Saturday, April 28, 2012


They are at it again, the slimy lobbyists and their bought, paid for politicians trying to take away our freedom and privacy of online Internet use.

We have had them try to pass previous bills which threatened to censor and erode our rights, but each time the public uproar against those bills has defeated them.

Previous bills to steal our freedom have been named SOPA, PIPA,and now the newest toxic bill named CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act).

Right now, the US is poised to pass this new law that would permit US agents to spy on almost everything we do online. But we can stop them before the final vote.

Companies that we trust with our personal information, like Microsoft, IBM, and Facebook, are key supporters of this bill that lets corporations share all user activity and content with US government agents without needing a warrant in the name of cyber-security, nullifying privacy guarantees for almost everyone around the world, no matter where we live and surf online.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, passed the U.S. House of Representatives late Thursday, and now heads to the Senate. 

The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 248 to 168, with a Republican majority.

Proponents of the bill, such as Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., who introduced it, said the sharing of information would allow the government and the proper agencies to address cyberthreats quickly.

But opponents, including President Obama, say they are worried about consumer privacy and the scope of sharing between the government and independent technology companies.

Obama has threatened to veto the bill. "The administration strongly opposes H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, in its current form," Obama's Office of Management and Budget said in a statement earlier this week. "If H.R. 3523 were presented to the president, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill."

Jared Polis, D-Colo., has been particularly outspoken on the measure. "If this bill is enacted, there is nothing to stop companies from sharing their customers' private information with every branch of the government, including the military.

Allowing the military to spy on American citizens, on American soil, goes against every principle this nation stands for," Polis said in a statement.

If enacted, it would increase the information that is shared between the government and technology companies, giving each protection to share confidential information with one another in the interest of warding off cyberthreats.

Previously, this hasn't been the case, government information was classified and companies feared violating antitrust laws.

An online petition to stop the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has reached nearly 800,000 signatures.

The petition, launched on April 5 on, an online platform for civic organization, describes CISPA as a bill "that would give private companies and the U.S. government the right to spy on any of us at any time for as long as they want without a warrant" and calls on members of congress "to show true global leadership and do all you can to protect our Internet freedom."

Supporters of CISPA say that the bill is intended to help prevent cyber attacks by allowing companies and the government to share information about potential security threats.

The Huffington Post's Gerry Smith explains, many are concerned by the potential implications of the bill:
Privacy and civil liberties groups say the bill's definition of the consumer data that can be shared with the government is overly broad, and once the data is shared, the government could use that information for other purposes, such as investigating or prosecuting crimes, without needing to obtain a warrant. They also criticize the legislation for not requiring companies to make customer information anonymous before sharing it with the government.

With the passage of CISPA, however, the government could share that information with private companies to help them protect their networks. This rightfully angers privacy advocates  that companies could share information about its users and its networks with the government.

Unlike the SOPA and PIPA controversies, no major websites have threatened or planned to go dark. However,If enough of us speak out, we can stop companies that profit from our business from supporting cyber-spying.

Just this very moment, due to the public's opposition, CISPA has just lost a powerful backer, with Microsoft withdrawing its support for the controversial cyber security bill saying any law must allow them “to honor privacy promises” they make to their customers.

Microsoft’s change of heart regarding the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) follows the United States House of Representatives decision to pass the bill by an overwhelming margin of 248 to 168 on Thursday.

Responding to queries from CNET on Friday, Microsoft said any law must allow "us to honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers."

The tech giant further added it hopes to "ensure the final legislation helps to tackle the real threat of cybercrime while protecting consumer privacy."

The company had previously lauded the bill as an important “first step towards addressing significant problems in cyber security" when it was first proposed last November.

I just signed a petition telling the Senate to stop the online spying bills. I hope you do, too. Sign the petitions at the links below so that your voices will be heard loud and clear.

Tell the Senate: Stop the online spying bills.

Please Sign the AVAAZ petition


Various CISPA like bills are under consideration in the Senate. While they differ from CISPA and each other in various ways, they all could potentially sacrifice our online civil liberties in the name of national security.
We need to send a clear message to everyone in the Senate that we won't stand for that.

Senators who are with us need to know their constituents support them. And senators who aren't with us need to be put on notice that their constituents don't want them to sell us out.

Stand up and be counted now before it is too late to protect our privacy and freedom from those who would steal it from WE THE PEOPLE.

Monday, April 23, 2012


There once was a pretty good student.
Who sat in a pretty good class
And was taught by a pretty good teacher.
Who always let pretty good pass.

