Please Do Not Disturb

July 9th, 2014 13 Comments


For some reason, many readers of this site seem to think I am a conservative. They seem to think I’m an old-fashioned right-wing Republican conservative. I consider that an insult, because I am so much further to the far right than those Republicans that I make them look like Obama Democrats. In fact, I’m so far right I make Genghis Khan look like Nancy Pelosi’s wussy younger sister. It is my belief, as regular readers know, that America would be a better, happier, more prosperous place if we just followed the good example of some of the ancient Greek and Roman city-states, and immediately hung any and every politician who had the temerity to propose a new law. Any law, for any reason. Hell, hang ‘em all even if they don’t propose a new law.

On the other hand, I do consider Ronald Reagan to have been a prophetic genius. He may have done some good things, and he may have done some bad things, but no one can deny the searing brilliance and foresight of his statement that the most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Whatever the government touches, no matter how small and no matter how benign their intention, is doomed to disaster. The sheer, staggering incompetence and frequently outright corruption of the American government has reached new levels, set heights and standards that no other civilization will ever be able to even approach. Let’s just look at one small example: Telemarketing.

I am the most patient of men, the kind of mild and easy-going fellow who sails serenely through life, never allowing the little ups and downs of the modern world to disrupt the tranquility of my disposition. However, when the telephone rings during the dinner hour, all I really long for in this world is a fully automatic .50 caliber machine gun and the chance to put that sucker to good use. There should be an open season—no, a bounty—on telemarketers. Since, sadly, there isn’t, Darleen and I took the most reasoned steps available to us. We’ve taken to turning the phones off, completely off, ringers, speakers and all. We then naïvely, as all good little modern-day American citizens are supposed to, turned to America’s Mommy-and-Daddy-and-Nanny all rolled into one: the federal government, the same government that keeps telling us we should trust it, that it can and will take care of us all, that it’s in control, that it can handle everything, it will make the world a better place.


The United States government’s Federal Trade Commission website (“protecting America’s consumers!” it lies blatantly on its home page) has an entire section devoted to a Do Not Call Registry. The fact that the FCC has to have an entire section devoted to this should give you some idea of the scope of the problem, but this is not a case where misery loves company. It is, rather, a case where the existence of such a site makes you begin to suspect the government has no more control over this than they do over anything else, the Middle East, the VA, the border, meteorites from outer space. And since we have already registered our telephone number, and verified that registration, you might think all would be well, that dinner at the Parker household could proceed in peace and quiet, uninterrupted, with the kind of old-fashioned dignity and graciousness of Downton Abbey. Well, okay, maybe not quite like that, since we eat at the kitchen counter and the butler has been conspicuous by his absence in the Parker household since long before I was born, but you get the idea.


Since I do not have access to a .50 caliber fully-automatic machine gun, and since the number of robo-calls has actually increased since we registered, I went back to the site, and went right to the Submit a Complaint tab, and just as I was about to waste more of my time and energy filling out that portion of the site, what do you think caught my eye?

“Reminder: even if your number is registered, some organizations may still call you, such as charities, political organizations, telephone surveyors…”

Wait! What was that? Say that again. “Political organizations?” Political organizations! You mental midgets! Who the hell do you think I’m trying to get to stop calling me?!

I got so frustrated when I saw that sentence that I gave up and decided to go back to work, and as I backed out of the site, another sentence caught my eye, and I kid you not. I couldn’t make this stuff up. It’s on the front page, at the bottom, in a little box:

“Scammers have been making phone calls claiming to represent the National Do Not Call Registry. The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the Registry. These calls are not coming from the Registry or the Federal Trade Commission, and you should not respond to these calls.”

Sooooo, telemarketing scammers are so intimidated by the threat of dread legal repercussions from the FCC that they are actually pretending to be the very governmental organization they’re ignoring? Oh, goody. The federal government sure has everything firmly under control, you betcha. I just can’t hardly wait until the IRS takes over the administration of Obamacare. That should solve a lot of our over-population problems.

