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.”