Whether John Karls Opposed Achieving A Quorum

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
From: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
To: ReadingLiberallyEmailList@johnkarls.com
Bcc: The Approximately 150 Recipients of Our Weekly E-mail
Subject: July 13th Meeting Cancelled – Attila Relenyi’s Topic Proposal Is Our Focus For August 10th
Date: Sat, June 25, 2016
Time: 2:14 am MDT – 3:19 am MDT (due to 100/hour limit)

Dear Friends,

Cancellation Of Our July 13th Meeting

As stated in last Saturday’s weekly e-mail (and, indeed, in the first e-mail of every monthly cycle), our July 13th meeting would be cancelled unless a minimum quorum of 6 RSVP’s had been received by 11:59 pm last evening.

Unfortunately, only 5 RSVP’s were received -- from Ted Gurney, Elizabeth (“Tucker”) Gurney, George Kunath, June Taylor (aka Utah Owl) and Yours Truly.

Accordingly, our July 13th meeting is cancelled.

Maintaining Standards

We should be proud (in a perverse sense) that this is only the third time in our 10.5-year history that we have failed to achieve a quorum.

Each of the previous two times we had received only 5 RSVP’s, the Q arose whether an exception couldn’t be made.

However, we have always adhered to the principle that making exceptions to standards really means having no standards.

August 10 Topic

The August 10 topic is Attila Relenyi’s Proposal = Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin ($14.38 paperback + shipping or $9.99 Kindle from Amazon.com - 320 pages).

Explanation =

Ordinarily, each month’s participants vote on the topic for the following month.

However, that is not possible when a meeting is cancelled.

On both occasions that it was necessary to select a month’s topic following the cancellation of the previous month’s meeting, we followed the principle that rather than become stuck on a topic that might never be capable of mustering a quorum, we would select the Proposed Topic that had received the greatest number of views on our bulletin board, http://www.ReadingLiberally-SaltLake.org.

Ironically, of the three topics currently posted, the greatest number of views (currently 314) has been received by Thomas Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed which was proposed by Lewis Williams, a Delta Airlines pilot.

The reason why this is ironic is that the proposal of The Vision of the Anointed expired on June 15 when it failed to receive a vote for the 6th meeting in a row.

Accordingly Julia Angwin’s Dragnet Nation (currently with 136 views) is the focus for our August 10 meeting.


We hope to see all of you on August 10th.

Your friend,

John K.

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Whether John Karls Opposed Achieving A Quorum

Post by solutions »

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Were You The Person Who Opposed Restoring The Banking Function Of The USPS?
From: Solutions
Date: Sun, June 26, 2016 10:34 pm - MDT
To: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com

Dear John,

The PS to your e-mail of yesterday morning to the 5 RSVP’s for the July 13 meeting begins --

“Re the possibility of members refusing to RSVP to prevent a quorum, a dozen or so e-mails are received every month from members explaining why they cannot attend or, alternatively, why they refuse to attend. And one was received from a member who hopes a quorum will not be achieved due to opposition to an E-mail Campaign for restoring the banking function of the post office.”

Were you shading the truth and were you, in fact, the potential 6th RSVP who would have provided a quorum except that you oppose restoring the banking function of the US Postal Service?

Your friend,


---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: Were You The Person Who Opposed Restoring The Banking Function Of The USPS?
From: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
Date: Sun, June 26, 2016 4:12 pm - MDT
To: Solutions

Dear Solutions,

Thank you very much for your e-mail.

The short answer is no.

As you may be aware, we ask for RSVP’s during the first week of each monthly cycle.

And if, with three days to go to the deadline, we have not achieved a quorum, we send a special Heads Up E-mail to the attendees of the previous 6 meetings calling attention to the fact that the impending meeting is about to be cancelled.

If you look at the Heads Up that was sent on Wed June 22, you will see that I was one of the 2 RSVP’s as of that time.

The long answer???

The PS also said: “It would be a breach of confidence to disclose the name of the person who sent the E-mail about opposing the restoration of the banking function of the post office.”

However, it would NOT be a breach of confidence to point out that the author of the E-mail could have had either of at least two motivations.

Motive No. 1

As you may be aware, Congress has been destroying the U.S. Postal Service by forcing it to operate at a loss.

Which means that the USPS has, for many years, been unable to make any contributions to fund its retirement plans.

It is reasonable to assume that the restoration of the banking function of the USPS in our inner cities would incur substantial losses. Which can reasonably be inferred from the exorbitant fees charged by the current flock of private providers which, presumably, reflect the market rate of the cost of such losses.

So it would be quite understandable, however regrettable, that any of our members in the employ of the USPS would oppose forcing the USPS to undertake such losses.

