I’m buried in work/kids/errands/life.  I’ll be back posting tonight or tomorrow, k?

RL xxx

These, I love

Gilbert Gottfried, voice of Aflac duck, fired over tweets

I’m pretty certain there’s some irony to be found in all this quacking and tweeting and what have you.  Gilbert Gottfried was canned from his job as the voice of the Aflac duck for inappropriate comments regarding the situation in Japan:

Gottfried fired off a dozen jokes on the social media service over the weekend, all riffing in one way or another on the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

But the company said his comments “were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac.”

Aflac said it would start a nationwide casting call to find a new voice — and noted that it was already using a different voice in the Japanese market, where it is the No. 1 foreign insurer.

The company made its name selling cancer expense policies in Japan in the 1970s, and still derives about three-quarters of its revenue in the country.

Gottfried later apologized via Twitter:

“I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan. I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families.”

Is it offensive?  Of course.  Is it just a joke.  Sure.  Are his words actually harmful to anyone?  No – they are just words after all and Gottfried has every right to mock the suffering of the people of Japan as much as he wants.   He has every right to amuse himself and at least a few of his fans at the expense of the dead and dying.  I, for one, can think of nothing more hilarious.

And like someone burning a flag to make a political statement or picketing military funerals because their god told them to, we may not agree with the message.  We may, in fact, think to ourselves, “what an asshole!”  I’m sure some people don’t agree with some of my messages either, but I’m sure glad I have a right to express myself.  Feel free to keep the asshole comments to yourself.

But here’s the kicker – he’s employed by a company that makes most of its money from Japan and at least in theory wouldn’t want to piss them off.  As much as Gottfried has a right to express himself, Aflac has a right to express their displeasure at his message by ending what seemed like a pretty sweet gig and taking him off their payroll.  And so they did.

What’s the lesson here?  Express yourself freely, but don’t be a complete moron about it.

Weasel of the Day Award

Heck, he can be the Weasel of the Month, too.

The Polk County Sheriff’s office said a 54-year-old dentist was arrested Saturday after deputies said he found a lost credit card and used it to purchase two large pizzas with extra toppings.

Richard Ludwig, of Okemos, is charged with impersonating and attempting to use the identification of another person without consent, uttering a false instrument, forgery and credit card theft, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.

Harrun Majeed, 32, of Davenport, said he was shopping at a Davenport store Saturday evening when he lost his credit card in the store parking lot.  Majeed said he called his bank on Sunday to find out there had been a $40.64 charge at Mia Pasta Kitchen.  “I just couldn’t believe it,” Majeed said.

Majeed said he went to restaurant and spoke with the manager who said the man who used his card was still there. He called sheriff’s deputies.

Ludwig admitted to finding the credit card and using it to purchase pizzas at the restaurant.  He had $250 in cash in his pocket when he was arrested, the Sheriff’s Office said.  He told deputies his net worth is between $3 million to $4 million, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Majeed, a 14-year Navy veteran, said he is pursuing a degree at Valencia Community College.  He told deputies he and his family live “paycheck to paycheck.”

[Said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd,] “This is the epitome of arrogance. Dr. Ludwig appears to be an intelligent, successful person who could have bought pizza for everyone in Davenport, but instead, he risked his career to steal from a military veteran.”

Runner up Weasel of the Day Award goes to Wisconsin state senator randy Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac).

Are you on the No-Call List?

Unless you enjoy calls from telemarketers (no judgments from me – I understand some of you are lonely people) you should get yourself on the national Do Not Call Registry if you have not already done so.  You can register both your personal non-business land-lines and mobile numbers; once registered, the listing will not expire:

Telephone numbers placed on the National Do Not Call Registry will remain on it permanently due to the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which became law in February 2008. More than 157 million phone numbers are on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Under the Act, the Federal Trade Commission will continue to remove telephone numbers that have been disconnected and reassigned to other customers. Consumers can delete their telephone numbers from the registry at any time by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236) – the call must be made from the telephone number they wish to delete.

If you are in Texas you may also register on the state’s No Call List.

If you continue to receive calls as I have in the past, you may register a complaint with the FTC.  You can find answers to any other questions including this one here.

If I register my number on the National Do Not Call Registry, will it stop all telemarketing calls?

No. Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. Because of limitations in the jurisdiction of the FTC and FCC, calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors would still be permitted, as would calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you’ve provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls. However, if you ask a company with which you have an existing business relationship to place your number on its own do-not-call list, it must honor your request.  You should keep a record of the date you make the request.

Unfortunately you may still receive calls from charities, probably some of very dubious legitimacy, survey companies, and politicians.

Somehow, the People Who Determine These Things have determined that our household is a staunch pro-GOP household so I get lots of related surveys and recordings from them which is both highly annoying and occasionally amusing – they truly seem  surprisedborderingonhorrified by some of my survey answers and yet no one has thought to take our number off their calling list.  Go figure.

“For Japan”

Images of Japan

Where are our priorities?

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