Archive for category censorship

KlearGear Meet Streisand. Company Feeling Heat For Overreacting to Bad Review

John and Jen Palmer of Layton had a bad experience with an online retailer named KlearGear.com. His wife wrote a negative review on the consumer review site ripoffreport.com. KlearGear sent them a letter stating their Terms Of Service has a non-disparaging clause that forbids any customer from writing a negative review and informed the couple they owed the company $3500 and sent credit reporting agencies a report of non-payment.

Non-Disparagement Clause

In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts KlearGear.com, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.

Should you violate this clause, as determined by KlearGear.com in its sole discretion, you will be provided a seventy-two (72) hour opportunity to retract the content in question. If the content remains, in whole or in part, you will immediately be billed $3,500.00 USD for legal fees and court costs until such complete costs are determined in litigation. Should these charges remain unpaid for 30 calendar days from the billing date, your unpaid invoice will be forwarded to our third party collection firm and will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies until paid.

I talked to John Palmer on Facebook and he said I could share some of his remarks and clarify one thing that has been in the news. It has been reported in the news that rippoffReport.com offered to remove the negative review for a $2000. He said that ripoffreport.com does not remove reports for money but will offer mediation services for a fee and will redact any libel or untrue statements, but will never pull a report down.

The Palmers could not afford a lawyer to fight back so they used the best weapon in any arsenal and that is the court of public opinion. They contacted Get Gepheart of KUTV to publicize the story. The story has now gone viral around the country and KlearGear.com has circled the wagons and are clearly in serious trouble. The publicity has brought the story to the attention of  pro-bono lawyers that are now defending them.

Mr. Palmer says he has been following the story on the Internet and has watched it quickly evolve into a national story.  The story has exploded on social media and is being widely reported in local and national news outlets  including tech blogs, Techdirt and Techcrunch. They are now getting request for media interviews including the Today Show which they are in discussions with their producers.

KlearGear.com faces the full wrath of the Streisand Effect which is a phenomenon that occurs when an attempt is made to censor or silence causes wide-spread attention that normally few would have  been exposed to  otherwise. This negative report would have had negligible impact on KlearGear’s bottom line but by inserting such outrageous language in their Terms of Service, demanding payment, and damaging the Palmer’s credit the company has shown themselves to be nothing but corporate bullies and validates any negative review given to it.

The Palmers hope by shining light on this fiasco that other companies will think twice about inserting clauses in their Terms of Service that violate free speech by attempting to silence critics and try to mask service failures.

We have seen far too many examples of companies using bully tactics to silence people.  KlearGear.com would be smart to pull out their checkbook and write the Palmer’s a big check and make a pubic apology and never engage in things like this again. It may be too late for them but hopefully other companies will see the folly in KlearGear’s actions and this trend of corporate bullying will come to an end.

Read: http://kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_8079.shtml
http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/18/kleargear-goes-into-social-media-lockdown-after-it-charges-customers-for-posting-bad-reviews/

, , , , , , ,

9 Comments

Jason Chaffetz Presides On Viral C-Span Video

I had to put this video up on OneUtah, because it’s all over the internet, might have set a record for a C-Span broadcast going viral and features one of our own. I respect the fact that representative Chaffetz didn’t try to lie, gavel or shout down Chris Van Hollen, even though he was forced to verify, multiple times, that the congressional body he was elected to, did something surreal.

Some must have seen this on C-Span and aren’t being tabulated on the YouTube site, however, the exchange between the representatives has only been posted for three days on YouTube and has already picked up over 2,500,000 viewings. Probably more then any cat video to date, but I’m not sure.

If this exchange is being played by any American television news organization, I would be stunned.

Glenden just put up a post which links to an article by Eric Idle, where he says:

If one party can shut down the government, then the social compact to rule is broken.

Actually Eric, it’s just one man. My apologizes to our long time friend, England.

7 Comments

I Think These Are Important Films

Originally, I was thumbing through HULU to see if there was anything I could watch for free that would interest me, and I found a very good film by Robert Greenwald about the Koch Brothers. I’ve seen many of his films, and am so glad that somebody is working so hard, trying to find a way to inform us without making billions destroying our dignity here and around the world. The film tried to be – you know – “fair and balanced”, and they made many attempts to allow the Koch bro’s to criticize the content so they could add it to the end of the film. Apparently the Koch’s didn’t see this film as a threat.

