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Showing posts from 2006

Root Canali

Just had my first yesterday. Very high tech; very expensive. 893 bucks for 24 minutes in the chair. But think of the fringes I received.

1. Good looking people - handsome young dentist, gorgeous young tech.
2. Great ambiance - Japanese decor, snow falling on bamboo garden with smiling Buddha.
3. High tech stuff - digital X-rays, fast acting anesthetic.

The dentist was charming but very succinct - after all, at $37 a minute, one mustn't dawdle.

The practice "Advanced Endodontics" has two dentists, two techs, two receptionists and does nothing but canal roots and coin money.

My tooth is "calming down," still painful but a helluva lot better.

The only moral to the story is "Get dental insurance."

A Brief Conversation with Myself

The “We stand down when they stand up” slogan has bothered me for some time, especially in the light of all the news reports about how inadequate our training efforts have been.Why the heck haven’t we done this right?
Suddenly an argument broke out in my brain – the left side against the right side, the optimist against the pessimist – I don’t know.I do know that in this little colloquy lies the seed of inaction: WE SPOKE....Put more and better military and police training personnel to work training the Iraqis. (Shoulda been doing that for two years.)WON’T WORK.THOSE PEOPLE ARE LOYAL TO THEIR MULLAHS & THEIR MILITIAS, NOT TO THE “UNIFIED GOVERNMENT.”Equip them better.Give them decent body armor, vehicles and communications gear.WON’T WORK. THEY WILL JUST USE THE GEAR IN ATTACKS ON US.Get them paid their salaries on time – might win a bit of the loyalty back to the government.WON’T WORK.THEY WILL FUNNEL MUCH OF THE MONEY TO THEIR MILITIAS.Buy their loyalty with salaries like we pa…

Character in Defeat

From today’s (12/06/06) Wall Street Journal Online (my favorite newspaper):WASHINGTON -- Like a retreating army, Republicans are tearing up railroad track and planting legislative land mines to make it harder for Democrats to govern when they take power in Congress next month.Already, the Republican leadership has moved to saddle the new Democratic majority with responsibility for resolving $463 billion in spending bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. And the departing chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Bill Thomas (R., Calif.), has been demanding that the Democrat-crafted 2008 budget absorb most of the $13 billion in costs incurred from a decision now to protect physician reimbursements under Medicare.The collapse of the appropriations process will be felt soon in the Justice and Commerce departments, food-safety agencies and veterans' health care. "It's not just a mess. It's a mountainous mess," complained Wisconsin Rep. David Obey, th…

SuperTyphooner

Amid cheers from insurance companies (and their stockholders) at this being a no- hurricane hurricane season, we U.S.-ers have hardly noticed that the big storms seem to have moved to the Pacific.I’m sure you caught the horrific news of the “supertyphoon” that hit the Philippines and buried many villages and villagers in mud on Thursday.Here’s an excerpt from Bloomberg.com:Durian brought 249 kilometers an hour (155 miles an hour) winds and heavy rain that caused floods and mudslides in southeast Luzon, the nation's main island. It is the ninth tropical storm and typhoon to make landfall this year in the Philippines. The rainfall reached 466 millimeters, the country's largest since 1967, and exceeded the monthly amount in Albay, one of the provinces hardest hit, a government official said.``The storm poured in one day an amount of rain that's greatly more than what that area gets in a month,'' Renato Solidum, director at the Philippine Institute of Volca…

Swimming Back to the Surface

Well, one thing's for sure. Blogging is not for sissies... or procrastinators. Look how long it's been since my last posting. Shame, shame.

I received this from a friend: Checked your blog today. How disappointing -- nothing written about the Dem's election sweep. Where's that "I told ya so & the GOP deserves it's whipping" article?

Now something like that will get you off your duff.

Fact is, nearly all the Republicans I know pretty much agree with that, so where's the fun?

Here's my one substantive thought on the new Congress. BE TOUGH ON THEM. THEY'RE OUR FOLKS, SO EXPECT A LOT AND HOLD THEM TO THE HIGHEST EXPECTATIONS.

Speaker Pelosi's "first hundred hours" sounds good, but there is so much more to do. First among that is to try to repair the foreign policy catastrophe the no-oversight-gang allowed the W administration to create.

