Price gouging?

Jim Hightower’s editorials are republished routinely in “The Inlander.” His latest involves reducing the size of the packaging, thus the actual quantity of the product, and keeping the price of the product virtually the same. Maybe over this, a lot of people would yawn and say, so? So maybe Mr. Hightower wants to argue that you aren’t getting the bang for your buck and the companies that sell you this stuff are out to make a profit no matter what.

Now here’s another element of price gouging that I don’t know that Mr. Hightower has happened onto yet, and maybe should. How many people remember when the people who sell you ringtones, such as RingRUZ or their associates RingAZA apparently got into trouble for what amounted to false advertising. They would lead people to believe that they could download free ringtones, only to be charged up the butt for that afterwards. So, RingRUZ, etc. decided to change their practices. I suspect it is called becoming a free rider. If you are submitting a cell phone number as a means to get on Facebook, RingRUZ takes that as an “argument” that they can now text an advertisement and bill you $9.99 for it monthly. It is referred to as “purchases and subscriptions” even if you never made a “purchase” and never asked to “subscribe” to any of these ads. The very fact that the cellular phone companies allow RingRUZ a free ride and an opportunity to rip off the customers, seems to me, to be a bigger outrage than reducing the packaging of a particular product. For myself, living alone as I do, I don’t think I much care if I get a package of something that is 2 ounces less for the price. If I buy it at all, I will also look for it on sale.


My first science fiction novel is now reaching the final stages of completion. In the fourth part of the book, now that the active terrorism has been brought to a halt, the space aliens have in-gathered into two communities. Now that they have, it is the final step before they leave this planet and go to their new home world. The fourth part explores what this world will be like without the descendents of space aliens offering various contributions to human society. Humans who engage in outbursts of hysteria that lead to occasional violence, because they think that some “hidden” space aliens may be among them still. They are not. The ancestral parent race was too thorough in finding all the space alien descendents who live. As the book comes to an end, there will be two chapters that discuss life in the alien community. Two chapters that address the religious and political extremism that swirl around in election year 2014. Finally, the main character, John Herrmann will meet Congress and thoroughly challenge their perceived “wisdom.” This is before the space aliens will finally leave this world with all who wish to join them (the sci fi version of Faeries and demigods). With the fact of their leaving, in the final chapter of this book, mankind will come to realize that he is truly alone on this world, but not alone throughout the universe. The 25th chapter is certain to leave this question, where does man go from here? He no longer has “the other” to blame for his misfortunes or failures. Warning, the 4th part of this book contains intended controversy. Unless you really think through what you read.

This book has been in the works since last November. It will be good to see it finally come to an end. A fellow Farmer’s Market Vendor wants to read at least the first chapter. I will definitely have it ready for him come the next market day. Through material review of this work, I’ll find out how marketable it may actually be.

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