In the meantime, should you call, I’m trying to get Darleen to leave the following message:

“The Parkers are dead. If they owed you money, call their lawyer. Do not leave a message.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh yeah–a subject to make me wax direly, darkly poetic, IF I was skilled enough to do so, which, as I’m sure you-all will be relieved to hear, I am not. But I CAN wax locquacious, at least! Gawd, how I LOATH telephone solicitors, let me count the ways!….. But I have a confession to make. About as bad as telling folks you were a prostitute once(actually,prostitution is a much nobler profession!)–yes, alas, I was so strapped for a job once, I myself stooped to being a telephone solicitor(cringe…..)–MISERABLE job, crammed in a tiny, stifling room with chain smokers, basically barely paid to pester and lie to people. In my defense, I must say I was a HORRIBLE solicitor–the WORST results of the whole damn room full! As I was daily reminded! And I DID get another slightly better menial job(as a janitor, if I remember correctly–I had SO MANY such menial jobs over the decades) within months. The experience only made me HATE the profession all the more! Those bastards SAID they were taking taxes out on me, and DIDN’T, as I was informed much later(and my poverty-stricken arse fined) by the IRS! And that group had skipped town long ago, and were untraceable! So much for their benevolent fund raising! Anyway, I have one of those answering machine things(I still don’t have a cell phone–one of the last hold-outs on the planet) hooked to my old-fashioned-tethered-to-the-wall phone–I JUST DON”T ANSWER IT if a phone ringing interrupts my meals, or in the middle of feeding THE PACK(you DO NOT DELAY once THAT activity has begun! Those-Who-Must-Be-Fed would NOT allow such!!!). If it’s REALLY important, or actually someone I know(both extremely rare occurences for me), by gosh, they can LEAVE A MESSAGE! That’s what that contraption is for, right? Also, if I DO happen to be handy, and answer the phone, I can INSTANTLY screen the call, because I have a weird last name nobody without prior knowledge EVER pronounces right, and if they can’t pronounce my name right(which is never), I just hang up–no apologies, no single further second wasted. Actually as a former T. S.(cringe), I can tell you, that is actually APPRECIATED–keeps you from wasting time on the “not interested”(99%) set…….I also got the “do-not-call” service, and though it doesn’t stop 100% of the annoyances, it really did cut them back at least 75% for me, which I appreciate. But yeah, please, use that .50 caliber, put the poor wretches outta their misery! Or just let yer answering machine screen yer calls–and have a really annoying, LOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG answering machine message on it! Another great screening tactic!…..L. B.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I signed up our old phone number on the do not call list and kept getting calls anyway. Our phone has an off button and if I see a number I do not recognize I hit that and I will no longer hear the ringing. We have voice mail so I just figure if it is important enough they will leave a message. I do not like telemarketers and like L.B. they pronounce our last name wrong. Hello, Mrs D_____ how are you?
    I will tell them that they pronounced it wrong and hang up. I would never give money to any charity that call on the phone. If someone asks for a donation I hang up. We have a new number now and it would take to long to explain why we have a new number. I blame the phone company, but on the upside we have gotten a whole lot less calls.

    I also worked for a company that sold cell phones and I worked in the Welcome center which is just another name for telemarking. We were supposed to welcome people to the company and explain their bill and other information. Well, I found out that this company was not honest. When people bought their phone at a store or kiosk they were not told everything. The people were not told that there would be an activation fee or that they would be charged a month in advance in addition to the fees charged for the new month. I was yelled at, cursed at and called everything but Holy. I worked four hour a day and by the time I got home I would collapse on the sofa. Plus, I was really lousy at it. This company had a script and we were told to stick to the script, but that we should not sound scripted. I did not have the ability to do that. I would either sound scripted or I would go way off course. I am not really outgoing so this was the worse possible job for me. Finally, the company closed the welcome center and I was laid off. I must say I was happy to lose that job.