Koch Brothers Exposed:

The Koch bro’s DID see a threat, when a film called, “Citizen Koch” was broadcast on a public television station and decided they had better attach themselves onto the end, before having the film erased from any other showings across the nation. They can do that, because they donate to public television. You can see David Koch’s name in the credits to the “Nova” science series, although – as Greenwalds film reveals -, the Koch’s don’t give a flying shit about your education or democracy. Their push to destroy both are WAY beyond the scope of this post.

After watching the HULU presentation of Greenwald’s film, another documentary automatically started which is called, “Crawford (2008). What a great film! This one is truly, “fair and balanced”, and I’m positive none of the people in Crawford, Texas made a dime, by giving their opinions on camera. These are just plain folk, who were speaking their minds. It covers what happened to this town, when George W. Bush decided to move in, just before his run for president in 2000. If you thought the entire movie was going to be about Cindy Sheehan – whom I admire greatly -, you’d be wrong. She is only featured in a fraction of the document. To me, the star of the movie is a young high school student in Crawford, who completely gets what’s happening around him and articulates it perfectly. You’ll find out what happens to him towards the end.

Crawford (2008):

I have to add one comment about Robert Greenwald. I went to a screening of a political film in Salt Lake many years ago which featured a discussion afterwards. After the discussion, a young man handed me copy of what might have been Greenwald’s first documentary. I think it was called, ‘The Truth About The War In Iraq’. It was dead-on, and proven to be accurate, even though it was published years before some of the media – sort of – dipped it’s toes into the truth. But the thing that amazed me was that this 30-something man also handed me a letter that was sent to him by Greenwald’s organization. The young man had bought about 13 of the DVD’s so he could give them out, but got a letter from “Brave New Films”, telling him he could just copy them at will and give them out. Sure enough, the DVD didn’t have any copy protection. :)

Some are in it for the money, and others aren’t. Who do you support!

18 Comments

I’m Sorry, But I’m Just Going To Have To Throw This Out There.

Is it just me, or does it seem that nobody is watching out for us?

Alan Grayson, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are.

Who else?

Does it seem like this babe is telling the truth?

11 Comments

More than just the second amendment

I am going to take a step aside for the most part about gun laws and gun rights and talk about another right that will pop up soon enough and that is the first amendment. The reason I bring up this amendment is because to nobody’s surprise, the Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest the memorial service for the dead in Connecticut’s shooting in their attempts to piss people off and milk a lawsuit from them. Now the WBC can get away with this because they use free speech, free religion and free assembly to legally do this, all from the 1st amendment. The question is should there be limits on the first amendments the same way we are proposing limits on the 2nd amendment? And we could go further. In response to the planned protests, Anonymous leaked private information about the church members. Is that covered by free speech? If that attack hypocritical? Just a thought to ponder.

3 Comments

How Fox “news” Handles The Truth

It doesn’t!

After trying to win the election by having Mitt Romney blame President Obama for the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi and failing completely, there was one guy who didn’t believe the “story”, and said so yesterday.

Thomas Ricks, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, won the Pulitzer for writing at The Wall Street Journal in 2000. Of course this was before Rupert Murdock acquired the newspaper.

Mr. Ricks doesn’t last a minute and a half on this excuse for a television station.

Funny though!

5 Comments

Are Canadians Just Smarter Than We Are?

Or is something else happening?

Bob Alexander is a great writer and activist, among other things. He is someone to follow. He used to live in the US, but decided to get the hell out about a year ago and move to Canada.

Here is his perspective on the polling results in Canada as compared to the results in America concerning the debates:

I watched the presidential and vice presidential debates on CBC up here in Beautiful British Columbia. During the debates viewers could vote on who was winning. The first debate’s results were: 76% Obama, and 18% Romney. The next morning I went online to read the American Polls. WTF!!?? Romney was declared the winner.

Then came the VP debate between Biden and Ryan. Again I watched it on CBC and the Canadian viewers voted 88% Biden and 10% Ryan. The next day American polls gave a slight edge to Biden. The CNN/ORC poll showed Ryan at 48% to Biden’s 44%. NBC Politics had Biden at 38% to Ryan’s 34% and CNBC reported a tie with Ryan and Biden both at 47%. WTF squared.

Pretty weird, huh?

I don’t trust our polling organizations or media organizations any farther then I can spit. They have refused to release the exit polling results since the machines were rolled out. Things just don’t add up.

Also from the editorial:

A multi-billion dollar PR firm takes control of the media and creates a phony narrative. Then corporate-owned proprietary voting machines count the ballots, and they tell us who “won.” They’ve got both sides of the transaction again. What could possibly go wrong?

