I Feel Like President Zelensky…
However, I Am in America

Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities in 1859. He began his novel with a very long opening sentence.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Essentially, Dickens wrote about the time just prior to the French Revolution by comparing and contrasting London and Paris. A Tale of Two Citiesaddresses the class wars between the rich and the poor. Indeed, it was a time of suffering and despair, while hope and joy was also felt. The rich oppressed the poor, and their abuse of power was done to help the wealthy. Nonetheless, that was a century and half ago.

Jumping to the present, we are dealing with the House Intelligence Committee hearing testimony that Trump abused his power to get dirt on one of his potential rivals in the 2020 election. For the last couple of weeks, I have watched the hearings. Whether you wish to call Trump’s behavior quid pro quo, bribery, abuse of power, etc., it is appalling the lengths the has gone to diss the Bidens. The list of the three amigos has grown. It started with Rick Perry, Gordon Sondland, and Kurt Volker. Here are some additional amigos: Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, William Barr, Jim Jorden, Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas, and Igor Fruman.

Watching the hearings has absorbed a lot of my time. I wrote a recent essay about my crunch time. I am still teaching a couple of classes, writing essays, dealing with medical issues for Ginger and me. However, in a couple of weeks, I will be traveling to Lahore, Pakistan to visit the family of Sandy, my web administrator. Then I will fly to Yangon, Myanmar and reconnect with my family. I have all the necessary visas finally. Additionally, I have gotten all my shots and medicines for the trip. In spite of all the pressures, I am getting all my ducks lined up and in pretty good order.

When I get to Yangon, Moh Moh and I will visit some of my friends, along with her mother and her younger siblings. Then we will fly north to Taunggyi and spend about three weeks with Ko Ko, Moh Moh’s husband, and their three children. In fact, my family and I will drive to Bagan and take a balloon ride over forty square miles of Buddhist shrines. We will essentially have a family vacation traveling to a number of places in Myanmar. Our itinerary is all lined up by Moh Moh and Ko Ko. Talk about excitement.

Balloons over Bagan

I have done a lot to get ready for this vacation of a lifetime. In fact, at the beginning of the week, I went to the money exchange pictured below in my beater car with the dented back door. This is how I send money to the family in the past couple of years.

I have gone there every three months to transfer money to my family. However, Western Union blocked one of my transfers. After wasting a lot of time, I finally got the block lifted. Then several months later, it was blocked again. This time the person at the money exchange told me to call the number on my receipt, which I did. I told the customer support person at WU to go to http://wolverton-mountain.com/articles/index.html, which she did. I told her that is a photo of my family and me. I told her to click on some other sites, and she enjoyed my interest in my family. She unblocked the hold.

This week, when I tried to send my family money for the balloon ride and other vacation costs, it was blocked again. As before, the person at the money exchange told me to call the same number to WU, which I did. I told the WU person to go to the same site, etc. She refused but asked me about my relationship with the person that I wanted the money to be sent to. I said that Moh Moh and her family were my family. The WU person said to me, “Be more specific.” I repeated that they are my family. Finally, I said, “She is a friend of mine.” WU still blocked it.

In the ensuing hours, I attempted to get someone to listen to me. Finally, after emailing and calling people, I got an email from Aleksandr 072 who works in Russia as a customer support person. His email and my reply is at the bottom of this essay. You will find also an email to Patrick Morris and Tree Tam who own and operate Indochina Travel, which is located in San Francisco, CA and Tin Tin who is the owner and operator of a tour company in Myanmar. The three of them work together helping American tourists who want to plan a trip to Myanmar. They would be willing to assist me. I would send the money to Patrick and Tree, and they would electronically transfer my money Tin Tin.

