Tuesday, July 31, 2007

eBay's latest ANTI-Freedom announcement

Hello everyone…In mid-August, we will be updating our Firearms, Weapons and Knives Policy to place more restrictions around gun-related items. Once these changes take effect, we will prohibit listings of any firearm part that is required for the firing of a gun. This includes items like bullet tips, brass casings and shells, barrels, slides, cylinders, magazines, firing pins, trigger assemblies, etc. Please read the Firearms, Weapons and Knives Policy for more details on our current policy.

As you may know, eBay does not allow the listing of any items which are regulated by individual states or the federal government; however, there are still a large number of firearm-related parts that are legal and are widely available in retail stores. These items have also historically been allowed on eBay.

After learning that some items purchased on eBay may have been used in the tragedy at Virginia Tech in April 2007, we felt that revisiting our policies was not only necessary, but the right thing to do. After much consideration, the Trust & Safety policy team – along with our executive leaders at eBay Inc. – have made the decision to further restrict more of these items than federal and state regulations require.

This new update continues to encourage safety among our community members and brings our policies in the U.S. and Canada in closer alignment with our existing policies in other markets around the globe.


Matt Halprin
Vice President, Trust & Safety

That's ok. I haven't done much on eBay anyway, so dumping them won't bother me in the slightest.

I suppose if I sold cars, and someone I sold a Chevy to, went and ran someone over with it, I'd have to stop selling Chevys. Makes a lot of sense, don't it.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Some good News from the House of Representatives....for a change.

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Pro-gun rights Democrats teamed with House Republicans on Thursday to block local governments and law enforcement agencies from gaining routine access to gun-purchasing data.

The House Appropriations Committee defeated two attempts by gun control advocates to strip four-year-old restrictions on the use of information from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tracing gun sales. The votes were a victory for the National Rifle Association and came despite the Democratic takeover of Congress in

The committee's emotional debate often focused on broader gun rights issues rather than the matter at hand, involving when the bureau can share such information.

Gun control advocates say the gun sales data is essential to uncovering dealers who sell guns that disproportionately end up in the hands of criminals.

Gun rights advocates, led by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., said mayors such as New York City's Michael Bloomberg want the data to sue out-of-state gun dealers.

Tiahrt, the key sponsor of the restrictions on sharing gun trace data, also said easing the restrictions could lead to the disclosure of police officers' identities and other details to criminals.

"What the Tiahrt amendment does is protect those who protect us," Tiahrt said.

Pro-gun advocates say the data-sharing restrictions protect gun owners' privacy. But Bloomberg and other mayors contend they hamper law enforcement authorities' ability to trace illegal guns and arrest weapons traffickers.

"This handcuffs the cops, not the criminals," said Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Md.

More than a dozen Democrats, most from rural districts, joined with all but two committee Republicans to defeat a bid by Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., to ease the data sharing restrictions but ensure that police officers' names would not be compromised.

Earlier, a bid by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., to reject Tiahrt's language altogether lost by a voice vote.

The mayors say gun tracing data helps police departments determine the source of illegal guns, who buys them and how they are distributed.

Almost three-fifths of guns used in crimes are sold by just 1 percent of gun dealers, who forge relationship with gun traffickers making multiple purchases.

Under Bloomberg, who recently left the GOP amid speculation he may run for president as an independent, the city has sued out-of-state gun dealers in an attempt to reduce the flow of illegal guns into New York. The NRA-backed restrictions block cities from getting ATF data for such suits.

The committee chairman, Rep. David Obey — a liberal Democrat representing a rural Wisconsin district — said the issue was only marginally related to gun rights. He opposed the efforts to ease the data restrictions.

But Obey lashed out at both the NRA, which failed to endorse him in his most recent race despite his pro-gun rights record, and Bloomberg. He said the mayor's representatives met with his staff and threatened to run television ads attacking him.

Lindsay Ellenbogen, a Bloomberg aide, denied any threats. Bloomberg is co-chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Gun Sales, which has run ads in a few congressional districts.

"As happens too often in Washington, common sense didn't carry the day — special interests did," Bloomberg said.

Thursday's result continued a run of back luck on Capitol Hill for gun control advocates. They have lost many times since a Democratic-controlled Congress pushed through an assault weapons ban in 1994. Many Democrats credited the ban for losses in rural seats as the party took a drubbing at the polls that year.

The return of Congress to Democratic hands did not appreciably hurt the NRA's position because many of the newcomers are from rural, pro-gun rights districts.

"To allow this information to be misused by trial lawyers and gun control groups who want to sue gun manufacturers because criminals misused legally made and legally sold guns is not only bad policy but bad politics," said Chris W. Cox, the NRA's top lobbyist.

The votes came as the committee approved a $53.6 billion bill for the departments of Commerce and Justice, as well as NASA and science programs.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Michael Moore's Open Letter to CNN

An Open Letter to CNN from Michael Moore

Dear CNN,

Well, the week is over -- and still no apology, no retraction, no correction of your glaring mistakes.

