Tag Archives: NationMaster

Is Emmanuel ‘Chris’ Welch the NationMaster of Illinois?

Are politicians too SLAPP happy?,” by Dave Goetz, Forest Park Review, 18 October 2005, http://forestparkreview.com/main.asp?SectionID=3&SubSectionID=3&ArticleID=695&TM=79561.24 (from Google News via Junk Politics).

A while ago threatened to sue me for a negative review. They gave up. Sadly, not everyone is so lucky.

A bit ago I wrote about how Activa Holdings is exploiting Canadian law to sue a blogger. Now a politician from an Illinois public school district is at it:

There have been some epic battles in our times. SC vs. Notre Dame, Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, Godzilla vs. King Kong. The most recent addition to this list is Welch vs. Nyberg. Welch vs. Nyberg?

In September, Emmanuel ‘Chris‘ Welch, Proviso District 209 School Board President, sued local resident, Review columnist, blog owner, and political gadfly Carl Nyberg for defamation. The lawsuit refers to specific postings on Carl’s political blog Proviso Probe, www.provisoprobe.blogspot.com.

After reading the headline my first reaction was that this is a SLAPP suit. SLAPP is an acronym for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. Characteristically these lawsuits are filed by developers, large business interests, and elected officials against their vocal opponents. The lawsuits are filed quickly, without much legal research, because the goal is not necessarily to win the suit, but to intimidate the under funded, legally ignorant, naysayers. By the time the case is dismissed, and the vast majority of the SLAPP suits are, the zoning changes have been passed, the needed land has been condemned, the plaintiff has achieved its’ objective.

The political purpose of SLAPP suits by politicians is to stop what they perceive as withering and stifling criticism from the portion of the public that isn’t buying what they are saying. The suit or even the threat of a lawsuit is used to keep people from writing letters to the editors, jumping on web sites or blogs, or other forms of free speech. It generally happens locally where the media exposure is limited. I’m sure President Bush would have loved to move Cindy Sheehan away from his ranch during his vacation but any type of legal action on his behalf would have created a firestorm of bad publicity. Too many TV cameras. The same is not true on the local level.

While I happily admit to know nothing about Illinois politics, that SLAPP-style lawsuits may have come to bloggers who criticize politicians is worrying.

NatonMaster Folds (Kind of….)

has refunded most of my money.

The legal beagles at get it next:


They even sent me a nice confirmation email

Hi friend of digital freedom [tdaxp comment: 🙂 ],

Your thoughtful gift today of $65.00 means a world of difference to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and our ability to defend digital freedom.

On behalf of our Board, staff and volunteers, thank you for your contribution and for helping to protect digital freedom.

PS: I will send you an acknowledgment letter to the mailing address listed below. Your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law. Our tax ID number is 04-3091431. EFF respects the confidentiality of its supporters and we do not lend, rent or sell our lists of donors at any time. No goods or services were provided in consideration of this contribution.

What I like best about EFF emails is that they do not accuse me of defamation!

(Well, that and I can a tax-deductible t-shirt!)

Sadly, the most recent email from NationMaster isn’t so kind. Our friend Mr. Steinmetz sent me another email, to which I replied. Two big things stand out

  1. He asked me to post his email. I was kind enough to do so, and I posted my reply. But I have never disabled comments for any post, and whenever there has been a problem commenting I have helped someone to do so. As I’ve yet to take down death threats, I assure Mr. Steinmetz that his participation in the online community would be appreciated
  2. His email’s full of untruths. I won’t call them lies, because a malicious lazy incompetence seems more likely. To pick out just one

    We find it disappointing but also telling that you never raised an issue with the PayPal resolution centre, which is the normal route PayPal users take when they have a dispute with a seller.

Now, that’s odd. Oh, wait:

The Buyer Complaint Policy only applies to payments for tangible, physical goods which can be shipped, and excludes all other payments, including but not limited to payments for intangibles, for services or for licenses and other access to digital content.

I could belabor my conversation with PayPal, my conversation with my credit card company, but if Mr. Steinmetz‘s can’t keep his online business straight, I don’t see the point. I’m not going to raise his other points. If you are curious about them, you can email me. His contentions don’t deserve the blog-space.

Or he can leave a comment.

