Thursday, March 09, 2006

Good credit? Don't worry. We can help.

And speaking of the Department of Homeland Security . . .

If you pay off your credit card the card companies don't make any money off of you. So some people might think that paying off your credit card was down right un-American. Really. Consider Walter Soehnge, a retired schoolteacher from -- irony alarm, please -- Texas.

You see, Walter and his wife decided to pay off their JCPenney Platinum MasterCard. Why pay interest when you could pay it off?
So they sent in a large payment, a check for $6,522.


After sending in the check, they checked online to see if their account had been duly credited. They learned that the check had arrived, but the amount available for credit on their account hadn't changed.

So Deana Soehnge called the credit-card company. Then Walter called.

"When you mess with my money, I want to know why," he said.

They both learned the same astounding piece of information about the little things that can set the threat sensors to beeping and blinking.

They were told, as they moved up the managerial ladder at the call center, that the amount they had sent in was much larger than their normal monthly payment. And if the increase hits a certain percentage higher than that normal payment, Homeland Security has to be notified. And the money doesn't move until the threat alert is lifted.

Walter called television stations, the American Civil Liberties Union and me. And he went on the Internet to see what he could learn. He learned about changes in something called the Bank Privacy Act. (Bob Kerr, The Providence Journal)
Meanwhile, Walter's money has been dislodged and he is now free to terrorize us.

Just think if "they" decided to put all this effort and ingenuity into doing something useful. Like disease surveillance. Of course then we'd worry they'd use it to jack up our health insurance premiums. For those of us that have health insurance, that is.