I bet you thought my dust-up with Wolf Blitzer was just a cool ratings coup, that you really wouldn't have to correct the false statements you made about "Sicko." I bet you thought I was just going to go quietly away.

Think again. I'm about to become your worst nightmare. 'Cause I ain't ever going away. Not until you set the record straight, and apologize to your viewers. "The Most Trusted Name in News?" I think it's safe to say you can retire that slogan.

You have an occasional segment called "Keeping Them Honest." But who keeps you honest? After what the public saw with your report on "Sicko," and how many inaccuracies that report contained, how can anyone believe anything you say on your network? In the old days, before the Internet, you could get away with it. Your victims had no way to set the record straight, to show the viewers how you had misrepresented the truth. But now, we can post the truth -- and back it up with evidence and facts -- on the web, for all to see. And boy, judging from the mail both you and I have been receiving, the evidence I have posted on my site about your "Sicko" piece has led millions now to question your honesty.

I won't waste your time rehashing your errors. You know what they are. What I want to do is help you come clean. Admit you were wrong. What is the shame in that? We all make mistakes. I know it's hard to admit it when you've screwed up, but it's also liberating and cathartic. It not only makes you a better person, it helps prevent you from screwing up again. Imagine how many people will be drawn to a network that says, "We made a mistake. We're human. We're sorry. We will make mistakes in the future -- but we will always correct them so that you know you can trust us." Now, how hard would that really be?

As you know, I hold no personal animosity against you or any of your staff. You and your parent company have been very good to me over the years. You distributed my first film, "Roger & Me" and you published "Dude, Where's My Country?" Larry King has had me on twice in the last two weeks. I couldn't ask for better treatment.

That's why I was so stunned when you let a doctor who knows a lot about brain surgery -- but apparently very little about public policy -- do a "fact check" story, not on the medical issues in "Sicko," but rather on the economic and political information in the film. Is this why there has been a delay in your apology, because you are trying to get a DOCTOR to say he was wrong? Please tell him not to worry, no one is filing a malpractice claim against him. Dr. Gupta does excellent and compassionate stories on CNN about people's health and how we can take better care of ourselves. But when it came time to discuss universal health care, he rushed together a bunch of sloppy -- and old -- research. When his producer called us about his report the day before it aired, we sent to her, in an email, all the evidence so that he wouldn't make any mistakes on air. He chose to ignore ALL the evidence, and ran with all his falsehoods -- even though he had been given the facts a full day before! How could that happen? And now, for 5 days, I have posted on my website, for all to see, every mistake and error he made.

You, on the other hand, in the face of this overwhelming evidence and a huge public backlash, have chosen to remain silent, probably praying and hoping this will all go away.

Well it isn't. We are now going to start looking into the veracity of other reports you have aired on other topics. Nothing you say now can be believed. In 2002, the New York Times busted you for bringing celebrities on your shows and not telling your viewers they were paid spokespeople for the pharmaceutical companies. You promised never to do it again. But there you were, in 2005, talking to Joe Theismann, on air, as he pushed some drug company-sponsored website on prostate health. You said nothing about about his affiliation with GlaxoSmithKline.

Clearly, no one is keeping you honest, so I guess I'm going to have to do that job, too. $1.5 billion is spent each year by the drug companies on ads on CNN and the other four networks. I'm sure that has nothing to do with any of this. After all, if someone gave me $1.5 billion, I have to admit, I might say a kind word or two about them. Who wouldn't?!

I expect CNN to put this matter to rest. Say you're sorry and correct your story -- like any good journalist would.

Then we can get back to more important things. Like a REAL discussion about our broken health care system. Everything else is a distraction from what really matters.

Michael Moore

P.S. If you also want to apologize for not doing your job at the start of the Iraq War, I'm sure most Americans would be very happy to accept your apology. You and the other networks were willing partners with Bush, flying flags all over the TV screens and never asking the hard questions that you should have asked. You might have prevented a war. You might have saved the lives of those 3,610 soldiers who are no longer with us. Instead, you blew air kisses at a commander in chief who clearly was making it all up. Millions of us knew that -- why didn't you? I think you did. And, in my opinion, that makes you responsible for this war. Instead of doing the job the founding fathers wanted you to do -- keeping those in power honest (that's why they made it the FIRST amendment) -- you and much of the media went on the attack against the few public figures like myself who dared to question the nightmare we were about to enter. You've never thanked me or the Dixie Chicks or Al Gore for doing your job for you. That's OK. Just tell the truth from this point on.

What really gets me, is his last sentence, in his PS. "Just tell the truth from this point on." GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK! He wants CNN to tell the truth? How about a little truth from him, for a change? SHEESH!!

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

A question for Media Matters dot org

On their site, under "About us," they start out with the following paragraph.
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

So, if they're watching the conservative media, who's monitoring the Liberal media? It seems to me that any organization that wanted to monitor the liberal media, would need a HUGE staff, just to keep track of all the misinformation they broadcast.

But, can some one tell me WHAT misinformation the conservative media is passing out?

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