However, that would require someone in Yangon in Tin Tin’s company to carry $3000 to Taunggyi. Myanmar is an emerging country, and the average person in Myanmar makes less than $1500 a year. I don’t want that person traveling north to where my family lives with that much money. Ethically, I can’t jeopardize that staff person’s safety with that amount of money. Therefore, I take the cash with me. When tourists travel to Myanmar, they must carry brand new $100 bills that aren’t folded or dirty. It is my family and my responsibility to carry that money with me, and I will.

Having said that, I feel like President Zelensky of Ukraine when he was dealing with Trump withholding the money to help Ukraine deal with the Russians. WU has put a hold on my money. They want information from me before giving the money to my family, which is an exact parallel with Trump and Zelensky.

Hey, I know how you feel.

However, when I gave WU all the information that they needed, it wasn’t enough. I will carry the money to my family, because I love my family. I have told WU that I am not money laundering. However, they don’t believe me.

What follows this essay are my recent emails with various people that work for WU and for Mr. Hikmet Ersek, CEO. If you scroll to the bottom of this list of emails you can read the emails in order starting with the first one.


This is my video to Mr. Ersek http://wolverton-mountain.com/travel/western-union.html




executiveresolutionsdept@westernunion.com; 'Patrick Morris' <patrick@indochinatravel.com>; tintin@sunbirdtours.com.mm; 'Indochina Travel {Tree Tam}' <tree@indochinatravel.com>

Dear Ms. Benavides,

I had hesitated picking up the blocked money to my family, because I had hoped that someone at WU would have helped me by now. I assure you that I will pick up the money tomorrow.

The first time that my money for my family was blocked, I emailed someone at WU. I got an email similar to yours about needing more information. I filed out the information and returned it. I got another email requesting more information. That continued again and again. I happened to find an email address to someone in your home office in the Denver area. I told the person about my family, gave her links to my webpage, etc. She unblocked my funds for my family.

The sound time this happened, the person at the store, which deals with WU told me to call the phone number on my receipt. I did. It was to some customer service person. I told her to go to my website and click on articles. I told her that the picture was of my family. I gave her other links, etc. We chatted for ten minutes and the blocked money was sent. Somewhere in some computer, you will find that recorded conversation. That person was the only WU employee that was interested in helping. She didn’t send me emails or refuse to discuss my request to release my money.

This week, I went to the same money exchange place that I have used since last year. I told the person that she will probably be told that WU will block the money. Someone at WU asked additional questions from the link to WU. Her comment was that their questions had never been asked before. She gave me the receipt and told me to call WU.

For the rest of that day, I called WU, filled out requests, and got absolutely nowhere. Several hours later, I got an email from Aleksandr 072 in Russia asking me about my problem. Scroll down to the bottom of this email, and you will find his email and my response. I haven’t heard from Aleksandr 072 since that first email.

Now, immediately under this email to you, I wrote to Moh Moh San who I consider my daughter in Myanmar. She is married to Ko Ko Zaw who I consider my son. Therefore, their three daughters are my grandchildren.

The other three people that received the email were Patrick Morris and Tree Tam who own and operate Indochina Travel located in San Francisco, CA. Tin Tin is the owner of Sun Bird Tours in Yangon, Myanmar. Patrick and Tree would forward my money to Tin Tin. Tin Tin would give it to one of her staff and would deliver it when someone would be going north to where my family live. I could have used them now, but the amount that is being blocked is $3000. I don’t want someone to have to carry that much money around with them. It is my responsibility, and it isn’t right for me to have someone else be responsible for $3000 which is twice the average person’s income in Myanmar.

Ethically, I won’t ask someone to hand deliver $3000. It is my responsibly. In a couple of weeks, I will fly from Chicago to Istanbul and change planes and fly to Lahore, Pakistan. Then I will change planes and fly to Bangkok and onto Yangon and meet Moh Moh. We will visit her mother and her brother and sister. Then we fly north to have our family reunion.

Now, to be perfectly honest with you, I’m not sure you will read this email. Nonetheless, I will pick up my blocked money tomorrow. Additionally, I will copy this email and send it via regular mail to Mr. Ersek.

