Monthly Archives: October 2009

Playing the Credit Card Game

It seems absolutely ridiculous to me that a bank would charge fees for non-use of a credit card. That’s right, folks. That credit card sitting in your wallet that you plan to use in case of emergencies; well be warned your bank may just charge you.

Throughout my time of reading and writing about credit cards, those wise ones of credit will tell you the do’s and don’ts of credit card ownership. Use it on small purchases and then pay off every month so you can generate a higher FICO score. You see, this is a game to some people and all they care about is their score-like a card game. This is not pinochle, or bridge, or even poker. This is life for many people and the score sometimes equates to survival. The game of credit, ironically works better for people with money who can afford not to use a credit card. And it is these people making the rules for the rest of us to follow.

Now, they intend to charge us for not playing-penalized for not playing their game. Even for those responsible people who do not to own a credit card are penalized in the FICO system. Does this sound like fair and honest business practice? No other business makes money from people’s nonuse for their product. My car dealership doesn’t send me a bill for when I’m overdue an oil change. My hairdresser doesn’t charge me when my ends start to split. Think about it America -No other business profits from our lack of use.

Curiously, we wouldn’t stand for a player who cheats at cards or who breaks the rules, yet fall all over ourselves at creditor whims. Stop playing a game with those who cheat the system for profit.

Rush Limbaugh – The “Flounder” of the NFL

Oh, I have to admit there is a smile on my face tonight after hearing the news Limbaugh was dropped from the investor group who wanted to by the St. Louis Rams. But this blog is not about Limbaugh; this blog is dedicated to his supporters who flooded the MSN Sports forum.

 Surprisingly this issue became very political and racial. This is not political, nor is it racist. There are a couple of points I need to make. A racist would not find another racist’s slurs racists. If you speak with offense, divisive and inflammatory remarks, you will be considered a racist. And if one person takes offense; you will be considered a racist.

And another thing, there is no doubt Rush Limbaugh is a great orator. He is great at talking out of his ass. But he is a horrible communicator because he does not listen. Great communicators listen to people. You can’t be a great communicator if you never shut up to listen to another’s point of view. It makes you a shallow, narrow-minded coward.  You see Rush Limbaugh is no genius, he is just opinionated. And his opinion hold no more value than mine or anyone else’s  That said, I come to the point of this blog.

 The jocks do not want to hang with the fat guy. You see, the NFL welcomes media hosts such as Keith Olbermann. Keith is cool and jock-like (despite the glasses)  The owners association of the NFL is like a club and the owners have the ability to vote in or vote out any potential new owner. It is like a private club or a fraternity. And Rush Limbaugh turned out to be the Flounder of the NFL. You remember, that fat, annoying kid with the beanie.  But perhaps I am wrong maybe he is the Bluto, because of his prior addictions.

But I can understand why Flounder, sorry Limbaugh, would be upset by being rejected by the jocks of the NFL. For years many African Americans were kept out of Country clubs, women kept out of business organizations and nerds were rejected by fraternities. It hurts when we are rejected.  What we have to remember is that we are all people, even a blow hard like Rush Limbaugh. Perhaps if Rush Limbaugh were just a little bit more embracing of others and of differing ideologies, perhaps the NFL wouldn’t be so quick to reject him. Perhaps it is Rush Limbaugh who is responsible for his own rejection.

 

Nobel Peace Prize Outrage

The idea that there is outrage in regards to a peace prize seems to me like an oxymoron. Or maybe it is just morons who our outraged. I am purely disgusted by the some American’s outrage to President Obama winning the Nobel Peace prize. He is our president. We should be proud that he has won the attention and acclaim from the international community. A population of our citizenry is really showing bad form with their constant negativity of others. I mean seriously, what kind of person criticizes the Nobel committee.  People, this is not American Idol. We don’t have a vote and we can’t judge.

 First I must claim this is sour grapes for many people.  There has been some very bi-partisan bickering for the past nine months and all of it is the Republican side. I must say the hateful rhetoric that has been spewing from the media and influencing people is shameful.  What has Rush Limbaugh accomplished other then spit, or Glen Beck tears. People who have accomplished very little in their lives are weighing on our President’s great accomplishment.

Secondly in response to the fact that President Obama hasn’t done anything…as one shallow-minded reporter Nancy Gibbs mentioned the award to be given to someone based on their actions, not their words. But let me remind Americans and the world that words do matter. Words have the power to unite, or destroy. Words have the power to move people. Words empowered Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. to change their worlds. Lech Walesa’s words overthrew communism in Poland. And dare I say Adolf Hitler’s hateful rhetoric of prejudice and fear killed millions of innocent people.  As you can see, words are very important, sometimes more important that actions. Sometimes, words make a greater impact.

Let me clear the fog around some dense American brains. What this Nobel Prize represents is hope and promise for a new world. Yes, more troops may need to go to Afghanistan . Yes, there is still genocide in Darfur . But we all have to admit that since President Obama has enhanced the dialog and the tone between nations. There is a new unity between some of our past enemies, Russia , China and some countries in South America . Even Kim Jong Il has said he would negotiate with the United States. It is the promise the people around the world are willing to unite under one good cause – peace.

