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16h08 UTC; MONDAY, 2 APRIL 2012: No wonder public support for, and confidence in, the Greater "Tea Party" (pseudo)movement is faltering, sputtering even, as Indecision 2012 gets further along into the primary season (as in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Wisconsin holding RepubliKKKan primaries tomorrow)--so much so, in fact, you have to wonder just how much longer it can get before "Tea Party" types resort to a more fanatically depraved brand of prolefeed reeking of jingoism, nativism and xenophobia rivalled only by the worst coming out of dictatorial regimes facing desperation, defeat even.

Especially such where appeals to "Sacred War" to Reclaim Our Dear Lovely Nation are heavy and dripping with depravity making no attempt to hide the sham patriotic appeals throughout, especially considering Boswell's maxim that "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."


Even as the nation awaits the identites of the three purchasers in Maryland, Illinois and Kansas who split the record-breaking US$640 million MegaMillions jackpot drawn Friday night, there's starting to be questions raised as to whether state lotteries are really that beneficial to state treasuries and the specific dedicated causes thus benefitting (in theory).

(Around these parts, Minnesota's lottery proceeds are dedicated to natural resources preservation; in Wisconsin, to property tax relief; and in Iowa, to community betterment.)

So in case states are starting to have second thoughts about continuing with the lottery device as a means to reduce the tax burden (while at the same time appeasing Elmer Gantry types who insist that the poor "need to know their place," in particular by "respecting industry, self-reliance, personal responsibility, thrift and a wholesome and simple home life," never mind their insistence that only ekonomesie vryheid met Amerikaanse eienskappe "gebore ons die Volk, die Volk te doen" is best equipped to serve these "pressing needs" out of Social Responsibility), may I suggest their studying the Canadian model of ATB Financial, a banking and financial services entity operated by (and in) the Canadian province of Alberta since its inception (as Alberta Treasury Branches, which explains the "ATB" of its name and stylee) as part of the Social Credit movement of the mid-1930's, with a remit to provide "good service" to the people and businesses of Alberta (especially so farmers, small businessmen and those of modest means) through 164 branch offices (in some cases, being the only bank in town), 133 agencies (mostly in smaller, rural communities) and a Customer Support Centre emplying between them some 3,000 associates ... managing some C$26 billion in assets ... all backed by the full faith and credit of the Government of Alberta.

Or, alternately, if the emphasis should be on promoting thrift in the Lower Classes, might I be first to suggest as model for study and emulation the former Province of Ontario Savings Office (POSO), now known as Meridian Credit Union following its acquisition of POSO successor Desjardins Credit Union of Ontario, itself established in 1926 to provide savings accounts to such of modest means that, in its turn, would cover the general financial needs of the Government of Ontario on a day-to-day basis (again, backed by the full faith and credit of the provincial government).

Especially considering where more mainstream banks (in particular such with branch offices all over) are increasingly becoming more selective about the quality of people they want having accounts with them, what with many such starting to impose whimsically absurd fees they claim are dictated by "new Federal banking regulations" ... which "Tea Party" types insist is probably a patsy, a cop-out even vis-a-vis their supposed Social Responsibility and Good Corporate Citizenship.


Meanwhile, with Government benefit payments of all types (as in SSI, Social Security, Railroad Retirement, Civil Service Pension, military pensions and VA benefits) switching from paper cheques to Direct Deposit with effect from March 2013 (and the prospect of such without conventional bank accounts being given a one-size-fits-all Payment Card whose functions may be rather limited to cash withdrawals at ATM's), one option to think about for such caught in this dilemma:

Blame it, methinks, on wholesale consolidation in the airline industry (the old "survival of the fittest" platitude popular among conservative prolefeeders excusing there defence of ekonomesie vryheid, &c., and its presumed mystic interconnexion to AmeriKKKan National and Sovereign Identity), not to mention the rise of new cut-price carriers, but a newly-released FAA report suggests that all the several metrics of air travel performance--on-time performance, numbers of passengers being bumped off full-up flights, loss or misdirection of checked baggage, delay rates due to weather, even numbers of flights subjected to delay--are improving for the better.

But even then, there could be hiccups among the "value-for-money" crowd: Pinnacle Airlines, which suddenly stopped operations last month, is now in Carey Street seeking liquidation to settle substantial creditor debts.

And PeoplExpress, a "blast from the past" in the value-for-money arena infamous for crowded flights, delayed takeoffs, bedlam and confusion wholesale, from back in the 1980's, may be about to take off again with a new emphasis not unlike that of European discount carrier Ryanair, legendary for using underutilised airports in out-of-the-way centres theoretically serving as "gateways" for major cities as would be thus "served" through a dedicated bus connexion from the airport in question. (Come to think of it, why not have Ryanair and PeoplExpress "twinned" in the interest of international friendship and understanding?)


Last Minute Flight Deals  BookingBuddy

As if my previous suggested questions to ask Rush Limbaugh weren't good enough, may I be first to suggest that the following questions be asked of the Republican Party and the Republican National Committee (as long as we still have a Constitutionally-protected right to so ask):
  • Do you maintain any sort of scheme by which you pay certain conservative-leaning talkback radio hosts to advance your prevailing party line in the name of "winning hearts and minds"? If so, is such out of party campaign funds, or is it through some class of a "pure trust" structured thus "for tax reasons"?
  • How much do you budget for such purposes and intents?
  • Can you name some of the more prominent talkback hosts paid through any such scheme, and how much they are paid to "win hearts and minds" over to the RepibliKKKan side?
  • Do you pay the hosts directly, or would the payments be channelled through their producers and/or distributors?
  • Is there some sort of daily e-mail or fax advice (cf. "The Bull Sheet") sent out to participating hosts with "guidance notes," as it were, on which topics should be emphasised from day to day, how best to approach them so as to maximise the benefit of the average listener's low breeding and intellect, even advice as to the tone, nuance, "syntax-word-key meaning" even, participants should apply?
  • Are participating hosts instructed to keep quiet about such payments for public consumption, and why, notwithstanding where Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations require on-air disclosure of paid-content programming? (Recall, too, where several Australian talkback radio hosts in Sydney and Melbourne were outed a few years back for taking payments from political and business interests to influence programme content without disclosing these payments to listeners in what became known as the "Cash-for-Comments" scandal.)
"Enquiring Minds NEED to KNOW!!!"

So who has the courage to take the proverbial bull by the horns in this respect?

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