Nor will I humorously mention that the payment processor protection NationMaster ignored/didn’t know about/lied about/whatever was designed to protect certain soft-core pornography distributors: for example, this girl (a market under constant attack from See Lai and occasionally other, more prestigious blogs 😉 ).

Nor will I join NationMaster Scam in its libel:

NationMaster refunded TDAXP, but refuse to apologize for anti-Semitic remarks they may have made to him. They have not removed WikiPedia’s content, however.

Nor write something actually scandalous, such as

NationMaster traffics in white slavery

Because that’d just be untrue. Much like ‘s letter.

NationMaster Enslaves College Girls To Perform on Adult Web Sites: NOT TRUE

Note that I am unable to repudiate made-up allegations that NationMaster regularly enslaves mongoloids, negroids, and the mixed. But I fear the worst

Does NationMaster Enslave Japanese Girls And Bind Them To Trees

More importantly, the latest email from did not promise to call off the lawyers, did not apologize for calling a negative refer of defamation, or even fully refund my money (but why quibble)?

Which brings me back to the . It made the need for legal protection for free speech personal to me. Which is why I gave the money over to the EFF:

Blogging: For Freedom’s Sake

Because they stand-up to legal persecution of free speech. And international sex traffickers like NationMaster.

NationMaster v. Consumer Protection

NationMaster v. TDAXP,” by Curzon, Coming Anarchy, 7 Novembe, 2005, http://www.cominganarchy.com/archives/2005/11/07/nationmaster-v-tdaxp/.

Adam from The Metropolis Times, Bill from Dawn’s Early Light, Brendan from I Hate Linux, Curzon from Coming Anarchy, Ryne from Ryne McClaren: A Weblog, and others, were kind enough to blog on my recent troubles with

As Curzon said:

I say some controversial stuff on this site but I’ve never been threatened (and the comments here are generally awesome, save for the occasional lunatic). Poor Dan of TDAXP has been threatened by jihadists, blocked in China, and now threatened with a libel suit by NationMaster.com. You can read the correspondence that led to this event at the prior link or at the new blog NationMasterWatch.

Was Grendel right that tyranny is just at the doorstep for Americans? No. A negative review of prior services, even if the faulty services have been solved, does not constitute defamation or libel. And if recent suits of a similar nature are any hints, those who file libel suits generally embaress themselves and give the defendant heaps of publicity..

And not only that, Curzon used his artistic wizardry to create a graphic representation of ‘s recent aggression


I want to thank everyone for seeing NationMaster‘s assault and giving advise. Particularly, I was relieved to be assured by the very knowledgeable Curzon that what I wrote was not defamation. With that in mind, here is an excerpt from the original negative review:

Nation Master will bill you even after you cancel.

Confused? Let’s try again

nationmaster.com will bill you even after you cancel

I first joined this site when I needed raw data for my graduate thesis. In the end it was useless for me, but the site is a good waste of 15 minutes.

nationmaster.com is not worth the three quarterly payments I made, the two after I stopped using or, or the one after I first demanded a refund.

The bill implies someone named Luke Metcalfe is involved in this scam. Well Lucas, if you’re reading, stop it.

Any everyone else: avoid Nation Master.

The transcript of NationMaster’s shakedown is at the new blog, NationMaster Watch.

Censored by NationMaster in Retaliation for a Negative Review

What do radical Islamists, Communist China, and NationMaster have in common?

All three want tdaxp to shut up

For now, I don’t know what to do. The negative review Mr. Steinmetz complained about — that he falsely accused of defaming his company — is down. He never mentiond anything wrong with the second and third posts, and he even said that the person I criticized in them (Viswa Priya) no longe works for the company.

Suggestions? Help? Ideas.

For now I have started to allow me to keep track of all this without clogging up the tdaxp main page, but I am searching for something better than caving into the hostile “content managers” and staff at NatMast.

has a record of such thuggishness, and I do not feel comforatble with censoring this blog after the vaguest threat of “lawyers.” , , and are too important for that… I hope.

My Negative Review of NationMaster

Update: is now entirely free. NationMaster assures potential users that it is not a scam site, and is attempting to nullify any problems they had in their billing and support areas.

Update 2: As of ‘s most recent email, NationMaster’s problems have apparently returned. For more information, please read NationMaster Watch

Adam at The Metropolis Times gives a good summary of what has happened. Another synopsis is also available.