The death of Bin Laden part 2

Since the death of Osama bin Laden, a number of opinion columnists have gone public about his death, inclusive of Leonard Pitts, jr, Kathleen Parker, Charles Krauthammer, and of course; Mona Charen. Ms. Charen in particular who can’t stand the idea that American foreign policy could ever be criticized to some how “justify” bin Laden’s murderous attacks on innocent people September 11, 2001. But she goes on to attack Americans for presumably giving Osama bin Laden excuses for hating this nation and what it stands for.  Much like the late and not so great Rev. Falwell (whom she mentioned in her column) attacking Americans such as feminists and gays for encouraging terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda against this nation on that tragic day.  (He later apologized, I wonder if she ever will.)

Actually, Osama bin Laden wouldn’t have needed to read an online version of “The Nation” to discuss “greedy corporations.”   He could simply look at the consequences of American foreign policy vis a vis Iraq and how foreign corporations were favored over any aspirations of the Iraqi people by way of former President G.W. Bush.  He could do that just by watching Al Jazeera.  If he “hates this nation” so much, he certainly wouldn’t have taken his cues from Michael Moore.  Moore only criticized and opened for public viewing those things he thought to be wrong in this nation today.  Wrong, and in his view, should be corrected.

We do have greedy corporations.  The more exposure they get, the better.  You have seen my prior blog posts about Capital One.  Well, they did some particularly hinky things with an expired (and therefore) closed account to try to make even more money than they had a right to.  If the replacement card is never activated, then it seems to me that it would make no legal sense to start charging all kinds of “fees” to the card.  Yet, Capital One Bank did that.  Well, I sent in my “disputed debt” payment by the middle of April, sent back the unopened “billing statement” that arrived the day after, had duly informed both the payment office in City of Industry, California and the billing office in Richmond, Virginia what the situation was that they could expect nothing more in payments as the account was now paid in full.  I still got a collection notice around a week later…  A “collection notice” with Case # 10001675666423.  Oh really?  So among other things that I told this bank about, was what defines a line of credit.  That is, what a bank is prepared to loan you on the credit card that you can make purchases on until you have reached the credit limit.  By what ever dollar amount that is established for the account, that is how much you can spend.  What you make in total payments plus interest into the account, which is the equivalent of that line of credit, then you have zeroed out the account.  A simple use of the calculator would have sufficed for the bank to realize that my total payments had exceeded the original line of credit for the card.  But, they were too busy adding “new debt” by way of “late fees” and “penalty interest rates” to this account that had been closed for over two years to even consider making use of a calculator to determine whether I actually ought to pay well beyond the original line of credit or not.  In short, they deliberately screwed up.  Nor were they prepared to correct the matter.  And the “collection notice?”  LOL! As far as I can figure, they wanted to charge me for the “unpaid” late fees and penalty interest rates that shouldn’t have existed in the first place, but for the bank’s greed.

The Fair Credit Billing Act still applies.  By never activating the replacement card, I never gave the bank any form of consent to screw around with the account.   A bank that acts this willfully against the customer’s interests will also show no high regard for the laws passed in 1999 let alone the laws passed in 2009.  Yet, because of these laws, I am not legally bound to “pay more” than what was established as the original line of credit for the account.  The bank screwed up.  Two years later and they are the ones who must now “write off” a “debt” that I have no legal reason to pay.  As a follow up, I told my mother that I never activated the replacement card.  So, she said, that the bank activated it so they could start “charging” me.  They most certainly had, it was also illegal and the “claims of debt” that the bank then added to the account was fraudulent.  Since I sent that letter, I have yet to hear a word back from the bank…

Or, we can now discuss banks that want to engage in nickel and dime “fees” just because you have an account established with them.  U.S. Bank comes to mind.  I got this flier in the mail in which they were prepared to “charge me less” in fees if I accessed my accounts online.  $6.95 to be exact.  I don’t do online banking. One reason, “smishing” was recently in the news. Identity thieves send e-mails with the intent to steal access to your online banking accounts.  Why should I pay a fee for a service I’ll never use and it would be unwise to use?  But, if the send you a paper monthly statement, they will charge $2.00 more.  That really cracks me up.  It may take about two bucks with a computer program and a computer operator to generate a paper statement.  Given the bulk discount the bank is offered through the U.S. Postal Service, it amounts to a couple of dimes to send.  Oh, and here is a really great deal, if you attach the checking account to a money market account (one is, in fact thus attached—to a money market retirement IRA); then they’ll waive the fees.  Only, the bank wanted to “change” the account currently dedicated to feeding the money market retirement IRA to an “easy checking” account with all the attendant fees.  And this by the nineteenth of June.  I called them and said absolutely not.  Heard the customer service individual whine once about how they were only trying to give me “options” and I informed them about the content of the letter, where I was advised that I wasn’t to have an “option,” they were just going to change the account period, unless I called them.   I did, and insisted that nothing about the account dedicated to feeding the money market IRA was to be changed period.  I didn’t need any disruption between the dedicated account and the money market account that I was automatically transferring money to.

Here was another LOL! moment, of course you don’t have to worry about “either fee” if you directly deposit combined $500.00 paychecks to equal $1,000.00 or already have a balance of $1,500.00.  Given my hours where it looks like I could qualify for welfare and food stamps; that makes the U.S. Bank proposition one solely for wealthy people to capitalize on.

Oh, yes, if Ms. Charen were to truly look around her, greedy corporations are very much a part of the American landscape and there is a very good reason for being critical of them.  But, that doesn’t excuse the horrors bin Laden visited upon this nation.  For that, he bears the sole responsibility for his actions.  As President Obama duly informed us, “Justice was done.”

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