Initiate REAL election reform. Clean out the locust hordes of lobbyists. Put the screws to the war p…

Punched My Conservative Button

Imagine you’re a business heavily dependent on your advertising for your success.Then your ad agency goes sour.The copy becomes banal, the art boring, the sales results dismal.So you think, “I better change ad agencies!”Well, if you are in Britain that might be a really unproductive move, all because of a new ruleThe rule, imposed by the British government in April, could require an advertising agency taking on new business to hire employees who worked on the account at the client's former agency, lawyers say. While the law is intended to protect workers, they add, it threatens to make advertising account shifts prohibitively expensive, or simply counterproductive. Agencies worry that they will be unable to pitch for new business, and they fear that clients won't want to move their accounts."Clients move from one agency to another to get new people, not to keep the same ones," said Marina Palomba, legal director at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, a tra…

Slightly Socialistic

A touch of Latin American Socialism… kinda like Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, if you will, is looking good these days.Brazil has been on a tear to stamp out hunger.The Christian Science Monitor has a progress report in yesterday’s online edition. I like Brazil for several reasons, so much so that I even invest a bit in them as a promising “emerging market.”I like the fact that they have done a lot to utilize ethanol without the kind of huge subsidies we give here in the U.S.I like their growth rate and sensible (for Latin America) business policies.Of course, there’s a lot not to like, but hey…One of the things I don’t like is their poverty level.So here’s the good news (excerpted from the CSM).Brazil is the world's fourth-largest food exporter, but more than 40 million Brazilians - a quarter of the population - lived below the poverty line, prompting President Lula da Silva to vow (in 2003) to stamp out hunger by December 2006. This June, the government said it had surpassed i…

The Non-Coverage Phantom

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Journalism is both the Sword of Truth and the Cloak of Invisibility as you might gather I believe based on some of the commentaries below (News You Didn’t See Much Of,Coverage Suggestion; etc.).The stories NOT covered constitute the invisibility powers of journalism.Not covered = not real to much of the American public.A reporter named Sarah Phelan of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, http://www.sfbg.com/ an old line, kick-ass “alternative” paper, wrote a very impressive piece called “Censored.” It’s in the current on-line issue.
There’s a lot of good stuff in that piece (like how the media obsesses over trivial stories), but the part I like best is her list of the Ten Biggest Stories the Media Ignored.The actual list is developed by Sonoma State U.My favorite of the ten starts with:2.Halliburton, the US energy company, sold key nuclear reactor components to a private Iranian oil company called Oriental Oil Kish as recently as 2005, using offshore subsidiaries to circumvent US sanctions.…

Re Evolution -- Kinda Embarrassed

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Mostly I am extremely proud of the U.S.A. What a country! One has to say that before making any kind of criticism these days, sort of like one must say, “I support the troops” before voicing any kind of disapproval of the war in Iraq.

Our great country is the leading nation in science, business, personal freedoms and a whole bunch of other stuff… but for this commentary, especially in science.

I was thumbing through the 11 August Science Magazine to see if I’d missed anything, and derned if I hadn’t. There’s an article titled “Public Acceptance of Evolution.” Here’s the bottom line:

Of 34 countries surveyed from 2002 to 2005, the U.S.A. is next to last in the percentage of population accepting the concept of evolution of humans as true. Check the bar chart.

We are down there between Cyprus and Turkey!

The authors conclude:

The acceptance of evolution is lower in the United States than in Japan or Europe, largely because of widespread fundamentalism and the politicization of science in the U…

Squashing Another Right Wing Myth

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Have you bought into the premise that the recent rash of huge forest fires is all because of those darn environmentalists, suppressing fires, refusing to let the lumber companies clear cut, etc?

Certainly the right wing press machine has been all over this, in pursuit of fewer environmental restrictions on logging public lands on behalf of their Big Lumber supporters.

Well, guess what? There is now profound scientific evidence that the main cause of the huge upsurge in major forest wildfires is caused by climate change. Warmer temperatures, earlier spring snow melts, cyclical wet seasons alternating with periodic drought and other indicators of climate change are the main causes, NOT those overzealous environmentalists.

If you like facts and figures, read the piece in the Aug 15 Science Magazine.



And keep in mind that oft-repeated “talking points” from the right frequently have an agenda that ignores science. Or, worse, denigrates science.

DEFCON (Defend the Constitution)

If you’ve been looking for an organized bandwagon to jump on to express your dismay at the anti-science leanings of the Bush Administration (on stem cells, global warming, “intelligent design,” etc.),go to:http://ga3.org/campaign/stem_cell_tellthem_4nature… sign up and add your name to the petition.