    In addition to that they had a greeting in Spanish that we had to learn. If we got some who spoke Spanish we had to use that greeting. Do you know what I did? If I got someone who spoke Spanish instead of using the greeting I would ask “Do you speak English?” If they couldn’t then I would transfer them to the Spanish speaking person.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In more the government at work information it seem that the government can spy on people no matter how much they try to hide their identity. These are the same people who lost the IRS emails and can not find them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Identifying Those Relatively Apolitical Americans with Conservative Instincts

    There’s a demographic out there that I can describe but not label.

    These folks are instinctively conservative, but probably don’t apply that label to themselves. They work for a living, or they are looking for work. They can’t stand what they perceive as whining.

    But they don’t identify with the Republican Party. They look at the leadership of the party, at least in Washington — House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, RNC Chair Reince Priebus — and don’t feel any sense of connection to them.

    In fact, they don’t really relate to or connect with any particular politician. They either tune out politics as much as possible, or they find the political process to be dominated by adults acting like children and bickering in a selfish, obstinate manner.

    One reason they don’t feel any particular attachment to the current crop of Republican leaders — or perhaps the last Republican presidential standard-bearer, Mitt Romney — is that they’re suspicious, or at least wary of Wall Street, or most big companies. They may work for a big company but they don’t feel a particular loyalty or identification with their employer.

    These folks might sound like potential Tea Partiers, but at some point, these folks either tuned out the Tea Party or got turned off by some of the more fiery rhetoric. The tea-party rallies almost inevitably feature somebody dressed up in Revolutionary War garb, and that’s not who they are.

    Some people will see this as cute, some will see it as silly.

    However, Common Core drives them nuts because they don’t understand the homework their kid is bringing home. They feel sorry for all of the children from Central America coming over the border right now, but they don’t feel that taking care of those kids should be America’s duty.

    When these folks get galvanized, it’s more often by a figure outside the political arena who articulates a conservative value. Think of Tim Tebow, or Dr. Ben Carson, or Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe — soon to return to CNN — lamenting America’s lawsuit-minded culture and the loss of a sense of shame. Or Gene Simmons of Kiss, arguing that it’s silly to demonize the rich, important to assimilate immigrants, and to stand by Israel in the Middle East.

    Or Adam Carolla, raging against political correctness . . .

    It’s weird that comedians are on the list of people who are offending other people with the things they say. It’s counterintuitive. It’s like — I think every year Variety or The Hollywood Reporter or one of those magazines comes out with a list of celebrities or notables that hate the gay community. Whatever it is. I was on that list, because in 2011 I made a joke about Chaz Bono. Jesus Christ, if you can’t joke about Chaz Bono, then we’re all through! They had Tracy Morgan, several of the people on the list were comedians. And when did this start up? They’re comedians, onstage, making jokes! They may mean it half the time, but they’re still making jokes, why are they held to the same standard as statesmen?

    Here’s Nicole Curtis, host of Rehab Addict on HGTV, in a February Facebook post:

    In the past couple of weeks, I have had a few unpleasant experiences with women who actually had the nerve to state that they are a minority business owner (because they are a woman) and that should do what? This is where I bang my head — I am a business owner who happens to be a woman — don’t judge me on my gender — judge me on my work — ladies — you want equal ground — gain it by being equal in professionalism and quality of work — not by making excuses that you are a small minority business owner. It brings the rest of us down. I scrubbed floors for 10 years and worked my rear off to get where I am at — don’t think for a minute that I’m the person to whine to that you should be able to short step the process of dedication because you are a woman — last time I checked, I am too. We are all given opportunities when we put the time in and develop the drive — teach your daughters that that’s how you get ahead — no entitlement here, please.

