TM GET THE STATE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS ON-LINE Tough, investigative reporting; the wit and good sense of Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower; Political Intelligence; insightful cultural analysis; and much more. Check out Molly Ivins’ special subscription offer, too! www.texasobserver.org Subscribe on-line or call The Texas Observer at 800-939-6620 “When a nation’s young men are conservative, its funeral bell is already rung.” Henry Ward Beecher The left/liberal/ progressive political magazine for Bryan/College Station A Journal of Opinion, Comment, and Investigation P.O. Box 2711 College Station, TX 77841-2711 Email: [email protected] www.rtis.com/ touchstone/ Will he reach his high aspirations? Or will he just blow it? Read about it in the Observer. I want to subscribe to The Texas Observer. Check enclosed Bill me Where did you find this issue of the Observer? OCTOBER 1, 1999 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31 k g% After considerable discussion, an error was acknowledged. A “computer glitch,” I think they call it. Charter’s computer had been carrying two accounts, one in my name and one in Betty’s. Mine carried a healthy credit. We asked that the two be consolidated. This done, Charter’s spokesperson said, we had a credit balance. Fine, I thought. We’ll stay ahead and avoid further harassment. The next week I got another printout threat. The computer hasn’t forgiven me. We owe $158, and if we wanted to avoid a disruption in service, we’d better pay up immediately! Now, I don’t really think that big corporation is deliberately trying to cheat me. It’s just that it’s…well, sort of…distant, you know, and… well, computer-dependent and personality-deprived, and…do I dare say indifferent? It hasn’t said it’s sorry yet, or thanks, or… not that I expect it to. It’s a monopoly. Jim Wright is a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. You may write to him at P.O. Box 1413, Fort Worth 76101. REVOLTED BY EXECUTIONS? Join the Amnesty International Campaign Against the Death Penalty.