Pay Day Lenders Beware…

payday lenders beware; coming to a sidewalk near you…


by problembear

these guys are evil personified on earth!

let’s just make it a date for around may 2010, shall we?

i want to be sure and let you know that we want to get close to your business with our signs and talk to a few folks….hope you won’t mind….i will try and stay upwind….so you get the full effect.

he’s stinky, he’s wide, he’s a problem….and he’s coming to a sidewalk near you….also a great big problembear shout out to all those montana legislators who voted in this legislative session to allow predatory payday and vehicle title loan businesses to continue to charge montana’s working poor up to 650% interest. we won’t forget you either. i promise…..we will visit your legislative districts to give a great big bear hug to all who join montana’s citizens; republicans, democrats, progressives and independents who demand regulation of this industry, and to stump for your more fair-minded opponents.

this report proves that payday lenders are predators who make their money luring poor workers into endless traps…

*as of the date of this posting Mt initiative petition #25 which seeks to regulate payday lenders to reasonable interest rates is in limbo as it awaits the state attorney general’s review for legal language sufficiency. i will update here and on twitter as more news is available.

meanwhile there is still hope that obama will be able to get us some help in regulating payday lenders in the current federal bank regulation bill, but heavy lobbying by wealthy payday lenders is being applied. we need to apply some pressure directly on the lenders themselves by direct action in exposing them for their greed and the damage they do to working families in montana.

one senator in washington in particular has pretty dirty hands on this one…

dates will be posted soon.*if you want to help me gather signatures for the Montana payday lending initiative please leave a comment here and i will be in touch. thanks

by the way- if anyone knows where i can rent or borrow a bear suit size XXXXlarge or at least a bear head for saturdays in may please let me know here. thanks.

how to make Bush Depression pancakes…


today’s survival lesson involves an inexpensive breakfast that gives liberal independents the weekly nutritional boost needed to combat far right wing extremist republicans intent on derailing change in america….

keep in mind that bears are not detail oriented so quantities of each ingredient are somewhat fuzzy….

  1. couple of cups or so of krusteaz whole wheat instant pancake mix
  2. cup or so of quaker oat meal (not instant)
  3. lots of cinnamon
  4. capful or so of Jack Daniels
  5. lots of raisins

mix it all up and add water until it is the consistency of pancake you desire- thick like milk shake for big fluffy cakes…less thick like tomato soup for thinner crepe style pancakes…

fry as you like them in bacon grease…

when you flip the pancakes over be sure and coat the top with small pat of butter as the bottom cooks to allow the butter to soak in…

cover with favorite jams, syrups fruit etc and then enjoy them…

serves 6 or so…but if you are like us you can freeze the excess to pop in toaster through the week for quick get up and go after them energy…

happy times and do come back for more tips from time to time…PB

all the animals want something to eat…i just want to eat more than most of them…


and tonight this animal just wants cinnamon rolls…

maybe the diet i am on is making me delerious, but visions of cinnamon rolls and true danish pastries from my favorite bakeries are on my mind these days- and i have a question pertaining to the place where i live. don’t get me wrong, missoula has some fine hippy and yuppie bakeries among the best are le Petite Outre and Bernice’s, but they are not the traditional danish bakeries i grew up around. other than the sad substitute of a supermarket bakery- Missoula does not seem to have a traditional danish bakery. this seems strange for a town of this size to be bereft of the flaky epicurean delights of scandinavian culture.

one of this bear’s first memories at age 5 was the smell of cinnamon wafting from the back of a bakery delivery truck in Medford Oregon as a man dressed in white (yes- i am quite middle-aged) pulled still warm cinnamon rolls from a huge rack of shelves stuffed with seemingly endless arrays of pastry. it looked like heaven to a small black bear cub as the man dressed all in white swung the double doors open and exposed the epicenter of the caloric black hole- it instantly sucked me in. i swiveled toward his every movement with my nose positioned like the magnetic north of a compass to suck in the most concentrated mass of cinnamon molecules i had ever inhaled. the deliveryman ignored me as he swept past to our neighbor’s house. some money was exchanged and the screen door slapped a loud rebuff to my begging whine. it may have been the first time  i ever seriously considered breaking and entering. i was too young to know the name of that bakery but that truck will forever be the conveyance of my soul to heaven whenever i finally offer this bedraggled and outsized bear body to the local rendering plant.

