T-Mobile – Please Port My Phone

After many calls, emails, and letters, I think I understand why T-Mobile won’t agree to port my phone number, even though Congress says it shall and the small phone company who has the number can’t refuse and doesn’t have an exemption.

Problem: I live in a remote section of southern Utah where cell service is all roaming and T-Mobile does not have a porting agreement with the local carrier. Why? Because we are not in their service area. Okay, but you provide me and others in town with cell service. In fact, it’s the most reliable of all the carriers.

Solution: I need T-Mobile to initiate a porting agreement with South Central Communications in Escalante, Utah.

Background: South Central Communications used to provide cell service but shut down their system and sold their tower in 2012. This co-op based company is “locally owned and operated” but forgot what local meant when they shut off the tower.

When they quit providing cell service they told us they “sold that portion of the company to Verizon”, then it was they recommended you transfer your cell service to Verizon. However, Verizon could not provide the same level of service because they wouldn’t buy the tower and couldn’t provide the service. After they got us roped into expensive agreements you could not rely on having phone service, including our Ambulance/EMT providers.

I filed an FCC complaint requesting Verizon let us out of our contracts without buyouts and we’d find another way to solve our phone needs. They argued with us until I finally asked the man from corporate to log on to their own website and click on the page that allows potential customers to get service and put in our zip code of 84726. What did it tell you? Sorry, we don’t provide service in your area. No duh, nor does anyone else, because of the tower issue, we’re all on roaming. We understand that, so a large number of us went back to landlines.

We’ve closed our brick and mortar retail operation and gone mobile but I can’t take my phone with me. T-Mobile will not port my business phone from South Central because there is no agreement. The suggested resolution from South Central Staff – get a number with Verizon and port it there and then port it to T-Mobile. Sorry, that still won’t solve the problem.

South Central Dir of Sales and Service told me it is not in their best interest to port numbers and won’t without an agreement but it’s T-Mobile’s responsibility to initiate an agreement. The staff in the Number Transfer Center at T-Mobile slipped and told me I’m not in their service area so they don’t have an agreement, but South Central must release the line.

Clive Bundy – The Newest David and Goliath

I Love “David and Goliath; Undergods, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants” by Malcolm Gladwell. I first became aware of Mr. Gladwell and his book through a “60 Minutes” segment about him. His comment about those that experience extreme life experiences becoming indifferent to many things was what captured my attention. Maybe my indifference to others minor “daily drama’s” was normal.

His explanations to support his thesis are complete and well documented, as you would expect from such a seasoned writer. But the ease of reading makes this educational and spell binding. And, it’s one of the best examples of how to write books on sociology without boring your reader. Whether it’s in the main text, foot notes, or chapter notes, Mr. Gladwell is constantly is having a “conversation” with you.

What struck me most during my reading was the similarities between the events shared in Part Three: The Limits of Power and the principles of Legitimacy and the BLM’s handling of Clive Bundy in Nevada (also known as the Cattle Battle). The statement “when the law is applied in the absence of legitimacy, it does not product obedience. It produces the opposite” was clearly in play when the Government decided to confiscate Mr. Bundy’s cattle in payment for grazing fees he has never paid. Clive Bundy’s fight and the inclusion of the militia resulted in the same possible outcomes – more military – arrest Bundy – slaughter the cattle.

As Mr. Gladwell stated, “Power has an important limitation. It has to be seen as legitimate, or else its use has the opposite of its intended effect”. That was clearly the case in Nevada. Average Americans didn’t have a vision of the BLM, Forest Service or National Park Service Rangers as thugs, cops, or law enforcement. They viewed them as helpers, guides, and resource managers. It would be interesting to survey citizens to assess any chang in opinions on these “rangers” after watching the poorly managed, armed conflict in Nevada. “Force without legitimacy leads to defiance, not submission” was clearly in place and the BLM has now backed itself into a corner it will be hard to come out of.

New attempts to resolve the situation are now using the age-old political tactic – if your argument isn’t good enough to sway voters attack your opponent personally. The recent press on Mr. Bundy’s sons’ battles with the law are an attempt to sway public opinion back to the government by discrediting his reputation in hopes that his support group will leave him. But this also supports Mr. Gladwell’s statement “the powerful are not as powerful as they seem – nor the weak as weak”.

