November 4, 2011

Bloggin' Ryan is back bloggin

You ever have a good idea that didn't quite execute as well as you would have liked? Drafts and Draughts was a noble experiment and was great fun with Holly and Will's help. Maybe at some point, once there's more money in the budget to allow for buying hosting and a domain, Drafts and Draughts will rise from the iDead.

A lot has happened since last year: my fiancée and I are now wife and husband; we moved up to Blacksburg, Virginia, where she is in a PhD program at Virginia Tech; I got a new job; did I mention we got married?
With that being said, here goes nothing...

Since the start of the financial crisis and the accompanying crisis in confidence that everyday consumers have had in the behemoth financial institutions, credit union membership has been growing. The Occupy/99% movements and recent announcements by the behemoths of debit card and account usage fees have helped to accelerate this growth, with the movements actively encouraging depositors and borrowers to remove their accounts from those behemoths and relocate to a hometown bank or credit union. Now, a Facebook activist has named a day for consumers to close out their accounts with the behemoths and move to their local credit union.

Bank Transfer Day is Saturday, November 5 and the Credit Union National Association is encouraging people to cut away from the behemoths and join a credit union.

"Now what exactly is a credit union?" you may ask. Simply put, a credit union is a co-operative financial institution that is owned by each and every one of its depositors, called a member. Each member has the right to vote for the credit union's board of directors and while there may be professional management in place to conduct the day-to-day business of the credit union, the democratically elected board of directors will have final say in all business of the credit union.

Credit unions are not-for-profit. That is, the credit union itself does not make money like a commercial bank does. Whatever net income a credit union generates is plowed back into the credit union's operations, giving its members lower interest rates on loans, higher interest rates on savings, and reduced fees. Moreover, credit unions, being smaller institutions than the behemoths, are willing to work with their members in the event of financial trouble, something to take note of when we hear frequent stories of summary foreclosure action by the behemoths and their lawyers.

My connections to the credit union movement notwithstanding, I am in full support of this movement and everyone who is interested in shifting the balance of power in a real, meaningful way should support it, too.

Remember: November 5 isn't the only day you can join a credit union! Heck, you could join today! In fact, since Saturday is usually an abbreviated day for most institutions, it might be easier if you can squeeze in time today or Monday.

Thanks for reading. I'll be back soon. I promise.


May 17, 2010


The time has come for me to announce that BlogginRyan is packing his bags and moving on. However, I won't be too far gone. Several friends and I have started a new blog about beer and politics and you'll be able to find us there at Drafts and Draughts.

For you all who may have had me bookmarked, please feel free to update those bookmarks to Drafts and Draughts.

In with the new and out with the less new!


March 19, 2010

Score another idiotic remark for Broun (R-GA 10)

My Congressman, Paul Broun, Jr, in a floor speech of the House, references "the great war of Yankee agression" while making an attempt to call "free Obamacare cards" worthless.

Rep. Broun invokes The Civil War

Paul Broun once again proves that his purpose is not for helping out residents of GA-10, but rather serving as arch-demagogue of the right-wing in the House. Let us not forget where he says the public option will cause a lot of people to die, calls Obama a Marxist and compares Obama to Hitler, and tells someone with depression that he can go to the ER for treatment. The hits just keep on coming for you Broun, eh?

(I do have a question for question, like the people at Media Matters: where's my card?)


March 18, 2010

What everyone else is talking about

Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office released its scoring on the Health Care Reform legislation presented to the House of Representatives. The House committee on Rules has a section-by-section summary explaining the details of the bill. I consider it impressive, given the length of the bill itself, that it was able to be condensed into easy-to-understand terms in a relatively short document.

I'm still working through the relatively short scoring document... maybe I'll post my thoughts later.


March 17, 2010

Being a post wherein Dennis Kucinich says no before yes.

I would rather not write this post about Dennis Kucinich, but rather someone like Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin, being in favor of something before being opposed to it. But such are the times and such is the nature of Dennis Kucinich.

Dennis Kucinich - man of many faces - has turned face again, going against his previous pledge to vote against the current health care reform package on the grounds that it wasn't progressive enough. Kucinich's about-face should come as no surprise to Cleveland-area residents, given that Kucinich's arm was likely twisted six ways from Sunday on the plane ride from Washington to C-Hop and given Kucinich's pledge(s) to not run for Pres in 2008 during his 2006 primary campaign against Barbara Farris (sp?) that he almost immediately reneged upon after re-election.

This is not to say that I oppose Kucinich's decision itself, to support HCR, but rather I oppose Kucinich's previous unwillingness to compromise on the matter. I would personally prefer a single payer method, like Kucinich, or something akin to the Swiss model where insurance companies run not-for-profit, like a co-operative financial institution/credit union. (Heck, I'd love it if all institutions were run as not-for-profit organizations, but that's another entry.) However, unlike Kucinich, I am willing to make incremental advances to test the system, to see how well our progress works, and to retool as necessary.

I would not necessarily consider OH-10 to be a safe seat for Dems, firstly because I've become of the mindset that no party should take a constituency for granted and secondly because of the potential effects redistricting may have come 2012. Kucinich simply isn't the right fit for the area anymore, given the suburban nature of the district. If this were the 1970s and 1980s, before industrial flight kicked into high gear, I might be singing a different tune. Cleveland is in need of a strong representative in Congress, a strong leader, and what they have is a demagogue whose greatest personal legislative accomplishment may be the renaming of a post office. Personally, regardless of the outcome of HCR, I am interested to see what challenge - if any - he will face in the 2010 general election from either an independent candidate or Republican.

Oh, and hi.