22 Comments

“What we really need is a greater global sensitivity to the right of free speech”

Mano Singham in response to the attacks on US Embassies in response to a movie that says mean things about Islam:

When private individuals have been attacked by religious zealots, the acts have been condemned but also resulted in calls for greater sensitivity to the feelings of religious people. That is wrong-headed. What we really need is a greater global sensitivity to the right of free speech. Muslims, like any other religious group, will have to come to terms with the fact that their religious beliefs cannot be allowed to put limits on the speech of others however deliberately offensive it may seem to them.

2 Comments

So Called, “Voter Fraud” Could Be a Win For Republicans

Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

Voter ID coverage is raging across our corporate, public and liberal information organizations like a tsunami. ALEC got caught pimping ID laws which will successfully disenfranchise Utahn’s and others across the country who have been voting for decades, even though there is no reason to believe that more then a handful of democratic voters have been trying to vote illegally.

Just ask Pennsylvania [emphasis mine]:

As the Justice Department investigates Pennsylvania’s voter ID law on the federal level, a coalition of civil rights groups is gearing up for a state trial starting Wednesday examining whether the law is allowable under Pennsylvania’s constitution.

In that case, Pennsylvania might have handed those groups and their clients (including 93-year-old Viviette Applewhite) a bit of an advantage: They’ve formally acknowledged that there’s been no reported in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania and there isn’t likely to be in November.

Or Texas (from TPM):

When Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division appears before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) will likely press him for using a Democratic-leaning firm to analyze data in the Texas voter ID case.

Smith wrote a letter earlier this month which stated that DOJ choosing the “left-leaning” Catalist to review Texas’ voter ID data was “a disturbing misuse of taxpayer dollars and undermines the credibility of the Department’s challenge to the law.”

Chairman Lamar goes on [emphasis mine]:

“Imagine the outrage if a Republican administration intervened to block a New York City election law on the basis of data provided by a firm run by Karl Rove,” Smith wrote.

As it turns out, Smith doesn’t really have to imagine much: The expert Texas used to defend their law used to work for Karl Rove.

University of Texas Professor Daron Shaw, who testified that Texas’ voter ID law “will not have an impact on turnout,” worked for both of President George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, the RNC, Fox News’ election desk and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who signed the voter ID bill into law.

Well, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez did, indeed, appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday and The Chairman opened the hearing by saying he reserved the right to end the hearing at any time. He probably should have done that before the hearing began because the Republican dudes didn’t come out looking too good.

I turned on the TV, just in time to see Representative Steve King make a total ass out of himself – something he’s really good at – by interrupting Perez, just as Perez starts to reiterate what everybody should know about the absence of voter fraud in the US. You can see the exchange starting at about 48 minutes in on this C-Span video, but the whole video is incredible.

The Chairman thinks that any true American plurality would obviously vote Republican, if only given the chance, for once. Funny thing; I thought they’d been telling us we were a divided country. I don’t know why Mr. King is worried about ACORN. It no longer exists because the Republican party got rid of it months ago with almost complete backing from the Democrats.

All this nonsense aside – and in reference to the title of this post; my real fear is that all this voter ID hoopla will help the Republicans take over the country. When the exit polls mysteriously flip at the midnight hour – literally -, the “conservatives” won’t have to thank the soccer moms, NASCAR dads, or the religious masses; they only need say they “won” because of the oh-so-clever voter ID laws they pushed through. Let’s face it, they haven’t exactly been hiding the fact these laws are out there and, in fact, the Governor of Florida, recently, shoved voter disenfranchisement in our faces. These guys are good, aren’t they?

Since the corporate voting machines are NEVER brought up ANYWHERE or ANYTIME by ANYBODY, and have been proven to be hackable, the Republicans can, once again, claim to be the “winners” they always are. Let’s face it, they got everything they wanted, even when the Democrats had all three branches of government after the 2006 midterms [please refer to mia-culpa below].

My hope is that the small-d democrats can hack the machines using only names like Mickey Mouse, George Jetson, Lassie ect… and win the house, senate, and the White House. Maybe we could then, FINALLY, have a debate about, and get rid of these pieces of garbage and have a multi-party system that makes sense.

Update: Seems as though Rep. Lamar Smith must have become ill or had some other pressing concern which forced me to edit my post. As all these opulent white men look the same to me, I didn’t catch it until after I completed the post. The man, henceforth, referred to as The Chairman in the post is actually Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), I think.

