Monday, November 16, 2009

Obama: Citizen of the World or President of U.S.?

A president of the U.S. wearing a Chairman Mao jacket? How insensitive can Obama be? Chairman Mao was a mass murderer who slaughtered millions of dissidents who went against the communist take over. If Obama was president of the U.S. and visited Germany during Nazi Germany, would he don a Nazi uniform to connect with Hitler? Is Barak Obama committed to be a representative of the United States of the America?

When meeting the Emperor of Japan with many other world leaders, only Obama "the president of the United States" bowed to the emperor. In fact, he could not stop bowing. If anything Obama is doing in Asia, it assuring the North Koreans that we have a spineless wimp as president. Why did he choose to leave the country when he moved the court case of the 9/11 conspirators to N.Y. in a New York court instead of a military court. These terrorists committed a war crime against the U.S. not N.Y. They should be tried not as U.S. citizens with constitutional rights, but as war criminals facing a military tribunal just like the Nazis were tried at Nuremburg and hung for their horrid crimes. How is Barak Obama upholding the constitution of the U.S. as a president? I am not convinced he takes his citizenship of this country seriously.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Post 9/11 Traumatic Stress Disorder Hits America

After America was attacked by Islamic extremists on September 11, 2001 I thought we understood we are up to our necks in a war on terrorism. After the terrifying collapse of New York's twin Trade Center towers, I believed we understood Islamic extremists are out to destroy America and Americans. We were a pissed-off country and we wanted to do whatever we could to win the war on terrorism. Thanks to President George Bush.

Things have changed in eight years. We've become fearful of profiling Muslims living in the US as Islamic jihadists. We've even accommodated Muslims to allow them to have Saudi financed Muslim schools in the US. We're a country afraid to say anything negative about people from the Middle East lest we offend them or intimate they may be terrorists. We even elected a president of the United States who attended a Muslim school in Indonesia from the ages of 6 to 10. He's the first president to bow in reverence and respect before a Saudi misogynist prince who is in cahoots with Wahhabi Muslim extremists. Barak Obama-a man who took an oath or protect and preserve the national security of this country.

The fear and anger towards suspicious Islamic individuals have been diluted thanks to political correctness in this country. Liberals railed against the Patriot Act as an invasion of privacy even if a suspected terrorist was checking books out of the library on how to build a bomb or checking out blueprints of the New York subway system. We don't want to offend Muslims living in the US nor suspect them of being extremists and terrorists. Instead, we want to promote understanding with Islamic people who keep telling us their religion is peaceful while their Koran is filled with hatred and destruction towards Jewish people and Christians.

Our country has been struck with a virus more serious than N1H1. I cal it "Post 9/11 Traumatic Stress Disorder". The symptoms of this disorder are marked by an inability to call an act of terrorist for what it is. People with this disease would rather explain all acts of terrorism in psychological terms. We never really needed GITMO; we need a cadre of Dr. Phil's to speak to maniacal terrorists.

Barak Obama and his staff have seriously been stricken with this disorder. Chris Matthews, MSNBC's Hardball moderator can't see anything wrong with a Muslim (Major Nidal Hasan) who sends 20 emails to an Al-Qaeda imman in Yemen. What's wrng with that?

Our president warns us not to jump to conclusions about the terrorist attacked perpetrated on 43 US soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas last week, killing 14 people. Even though the killer, Major Nidal Malik Hasan has given the Army every indication he is a full-on terrorist, Mr. Obama, wants US citizens to stay in a liberal induced coma believing all Muslims are peace-loving. Interestingly, he forgets all terrorists are Muslims though not all Muslims are terrorists though they read out of a book-the Koran-that promotes terrorism.

Here's another symptom of Post 9/11 Traumatic Stress Disorder-the inclination to call an act of terrorism an act of psychological disorder. Victims of this disease use words like "emotionally disturbed, twisted thinking, insane, mentally imbalanced and other psychologically based terms. No one in the Obama administration has yet to call Major Hasan a terrorist who has infiltrated the military. Rather, he's a victim of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder even though he's never been deployed to Iraq!

Why did Hasan kill troops getting ready to go over to Afghanistan and Iraq? So they could be prevented from going overseas to kill his (Hasan's) Muslim terrorist brothers who are attacking American troops. Connect the dots. Hasan was a martyr for the Islamo-fascst cause. He is guilty of treason for supporting and cohorting with the enemy.