Motive No. 2

You are correct that I feel conflicted about restoring the banking function of the USPS.

For the same reason that I felt conflicted about providing the residents of our inner-city ghettos with decent housing that does not exceed 30% of the resident’s income, if any -- as proposed by Matthew Desmond in Evicted which was the focus of our 5/18/2016 meeting.

And why I would be conflicted about subsidizing anything else in our inner cities except IHAD- or IHAD-style education programs for our inner-city youth. While fully recognizing that virtually everything costs more in our inner-city ghettos if, for no other reason, than the higher insurance costs for groceries and other retail stores that result from higher rates of theft and property destruction in our inner-city ghettos.

My conflicted feelings were summarized in the Conclusion to the Meeting Report for our 5/18/2016 meeting on Matthew Desmond’s Evicted --


So why is my heart so “sad and heavy” about feeling forced to write this report???

Because I agree wholeheartedly with Matthew Desmond that decent housing should be provided for every inner-city resident at a cost which does not exceed 30% of the resident’s income, if any.

And I am fearful that the residents of our inner-city ghettos will probably even see drastic cutbacks in their Food Stamps, rather than an easing of their housing predicaments.

But, if asked, I believe Matthew Desmond would agree that even if the Chris Matthews’ and Gwen Ifill’s of the world could be shamed into caring about the residents of our inner-city ghettos, The Establishment is NOT going to provide all of the resources that are NECESSARY and, therefore, we are engaged in BATTLEFIELD TRIAGE.

Though I am guessing from Matthew Desmond’s proposal, that in the TRIAGE PECKING ORDER, he would rate DECENT INEXPENSIVE HOUSING FOR ALL INNER-CITY RESIDENTS higher than finally, after more than a half century, MAINSTREAMING OUR 30% PERMANENT "UNTOUCHABLE" UNDER-CASTE by transforming SINGLE-DIGIT high-school graduation rates to more than 90% by enclosing an entire inner-city grade in a protective cocoon from third grade through high school graduation -- a protective cocoon in which education and accomplishment are worshipped rather than ridiculed, and inside which the tutors and mentors become SURROGATE PARENTS.

I have the highest respect for the love that virtually all inner-city Moms have for their children -- that even though many, if not most, head single-adult households and struggle with drug addiction, I have never met one during my 25 years of experience with inner cities that did NOT want the best for her children regardless of her ability to provide them with the conditions to succeed!!! If nothing else, her efforts are typically overwhelmed by the inner-city ghetto conditions in which her children are forced to try to survive, and in which they recognize by age 5 that their only realistic career objectives are pusher or pimp, or girl friend of a pusher or pimp graduating to whore!!!

So I'm with Matthew Desmond in wanting "all of the above" -- but if battlefield triage forces a choice, I'm for saving and transforming the lives of the children.

After all, since the Identical Twin Studies have continually and consistently shown over the decades that when our inner-city twins are orphaned before their first birthday and one is adopted by a suburban family, the identical twins adopted by the suburban families develop by adulthood measured IQ's equal to average suburban measured IQ's while their identical twins adopted by another inner-city family develop average inner-city measured IQ's -- America has no excuse for condemning yet another generation of inner-city children to a fate worse than death!!!

**********End of Conclusion from the 5/18/2016 Meeting Report on Matthew Desmond’s Evicted**********

So yes, if someone had proposed a Six-Degrees-Of-Separation E-mail Campaign to implement Matthew Desmond’s recommendation to provide public housing for our inner-city residents, I would have been horribly conflicted.

Just as I would have been horribly conflicted if our July 13 meeting had proceeded on an OFFICIAL basis and someone had proposed a Six-Degrees-Of-Separation E-mail Campaign to force the USPS to resume its banking function, at least in our inner-cities.

Or if someone writes a book in the future about the higher costs of everything else in our inner-city ghettos as a result of which there was a proposed Six-Degrees-Of-Separation E-mail Campaign to subsidize those higher costs.

But hopefully, the proponents of such E-mail Campaigns would be willing to mention that IHAD- or IHAD-style programs should rate a higher priority so that I would not be forced to oppose their E-mail Campaigns.

And no, I would never stoop to trying to block a quorum so that such a dénouement (positive or negative) could be avoided.

Thank you again for your inquiry.

Your friend,

John K.

