Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ask Not What Your Congress Can Do to You

The Mobile Informational Call Act

Summary: To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to permit informational calls to mobile telephone numbers, and for other purposes.

H.R. 3035: Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011

Rep. Lee Terry [R-NE2]

Marsha Blackburn [R-TN7]
John Gingrey [R-GA11]
Leonard Lance [R-NJ7]
Blaine Luetkemeyer [R-MO9]
David McKinley [R-WV1]
Mick Mulvaney [R-SC5]
Pete Olson [R-TX22]
Michael Rogers [R-MI8]
Edolphus Towns [D-NY10]

For those keeping track at home, note that there are 90% R's. That's a fact. I'm not a big fan of either party but I do see a lesser of two evils here. (Oh Edolphus, what were you thinking? Who got to you in New York? See link at end of post.)

Here's an opinion. This bill is/was 100% evil. And why do I say this? It is pretty clear to anyone who can fog a mirror that the vast majority of American voters would not and did not want this bill. If these politicians are not representing the voters who elected them, then who are they representing?

Organizations Endorsing: American Bankers Association

As consumers increasingly rely on wireless phones as their primary, or even sole, means of communication, the TCPA’s outdated restriction on the use of assistive technologies in contacting wireless consumers for non-telemarketing purposes is now doing far more harm than good for the consumers such restriction was intended to protect.

Does anyone really believe that? Anyone? My landline telephone is called roughly once per day by businesses attempting to auto-assist me. Political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors are exempt from the National Do Not Call Registry. They continue to "assist" me as fast as robotically (not humanly) possible. Now imagine that assistive technology being commonplace on cell phones while we pay 20 cents each minute for the privilege. Is that not evil?

Now picture what a debt collector could do with that technology. At 20 cents per minute, every hour spent calling you could cost you $12. That might not seem like much to a wealthy congressperson or the CEO of a multinational banking and financial services company, but it could cause incredible hardship for a person earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Once again, is that not evil?

A Victory for Consumers: H.R. 3035 (The Mobile Informational Caller Act of 2011) Killed By Co-Sponsors

In a victory for consumers the co-sponsors of H.R. 3035 (The Mobile Information Caller Act of 2011) withdrew the bill from further consideration. The bill would have made significant changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the most significant of which would have permitted businesses, including debt collectors, to use automatic telephone dialing systems (auto-dialers; robodialers) to call a person’s cellular telephone regardless of whether the person had given “prior express consent” or even provided their cell phone number to these businesses. Opposition had been growing, both by the public and 48 state Attorneys General.

Perhaps some would think I am using the "evil" term too freely.


Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of The Good. Definitions of evil vary, as does the analysis of its root motives and causes; however, evil is commonly associated with conscious and deliberate wrongdoing, discrimination designed to harm others, humiliation of people designed to diminish their psychological well-being and dignity, destructiveness, motives of causing "unnecessary" pain or suffering and acts of unnecessary or indiscriminate violence.

I'm fairly sure I used the word properly. I could be wrong. Perhaps Lee Terry and his cosponsors were sitting in his office brainstorming what they could do to improve the approval rating of the United States Congress. What does the typical cell phone using voter really want? I know! More phone calls from strangers! I suppose it is possible. However, if that's the case then they are not evil. They are simply incompetent.

November 16, 2011
Congress Approval Rating Lower Than Porn, Polygamy, BP Oil Spill, 'U.S. Going Communist' (VIDEO)

As promised, here is our hero Edolphus Towns in action (the lone Democrat cosponsor in a sea of Republicans).

Edolphus Towns

Towns delayed the investigation into Countrywide Financial's VIP loan program when he was the House oversight panel's chairman by refusing to issue a subpoena for Bank of America records. After The Wall Street Journal reported that public loan documents indicated Towns had received two mortgages from the VIP program, he issued the subpoena and his office denied wrongdoing.


Stagflationary Mark said...

Here's another excerpt from the American Bankers Association endorsement.

In addition, most wireless consumers are now covered by flat-rate plans, and even for those who are not, technological advances and increased competition have greatly reduced per-minute charges.

What's 20 cents per minute to the CEO of a multinational banking and financial services company?

After all, you can still make $1.94 million even if your company loses $2.2 billion.

Troy said...

funny thing is, I do pay 20c a minute for my phone.

The good side is it only costs $80/yr in minimum airtime buy.

Rather pay $80/yr than $80/month, eh.

If I don't recognize the call I don't pick up.

Wish I could program the phone with a whitelist -- hmm, maybe DL a silent ringtone for unknown calls, LOL.

Stagflationary Mark said...


funny thing is, I do pay 20c a minute for my phone.

It is funny. I offered that link because that was the very plan I was thinking about getting and for the exact same reasons you have.

I'm not a very social person so I put off getting a cell phone. Now that the landline is annoying me more than it is helping me, I'm thinking of dropping it entirely.

This also explains how and why I found HR 3035. I wanted to know if I would be similarly harassed on a cell phone.

For the record, I talk on the phone no more than 30 minutes a month. That would mean that I pay almost exactly what you are paying.

Some days I look in the mirror and think I see Troy, lol. ;)