Cost of the War in Iraq
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It's Mine! - You Can't Play With It!

From Slashdot "siddesu wrote to mention an article on CNN Money about the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court patent suit involving eBay. We've previously mentioned the case. The SCOTUS will hear opening arguments on Wednesday, March 29th. From the article: "Lawyers for eBay and small e-commerce company MercExchange will square off over whether eBay should be barred from using its popular 'Buy it Now' feature, which infringes on two MercExchange patents. The case is being closely watched to see if the high court will scale back the right of patent holders to get an injunction barring infringers from using their technologies. Software companies complain they can be held for ransom by owners of questionable patents while drugmakers oppose any weakening of patent rights, which they say would chill their investment in new medicines."
The US Patent and Trademark Office has created this whole mess. Granting patents and trademarks on almost anything is not what was intended for such an agency.

Giving a patent on the words, "Buy It Now"? Give me a break. They allowed the word entrepreneur to be trademarked, Santa Claus, Spring Water, and even the word Sex for use in certain educational materials and believe it or not, the word Sex is trademarked for the category of refrigerator magnets.

The USPTO has to stop granting trademarks and patents on everything that anyone wants and needs to start letting intelligent people actually read these applications before stamping them approved. We can put monkeys in their place and teach them to stamp documents if they aren't going to read them anyway. Or . . . has that already happened?

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Bush's Idea of Creating a Democracy

From the Ny Times - "KABUL, Afghanistan, Tuesday, March 28 — The justice minister announced Tuesday that a jailed Afghan man who faced the death penalty for converting to Christianity has been released.

The man, Abdul Rahman, who had been accused of apostasy for abandoning Islam, had been in custody for weeks but had not been formally charged."
This is a perfect example of what forcing muslim countries into democracy will be like. They have no clue what true democracy is nor did they ask us to give it to them.

More things that just piss me off

IRAQ didn't have WMDs and Ties to Al queda?

From the NY Times - "WASHINGTON, March 27 — American intelligence agencies and presidential commissions long ago concluded that Saddam Hussein had no unconventional weapons and no substantive ties to Al Qaeda before the 2003 invasion."
The reason I find this paragraph funny, is because if you go to right-wing blogs like and say this, they will ban you from posting as being anti-bush. They will deny the truth of this statement and there are a lot of Americans out there who still think that WMDs were found, that saddam hussein was close to al queda, and that saddam helped plan 9-11.

Why should they bother with facts when they have a president and vice president that will tell them whatever they want to hear?

More things that just piss me off

Bloggers Are Now Part Of The Media Officially

According to new laws the FEC considers blogs the same as television, radio, or newspaper, as far as political campaigns are concerned. They have decided that campaign financing laws that are meant for mainstream media apply to blogs as well.

As a blogger, I like the new law and appreciate the recognition of blogging as legitimate media.

I'm going to study it more before I comment on whether I think it's good for political campaign financing reform.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Legalizing Illegal Immigrants

"WASHINGTON, March 27 — With Republicans deeply divided, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Monday to legalize the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants and ultimately to grant them citizenship, provided that they hold jobs, pass criminal background checks, learn English and pay fines and back taxes."
That was from the Ny Times. Now IF all of those requirements are in a bill that move illegal immigrants toward citizenship, I'm all for it. But look for them to water it down as it passes into law.

"The panel also voted to create a vast temporary worker program that would allow roughly 400,000 foreigners to come to the United States to work each year and would put them on a path to citizenship as well"
That one is where the problem is. Why go for citizenship where they will have to pay taxes, have background checks, etc., when through this program they can come here much as they always have, without having to do any of those things.

Being an American Citizen is a privilege. It does not matter where you come from. You are welcome here, IF you are willing to do so legally, either through visas or applying for citizenship.

There are no other options that need to be created for specific people just because they will not do it the way it was designed.

If enough people rob banks do we need to come up with a guest robber program at the local banks?

This is a country of laws. If you break the law you are a criminal. It does not matter whether you agree that it is a good law or not. These are Illegal Immigrants, not "visiting workers" or "impoverished people we need to feel sorry for" or any other term you want to apply.

They do not respect the laws of this country that says they must get a visa or apply for citizenship, so what makes anyone think they will respect any other laws in this country?

I was pulled over for speeding in Mexico one time, The first thing the cop said, "You do not respect the laws here in Mexico". How ironic.

I'm all for people from any country becoming citizens of this country. I cannot be convinced that there should be some way around the law and that people should not have to become a citizen in order to enjoy the freedoms and benefits many of our citizens have fought and died for.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Pot Calling The Kettle Black

In the beginning, there was the Jobs. He had an Apple. The apple in the garden of computerland was beautiful.

Then along came the Gates, who saw how beautiful was the apple and plucked it for his own.

Now the Linux saw that the Gates was chrging too much money for the beautiful apple he stole and decided to create another fruit even more beautiful and offer it to people as an alternative to the apple that Gates had.

Now the Gates, through his minion, the Ballmer, is upset and wants to sue the Linux, saying the new fruit is similar to his apple which really had belonged to the Jobs in the first place.

Click here to read the article about Ballmer talking of Microsoft suing Linux is you are really really bored.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Domain Name Communism

Okay, if you want to read the article, Click here.

Dot AU, the australian TLD, is deciding whether or not monetizing domain names is a legitimate use of a domain name.

WIPO, the world intellectual property organization, with the blessing of ICANN, internet corporation for assigned names and numbers, gets to decide whether you have a "legitimate interest" in a domain name if some corporation wants your name.

Who are these people? What planet do they come from? Who decided they should tell everyone what is or is not a legitimate use of a domain name? It's perfectly legitimate for me to register a domain name just because I want to own a domain name.

I am not required to build a website on it. I might just want to tell all my friends, "LOOK! I own a domain name!"

Maybe I want to become a domain name collector! We could trade them like baseball cards!

A domain name is simply a string of letters that represents the actual address of a website, IF you chose to build one there. The normal address is numerical, currently with four sections called IPV4, like

While that one would be easy to remember, one like 216.9.873.301 might not be. You wouldn't want everyone to have to remember the numbers to get to your website, thats why they created domain names to point at those numbers. Easier to remember.

Also, you don't actually OWN a domain name nor do you own the IP numerical address. You register it and it is provided as a service to you, much like a phone number and the service they provide.

The registry for your domain name makes sure people "connect" with your website just as the phone company makes sure people "connect" when they call you on the telephone.

Do you see people trying to see if you have legitimate use of your phone number?

Your phone has letters that also correspond to the numbers on the dial or touchpad. If my phone number was 305-372-3673, it could also mean 305-372-FORD. So does Ford Motor Company sue me for my telephone number?

That would be ridiculous wouldn't it? It's no different than being sued for your domain name.

Cybersquatting should only be defined as registering a domain name that exactly matches a compnay name with a nefarious purpose, such as, you only registered the name with the intent of selling it to the company for a profit, you only registered it because they are a competitor and you don't want them to be able to have their name, if you registered it with the intent to fool consumers into thinking you are that company, or if you plan to profit from that traffic by sending the users who go there to a competitor of that company.

Thats my opinion. You may not have the same opinion as me because I have it first. I will sue any of you reading this if you attempt to have the same opinion as me.

When I grow up I want to be just like the people at ICANN and WIPO.

by Chris McElroy AKA NameCritic
More things that just piss me off

3/25/06 run by 5th Graders

Just another example. I find this so laughable. is definitely run by 12-year-olds. Everytime someone disagrees with them, thomas or another staff member or a member of their butt-kissing corps threatens to ban them.

I'm not going to play with you anymore! Reminds me of like 5th grade.