A Good Greenie

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Should you be a New Mexican in District 4, take a long look at David Bacon, candidate for the Public Regulation Commission.

Check out his web site at: http://www.davidbacon2006.org/

He is an honest, right thinking, very bright fellow who deserves to serve the public. He ran for Governor of NM on the Green ticket last election, which shows he is an unbridled optimist.Heaven knows we need more optimists in government.Here’s a look at his platform.If I had the gumption to run for office, it would be my platform.
I want the PRC to... Promote clean renewable energy, encourage alternate local providers and spur innovation Increase local control of power distribution Move New Mexico toward affordable and universal health insurance Protect water resources by opposing large centralized power projects Extend rural telephone service through telecommunication competition Preserve full Internet access for everyone ...GO DAVID!

CRV-ing

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CRVs. They are everywhere. There goes one now!Honda CRVs - an SUV (Small Utility Vehicle) - are infiltrating our world. ... and rightfully so. Twenty-seven mpg in town/country driving by my calculations.

I see them everywhere these days. The pre-2004 models are a little boxier than this one. In '04 Honda sleeked them up a bit and put that slash of a rear light package on board.

The CRV is taking the "huge" out of S-Huge-V.

Consider this a testimonial for the CRV. And look around when you drive. They are everywhere. Smart folks buy them. Oh, did I mention, we have one?



Coverage Suggestion

Since for decades I made “angle” and “coverage tactics” recommendations to journalists as a news consultant, I just can’t contain myself.The Republicans have linked killing the inheritance tax to giving life to a raise in the minimum wage.Tricky devils.Since the inheritance tax affects a very small number of very wealthy people and in the process has a large effect on growing our national debt so it exacerbates two problems; the other being the growing gap between the incomes of the poor and the rich, a bad thing.The federal minimum wage affects several million of our lowest income citizens.It does nothing to speak of to the national debt.It (ever so slightly) decreases the rich/poor gap, a good thing.So here’s the coverage suggestion, news people.Pick five rich people representative of those benefited by killing the inheritance tax.See how much money their heirs would gain by not paying the tax.The compare that amount with how many folks making minimum wage would be benefited by the …

News You Didn’t See Much Of

We were hearing a lot about the failed long-range missile launch in N. Korea about the same time this was happening.First Agni III test fails
India's first test firing of its nuclear capable Agni III intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), launched at 1105 hrs local time (0535 GMT) on 9 July, failed due to technical problems at the second stage, according to defence sources. The launch has been postponed twice since November 2004 for a variety of political and technical considerations
[Jane's Defence Weekly - first posted to http://jdw.janes.com/ - 10 July 2006]I don’t know about you, but I didn’t hear or read a single story about this in the “popular press.”

Could It Be Dementia?

Confounded I am.

There is a bit of positive news today (amidst all the sturm und drang in the Middle East). In Forbes online, the headline is “Alzheimer’s ‘Risk Score’ Spots Those Most Vulnerable.” http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/health/feeds/hscout/2006/07/17/hscout533826.html

Excellent! If you find that you might be more vulnerable, you can start worrying incessantly about it. OR… there might be something you can do to change the odds.

Now the problem. There is a bit in the piece that confuses me. I thought maybe it was a trick paragraph, and further down in the article it would say “Gotcha! If you were confused by that paragraph, you’re in big trouble.” So I read it four or five times, and I’m still confused. After the article commented on two studies (lose weight, exercise, don’t get diabetes, keep your cholesterol down, etc.), there came a summary of a third study. Here’s the paragraph:

“In men who developed dementia, cholesterol levels declined at least 15 years prior to …

Hockey Stick “Hokum” & “Consensus”

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The “Hockey Stick” Drives Conservatives CrazyThe Wall Street Journey (my favorite newspaper) and its Editorial Page (my least favorite editorials) are showing their strange schism again.Friday’s (7.14.06) second editorial was headlined “Hockey Stick Hokum.”Whoo boy, what a piece o’weak thinking.What weak evidence.What strange rationalizations.Basically, the Fox-ites in print denied the current state of paleoclimate research in favor of the old, anecdote-based thinking about what’s been happening with global temperature changes over the past thousand years.They attack the original analysis that created the “hockey stick” graph (showing things have been heating up fast in the last century) by excerpting a new report commissioned by the House Energy Committee.The work was done by statisticians, not – heaven forbid – climatologists.Here are the graphics the WSJ editors used:The top graph is what we’ve had in our textbooks for decades, based on little more than historical tracts.The second…

Wandering Through the Blogiverse

Whoa! As you know (better than I, a rank amateur) Blogspot has a “next blog” link in the upper right hand corner. Probably some of the other blog hosting sites have something similar. Anyway… I was “next-ing” through the random order the link provides. There is a lot of weird, and a lot of impressive stuff out there among the 40 million blogs (where did I get that number?).
One that stopped me cold, and made me write this little bit, was a narrative of the last days of life and then the death of a loved one. Then a start of the coping. Try this if you want a measure of reality: http://jacksroadtorecovery.blogspot.com/ Hang in there, Becci.

