Phone calls are Federal crimes: Bleat on, whining sheeple

Published 15 years ago -  - 15y ago 41

The State wolf is about to strike again, thanks to thousands of whining sheeple who complained to the feds that they received unwanted phone calls from telemarketers. You are expected to believe that only the State can accomplish what the average American is apparently unable to do: stop a phone from ringing.

Dare I mention how simple, easy, and convenient it is to just turn the ringer off? What’s next, D.C. Doorbell Detectives hiding in the bushes waiting for ring-the-doorbell-and-run pranksters? What about all those nuisance school kids roaming the streets trying to sell magazine subscriptions to raise money for the band? And don’t forget the constant interruptions by Girl Scouts hawking cookies. Heaven forbid that we leave any facet of life free from intrusive meddling and costly regulation by the State.

Andy Sullivan writes in the Washington Post, “Federal regulators are creating new protections for people plagued by unwanted telemarketing calls, establishing a national “do-not-call” list that consumers can use to keep their phones from ringing with sales pitches.

“The national do-not call registry, first proposed in January, would allow people to stop sales calls made from outside their state. Consumers who register on the Internet or with one call to a toll-free government number would remain on the list for five years before having to renew, FTC officials said.

“Officials said the agency is taking bids from companies interesting in creating the registry. Once the list is operating, telemarketers will have to check the registry every three months to find out who doesn’t want to be called, the officials said. Telemarketers who call listed people could be fined up to $11,000 for each violation.

“The registry will likely cost about $16 million in its first year and would be paid for with fees collected from telemarketers, officials said. The agency has not decided how those fees will be imposed and still needs congressional approval to collect them.”

Here we go again, another hefty tax imposed by the State, as demanded by ignorant and deluded sheeple who are convinced that: a) business is the enemy; b) the State is their protector; c) State “services” are free; and d) they are utterly helpless to solve even minor problems without State intervention.

“The FTC also has limited authority to police certain industries – such as telephone companies – that fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC is considering its own do-not-call registry. The two agencies would have to work together to cover all telemarketers unless Congress gives more authority to one.”

Caroline E. Mayer writes in the Washington Post, “The chairman of the Federal Trade Commission said he hopes to eliminate 80 percent of unwanted telemarketing calls under his agency’s plan to set up a national do-not-call registry.

“In announcing details of the registry proposal yesterday, Timothy J. Muris said most calls would be blocked — even if they were made on behalf of banks, insurance companies or long-distance companies, industries that the FTC does not regulate. He explained that most of the exempt industries rely on outside telemarketing companies to make telephone solicitations, and those firms would be subject to the rules.

“The agency expects about 60 million Americans to sign up for the registry, either over the Internet or by calling a toll-free number from their home. At least a dozen investigators would be assigned to examine complaints submitted by consumers on another toll-free number.”

Imagine that, a dozen or more Dial-A-Feds, on duty 24/7, at a toll-free number, just to keep your phone from ringing during dinner. What if some idiot parks their vehicle in front of your house and you don’t like it? Which State agency can you call? What if your neighbor paints his home a dreadful color? Who can you call to complain to about that? Your neighbor should be fined $5000 just for you having to look at his ugly paint job, don’t you think?

“In the past, telemarketers have said a do-not-call registry would violate their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Muris said he doesn’t view the registry as barring telemarketing sales. ‘It gives consumers the option to protect privacy in their own home and gives people the right to object if they want to,’ he said.”

I thought I already had the option to protect privacy in my home simply by ignoring the phone, turning the ringer off, by using my answering machine to monitor incoming calls, or by purchasing an electronic gadget designed to stop telemarketers. I also thought that I already had the right to object if I wanted to. Gee, I must have been wrong, huh? If the chairman of the FTC says otherwise, it must be so.

All modern phones have ringers that can be turned off. How many people do you know who don’t have an answering machine that allows them to monitor incoming calls? The Direct Marketing Association already has 4.5 million people on its own no-call list. Twenty-seven states have also adopted no-call lists. Do you really want to pay the State an additional $16 million every year for another no-call list?

The sheeple have it backwards: business is not the enemy, the State is the enemy. Business only offers to sell you something that you are under no obligation to buy. The State steals from you as much as it wants, under color of law, at the point of a gun, and under threat of imprisonment for failure to “voluntarily” comply with its demands. Which is the greater threat to your welfare? Which creates wealth? Which consumes it?

I would gladly support a private no-call list, especially if it applied to State agencies. It would then actually deliver what the chairman of the FTC is falsely claiming for the proposed national no-call list – privacy and the right to object to intrusion – from the State, the real threat. Bleat on, whining sheeple. The State wolf has heard your cries.

Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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