He wasn't terrific at reading;
He wasn't a whiz-bang at math;
But for him education was leading
Straight down a pretty good path.

He didn't find school too exciting,
But he wanted to do pretty well.
And he did have some trouble with writing,
And nobody had taught him to spell.

When doing arithmetic problems,
Pretty good was regarded as fine;
Five and five needn't always add up to be ten.
A pretty good answer was nine.

The pretty good student was happy
With the standards that were in effect.
And nobody thought it was sappy
If his answers were not quite correct.

The pretty good class that he sat in
Was part of a pretty good school.
And the student was not an exception;
On the contrary, he was the rule.

The pretty good school that he went to
Was right there in a pretty good town.
And nobody there ever noticed
He could not tell a verb from a noun.

The pretty good student, in fact, was
A part of a pretty good mediocre mob,
And the first time he knew what he lacked was
When he looked for a pretty good job.

It was then, when he sought a position,
He discovered that life can be tough,
And he soon had a sneaky suspicion
Pretty good might not be good enough.

The pretty good town in our story
Was part of a pretty good state
Which had pretty good aspirations
and prayed for a pretty good fate.

There was once a pretty good nation.
Pretty proud of the greatness it had.
But which learned much too late.
If you want to be great,
Pretty good is, in fact, pretty bad.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Today's Blog post is an effort on my part to better clarify what is really the truth in the things that are actually good for you and give you a better idea of what the greatest modern minds in scientific research have to offer us in enlightening ourselves.

It has become a jungle of information, misinformation overload for the average person as to specifically what kinds of things we should ingest, avoid, embrace, in our never ending quest to take better care of ourselves.

Lane, a good friend of mine, often sends me emails or tells me of the various media news reported studies that inform us of the things that are good for us to eat, do, get, and live "better". Her response to answer the questions I have about many of these "studies" and the accuracy of the reports are always answered by her telling me "because it's good for you".

For sure everybody knows that certain things are “good for you.” In fact, I am usually amazed at the lists that people can spout off in just a moment or two without really thinking about it. Like my quick list:
  • Don’t smoke
  • Wear a seatbelt 
  • Floss daily
  • Eat veggies
  • Get eight hours of sleep
  • Wear a clean pair of underwear daily 

I decided to conduct my own further research into the land of things that are good and bad for you. Some of my findings will surprise you, others will confirm what you suspected all along as a plot to deny your sweet tooth its cravings, while some will completely defy rational thought.


I always suspected that having desert for breakfast is good for you and now science has confirmed it to be true.Your mother, doctors and life lied to you. According to scientists, combining a low-calorie diet that includes dessert for breakfast will help you lose weight. Sweets, cookies, creme brulee, cake. 

ALL OF IT will help you lose weight if you start your day off like that. I love breakfast now.This is amazing people! 

ACCORDING TO THE STUDY scientists put 144 obese people on a low carb, low calorie diet (1,400 calories for women, 1,600 calories for men) that were exactly identical except that one of the diets included "a high-carbohydrate, protein-enriched breakfast with a choice of cookies, chocolate, cake or ice cream for dessert."
What's interesting is that during the first 16-week period, the average weight loss was the same, both groups lost 32 pounds on average. Where it got very interesting was the 16 week followup, people with the dessert for breakfast diet lost 13 more pounds while the other group gained back all but 3.5 pounds of the weight they lost. 

Every day we're inundated with lists of things to improve our lives. Most of these lists spell out obvious solutions to our everyday problems: Eat less, exercise more, spend less money, don't kill your children. 

To begin, I don't want to tell you what you already know, so I have created a list of five bad things you never knew were potentially good  for you:
  1. Smoking Crack –If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, you're just not motivated enough. That hunger for your next hit of crack will not only get you out of bed, but it'll make you do things you never thought you could do. Smoking crack can also lead to weight loss and increased income streams from theft and prostitution.
  2. Breaded Bacon and Cheese Sticks Fried in Coconut Oil – Some people call them "fat sticks" or "heart stoppers", but experts agree that if you die of a heart attack at sixty-seven you won't have to save as much for retirement. Double up your intake of these "grease nails" and you might not have to save for retirement at all. With that kind of cash flow improvement you could get that boat you've always wanted.
  3. Ebola – Nothing says more than having your fifteen minutes of fame like being the first person in the US to contract the Ebola virus. You'll guarantee yourself a spot in the annals of medical history.
  4. Losing Fingers to a Circular Saw – Admit it, you've always wanted to be able to write left handed. Now you can. With no thumb on your right hand, what else are you going to do? Your ability to make others feel sorry for you went up a notch as well. Also, micro particles of iron from the blade can enter directly into the bloodstream giving added protection from anemia.
  5. Dying – Who among us wouldn't give their life for a stress-free non-existence? Dying is highly underrated as a means to relieve stress. No stupid boss with impossible deadlines. No bills to pay. Absolutely no worries. Ever hear a dead person complain about being dead? I didn't think so.

