The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

i spit in the general direction of your Benefits

February5

For a solid reference point, please see one of my earlier posts: healthcare is not for You.

On Tuesday the 20th of November 2009, the Senate health committee voted 12-11 in favor of a two-page amendment courtesy of Republican Tom Coburn that would require all Members and their staffs to enroll in any new government-run health plan. Generally speaking the details mean Congress would have U.S. Citizens accept a watered-down healthcare platform that offers limited benefits.

However, what is not easily deciphered in the language of the amendment is that, under proposed legislation, they, as a body, are contemptuously curiously exempt from the national plan.  instead, they would be entitled to platinum healthcare on par with the President of the United States and his executive Staff.

However, Congressman John Fleming (he’s a Louisiana physician) has proposed an amendment that would require Congressmen and Senators to take the same healthcare plan they force on us .

Having read my prior Blog posts around this topic, you know that I feel Members of Congress and the Senate should have access to only the same healthcare used by their constituents. Otherwise, how can they claim to represent us with a straight face?

Congressman Fleming is encouraging people to go on his Website and sign his petition. It’s quite simple. Do it!

I have immediately done just that by visiting:

http://fleming.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=55&sectiontree=29,55

We need to make up some Thomas Jefferson tee-shirts, and march.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

extortion: credit card companies caught in the Act

October31

There’s a story floating around, and it’s a true one, that credit card companies are racing to raise interest rates before a new law designed to protect us from that very thing goes into effect February 22nd. You can read more about it here, for more ugly details.

Congress had actually been moving quickly themselves to form probably insipid meaningful legislation around the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, or CARD Act. But, and I have to add the word oddly, and should also add disappointingly, let’s also consider outrageously, allowed themselves to be lobbied by the credit card companies and approve a “grace period” that would enable the credit card companies to “prepare” for the change in predatory practices.

So, they’re using that grace period to gouge credit card users as hard, deep and quickly as they can.

Thank you, our ever vigilant, inspiring representatives.

The same representatives, mind you, that are voting in a healthcare package that they, themselves, are not required to participate in. Read about that in my post: healthcare is not for You.

The Act actually offers some fairly meaningful protection for credit card users. You can or should research those details elsewhere; it’s worth the time and effort. A meaningful issue at hand, however, is this grace period is going to create a lot of harm and financial chaos in the interim. It’s also going to cause, in many cases the very thing the Act was meant to forestall, if not eliminate.

I’m skeptical Congress could not have seen this coming. And, so, I feel set-up by them again.

We don’t use credit cards much in our household, or in my businesses. We prefer American Express (I certainly have issues with American Express), but when we need to use a credit card we prefer to pay it off. Apparently most Americans can’t or aren’t doing that, for the moment.

Nonetheless, I have a letter from Citibank informing me that they are doubling the interest rate on cards.

Right there in my hands I had written proof that the credit card companies; certainly Citibank, were attempting to extort the American people – and, Congress are their unwitting accomplice. /1

Where’s Aaron Burr when we really need him?

This is all a lot more insidious than the media are letting on, Congress will own up to, and, what most people might understand.

The letter I received from Citibank said, in effect, that I had an option to decline the higher interest rate. But, if I do so, they will cancel the credit card. For me, that’s not an issue. But, apparently for 63% of Americans, it just might be. If the credit card companies cancel the credit card, you are still, obviously, responsible for paying down the balance. Maybe that, unto itself, is not such a big deal, but the fact that your credit score will drop precipitously, is. Your credit score is driven by many factors (I suspect many of them subjective). But, an obvious factor is amount of credit card balance against available credit (your credit limit on the card). If you’ve maxed out your card, but are paying, at least the minimum required each month, your credit score will likely stay intact. But, if you have a credit ratio where your balances outweigh the available or potential available credit, your score drops up to 99 points in only one reporting cycle. NOTE: It comes down to algorithms (more profiling) designed by the credit industry exist to punish users if they tried to cancel their own cards.

It’s true; and, you better get pissed! I don’t mean inebriated here, but, that might help some of you that continue to numb yourselves against being bent over your own “American dreams” as they collapse around you.

I wish I had good news today. Maybe a fun story. And, I am trying to come up with a solution – if not a course of action. I honestly don’t know if writing, calling or visiting your Congressman does any good. We could go to Oprah, I suppose. But, she won’t make any move that might shed unfavorable light on Barack Obama. I don’t know if she’s his bitch, or the other way around.

Maybe we should try something like a “Don’t use your credit card for a week” campaign. What do you think?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

1/ From: West’s Law:

  1. The act or an instance of extorting.
  2. Illegal use of one’s official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage.
  3. An excessive or exorbitant charge.
  4. Something extorted.

extortionary ex·tortion·ar’y (-shə-nĕr’ē) adj.
extortionist ex·tortion·ist or ex·tortion·er n.

or,

From the Columbia Dictionary:

“extortion, in law, unlawful demanding or receiving by an officer, in his official capacity, of any property or money not legally due to him. Examples include requesting and accepting fees in excess of those allowed to him by statute or arresting a person and, with corrupt motives, demanding money or property unlawfully under pretense of duty. The taking of money or property is generally an essential element of the crime. In most states of the United States, extortion is more widely defined to include the obtaining of money or property of another by inducing his consent through wrongful use of fear, force, or authority of office; blackmailransom, and threat of force are included under this definition.”

the terrorist amongst us

October9

I saw the following excerpt in some British rag awhile back and I tucked it away for a future post:

“Richard Whittam, prosecuting, described how Mr. Ali was watched speaking in ‘hushed tones in a foreign language’ on taking a mobile phone call, was likely a terrorist and up to foul play, possibly planning an attack to be detailed later.”