One last item. I am 76-years-old. I am a retired Presbyterian pastor, and I am still teaching at a college outside of Chicago. This link is my online résumé: http://wolverton-mountain.com/mountainandme.html. I am not someone who is laundering money. However, I do love my family in Myanmar.

Thank you for reading this email.

Al Campbell


From: executiveresolutionsdept@westernunion.com
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:18 PM
To: campbell@wolverton-mountain.com
Cc: karinamaria.benavidesulloa@westernunion.com
Subject: RE: Western Union Executive Case # 78050133 [ ref:_00D15F40r._5001C1NTik3:ref]

Dear Mr. Campbell,

Furthermore to the bellow, please be advised that a refund is currently available for you to collect corresponding to MTCN_793-669-0925 in the total amount of $3,051.00 USD.

Please visit a Western Union location in IN - INDIANA and complete a ‘To Receive Money Form’ with the following details:

* Sender: ALLEN CAMPBELL

* Receiver: ALLEN CAMPBELL

* MTCN: 793-669-0925

*Amount: $3,051.00 USD

Please ensure to present a valid government issued Identification when retrieving your MTCN. If you cannot claim these funds within 30 days from the aforementioned issued date, you will need to contact us at the number referenced below in order to be issued with a new MTCN.

Sincerely,


Karina Benavides

The Western Union Executive Resolutions Team


--------------- Original Message ---------------
From: ExecutiveResolutionsDept@westernunion.com [executiveresolutionsdept@westernunion.com]
Sent: 11/20/2019 6:58 PM
To: campbell@wolverton-mountain.com
Cc: karinamaria.benavidesulloa@westernunion.com
Subject: Western Union Executive Case # 78050133 [ ]

Dear Mr. Campbell,

Western Union is writing in response to the complaint we received from you dated 11/19/2019 which was addressed to our corporate headquarters. In your complaint, you indicate that : you are currently unable to process Western Union money transfers to your family who is located in Myanmar.

Western Union could not complete your transaction at this time because we cannot verify the information you have provided regarding your transaction in order for us to comply with our legal obligations. We apologize for the inconvenience; however, we cannot provide you with any additional information regarding why your transaction was declined for legal and proprietary reasons. Western Union reviews all transactions separately and a previous decision to approve or decline a transaction does not necessarily result in a decision to approve or decline the use of Western Union’s products or services in the future.

Please be advised that Western Union has strict protocols in place to screen international transfers to reduce the incidence of fraud and corruption, based on internal and international fiduciary requirements. Sometimes these protocols will result in a legitimate transfer to be declined, and based on the information you sent us, I can see this was such a case. You obviously know the recipients involved. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused, however , please note that you are not currently permitted to send or receive funds via the Western Union Money Transfer service. Western Union’s Money Transfer Service Terms and Conditions provide that Western Union and its Agents have the right to refuse service to any person.

For this decision to be further reviewed, please complete the enclosed Consumer Questionnaire and provide the following information in writing which may or may not have been previously requested by our Compliance Department:

•    Validation of your source of income

•    Purpose of sending or receiving funds

•    Relationship to the counter parties

You may send this information via email to GCR@westernunion.com or mail it to:

Western Union Compliance Department

P.O. Box 7000

Englewood, CO 80155-7000

Please keep in mind that Western Union may request additional information, and as a result of this review process, Western Union still reserves the right to restrict your ability to transact via Western Union.

All information and documents we receive from you will remain confidential and are only for Western Union’s internal usage. We will only be able to perform your reinstatement review if all information is complete and all supporting documents are provided.

Western Union considers this case closed. If you have you have any additional questions or concerns regarding this complaint or resolution, please contact our Corporate Headquarters at 720-332-1000, and provide the Western Union Reference #: (78050133). You may also email us at ExecutiveResolutionsDept@westernunion.com.