later, our family moved to Beaverton Oregon where a true danish bakery has been operating non stop since 1925. The Beaverton Bakery fulfilled all my pastry cravings from 5 to the age of 20 when i moved to Eugene to sample the delights of college life which never included pastries of any kind although i did enjoy mama’s home fried truck stop for eggs and hashbrowns- of course during the college years my cravings did not allow me to eat much. seemed to subsist mostly on mother earth corn chips and baskin-robbins chocolate almond fudge….accompanied by lots of beer from maxwell’s and the mill race tavern and the black forest ….

i have sampled many fine danish style bakeries accross the pacific northwest among the notable was cannon beach bakery home of the haystack bread.  but none would ever come close to the memory of the nameless truck delivering pastry door to door in Medford Oregon…..

now that my legs are straining like a 5000 lb toyota forklift to hoist  my mass out of chairs it is time to lighten the load so my pastry days are over for now…must get solace from a wad of green lettuce and a 6 ounce steak…and the noncaloric memories of my pastry devouring youth, which have accumulated prodigious girth in the past ten years….

during a recent visit to a clinic the doctor was diplomatic but obviously concerned about the speciman she was inspecting…i offered that there was a team of experts working on the problem day and night as to how i could have allowed my waist size to approximate the entire circumference of a pair of pants once nailed to the wall (for the amusement of the clientele )above the door of the wigwam sporting goods store i frequented as a kid or perhaps they were displayed simply as a curiosity to people who could not comprehend a corpse so large as to require that much cloth to envelop them… but now i believe the riddle has been solved – i am not particularly big boned nor am i absorbing calories from the montana air… turns out i ate too much.

and as to why Missoula doesn’t have a true traditional danish bakery it may be a moot point and a fortuitous fact that there is no danish bakery nearby…i can’t have any for a long time now…

they don’t do what???

the manager of the missoula county animal shelter told me that Animeals turns away low income people who need food for their pets. when i called Animeals today to confirm this i was told that they discourage people who are low income from coming to Animeals for pet food. Quote; “We are phasing out the low income program.” when i politely asked what programs they are supporting the receptionist told me that they deliver food to shelters and animal rescue agencies.

I called a few of the agencies. the result-first the missoula animal shelter manager told me that they receive no food from Animeals, so I called the humane society. they told me that Animeals does not give them any food either. so, just wondering??? who is animeals helping??? apparently not low income poor people with pets and apparently none of the local animal shelters. just wondering. seems weird.

their website says their mission is to feed hungry animals. if poor people with hungry animals are being discouraged by staff members from going to Animeals for food for their pets what is their purpose???

big money talks

price of oil tonight record 140.05/barrel

price of gold 915.70/oz

everything else- on a train which came uncoupled and is rolling downhill without brakes. don’t believe me? just visit with Warren

and the dow? it’s going to 7500 by Christmas folks. you heard it here first. it’s going to be a real live depression. if you have any investments you better trade them in for a burro and a shovel and some grub to last you until you hit pay dirt. but if you are like me and you have no investments or money either then get a couple year’s supply of Jack Daniels, stock up on cigarettes (even if you don’t smoke you can trade them for favors later) and don’t forget the other commodities you’ll need: gunpowder, toilet paper, coffee, flour, sugar, etc oh yeah don’t forget the trip wire you will need to perimeter your house and the bouncing bettys for the intruders. a couple of dobermans would come in handy too.

as for me, i only have enough money from my last paycheck to get a half year’s supply of jack daniels (it won’t cost much because i don’t drink much anymore) tonight i think i’ll go out on the porch and let the warm night breeze waft me to sleep. i won’t need any guns because younger families are welcome to take whatever they can use to survive. i am over the hill biologically and really quite irrelevant to the next phase of human existence which means i don’t need to worry about it much.

but if you’ve got kids to raise i would listen to the oracle of Omaha if i were you.

Oh Yeah, I almost forgot. what will George Bush say to the Taliban when our economy is destroyed—-“mission accomplished.”  heckuva Job George.


small things done well. another reason i love my life

photo courtesy Nathan WIlson  front yard farming

sometimes when i reflect on the numerous huge things that need fixing in this country i become a little overwhelmed and since i am at core a bear of very little brain my intellect starts burning rubber and i have to think small again. there is a site called collective source which i have stumbled upon. it is possible to make small changes and do some good in this world.