Worst Foods


1. Artery Crust

Judging by the label, Marie Callender’s (16.5 oz) Chicken Pot Pie
has "only" 520 calories, 11 grams of saturated fat, and 800 mg of sodium. But look again. Those numbers are for only half a pie. Eat the entire pie, as most people probably do, and you’re talking 1,040 calories, 22 grams of saturated fat (more than a day’s worth), and 1,600 mg of sodium (an entire day’s worth).

2. Triple Bypass

Can’t decide what to pick from a restaurant menu? No worries. Now you can order not just one entrée, but two or three, all at once. Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy consists of Homemade Lasagna, Lightly Breaded Chicken Parmigiana, and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo. All of this totals 1,450 calories, 33 grams of saturated fat, and 3,830 milligrams of sodium. Add a bread stick (150 calories and 400 mg of sodium) and a plate of Garden-Fresh Salad with dressing (350 calories and 1,930 mg of sodium) and you’ll consume almost 2,000 calories (an entire day’s worth) and 6,160 mg.

3. Salt's On!

On average, a cup of Campbell’s condensed soup has 760 mg of sodium. That’s half a day’s worth, assuming you eat only one of the 2½ servings that the label says the can makes. Campbell’s Healthy Request and Select Harvest, Progresso Reduced Sodium, and Healthy Choice slash the sodium to the 400s.

4. Tortilla Terror

Interested in a Chipotle Chicken Burrito (tortilla, rice, pinto beans, cheese, chicken, sour cream, and salsa)? Think of its 970 calories, and 18 grams of saturated fat as three 6-inch Subway BLT Classic Subs! Skipping the cheese or sour cream cuts the saturated fat to 6 grams, but you still end up with 750 calories and more than a day’s worth of sodium. Yikes!

5. Factory Reject

People don’t expect light desserts at The Cheesecake Factory. But the Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake kicks things up a notch. If it weren’t served on its side, this one would stand over six inches tall. And upright or not, the slab of cake still weighs in at three-quarters of a pound. What do you get for all that? Just 1,760 calories and 2½ days’ worth of saturated fat (50 grams), mostly from chocolate, sugar, cream, white flour, and butter.

6. Burial Grands

No one thinks of cinnamon rolls as health food. But each Pillsbury Grands! Cinnamon Roll with icing has 310 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat plus 2½ grams of trans fat (more than a day’s worth) and 5 teaspoons of sugar. Companies are dumping their partially hydrogenated oils left and right, yet Pillsbury still makes most of its rolls and biscuits with the stuff.

7. Transgression
“Excellent source of ALA Omega 3,” declares the Land O’Lakes Margarine box. Who knew that Land O’Lakes stick margarine was so heart healthy? It isn’t. Each tablespoon of the spread has 2½ grams of trans fat (more than an entire day’s limit) and 2 grams of saturated fat. And beware of other trans-filled sticks by Blue Bonnet, Parkay, Country Crock, and Fleischmann’s. At least those brands don’t imply that a bit of ALA outweighs the harm caused by the margarine’s trans and saturated fat.

8. Starbucks on Steroids

 The Starbucks Venti (20 oz) White Chocolate Mocha with 2% milk and whipped cream is more than a mere cup of coffee. It’s worse than a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Few people have room in their diets for the 580 calories and 15 grams of saturated fat that this hefty beverage supplies. But you can lose 130 calories and almost two-thirds of the bad fat if you order it with nonfat milk and no whipped cream.

9. Extreme Ice Cream

 An average halfcup serving of Häagen-Dazs ice cream squeezes half-a-day’s saturated fat and a third-of-a-day’s cholesterol into your artery walls and makes a nearly 300-calorie down payment on your next set of fat cells, if you can stop at a petite half-cup! 

10. Stone Cold

Cold Stone Creamery’s Oh Fudge! shake (chocolate ice cream, milk, and fudge syrup) starts at 1,250 calories for the “Like It” (16 oz) size. That’s more than a large (32 oz) McDonald’s McCafe Chocolate Triple Thick Shake. The “Love It” (20 oz) has 1,660 calories and the “Gotta Have It” (24 oz) reaches 1,920 calories (just about an entire day's worth) and 69 grams of saturated fat (3½ days’ worth). That's the saturated fat content of two 16 oz T-bone steaks plus a buttered baked potato, all blended into a handy 24 oz cup.

