[Hpn] Subject?We don't need no stinking subject!

Joseph Reynolds reynolds@webmail.pe.net
Tue, 05 Jun 2001 00:17:14 1

 I would have sent this earlier but my computer has been doing such interesting things. Oh yes it has thought up all sorts of new tricks in an apparent effort to keep me from passing away from ennui. It wants tm to die from massive strokes due to frustration and sheer bafflement! Like when no matter where I “went” to on the web it would only display the “this page cannot be displayed” page. For a brief moment I thought there was no one else online anywhere. Doing a system restore helped briefly then it started in again. Finally I found an error message hidden inside a new folder (!) on my desktop telling me something –I don’t know what- and after bugging Microsoft and Compaq someone suggested running a complete scandisk to fix it. (SIGH!) That took hours!!!

 	Oh yes, technology will make our lives so much easier. And I’m the king of Nepal, what to see the bullet wounds? You no longer need to worry about losing a file; you ops may be designed to accidentally delete it for you saving all that time and hassle of putting it in the wrong cabinet. And as for the paperless office – what is all that stuff all over your desk in triplicate as well as on your hard drive? Not to mention all those “outdated” floppies, darn, I mentioned them! It seems that the paper work has actually tripled to me. And these are the same schlemiels that talk about a “moneyless” society. Save up your coins folks. (‘Course they could have been talking about my bank account?). Then just wait for the interactive wired house. Oh yeah you can just see it now; first off the linux kernel fridge won’t talk to the windows me stove (bit of a hissy fit), the stove’s system keeps crashing, the ISP for the spa keeps timing the kitchen out in the middle of cooking dinner and!
 one’s helpful cousin keeps “updating” the fridge’s operating system with all sorts of stuff till there is no memory left to actually run anything beside he thinks he’s finally figured how to run Tomb Raider 2 on the stove.
	Life is good.
	Goddess but I can get off on a tangent! As it was I was going to shortly comment to the coffee klatch hearing and Mr. Tinker on “almost homeless”. My reaction is that in both cases the only thing that will make mayors and city/town councils and the clerk behind the counter understand what we and others have gone through, are going through is if it was required of them on attaining office was to not have an income and be turned out of their shelter. Wouldn’t you love to see Mayor Guiliani or Senator Clinton at any shelter in lower Manhattan or Queens not on a picture op but on line hoping for coffee and a spot to sleep? I would. 
	Here in Moreno Valley March Air Force Base is winding down. The “big” controversy is over opening an aid/shelter/training center for homeless vets and non-vets and it is violently opposed by a faction who I have come to know as having real antipathy for the homeless – and don’t even mention about mental health services to them, they go off into the stratosphere on that.  These persons engage in all sort of petty evil claiming to be liberitarians. Just folks lining their own pocket to be truthful about it. Then again the mayor in the town using that slap suit was a “green” wasn’t he? Maybe some tents are too large.
	My point is that these folks are going to understand or truly care or do anything until they face it in their lives, until they are scared it is them now! Don’t think they will be concerned if it is their kids, siblings or parents. If family was “the cure” it would be over already; most families are the cause.
	Of course this sounds so hopeless then and it ain’t, I’m fighting my own inner demons on this and working against depression so it all come out dark.
	I tried sending the URL for this but the CNN email-this wouldn’t respond (ah, technology) so I’m doing a cut and paste.Make of it what you will, it makes me a little hopeful but I always wanted to be a Borrible.
High-tech shantytown mushrooms in Madrid
June 1, 2001 Posted: 9:56 AM EDT (1356 GMT)

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Beneath the tall, glistening office towers and government ministries, an unlikely camp of protesters has built a high-tech shantytown, complete with pirated utilities and computer access. 
The nearly half-mile (one kilometer) long cluster of blue tarpaulin coverings and clapboard shacks has become a familiar sight to millions of commuters driving by on the Castellana boulevard since the first tents went up in January. The residents have pirated their electricity from underground road sensors, the water is tapped from city mains. 
But the new guys on the tree-lined median of Madrid's central artery are not typical squatters. 
They are skilled engineers and technicians, formerly employed by Sintel Telecommunications, a Spanish telecom company that filed for bankruptcy protection in 2000. A move many of the squatters blame on alleged mismanagement at the hands of a U.S. cable installation firm. 
With a mixture of ingenuity and tenacity, the workers have transformed their claim to $10 million in unpaid wages and refusal to accept forced resignations into a national issue. 
"We're not going anywhere until our demands are met, even if it takes years," said Joaquin Dominguez, a former fiber optic network manager and local union organizer from the southern city of Malaga. 
He placed his hand on a shopping cart filled with softball-sized rocks and said: "If they come to evict us we'll be ready." 
Municipal authorities don't appear willing to risk a violent confrontation between the police and protesters. And the squatters have drawn the support of workers across the city. 
Now a bustling village
El Campamento de Esperanza (The Camp of Hope) is now a village of about 1,200 inhabitants, with libraries, bars, hot showers and cafeterias serving daily meals. 
Workers have furnished their shacks with rebuilt televisions, video players, microwave ovens and computers recovered from garbage heaps around the city. 
"The days are very long and you have to keep yourself busy," said Jose Maria Casado, who used to install cellular antennas. 
After stirring an enormous cauldron of white beans and chorizo sausages, Miguel Rastrojo, a line maintenance worker, opened a closet stocked with rice, canned vegetables and cured pork legs hanging on hooks. 
"I used to watch my wife cook and picked up a few things," Rastrojo said as he made dinner for his neighbors and a local firefighting company that had contributed to the food stock. Neighborhood bakeries and butcher shops have also donated food. 
Workers say the demise of Sintel, which had subsidiaries throughout Latin America, began after it was sold for $40 million in 1996, the same time the government began to privatize Telefonica, Spain's then government-owned telephone company. 
The buyer was Miami-based Mastec, headed at the time by late Cuban-American political leader Jorge Mas Canosa, who had ties to Spain's conservative Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. 
Mismanagement allegations
According to union leaders, the Mas Canosa family mismanaged the company, neglecting to diversify activities and plundering its assets. Two years later, Mastec sold the firm to Sintel's current managing director Carlos Gila for $2 and assumption of a debt that now totals $102 million. 
"They took everything and left us with nothing," said Casado. Next to his shack hung a poster of Che Guevara, the symbol of Marxist insurgency and early ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. 
Mastec is also in court with former Delaware-based partner Artcom Technologies over the alleged siphoning of $ 6 million from a former Sintel subsidiary in Puerto Rico. 
In a statement, Mastec chairman Jorge Mas Santos said his company tried to diversify Sintel, but accused Telefonica of violating the sale terms by canceling its orders with Sintel, which "was heavily dependent on Telefonica." 
Telefonica spokesman Alberto Martinez said that the 1996 sale price was low, but he said that Telefonica did what seemed best, noting that at the time Mastec was expanding and its shares were soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. 
"Sintel didn't have a very bright future in our hands," he said. "So we decided to sell it at a very cheap price." 
In March, Spanish anti-corruption prosecutors launched an investigation into the sale. Last month, government representatives began negotiations with Sintel management over the fate of the workers. 
The Sintel squatters have vowed to remain until the government intervenes to guarantee their jobs and forces Telefonica to settle a multimillion dollar debt to the firm, which would cover their unpaid salaries. 
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
        Zen hugs -  Jos