Where is the Taliban when we need them?

Driving by on Brooks street the other day I notice that one of those payday loan places has a new sign that says “need money for gas? stop here!” so I stopped in. I work for a non-profit that serves many needy clients and I wanted to find out just what these places are all about. Many clients have told me that they need assistance from our agency because they fell behind on their payday loans or even worse vehicle title loans. I filled out their paperwork and wrote down 250.00 for the amount of the loan I pretended to need. The contract was handed to me all freshly printed out which showed that for this Payday loan I would pay 65.00 in “fees” (which is the term they use to avoid breaking the law regarding interest rates) This 65.00 fee for a 250.00 loan accrues every two weeks on the date the applicant receives his/her paycheck. I read this contract while glancing around at the other applicants in the small cramped room which once housed a burger and fries establishment. I saw a young woman with a tiny baby in her arms trying to fill out her application. One young man who couldn’t have been more than 22 received his money and skipped out the door with a friend talking about filling his tank, paying rent and going down to shoot some pool. the others stated they were there mostly to get gas money to go to work and to buy some groceries.

One client was a middle-aged woman who seemed to be nearly in tears as she showed the clerk her ID and answered the few questions in a very tired monotone. Not one of these customers even glanced at the contract before signing the papers. I took out my calculator and added up how much a 250.00 loan would cost if all you could ever pay was the fees. There are almost exactly 26 two week periods in one year. 26 times 62.50 equals 1625.00 for the interest charged on 250.00 for one year.

that is a rate of return of 650% on one loan. Most of these people will require many such loans over the course of a year. I looked up a site online that studies these places and the average payday loan place puts out between 750-1000 of these loans per year. At an average of 250.00 per loan they invest annually as much as 250,000.00 per year. The average profit on that investment equals over one and a half million dollars per year. This is an obscene and dispicable business that should be outlawed or at least regulated to provide a more reasonable profit. No wait, I can’t restrain my anger about the predation of the poor that goes on in this country anymore. I think the credit card industry should be more regulated for the predation on the poor that goes on there. Pay day loan proprietors should be marched off to the Afghanistan/Pakistan border by our troops and handed to the Taliban for beheading – and not just an ordinary average sort of beheading either. It should be done with a rusty serrated blade and take hours. Our soldiers would probably love to hand them over in view of what pay day loan/ vehicle title loan places have done to their families until congress stepped in and protected them last year.

* new update There is some new legislation being proposed now in Montana to regulate the payday loan business. the more I look into this outrage the madder I get. it seems that these diabolical slime devils are targeting seniors and the disabled. read

this article in the wall street journal if you really want to see some evil.  

Bin Laden couldn’t have done it better

The stated goal of Bin Laden is to destroy the economy of the United States. It would seem that he is succeeding with the help of Bush and Cheney. Money for fuel is bleeding directly from our wallets  into the bank accounts of the terrorists in the middle east and Bush’s friends at an unprecedented pace. Food is becoming so expensive that the middle class is seeking help at food banks accross the country for the first time since the great depression. Inflation and unemployment combined with a recession make this a perfect storm. It would seem that “W” is doing a great job of wrecking our economy. Is not the definition of treason” one who gives aid and comfort to the enemy”?

Cleaning up the place

the age of hysteria is upon us. Now that the greatest generation has almost completely passed away we panic because we remember that they warned us about being too complacent. We were too comfortable and too spoiled to listen. the bill is past due and payable and the laws of physics will collect.

we can blame the politicians that we elect; we can blame the corporations that we support, but in the end the blame lies with us. we cannot retire this debt any more than we can stop the grass from growing by mowing the lawn. Global warming has begun and round and round she goes- where she stops nobody knows. the laws of entropy and reaction must ensue.

What you can count on

our gas price was1.50 per gallon

on the day bush took the white house

today our gas price is 3.59 per gallon

which only confirms our worst fear;

you can only put so many greedy rats in a cage

before they start biting each other

over less and less cheese.

human existence complete with

pathetic fears and ridiculous dreams

amounts to nothing

without an atmosphere

to breathe.

even the puny nuclear pop-guns

we are so proud of

are just bug guts

against the windshield of geologic time.

maybe we will get smarter

as we drive along;

evolve beyond our nature.

most likely

blue green algae will have to

start all over again.


(c) Charles Amarack