I’ll suppose that day has arrived. And, a stage is set, possibly even for a point to be made. But, you have to read on. Do it!

In some ways the non-referenced terrorists, or terrorists in general, possibly real terrorists, have become quite successful, as crappy obvious terrorists might go.

The prosecution obviously wanted to make Mr Ali’s behaviour seem sinister. But I don’t think I’ll be alone in saying that in fact, he should be commended. So few people speak quietly on their cellular telephones these days that anybody who shows this level of consideration to others ought to be given a commendation.

In fact, if everyone was a terrorist, going out in public might be slightly less annoying than it currently is.

We’d never again have to listen to people yelling “I’m on the bus” (although that could well be a Christian terrorist quoting that, not necessarily, Christian Mr. Jim Collins, that so many of them mistakenly claim). Seriously, you never hear terrorists announcing: ” Hellooo… I’m preparing to blow up the bus”.

And teenagers wouldn’t be playing music on their phones, because isn’t music forbidden to (Muslim) terrorists – along with anything else that might make them think life was worth living?

Of course, I suppose that if everybody was a terrorist we may have to put up with far more bombings than we’re used to. It’s “swings and roundabouts” (as my British father-in-law might say), like so many of today’s issues.

And, how are we defining “terrorists” today? Wikipedia, naturally, has a quite thorough description of what a terrorist, might be, or could be, or should be. You can review all of that yourself right here. As for me, I see terrorists everywhere. And, I can’t yet determine if the Talibahn somehow anticipated this, or just dumb-lucked into it.

But, since 9/11 we stand for a long time in lines at air ports. And, we’ve spent a lot of money that might or might not be justified, fighting people we don’t really know, in places we can never understand. We question some people and things too much, and many other things not enough. Bullies have risen to power, or abuse power

All that said, I think we’re literally surrounded by terrorists.

The aforementioned prosecutor, Mr. Whittam is a terrorist. What you don’t know about the above quote was that the hapless Mr. Ali was only attempting to explain the purpose of a recent credit card expenditure to his wife while trying to be courteous to other people in a cafe. That now sinister Mr. Whittam appears to have twisted or omitted certain facts to paint a picture that suited his own nefarious purposes to make a case. This means he abused the law. That is also mentioned as a form of terrorism in Wikipedia. So, he’s a cultural and literal terrorist because he took a deliberate  step to create fear and uncertainty – and, the literal definition of “Terror” comes from a Latin word meaning “to frighten” (that’s likely in Wikipedia too. But, I can’t say with certainty because I’ve failed to read the entire dissertation).

The guy that did my landscaping is also a terrorist. One of my Brothers-in-Law says the same thing about my Mother-in-Law. Members of Congress that are going to try and force a watered down healthcare bill (you can read more about that in one of my earlier posts: healthcare is not for You) down your throat while exempting themselves from it, could be deemed terrorists.

There is, of course, some irony amongst all this as the word judgment comes to mind. But, we can address that point another time.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

democrats in congress vote No free speech

September21

A recent, and certainly ominous, headline (however, the story is much more sinister than you might suspect imagine):


House admonishes Wilson for his ‘You lie’ outburst

By JIM ABRAMS and BEN EVANS

Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has voted to admonish Rep. Joe Wilson over his ‘You lie’ outburst to President Barack Obama during the president’s health care speech to Congress last week.

"Obama is a liar"

The 240-179 vote on the resolution of disapproval reflected the sharp partisan divide over the issue. Democrats insisted that the South Carolina Republican take responsibility for what they said was a serious breach of decorum. Republicans characterized the vote as a political stunt.

Wilson himself would not back down on his position that he owed the House no apology. Surrounded by Republican supporters, Wilson said Obama had “graciously accepted my apology and the issue is over.”

09/15/09 17:35 © Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

So… Now the House is censoring it’s members for exercising free speech.

Representative Wilson may have been rude, and demonstrated a lack of “decorum”. But, have you ever visited the House and Senate during a policy debate? It’s like an elementary school playground (without adult supervision – okay… not always. but, often enough). And, can you imagine how raucous the floor must have been while the original Continental Congress was forming? They often drank, those brilliant and pious men.

320px-Hamilton-burr-duelConsider the The Burr–Hamilton duel between two prominent American politicians, Alexander Hamilton and sitting Vice President Aaron Burr, on July 11, 1804. At the Heights of Weehawken in New Jersey Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton. Hamilton was carried to the home of William Bayard on the Manhattan shore, where he died at 2 p.m. the next day.

Now that requires furious resolve.

However, Wilson spoke his mind, and apparently his heart. Are the Democrats taking the position that Wilson does not represent the opinions of any constituents?

In any event, if Thomas Jefferson could stop spinning in his grave, he might pay the House and Senate a desperately needed visit, and would likely call them all out as a pack of liars, and certainly hypocrites. He would also, and this is very likely, suggest they consider leading the country by example. For instance having access to only the same healthcare benefits available to their constituents, and relative pay scales, as well.

Peace be to My Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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