As a Vietnam vet I can never imagine one of my fellow soldiers or an officer-medical or non-medical-saying favorable things about Ho Chi Minh or the Viet Cong. Such an individual would be locked up in the stockade and be tried for treason. Can you imagine an American soldier saying "Heil Hitler" to his fellow soldiers as they were invading Germany? What has happened to our country? A Major in the Army is asked to give a presentation on a medical subject in his field of psychiatric expertise, and instead he presents a 50 slide program on the Koran , , , even speaking of beheading the enemies of Islam and pouring hot oil down their throats. Yet a room of military men infected with Post 9/11 Traumatic Stress Disorder could not connect the dots and permitted Major Hasan ramble on with his Islamic dribble and return to his post of duty.

What about Ft. Hood, Texas? Do they know we're involved in a war on terrorism? Do they know there are Islamic terrorist operatives in the US and on US military bases? Are they so infected with Post 9/11 Traumatic Stress Disorder that they could not post armed guards on the base so that such a travesty could never have happened? Our military and citizenry are so clueless when it comes to terrorism in this country. We behave as though 9/11 never happened. We ignore the fact Al Qaeda cells are operating in this country according to US Intelligence reports. We are on red alert whether we believe it or not. Those who disagree will simply argue that what happened at Ft. Hood was an isolated criminal act performed by an disturbed individual. And the Muslim extremists in Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq are laughing as they send more operatives to this beguiled country.

Major Hasan deserves to be tried as a traitor who in his right mind deliberately planned and schemed this suicide attack on US soldiers. Major Hasan on the morning of his terrorist slaughter dressed in Muslim garb, prayed before the slayings and shouted praises to Allah as he killed 14 people and wounded another 29. Our military needs to wake up. Americans need to wake up, Obama has us so caught up in the healthcare issue that we've been lulled to sleep and one Muslim terrorist took advantage of us napping.

At your next Tea Party or Town Hall meeting, the focus must be on terrorism at home. We need to wake the sleeping giant of America which has been seriously inflicted with Post 9/11 Traumatic Stress Disorder-the inability to remember the lessons of September 11, 2001, the failure to stay on watch against terrorism in America and the foolish decision to place political correctness over and above the need to protect our country.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Consumer Friendly Businesses in an Unfriendly Recession

Yesterday I shared an experience I had wit the banking conglomerate Bank of America. Now I wonder, "Will it cause Bank of America to change their policies? Will I get a call from a B of A executive apologizing for the way I was treated by one of their supervisors?" I doubt it. And that's my point. Consumers are feeling more and more powerless in the face of corporate giants.

Over and over I keep dealing with customer representatives who send out the same message: We don't care about our customers. We're here to ratchet up service fees, apply late charges, increase interest rates, provide lousy service and fail to return our customer's phone calls and emails.

How can certain business like Us Airways, Enterprise, Sprint telephone, Time Warner Cable and many others expect to stay in business treating customers this way at a time when the consumer needs some compassion - not government sponsored freebies.

Furthermore, I do not want the government to FORCE companies through legislation to show care for their clients. I would like to see companies do this on their own. No more government intervention.

Here's my latest example. On a recent trip to Florida to visit my parents I was scheduled on US Airways for a one hour layover in Charlotte, N.C. It turns out the flight was cancelled due to bad weather in N.C. I had to spend an entire day in an airport waiting for the next flight to Charlotte and then make one more connecting flight to Ft. Lauderdale.

The morning of the flight I received several call from US Airways telling me the flight was delayed 105 minutes. So I had some time to make it to the airport. Yet when I arrived at the airport ninety minutes before the delayed flight was slotted to take off, I was told by a ticket agent that I missed the flight. I was late. I responded, "But the flight departure time is not for another hour and a half. How can I be late?" She told me I was supposed to be at the airport an hour before the original flight time. "But the original flight time was changed according to all the voice mails I been receiving from US Airways," I continued. "Now I am here at the airport with an hour and a half to spare. I am not late!!" She finally admitted, "And the flight has been cancelled." Was I going crazy?

Upon arriving at Charlotte eight hours after the original flight was supposed to land, I went around to the various workers at new stands, Starbucks and ticket counters at other airlines. I asked, "Was the Charlotte airport closed this morning prohibiting flights from landing. The answer I kept hearing was negative. One cashier told me there was a fog bank early that morning but it cleared by 8 a.m. - two hours before my flight was scheduled to take off. What did US Airways do? Cancel a flight for no reason? I spent an entire day at an airport because of US Airways.

To the phone . . . I tried to contact US Airways when I returned to Los Angeles. I was instructed to register all complaints using their customer service support page on their website. I was assured I would hear from a US Airways representative within 72 hours. It's been two weeks and I haven't heard a peep. Then I called their corporate headquarters in Tempe, AZ (480 693 0800). I left two or three messages asking for a return call from their Customer Relations Department. I've heard nothing. I even wonder if this department even exists.