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Posts: 173
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:38 pm

The Pending Cancellation Email Referenced In John’s Response

Post by solutions »

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Quorum for How The Other Half Banks -- Last Call
From: readingliberally-saltlake@johnkarls.com
Date: Wed, June 22, 2016 1:31 am - MDT
To: ReadingLiberallyEmailList@johnkarls.com
Bcc: The 20 “To” Addressees and 2 “Cc” Addressees Listed Below


Attendees of the January-June Meetings Who
Have Not Yet RSVP’d for July 13 =

Ellen Birrell
Denise Chancellor
Thomas Chancellor
Oonju Chun
Norm Guice (c/o Tucker Gurney)
Ted Gurney
Tucker Gurney
Jay Hansen
Mimi Himelman (2 RSVP’s cancelled)
Jim Hutchins
Nancy Kemp
Bill Lee
Vicky Norton-Strong
Claudia Olson
Steve Princiotta
Sandra Roach (1 RSVP cancelled)
Janice Shawl (1 RSVP cancelled)
June Taylor
Leslie Urry
Johnny Worthen


RSVP’s for July 13 =

George Kunath
Yours Truly

Dear Friends,

Re: Quorum for How The Other Half Banks -- Last Call

So far, we are four short of the minimum quorum of 6 RSVP’s for July 13th.

Accordingly, the July 13th meeting is due to be cancelled as of 11:59 pm this Friday evening.

If any of you has a change of heart before Friday evening, please be sure to let me know.

Your friend,

John K.

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
From: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
To: ReadingLiberallyEmailList@johnkarls.com
Bcc: The Approximately 150 Recipients of Our Weekly E-mail
Subject: How The Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and The Threat To Democracy – July 13
Date: Sat, June 18, 2016
Time: 4:23 am MDT – 5:26 am MDT (due to 100/hour limit)

Dear Friends,

Our next meeting is Wednesday evening July 13 at the Salt Lake Public Library (210 East 400 South).

NB: For those who like to avoid having to Skype during vacations, our future meeting dates are:

Wed Aug 10
Wed Sep 14
Wed Oct 19 (Oct 12 is Yom Kippur)
Wed Nov 16 (to maintain our minimum 4-week gap)
Wed Dec 14


Originally proposed by Ted Gurney, long-time regular attendee and retired U/U Biology Professor -- How The Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy (Harvard University Press 10/6/2015 - $22.98 + shipping or $17.49 Kindle from Amazon.com – 336 pages).

The United States has two separate banking systems today―one serving the well-to-do and another exploiting everyone else. How the Other Half Banks contributes to the growing conversation on American inequality by highlighting one of its prime causes: unequal credit. Mehrsa Baradaran examines how a significant portion of the population, deserted by banks, is forced to wander through a Wild West of payday lenders and check-cashing services to cover emergency expenses and pay for necessities―all thanks to deregulation that began in the 1970s and continues decades later.

In an age of corporate megabanks with trillions of dollars in assets, it is easy to forget that America’s banking system was originally created as a public service. Banks have always relied on credit from the federal government, provided on favorable terms so that they could issue low-interest loans. But as banks grew in size and political influence, they shed their social contract with the American people, demanding to be treated as a private industry free from any public-serving responsibility. They abandoned less profitable, low-income customers in favor of wealthier clients and high-yield investments. Fringe lenders stepped in to fill the void. This two-tier banking system has become even more unequal since the 2008 financial crisis.

Baradaran proposes a solution: reenlisting the U.S. Post Office in its historic function of providing bank services. The post office played an important but largely forgotten role in the creation of American democracy, and it could be deployed again to level the field of financial opportunity.


Mehrsa Baradaran joined the University of Georgia Law faculty in the fall of 2012. She currently serves as a J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor teaching Contracts and Banking Law.

She came to UGA from Brigham Young University, where she taught banking regulation, property and administrative law. During her time there, she was named the 1L (first-year law courses) Professor of the Year by the Student Bar Association.

Her scholarship includes the book How the Other Half Banks with the Harvard University Press and "Regulation by Hypothetical" in the Vanderbilt Law Review, "It's Time for Postal Banking" in the Harvard Law Review Forum, "Banking and the Social Contract" in the Notre Dame Law Review, "How the Poor Got Cut Out of Banking" in the Emory Law Journal, "Reconsidering the Separation of Banking and Commerce" in the George Washington Law Review and "The ILC and the Reconstruction of U.S. Banking" in the SMU Law Review.

Baradaran's book How the Other Half Banks has received significant media coverage and has been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Slate, American Banker, and other national and international news and radio outlets.

Previously, Baradaran was an Academic Research Fellow at the New York University School of Law and practiced law in the financial institutions group in the NYC office of Davis, Polk & Wardwell, one of the largest worldwide law firms.

She earned her bachelor's degree cum laude from Brigham Young University and her law degree cum laude from NYU, where she served as a member of the New York University Law Review.


