Happy New Year 2017 to all.
Last September, I visited my friend Mokrane who lives north of Chicago to celebrate his 60th birthday. He and I go a long way back: We attended the Technical High School of Dellys from 1993 until 1976. After high school, we were awarded national scholarships to study engineering at Tulane University. Now, we both live in Illinois, and we see each other often.
Mokrane cherished his cultural and language ties to Kabylia. When my wife arrived at his place, the first thngs Mokrane showed me were his fig trees in the backyard. Unfortunately, there were less than two feet tall because of the long and cold winter weather in Chicago. He indicated that he usually bring them indoor during winter. Mokrane and I I share the love of figs and fig trees. Read my experience with figs in business class.
This morning, on my local newspaper, I see a picture of the American First Lady, Michelle Obama, tending to a fig tree, just like my friend Mokrane. That made me wonder whether her DNA would indicate some ancestry in North Africa.
A phone rings at the white house. Lifting the device, a man answers:
- Howdy! This is the president. What's the urgency? If it is Bin Laden that wants to surrender, tell him it is too late. I want him dead.
- No, Mr. President it is even more urgent.
- I know it, with America striking back, our bombs have destroyed another food warehouse in Afghanistan. I know I already told our military to be very careful. Our bombs cost a lot of money. We cannot afford missing targets.
- No, Mr. President, it is not Afghanistan. By the way, our media are obeying our orders. The American public does not see pictures of the civilian casualties. But it is not that
- What is it then? Don't tell that the airline industry is requesting an additional bailout of the next terrorist attack.
- No, Mr. President. The airlines are busy with the money they have demanded. But it is not about.
-Is it V.P. Cheney? Did he have another heart attack? Btw, he is doing fine wherever he is doing whatever he is. At least now if he has a heart attack, the press will not be informed.
- No, sir. He is doing fine, except that if he stays at an undisclosed location, he is a concerned that he may be forgotten about and then his chances of winning presidential elections for 2009 would be slim.
- It must be Al Gore who is disputing again the election results?
- No sir, he is not. By the way, his beard is much shorter than Bin Laden's. So there is no way we could blame the Bin Laden matter on the democrats.
- Don't tell me that another surveillance plane has been forced to land in china.
- No sir, it is more urgent than that. By the way, with our trade relations and China's most favored nation status, we have business contracts that will keep the Chinese making toys for the next hundred years while we make advances in science and technology, which will strengthen our military power and world supremacy.
- Come on. I need to prepare to meet my good friend Putin of Russian, who is good man. By the way, it was interesting to meet Putin, the former KGB agent. Is there another anthrax letter that got through our defense lines in Washington, DC? The anthrax spores, just like the Taliban, hate our freedom, but we will prevail
- No, Sir. Our defense line layers are holding against the anthrax. But it is not that.
- What is it? Are you with me or against me? If you don't tell me, I am going again to my ranch in my beautiful hometown.
- Sir, it is the American people.
- What's wrong with the people? Have they found out that I am a dictator like my good tyrant friends in other third world countries? We soon will have with military tribunals, an agency that can assassinate people, and the possibility to arrest innocent people? Have they made the connection that the Vice-President and the secretary of State are military men?
- No, Sir. As long we have media that will continue to bear our propaganda that we are free and good, they will remain busy, eating, drinking, and consuming.
-What's it then? What do they want?
- It is the continuous layoffs. People are hurting.
- We already have created more than 1,000 jobs by putting suspects in an internment camp. In this respect, I was able to get some valuable information about KGB methods of physical persuasion and interments in Siberia. This could come handy in Alaska when we will create 7,000,000 more jobs.
I read an interesting commentary by Narayan Lakshman in the Hindu in Chennai, India. The title was How to be Free in the 21st Century.
I read with great interest Mr. Narayan's opinion letter, 'How to be free in the 21st century?' (March 18) where he suggests that India gets rid of its sedition act so that it can be comparable to the Western democracies such as the USA and the UK which got rid of theirs many years ago.
Unfortunately, he failed markedly to indicate that the US still uses an espionage to jail government workers and journalists who blow the whistle on illegal, corrupt, or wasteful actions by government agencies such as the CIA and the NSA. Examples of such American whistle-blowers are Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou whom the US government have jailed them and tried to silence them,and have attempted at financially destroying their lives.
Western or non-western governments seem to excel at protecting the people who commit crimes and wrongdoings and jail and silence those speak out against those same acts.
Have a great day.
I love saving a few bucks by reducing the costs of phone services, insurance policies, and any other regular monthly payments that I reluctantly make.
Today I will compare my current AT&T plan and a potential T-Mobile plan for five telephones: Four family members and a friend – yes one of those. I am currently with AT&T, and I started to llok at reducing my wireless phone bill by switching to T-Mobile.
My two-year contract with AT&T ended a few months back, and I only pay $15 per phone instead of the $40 mobile data plan.
The table below includes the types of plans and the dollar costs, showing a difference of about $43.45.
The main plan differences are:
AT&T: 15 GB shared plan with month-to-month rollover of unused data.
T-Mobile: It offers unlimited data but limits to 2.5GB per phone at 4G LTE until February 2016 when the 4G LTE speed service is available for only the first 1 GB per phone. After the 2.5GB (through 2016) and 1GB (after 2016), the service is throttled down to 2G speeds until the end of the billing period. Four more information about the 2G and 4G speeds, read this article
To increase the data plan to 3 GB, T-Mobile asks for $10 extra. Our total data plan will then be 15 GB (five phones with 3 GB each). Such a data plan will be comparable to our current AT&T 15 GB plan. The final cost of the T-Mobile would be plan will cost us at least $189.55, and the coverage is not as good as AT&T, especially in the rural areas.
The better coverage in rural areas with AT&T and larger amount of data at 4G make it worthwhile for me stay with AT&T.