Dear Costco:  Please Pull Plastic Bottles (June 12, 2017)

Posted in Boycott Series, Consumerism, Environment, Oceans, Plastic, Water on June 12, 2017 by e-commentary.org

Costco Wholesale Corporation

P.O. Box 34331

Seattle, Washington 98124

Dear sir or madam:

          Costco impacts the lives and livelihoods of your customers and other citizens.  Plastic threatens the lives and livelihoods of your customers and other citizens.  As part of your “Sustainability Commitment,” would you do your part to reduce the threat of plastic to the lives and livelihoods of your customers and other citizens?

          Using plastic bottles to transport water creates pollution and public health problems that often are unseen and threaten the very water they fleetingly transport.  Plastic bottles roam and range the seas.  The bottles break down into little particles and shards ingested by birds, whales and other critters.  Lead shot in birds is discernible via x-ray, yet plastic particles go undetected except by chemical analysis.

          Issue a major public statement that you will no longer carry bottled water.  For ninety days, post a statement in the area of each of your stores that otherwise would house the bottles above a palette intentionally left empty.  You will perforce lose business and make fewer profits.

          Thank you for your attention to this request.  Best wishes.

. . .

[June 8 was World Oceans Day.]

[See the e-commentary at “Playa Plastica / Plastic Beach (September 13, 2010)” and “Plastic Pirates (August 6, 2012)” and in the category “Plastic.”]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Boycott bottled water

Paris Accord; London Discord.  America Lost; America Last (June 5, 2017)

Posted in Carbon Surcharge & Dividend, Climate, Gas/Fossil Fuel, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Trumpi on June 5, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Some Americans criticized the French complicity with the Germans during World War II.  Remember the jab:  ‘How many Frenchmen does it take to liberate Paris?  . . .  None.  The U.S. always has to do it.’”

J          “How the tide has turned polluted and the seas have risen.  ‘How many Americans does it take to repudiate Paris?  . . .  One.  The Emperor.  Il Duce.  Donaldo Trumpi.’”     

K          “‘How many citizens does it take to exonerate the United States?  . . .  Everyone.  The world has to do it.’”

. . .

K          “The greatest threat on the planet today is the threat to the planet today.”

J          “The ultimate act of terrorism.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Living In The ‘Peoplocene Age’.  The Inconvenient Truth:  Renewable Energy Is Not Sustainable; The Population Must Be Restrainable.  (December 12, 2016)” and at the “Categories” for “Global Climate Change” and for “Global Warming.”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

There is no PLANet B

Making America Lost Again

Making America Last Again

Making America Lose(rs) Again

Ask the Admirals

Price Carbon ($ C)

Sometimes I wrestle with my demons and sometimes we just snuggle

Social (In)Security And The C.P.I. (May 29, 2017)

Posted in Economics, Inflation, Social Security on May 29, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

How Much Social Security Will I Get?

  • Your new 2015 monthly benefit

Amount before deduction is:                                                          $1,374.90

  • Your 2015 monthly deduction for the

Medicare Part B Premium is:                                                            $146.90

$104.90 for the standard Medicare premium, plus

$42.00 for the income-related monthly adjustment amount based on your 2013 income tax return

  • Your benefit amount after deductions that will be deposited into your bank account or sent in your check on January 2, 2015 is:                                                                      $1,228.00

How Much Social Security Will I Get?

  • Your new 2016 monthly benefit

Amount before deduction is:                                                          $1,374.60

  • Your 2016 monthly deduction for the

Medicare Part B Premium is:                                                            $243.60

$121.80 for the standard Medicare premium, plus

$121.80 for the income-related monthly adjustment amount based on your 2014 income tax return

  • Your benefit amount after deductions that will be deposited into your bank account or sent in your check on December 31, 2015 is:                                                             $1,131.00

How Much Social Security Will I Get?

  • Your new 2017 monthly benefit

Amount before deduction is:                                                          $1,378.90

  • Your 2017 monthly deduction for the

Medicare Part B Premium is:                                                            $267.90

$134.00 for the standard Medicare premium, plus

$133.90 for the income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) based on your 2015 income tax return

  • Your benefit amount after deductions that will be deposited into your bank account or sent in your check on January 3, 2017 is:                                                              $1,111.00

 How Much Social Security Will I Get?

 Your new 2018 monthly benefit

Amount before deduction is:                                                          $?,???.??

  • Your 2018 monthly deduction for the

Medicare Part B Premium is:                                                            $???.??

$???.?? for the standard Medicare premium, plus

$???.?? for the income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) based on your 2017 income tax return

  • Your benefit amount after deductions that will be deposited into your bank account or sent in your check on January 3, 2018 is:                                                                  $?,???.00

. . .