The BLM’s attempt for compliance did not appear to have legitimacy at a time when the average western citizen is feeling repressed by government oversight and mandates. If this was an ordinary citizen having a good old fashioned range war with their neighbor western rules would apply. Get out the gun, gather up the men and take back what is rightfully yours. But it isn’t, it is the U.S. Government that put together a posse to round up the bad guy, take what they want, and torch the house before you leave to show who’s powerful – at least that’s what it looked like on the nightly news. But Mr. Bundy is old, seasoned, and clearly feels he has nothing to lose. So Mr. Bundy can be a Trickster and use his unexpected freedom that comes from having nothing to lose. The trickster gets to break the rules, and he did. Now the BLM has to find a way to become “legitimate”.

Thanks, Mr. Gladwell for helping me put this into words through your great book.

Until next time – – – –

Garfield County School District, UT – Usage Fees run amuck!!!

When school districts forget about people and become just another government agency they need reminders like this.  I wrote this at the request of Jason Porter.  I hope it helps.
Garfield County School District
Superintendent: ben.dalton@garfk12.org
cc:  Business Administrator: kevin.orton@garfk12.org
cc:  School Board Rep: kenp@scinternet.net
 
I salute you in your efforts to standardize the building rental policy and procedures in an attempt to obtain fairness and equality.  That works in urban districts where the environments are equal.  It does not work in districts with isolated communities.
 
Small rural districts have unique challenges because of limited resources, volunteers and funding.  This requires partnerships with cities, businesses, and volunteers.  Escalante has always stepped up to those challenges.
 
When Fire Station #1 was built in Town Center Park it displaced the “ball park”.  The school district partnered with the volunteers and allowed unused and undeveloped property to be developed for the purpose of a “ball park” for the bantom league.  There was, to my knowledge, no discussion about fees, etc.,  it was a community effort.  When Potato Valley Lions Club donated $750 for materials to build the dugouts, there was no discussion of usage fees.  When the business community donated  time and equipment to level the field, install fencing, and grade an access road, there was no mention of fees.  And when efforts by members of various organizations helped the district lay water pipe for irrigation water, they didn’t ask to get paid.
 
I believe you need to revisit your decision regarding the excessive, on-going fees that are being proposed for use of the “community field”.  Liability insurance needs to be provided by those using the field, but in good faith the school board needs, in my opinion, to recognize the hundreds of dollars of in-kind work and other funds and allow use of the field by the bantom program for a set amount of time without additional fees.  It should not be forever, but it should be fair.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Jana Hassett,
Past President – Potato Valley Lions Club
Escalante Business Owner

“Canceling Policies was Built Into Obamacare”

A month or so ago my youngest daughter called,  her insurance company had cancelled her because of Obamacare.  She has some major health issues and getting cancelled was very scarey.  What if she couldn’t get another policy?  Was the coverage the same? How expensive would it be?  Should she just pay the penalty?  All good questions, but I had no answers.  She had spent hours trying to get into healthcare.gov, to no avail.  What now?
She ultimately decided to go ahead and sign up for the new policy at higher premiums just to be sure she had coverage, but she was not happy about the hit to her budget.
The President is now so concerned about his credibility that he’s willing to “allow” insurance companies to sell the old policies, but he has no authority to alter the terms of the law, only Congress can do that.  But just what the emporer wants, nothing more and nothing less.  He knows the right answer, even if he never asked the right questions.
This week’s Bloomberg Business article on page 37 tells the truth, the part President Obama doesn’t want to tell – Cancelling policies was built into Obamacare – or the insurance companies weren’t interested in playing.
As the article states, “In Obamacare’s central bargain, insurance companies agreed to stop turning people away or charging them more for costly health conditions in exchange for everyone buying a minimum level of coverage.”  Plain and simple, more Robinhood.  We’ll take from the rich and take care of the poor.  That only works in fables.  Once Americans realized they were going to pay for coverage they didn’t need, want and couldn’t afford the President’s credibility dropped like a rock.  And since that’s more important than what happens to average, hard-working Americans, he’s trying to get it fixed.
Frankly, I don’t see Congress playing along.  Because the President is just playing more politics instead of concentrating on policies.  It saddens me to watch Pres. Obama continually downgrade the creditbility of our country.  His lack of ability to create and enforce policy and procedures and hold people accountable is pitiful and a disgrace to all those who came before us to work hard to establish the credibility of our Country.
All these outcomes from his failed leadership will come back to haunt our Children and Grandchildren.  His election was a popularity contest, not a discussion about his ability to lead and that’s what voters got – not policy, not procedures, not accountability.  So now that the country wants to hold him accountable he hasn’t a clue what to do.  How about admitting that all the President had to do in 2009 was tell the truth.  As Bloomberg’s article ended – “The Bottom Line – Months ago the administration hinted that some health plans would be canceled but played it down.”
As for the end result – will it be better as they claim?  We won’t know that for many years.  But be prepared to pay more for health care, have more restrictions on what kind of care the insurance companies will pay for and how often you can have your drugs.  That’s all going to be determined by Obamacare.

