Thursday, October 8, 2009

It’s all over the blogosphere

It’s all over the blogosphere.

The FTC has been given overbroad authority to go after blogs and social networking site to criminalize folks that get free stuff from manufacturers, and then write positive reviews about this subject.

I say overbroad because in modern America, where rule of man trumps the rule of law, the unelected bureaucratic regulators have full discretion on whom to go after and criminalize. If you got $4000 worth of weight loss materials and say you lost 300 pounds in 4 days thanks to the product you can be penalized if they want to. If you got a free pen from Glock at a gun show and say you kinda like the pistol you bought 2 and half years later they can penalize you if they want to.

All these new rules go into effect on December 1st, I believe.

Ahead of that, I want to make full disclosure now.

Every product or service I write about on this blog? I got it for free. Yup, they GAVE it to me! EVERY SINGLE ONE. The NRA sends me a wheelbarrow full of cash fortnightly. All the local gunstores just hand me ammo and such as soon as I walk in the door. Sometimes it’s hard to lug it all around and get it out to the car. Maryland Firearms Training Group just likes to see my smiling face so all the training I get is gratis. Springfield is constantly sending me guns to test and keep. So is SIG. And Smith. And many more gun factories. And a host of other items, from catalog houses, and surplus stores, and gunsmiths and etc. get thrown my way. I get free bacon from my grocery store, in case I ever talk about bacon, here, in the future, and a truck delivers beer to my house straight from various fine breweries. When I say nice things about other bloggers? Yes, you guessed it. They tipped me a few bills to do that. (By the way, Tam, your last money order arrived a few days late. Don’t let it happen again.) I am awash in swag and payola of every conceivable kind, from guns to shoes to building materials for new driveway. It’s so much, I had to have a U-Store-It place give me free storage space to keep it all.

Now I just need to convince the IRS that all those places didn’t give it to me, and amount to income… Dammit! Uh… these gifts amount to less than $10,000 per year, each, so I guess the gift tax rules are in effect and ergo not taxable. There. That works. IRS is happy and FTC is happy.

And that should cover my FTC disclosure requirements for all time. Scroo you, government, no matter which guy runs it. You need to leave me the heck alone on a buncha stuff. You’re stickin your nose in way too many places. Helmet laws, seatbelt laws, no-flush terlet laws, shower-head flow laws, soft-terlet-paper bans, lightbulb bans. Why does the federal gov’t have to be so involved with my personal life? I could understand it if I was doing something they are tasked to be concerned with, like negotiating with foreign powers on the countries behalf and not at the Fed’s behalf, or minting my own money. But I’m not doing that sort of stuff. Why are they so concerned about the minutiae of ME? And you, for that matter, dear reader. And other dear reader. And now, occasionally, a THIRD dear reader.

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