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Tharp case still makes me cry

I initially blogged about this case as it unfolded, then re-titled the blog and condensed my comments. As far as I know, nothing has ever ...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Like a good MUGGER, State Farm is there...

I've created a separate blog for State Farm. Here are a few excerpts:

Bad faith efforts to declare "total loss" are a nightmare. And forget about state insurance commissions coming to your rescue. Leading consumer advocate Fight Bad Faith Insurance Companies has yet to hear of a single case where a state insurance commission directed an insurance company to do the right thing.

State Farm's agent called me an idiot and admitted to grabbing my sign. The police initially told me I would have to get a permit to picket, but finally agreed that it was my constitutional right to stand on public property and hold up a sign. Passing motorists started giving "thumbs up" signals along with friendly beeps and waves.

...my car is readily repairable with no lingering safety issues. Mechanical repairs (close to half of the entire bill) have been completed, and my car handles as well as it ever did. Legitimate repair costs do not equal or exceed 75% of the "actual cash value" eventually set by State Farm, even with the extra expense of the new OEM parts. There's no justifiable reason for State Farm to refuse to complete the repairs.

Nobody can be faulted for speculating as to why State Farm exhibits such a keen interest in taking possession of my car. Companies bullying owners into turning over their vehicles by threatening to ruin the title is hardly unheard of. After taking possession of a vehicle they've "totalled," companies have been known to "forget" that the law requires them to record "salvage" on the title. Then they sell the "clean titled" vehicle for more money than they could have gotten if "salvage" had been disclosed. Not long ago, State Farm was fined for not stamping "salvage" onto the titles of thousands of vehicles they had "totalled." The "good neighbor" sold the vehicles with clean titles, raking in enormous, illegal profits.

My car is a bright red 2000 MR2 Spyder, sporting a nice, clean title. It's been meticulously maintained, has always been housed in a garage, and it's been parked in the shade when I'm out and about. It's loaded with desirable options including a beautiful, black leather interior (smells like new 'cause I'm a non-smoker), and has been driven only about 63,000 miles. At 30,000 miles, the engine was completely rebuilt and a new exhaust system was installed (both items via a Toyota manufacturing defect, which took $8,500 outta my pocket). This makes my car exceptionally desirable, because there's reason to believe that the defect in my engine was permanently corrected (Toyota continues to stonewall). Not many MR2 Spyders were produced, and they were no longer manufactured in the U.S. after 2005. The cars have become collectibles, values have increased, and it's very difficult to find an MR2 Spyder for sale that's in top notch condition like mine.

Is anyone surprised that State Farm wants my car?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hooray for KFYR-TV for firing "AJ"

The Twitter children are throwing a #tantrum. Talk shows are catering to the bad guy. But I couldn't be more pleased with KFYR-TV for firing a foul-mouthed employee named A.J. Clemente. He was given an opportunity to become co-anchor for the news, and he showed his appreciation by displaying obscene, inexcusable behavior the moment he got on the air.

"F...ing s...," he exclaimed in reaction to some people's names that he found difficult to pronounce. He ignored not only the likelihood of being on the air, but also the presence of his female co-anchor. Of course, we've "evolved" into an enlightened culture where politeness to women no longer counts. But at least we may justifiably speculate regarding Clemente's attitude toward people of Asian descent. His co-worker made a gallant effort to proceed with the program, whereupon the cordially introduced Mr. Clemente bumbled and fumbled, erasing any doubts as to whether he had even the remotest qualifications for the job.

Clemente was fired. Amen.

But alas. Its unheard of for folks to be disciplined for uttering four-letter filth, and the  story made headlines. Talk shows rushed to feature Clemente as a guest, and the Twitter children came to his aid by hurling obscenity-laced tweets at KFYR-TV. Spoiled, ill-bred brats getting back at anyone who dares to challenge their mind-numbing contempt for fundamental decency.

"See?" they gloated (I'll delete the obscenities). "Our poor little mistreated 'AJ' is now a movie star. He's appearing on national TV. He's pointing out that the broadcast started a few seconds early, his co-anchor didn't have her earpiece on, and... We'll teach you, KFYR-TV. Hire him back immediately."

I just love it when folks like those at KFYR-TV refuse to be intimidated.

Hastily conducted polls showed that approximately 85% of those questioned took Clemente's side: The "kid" (now there's a thigh-slapper) was just a rookie. He was nervous (poor thing). He meant well (!). We all make mistakes (quick, pass the Kleenex). And after all, gutter-speak is the norm these days. Well, they sure got that last one right.

I'm so proud of KFYR-TV. Posted my sentiments on their Facebook page, "Liked" the station, and sent a very approving e-mail to their general manager. Best news I've had in a long time.

Monday, April 22, 2013

FCC encourages use of four-letter filth

I'm sick and tired of this country's mindless fascination with gutter-speak. And if there's any one word I find especially repulsive, its the F-word.

Nobody should have been surprised when baseball's David "Big Papi" Ortiz blurted out the obscenity in a public address last Saturday at Fenway Park:

"This is our f------ city. And no one is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong."

Stay strong indeed.

Never mind that there were women and children in the audience. And consider it indicative of our sorry state of affairs that most of the audience roared its approval.

Later, Big Papi mumbled a half-hearted apology "if anybody was offended" - oh, surely not - by his lewd blabber. "I feel like this town needs to be pumped. It seems like that was it,” he graciously explained.

So far, the story is business as usual. Its the punch line to this putrid little joke that raised a few eyebrows. A tweet, adding insult to injury, was chirped from none other than Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission:

"David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today's Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston - Julius — The FCC (@FCC) April 20, 2013"

I won't belabor such a lamebrained response from a person in Genachowski's position.

Prior to this incident, Genachowski had plans - thank goodness - to accept employment elsewhere. At least Obama's appointee and longtime personal friend will be leaving the FCC. That's the best we can hope for, because there'll be no public outcry demanding that Genachowski leave immediately. The Demagogues, the Repukes, and our "evolved" Commander-in-Chief will quietly pander to the whims of a decadent society that's rapidly spinning out of control. And Chairman Genachowski will be signing on as a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute, a Washington "think" tank, where he'll be offering further advice on "communication policy issues."

Big Papi and others may not have noticed, but the home team is striking out.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

WIS-TV shows devotion to free speech

Update 3/22/2015 - My impression regarding WIS-TV's devotion to free speech was apparently incorrect. Please refer to today's post.

I'm extremely pleased with WIS-TV regarding the publication of a comment I recently submitted in response to one of their news articles. A computer-generated filtering program delayed the publication of my comment, giving me the mistaken impression that the comment had been censored. This prompted a blog post which I have now removed.

WIS-TV spared no effort in investigating the matter, sent me a detailed explanation of what happened, and published my comment in its original form. Such action is consistent with their publication of comments I've previously submitted regarding various other news articles.

South Carolina is indeed fortunate to have a conscientious news organization such as WIS-TV.