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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, January 02, 2019 1:00 am


Gathering of presidents reminder of our issues

It is disturbing to me that America is celebrating George H.W. Bush as a paragon of civility, a crafted transformation of the man from a ruthless political operative into everyone's grandpa. In his political career, H.W. was involved in disruptive covert operations in Third World countries, was nicknamed the “vice president of Saudi Arabia” for his obeisance to oil interests, and together with Ronald Reagan engineered the primacy of the financial community over the manufacturing and labor segments of our economy.

Sitting and former presidents attended the church service in his honor, supposedly adding to the sanctity and reverence of the ceremony. Proceeding down the pew, one encountered Trump, an inveterate liar and con-man; Obama, who lacked the courage to enact the mandate for change  he received in '08; “Dubya,” a complete clown; Clinton, who diminished the role of the Democratic Party's political base, workers, minorities and progressives, and invited in Republicans disgruntled with the racism and violence of their own party; and Carter, the only president of the group who asked Americans to make a sacrifice, even if it was only lowering the thermostat a couple of degrees and putting on a sweater, for which he was mockingly derided.

If there is any good to be derived from this event, it is to realize that it was merely a showcase to provide a feel-good experience for general consumption. Climate change, health care, civil rights, a just wage for work and an end to our constant warring are some of the major issues afflicting our society. I hope the latest feel-good treatment doesn't distract our attention from addressing them.

Chester Baran

Fort Wayne

Oyster Bar's generosity added to holiday joy

YWCA Northeast Indiana would like to thank Steve and Brenda Gard for generously donating a festive dinner from The Oyster Bar for all of our clients to enjoy at their holiday party on Dec. 19.

Melissa Wright

YWCA Northeast Indiana

Outsmart purveyors of annoying robocalls

Do you like these robocalls where nobody is there when you answer? By deductive reasoning, I think I have figured out the answer and hopefully the cure to this ever-increasing problem.

At the inception of the internet and probably still today, you would receive an email warning you that your computer could be infected with a virus. If you were gullible enough to open that email, sure enough it would be because while you were reading their warning in detail they were behind the scenes infecting your computer. How could one ever find a better way to sell their product?

Fast forward to today's marketplace. If we could develop an app that would use a computer to call any phone number at random then hang up and not give the receiver of that call any options, then we could market a product that the customer could purchase – or better yet rent for a monthly fee – to overcome our annoying calls. In the advertising world, this is called genius.

How do we overcome this annoyance? It is a free app on mobile phones, but it is not available for free on a landline phone – which many of us still use. So here might be two ways to do this on our landlines.

One way is to go online, look up the companies that sell these landline block-out robocall features and return the favor by just sitting down and calling them daily. When they answer, say nothing or, I think, laughing in the phone would be better. The second way is for us to call our landline providers (which are disappearing faster than the inner-city pigeon did) and tell them to do something about this annoying activity they are providing or your landline is also going the way of the pigeons.

Herb Fuller

Fort Wayne