Mia-Culpa: Damn staff! Of course the Democrats only held the three branches after 2008. They’ll never see a job in this precinct again!

8 Comments

A Grand Farewell to ALEC

Was Alec Baldwin in Salt Lake? I didn’t hear anything on the news. :)

He/she/it wouldn’t give a single interview to the press and prefer to remain unknown. How many freedoms did we lose this week?

16 Comments

The grown-ups

When the conservatives started buying french wine and champagne to pour down the gutters after France had the nerve to say there where no WMDs in Iraq, i assumed the children had taken over the GOP. Did it occur to any of them that after you buy the stuff, it doesn’t really matter what you do with it? I mean they got the cash, does it matter how you waste it? (by the way, how did that turn out? Find those weapons did you? Proved those frenchie frogs wrong did you? Anyone apologize for “freedom fries”? No, I thought not) When the lunatic right started calling themselves “teabaggers” I started to suspect that we didn’t have any adults left in conservative politics. When they started marching around with tea-bags stapled to their hats I really did think it was too late.

When Mitt started the campaign with things like driving in circles and honking the bus horn at Obama rallies, well let’s just say my opinion of his level of class was confirmed. Watching GOP members censor women for daring to speak out about abortion (as if that is an issue women are allowed to have an opinion on! Ha!) and later for using the (gasp!) word “vagina” (I do declare get my fainting couch!) was almost anticlimactic. Watching the GOP campaign and pretend to govern is a bit like watching third graders try to run a country. Backwards third graders. The girls have cooties, the boys spend all their time proving a manhood they don’t have, normal English terms are off limits and I suspect the height of sophistication is fart jokes.

But even given that history, even if those are your peers, some people manage to stand out from the crowd as the most immature of the children.

Behold, dead beat dad, offender of war veterans, and all around class act, Joe Walsh.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the party of Lincoln. Who, if we could wrap him in copper and mount him in a ring of magnets, could single handedly solve our power problems, due to the unbelievable speed with which he is currently spinning his grave…

10 Comments

Caller Knocks Over The Proverbial Water Cooler

sex scandal

Of course, at least one caller to the Diane Rehm show, on NPR, knocks the cooler over every day Diane Rehm is actually on her own show. A multitude of Americans have been asking this question ever since the invasion of Iraq. I just thought I’d add to the repetition, since the call happened this morning, in hopes of nudging my fellow citizens into some kind of conversation at the water cooler that isn’t about dancing with stars, or the latest sex scandal manufactured for the US.

The caller refers to the latest BIG AMERICAN SEX SCANDAL before going where she really wants to go.

(listen here at about 42 minutes in)

REHM
All right. To San Francisco, Calif. Good morning, Denise.

DENISE
Good morning, Diane. My question is going back to the GSA scandal…

REHM
Sure.

DENISE
…you know, with them going to Las Vegas. And my point is that where is the outrage over a manufactured war and the cherry-picked intelligence and the trillions of dollars spent and that hundred, maybe 200,000 Iraqi citizens and thousands of American lives and tens of thousands of young men and women living their lives as amputees or with head trauma. Where are the pallets of cash that went missing in Iraq? The bungles and irresponsible way that the Bush administration funded those wars, where does this debt come from? Where is the outrage about that?

REHM
Susan.

DAVIS
It’s a great question. I do think one of the things that’s been really striking to me about this election year is how little Afghanistan and the on-going wars have been as part of the debate. And I think that may intensify as we get closer to the general election, but you have a president whose policy has more in line with Republicans. And I think Democrats thought — that they thought it was gonna be when he came into office.

He’s actually have been fairly hawkish about his foreign policy, and you have a progressive left that is not particularly organized or willing to go after the president in any kind of coordinated way. I think there’s been a willful silence in the Democratic Party of unity behind the president on this. And it has been surprisingly not an issue in this election year so far.

No doubt about it, $822,751 is a lot of taxpayers money to be spending on pleasure seeking, but trillions of dollars, crippled and dead soldiers are probably a little more noteworthy on the eve of memorial day, which most working Americans will spend – uh – working.

Did you notice how Susan Davis tried desperately to steer the conversation towards Obama and the progressive left’s failings. Well, I’ve learned not to expect much from “USA Today” and always turn off the radio whenever that other Susan from “USA Today” fills in for Diane.

The entire American media is a cesspool, except for NPR and PBS, which gives us a window of truth some of the time. I’ve been listening a lot more lately, and I, mostly, like the national and local fare.

56 Comments

%d bloggers like this: