Chase generally gets good JD Power ratings as a decent credit card provider to deal with . . . and currently offers a card with 0% interest for the first 15 months and no transfer fee if, within 60 days, you use the card to pay off your balances on other cards.  (Normally, the catch in those 0% offers you see all the time is a 3% transfer fee.)  It’s all described here, and worth a look if you, or someone you love, needs help paying off high-interest credit card balances.


I read Senator Schumer’s statement and find it not nearly as persuasive as the President’s.  Or (in small part) John Kerry’s.  (And was pleased to see this headline: “Head of Group Opposing Iran Accord Quits Post Saying He Backs Deal.”)  We really need to embrace this deal — and not trust Iran for a minute.  (Says the subject of that headline, Gary Samore: “We will have bought a couple of years, and if Iran cheats or reneges we will be in an even better position to double down on sanctions or, if necessary, use military force.  If I knew for certain that in five years they would cheat or renege, I’d still take the deal.”)


Richard Factor: “Re Monday’s post and ‘running out of countries,’ Gunnar Garfors is a piker, country-wise (198: How I ran Out of Countries). We ham radio operators run out of countries at 340, and one popular goal is to communicate with all of them.  Here’s a list.  It’s quite the challenge, since some of them are difficult, expensive, or dangerous to get to, some of them barely exist, and others, such as North Korea, aren’t unduly keen on their citizens having radio transmitters.  We enjoy exchanging colorful ‘QSL cards’ to confirm the contacts.  Not exactly as memorable as visiting them all, but a lot less expensive, and a boon for those who enjoy yelling out Jeopardy answers.”

☞ Hmmm.  (Hamm?)  That’s a lotta countries.  “Siri: how many countries are there in the world?”  She says: 206, citing Aricle 1 of the Montevideo Convention of 1933, in which a state must have (1) a permanent population; (2) a defined territory; (3) a government; (4) a capacity to enter into relations with other countries.”  Which is why “countries” on Richard’s list of 340 like Scarborough Reef, especially at high tide, and the Crozet Islands, population 30 on the best of days, don’t make it.



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