Out of Storage Capacity

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The Great New Mexico Drought is cracked.Not broken, mind you, just cracked.Here in this marvelous little microclimate called “The East Mountains” (the east side of the mountains east of Albuquerque; actually the Sandias, Manzanitos and Manzanos), and especially in this valley between Raven Road, Kuhn Road, Skyland Boulevard and the Isleta Reservation, the rains have come and come and come.In the last three weeks, more than six inches of rain (and hail and sleet!) have fallen.The crunchy grasses and crackling pine needles have grown soft.Green of every shade has sprung from the plants and the ground itself, and all things with roots are rejoicing. I’m not sure how long it takes to rehydrate the cores of thick ponderosa trunks (they were only 25% of what they should have been in interior moisture – Roman candles awaiting ignition), but they have got to be on their way.Most of this water has soaked into the ground very quickly after each rain, bathing their roots.Only in the last few day…

Ethanol, Shmethanol

Darn it!Ethanol, whether from corn, switchgrass or sugar beets/cane, really isn’t the magic bullet that will slay the dragon of our petroleum addiction.Neither is biomass fuel the magic wand that will poof! away our dependence on fossil and atomic fuels electrical generation.(Check out the wonderful dialogue of the learned in the “Letters” section of the 23 June ’06 Science Magazine.www.sciencemag.org [subscription’]) Of course there are no magic bullets/wands lying around these days anyway, except among Harry Potter and his ilk.The thing is, we shouldn’t get discouraged when our latest magic gets debunked. Ethanol, biomass, wind power, photovoltaics, geothermal, wave power, etc. have all had their moments in the “magic” circle. The genuine wizards recognize that the potent magic will come from the agglomerated minor miracles of the various “alternative” energy techniques.We (my learned wife and I) are on the verge of trying one of these minor alternative miracles, a solar water heat…

Is that m-m-billions or b-b-millions?

Many British journalists still say “2000 millions” rather than “two billion.”Something about the first way really sticks it to you that a billion is a lot more than a million.Yet one of the most common mistakes I hear from broadcast journalists is (mumble)-illions.My suspicion is that they are just not sure.My certainty is that the listener can’t possibly be sure from what they hear.I asked a bright young employee once “how many millions are there in a billion?”Answer?“Ten… NO, a hundred million in billion.”When I stated that there is a thousand million in a billion, the employee was incredulous, clearly thinking I had slipped a cog.Back to newscasters, you can frequently hear that sometimes they are more impressed with “87 million” than with “3.2 billion.”Perhaps if every newscaster reported that we are spending “$3192 millions” every week in Iraq*, the actual dollar cost might be more widely appreciated. *more or less

March of the Ignoramuses

On the Monday, June 26th Rush Limbaugh program, guest host Paul W. Smith was interviewing someone (name escapes me) on how foolish the “Libs” are to worry about global warming.If there are any real problems they are a half a millennium away.In last week’s Science Magazine (June 16, 2006) there is a modestarticle titled “Permafrost and the Global Carbon Budget.”The sub-head is “ Climate warming will thaw permafrost, releasing trapped carbon from this high-latitude reservoir and further exacerbating global warming.”This is new information, best I can tell.Check it out at www.sciencemag.org. (subscription; or at the library) It seems that most of the global warming models haven’t included much about the CO2 and methane that will be released by thawing permafrost.There are such vast quantities of permafrost that it can contribute big time to a sudden acceleration of climate warming.The current warming trend driven by human-generated greenhouse gasses has already started melting the perma…

MAX is back!

