June 25, 2004

Arnold Wants to "Terminate" Your Lost Pets

UPDATE (6/25/04): Schwarzenegger has now announced that he "made a mistake" (oops!) in calling for the changes described below for stray pet hold periods at shelters, and is no longer seeking such changes. Perhaps the massive public outcry helped him see the error of his ways. One thing you can sure say for Arnold, he's almost as skilled at doing 180-degree policy shifts as George W. Bush.

Greetings. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is continuing his never-ending quest to save money while making sure that his rich buddies don't pay an extra penny in taxes that might crimp their lifestyles.

His latest brainstorm -- kill your stray pets. Yep, the Guv wants to repeal a law that requires shelters in California to hold strays for six days -- less than one week -- before killing them.

Arnold's plan? Terminate lost cats and dogs after only three days, and kill most other small stray animals immediately.

The current six-day hold period is so short that many pet owners can't find their pets in time. Three days (or zero days in some cases) would guarantee more heartbreak for pet owners.

Yes, people should be more responsible with their pets. Yes, dogs should be tagged and pets should be spayed or neutered.

But for Arnold to try saving money on the backs of folks who have lost their pets appears to provide true insight into his personality and values, insight that many onlookers may have missed up to now.

Hey Arnold: Tell your well-heeled friends to pay a few more dollars a year, and leave our pets alone!


Posted by Lauren at 11:55 AM | Permalink
Twitter: @laurenweinstein
Google+: Lauren Weinstein

June 22, 2004

ISPs' Proposal to Exterminate Mailing Lists

Greetings. Do you run an Internet mailing list? If so, you'd better have plenty of spare change handy!

AOL, Yahoo, Earthlink, MS, et al., are proposing a limit of 500 e-mail messages sent per day as an "anti-spam" measure. Of course, this won't stop spammers, but it would utterly obliterate all but the smallest legitimate mailing lists -- unless, one assumes, you pony up extra money for additional e-mail allocations. Spam could turn out to be the holy grail of excuses for ISPs looking for a way to move into the lucrative world of usage-sensitive pricing.

You may wish to immediately let your ISP know how you feel about such proposals!

Hold on to your wallets.


Posted by Lauren at 06:55 PM | Permalink
Twitter: @laurenweinstein
Google+: Lauren Weinstein

June 20, 2004

Viacom/MTV Networks' "The Debate Show" Fraud

Greetings. Usually when one gets a call to participate in a news-oriented television program, subterfuge isn't a worry. But in the brave new world of "newsertainment" -- a blurring of news and entertainment -- you really need to watch your back.

Herein is the sordid tale (posted last night to Dave Farber's "IP" list) of what recently happened to me -- and my narrow escape -- when Viacom/MTV Networks came calling, asking for my help to educate the world's youth about important topics (in this case, the scourge of spam).

Be warned. It could happen to you!


Posted by Lauren at 08:33 AM | Permalink
Twitter: @laurenweinstein
Google+: Lauren Weinstein

June 18, 2004

Priorities Amuck: The Feds' Marshmallow Bust

Greetings. It's good to know that all of our federal law enforcement officers are out there protecting us from criminals and terrorists -- or are they?

Apparently at least some of them have too much spare time on their hands -- like the ones who arrested, shackled, and removed a teacher's aide from her cruise ship and tossed her into jail.

A bank robber on the run? An al-Qaeda operative? Nope. The big bust was over a $50 fine for not cleaning up her marshmallows and chocolate at Yellowstone national park -- a fine she had in fact already paid.

Lucky for her that she didn't make any sudden moves, like reaching for a pack of chewing gum, or there's no telling what might have happened.


Posted by Lauren at 11:26 PM | Permalink
Twitter: @laurenweinstein
Google+: Lauren Weinstein