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Go Ahead, Call Me

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You know that national “do not call” list that was supposed to take effect in about a week? Well, two federal courts have now blocked it, agreeing with the argument of the plaintiff, the Direct Marketing Association [DMA], that the list infringes upon freedom of speech.

Who gives a shit? I say, even in this economy, and even with my staunch belief in the freedom of speech, close the mother fuckers DOWN.

Fifty million consumers have signed up already. FIFTY MILLION, and the stupid list hadn’t even gone into effect. You can bet your bippy that another several million would have jumped onto the list after it was shown to be effective. Do you hear us, DMA? Could we speak any more clearly?

Where does the DMA’s right to freedom of speech overtake my right to be left the fuck alone during dinner? I should be able, like a good citizen, to tell these scumbag jackass telemarketing companies to stop calling me and sharing my phone number with other companies. But they don’t listen. I tell them, and they call back anyway. You can’t treat them politely. When you do, they spit in your face and call you back the same week, pretending like they never spoke with you before.

So that’s how we get the “do not call” list: fifty million Americans sick and fucking tired of pleading with these dickheads to stop calling. But they don’t. They call and they call and they call.

And apparently they’re given rights an individual doesn’t have: I can get a restraining order against an individual who’s harassing me, which would make it a crime for that person to call me. No such luck with a company that wants to harass you. They can call you again, and again, and again and then share your name and number with their subsidiary who will do the same thing next week.

Why is it that I have to take extreme measures to stop telemarketers? Why do I have to PAY an additional fee to have an unlisted number, just so I can reduce the number of stoopid fucking unsolicited solicitations? Why must I resort to paying for caller ID so I can know before picking up the phone which calls are probably from someone trying to trick me into buying something I don’t want? Why must I take the phone off the hook so my family can spend time together in peace?

Why don’t those telemarketing DICKHEADS listen MY exercise of free speech when I tell them I don’t want them to call anymore? Because they’re greedy, piddling pricks who try to coerce or just plain trick people into buying something they didn’t ask for, want, or need.

I have a message for you, telemarketing companies, which I will deliver live the next time one of you calls me: FUCK the FUCK OFF, YOU FUCKING FUCKFACED FUCKTARDS. FUCK YOU VERY MUCH. DO YOU HEAR ME? FUCK YOOOOOOUUUUU.

How’s that for freedom of speech?

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About bhw

  • Eric Olsen

    Rant, baby, rant. It’s good for the colon.

  • Mark Saleski

    WHERE’S SLASH??!!!

    …oh sorry, wrong post.

  • TDavid

    It’s amazing that some federal judge turned this over. Someday technology is going to take care of this issue. Imagine the ability to “white list” your phone. Someday.

  • Michael Croft

    I can’t see that calling people is a ‘free speech’ right. The telemarketers are not restrained from speaking, just from making use of equipment I am paying for to speak.

  • Mark Saleski

    i also don’t buy the argument that shove telemarketers down the drain.

    even if a particular company makes a lot of money from cold calls, they can’t be making much (if any) of that from people who didn’t want a call in the first place…you know, people like me who will buy nothing over the phone.

  • bhw

    Eric, these pipes are cleaaaaaan!

  • andy

    Thing is, I PAY for my phone and service. If I don’t want some retard bugging me w/ somethign I pay for, they don’t have the right.


    A few nights ago I got one from MCI. The guy tried to be all “chill” with me.

    “I see that you don’t use MCI for your long distance service!” he says in a “suave” voice.

    “Damn right I don’t!”*click*

  • TDavid

    Heard on TechTV’s Screensavers that the House cooked up a bill (in like a couple hours) and voted it in concerning making this DO NOT CALL list go through. President Bush just needs to sign it in, if he hasn’t already. So this may forge ahead after all as scheduled.

    Going against the will of 50 million people is not a brilliant idea.

  • bhw

    The bill was designed to specifically address the first court’s objection, that the FTC didn’t have the authority to make and govern the list. So Congress gave them the right to do it in that bill.

    The second judge, however, ruled that the list violates freedom of speech, an entirely different issue. So I’m not really sure what happens next.

  • TDavid

    If this is a government by the people, for the people, then I suspect that ultimately this Do Not Call List is going to happen, despite the relatively small group that opposes it. They also said, though I didn’t verify, that 50 million people is more than what voted in the last election!

  • Michael Croft

    approximately 50 million voted for each candidate, give or take an indeterminate number. :)

    If this was a first amendment issue, then yeah, 50 people whose rights were being trampled would justify thwarting the will of 50 million. In that way, I’m a first amendment extremist.