[John Fitzgerald Kennedy – May 29, 1917.]

[See “Shadow Stats” www.shadowstats.com collected by John Williams and navigate the site.]

[See the e-commentary at “Back Door Inflation (July 16, 2007)” and “The Economic Numbers Game (May 5, 2008).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

What did we fight for, again?

How Much Social Security Will I Get?

Will I Get Much Social Security?

Will I Get Social Security?

Will I Get Security?

Will I Get Security Socially?

“The cost of living has gone up another dollar a quart.”  W.C. Fields

They allege that the cost of living for the consumer has not gone up, but I never got the memo.

“And 3 Feet Above The ‘Recalibrated Sea Level’!!!” (May 22, 2017)

Posted in Architecture, Economics, Health Care, Housing on May 22, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Forget about the attractive magnet schools, forget about the nine star energy rating, forget about the cute little pergola in the back yard.  Recall and remember that the property is 3 feet above the official published ‘Recalibrated Sea Level’ (‘RSL’) for the region!!!  3 whole feet!!!  Almost a meter of freeboard.”

J          “The sales brochure proclaims:  ‘Natural gas bill:  only $14,700 per year!  And only 1600 square feet!’  That should seal the deal.”

. . .

K          “The premium for the flood insurance exceeds the yearly mortgage payments, but that is the way it is today.”

J          “Bummer.”

K          “But it is still slightly less than my health insurance premium.”

. . .

K          “I think they call it ‘contemporary architecture’ in all the tony salons.”

J          “Did you read if the HOA provisions allow you to use one of the swamped homes in the neighborhood as a duck shack?”

K          “If you have both your state and federal duck stamps and a temporary use permit on your person.  But there is a three-day stay limitation.”

. . .

[See the article “High Ground Is Becoming Hot Property as Sea Level Rises” by Erika Bolstad in “Scientific American” dated May 1, 2017.]

[See the e-commentary at “The Marginal Utility of (House) Utilities:  Only 1600 Square Feet! (October 25, 2010)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Take the high ground, take the high road.

Graduation Advice:  Wear Chainsaw Safety Chaps; Cut With Care (May 15, 2017)

Posted in Graduation Advice on May 15, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Wear chainsaw safety chaps.”

. . .

K          “Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’17 . . . wear chainsaw safety chaps . . . if I could offer you only one tip for the future, chainsaw safety chaps would be it. . . .  Wear chainsaw safety chaps . . . and cut and craft with great care.”

. . .

K          “And wear sun screen and hearing protection.”

. . .

J          “Go East, young person.  Go to Rome and get in on the looting before it is too late.”

. . .

[Ponder the graduation commencement speech titled “This Is Water” by David Foster Wallace.]

[See the e-commentary at “Graduation Advice:  Wear Hearing Protection; Listen Attentively (May 16, 2016)” and the advice to youth at “Go East, Young Person (August 25, 2014)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Wear sun screen and hearing protection and chainsaw safety chaps

The Third Amendment: Finding A Safe Haven And A Refuge For The Elements (May 10, 2017)

Posted in Constitution, Fiat Currency, Gold, Gold Standard, Martial Law, Privacy, Republican Federal Judge Syndrome, Second Amendment, Silver, Silver Standard, Third Amendment, War on May 8, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “It was placed third ahead of the right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure, the right to a trial by jury and the right not to be subject to cruel and unusual punishment, among others.  Protecting against the threat was a greater concern and anxiety that these other concerns and anxieties.”

J          “And yet one hundred out of ninety-nine Americans cannot identify it.  Even at tony cocktail parties.  It is the Privacy Provision.”

. . .

K          “As I recall, it says:  ‘No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law’ or something like that.  Congress has not formally declared war for decades, yet the government is at war with most of the world all the time and will be at war with most of the world until the final collapse of the American Empire.”

J          “The Constitutional benchmark in time of war allows for regulation ‘prescribed by law’ that provides an open-ended ability to oppress the people.  The government can send in the police and contend that they are not even soldiers, even though the police are militarized and soldier-surrogates in the soft martial law that has been in place for the last dozen plus years.”

K          “And the Republican federal judges suffering from ‘Republican Federal Judge Syndrome’ will allow the government to do anything it wants to and call if deference.”

. . .

K          “Survey the literature.  No one even questions that the government will confiscate gold and likely silver when the stuff begins to compete with the fraudulent fiat currency foisted on the public by the government.”

J          “The government will not stop there.  The Empire will confiscate all the elements – Au, Ag and Fe and Pb.”

K          “The Second Amendment may provide some limited protection for guns and perhaps for ammo.  The Third Amendment needs to be expanded to protect gold and silver from government confiscation.”