    Even a bit of chef-turned-TV-travelogue host Anthony Bourdain:

    In New York, where I live, the appearance of a gun – anywhere — is a cause for immediate and extreme alarm. Yet, in much of America, I have come to find, it’s perfectly normal. I’ve walked many times into bars in Missouri, Nevada, Texas, where absolutely everyone is packing. I’ve sat down many times to dinner in perfectly nice family homes where — at end of dinner — Mom swings open the gun locker and invites us all to step into the back yard and pot some beer cans. That may not be Piers Morgan’s idea of normal. It may not be yours. But that’s a facet of American life that’s unlikely to change.

    I may be a New York lefty — with all the experiences, prejudices and attitudes that one would expect to come along with that, but I do NOT believe that we will reduce gun violence — or reach any kind of consensus — by shrieking at each other. Gun owners — the vast majority of them I have met — are NOT idiots. They are NOT psychos. They are not even necessarily Republican (New Mexico, by the way, is a Blue State). They are not hicks, right wing “nuts” or necessarily violent by nature. And if “we” have any hope of ever changing anything in this country in the cause of reason — and the safety of our children — we should stop talking about a significant part of our population as if they were lesser, stupider or crazier than we are.

    It’s almost as if the political arena delegitimizes the voices of its participants. But when a figure untainted by the 24-7 hypocritical rugby scrum that is our politics expresses what we would consider to be a conservative value, a lot of folks who aren’t into politics applaud.

    Am I describing instinctively-conservative populists? Or is this the “libertarian populist” phenomenon described by Ben Domenech and Conn Carroll?

    ADDENDA: Thanks, Adam Bellow, for listing me as one of “21 Conservative Writers To Read At The Beach” over at BuzzFeed. Looking back on the book, while I feel confident that the work is funny, light, and fast-moving, there’s one element of summer or beach reading that is missing: escapism.

    You know the drill: The Weed Agency is . . . $9.97 on Amazon, $7.99 on Kindle, $9.97 at Barnes and Noble, $9.99 on Nook, and IndieBound can steer you to an independent bookseller near you.

    . . . I’m scheduled to appear on Greta’s panel tonight.

    To read more, visit

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Government Health Care see the VA.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Government Health Care.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is not our country it is the government.

  8. Anonymous says:

    First reading this I was feeling confused but reading farther I was thinking been there done that. Totally agree with you about the telemarketers and honestly had more calls after registering the phone number that I was wondering are they giving out my phone number. I changed my phone number and did not register the new one and so far am having peace other than someone calling looking for the previous holder.
    Some of your comments in this discussion made me laugh and I wanted to thank you for that because today and the past couple of days have been pretty bad ones here. So thanks for the laughs your comments gave me. I hope you and Darleen have a wonderful peaceful day.

    Nancy Darlene

  9. Anonymous says:

    C’est toujours au moment du repas que le téléphone sonne. Qu’est-ce que je râle !!!!!! Maintenant, je filtre mes appels et si personne ne laisse de message sur mon répondeur, c’est que ce n’est pas important. Si c’est ma famille ou mes amis, là je décroche car ils sont toujours les bienvenus !!!!
    Le seul moment où je décroche sans savoir qui est de l’autre côté du fil, c’est lorsque l’un de mes petits-fils dort. Je saute rapidement sur mon téléphone afin qu’ils ne soient pas réveillés par la sonnerie. Je râle d’autant plus que c’est pour me proposer soit un contrat obsèques, soit pour une mutuelle destinée aux séniors ou tout autre chose qui me rappelle mon âge !!!!! J’ai plus de soixante ans et je suis ciblée…….. Heureusement qu’ils ne connaissent pas l’âge de mon cerveau (15 ans 😉 ) sinon ils me proposeraient une inscription dans une école…..

  10. Anonymous says:

    Americans are growing angrier at the federal government especially over illegal immigration.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The do not call registry doesn’t work in Canada either. There are too many exemptions, such as charities and political parties during election campaigns. We had a call from the Diabetes Foundation tonight at 6:30, during our dinner. I feel your pain, or maybe that’s indigestion I feel.

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