Best Foods


1. Quinoa 

Quinoa is an ancient food, originally grown 5000 years ago in South America by the Incas in South America.
quinoa benefitsBut its flavor is only part of why quinoa is such an amazing "supergrain."Some of the nutrients in quinoa include:
  • Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
  • Magnesium helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient.
  • Fiber. Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
  • Manganese and copper. Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances. Quinoa provides more amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients than most other grains!
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a grain; it is actually a seed and related to the spinach family.Quinoa is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

2. Sweet Potatoes
A nutritional All-Star — one of the best vegetables you can eat. They're loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Bake and then mix in some unsweetened applesauce or crushed pineapple for extra moisture and sweetness.

3. Mangoes

Just one cup of mango supplies 100% of a day’s vitamin C, one-third of a day’s vitamin A, a decent dose of blood-pressure-lowering potassium, and 3 grams of fiber. Bonus: mango is one of the fruits least likely to have pesticide residues.

4. Unsweetened Greek Yogurt

Non-fat, plain Greek yogurt has a pleasant tartness that’s a perfect foil for the natural sweetness of berries, bananas, or your favorite breakfast cereal. It’s strained, so even the fat-free versions are thick and creamy. And the lost liquid means that the yogurt that’s left has twice the protein of ordinary yogurt – about 17 grams in 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt.

5. Broccoli

It has lots of vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin K and folic acid. Steam it just enough so that it's still firm and add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and a spritz of lemon juice.

6. Wild Salmon
The omega-3 fats in fatty fish like salmon can help reduce the risk of sudden-death heart attacks. And wild-caught salmon has less PCB contaminants than farmed salmon.

7. Crispbreads

Whole-grain rye crackers, like Wasa, Kavli, and Ryvita, usually called crispbreads are loaded with fiber and often fat-free. Add a little honey and sprinkle with cinnamon to satisfy your sweet tooth.

8. Garbanzo Beans

All beans are good beans. They’re rich in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. But garbanzos stand out because they’re so versatile. Just drain, rinse, and toss a handful on your green salad; throw them into vegetable stews, curries, and soups; mix them with brown rice, whole wheat couscous, bulgur, or other whole grains.  

9. Watermelon
Watermelon is a heavyweight in the nutrient department. A standard serving (about 2 cups) has one-third of a day’s vitamins A and C, a nice shot of potassium, and a healthy dose of lycopene for only 80 fat-free, salt-free calories. And when they’re in season, watermelons are often locally grown, which means they may have a smaller carbon footprint than some other fruits.

10. Butternut Squash
Steam a sliced squash or buy peeled, diced butternut squash at the supermarket that’s ready to go into the oven, a stir-fry, or a soup. It’s an easy way to get lots of vitamins A and C and fiber.

11. Leafy Greens

Don’t miss out on powerhouse greens like kale, collards, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, and Swiss chard. These stand-out leafy greens are jam-packed with vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, lutein, and fiber. Serve with a splash of lemon juice or red wine vinegar.

12. Ice Cream Is Good for You!
Creamy pistachio nut is my flavor with the magic healing powers of the pistachio nuts. Ice cream is made of cream, milk, eggs, sugar, and flavorings. Ice cream provides nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins. Recently researchers found that when eaten as part of a healthy diet, ice cream can aid weight loss, as long as you don't overdo it with calories. It may be due to two factors: ice cream contains calcium, which is needed for fat metabolism, and ice cream satisfies food cravings better than most foods, which could reduce binging.

13.You probably didn’t even know cinnamon was good
 for you! 
The Top 5 Health Benefits of CinnamonIt turns out that cinnamon has some surprising potential health benefits:

Preliminary results from studies have indicated that cinnamon has antifungal, antibacterial and antiparasitic properties. Cinnamon has been found to be effective in fighting vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections, stomach ulcers and head lice. (Source)

Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties. (Source) Many of us eat lots of fried, fatty and processed foods, and these foods cause inflammation of our internal tissues and organs, and this inflammation has been linked to one of the most life-threatening diseases of our time – heart disease. Andrew Weil, M.D. writes on the topic of anti-inflammatory diets as a means of reducing our chances of suffering heart attacks, strokes and heart disease. This is from his book Natural Health, Natural Medicine:
“A growing consensus among cardiologists pinpoints abnormal inflammation in artery walls as a root cause of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.”

