I’m talking about fees, which are proliferating like fleas on a dog’s back. Latest new gimmick to fleece with fees: our bank demands depositors maintain an average $1,000 monthly balance or suffer forfeiting a three or four-buck fee. This bit of bad news is spreading through the financial business like an uncontrolled case of shingles.
Now this isn’t going to affect us personally; we maintain a better balance than that. But it’s really going to sock the poor who live from paycheck to paycheck. Most badly-educated day laborers aren’t going to read the announcement that Regions Bank mailed us warning of its latest creative bloodsucking. They probably won’t even notice their accounts are being silently tapped from month to month.
And the automatic teller machines, what a rip-off. For ages they’ve imposed a fee if you use your ATM card at a competing bank. Char and I are careful to only swipe the card at Regions to deny them this bit of booty. Now they’ve tacked on an additional card fee if you use it to buy gas, groceries, and anything else. My personal protest to this example of chiseling is to first pick up money from the bank, then pay in cash at the store.
Char long ago tamed the credit card contagion. If she pays off the Discover account by a stated deadline we avoid interest charges. The credit card companies call us freeloaders and worse names, and we laugh … all the way to the bank. Would that we could sock the banks as hard. We got free checking when we attained age 65, but that looks like the next “free” to vanish.
I realize banks have taking a licking recently by investing their depositors’ money in bad mortgages and poor credit risks. But I do protest having to pay for their whimsical management. While I’m in an irritable mood and venting, let’s take up the subject of religion and liberalism.
When Alabama passed its recent tough-on-illegal-immigration law, there was a great squall of indignation from America’s bleeding hearts, including the American Civil Liberties Union and The Birmingham News. En masse their surrogates in Jefferson County rushed to the federal building and filed lawsuits to upset it. Among the litigious crusaders were a band of preachers and pastors whose objections, if I interpret correctly, were, a. The law was not fair, b. It was reminiscent of slavery and segregation, c. It was inhumane and irreligious, and d. They just didn’t like it.
Now I am reminded by journalists almost weekly that the judicial establishment has decreed that children praying in schools is a sore breach of the dike between church and state. It is rated a serious threat to foundations of the republic. Yet a coterie of pastors entering a suit to annul a state law is passed by with no comment by press, politicians, or litigants. It seems that the great barrier between church and state is as porous as the driven snow. If an issue benefits the liberal agenda it is declared benign and passed by in silence.
Just a week later this conclusion was underlined by a miscreant who appeared before a local court for judgment. The judge gave this sinner a choice: jail or attendance at church for a year. One would have thought hizzoner had made him choose between drawing and quartering and burning at the stake. The uproar by both the ACLU and The Birmingham News was loud, self-righteous, and sickening.
Puke-inducing would be a more accurate term.