An important voice..... [Baradaran’s] excellent new book, How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation and the Threat to Democracy describes how, for decades, big banks have shed their social contract with the American public and transformed themselves into modern monstrosities which serve corporations and the wealthy and exploit or avoid the less affluent members of our society. Setting the stage with this historical context, Baradaran makes a compelling case for a postal banking system which would greatly benefit millions of struggling ‘unbanked’ Americans.
- Ralph Nader - Huffington Post 2015-11-13

The title of [Baradaran’s] lean, angry book echoes the photojournalism of Jacob Riis, whose 1890 work on the slums of New York, How the Other Half Lives, spurred a housing reform movement..... In a society built on credit as a means to wealth, low-income families deserve a much better deal, Baradaran argues. People do not opt for expensive products because they do not know any better, or are somehow reckless or irresponsible. They do so because they have no choice. And that is a national embarrassment.
- Ben McLannahan - Financial Times 2015-11-13

Baradaran argues persuasively that the banking industry, fattened on public subsidies (including too-big-to-fail bailouts), owes low-income families a better deal..... How the Other Half Banks is well researched and clearly written… The bankers who fully understand the system are heavily invested in it. Books like this are written for the rest of us.
- Nancy Folbre - New York Times Book Review 2015-10-06

Mehrsa Baradaran’s terrific book, How the Other Half Banks, argues that we could and should ask banks to serve the poor and working class once again. In particular, post office banks (with storefronts and websites both) could provide those missing banking services: a place to park cash, earn interest and take out small amount loans… The idea is not hers originally, but she seizes and expands on the idea brilliantly and at great length. In particular, she advances the case for postal banking by reviewing the country’s earlier experience with postal banks, and by linking that experience to the modern problem of missing services for the poor and working class… One can appreciate why the policy world has come to Baradaran for her expertise, and this book will constitute a central contribution to the debate… I will recommend this book to all who are interested in structural racism..... Baradaran demonstrates how the post-deregulation restructuring of banking has disproportionately impacted communities of color, and how postal banking and other public options might bring them back into the fold once more. Baradaran’s revival of postal banking, and her description of the disappearance of services in the wake of deregulation, is fresh and engaging, and I highly recommend [the] book for all who are interested in the structure of inequality.
- Daria Roithmayr - JOTWELL 2015-10-02

Steadily shedding low-profit clients, American banks flourished during three decades of deregulation, but, when the crunch came last decade, the U.S. government―spouting we-are-all-in-this-together rhetoric―rushed to their rescue. In good times, banks are free-market players. In bad times, they have all the comforts of state agents. The author’s emphasis is not on curtailing megabanks’ privileges -- a reader could get the impression she thinks that case too obvious for lengthy exposition -- but on providing secure, low-cost credit for those who need it most. Her back-to-the-future solution is postal banking. Although the idea sounds terribly old-fashioned -- it hasn’t been seen in the U.S. since the 1960s -- more than 50 nations, including Japan and Germany, maintain a vibrant postal-bank system, a pillar of their strong savings cultures.
- Brian Bethune - Maclean’s 2015-10-26

Baradaran charges that nearly half of the American population has been deprived of access to financial services at a fair price thanks to financial deregulation..... A comprehensive addition to the ongoing discussions of both inequality and the financial system.
- Kirkus Reviews 2015-08-01

Important and comprehensive…How the Other Half Banks is a fascinating read, and Baradaran has done a masterful job of turning what could be incredibly dry material into a well-paced, accessible chronicle of how the consumer financial services industry has changed since the beginning of the republic. She traces the history of the relationship between the banking industry and the nation, and shows how banks have gained more power, leaving the less well-off excluded and exploited..... How the Other Half Banks tells an important story, one in which we have allowed the profit motives of banks to trump the public interest. Baradaran is right to take a pragmatic approach to these issues, as it seems unlikely that there is sufficient political will to renegotiate the social contract between banks and government so that it once again favors the public.
- Lisa J. Servon - American Prospect 2016-02-03


In accordance with our quorum-policy revision of 6/12/2013, instead of waiting until the last week before each monthly meeting to request RSVP's and canceling if we do not have our minimum quorum of six, RSVP's are requested in our first-of-the-monthly-cycle weekly e-mail.

Those who have RSVP’d will be informed immediately when we reach six so they can proceed to read the materials with assurance a discussion will take place.

If there are not six RSVP's by 11:59 pm next Friday, then next week's weekly e-mail will announce that the 7/13/2016 meeting is cancelled.


Non-Utah-residents (and residents who are out of town) are invited to participate in our meeting via Skype.

If you would like to do so, please press your reply button and type “request participation via Skype” and we will contact you to make appropriate arrangements.


We hope to see all of you on July 13th.

Your friend,

John K.

PS -- To un-subscribe, please press "reply" and type "deletion requested."

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