Cinnamon may actually help people with Type 2 diabetes control blood sugar levels, and may significantly lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides (fatty acids in the blood).

Cinnamon is an excellent source of manganese, dietary fiber, iron and calcium. The combination of calcium and fiber can help to remove bile, which prevents damage to colon cells, which helps prevent colon cancer. Fiber also can help with the relief of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. (Source)

If that’s not enough for you, doctors have performed studies that show that just smelling cinnamon improves our memory and performance of certain tasks. (Source)

Nature has gifted us lots of things to keep our self healthy. One of those gifts is Garlic. There are lots of  proverbs about Garlic which reflects its importance such as Garlic is as good as 10 mothers ;  

Moreover, it is regarded as a miracle by naturopaths and herbalists. Various researches have proved that Garlic is good for health and is beneficial in curing various health problems.

The garlic clove contains various nutrients as water soluble nutrients include vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and natural sugars; oil soluble nutrients includes sulphur compounds originating from an amino acid named alliin which is converted to a pungent compound called allicin which has natural antibiotic properties. Presence of sulphur in garlic is the cause of its pungent smell. However, the quality of Garlic cannot be hidden due to this smell. In several scientific studies it has been found that:
Garlic Medicinal Uses
  • Garlic acts as an antiseptic; helps in curing the wounds very quickly.
  • One of the health benefits of garlic is that it helps in fighting against various infection; acts against inflammation and infection, including colds, coughs by adding a freshly cut raw clove to food three times a day or take kyolic garlic capsules but raw is always best.
  • In certain studies in China it has been shown that it contains chemicals that prevent cancer. They suggest that eating garlic on regular basis provides some protection against cancer.
  • Fresh or cooked garlic or 500 mg garlic capsules twice daily helps in lowers down the blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. It increases the levels of high density lipoproteins, reduces harmful cholesterol in the blood; keeps arteries and heart healthy.
  • It thins the blood, reduces clotting and helps in controlling blood pressure and poor circulation.
  • Garlic stimulates the immune system of body & helps in fighting against various diseases.
  • Prevents and relieves chronic bronchitis, respiratory problems, and catarrh.
  • It acts as a nasal decongestant; expectorant.
  • It is also helpful for asthma, hysteria, dropsy; scurvy.
  • Garlic works as a cleanser of the digestive system, helps in curing flatulence, kills internal parasites and is an excellent internal antiseptic.
  • Researcher recommends daily dose of fresh garlic of about 4 gm, equivalent to one or two small cloves for  every person who wants to keep himself healthy.
Red Wine
Past research has shown that red wine may help boost our heart health, when taken in moderation.


A multitude of studies have examined the health effects of coffee, and many of them have come out showing it's good for you.

We've all heard that a piece of dark chocolate can be good for us, 
eating chocolate regularly could 
lower your stroke risk.

Beer is good for you.

A study shows that people who drink 
beer moderately have a 31% decreased 
risk of heart disease.  

Walking can add minutes to your life.This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $4,000 per month . Description:
My grandpa started walking
five miles a day when he was 60.
Now he's 97 years old &
we have no idea where the hell he is.

I have to walk early in the morning, 
before my brain figures out 
what I'm doing.

The advantage of exercising every day
is so when you die, they'll say,
'Well, he looks good doesn't he.'

We all get heavier as we get older,
because there's a lot more information 
in our heads.
You could walk this over to your friends
But just e-mail it to them instead!

It will save you the walk!

Monday, April 2, 2012


Just when you think that financial institutions could not be more creative and ingenious in the ways that they suck the last ounce of blood from human beings, along comes new, lower depths of depravity from these models of heartless pieces of shit out there inhabited by unfeeling, blood sucking Dracula scum bags.

The point of this Blog post and the moral of this story is that you need to:

Cancel your credit card before you die.

Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die! You may wonder how that can be accomplished since dead people generally don't hang out calling the customer service at their credit card company after they are dead.

Apparently those parasites at CitiBank and the other usual suspect dumb Banks don't really care about mere facts that might prevent a dead person from paying their credit card balances. For example:

A lady died this past January and Citibank billed her for February and March annual service fees PLUS finance late charges and monthly fees for her unpaid balance. Citibank REFUSED to do anything in correcting these charges despite numerous calls from the woman's relatives.  The balance had been $0.00 when she died, but now somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to Citibank.

 Here is the exchange:
Family Member
: 'I am calling to tell you she died back in January.'
: ' The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member
: 'Maybe you should turn it over to collections.'
: 'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.'
Family Member: So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'
: 'Either report her account to frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'
Family Member
: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'

Citibank : 'Excuse me?'
Family Member
: 'Did you just get what I was telling you - the part about her being dead?'
: 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'
Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member
: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died back in January with a $0 balance.'
: ' The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member
: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'
: (Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'
Family Member
: 'No, I'm her great-nephew.' (Lawyer info was given)

'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'
Family Member
: 'Sure.' (Fax number was given)
After they get the fax :

: 'Our system just isn't setup for death. I don't know what more I can do to help.'
Family Member
: 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. She won't care.'

Citibank: 'Well, the late fees and charges will still apply.'

Family Member: 'Would you like her new billing address?'
: 'That might help....'
Family Member
: ' Odessa Memorial Cemetery , Highway 129, Plot Number 69.'
: 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'
Family Member
: 'And what do you do with dead people on your planet???'

And you wondered why Citibank needed help from the Feds? How can these educated fools be so dumb???. Because they don't care, it's all about money, squeezing the last dime from people. This is deliberately being done as standard bank policy at most financial institutions.

Dead people are the newest frontier in debt collecting, and one of the healthiest parts of the industry. Those who dun the living say that people are so scared and so broke it is difficult to get them to cough up even token payments.

Collecting from the dead, however, is expanding. Improved database technology is making it easier to discover when estates are opened in the country’s 3,000 probate courts, giving collectors an opportunity to file timely claims. But if there is no formal estate and thus nothing to file against, the human touch comes into play.

For some relatives, paying is pragmatic. The law varies from state to state, but generally survivors are not required to pay a dead relative’s bills from their own assets. In theory, however, collection agencies could go after any property inherited from the deceased.

But sentiment also plays a large role, the agencies say. Some relatives are loyal to the credit card or bank in question. Some feel a strong sense of morality, that all debts should be paid. Most of all, people feel they are honoring the wishes of their loved ones.

“In times of illness and death, the hierarchy of debts is adjusted,” said Michael Ginsberg of Kaulkin Ginsberg, a consulting company to the debt collection industry. “We do our best to make sure our doctor is paid, because we might need him again. And we want the dead to rest easy, knowing their obligations are taken care of.”

Finally, of course, some of those who pay a dead relative’s debts are unaware they may have no legal obligation.


Weltman of Weltman, Weinberg &  Reis, a Cleveland law firm that performs deceased collections, says that if family members ask, “we definitely tell them” they have no legal obligation to pay. “But is it disclosed upfront — ‘Mr. Smith, you definitely don’t owe the money’? It’s not that blunt.”

The companies “want to protect their brand,” said DCM’s chief executive, Steven Farsht. Despite the delicacy of such collections, he says his 180-employee firm is providing a service to the economy. “The financial services industry is under a tremendous amount of pressure, and every dollar we collect improves their profitability,” he said. 
( "A service to the economy indeed", you make me puke Mr.  CEO" dollar profitability Farsht-AKA "FULL OF SHIT, you are an evil piece of work with no soul as you prey on the dead, their families, and rationalize it as only a piece of shit without a conscience like you could).

Some survivors are surprised, and a few are shocked, that they are hearing from a collector. Eric Frenchman, an online consultant, said a collection agent inquired about his late father’s $50 Discover card balance before the bill was even due. Since Mr. Frenchman had been planning to pay it anyway, he emerged from the experience vowing never to get a Discover card himself.

Benjamin Franklin said, "The only things certain in life are death and taxes." I'm not so sure about that. I think we can add the collection of credit card debt from the dead to this famous quote and modernize it to reflect how low society has sunk into a new form of extracting the last pieces of human 'flesh' from those that have left  this world

I think it's also pretty certain that at this income tax time of the year's annual ritual, you'll find the following quotations about Death and Taxes as truly appropriate in today's "civilized society":

"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax." - attributed to Albert Einstein.

"If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation."- Farmer's Almanac.

"The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward." - John Maynard Keynes.

"Death and taxes may be certain, but we don't have to die every year." -Unknown.

"If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the UP button." 

Sam Levenson.

"Optimist: Someone who sets aside two hours to do his income tax return." - Unknown.

"I wouldn't mind paying taxes, if I knew they were going to a friendly country." - Dick Gregory.

"Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today." - Herman Wouk.

"Tax reform means, 'Don't tax you, don't tax me. Tax that fellow behind the tree.'" - Russell Long.

"The way taxes are, you might as well marry for love." - Joe E. Lewis.

"I don't mind dying, the trouble is you feel so bloody stiff the next day." - George Axlerod.

"It used to be that death and taxes alone were inevitable. Now there's shipping and handling." - Bert Murray.

"The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has." - Will Rogers.

"The taxpayer, that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination." - Ronald Reagan.

"People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women." - Unknown.

"On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done as easily lying down." -Woody Allen.

Nobody wants to remember a deceased family member by the debt they left behind, but many creditors certainly make it difficult to forget. Denise Townley was appalled when she received a letter from her mother's credit card issuer less than two weeks after her mother passed away.


"We have recently learned that [your mother], a valued Discover Card customer, has passed away. Please accept our sincere apologies," stated the letter from Discover, which Townley sent to CNN Money.

It then offered her or another family member the "opportunity" to assume the balance on her mother's credit card and offered a special introductory APR of 0% for the first six months (the APR would increase to 13.24% after that). If Townley wasn't interested in taking over the account, then the bank wished to discuss how the estate planned to pay off her mother's credit card balance.
Confused and concerned that she was on the hook for her mother's debt, Townley called Discover. When she asked a probate specialist there how they knew her mother had passed away, she was told that Social Security furnished the information.

"I find this not only ethically abhorrent, but also irresponsible and insensitive on both parties' parts," said Townley. But while it may be "ethically abhorrent," it's not illegal. 

Banks are within their rights to seek payment for debts owed by a deceased borrower, and the estate is liable for the debt if it has enough money.

"We understand that settling the affairs of loved ones is difficult," a Discover spokesman said. When contacting family members about the unpaid debts of deceased card members, Discover states upfront that payments on behalf of a deceased relative are voluntary, not required, he added.

Financial institutions typically receive notice of a person's passing from the Social Security Administration within a month or two, according to a recent review of the agency conducted by the Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General. 

Yet, in some cases, banks find out even earlier than that.
Because it's likely the deceased carried multiple debts, creditors often race to be the first to collect money from the next of kin or the estate before it has all dried up, said Gerri Detweiler, a debt specialist at credit card research and comparison site

"The longer a creditor waits to get paid, the less their chance of getting paid," she said. "And unfortunately, they may find that it's easiest to elicit payment when bereaved relatives are still trying to sort everything out."

During her husband's wake, Deborah Crabtree said she had set up an answering machine and put it on speaker phone so that loved ones could leave their condolences, according to the complaint she filed against Bank of America.

But instead of hearing only the voices of friends and family come through the speakers, she said a debt collector from Bank of America Home Loan Servicing called every 15 minutes and left harassing messages about the debts her husband had left behind that everyone in the house could hear.

Even after the wake, Crabtree said Bank of America collectors called her as many as 48 times a day and even threatened to foreclose on her home, according to a lawsuit she filed last month against the bank.

Crabtree, who lives in Honolulu, said she had told the bank that she would pay the debt as soon as she received her husband's life insurance check. However, the agents told her that since the calls were computer generated they couldn't stop them until the debt was paid. 
Crabtree's lawsuit claims that Bank of America violated state debt collection laws. Her lawyer, Gary Shigemura, said the bank has not yet responded in court.

For its part, Bank of America declined to comment on the particular case, but a spokeswoman said that in general, the bank informs family members when they aren't responsible for the debt of a deceased relative.

The Federal Trade Commission recently declined to impose a "cooling off" period after a death, during which creditors wouldn't be allowed to go after a debt.

The FTC said it was unnecessary, since its rules under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act already prohibit third-party debt collectors from collecting debts at "inconvenient times" and harassing customers.

Yet, the FTC only governs third-party debt collectors, not the banks which are regulated by individual states. And while many of the states have laws similar to the FTC's, the terms "harassment" and "inconvenient times" can be interpreted very differently by consumers and creditors, said Detweiler.

Do you owe money for the deceased's debt?

Often mourners don't have enough time to grieve their loss, let alone assess the debts owed by the deceased and whether or not they're on the hook to pay for it.

Some debt collectors make family members feel responsible for debt owed by the deceased by asking them questions about whether they were the one who paid for the funeral or took care of other business related to the person's death, said Detweiler."They don't necessarily state that you are liable for the debt, but they blur the lines to make you feel like somehow you are responsible for it, even if it's just a moral responsibility," she said.

As the executor of the estate, you can request the credit card balance of the deceased's account. Under a provision of the new CARD Act, the issuer has 30 days to provide the balances and can't charge any penalty fees or interest if you or the estate pays off the balance within 30 days after it provides that information.