J          “The right to keep and exchange precious metals shall not be abridged.”

. . .

J          “The Founding Fathers did not have to contend with a fraudulent fiat currency.”

K          “That is why I contend that the Third Amendment prohibition against quartering troops in one’s house should be expanded to include a prohibition against the government restricting the use of ‘Washington quarters’ of the citizen’s choosing in one’s house and in exchanges with other citizens so inclined.”

J          “Quarters, dimes and dollars are under assault and attack by the government.  They are the only means to maintain some privacy and freedom in exchanges.”

K          “The Third Amendment may offer the most promise for providing some constitutional protection for privacy and freedom broadly defined.”

. . .

K          “On the other head, the Third Amendment is undergirded by the fiction that the house is one’s castle and should not be invaded by the state.  Vesting the Third Amendment with what we deeply believe is important may be an inappropriate bypass of direct Congressional action.”

J          “Bypassing direct Congressional action does not seem inappropriate to me.  Congress will pass the law to confiscate precious metals and not pass any law to protect private possession of property such as possession of precious metals.”

. . .

K          “And talking about quarters, . . . that’s my two bits.”

J          “And that is my dos centavos.”

. . .

[See the essay by Gordon S. Wood on “The Third Amendment” published by the National Constitution Center.] 

[See the e-commentary at “Preserve Cash; Preserve (Some) Privacy (May 4, 2015)”, “The Paradox Of The Republican Federal Judge: Republican Federal Judge Syndrome (September 23, 2013)” and Boycott Facebook? (August 2, 2010)” that suggests an extension of the Third Amendment to protect against invasions of privacy.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

“No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Title III –> Chapter 17:  Bankrupt States . . . Going Bankrupt (May 1, 2017)

Posted in Bankruptcy, Blue States / Red States, Canada, Cartoon Reference, Climate, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Kleptocracy, Pensions, Supreme Court on May 1, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Who thought the bricks would crumble.  The fifty brick house may not survive politically and will not endure economically.”

J          “The state of the states is dismal and abysmal.  When municipalities fold or water districts dry up, some interior curtain walls are dismantled and the curtains and furniture are sold.  Yet they are all just political subdivisions of the state, not a state itself.  Until recently, interior curtain walls were relieved whereas now the exterior load bearing walls are under stress.”

K          “Pick a metric.  If you input a realistic rate of return in calculating the solvency of state pension funds, most of them are not only under water, they are drowned with no chance of resuscitation or c.p.r.”

. . .

K          “Puerto Rico is the canary in the coal mine, the guinea pig and the alpha testing ground.  Congress concocted Title III’ as part of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) that imports many of the notions of bankruptcy law to address the island’s insolvency.”

J          “Up north, the HealthCare of Ontario Pension Fund directed funds it may not have to bail out the Toronto-based Home Capital Group for investments it never should have made.”

K          “That seems to be some type of capitalistic synergistic entropy.”

. . .

K          “On this Law Day, we should consider drafting and crafting a ‘Chapter 17’ provision to allow a state to file bankruptcy and write the next chapter in the Bankruptcy Code and American polity.  A PROMESA on steroids for the states.”

J          “The legislation may attract bipartisan support because half of the seriously distressed states are ‘red’ states and half of the seriously depressed states are ‘blue’ states.”

K          “Alaska, Kentucky, South Carolina and Louisiana counterbalance Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York among the states that are going.  Going states need some way to go.”

. . .

K          “State supreme court justices use their position and power to advance their economic interests and protect their pensions.  In the court across the street, federal bankruptcy court judges will be forced to distribute a smaller sum of money in a more equitable and efficient manner to all citizens.”

J          “This Republic had such great promise.”

. . . 

[See the discussion of the Peoples Climate March for climate, jobs and justice in “Climate March Draws Thousands of Protesters Alarmed by Trump’s Environmental Agenda” in “The New York Times” by Nicholas Fandos dated April 29, 2017, “Climate March draws massive crowd to D.C. in sweltering heat” by Chris Mooney, Joe Heim and Brady Dennis in “The Washington Post” dated April 29, 2017 and yesterday’s Doonesbury cartoon.]

[See the e-commentary at “Pensions and Other Entitlements: Pt. 1 (April 14, 2008)”, “Pensions and Other Entitlements: Pt. 2 (April 28, 2008)”, “Outsourcing Pensions? (Sept. 7, 2009)”, “Pensions, Conflicts Of Interest And The Illinois Supreme Court (June 1, 2015)”, “May Day (May 1, 2006)” and other e-commentary under the Category on “Pensions.”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Chapter 17 – Coming to a state near you

The United States dominates the world not because it is a “City Upon a Hill” but because it shoots, and shoots regularly, from the top on the hill.