    However, the First Amendment argument is specious. Telemarketers aren’t being denied permission to speak, they’re being denied permission to use my equipment to speak. That’s fine with me, I own the copper from the junction box and the phones. Let ’em use their own faciliites or public ones.

    I’m thinking about taking calls and saying “Hi, you’re in violation of the ‘do not call’ provisions in place for this phone line and are liable for fines up to $11,000. Would you like to settle out of court for $1,500?”

  • Eric Olsen

    Glad the pipes are pristine b, good one Michael – killing two news birds with one shotgun blast.

    I am actually somewhat sympathetic with the telemarketers, a godawful job that most handle reasonably well because if you piss people off too much you’ll never sell anything. We all have our horror stories and the relentless calls at inconvenient hours is what drove this legislation in the first place so they only have themselves to blame.

    The question is how to “get at” people, and I don’t know the answer.

  • Taloran

    I’m lucky – Colorado has its own Do Not Call list, and the State Attorney General has been gleefully pursuing people who violate it for the last couple of years. They fined one Iowa company six figures for several violations, and when the company refused to pay, the AG’s office went and tore down one of the company’s Denver offices and auctioned off all the contents to pay the fine.

  • Eric Olsen

    that’ll learn ’em

  • Natalie Davis

    This thing really frosts my cookies.

    I believe in free speech. Obviously. But as your right to swing your fist stops right before the beginning of my nose, your right to assault me with your free speech ends at my phone. I don’t even want telemarketers on my caller ID.

    This whole debate is just another stupid example of how greedy corporate interests trump those of regular people. I won’t go along with the “50 million people can’t be wrong” theory I’ve heard used in Congress re: the Do Not Call list, but if 50 million people don’t want sales calls, we shouldn’t have to be inconvenienced by them.

  • Eric Olsen

    Of course 60 million people file share – can they be all wrong?

    And if I’m going to have something frosted, I prefer my flakes to my cookies.

  • Natalie Davis

    Being a diabetic, I shouldn’t have anything — other than my hair — frosted.

    Oh — saying that 50 million people *can* be wrong doesn’t necessarily mean that they always are. The Do Not Call list is a good example.

  • John Mudd

    I, too, am a diabetic.

    Say, Natalie, how would you feel about teaming up this November to sign up fellow bloggers (and anyone else, for that matter) who would like to be a Diabetes Advocate?

    We could do quite a bit to raise awareness about diabetes and the various legislative, plus health issues around it. Please e-mail me if you’re interested.

    By the way, your cookies don’t need any frosting, especially if they’re a metaphor for your thoughts, because they’re sweet just the way they are.

    Cheers. 😉

  • Natalie Davis

    I’ll e you when I get home, John, but do count me in. The word must be spread on this killer.

  • Taloran

    I’ve been looking for the phone numbers of Judge West and Judge Nottingham, who issued the two injunctions staying the Do Not Call list. I thought I’d put ’em on speed dial and give ’em a piece of my mind at dinnertime, or at three in the morning.
    Anyone got their home numbers?

  • John Mudd

    Great! I look forward to hearing from you when you return home, Natalie. Have a safe trip back.

    Cheers. =)

  • Glenn

    I enjoy receiving telemarketer calls. 480-231-5775

  • Dave Nalle

    BHW, you might want to invest in one of those newfangled phones which rather than being wired directly into the wall has a little plug you can pull out during dinner. Then get ‘call notes’ and let all the telespammers go striaght to your voicemail.

    Might aleviate some of your stress.

    As for the do not call lists, the one here in Texas works great. We get virtually no sales calls at all.


  • DrPat

    I have found the answer to telemarketing calls is a wonderfully simple technique.

    “No.” Hang up.

    That’s all – and after the third such call in a row, I let the machine answer. Don’t call back, don’t engage them, don’t try to excuse your lack of interest in what they’re selling.

    Kind of like dealing with spam!

  • bhw

    Dave and DrPat, thanks, but please note that my stress is over 1.5 years old, and that the DNC list has long since been deemed legal. My number is on both the federal and MA lists.

    Can’t you boys just enjoy a good rant?

  • Dave Nalle

    Well sure, the rant was great – we’re just trying to help.


  • gonzo marx

    waitaminnit…this ain’t something fer the’s something for the FCC!!

    hear me out folks..if the FCC can regulate “speech and content” over the “public airwaves” in violation of free speech..

    well then….

    i mean , after all..unsolicited calls on a private line strikes me as obscene, don’t it?

    just a Thought…