43
Sep 20, 2016, 15:43
 Kxmode
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 14:39:
Kxmode wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 14:25:
If anyone is interested here's the video of the Senate's hearing of Wells Fargo's CEO John Stumpf regarding unauthorized opening of checking and credit card accounts.


All those people should be arrested for identity theft. And I bet this didn't just involve the bottom rank people. This requires a serious investigation.

But it won't, because white collar criminals rarely do time, even less so if they fund the campaigns of senators and congressmen.

It was identity theft, pure and simple. The problem is who do you arrest? When a single individual commits fraud it is much easier to arrest that person and charge them with the crime. However, when it is systemic corporate fraud, who precisely do you arrest without it turning into a witch hunt? So short of the CEO falling on his sword and letting himself be arrested it will be almost impossible to arrest a single person or a group of individuals.
"Listen, Peter... with great horsepower comes... the sickest drifts..." - source
Avatar 18786
11.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 15:17
nin
11.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 15:17
Sep 20, 2016, 15:17
nin
 
LarryLaffer wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 12:14:
I really enjoyed your post today.

Very funny.

Laffman


It seems like he always has funny relations with the neighbors. Almost Seinfeldian...

Thanks for the giggles, Blue.

10.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 14:46
10.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 14:46
Sep 20, 2016, 14:46
 
Watch A Turbine-Powered RC Jet Basically Disintegrate Mid-Flight.

Good thing it wasn't flying over anyone when that happened. I've never seen a plane just come apart like that.

Also, I had no idea 2:1 scale RC aircraft was a thing! Lucky it was a 2:1 Gripen and not an AN-225.
If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends. Slava Ukraini!
Avatar 22024
9.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 14:39
9.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 14:39
Sep 20, 2016, 14:39
 
Kxmode wrote on Sep 20, 2016, 14:25:
If anyone is interested here's the video of the Senate's hearing of Wells Fargo's CEO John Stumpf regarding unauthorized opening of checking and credit card accounts.


All those people should be arrested for identity theft. And I bet this didn't just involve the bottom rank people. This requires a serious investigation.

But it won't, because white collar criminals rarely do time, even less so if they fund the campaigns of senators and congressmen.
If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends. Slava Ukraini!
Avatar 22024
8.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 14:28
8.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 14:28
Sep 20, 2016, 14:28
 
What a coinky-dink we are in the middle of a tree removal operation. In fact I was just debating calling my tree guy to see how close he is too showing up. We have a monster of a silver maple in the backyard that I am afraid is one ice-storm away from crushing our garage and/or the neighbor's garage (both detached). We had it's twin removed ten years ago, and man has the price of tree removal gone up. Wish I could get in my time machine and go back to tell myself to have both removed at the same time. Xmastree
Avatar 33441
7.
 
Re: Out of the Blue
Sep 20, 2016, 14:25
Kxmode
 
7.
Re: Out of the Blue Sep 20, 2016, 14:25
Sep 20, 2016, 14:25
 Kxmode
 
If anyone is interested here's the video of the Senate's hearing of Wells Fargo's CEO John Stumpf regarding unauthorized opening of checking and credit card accounts.

"Listen, Peter... with great horsepower comes... the sickest drifts..." - source
Avatar 18786
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