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The “net neutrality” debate is a big deal.It probably affects all of our lives, especially if we are shareholders in certain companies, either telecom, cable or net companies. And maybe if we are just every day users of the Net. Since it’s clearly a GIANT vs. GIANT debate, I have some trouble taking it too seriously.So stand by for a completely trivial observation.Tonight on The News Hour, PBS’s big nameplate, the spokesman for the Google, Yahoo, “big net” side was PAUL MISENER, Vice President for Global Public Policy, Amazon.com,Here’s the news.Mr. Misener is a dead ringer for Max Headroom!He’s a good talker and a smart guy, holding up his side’s side really well.But he looks like MAX HEADROOM. What can I say?Is this perfect?Based on this and this alone, I am on the side of the mega-web sites in this argument.






Max Headroom



Am I right?Is this Kismet? How can anyone still be on the side of the telcos and cablecos?

Misener can be seen at:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/jan-june06/netn…

Warming; Alarming, but NOT OUR FAULT

In the last couple of years the folks who denied global warming was even happening have come around and are saying, “Oh, OK, so maybe it’s happening.”Grudgingly, but at long darn last they are acknowledging the data.Many of the same folks have assumed a new position, one just as protective of the fossil fuel industry and the right to gush vast quantities of greenhouse gasses into the air.This position is, simply: “Not Our Fault.”We puny humans can’t possibly be influencing such a vast system as the Earth’s atmosphere.Humankind is clearly capable of having some humongous impacts on our planet.It’s obvious we can:Denude the Amazon Basin; Over-fish the oceans; Dredge channels in mighty rivers and create dead zones where they drain into the oceans; Dam those rivers and make huge lakes; Hole the ozone, Drain the swamps; Cut down and replant whole forests; Pave over farmland; Empty ancient aquifers; Kill off creatures large and small to the point of extinction… we can do all that and more.S…

Creeping Drought

[I've been on the road, visiting an extraordinarily large number of relatives. Perhaps I'll philosophize on that and them in the context of "we are all getting older." But west Texas and Oklahoma just scream drought, so this first.]
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There is a great drought settling on the land. “We are looking at conditions that rival the dust bowl … earlier this year we were even drier than during the Dust Bowl.” That said by Jack Carson, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Agriculture, Food and Forestry Department. Oklahoma. Okies, get it? Leaving their lifeless farms for California during the greatest drought in recent U.S. history. Oklahomans should know a drought when they see one.

This quote was from a front-page story on the front page of the June 15, 2006 “The Oklahoman.” Even with such important placement, something about the headline just didn’t have the feel the sort of “big” story we have grown used to. It was, “Residents told to cut water use.”

So is this really a big…

Thinking Huge

I admit it. I entered a contest. So did another 20,000 or so folks, it turns out. Now Hillary Clinton has taken one of the entries and fashioned a bill based on it and put it to the Senate for consideration. What?

Never mind. Just go to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) web site www.sinceslicedbread.com and check it out. It’s a big “wow!” believe me.

Since I didn’t win the $100,000 grand prize or one of the $50,000 runner-up prizes, the least you can do is read my entry. The contest was for ideas that might pep up our economy and be good for us “common folk.” Here was my over-the-top idea.

- - - - - - - - - - -

The problem: our damaging cycle of droughts and floods. The issue: the opportunity this presents. Face it, it’s a government project.

This idea is for a huge national endeavor – the size of the Interstate Highway System. Flood-prone rivers would be equipped with controllable water diversion structures. Before a river floods, these are opened and the excess water is se…

Editors in Cheat

Journalism – the J word – comes under a lot of fire these days. I’d argue “not deservedly so” if I thought everyone who criticizes it was talking about real journalism. Of course they are not. The critics of J (big or little) are mostly critical of “news” they disagree with. To dangle a … oh, never mind.

That brings me to this, here on my cruise-control across the South - Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. Today I read a neat column in the Sunday 6.11.06 Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Little Rock’s mighty daily, in Section J, of all places.

The left-hand column on the front page of the “Perspective” section is written by a fellow named Paul Greenberg. The headline “Unedited” drew me in. I figgered (Southern talk) it must be about journalism.

Mr. Greenberg is a good writer as one would hope considering his placement in the paper. His subject was news editing, and he writes with both clarity and passion, two of my favorite writing virtues. The column was a riff on another journalist’s…

The Cynical Reflex

The Cynical Reflex
Upon hearing of the three self-hangings at Guantanamo Bay (with ropes made of bedsheets and clothing strips) and our government's first spin on the story, I had these thoughts in this sequence: -Poor devils. Incarcerated without charges or counsel for nearly four years... just gave up the ghost.

