Citizens are Not Helpless!

I'm going to write about a couple of things I may get some flack for. Not that I care. I've given this a LOT of thought and I'm sure I'm right in these areas. I'm also sure it affects everyone in my country - and maybe other countries, too.

Before I start, I'd like to caution you not to jump to any conclusions about my motives.

I am not a Republican
I am not a Democrat
I am not a Libertarian
I am not a “Tea Partier”

I am an Independent, and I lean towards being a Liberal - although I prefer to call it Progressive.

I once had a Philosophy professor who said I was a “pragmatic contextualist.” He said I held a worldview that based my decisions on what is practical to get the job done within the context of each individual situation.

He was right. I don't depend upon religious doctrine, political philosophies, media positions or, sometimes, even laws to decide what's the right thing to do.

When I took the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), I was found to be almost perfectly, evenly divided between left-brain and right-brain.

Now, that keeps me from ever being extraordinary. You would need to lean way into left-brain operation to be a real scholar. And, you'd need to lean way into right-brain operation to be extremely creative. I am neither. But, I AM balanced.

That means, I sometimes agree with the Conservatives as well as leaning toward Liberalism. And, I believe every situation warrants its own evaluation.

Now, having said all that - I hope you'll realize, the rest of this is simply for what I see as for the good of our country, our businesses and our lives.

It has nothing to do with politics, so please spare me the bitching.

A project is afoot to take the four largest banks down to where they cannot be considered “too big to fail.” Never mind where it came from - it's a great idea!

In fact, I said it myself before I ever heard it anywhere else. But, nobody was listening to me. ;-)

I've said before, WE are the answer to this economic mess, since we can no longer depend on our governments. And, this is something only we, as the general public, can do.

We need to take to power away from Wall Street and give it to our local businesses!

The idea is to stop doing business with the following banks: Citigroup, Bank of America Corp., J. P. Morgan Chase & Company and Wells Fargo & Company. These are the banks that received the biggest taxpayer bailouts, then used them to pay enormous bonuses to their top executives.

However, the main idea is to move our money and financial business to small community banks. Just 10 banks control 90% of the market and the top three - Citibank, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase - control a whooping 63%!

It's easy enough to check your community banks' financial status. You can do that online. Better yet, stop by and pick up their printed financial statements. Grab a brochure, too, so you can compare pricing on fees.

While you're there, talk to someone. See if you can remember what it's like to know the people you do business with!

Have I done it? Yep, I have. I have one account left to yank away from one of them, but I have to make a couple of other changes, first. I am also transferring the balances away from every credit card I have with any of them.

Most community banks and credit unions also issue credit cards. We do NOT have to put up with the thieving tactics of the big banks on our credit cards! If this situation continues as is - and it appears as though it will - we have only ourselves to blame. Because we can do something to take them down!

Here's a great article to help you change banks so it isn't overwhelming if you have automatic deposits, automated payments, recurring debit card transactions, etc.

Next Subject

I don't usually ask people to sign petitions to the government. In fact, when I have something to say, I usually go right to the White House website - - not that it does any good. But, I feel better!

But, I want to draw your attention to this important petition:

"Tell President Obama: Due To Economic Crisis, We Demand Rebuilding The Decaying U.S. Infrastructure Now!" (as has been promised!)

I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes just a few seconds of your time.

It's (past) time that guy did what he promised. Maybe this will push him forward - maybe not. But, again, we have no one to blame but ourselves if we continue to just sit here on our thumbs and do nothing.

Jobs will do more to bring us out of this mess than anything else. And, there is NO excuse for our country allowing bridges, levies, etc. to crumble!

Let's see, now, what was that about Nero fiddling while Rome burned? What were the people doing? Dancing?

Of course, these projects to take our power back will take many more than those reading these words. Please pass it around to everyone you know!

As soon as we recognize and act on our power, we'll take it away from the political whores and imbeciles in Washington!

Traffic Woes

This is another area where things need to pick up. A few years ago, iCop got thousands of visitors a day. Today, not so much. Why?

Same reason we used to get such a low rating on Alexa. Today, that rating is sky-high. I don't feel particularly bad about it because it has to do with the incredibly increased number of websites folks have to choose from.

Nevertheless, we all MUST have traffic. And, I have NO idea what to recommend to you on this.

I don't mind trying things. Some work - some don't. It ain't the end of the world if something doesn't work. It's just a lesson learned.

It's part of what I do here. I try things so you don't have to. And, I search for things that won't cost you much during this down time. I don't depend on the outcomes. To me, it's simply experimentation to save YOU time. And, if things work, I'll keep using them right along with you.

So, I'm going to try out a traffic program pretty quickly here. I'll pass the information along if I think it's worth you giving it a shot.

Getting Your Ezine Delivered

I'm asking all my newsletter subscribers to validate their subscriptions, this week. It's a simple matter of clicking a link in an email. It effectively causes the subscriber to RE-subscribe.

Those of you who have done this with your own ezines, in the past, may wonder why I do this. Especially since we all know my numbers will decrease by anywhere from 50% to about 75%.

The reason is this ...

From Mark McCreary of (my email delivery service):

“It improves our reputation at the ISP's, where they know how many emails we deliver and how many are opened. Having a poor ratio of opened mails can cause delivery problems for all of our lists.

Some ISPs take old abandoned accounts, and consider them spam trap addresses - meaning that any email received is labeled as spam. So even though that person joined your list using the confirmed opt-in process, and never bothered to unsubscribe, we get blamed for being a spammer.

It also reduces the amount of times people report your email as spam. Since they are no longer getting it, so they can not click on the "Report as Spam" button. Again, this improves our reputation at the ISPs, as they monitor the ratio of deliveries to email reported as spam.

The industry wide average for email addresses going bad is 3 to 5 percent per month. That means over the course of a year, half of your subscribers have abandoned that email account. And since most ISPs now have very large or even unlimited mail boxes, we do not get back bounce messages telling us their mailbox is full.”

In addition, my total number of subscribers has no meaning. The only meaning is in the number of my readers! Cleaning the list makes delivery to those readers even more assured.

I've also shortened the email version of the newsletter. AOL only delivers an email up to 15KB in size. It used to be 20 KB. And, they didn't even bother to consult me when they changed it! Umph!

BTW - if you need a new email service, I HIGHLY recommend Mark and I've found I don't NEED all the bells and whistles of some of the other services. What we ALL need is DELIVERY!

Nope - not an affiliate of this service. I simply recommend it. Did YOU know about this information from the ISPs?

Video Message from the President

Please be careful if you hear about this site. The information in the whois database doesn't look right. It is NOT the address for Network Solutions.

The .com email address doesn't bring up a page. The whois information on that domain is "iffy."

The site also shows a bad certificate. Please do NOT use this site.

I could be wrong but, if it's what I think it is, it's a VERY clever way to get every piece of personal information you have. NO site should be asking you to upload your personal documents!

Better safe than sorry!

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To re-publish articles by jl scott from this site, please include the following byline - with live links - after each article you use.

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* dr. jl scott is the Founder of Chamber of Commerce - on the Web™ - and also the publisher of the Online Business Trade Journal™ - the blog that keeps you up to date with online business coming of age. Visit:

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