Wednesday, February 5, 2014

letter to friends in prison on a winter day

Hal Pepinsky,, “peacemaking” at
February 5, 2014

                These days I correspond with the two prisoners, longtime friends who’ve done long time, a white prisoner of the US Navy contracted out to a federal prison camp in Lexington, Kentucky, and a black guy in the SHU in Carlisle, Indiana.  They have told me how much it helps for me to describe beauty outside my home.  I wrote this message to one of them, which I copied and pasted to the other:

Dear Billy,

There are ten inches of snow on the ground, and teeny flakes are falling lightly.  After he finishes work, Sebastian, who takes care of our yard and has a plow for his truck, will clear our drive and patio with his co-worker.  The snow is about to stop, and the sky to clear as it drops to 8 above zero tonight.  Jill and I are both snug at home with all the provisions including the leftover beef stew we're having tonight for night two of three eating it.  This morning, Acadia, the ten-year-old next door, was outside her front deck making a snow angel even through the crust on the frozen snow.  It started this morning with tapered snow at 31 degrees.  Right now it's 28, dropping slowly, with a light northwesterly breeze.  The birds who greeted me at dawn are sitting still, sheltered as close to the trunks of our evergreens, keeping warm and still.  It is beautiful,  I have classical music playing in the background.  If ever there were such a thing as being at peace, it is how my body and soul feel now.  I pause now and then, regularly stepping out into the carport sheltered from the northwest by the entire house, to let my vertebrae in ever-, daily descending, pleasurable waves, and breathe the clean, dry crisp, purest air we get in Central Ohio.

I am at peace primarily because I have set off my peacemaking cluster bomb to the press, to cable subscribers like me, to friends and family of the first amendment rights of all US cable subscribers to access to local broadcasts.  I sent the complaint online yesterday to the FCC, and with a complaint number, thence to Veronica Watts at ATT.  My work of legal art is now on full display.  I picture corporate lawyers at the very top of their profession lying awake nights, or not going to bed at all, trying to untie the Gordian legal knot I have left them.  So, knowing that I accompanied this complaint with a photocopy of my receipts of registered mail of the complaint to att, here, if I may say so unabashedly, is a legal masterpiece that happenstance brought my way:

 FCC Complaint Against ATT: failure to provide local tv channels
Hal Pepinsky,, “peacemaking” at
February 4, 2014
I have just filed this complaint online, FCC complaint no. 14-C00559543:


1.       I, Harold E. (Hal) Pepinsky, am an ATT Uverse online live tv paid-up subscriber.
2.       I normally receive 51-over 70 live cable tv channels on Uverse online.
3.       I am an inactive member of the Ohio Bar since 1968, reg. no. 0024994, in good standing.  As an officer of court, I swear and affirm that all statements in this complaint are true and complete. I hereby notify the ATT of my appearance in all matters that follow this complaint, pro se.
4.       I have just returned from the post office where I have served a copy of this complaint to ATT by registered mail, return receipt requested, to their registered office at ATT, 1209 Orange St., Wilmington, DE 19801.
5.       As an act of good faith, as soon as this complaint is filed with the FCC online, I will email a copy of the complaint to Veronica Watts,, the email address shown in the true and complete copy of her letter to me of January 30, 2014, copied here:
6.        January 30, 2014
Harold Pepinsky
519 Evergreen Circle
Worthington, OH 43085

Dear Mr. Pepinsky,

Re:  U-Verse Account 113261724

I am writing in response to your complaint to the AT&T Executive Office regarding service
concerns for the above-referenced account.  Customer service is vitally important to the success
of our organization.   We appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback and allowing AT&T
to address your concerns:

·         AT&T received a complaint on 01/24/2014 regarding viewing local channels 4,6,10, and
34 via the Internet on the computer.

·         AT&T advised local channels are not available for live viewing on

·         AT&T’s U-Verse technical support is available at 1-800-288-2020.

While I regres this resolution was not satisfactory for you, I do appreciate the opportunity to
address your concerns.  Should you have any additional questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact me at 1-877-677-3215x7110, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Thank you.

Veronica Watts
Manager – Office of the President
AT&T Executive Offices

[Form privacy notice inapplicable, deleted]

7.        I have standing to file this complaint as a Uverse subscriber in good standing.
8.       As an officer of court swearing that this complaint is entirely true, and having mailed ATT the complaint registered, return receipt requested, to their registered office, I have complied with all service of process requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, and if necessary, of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
9.       The one material fact, that ATT doesn’t carry live tv signals on internet, is undisputed.  No investigation or fact hearing is necessary.  The matter is ripe for a decision on legal merit alone.
10.   The “must carry” rules apply to all providers of live cable tv signals.  It makes exceptions only for stations carrying fewer cable tv channels than ATT.  The purpose of the rules is to ensure that local channels, including for instance community meetings and billboards (which ATT does not even carry on tv receivers), have First Amendment access to live tv viewers.  The hardware that ATT uses to retransmit live cable tv is irrelevant.
11.   Therefore, ATT must take prompt reasonable action to come to terms with all local channels in the Central Ohio area in which I am served.

12.    I ask the FCC to order ATT to comply with my request that my Uverse service be provided me free of charge from the time I subscribed until they are in full compliance with the “must carry” rules.

13.    I recognize the large cost it will be to ATT to comply with the “must carry” rules, and therefore the gravity of the matter I now place before the FCC.  I would observe that had ATT not tried to cut legal corners (hoping no one would complain perhaps), the cost of compliance would have been far, far lower.  I ask the FCC to take the courageous, obvious course and enforce the law, and I thank them for their careful consideration of implications of the law at hand, first and foremost to serve the public purpose the rules were designed to serve.  I thank you at the FCC for your consideration of this complaint.
Respectfully submitted,
Harold E. (Hal) Pepinsky
519 Evergreen Circle
Worthington, OH 43085-3667
February 4, 2014

Love and peace, hal

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