But yes, words are just words if no one listens. Words do not make a difference if people with the desire for ratings rant opposing viewpoints and insults. You know Jesus Christ was a preacher who preached of peace and to give to the poor. And look how many people truly adhere to his message. Perhaps the fault doesn’t lie in our president, but in ourselves. Maybe more people should heed his messages of peace and  a bit of self-sacrifice for the good of all…and perhaps we will be a better country for it. Instead I know there will be few jaded and bitter people who would rather spew hate and injustice. You can chose peace, or you can chose hate. I chose peace

Americans, At Least We’re Good Looking

This blog was inspired by my new favorite news “personality” Dylan Ratigan and newly coined phrase, “Corporate Communism.” A lot has been said about communism and the fear of a “socialized” government repression. But I think Dylan Ratigan is absolutely right…we are under a corporate repression and their propaganda is so brilliant that we are so blinded by our own Capitalistic consumption and superficiality.

Many filmmakers and comedians have called out this capitalistic consumption and superficiality, and we laugh at their jokes, but we continue being blissfully repressed. Banks like Citibank, tell us to live richly by using our high interest credit cards. Who benefits most – Citibank. Can we the average American ever really be rich; don’t count on it. Capital one entertains us with commercials. Yeah! And don’t forget about the “Free Credit Report” guys, which is far from being free. Read the fine print. Cosmetic companies promote superficial images if beauty, while pharmaceutical companies sell diet pills to make sure we’re thin. I read an advertisement that actually said, “In order to find love, you cannot have belly fat.” Is superficial beauty and rock hard abs really a quality for love, or is it increased profits for corporations? We are entertained with “reality” shows that we are beyond anyone’s reality it is ridiculous. I could go on, but I guess you get the picture.

We are far from being automatons in a dreary, old Communist Russian factory, but we are blissfully, superficial automatons designed specifically to increase corporate profits. We, Americans are merely a tool in the corporate cog geared to make CEOs’ richer. Yet as Michael Moore pointed out, that proverbial carrot is consistently dangled before our eyes. You see if we, Americans are too busy, admiring ourselves in the mirror, tiring ourselves out to achieve a perfect body, starving ourselves to achieve zero percent body fat, LOL while texting to our BFF while driving on the freeways, (and that automobile crash you passed was not Grand Theft Auto) or watching Jon & Kate Plus 8 on our big screen televisions we will be too totally self-absorbed to know that corporations are taking advantage of us. They are doing this, merely by praying on our fears, ego and vanity.

It was a year ago when our economy nearly crashed. Our government gave trillions (I lost count) of American tax payer dollars to these banks. Now, this money is gone. No one knows where it is, what the banks did with it, and if the American people will ever see it again. What these banks did was give bonuses to their managers, and used it against their bottom line to show they are making a profit. And the American people went back to looking in the mirror and watching Dancing with the Stars, while people are still losing their jobs, being evicted from their homes and dying in hospital beds because they cannot afford the insurance. Hooray.

Our nation is becoming a blonde joke. “How many American’s does it take to change a light bulb?” The punch-line “Did the light bulb go out?” Yes, the bottom nearly fell out and we’re going on blissfully as if nothing happened….to is continued. The question is how will history look back on us? Americans, at least they were good-looking.

American Civility – There is no I in Team

Recently, my stepmother forwarded me a video portraying the bonding of a baby deer and a cat. Yes, it was sugary sweet, but the one thought that crossed my mind was, if two animals from different species can get along so well, why can’t American? Bambi and Mr. Peepers the cat putting Americans to shame.

Our issues today are so ridiculously simple, that it truly makes my head spin with the all the “political spin”. The issue is civility and our ability to be civil to fellow American citizens. That’s it! Instead, many are warped by money, greed and selfishness. Our egos are twisted with pride, supremacy and superficiality. And most importantly, our hearts are filled with fear and insecurity. This is our problem, American. Our government is only a small portion of our society’s culture and our corporations are taking advantage of it. We are the problem.

It is the health care debate that has bought this issue to the forefront. No matter what retorhic you wish to spin, the bottom line is hundred thousands of Americans are doing to debt paying for health care and hundred thousands are dying because they can’t afford medical treatment. That’s it, that’s the crux our problem. So tell me, why so many American’s are against helping fellow Americans who are in need?

The irony of this is, when Hurricane Katrina hit, many gave to the victims. We donated money, time and goods to aid in the recovery. Yet, we cannot give of ourselves to a dying person who is struggling to pay their medical bills and cannot get adequate coverage. Many have proclaimed we should support our troops. So then we should neglect our citizens? That doesn’t make sense. Soldiers are overseas protecting Americans, while corporations are taking advantage of citizens at home?

I was watching the Youtube of Congressman Grayson and someone made a smirk about Grayson’s use of the word “Holocaust”. “How dare he compare our current health care system to the actual Holocaust.” Here’s the point – people are dying in our country unnecessarily and it doesn’t matter how. If we have the means to help, we should.

But our issue with civility goes beyond the health care problem. The most obvious show if lack of civility is when driving. We are absorbed in cell phone calls while driving on the freeways, not just being a nuisance, but a danger. We disobey traffic signals and signs just so we get in front of another. We are all self-contained in an aluminum bubble, that we forget there are other people on the road. Why are we, so much more important and why do we disregard other’s rights? Who the heck are we, anyway?

Until this country learns the basic sports lesson, we will continue to suffer the same problems. “There is no “I” in team. The country does not belong to “me’, it does not belong to ‘You”. It belongs to all. Therefore we will be losers until we work together.