Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Monday, October 1, 2018

An open letter to Rand Paul

George E. Schwarz

Oct. 1, 2018

Randal H. Paul M.D.
200 Lakeside Way
Bowling Green KY 42103

Dear Rand:

I am a retired journalist who also has a master’s in hospital administration. I am also an unabashed liberal/progressive who finds the Republic Party repugnant. I always find it amusing that mostly males with medical degrees think that education confers on them expertise in other areas. And,
frankly, it also amuses me how members of the United States Senate also believe how superior they a are and think they know so much as well; and, the arrogance that they think they are leaders instead of seeing themselves as public servants. Senators have traditionally referred to the Senate as the greatest deliberative body in the world. After last week, the Republicans shameful behavior on the Judiciary Committee puts lie to that tradition and shows your colleagues McConnell, Grassley and Graham to be no better than the two-bit political hack that is Brett Kavanaugh.

That said, however, I was not amused at your tweet that asserted publishing home addresses of senators was an attempt to incite violence and endanger them and their families. The reality is that you and your 99 other politicos in the senatorial sewer have ignored your constituents for years — unless, of course, there are large campaign contributions. How else are we to get your attention than to bypass the obstacles designed to make real dialogue with “the little people” impossible. Further, and this is hugely important, publishing information from public sources is not illegal. Your call for an investigation and punishing people for legal acts protected by the First Amendment shows you’re stupid, chicken and willing to back Cadet Bone Spurs’ and Putin’s slow moving coup.

You’re correct that “(T)here is too much hatred and violence in politics these days.” Look at the eight years that President Barack Obama endured all the hatred, posters of lynching, references to him and the First Lady as monkeys and worse. Trump and your friends and allies are fomenting the violence. That came from your side of the aisle. Trump and his campaign was part of it and continued inciting violence as he and his Nazi friends killed Heather Heyer. It was Trump who incited people to attack reporters at his rallies. It was Trump who attacked a Gold Star family. It was Trump who ridiculed a disabled reporter. And, Grassley’s, Graham’s and Kavanaugh’s display at last week’s hearings were violence provoking. Just look at their lying faces. So spare me and the Twitterverse your self-righteous crap and posturing.
I am glad I published the home addresses I did. The repression of voters, especially those poor and of color, the gerrymandering of districts, the lies on the campaign trail, the demonizing of basic civil rights and hiding behind an infrastructure that protects you from all but those have bought and own you — we see through that and we plan to bring you to account. If you won’t hear us in the Halls of the Capitol, you’ll hear us in the street. Unlike your Orange-Faced friend in the White House, I haven’t advocated any violence.

You, however, are continuing to lie about it. Good Christians/Presbyterians don’t do that. Why do you?


Copies to:

208 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
By fax: (202) 228-6917

1029 State Street, Bowling Green, KY 421012652
By fax: (270) 782-8315

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The ghosts of Mark & Carly - HP in the toilet again

June 25, 2018

Dion J. Weisler, President, CEO & Director
HP, Inc.
1501 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, California 94304

Dear Dion,

I realize there is an electronic way to contact you from an HP page, but I will not agree to the terms and conditions and I believe there is a certain symmetry to contact you about a printer problem the old-fashioned way — in writing.

It seems to me has an HP customer since 2001, your printer business has been inconsistent. My first HP printer, a DeskJet 832C, performed admirably for many years until my stupidity of buying an Office Depot cartridge ruined it. That was only three years ago, so that gives you the kind of quality your printers had until Carly Fiorina and Mark Hurd took over the company. Then became the era of inferior products, lousy tech support and an entire company devoted to the “customer go to hell” attitude.

After those two miscreants disappeared, HP clawed its way up hill and offered a near return to its former glory. I worked with several HP support people in the past and they came through for me and redeemed your company in my eyes. This was particularly important for business reasons; as a personal user, perhaps less so although I don’t really believe that.

So, in that context I returned to the HP fold and subsequently purchased an Envy 7640. However, “better” became the enemy of excellent and forced firmware updates have now turned what was a pleasant user experience into a time suck nightmare. The firmware update, which was not optional and therefore what I believe to be an involuntary product modification and a violation of the product I purchased, now fails to keep the printer available to my computer via the wireless connection. The firmware update also forces the printer to sleep after 15 minutes instead of staying awake indefinitely which has affected the wireless access for my main computer.

And so, I can only conclude that HP has spiraled back down into the maw of mediocrity and essentially driven me back to a printer firm that never gave me problems — Epson. The tech support now is back offshore with people who can neither right nor speak American English well enough to provide support. They are haughty and insensitive.

I acknowledge that some of your folks and tried to make this good and offered me $125 credit, but the Envy 7640 still malfunctions and as a result I have to ask why I should take advantage of a credit with the company that has deteriorated once again. Have enclosed as much documentation as I have. And, not surprisingly, it took two hours to reinstall the printer on Ethernet to print this letter and the documentation.

It is my belief that you really won’t see this letter because the American executive class has been imbued with a quantitative outlook. It is my hope that the corporate culture from Australia might open the door for you to address this more personally.

I doubt you will answer me and I challenge you to do so.