Sincerely,

Karina Benavides

The Western Union Executive Resolutions Team

From: Al Campbell
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 11:52 AM
To: MohMoh San; Patrick Morris (Indochina Travel); Tree Tam (Indochina Travel);
tintin@sunbirdtours.com.mm Subject:


Moh Moh,

I took your advice about being polite, which you put in an email months ago about WU.

This is a copy of an email from WU...in Russia. I was polite, but, inside of me, I am not a happy.

I emailed Patrick and Tree. They work with Tin Tin, but that puts one of her staff into having to carry money up to Taunggyi. I don't want to jeopardize one of her staff. I just can't do that. If I can't get WU to send you the money, I will bring it.

When you and I get up to Taunggyi, we all will go to our favorite restaurant and have a great party. Believe me. It will be, as the kids say, a blast.

Finally, I got my visa for Pakistan.

Take care,

Allen

PS You, Ko Ko, and the girls mean a great deal to me.... I can wait to see you all. All of this nonsense with WU will fade away. We are family.


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Al Campbell <campbell@wolverton-mountain.com>
Date: Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 11:21 AM
Subject: Re: I need your help ASAP
To: WUCIS Customer <WUCIS.Customer@westernunion.ru >

Aleksandr,

I am an American professor who is returning to visit my Myanmar family. I am going to take them to visit some sites in their country...like a balloon ride in Bayan. This link will show you my family. http://wolverton-mountain.com/articles/index.html/

These links talk about the balloon ride. http://wolverton-mountain.com/articles/crunch-time.html or http://wolverton-mountain.com/articles/state-farm.html

I have sent through Western Union for the past couple of years money to help my family and recently for our trip together. However, WU has blocked my money for my family three times. The first two times were finally cleared. This week, I tried to send money for the balloon ride, hotels, etc, but WU blocked my money.

After resolving the second block, I put a private video up for only Mr. Ersek to see. Obviously, he didn't get it. http://wolverton-mountain.com/travel/western-union.html

Myanmar is a developing country. Card charges aren't used in many places in Myanmar. So, you are told to bring $100 US dollars that don't have folds, dirt, etc on them. I am being forced to bring over $3,000 that I have tried to send my family. Additionally, I will be taking a couple thousand dollars for meals, traveling in the country, buying gifts, etc.

If Mr. Ersek, your CEO, was in my shoes, he would be as irritated as I am with his staff. I spent an entire day trying to reach out for someone at WU to listen. I have gotten nowhere. I am asking you to send this email to the home office in the United States. I have wasted a great deal of time and energy trying to get WU to listen. PLEASE get this email to Mr. Ersek. The way I have been treated by WU isn't a good advertisement for WU. Imagine you being in my shoes. How would you feel? I know that you can't override the block on my money, but Mr. Ersek will be able. Please forward this email to Mr. Ersek.

Thank you,

Al Campbell

You can email or call me.... 219-310-8064



On Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 2:01 AM WUCIS Customer <WUCIS.Customer@westernunion.ru> wrote:

Dear customer,
Thank you for contacting Western Union. You've reached Russia and CIS support.
Could you please clarify your country?
Respectfully,
Aleksandr 072

Western Union Customer Care Russia and CIS


From: Al Campbell <campbell@wolverton-mountain.com>
Sent: 18 November 2019 8:29 PM
To: WUCIS Customer
Subject: I need your help ASAP

My name is Allen Campbell. I have a family in Myanmar that I support. I have sent them money through Western Union many times.

I am going to visit them in less than three weeks. I needed to send them money for a hotel and a hot air balloon ride. http://wolverton-mountain.com/articles/crunch-time.html

If you go to http://wolverton-mountain.com/articles/index.html, that is my family along with me.

I have several times had problems with sending the money. This is the link to Mr. Ersek about my problems with sending money. Also, I was asking for the Western Union Foundation for another issue.

http://wolverton-mountain.com/travel/western-union.html

Please get this email to Mr. Ersek.

Thank you.