What gives with companies today? Even in a recession where the middle class is hurting and the poor are getting all kinds of government (tax paid) benefits, you would think companies would show some attentiveness to the consumer. How about a returned phone call for starters?

Two companies that stand out from the rest are Starbucks and Southwest Airlines. Read Howard Schultz' book Pour Your Heart Into It and the book Nuts, the story of Southwest Airlines. These two companies "get it" in the way they treat their employees and the consumer. They will ride out the recession. My advice is to only fly Southwest and let the others die a slow death. So what if we're stuck with one airline. Southwest would expand, add more flights and continue to treat the customer with care and wisdom.

Will I ever hear from US Airways? Probably not. They're just hoping I will go away after making repeated calls to their corporate Customer Relations Department. Not this time. Consumers must revolt by calling companies on the carpet and force them to treat us with class and concern.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bank of America: Bank of Arrogance

Bank of America CEO and President Kenneth Lewis proudly claims, ""Bank of America helps build strong communities by creating opportunities for people — including customers, shareholders and associates — to fulfill their dreams." As an unemployed citizen of the U.S. and a longtime customer of Bank of America, I decided to see if my bank could help me get by during this tough time in my life. Rather than fulfill my dreams, Bank of America inspired a nightmare.

My credit card statement arrived in the mail this week. My balance reflects a debt I've been carrying over five years. Presently, I charge about $50 a month on the card - all Internet and email service charges. Other than that, I do not use the card. Even though I have been out of work since July 2009, I manage to make my required payment of $150 or more every month.

I've been with Bank of America since 1974, held several mortgages with them and have had numerous checking accounts. I imagined for a split second that my customer loyalty might mean something to Mr. Lewis and his employees. So I called their 800 number.

My goal? I wanted them to reduce my interest rate for a short period of time while I am unemployed. I am paying 10.9% and I was asking my bank of reduce the rate by a point or two to lower my monthly payments. After all, Bank of America received a hefty bailout courtesy of tax payers like myself. Couldn't they extend some help to a loyal customer? I wasn't asking for a bail out or a reduction of the principal I owe. I only needed a small reduction in my interest rate to lessen my monthly amount due,

When I called B of A, I asked for a supervisor. I explained my situation and he informed me I was receiving the lowest interest rate. I know that's not true. If I transferred my balance to another bank and then came back to Bank of America, they would offer me a very attractive lower rate as a lure. Liars!

The supervisor proceeded to ask me every possible question about my financial situation: how much I was receiving from unemployment insurance, my monthly rent, utilities, car payment, insurance cost, grocery expenditures and my meagre savings. He was trying to justify that I cold qualify for a hardship program provided by Bank of America.

After spending twenty minutes on my cell with this bank supervisor, he informed me I do not qualify for any help since I cannot guarantee them I would be able to make my monthly payments. I asked what guarantee did Bank of America give the taxpayers they could pay back the bailout money we gave them. I was shocked. Guarantee? In this age and economy?

My best guarantee is my track record of making hundreds of payments to Bank of America over several decades. I informed the supervisor that I cannot guarantee I would be alive tomorrow but if I am, I will make my credit card payment and it would truly help if he lowered my payment by $20-30 a month to lend a hand. This is the bank that wants to make my dreams come true.

The supervisor would not budge. He was robotic and read from a script. I was irate, "You really don't care about your customers, do you? Here we bail you out by giving you billions of our money, and you can't reduce my interest rate by a few points?" He kept repeating his "guarantee speech."

I kept pushing, "This is an interesting scenario. If I got to a place where I could not make my credit card payments, you would turn me over to a collection agency who in turn would pay someone's salary to harass me. Then your bank would be willing to hire attorneys to go after me to collect my debt. Right? You're willing to spend thousands of dollars in case I default on my payments, but you won't reduce my monthly payment by $20 to make sure that scenario never takes place. What kind of a bank are you?"

The bank official repeated his mantra about guarantees. I told him to stop reading his script. Quickly I mentioned the name Ann Minch, the woman who started Debtors Revolt and is going after Bank of America for hiking up her interest rate to over 30%. "Do you know who Ann Minch is?" He said he did. "Well," I continued, "there are more people like her who will tell the public what kind of bank you really are. You don't care about your customers." Ann Minch has hit a nerve with her YouTube video sharing her nightmare encounter with Bank of America.

When I mentioned Ann Minch, the supervisor slammed down the phone. The message is clear: Bank of America does not care about their clients and they're not happy that B of A customers are speaking out. I'm one of them. I am prepared to pull all my money and debt out of Bank of America and make my statement that this is one bank that is not "for the people" and they have no intention of making any of your dreams come true.