Posts tagged Gitmo

Things that make me angry #2

Karl Rove gave me a birthday present.  Awwww, how sweet:

Instead, Democrats want to spend $88 billion to increase the federal share of Medicaid. What American will be hired by a small business, factory, retail shop, hotel, restaurant or service company because of this spending? The answer is very few.

In H.R. 1, there’s $41 billion set aside for school districts, $1.5 billion for university research grants, $2 billion for Energy Department labs, and $3 billion for the National Science Foundation. Yet education is one of the few sectors that added jobs last year.

There’s also $4 billion for health programs like obesity control and smoking cessation, $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $462 million for the Centers for Disease Control, and $900 million for pandemic flu preparations. Health care also added jobs last year.

Dear Karl Rove.  I know we disagree on fundamental things, like education, the effectiveness of torture, your hair, and little things like judicial process.

All this I can understand and somewhat enjoy, as it provides me such bountiful fodder to mock.  But here I am actually somewhat befuddled.  In almost one breath you mock the stimulus plan for not creating jobs… and then point out that it’s giving money to industries which create jobs?  I mean, we’re not talkin’ greedy corporations here, we’re talking about two of the most underfunded industries we have (just ask anyone who is a) a teacher, b) a student or c) an ER intern with $280,000 of debt).   Screw them anyways, capitalism only works when power is amassed in a few monopolies and oligopolies anyways.  And yet… let’s not give money to larger projects like, oh, hospitals and research labs which are, oh, you know, growing?

No, no. Screw moving forward in industry and the global market game. Let’s just fund the rickshaw industry instead.  ‘Cuz I hear there’s a high demand for American-made rickshaws.

Uh….

Don’t get me wrong, this stimulus bill isn’t perfect. I’ll admit that I’m somewhat of a dork and have read a good portion of the 647 pages of the bill the house passed (Sidenote: NASA would get $2mil for oversight. Dude. Seriously. We’ve got to start respecting NASA again. SCIENCEYAY!), and this is a lot like a “Kitchen Sink” bill.  But really… that’s because a lot of this “Kitchen Sink” stuff creates jobs, both short and long term.

No, giving money to the National Parks and the NEA doesn’t put people into retail jobs… until you realize that someone has to be working in the shops and hotels near Yellowstone, which itself can improve its roads, trails, and marketing to attract tourists (and provide jobs for [people in doing so).  And if I’m not mistaken, tourism… helps the economy, is it?

The public is looking for something so shockingly grotesque in dollar amount that they feel slightly more secure in spending money again.  Remember when $700 Billion seemed like a made up number 3 months ago? Oooh times. How changed you are.  Oooh economy. How cyclical you are.

And education (Pell Grants)?  Really? We’re really going to beat up on education for getting money?  Because deargodknows education neva’ did nothin’ fo’ noone in gettin’ dem jobs.  No one will ever open a small business if they can access education!!!  HEALTH CARE?! Screw funding both healing people and creating jobs in one swoop. I suppose if we just let everyone die (especially poor people) it’s like natural selection, right?

No, Karl Rove, you’re right.  Let’s bail out those poor CEO’s making $10mil a year.  I do weep for them. How draconian.

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I’m fairly certain Alaska Digitel hates me.

Alaska Digitel and I are in a fight. Not a smack-down, pudding-throwing, carnival-style tickle fight, but one where I would enjoy taking Alaska Digitel’s entire customer service department and personally rocketshipping them to Pluto, and stomping on their collective face while screaming, “EAT IT, FUCKTARDS!”

Or something slightly wittier. And eloquent. And pertinent.

I had this brilliant inspiration last March while I was in Juneau to sign up for a Lifeline $1-a-month cell phone. For a mere $1 a month, I would no longer be tethered to the weakling landline in our house, but could instead bring my partners in conversation with me on vast journeys.  Naturally, being Alaska, I’d still have to use a calling card to call long distance, but… well, at least I was freed from the confines of the dark indoors.

I know, it seems a shame to pay any money to have the ability to walk outside, but those who question my logic have never been to Juneau on a sunny day. The idea of being stuck inside while the world taunts you in one of its few moments of glory is sadistic.  Masochistic. It’s just cruel to have to choose between taking advantage of the few moments your schedule allots you with friends and loved ones or the few moments Mother Nature allots you with natural sunlight in a temporal rain forest.

Hence the choice to spend precious dollars of my $80/month towards a cell phone that doesn’t naturally dial long distance.

Anywhoodle.

Fast forward to January, where I’ve now been fighting with Alaska Digitel for 4 months, trying to cancel my service. I have spoken with Carmen – who I am convinced is 1 of only 2 people who work in Customer Service at AK Digitel – no less than 5 times. I have faxed a copy of my Chicago lease to prove that I no longer am eligible for this service 3 times. I have even sent THEM a copy of their! own! bill! which they sent to me. And yet, still, I receive a notice informing me that I not only have a balance due, but it is now more than 30 days overdue and will soon be sent to collections.

Ergo, as the non-saga drags on, I melodramatically call Carmen once more to inform her of the situation, and to actually beg her to disconnect my service (which doesn’t work Down South anyhow), and remove any traces of charges from my account. Naturally, when Carmen answers the CS Dept. phone this time, she puts me on hold to check out my story, so that I can enjoy the blissful music of elevators for a full 10 minutes.

And this is when I decide that:

a) AK Digitel hates me, and

b) AK Digitel has developed a brilliant plan.

Because not only does AK Digitel have elevator music on their Hold station, but they have it on a station which IS NOT PROPERLY TUNED. I don’t know what is wrong with this station, or if the AK Digitel headquarters is perhaps on some sort of moving van that goes in and out of radio service which makes the music on said elevator station not so much ‘discernible’ as it is actually ‘half-to-three-fourths ear-wrenching fuzz.’   Which is fun. Like Chinese water torture.

On the other hand, while sitting with the phone as far away from my ear as possible whilst still close enough that I would hear the sultry tones of Carmen’s voice, I realized the brilliance of this solution: If AK Digitel can keep people on Chinese-music-torture hold for an indefinite period of time, eventually customers will become so enraged or ill at the music-fuzz that they will break and hang up the phone, deciding that sacrificing a few dollars a month was worth it to maintain their sanity.

In this case though, I called their bluff, and like the patient who pesters the squeaky Insurance Company to approve their claim, I persevered in the end. Righteousness Triumphs!  Mwahahaandallthat.

Perhaps this is Sarah Palin’s way of torturing me for moving down south and removing my meager monetary value from Alaska.

In other news, perhaps I have been reading too much about Gitmo lately….

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