This is a hell of a lot of work, I'll kid you not,
and we are getting far to old to continue doing much of anything besides
paying the bills.
So if any of you website experts out there would like to take over managing
this website, please
contact us at the address in in the Contact box at the bottom
of this page.
We'd really like to hear from you.
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The Howard Beale Memorial Society is a nonprofit, public interest Wyoming corporation. We have a President (that's me) and three directors.
Unless our directors have masochistic tendencies I have not yet discovered, they will remain anonymous as far as this site is concerned. If so motivated, you can direct your outrage at me.
I'm old and rough, and dirty and tough,
like Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
I drink my whiskey when I can.
I drink it from an old tin can.
For whiskey is the life of man.
Says Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
Seriously, and more specifically, about me:
I've had a long, varied and, at least to me, interesting life. Born in California, parents divorced, attended several high schools, including a military academy, played in most all major sports, got my first jobs, and started college during the Great Depression years leading to WW-II, studied engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and UC Berkeley, but spent more time playing football, bridge, and raising hell than I should have.
When the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor, I was waiting to be to be called for Army Aviation Cadet training. 13 days later I was on my way to Texas --
where I learned that the Sunny South wasn't like California in winter--near froze my young butt off. Later I learned about chiggers--Ouch! I got married, was commissioned as a navigator, produced my first son, and flew a tour of combat missions out of England with the 8th Air Force in B-17s--which forever changed my view of the world and politics. I then returned to the US and went through cadets again, becoming a twin engine pilot in B-25s.
After five years in the Army, I returned to Cal, switching to political science and law, produced my second son and received BA, MA and JD degrees, all under the GI Bill.
Until l started practicing law I had earned my living from age 17 on working as a ranch hand, seaman, Lockheed Aircraft assembler, swamper, cook, bartender, construction laborer, jack-hammer operator, and taxicab driver-- the last occupation being from stark necessity after graduating from law school and being admitted to the California Bar because those times were far different than today.
Then the big law firms were paying young lawyers 150 bucks a month for 12 hours a day, six days a week, which wouldn't feed the boy, much less wife and children.
The resulting stresses persuaded wife #1 to seek greener pastures.
Whatever -- A former FBI agent offered me a nice office in down-town Oakland in exchange for work, showed me where the court house was, and off I went, fighting the world, the local District Attorney, the insurance companies, and bringing justice to the poor and unfortunates of Oakland, largely recommended to me by my cab driver friends, and becoming deeply involved in politics.
Then I got lucky; I met and married Nadja (see New Horizons in Politics] a wonderful woman who
was to became my constant companion for the next 50 years, produced a daughter, and embarked on our legal and political careers.
Nadja and I worked side by side, both in my law office and in our political
One of my objectives -- born of my war-time experiences -- was to find out just who were the movers and shakers that set young men at killing each other in wars. It seemed to me that Alameda County politics was as good a place as any to start finding out, for right in front of me, so to speak, we had a two powerful Congressmen, a very powerful Senator and newspaper publisher, the
home base of a Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court who was a former California Governor, a former Alameda County District Attorney, and a Postmaster who not only was quite wealthy but also had been a West Point classmate of President Eisenhower. Plenty of
political material to study.
Besides, I didn't have an automobile or the price of a bus ticket out of town. And like Abe Lincoln was fond of telling, it was "root hog or die."
I soon discovered that my political science professors at Cal didn't have the slightest idea how the political world, at least that part that was right under their noses, was run. My law school professors had more accurate ideas, but these they held clasped to their breasts for the benefit of their less turbulent students, the ones who went into the upper reaches of organized society to spread the greater glory of their professorial wisdoms. A great system for preserving the status quo. If that's what you wanted to do. I didn't.
World shaking disasters -- not just the hydrogen bomb -- were shaping up and plainly discernable, even then. People were talking and writing, but no one of any importance was listening, even as today. Too many important people are invested in business as usual. Call it greed. Call it social inertia. It all amounts to the same: the classical formula for the death of a civilization.
Well, enough of this personal stuff.
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would like to see the Howard Beale paradigm expand into all 50 states and their lesser subdivisions so that
people can maintain direct contact with all their politicians who, as you may or may not know, for the most part have insulated themselves from contacts by any person or organization outside their own electoral constituency. And even then
they are like that oldie . . .
Here's to old Boston,
The land of the bean and the cod,
Where Lowells talk only to Cabots,
and Cabots talk only to God,
. . . our feckless politicians listen only to each other and their financial masters.
So the Howard Beale Memorial Society is about making our voices heard, over the e-ways, the airways, our cities and towns, our telephones and over the back yard fence. We've got to put the fear of God into these rascals before they are the ruin and death of us all!
This being said, I'll get right to what we hope to do and how we can be contacted.
Our home URL is www.networkcentralca.net
We took "network" from our center-piece movie. We added "central" from the old telephone exchange where the operator was called "central" because someone else had reserved the name "network" and wanted an outrageous price for it.
Most of you won't remember the old party lines where you reached other people on your line by a crank on the side of rather large box screwed to a wall in your home. You would crank a full revolution once or twice or whatever for the number of rings required to get to another farm house on your party line. Each rotation of the crank would cause the bell on every one's telephone to ring, but if you thought that only the designated caller came on the line, you believed in the tooth fairy. Everyone who wasn't busy milking a cow or otherwise working his/her butt off picked up to hear what was going on. No TV in those days.
I don't remember how many rings were needed to get Central, which is what we called one or more ladies in town sitting in front of a console with holes into which they plugged one line to connect to another.
The term "operator" came on somewhat later as I recall. You might ask her for "long distance" or give her an exchange name, like "Butterfield" followed by a series of numbers, probably five or thereabouts, I really don't remember. The operator would pull the plug from your party line and stick it in the approp-riate hole on her switch-board
to connect to Butter-field. Long distance was a different hole..
In the cities, large numbers of young women sat in front of those switchboards working around the clock in shifts. The city Lotharios soon learned that the changing of shifts was an excellent time to hang out around the telephone building to meet young women. And so it went.
So now that you know more than you ever wanted to know about telephones in the old days, there remains only the "ca." Which, of course, is for California,
where I happen to live.
If you want to contact your local politicians, you must have an e-mail address from the same geographical area as your elected representative because these rascals all have their computers rigged to accept mail only from
their own constituents. And their computer cranks out a stock reply
that tells nothing but promises everything.
Now, if you give
them money--a lot of money-- instead of advice, they might deign to correspond or even speak with you. In their business, when money talks bullshit walks. Money makes the mare go.
But unless you are prepared to give them money in five figure chunks, don't
waste your breath giving them advice; they don't give a damn about your
opinions. They just want your money and your vote.
So if you are of a mind to harass the politicians nearest to you,
just copy our plan and set up your own websites. Don't try to
construct one that meets your what you think are your own special needs as
we did. We have learned the hard way that it's just too much work.
Stock templates are a dime a dozen and can be easily modified to meet your
special needs. Check our Aventura Productions website which has a lot of
special text and pictures. It is just one of those cheap template
websites and works just fine.
In the meanwhile,
we've given up on the idea of chat and writing rooms; they take far too much
time to set and maintain. But if you want to submit your own solutions to our major national problems or comment on ours, we will be pleased to post them provided you follow our RULES. But we don't have the manpower for editing and
can't post anything that isn't in an appropriate format.