- Oh, the "official" response is that they were really, really bad guys. Terrorists, of course, and one of them a "high Al Quaida operative." - How will we or the world ever know if that's so? No official charges, no public trials with evidence, no proof for anyone to look at. They could have been wrong-place-wrong-time guys who were pruning fig trees when captured for all we will ever know (the first of the "cynical reflexes" I experienced. Big PR problem for the government).

- Then "These were not acts of desperation, but acts of war against the U.S." sayeth the government. Hmmm. The second cynical reflex kicks in. Strange way…
Ok, call me slow to catch on.

What's happening on the right wing side of the great American divide is scary. There is something going on that is so much like rabid racism that I am at a loss to give it a proper name. This name needs to be one with the emotional impact of "racism," or perhaps worse. More on that later.

Let's harken back to "all Irish have lice." Or "lazy, shiftless Nigras." Or "Theivin,' scheming Kikes." You get my drift. Gross generalizations about some ethnic group or another that demonized them. Sort of humankind at its worst, whipping up hatred and mindless prejudice toward them among the unthinking mob. That unthinking mob might include any of us. You, maybe, unless you are really determined to be a thinking person. Which of course you are. Of course.

What's happening in certain quarters of the Right has a direct bloodline relationship to this kind of repugnant activity. I've been hearing it and r…

Decider, Incidental Polarizer

Something about GWBush's pronunciation elicits a confounded response from some of his constituents. For instance, in his speech yesterday supporting a constitutional amendment barring gay marriage, the phrase "institution of marriage" was repeated several times. In Bushspeak it came out "the inshitushun of mairge." I've heard from several Bush supporters that this sets their teeth on edge. The anti-GWB folks get all giddy about how dumb it sounds. It distracts from his message - whether you agree or disagree with that message.

A decent speech coach could fix that. A simple run through with GW reading and the coach taking a few notes would result in a gentle admonition for the Prez to be just a shade less mush mouthed.

Hey, it's not even a Texas accent. I know; I'm from Texas.

An Airedale Rescue Story

The Trials of Toby

On an oppressive afternoon in Bay City, Texas, the shadow of a thunderstorm cloud slides across an older, very modest neighborhood, eclipsing the glaring sun but having no effect on the temperature. In an airless backyard a bone-thin Airedale starts pacing nervously in his six-by-four foot cage. Thunder rumbles and the dog trembles. Thunderstorms have been frightening and uncomfortable experiences for his whole life. And there are a lot of thunderstorms in Bay City.

The dog is almost seven years old. His whole life has been in cages, mostly the one he is in as the storm approaches. His lower teeth between his fangs are worn away from gnawing at his cage out of boredom and frustration. His coat is matted and filthy from living with his own excrement. His owner cleans the cage once a week, and feeds him once a day.

Airedales are very affectionate creatures, and the occasional visits by the backyard puppy mill owner are the highlights of this one’s life. When he hears the…

Get The Big Money Boys' Attention

OK, I have to admit that I have been worked up about this for a while. Here is a suggestion: If every one of us wrote something like this to all the credit card companies and banks we do business with (with copies to your Congress Person, The Prez and the local cops), it might shape them up a bit.

LETTER TO BANKS, CREDIT CARD AND CREDIT DATA COMPANIES

This is to put you on notice that it is your responsibility to prevent “identity theft.”

If you decide to give some criminal a credit card in my name that means you didn’t check to see if you were giving credit to the right person. Or perhaps you actually sent a credit card with my name on it to the wrong person. I had nothing to do with either of these stupid decisions, and I am not in any way responsible for them.

If you allow someone other than me to tap into my bank account, it means you didn’t fulfill your business responsibility of monitoring withdrawals. It’s my money in your trust, and any theft from my account is your responsibili…

Another Slap on Your Insecure Posterior

Checking Your Credit Card Bills Diligently?

I'm sure you've read about the 243,000 hotels.com names, e-mail addresses and credit card numbers gone missing on the stolen Ernst & Young laptop? (Check the Seattle Post-Intelligencer site.)

Of course there was another delay in notifying us that our IDs were floating around crimesville.

Ernst & Young "deeply regrets..." etc. and if you get proactive - call a toll free number, etc. - Ernst & Young will let you "enroll" in a free credit monitoring service to be aware of when you start getting ripped off.

MAIN ISSUE: If some ID thief spends some of your credit, will E & Y "regret" enough to assume responsibility?Or how about the credit entity that lets some scuzzbag falsely use your credentials by not carefully checking to see if it's really you? Will they eat the loss?

Hello, Washington.... hello state governments... it's time to write legislation that makes the banks and credit card co…