Read through the comments, you'll see exactly what I mean.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

NCMEC - Public Perception

The NCMEC certainly has great public relations experts working for them. They should be ashamed of the way they use a topic like missing children to enhance their image and fundraising efforts though.

Read the following story;
"Missing-children cases tied to hurricanes now closed

NEW ORLEANS - The largest child-recovery effort in U.S. history is complete after more than six months, and 5,192 children who were missing after hurricanes Katrina and Rita have been reunited with family members, officials said Tuesday.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children worked with the FBI, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Postal Service, Red Cross and other agencies to find the thousands of children separated from their parents or guardians when Hurricane Katrina hit Aug. 29 and Hurricane Rita hit just a few weeks later.

Of the more than 5,000 children, all but 12 were found alive. Most were found living with other relatives, family friends or other adults, a spokesman for the center said.

The last displaced child, 4-year-old Cortez Stewart, was reunited with her mother and five siblings in Houston on March 16."
I guess if you are not involved in finding missing children, it might be difficult to understand why this pisses me off. I will try to explain a little.

First, the law that created the NCMEC stated they were to take the funding that created them and distribute funds to smaller orgs that help find missing children.

They do not do that. Although they get around 40 million a year in funding, 30 million of which are taxpayer dollars, they don't fund any effort that doesn't have their name on it. I believe they are afraid someone who is really do something will take a bite out of their funding from the government.

Their PR people are the best. They spend over 800,000 dollars per year, enough to fund some smaller organizations, just on public relations.

They get stories like the above circulated with the appearance that there was children missing all over New Orleans waiting for the NCMEC to sweep in and rescue them.

Here is the real scoop. One federal agency, FEMA, screwed up the disaster effort in many ways, one of which was not doing some type of documentation about who they bussed where. They did not do this, so another federally funded organization swoops in and figures out where all the children were bussed to and which relative they were with.

The children were not missing in the classic sense. They were bussed somewhere, with one of their relatives or caretakers, and FEMA didn't know where. NCMEC to the rescue! Funding assured! That should have been the headline.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Missing Child Found

The following is a success story. We don't hear enough of those.

RENTON, Wash. -- Shortly after an Amber Alert had been issued, a missing child's mother, Brittany Matthews, told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News that 3-year-old Brooklyn McDade has been found safe in Kent.

When Matthews arrived at work Friday morning, she realized she didn't have her keys. She asked her boyfriend, with whom she lives, to bring them to her. Matthews then called a neighbor to watch Brooklyn until the boyfriend would return.

The neighbor came to Matthews' apartment, found Brooklyn sleeping and returned to her own apartment. When Brooklyn awoke, nobody was at the residence, so she walked out of the apartment and was found by another neighbor, Sheila Porter.

Porter took Brooklyn back into Matthews' apartment to look for her mother. When Porter realized nobody was home, she wrote down a phone number that was posted in the residence and called and left a message on that number stating that she had Brooklyn.

Several hours had passed before the message left on a friend's phone indicating that Brooklyn was with Porter was relayed to Matthews. Brooklyn is safe, and Renton police reunited her with her mother at 1 p.m. Friday.
Nice story and a good example of how a little confusion can lead to a missing child call. However, you should never assume it is just something like that. You should always call and report your child is missing, just in case it's not this simple.

What is a shame, though, is that the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, the NCMEC, will add this to their list of children that they tell the public they assited in finding.

Since the girl was reported missing, it went into their database and may have appeared on their website. The child was found and it had nothing to do with their website or them doing anything, but they will claim it anyway. They always do. Numbers look good when they are trying to make sure they keep their 40 million per year in funding.

Comment on our Missing Children Message Board
Kidsearch Network Website
Donate to Kidsearch
Missing Children Blog

3/24/06 Becoming More Communistic

I've said it before and I'll say it again, It's just amazing at how some right wing blogs are afraid that someone might disagree with them.

Before, at redstate.og if you said anything beside Heil Bush! you got banned immediately afterwards.

Now, they have a 5 day waiting period before even their own members can post so they can make sure nothing gets printed there that does not support herr bush 100%.

And the most amazing thing of all is that their members are applauding the censorship! LOOK!

They claim to be patriotic americans but hate free speech. They claim to support the troops when those very troops are dying to protect our freedoms, including freedom of speech. They are killing the free speech our soldiers are dying to protect.

In the case of, red doesn't stand for republican, it stand for communism.

Article Scams

I was writing articles for promoting websites long before it became the hot thing for SEO companies and other to promote.

Promoting your website using articles works and here is why. You write an article on a topic associated with your website's products or services. You submit that article to article submission websites that in turn offer it to webmasters as free content.

Each article contains links to your website in the footer or author bio area. That means everytime a webmaster places your article into their website, it becomes another website that links to yours.

They are probably a related link, which is even more valuable. They won't likely pick up articles that are not related to their topic.

So overall, it's a legitimate white hat approach to gaining link popularity and visibility for your website.

But as with any good thing on the web, bring on the clowns, the scammers who work harder at stealing your money than they ever would have to when earning a legitimate buck.

You violate someone's copyright by not only copying and pasting their text exactly as it was written, but even IF you reword the text using synonyms, etc.

You violate someone's copyright if their article is the ONLY source you used when writing your article, even if you completely wrote it from scratch using their article as the reference.

There are people out there selling software that rewords other people's articles. They tell you that the software does not violate copyright law. They tell you that you will be able to copyright the new article produced by the software.

Not true. An outright lie. No other way to put it.

Then there are those that are selling "packages" of articles and telling you that you can just put your name on them and submit them.

Again, they are lying to you. Article Submission Websites like use duplicate content software to detect when the same article is being submitted under different names. They will catch you even if you rewrite portions of the article.

You will end up being banned from ever submitting to them again. Much like trying to manipulate the search engines, article submission websites are becoming more sofisticated and they will ban you with extreme prejudice.

They rely on good original content to build up their websites. The webmasters who come to them expect to see original material. Using cheats and shortcuts hurts them and they fight back by making sure you can't ever submit to them again. Soon they will be sharing lists of banned authors. Don't screw yourself.

The only acceptable means of using articles to promote your website is to write, or have someone write, good original articles. An example of this can be found at Article Content

Having someone write an article for you as a ghost writer is perfectly legitimate. Yes, your byline goes on the article that was written by someone else. However, you paid them to ghost write for you. You own the rights to the article, not the writer you paid. They cannot sell that same article to anyone else.

That is the only acceptable method. If someone offers to ghost write articles for you, but wants to retain some rights, or wants to be able to sell it again, or wants their links or byline in it, then you are using the wrong person to write your articles.

You pay for it, it belongs to you. Don't fall for the scams. Good articles take time and effort to write, thats why so many scammers are out there. They know people can't or won't write their own articles and may fall for the easy way out.

By Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Okay, I was a little rough on Those is really one of my favorite blogs. They really are not a whiny bunch. I just get a little pissed off when someone attacks legitimate uses of the rss feeds they themselves offer to the public.

I am re-adding their links because I genuinely think they have a good blog and when we spoke, we had an intelligent discussion of the pros and cons of autoblogging.

The fact is, the autobloggers are here to stay, so we can be like the marines and adapt, adjust, and overcome, or we can whine about it. I choose to adopt the marine's attitude.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Those Bastards .com Links Removed due to Whiny Baby Overload

You know I blog pretty much what I think and don't care what anyone thinks about it. If they don't like it they can post a comment or just go away. I don't care. This is my blog and it's titled Things That Just Piss ME Off.

I also started a new blog at

That blog is like a newsreader. I add my favorite RSS Feeds from other blogs and my own RSS Feeds from my blogs and I can view them all in one place. Very convenient. I like it.

However, some bloggers who have an RSS Feed and who would be ecstatic if some big website picked up and reposted their feeds with all links and author credits intact, are now whining that when a small website like mine does it that it is STEALING their content.

Then they should take down their rss feed or put up a notation that says, for personal use only or something. As long as you repost someone's article as your own or disable the links back to their website or fail to give the author credit, you are doing nothing wrong in reposting their material through an rss feed that they themselves provide.

If they have a commons license that clearly says DO NOT USE THIS FEED TO REPOST MY ARTICLE BECAUSE I'M TOO STUPID TO KNOW THAT IT HELPS ME, then rss feeds were meant to be used.

I disabled the links and feeds for because they made a whiny fuss about people using their feed. I have no patience for whiny baby blogs anyway. I not only disabled their feed to my autoblog, I dosabled the link from here and my other blogs as well.

The more people that repost your blog post or article AND link back to you, the more your link popularity increases and the more traffic your website gets.

RSS = Real Simple Syndication

Evidently it isn't simple enough for some people.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


You know, being on the mailing list for the GNSO and listing or reading all the bs that ICANN puts out to the general public is sometimes tiresome, sometimes frustrating, and at other times just simply aggravating.

Then to watch news sources repeat what ICANN told them without doing any investigating on their own is even worse. ICANN does press release. All media repeats press release. What ever happened to the days when there were actual journalists?

Anyway, I'm going to include some excerpts here from an ICANN document about the release of new TLDs and comment on sections of it to tell you what is really going on.

"In November 2000, the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) selected seven proposals for new top-level domains (gTLDs): .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name and .pro. This was the first effort to expand the domain name system (DNS) since the 1980s, other than by adding "country code top-level domains" that correspond to particular countries or territories."
Out of all of the possible TLDs in all the possible languages, an infinite number of new TLDs were possible, yet ICANN in their infinite wisdom chose .museum and .aero and .coop to be the best TLDs they could introduce.

How many BETTER TLDs can you name right now off the top of your head? Nuff said.

"The new gTLD start-up periods proved generally effective at protecting the interests of trademark holders, but suffered from other problems."
Nowhere in the MOU that created ICANN does it say they should even be concerned about trademark protection. They are not part of the USPTO and domain names were never meant to correspond with Trademarks.

That doesn't mean you should be able to run out and register someone's trademarked company name. That could be handled in the court system just fine. They can sue you.

However, it is not ICANN's job! Yet, it is the first thing they brag about doing so well here. Again, they brag about doing something that is not in their MOU or bylaws or Mission Statement.

This proves that IP interests like large corporations have gained control of what is supposed to be a nonprofit technical body and turned it into a vehicle to protect their Intellectual Property.

"Looking to the future, these experiences suggest several options: (i) a Sunrise period that verifies registrations by use of online databases and other means in a cost-effective manner; (ii) notice to prospective registrants and trademark holders of their respective claims prior to adjudication, perhaps on the basis of the familiar UDRP rather than the new "STOP" procedure .biz used; or (iii) reliance on UDRP alone, as simpler and appropriate given that trademark registrations may constitute only 2 - 3% of all registrations."
Again, it is not ICANN's job to defend trademarks. Not only that, but this statement reflects the belief that a trademark holder has the right to, and is expected to re-register their name in every new TLD that gets launched.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Trademarks are registered in specific classes. Several companies have registered trademarks that include the exact same string of letters, but they are registered in different classes, and then sometimes only for a specific geographic region, allowing other companies in other geographic regions the right to register a mark in their area for the exact same string of letters.

Take Apple Computers and Apple Records for instance. The whole idea behind new TLDs is to give OTHER companies with a legitimate use or trademark to also be able to register their name is some TLD. If Apple Computers got, then when a new TLD is launched, Apple Records could get Apple.something.

ICANN is illegally helping a small number of companies monopolize certain strings of letters so no one else, even other trademark holders, can have them. But then, just look at the ICANN-Verisign agreement and you will see that ICANN favors monopolies anyway.

"The process .info and .biz used to allocate names – called a "round robin" -- was criticized for enabling manipulation of the system. Some registrars kept their list of desired names short and offered coveted slots to their best customers. Others used registrars they controlled to do the same, while they opened their own lists to the general public. (Initial efforts by .biz to design an alternative distribution system for led a court to determine it would have constituted an illegal lottery.) The .name registry sought to eliminate the advantage of submitting shorter lists by using random batch processing, but that did not prevent registrants from submitting duplicate requests through multiple registrars. Admittedly, the dilemma of how best to allocate names does not have an easy solution. Other options include first-come, first-served; auctions; and reverse Dutch auctions. The most appropriate method depends to a great extent on which underlying values should be given priority. It also depends on which entity should benefit from the monetary rewards that certain names generate. Both subjects require more discussion within the ICANN community."
This is not much different than insider trading. Maybe the SEC should be involved anytime a new TLD is launched, because it is obvious ICANN can't do the job it was created to do.

As far as more discussion withiin the ICANN community, let me define that for you in ICANN terms. That means the ICANN BoD will discuss with it's favorite coporate buddies how best to spin their illegal dealings so they sound beneficial to the public and to the DoC.

The ICANN community used to include the General Assembly which was made up of individual users of the Internet. ICANN closed that down because the general public was causing them too much trouble. They are supposed to act with a bottom-up consensus that includes public comment. But as soon as they saw the public wasn't swallowing the bs they put out there, they shut it down in violation of their own bylaws.

They also shut down the DNSO working groups, of which I also personally participated in. That group also made recommendations that were not in the best interests of the corporations like verisign.

Now they have the GNSO, which basically just signs off on whatever the ICANN BoD wants to do. Now they are happy. This organization will not be shut down.

"The new gTLDs have introduced some competition, but how much is debatable. Examining market share, extent of actual choice and price elasticity suggests that impact has been minimal. Other evidence, however, indicates that TLD expansion has attracted about 20% new registrants and led to new uses among 40 – 60% of registrants. The most significant contribution has been the development of facilities-based competition. As a result, new providers of registry services have been able to compete effectively with the incumbent registry, VeriSign, on that basis. Innovation has played a supporting role, and may become increasingly important as the three largest registries work to distinguish themselves from one another."
Now if that isn't a crock of %^&*. Dot Com still has NO effective competition because the choices of new TLDs that have been introduced are not worth mentioning. dots aero, biz, museum, name? Those are supposed to compete with dot com? Give me a break.

Now if you can't see it right in front of you, let me spell it out. ICANN gives Verisign a monopoly on dot com through their recent agreement. It includes the ability to raise prices without raising any levels of service. ICANN makes sure no TLD gets launched that might actually have a chance of competing with dot com.

Sound like collusion to you? Look at the evidence then you decide. Out of all the possible TLDs that people might really want to have, look at the ones that ICANN has introduced and look at some of those they have blocked. dots web, kid, xxx, and all of the other ideas they have rejected like creating a TLD for every class so they match trademark classes, which would protect trademark holders while giving everyone with a mark a chance to register their name.

They have rejected creating hundreds of TLDs because they say it threatens the stability of the Internet. What they really mean is that it would threaten the stability of verisign's bottom line. Other roots exist. They have hundreds of tlds. They have less budget than ICANN. Yet those roots are very stable and have no problems. There is proof that the technical stability of the Internet is not threatened by the introduction of new tlds.

And that technical reason is ALL ICANN is supposed to be the authority for. Trademarks are not their responsibility. Verisign's stock prices are not their responsibility.

"Launching a new gTLD is not for the faint of heart. The experiences of the six that have done it already, and the wisdom the community as a whole as gained, should provide valuable assistance to those TLDs that follow."
Yeah, it's not for the faint of heart, it's for the faint of mind if you believe ICANN has the interest of users in mind when making any of their decisions. And again, as far as when they say community, that doesn't include you or I. It doesn't include individual users of the Internet. That community doesn't include small business owners of domain names.

The community ICANN is talking about is a handful of corporations that have control of the board of directors.

This is not from a brand new document. This just brings the recent verisign deal into context for you. You can read the whole statement from ICANN here.

by Chris McElroy AKA NameCritic
More things that just piss me off



Redefining ‘Proficiency’ - The Death of our Education System

Things That Just Piss Me Off would like to welcome guest blogger, Chuck Crawford.

Redefining ‘Proficiency’ - The Death of our Education System
By Chuck Crawford

I was watching the local San Diego news stations this morning and one of their leading stories was the fact that the kids in the area’s school district can’t pass the proficiency tests.

Now this should really come as no surprise, we’ve all known for a long time that teachers in California don’t really teach, they collect paychecks. What never ceases to amaze me is how they want to solve this problem.

In the real world, the one where you have to actually produce if you want to keep your job, if you don’t do a good job you get fired. Period. If you can’t do your job your boss will bring in someone that can. He or she will not simply lower the standard of production. You’ll just be fired for being incompetent.

But that’s exactly what the school administrators and area legislators want to do. Rather than actually try to ‘teach’ the children and get them educated enough to pass the tests, their solution was that the word ‘proficient’ be redefined. “The district’s are simply losing too much money over this” one administrator said. If you are a parent you should be pissed off at this. What they are saying is that they don’t want to teach the kids to get the cash, they want to lower the standards so that they can continue to get the funding.

It’s your money that these leaches are spending. They will continue to do so as long as no one challenges them.

Get pissed off. If anything is worth getting angry about, it’s your children’s education. If they can’t do the job, they don’t deserve the money. They don’t deserve to HAVE the damn job.

What we need is teacher and administrator accountability. We need teachers that want to teach. We need a system that REQUIRES them to teach. If they can’t do the job, then they get FIRED!

Yes, I’m pissed off. And you should be too.

People wonder why I left the U.S. There are many reasons, this kind of bureaucracy is just one.

Chuck Crawford

Expatriate Blog

More things that just piss me off using shady tactics?

I get news alerts from google alerts and open those that interest me. I love the service and getting news based on the keywords I suggest.

Today, I was viewing news about domain names and a link came up to a press release that looked interesting. I clicked on it and read the story, then went to close my browser window, another window popped up. I closed it, another popped up, then another and another in a constant loop.

I had to control+alt+delete to turn off all the different browser windows I was using to do my work with in order to escape the trap.

If uses these tactics to claim wider distribution of their press releases than they really have, then they are a scam. If they are using this method to generate false impressions they then relay that information to their clients as proof they are doing a good job, then they are a fraud.

If, and I repeat IF, their webmaster just made some ignorant mistake in the code, then I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, however, with my knowledge of html, there is no accidental way to create an exit console, then another, then another, etc. etc.

As far as I'm concerned I would never use a pr company that would use this sort of tactic to generate false results. What you do is up to you.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Credit Card Theft - What Can You Do?

Now this really pisses me off. Go into a store and try to write a check. You remember checks, those paper things with numbers on them? You will have to produce two forms of ID before they will accept your check.

However, walk in with a debit or credit card and you just slide it through, no questions asked. Convenient isn't it?

But what happens when your credit or debit card gets stolen? The thief just scans it the same way you do and they ring up the purchase just as easy.

Why don't the stores check ID for credit cards the same way they do for checks? The only reason I can come up with is that they are just stupid.

If you have ever had your credit card stolen, you know how much hassle that causes you and how long it takes to get the money back into your account that was stolen from you through the thief using your card.

They have thieves that now can completely reproduce your credit card if they have the number, the expiration date, the name on the card, and the three numbers on the back.

They are profiting big from this because they know stores are too stupid to require ID when making a purchase.

Then you get to wait and see IF you can recover the money spent from your account. These companies that are too stupid to ask for ID get to decide whether you should or should not get the money back. Scary isn't it?

I don't sign the back of my card. I put "CHECK ID". While that is a smart practice it seems, the stores still don't check my ID.

What we all have to do to protect ourselves in my opinion is the following.

1. Put "Check ID" on the back of your credit or debit card.

2. Every time a store clerk does not check your ID, ask to see a manager. Tell the manager that you will no longer be shopping here if you come in one more time and the clerk does not ask to see your ID.

We can change one store at a time. Believe me, this works. They do not want to lose your business. If it does happen a second time, call for the manager again, repeat the process. If it is the same manager ask him if he is too stupid to have understood your request the first time and ask for HIS/HER supervisor so you can give them the same ultimatum.

If everyone starts doing that, then they will start to check ID and the thieves won't be able to use your stolen credit card or information so easily.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

The Advertising Race

Online advertising has become a booming business reaching into the billions of dollars. The race to see who can gather the most data on customers is increasing due to the large stakes involved.

Advertising companies trying to get an edge on their competition don't care anything about your privacy. They are going to do whatever it takes to accumulate more of your private information than their competition.

This is not good news for consumers. The more these advertising companies design programs that gather your personal data, the easier it will be for others to steal that same data to steal your identity.

Not only that, but the government is buying that information from those who gather that data. Soon the government will know everything about you. Of course some say thats okay. But what happens when they start to use it to see what your political views are, what associations you belong to, and what dirt they can come up with on you to influence your vote or other things?

You may say I'm an alarmist, but remember the McCarthy days. The FBI had files on everyone. Now of course they say they don't do that anymore. You believe that?

If you don't think advertisers are playing for keeps in gathering your personal data, you need to read the article below. People think that spyware is something that some crook puts out there. They are absolutely right. It's just that the crook's names are the same as those of big advertising firms.

Click here to see why advertising companies want your personal information.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Intellectual Property Owners Stifle Innovation

I am 100% supportive of the right to file a trademark, patent, or servicemark. I want to get that out of the way first. America was built on the greatness of it's inventors and innovators and they have a right to be protected.

That being said, the US Patent and Trademark Office has gone completely off their rocker. Corporations have muscled their way in and began to make trademarks and patents a total joke.

Let's start with this article

So they OWN the words Super Hero? Two ordinary words. They have been allowed by the USPTO to believe they actually OWN that string of letters.

First of all what is a trademark? According to; (Don't type it into the browser without the www because our government isn't smart enough to hire webmasters who know how to make the domain name work without the www)

"A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name."

Note that it says to be used and not owned. Some may think there is no difference there. Ah, but let's take a closer look.

When filing a Trademark, you must choose a "CLASS", like Medical Apparatus, Firearms, Jewelry, etc. Therefore, you do NOT OWN the string of letters or words, you have the right to USE them when doing business in your particular category, while someone else can use the same string of letters to file a trademark in another CLASS.

In addition to that, federal registration is not required to establish rights in a trademark. Common law rights arise from actual use of a mark. Generally, the first to either use a mark in commerce or file an intent to use application with the Patent and Trademark Office has the ultimate right to use and registration. However, there are many benefits of federal trademark registration.

This is directly relative to registering domain names. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers) turned over domain name disputes to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization, with a very loose definition of the word Intellectual).

In many cases, a person has filed a domain name, then long after the filing of the domain name, someone else registered a trademark for the same string of letters. But remember the trademark registrant had to choose a specific class for their mark. They did not register OWNERSHIP of a string of letters.

However, in 80% of these cases, WIPO has found that the trademark registrant had the right to take the domain name away from the person who registered the domain name long before the trademark was filed.

In addition to that, nowhere in your trademark application are you guaranteed a domain name that matches your trademark.

The domain name is NOT in a particular class, therefore it does not match your trademark, even if it is the exact same string of letters.

Registering a domain name is EXACTLY like first use or intent to use. The domain name registrant, if it was registered before the mark, has MORE rights than the trademark holder, not less.

ICANN and WIPO have consistently misapplied trademark law to suit the big corporations. Many large corporations missed the boat in the first rounds of domain name registration when many of the good names were registered.

They didn't bother with filing good generic domain names nor even their own company names because they thought the Internet was a passing fad.

As soon as they became aware of the enormous potential of the Internet and found that many of the good domain names were taken, they put their lawyers to work to try to steal good domain names from others who had previous rights to the domain names due to the first come first serve policy of domain name registration.

Reverse Domain Name Hijacking has been occurring for a long time now. The big corporations get all the publicity when a Cybersquatter registers a domain name that matches their trademark. And the publication of those stories makes them sound like poor helpless victims.

What does not get reported is the fact they have teams of lawyers searching for domain names that are owned by individuals that they want for their own. When they find one they want, they send threatening letters to the individual, threatening expensive lawsuits, etc. etc.

In many cases the individual is scared, does not understand, and simply turns over their domain name to the big bad corporation. That is their game. Domain name acquisition through intimidation.

Why doesn't this get published to the public more? Because individuals don't buy advertising, corporations do. The media slants these stories in favor of those who pay it advertising money.

People need to understand trademark law and it's relationship to domain names so they can protect themselves. Do not just turn your domain name over to someone who threatens you. If you need help with that type of letter, email me at and I will do everything I can to help explain what your rights are.

Chris McElroy has bought and sold more than 500 domain names, has been a member of the DNSO (Domain Name Supporting Organization) working groups, a member the General Assembly of individual users under ICANN, and is currently on mailing lists to advise and monitor the actions of the GNSO (Generic Names Supporting Organization). He continues to fight for the rights of individual users of the Internet and domain name holders. His website, has more articles for you to read.

More things that just piss me off


FCC Indecent With Fines


Ok, now this really pisses me off. Under this administration a lot of things have happened to piss me off, but this one takes the cake and again shows a pattern of an administration who wants to have complete power and wants to punish everyone who does not think they way they do.

For those of you who wish to hold curious george bush blameless in all things, remember he is the one that puts his cronies in charge of these agencies so he is ultimately responsible for their attitudes, actions, and policies.

Federal regulators proposed a record $3.6 million fine against a single TV show, penalizing CBS and its affiliates for an episode of "Without a Trace" that suggested a teenage sexual orgy, in the first batch of indecency fines proposed in more than a year.

Overall, the complaints affirmed the FCC's stance that common four-letter expletives aren't suitable for broadcast and would draw fines, except in "rare cases" that such language was "demonstrably essential to the nature of an artistic or educational work," such as the war film "Saving Private Ryan," which the FCC had previously found was permissible to broadcast.

In total, the FCC proposed fines of about $4 million, including the $3.6 million "Without a Trace" fine but not including the Super Bowl fine, which had been previously levied. A further four shows were found to be indecent, but didn't have fines levied against them. Complaints against dozens of shows were rejected, including one about an episode of Oprah Winfrey's talk show that featured graphic language about teen sex.
Oh no! Not Oprah! So, now the FCC gets to decide when expletives and indecency is appropriate and when it is not. They will fine some but not fine others. No uniform code here, just a bunch of cronies sitting around deciding what we should or should not be able to watch. If they set a standard and stuck by it, that is one thing. When we must trust their interpretation of what is or is not decent, that is unacceptable.

The FCC assessed a $27,500 fine for a "Pool Party" episode of the WB Television Network's "The Surreal Life 2" in 2004, which the FCC said went over the line by featuring 20 nude female friends of porn actor Ron Jeremy. Although the network used pixilation to obscure the women's bodies, the FCC ruled it was "unmistakable" that partygoers were exposing themselves and "participating in sexual activities."

CBS's "Without a Trace" drew the $3.6 million fine against 111 stations for an episode that showed no nudity, but featured scenes suggesting a teen orgy.
So, with some shows, even the hint that something might be going on that you cannot actually see is indecent. If allowed they will go further and further. When do the book burnings start?

Click here to read the whole article at the Wallstreet Journal

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


IQ Test for Politicians

The law we most need we will never have because those that would have to vote for it aqre the subject of the law. I think we need to have a law that states all persons who wish to hold political office has to take an IQ test and score better than a monkey to be eligible to run.

This is a reprint of an article from zdnet

Controversial plans to create an Internet red-light district would be revived under a new U.S. Senate proposal.

On Thursday, two Senate Democrats, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Max Baucus of Montana, introduced a bill called the "Cyber Safety for Kids Act of 2006." The 11-page measure would require the U.S. Department of Commerce to work with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit organization that oversees domain names, to develop plans for a domain name system that would house material deemed "harmful to minors."
This goes back to the age-old question, Who gets to decide what is or is not obscene?

That material, according to the bill, includes any "communication," image, article, recording or other "obscene" matter, including actual or simulated sexual acts and "lewd exhibition of the genitals or post-pubescent female breast."
Ahh, there we have it. Now who gets to add things onto that law that they find offensive later on down the road?

"By corralling pornography in its own domain, our bill provides parents with the ability to create a 'do not enter zone' for their kids," Pryor said in a statement.
Which can now be done with filters as effectively as with it having it's own TLD.

On a second note. These are LEGAL businesses right now. Who is going to reimburse them for all of the money they have spent on promoting the link to their current domain name?

I'm not advocating for pornography here. I'm advocating against the governemnt being able to tell you that for one reason or another you must move your business and eat the cost of doing so.

He is also a sponsor of a legislative proposal to levy a 25 percent tax on Internet pornographers.
When they begin to tax anything it always begins with "it's for the children orr it's to protect the children." This is the foot in the door to tax all things Internet.

The bill suggests, but does not require, that .xxx serve as the domain name ending. Any commercial Internet site or online service that "has as its principal or primary business the making available of material that is harmful to minors" would be required to move its site to that domain. Failure to comply with those requirements would result in civil penalties as determined by the Commerce Department.
And forcing them to do so at their expense will result in civil court liabilities for the taxpayers. Soon tax money will be spent to finance the move to a new TLD.

It's unclear whether the measure will go very far. First of all, it could be struck down as unconstitutional, said Marv Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
Well, DUH!

Courts have determined that regulations restricting speech "must serve a compelling governmental interest, and be narrowly tailored and the least intrusive method of meeting the compelling need," Johnson wrote in an e-mail to CNET

The Supreme Court has decided that protecting children is a compelling interest, but because there are a host of "less intrusive" means of accomplishing the same goal, such as filtering and blocking software, the law probably wouldn't stand, he said.
Lets hope not. Next it will be .democrat and .republican and you will have to blog in only those areas that you belong in.

More to the point, creating a virtual red-light district could actually undermine the politicians' goals, he argued: "Establishing a domain like this in essence sets out a flashing neon sign to minors and others that they can find porn here."

Dogged by similar complaints from an unlikely coalition of conservative family groups and the pornography industry, recent proposals for the .xxx domain have not fared well.

The new legislative proposal has met with opposition from the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian advocacy group that has charged that .xxx domains would grant yet another opportunity to flood society with pornography.
More idiots who don't understand the problem enough to be making opinions.

The xxx TLD neither hinders or enhances the amount of pornography online. The major corporations like General Motors and AT&T have for years been the biggest distributors of porn in the US, while the stockholders of those corporations turn a blind eye because it makes them money. They are probably in the same groups that are talking about the scourge of online pornography.

The Free Speech Coalition, which represents the adult entertainment industry, also voiced disapproval, saying the relocation project was unnecessary and would lead to the "ghettoization of protected speech."
Give me a break. What" It will make porn look bad?

Last summer, ICANN approved the concept, marking a complete turnaround from its objections in 2000. But a firestorm of protests followed, including pleas by the Bush administration to put any action on hold. ICANN twice delayed its decision and ultimately decided last December to postpone a vote indefinitely, saying it needed more time to review the details.
Proving that ICANN is a total joke that cannot make a decision until a major corporation or a politician tells them what decision they should make.

Any politician who thinks this is a good plan doesn't have a high enough IQ to run for office.

Commentary by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off and Profit Margins

Read this story from, where men are men and sheep are scared.

Why Winning on 1606 is Important
By: Blanton · Section: FEC

Tired of us beating this drum? Well, here is why it is important. Congressman Allen, co-sponsor of the alternative 4900 says that as blogs get popular, they just might get hit in the face with FEC compliance.

The bloggers of Daily Kos, RedState and other online forums argue that the Allen-Bass alternative, which would provide targeted exceptions from the law for individuals and some websites, would force them to register as political committees.

Allen did not dispute that possibility. He noted that his bill would allow websites unrestricted operations as long as their annual expenditures did not exceed $10,000.

“They might well have to file,” Allen said of blogs as large as Daily Kos, “but that’s the point. If the Internet becomes more important, the types of financial abuses that occurred within the campaign-finance system in general” are more prone to occurring.

That my friends would be bad for free speech. Wht this would do is say the the more popular a blog becomes the more it's speech must be regulated. So don't get tired of us beating this drum. It's important and we need your help.
Awwwww, man I get all warm and fuzzy when talks about defending freedom of speech.

It reminds me of a story, boys and girls, want to hear my story? I knew you would.

Once upon a time I was a member of and one day there was a story there about how ted kennedy said publicly he was agaianst the war in Iraq. They went on to say in the story how that makes ted kennedy a traitor because he said that.

I, being a loyal citizen of the US, said, wait! You may not agree with ted kennedy, but he has the right to say whatever he wants. It's called freedom of speech! People died to defend our right to say anything we want.

The result: banned me for disagreeing with them. The moral of the story? Republicans at places like believe in freedom of THEIR speech, not of anyone else's speech. So excuse me when I get the warm and fuzzies and get all teary eyed when someone at talks about free speech.

The real scoop: Organizations who take money from Political Action Committees, Lobbyists, and Political Campaigns who then use that money to help push one agenda or the other are supposed to disclose who is paying them to say what they are saying according to recent and proposed legislation. It's aimed at informing the public who is behind the message you are reading or hearing so you can consider the source.

Traditionally, to get around laws that restrict how much these special interest groups can donate to a campaign, they give it to nonprofit orgs who spend that money on tv, radio, and print ads to support their candidate or to attack the other one.

Those orgs that are recieving that money have to disclose the amounts they receive and who it was from to the Federal Election Commission.

This next presidential election blogs like are hoping to get some of that special interest money and they plan to help these special interest groups get their message out while making some good income while they are at it.

What they are hoping not to do is have to report that income to the FEC and they hope they will not have to tell their readers who is paying them to say the things they are saying.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

US Government Goes After Online Gambling

In a bill passed by the house and soon to go to the senate, online gambling would not only be illegal as it is now, but would prohibit a gambling business from accepting credit cards, checks, wire transfers and electronic funds transfers in illegal gambling transactions.

This includes playing poker at or anywhere else online. It includes gambling on sports over the Internet as well.

The way it works is this; If you live in a state or country (US) where gambling is illegal, the company will not be able to accept your credit card or other forms of payment.

Many legislators are against gambling altogether and this is their way of stopping people from doing what they want with their own money. These moral midgets want to control what you can do, period.

However, I guess their morals only go so far, because online betting on horses will still be allowed. They preach the evils of gambling as the reason for the new law, then allow certain forms of gambling they approve of?

I hope to obtain a list soon of exactly who is voting for and against this choice piece of legislative crap.

You cannot legislate morality. What some politician thinks is immoral is irrelevant to the rest of the world. Each person has the right to determine what to do with their own hard earned money. Our government needs to be smaller, not larger. If they would stop sticking their nose where it doesn't belong, we'd have less problems.

Here is the big issue for me. What they say is illegal for US Citizens to do means nothing to the rest of the world. They cannot tell someone in Antigua what to do. They can't tell someone in any other country what to do. So Americans get to have LESS FREEDOM than people in other countries due to bills like this one.

People in all other countries will still be able to gamble online all they want. Our politicians seem to think that when they pass a law it affects the whole world somehow. Meglomaniacs and zealots don't belong in office. Anyone who votes for this bill fits into one of those two categories.

The real scoop; The Government makes money from online horse race betting. The offshore poker websites and other gambling companies aren't paying taxes to the US government. The US government said it was illegal for them to be based in the US, so they based themselves outside of the US. Now that they are profitable, the US government wants to be able to tax them and can't. The mistake was when they made it illegal for those companies to be based in the US.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


GoDaddy Goes after ICANN and Verisign

Domain Company Petitions Government In ICANN Controversy

Scottsdale, Arizona - (Cheap Web Hosting Directory) - March 13, 2006 - Domain registrar company is petitioning the U.S. Department of Commerce to deny final approval of the controversial .COM Registry Agreement with VeriSign.

Representing a majority of .COM registrars, wants the deal sent back to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to be reworked in a way that is fair and equitable. ICANN, the governing body of the Internet, has been working to settle a lawsuit with VeriSign, which manages .COM and .NET domain name extensions.

The proposed settlement agreement would allow VeriSign to raise registration fees by seven percent annually in four of the next six years without cost-based justification. It also would give VeriSign control of the .COM registry indefinitely, as it extends VeriSign's ''presumptive renewal'' right when the proposed settlement agreement expires in 2012. The new .COM registry agreement still requires approval from the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).

Bob Parsons, CEO and Founder of commented, ''We will not sit back without a fight. This deal is outrageous. It's monopolistic because it locks in price hikes and eliminates good old-fashion competition. It's a mistake Secretary (Carlos) Gutierrez can stop.''

The DOC's mission is to foster, promote and develop the United States' foreign and domestic commerce. Two of its listed goals are to promote business policies and growth and to strengthen the international economic position of the United States.

Mr. Parsons added, ''This deal would give VeriSign a monopoly in the .COM registry -- the source of its highest profit margin. The .COM price should be going down, not up. The fact ICANN ignored an avalanche of negative comments on this proposed agreement says it all.''

In a letter sent to DOC Secretary Gutierrez, detailed why the agreement should be rejected and returned to ICANN, citing, ''absolutely no sense for the community, or stability and security as a whole.'' In addition to urging Secretary Gutierrez to reject the agreement, has joined a number of other registrars in signing a joint letter to the DOC and filing a Motion for Reconsideration.

The ICANN board voted on its recommendation to the DOC just one week after the close of the public comment period and without modifications to any of the raised issues. contends that ICANN is acting clearly outside the majority of the affected community's expectations and not in line with their own bylaws. Some members of Congress have also expressed concerns with the situation.

Mr. Parsons encourages all Americans to write to their Representatives and Senators and voice their opposition to the agreement. He is helping to facilitate this by providing a form letter people can send to their elected officials.

To learn more about Go,

source; Cheap Hosting Directory .com

I support GoDaddy 100%. The deal with Verisign was made because ICANN's board of directors were afraid of being sued more by Verisign. ICANN is supposed to be running things in regaqrds to how TLDs are managed, not any corporation with a team of lawyers.