Control or Leadership?

Control

  • – to exercise authoritative or dominating influence over
  • – to have power over
  • – to direct the behavior of

Leadership

  • a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”

In psychology, Control Freak is a slang term that refers to a person who attempts to dictate how everything around them is done – usually those with Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder.  Judith Orloff, MD,in her new book “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life”  describes it as a person “who feels out of control and tends to become controllers.  Deep down, they’re afraid of falling apart, so they micromanage to bind anxiety”.  You can read her blog post at Psychology Today.

Compare that to the definition of leadership and the key word becomes accomplishment. Unless control is your ultimate goal and not  problem resolution, I guess you could say thats leadership. I don’t believe most Americans believe that. I believe they want leadership from their members of Congress and the US Senate, but most of all from President Obama.  Years of standing at a podium lecturing on legal issues and topics of the day have left him believing his title as Commander In Chief does not require compromise, discussion, or accomplishments.  All he seems to understand at this point is “a red line in the sand”.  Add  535 Members of Congress and the Senate and you get a recipe for the very disfuction we’re living through now.  Control – not leadership.

After 11 years of working in a Congressional office I know first hand the difference between control and leadership.  For instance, a CBS reporter asked Senate Pres. Reid if he has walked across the building or made any attempt to communicate with House Speaker Boehner.  His answer after he hemmed and hawwed for over a minute, with a smile was “I have done what I was asked to do”.  That is control not leadership.

So what was he asked to do and by whom?  One can only surmise it must be the head of the Democrats, President Obama.  Control is more important than accomplishments for the good of the people.   Directing the outcome has priority over resolution

.In United States history, the degree to which the President’s political party has control over the House of Representatives and Senate often determines his political strength – such as the ability to pass sponsored legislation, ratify treaties, and have Cabinet members and judges approved.  Moreover, it appears to have a strong effect on presidential popularity and historical ranking, especially in conjunction with years served and number of elections won.

With control over the Senate and 2 years with the House you would expect to see more accomplishments by this administration than there are.  And if POTUS spent 1/3 of the time he spends running around the country campaigning for one issue or another working with ALL members of congress he might learn how to lead so that others would follow!  I’m afraid he always gets out so far out in front he leaves himself open to get his tail end kicked – and the country with it.  How was President Clinton able to accomplish a great deal for our country without total control – he knew what leadership required.

At this rate, nothing is going to get resolved anytime soon unless Senator Reid and President Obama figure out what Leadership is.  They might look to Speaker Boehner for help.  You may not like what he’s doing, but he is leading.  So, maybe Michael Reagan is right – just wait.  By the first of the year the American people will recognize that Speaker Boehner is the only leader and they’ll be willing to follow.  You can read his article here.

PS.    Congressman DeFazio just sent via Facebook a list of agencies currently open.  Here it is:

Passports
Visas
Citizenship and Immigration Services
Veterans’ benefits and services
Active duty military members and families benefits and services
Customs and Border Protection
Patents and Trademarks
Social Security applications and appeals
IRS extensions, payments
Transportation Security Administration
Student Loans
FEMA
Overseas travel
Affordable Care Act implementation
Federal retirement services, disability claims
Workers compensation (federal)
Postal Service
Small business disaster assistance
Military Academies
Unemployment benefits