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My Love for AT&T Grows

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For those of you who’ve been following my blog, I don’t need to explain my love for big corporations like AT&T. For those of you who just started following my blog or stumbled upon it in some Google-crazed click-a-thon, let me explain. In my opinion, large corporations are designed to efficiently suck money out of your pocket. That’s it. They do not exist to provide service. They do not exist to produce a product. The name of the game is relieving you from as much money as possible.

So, my local telephone carrier is AT&T. On Sunday I had a dial tone, but could not dial out and nobody could call in. So, on my cell phone, I called AT&T. I went through the automated menu and finally spoke to a real person (initially, I went to the Internet and after clicking through several screens and supplying the prerequisite information, which they should already have had, the AT&T website told me that they were unable to complete my request over the Internet and that I needed to call AT&T). The operator assured me that my phones will be turned back on by Wednesday. That was on Sunday. I’m not sure about you, but to me this seems like an unreasonably long period of time to be without your home phone. So, I did what I think everybody tries to do, which is to expedite service.

Fast-forward to this morning. I get a call from AT&T telling me that my phone service is back on. Hooray! (more…)

By |2013-07-08T21:55:08-04:00July 8th, 2013|Corporate Wrongs|Comments Off on My Love for AT&T Grows

What if the Tea Party were Black?

I think that this is a legitimate question. Hell, with Beck’s craziness, Hannity almost sounds sane. (JJP had a nice piece on this yesterday.)

Now, let’s see what Tim Wise had to say about this. This gets good:

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure – the ones who are driving the action – we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama. (more…)

By |2010-07-15T00:34:57-04:00July 15th, 2010|Congress, Obama administration, Party Politics, Race|6 Comments

Let's keep our eyes on the ball

Today the Senate should vote on the economic stimulus package. The bill isn’t close to everything that we need, but it is something. I wrote the following for a local journal.


As I was growing up, in Texas, I began taking tennis lessons that a local tennis court. I remember the tennis pro saying over and over again, “keep your eye on the ball.” He was right. I tended to look away from the ball before I made contact. As we continue to debate this economic stimulus package, I would humbly suggest that we keep our eyes on the ball.

The purpose of this stimulus package is to put people to work. In November and December our economy shed over a million jobs. Just in the last two weeks we’ve heard of job cuts from Wall Street darlings — Starbucks and Microsoft. Auto sales for Ford dropped 40% in the month of January. Remember, Ford is the American manufacturer that is “doing well.” Almost every sector in our economy is faltering.

Over the last 30 years we’ve been told that the government is not the solution. I think we have to throw out this type of ideology if were going to come up with a solution that is going to help everyone. Frank Rich, New York Times columnist, recently noted “in March 1933, Hoover and Roosevelt acolytes had forgotten to be Republicans or Democrats as they urgently tried to rescue their country.” Well, we don’t have to worry about Republicans and Democrats holding hands and singing. Republicans have continually tried to stuff every kind of tax cut and tax break into this bill. We’ve tried tax cuts. President Bush in 2003 past tax cuts and promised millions of jobs. Using the White House’s own estimates they fell 3.1 million jobs short. Tax cuts do not work to create jobs. Jobs is the name of the game. We have to keep our eye on the creation of jobs.

Most economists agree that we can approach this economic problem in one of two ways. One road will lead us out of this economic disaster and the other road will lead us closer and closer to our second Great Depression. Herbert Hoover and his advisers cut government spending and tried to balance the budget. They tightened monetary policy and believed in survival of the fittest. This worsened an already terrible job market. People without jobs stopped spending and removed any money they may have had from financial institutions. This caused more banks to collapse and caused people without jobs to tighten their belts even further thus perpetuating the cycle.

The other approach is the one that President Barack Obama is trying to take now. He wants the government to spend money. He wants to invest in projects that put people to work. If people are working and making money, they will begin to spend money.  Spending money will in turn help small businesses in the local community. The small businesses will begin to spend money and sign contracts with larger businesses. Both the small and large businesses will begin to hire more people. Now this is a perpetuating a cycle that we want to perpetuate. We must invest in infrastructure. By fixing crumbling roads, bridges, water treatment plants, updating the sewer systems and modernizing the electrical grid we will create millions of jobs. This is a start at repairing our broken economy. There are other things that we need to fix. The banking system needs to be fixed. The brokerage house system needs to be re-created and fixed. (There are no major brokerage houses left.) Hedge funds need to be regulated. But, the most important piece of this whole puzzle, the piece we must keep our eye on, is putting Americans to work at a fair wage. If we can’t do that, then we’re headed towards a Great Depression and everyone better hang on because this ride is going to get very bumpy.

Psst. Do not tell anybody but with more and more people out of work it becomes more imperative that we fix health care. I just thought that I would add this because almost no one is talking about health care.

By |2009-02-10T00:03:43-04:00February 10th, 2009|Economy, Obama administration, Party Politics|Comments Off on Let's keep our eyes on the ball
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