Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dubious Honor plus FreeSpeech TV

Free Speech Television is an eye-opening channel

During these three years of writing opinion pieces for the San Angelo Standard-Times, I have been amazed with the depth of insight and understanding of many of my readers.

Or in the words of one reader: “Britt, you have got to be the most intellectually dishonest contributor to these pages, hands down.” Or another who wondered why I evidently write with “half a brain.”

Having risen to become the most intellectually dishonest contributor to this newspaper, there is little for me to strive for in 2011 unless an extra column on Sundays is suggested. Once you are at the top of your profession, what’s left to do? Where are the challenges after having attained such a distinction?

Today I must not only note, but accept this excellence in “opinion” writing in the spirit in which it was given (whatever that was). I will wear this dubious honor proudly as I did when I once passed a third grade school arithmetic test at old Coggin Ward.

Breaking away from all these plaudits and praise, it is time to use the rest of this space for more worthy and new “opinions.”

One of Congress' most likable veterans, Rep. Charles Rangel Democrat of New York City became the 23rd House member in the nation's history to be censured. Why did it take so long? What about the rest of the “people’s servants” who find it difficult to walk the line? Most of them enter Congress as paupers and leave as rich as Croesus.

Since Bro. Rangel is not from our district, or our concern, I will write about satellite televison. Last year Jody and I subscribed to the satellite DISH Network. We did it primarily to obtain a couple of Chinese language stations. One turned out to be inlaid with Spanish but occasionally has Mandarin programming.

In the process we soon discovered a number of interesting stations not found on local cable outlets. (Full discloser: These satellite network promise 200 great channels. That is misleading advertizing --- half the channels only sell what you don’t need or want.)

But they relay news and opinion the corporate media (ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC for example) has difficulty finding or sharing with America’s viewers. One of these is which is channel 9415 on the DISH Network and channel 348 on DIRECTV.

Cable affiliates that carries programming are growing in number. Newscasts from German’s Deutsche Welle ( and South Asia, South America, Israel and the Middle East. Documentaries seldom seen in West Texas remind us how the rest of the world lives. Foreign and classic films that never get to our town are special entertainment.

They present a variety of programming for the mind and soul (even those with half a brain). Inspirational and eye-opening, informative, helpful talks, lectures and stimulating discussions, Add to that music of all kinds and great opera or symphony. They distribute their programming (,,, to over 35 million US homes. Over 100 US cable affiliates air these programs. Suddenlink could improve their product by adding this content.

Suddenlink cable has 12 HBOs but no not-for-profit FreeSpeech or LinkTV channels. Write them a note requesting FreeSpeech TV channel be added as most modern cities have done.

(One more word of full discloser: I was not requested nor paid to write these good words for DISH Network or DIRECT TV satellite companies.)

This sort of programming may not be your television cup-of-tea. It is non-profit and not dictated by or owned by one of the huge media corporations.

The viewing is so good it could be called “fair and balanced” (in their own way). Since one of the richest media corporations already claims the “fair and balanced” slogan, I’ll just call their programs “True and Honest.” The “fair and balanced” network has four staffers running for U.S. president and a self-made president of his own un-credited university.

(First published in West Texas dailies Brownwood Bulletin and San Angelo Standard-Times)

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