Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You Are Hereby Notified

How are we expected to re-start the economy when banks and creditors are cutting the spending capabilities of consumers? This is a representative example of what these corporations are doing wholesale to customers, new and old:

Dear John Doe,

We are contacting you to be sure you do not have any surprises when you use your card. In this difficult economic environment, we all need to make choices about how we spend and save. For us, that means carefully reviewing the spending and debt profiles of our Cardmembers - and making some difficult decisions. Unfortunately, we have had to make the decision to lower the credit limit on your account listed above.

Account Services

There is absolutely no reason for the drastic, and unprecedented need for, cutting of credit limits, especially to those consumers who are never late on a payment, pay more than the minimum due, and/or have a good debt-to-credit ratio in general. And
there is no sympathy for these corporate entities who continue to play the victim role, pandering to a faux collective "tough economic situation," rather than taking the blame for getting us into the troubles in the first place. Certainly, it must really affect their balance sheets to lower credit limits; indeed, it does affect ours, the consumer, who once again is legitimately victimized by such actions.

When banks like Bank of America and Citi insist upon more financial assistance from the government, they need to remember who it is footing the bill - the very consumers who have just had their credit amount and spending capabilities reduced. The next time any of these companies do ask for more taxpayer money - because they have and will again - I hope the government has the spine to tell them where they can go. And that they can wait until it freezes over. Because the question still remains - how are we expected to re-start the economy when banks and creditors are cutting the spending capabilities of the very consumers who are expected to drive it?

©2009 Steve Sagarra

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rockin’ in the Free World

Without being too conceited, not to mention for good or ill, the United States arguably saved the free world from three empires – Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the Soviet Union – that wanted to see its demise. At present, the U.S. continues to be that backbone, in an ostensibly spineless U.N.-led world, against quite possibly the biggest threat ever to freedom – terrorism. For its trouble, the U.S. has barely received, if at all, a thank you, and more like the equivalent of the international middle finger. For the most part, this has come from its enemies, but, more often than not, it has come from those who have benefited the most from such sacrifice, including American citizens.

With that in mind, the current sitting present, Barack Hussein Obama, has left open the possibly – which he had previously signaled as unlikely but has since reversed – that Bush-era officials could face prosecution, either domestically or internationally, for their involvement in prisoner interrogations stemming from the ongoing “War on Terror.” All the while, these enemy “combatants” – who in an earlier generation would have faced summary execution for their actions without question – are being allowed their supposedly “legal” civil liberties (a standard some American citizens do not even enjoy) and/or their outright release. Talk about fighting the wrong war with the wrong strategery.

Persecuting Terror Defeaters

As Jack Nicholson's character, Colonel Jessep, says in the movie, A Few Good Men:

“We live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded...I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom...and that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said ‘thank you,’ and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up a weapon and stand a post.”

So, keep on rockin' in the free world, Americans. For one day, and that day hopefully will never come, there could be only smoke on the water, as the free world is engulfed in the flames wrought by those deemed a lesser threat than those trying to stop them.

©2009 Steve Sagarra