If the estate doesn't have enough money in it to pay the debt, the creditor is often out of luck.
Despite the banking industry’s glowing testimony, collection agencies are little more than white-collar thugs for hire. As Tony Lloyd, a former manager for debt collector DCM Services LLC of Minneapolis told the Wall Street Journal, “The big selling point is that these collectors offer banks a cushion that shields them from actually having to do the gritty work of going after dead people’s families.” Their recovery strategies typically involve using condolences to coax money out of a grieving widow or anyone else that seems vulnerable.

Carole Brady Fleet, grief counselor and author of “Widows Wear Stilettos,” knows the process all too well. She began receiving calls from collectors less than a month after her husband died. After expressing sympathy that her husband had passed, they told her that she was responsible for all of the debts in his name including ones he had accumulated years before the marriage. They asked if she had any life insurance or other assets she could use to pay off his balances. When she said she didn’t, they threatened to sue. “These are people who were trying to take advantage of someone who was at their most vulnerable in every physical and emotional sense,” she says. “They were counting on that vulnerability to resolve their debt crisis, which is deplorable.”

If the victim isn’t humiliated into paying, the collectors will threaten wage garnishment or home liens. According to Fleet, some agencies even send letters on legal letterhead to trick the mourning survivors into believing they’re being sued.

Worst of all, the incidents are far from isolated. According to court documents, Nordstrom, Citigroup, Wells Fargo Co., J.P. Morgan Chase and Discover Financial Services have all been identified as clients of firms that collect dead people’s debts. While many corporate spokesmen swear that their banks never pursue debt from family members who aren’t obligated to pay it, the growing number of pending lawsuits against debt collection agencies and the banks they represent suggests otherwise. 

Business is Booming

Collecting debt from the dead, as an industry, is growing. When you consider that many collection agencies stand to make 40-50% of their gathered debt in commission, it only makes sense. DCM Services LLC of Golden Valley, one of the largest collection agencies in the country, was one of many companies to expand their workforce last year. In their interviews, they tell prospective employees that they can expect two free breakfasts a week, flexible work hours, access to an exercise room, 15-minute massages at their desks and a $1,000 bonus after six months. 

All they ask in exchange is that these new executives collect at least $60,000 a month from a contact list that includes the family members of deceased debtors.

Another collection agency, CFS II, recently announced its intentions to expand nationwide. In a press release, the company praises the economic downturn for creating 10,000 new jobs in an industry that preys upon people whose lives were ruined by it.

And these companies are doing more than just expanding. They’re also developing new schemes to make themselves that much more believable. These days, collection agencies know that the odds of fleecing a widow for the full amount of her husband’s debt are low, so they come out of the gate offering a “compromise.” Instead of covering his full balance, she can either give up his life insurance policy or pay $25 a month and then hand over their next tax return. After that, the collection agencies are willing to forget the whole thing ever happened. 

My advice is to BE PROACTIVE-FIGHT BACK, YOU HAVE RIGHTS!!! It’s up to the family members of the deceased to assert their rights. Since collectors are not legally allowed to harass you, it only takes a certified letter threatening a lawsuit to get the vultures to stop circling. “Many times, banks and collection agencies count on the fact that you are too distressed to fight or argue,” she says. “The last thing banks expect is an angry missive that asserts your rights and threatens to report them to both the Federal Trade Commission and to the media.”

The banking industry’s habit of illegally harassing the family members of deceased debtors has barely been touched by the media, and it’s been largely ignored by the government. For every Linda Long in the headlines, there are thousands of widows who fall for a collection agency’s tricks and give up money that they desperately need to keep themselves out of debt. The banking industry is in total denial. It won’t admit that its hounding is only perpetuating the problem, and it will continue to operate in blissful ignorance of the havoc it wreaks until someone speaks up.

Dwindling retirement savings, falling home values and high unemployment mean that more Americans are dying while still in debt, says Sally Hurme, an elder-law lawyer with AARP, an advocacy group for people 50 or older. Debt among Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 is growing faster than for any other age group, according to the Federal Reserve. 

As of 2007, the latest year for which figures are available, the median debt level of that age group was $40,130, up from $27,458 in 2004. Research group Strategic Business Insights' Macromonitor conducted a separate survey and found that households headed by Americans 75 and older carried an average of $7,200 in credit-card debt in 2010, more than triple the 2008 level.
Not much to look forward to in your "golden years", except for the buzzards who will profit in dollars from the misery of the grief in the loss of a loved family member.