ICANN has a board of Cowards in my opinion. They are supposed to have already stepped aside as Board Members so the general public could elect Board Members who will look after the interests of individual users instead of looking after corporate interests.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off



Well, did the author of the DaVinci Code steal material from others/ The lawsuit claims he did. And so many thought he had some kind of information no one else has. The book is factless anyway. It's a fantasy made up by someone who wanted to write something sensational. He got his 15 minutes of fame and was even willing to steal on top of lying to achieve it. The lawsuit says he stole the idea and what facts do occur in the book.

Click here to read an article about the lawsuit.

He said it was hard to pinpoint the sources he and his wife used while researching The Da Vinci Code.

Pay particular attention to that statement by the author of the DaVinci Code. If you know anything about plagerism, you'll know that statement means he probably copied the material and even if he did not steal the material, a statement like that will still help him lose the lawsuit.

You would think if you ever wrote a book that sold millions and millions of copies around the world, breaking all kinds of sales records, that you might know where you got the information you based it on.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Congress Takes Over The State Department

Now this is funny, I don't care who you are. This was posted at fascist website,

House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Frist may announce as early as Sunday which allies will be permitted to assist the United States in the event that action must be taken against the growing threat from Iran. Congressional Republicans recently announced that the Congress will henceforth be managing relations with allies.

The newly-created Congressional Diplomacy Office will take over from the State Department, fielding its own diplomats such as Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), who will work with foreign leaders to maintain and strengthen alliances. "Congress has long sought to micro-manage foreign policy, and the looming confrontation with a nuclear-armed Iran seems like a good place to start," said one source close to Republicans.
Bush and company have doen such a poor job of working with US Allies, that congress has had to take over functions previously only performed by the state department.

I don't think we will see Condy Rice running for president if she can't even perform as secretary of state.

By Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Contracting Fraud? In Iraq? Say it ain't so!

Excerpts from the story in the NY Times - In the first corporate whistle-blower case to emerge from Iraq, a federal jury in Virginia yesterday found a contractor, Custer Battles L.L.C., guilty of defrauding the United States by filing grossly inflated invoices for work in the chaotic year after the Iraqi invasion.

Mr. Grayson said he was pleased that the jury found the case to be "airtight." But he said he was disturbed that the Justice Department had chosen not to join in the false claims case and that many other similar cases remained under seal.

"It fell upon whistle-blowers not only to bring this case to light but to recover money for taxpayers," Mr. Grayson said in a telephone interview.

The widely reported allegations against Custer Battles have come to symbolize the poorly monitored reconstruction spending in Iraq. In early 2003, Mr. Custer and Mr. Battles, two former Army Rangers in their 30's with limited experience, showed up in Baghdad and soon won a series of security and logistics contracts worth more than $100 million.
When is the Bush Administration going to make public the information about all of the other rip-offs of taxpayer money due to his Iraq War? Right after he leaves office and the 2008 elections are over maybe?

More things that just piss me off

Democrats Attack Evil Video Games

Democrats Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Hillary Clinton of New York, and Dick Durbin of Illinois persuaded a Senate committee to approve a sweeping study of the "impact of electronic media use" to be organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.

Even though the legislation--called the Children and Media Research Advancement Act--does not include restrictions, it appears to be intended as a way to justify them. That's because a string of court decisions have been striking down antigaming laws because of a lack of hard evidence that minors are harmed by violence in video games.
So, since we don't have any evidence that the games are harmful, let's use taxpayer money to create a study that says it is harmful. You can always tell what results a study, survey, or poll will have by who finances it. Follow the money.

If you are doing a research project and it is financed by a specific group, and you know that group believes or desires the study to lean that way, then your research will have to help them prove their point or you risk losing further financing from them. After all, they are not going to continue to finance something that goes against their own agenda.

If the CDC eventually produces a study claiming a link between violent video games and harm to minors, the future of state and federal laws targeting such games could be radically different. So far, those laws have been ruled unconstitutional because judges have not found that kind of link to exist.

"Down the road when--if there is some sort of finding that there is harm in this--then we're going to see calls to regulate speech because of the potential harm," said Marv Johnson, legislative counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union. "That's where there's going to be a problem."
Exactly. Bush and the republicans are not the only ones who want to curb free speech. Governments like control, they like to suppress the rights of citizens. It's in your history books. American government is not unique. Throughout history, governments have known that allowing citizens freedom of speech and the right to bear arms is dangerous to them. Any opportunity to curb these two things will assure there will not be a revolution.

Lieberman's bill, called CAMRA, would provide funding to investigate the cognitive, physical, and sociobehavioral impact of electronic media on child and adolescent development--everything from physical coordination, diet, and sleeping habits to attention span, peer relationships, and aggression levels. Television, motion pictures, DVDs, interactive video games, the Internet, and cell phones would all be fair game.
Click here for the whole story.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Corporations Gone Wild

Okay, this really pisses me off. Large companies seem to have lost the old addage "the customer is always right" and any lost all memory of how to provide customer service.

The other day, I was talking with a phone company. Yes, that task that everyone hates to do, but this wasn't about my bill or anything of that nature. This was about getting a different provider for my braodband service.

Now, I went through all of the technical parameters and the pricing structure and was just about to sign up and the guy says, oh by the way, one thing we haven't talked about is the $100 activation fee to open your account.

Ruh Roh . . . I told the guy to get his boss. I told his boss, "I currently have braodband service and was thinking of switching over to you and becoming a customer and NOW YOU WANT ME TO PAY YOU FOR THE PRIVILIGE OF GIVING YOU MONEY EVERY MONTH?"

Companies seem to think they are doing us a favor by allowing us to be customers and give them money.

And now the music industry has decided that they want you to buy their products, but they want to tell you how and when you can do that.

First they complain that people are downloading our songs for free and the music industry, the RIAA, is trying to protect the poor struggling artists so we're going to go out and sue 12-year-old kids who downl;oad music for free.

Then, with the help of iPod and others they begin to get people to start paying for those downloads. Hooray!

Now, through their ultimate wisdom, they have decided that it won't be avbailable for download until after it's been in the music store for awhile because downloading is causing cd sales to fall.

What idiots run the music industry? cds are going to be obsolete in the near future. The future is downloaded music you morons. All you've done now is encouraged people top buy the cd, make copies and be the first to distribute it online free. You just shot yourself in the foot record company morons.

I don't always do a lot of namecalling, but this stuff is priceless!

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Texas Couple Investigated by Homeland Security for Paying Down Their Credit Card Debt

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Monday March 06, @08:32PM
from the utterly-speechless dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Capital Hill Blue is reporting that recently a retired Texas schoolteacher and his wife had a little run in with the Department of Homeland Security. The crime? Paying down some debt. From the article: 'The balance on their JCPenney Platinum MasterCard had gotten to an unhealthy level. So they sent in a large payment, a check for $6,522. And an alarm went off. A red flag went up. The Soehnges' behavior was found questionable. [...] They were told, as they moved up the managerial ladder at the call center, that the amount they had sent in was much larger than their normal monthly payment. And if the increase hits a certain percentage higher than that normal payment, Homeland Security has to be notified.'"
I just love it when people that back the patriot act say it will only affect terrorists and not regular American citizens who have done nothing wrong.

Posted originally on

More things that just piss me off


Bonds? - Baseball Players? - Steroids? - Say it ain't so!

Baseball Players testifying before congress saying they have never used steroids, then finding out they do use steroids? Wow, are you shocked or what?

You have Sammy Soza and corked bats, well of course he didn't KNOW it was a corked bat. You have Bonds and others saying we don't use steroids or as Canseco says, he accidentally sat on the needle or whatever. You believe these guys?

Whenever someone breaks records these days in baseball, you have to wonder if they cheated to do it. As far as I'm concerned any record set in baseball in the past twenty years is suspect.

Is it my fault I feel that way? Is it the League's fault? Is it the players' fault? Whoever is at fault, it is a reality. Baseball records and records in other sports as well have become something you cheat to get. Right now, I'm talking about baseball.

They kick Pete Rose out, but allow all this other bs to continue? Put Pete Rose in the hall of fame or ban barry bonds, canseco, soza and others who actually cheated.

The latest revelations just perpetuate the idea that it's a bunch of spoiled millionaires who go on strike whenever they want more and more money and who use steroids and corked bats to break world records. The decline of baseball continues. I'm through paying any money out to watch this bunch of spoiled millionaires cheat to get attention.

More on the Bonds Steroid Story

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Chinese go around ICANN and sell their own domain names

The policies that ICANN has are causing them to become obsolete. It is very unfortunate that the board of directors at ICANN are slow to respond to the needs of the international community, completely unresponsive to the needs of individual users of the Internet, and so heavily weighed down by corporate and intellectual property interests.

They are making themselves obsolete by becoming yet another regulatory body that has been captured by corporations. The FCC, the FDA, the FTC, the EPA, and others before them have set the tone, but ICANN is more blatant about it. They are supposed to run things transparently, but the only thing that is transparent is that what the coporations want, they get.

More countries are going to follow China's example and users will be sensored, content will be filtered out, and instead of a world wide web, there will be a fractured series of smaller networks that your content may or may not reach.

The fault lies solely at Vint Cerf's feet along with his fellow cronies on the ICANN Board. For the whole article on China's Domain Name System, Click Here.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Vint Cerf at ICANN the Tiebreaker in the Verisign Deal

Icann gives Verisign the nod
06 March 2006

The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the US-based body that manages the Internet, has approved a controversial contract under which Verisign will manage the ".com" domain, with the board's Kiwi member dissenting.

Peter Dengate Thrush, a former New Zealand barrister who has been involved in Icann since it was created in 1998, joined four other board members in opposing the contract with domain registrar Verisign.

It now has rights to manage the ".com" domain without needing to go through a competitive bidding process to renew the arrangement in 2012, meaning Icann has effectively granted it perpetual management rights to the domain.

Nine members voted for the contract, including Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, and one abstained.

The contract allows Verisign to raise domain registration fees by 7 per cent per year for four of the six years before the contract is renewed in 2012. In exchange, Verisign will drop lawsuits against Icann.

The contract has drawn criticism from watchdogs, other registrars and a member of the US Congress for being anti-competitive.

It now goes to the US government for approval, though this is considered to be a formality.
Again, if your company is big enough to hire good lawyers and you sue ICANN, Vent Cerf and others on the board will do whatever you tell them to.

This cowardly approach to Internet governance is wrong. This simply hands control of the net over to anyone willing to sue them. A bad precedent to set.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

source for above story;


ICANN - Verisign Spin Doctors

ICANN signs a deal with Verisign that in effect gives them a monopoly over the .com TLD and now they want to make it sound as if there is great support for the project. They name some registrars that are for the agreement. I would wager if you did a little research into the ownership of those registrars who support it, you might find they benefit from the agreement in some way.

Click here for the article spinning it in favor of the agreement

Click here to see GoDaddy's argument against it

ICANN didn't just agree that giving Verisign a monopoly was a good idea. Verisign sued them into submission. When the organization that is supposed to govern the Internet is too cowardly to face up to large corporations and begins to bow to corporate power, then the free Internet is dead.

ICANN was captured by Intellectual Property and Corporate Interests from the very beginning and what many of us said this would lead to is coming true.

They were supposed to represent the INDIVIDUAL USERS of the Internet. They were to reach ALL decisions from a BOTTOM-UP CONSENSUS. Their original board was supposed to serve for just one year, then hold elections.

They have done NONE of those things. They did hold one election. Karl Auerbach was elected. He, as a board member, had to sue them just so he could look at the books. They did not like having elected representation and have avoided it since then

The current members have bowed to corporate control. That is plain and simple. It is also in violation of the mandate that created them and even the bylaws they voted on. They simply make the appearance of representing the public.

If they wished to represent individual users, then why have they done the following;

1. They have withdrawn the original mandate that board members be elected.

2. They have shut down the General Assembly, which was the constituency for individual users on the Internet and through which, elections were held and public comment aqnd consensus was sought and obtained.

3. They have shut down the DNSO, (Domain Name Supporting Organization), because the members there supported bottom up consensus, individual representation by the board, elections, and a constituency to be created for Individual Users to be represented on the board of directors, and supported a constituency of domain name owners with board representation. Because this group did not give the recommendations that ICANN's board wanted, it was shut down and replaced by a GNSO that is more compliant with their wishes.

Any serious examination of decisions made by ICANN or WIPO will reveal the intent to hand over the Internet to corporations and give individual users no say in how the Internet evolves. These corporations did not help create the Internet and most of them thought it was a passing fad. Individuals made the Internet great, now the Corporate powers that be want to cash in on it without any input from it's creators.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off


Bush Ok With Jobs Taken Away From Americans

"People do lose jobs as a result of globalization, and it's painful for those who lose jobs," Mr. Bush said at meeting with young entrepreneurs at Hyderabad's Indian School of Business, one of the premier schools of its kind in India. Nonetheless, the president said, "globalization provides great opportunities."

Mr. Bush strongly defended the outsourcing of American jobs to India as the reality of a global economy, and said that the United States should instead focus on India as a vital new market for American goods.

"The classic opportunity for our American farmers and entrepreneurs and small businesses to understand is, there is a 300 million-person market of middle-class citizens here in India, and that if we can make a product they want, that it becomes viable," Mr. Bush said at the business school.
So, in other words, so what a bunch of middle class americans lose their jobs, as long as the multinational corporations can sell their products to people in India, who cares?

Bush shows his true colors.

by Chris McElroy
More things that just piss me off

Patriot Act Passed Despite Concerns

Read this post from slashdot

The author makes a valid point. It's aqn outright lie to say "Pass this now and we will all fix it later". That's the first of the two congressional biggest lies. The other is, "This law is only temporary".

Anytime you hear your senator or other politician tell you either of those two lies, you should know what is going to happen.

Also, adding drug enforcement to the patriot act was seen coming by yours truly here at things that just piss me off. Soon those laws you supported to be used against terrorists will be used against the drug problem as well. Then those great wiretap laws meant for terrorists will be used for something else, then something else, until the government will have the right to invade anyone's privacy anytime they please.

If that is not true, then point out what the addition of the drug portion of the new patriot act has to do with terrorism.

Give your government an inch, they will take a mile. Give up ANY portion of your freedom or privacy for security and you will have neither in the long run. You can't say, well this is okay as long as they don't take it any further, because the government ALWAYS takes it further once you give in to the intitial infringement on your rights. If you do not believe that is true, you have never studied history.

by Chris McElroy

Bush and the Dubai Connection

As usual, the bushh administration wants to have everything both ways. First the evil arab countries are fostering terrorism, then it's okay to have them manage our ports.

We should fear, fear, fear, the arab terrorists! cries the george. However, letting them run our ports, which the george has said need more security, is okay, by golly.

No, the dubai company won't be in charge of security, but they will know every aspect of that security, including any changes made to it due to intelligence gathering. The ease in which a terrorist organization could get that info from a fellow arab makes it criminal negligence to allow them to be in possession of that information.

You can't have it both ways oh george of the neanderthals. Fear, Fear, Fear! then business, business, business. It seems george will cater to big corporations as usual, even those in countries that harbor, sponsor, or facilitate terrorists. The valued bottom line will be given top priority by bush even when it supercedes national security.

If that was not clear in his dealings with the saudis, it should now be as crystal clear to us, as our port security will soon be to the terrorists.

by Chris McElroy

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