SOPA/Protect IP: Retarding Progress

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 

If you have ever found the internet useful for anything other than browsing corporate web sites, for example if you’ve ever looked up an independent review or enjoyed a post like this one by anyone at all, then you must contact your representative and insist they reject SOPA and Protect IP.

This act is the most inane, repressive, anti-progress, anti-civil-rights, special interest protecting, bought and paid for legislation I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading.  Every site that has an opinion that might offend anyone with an in-house lawyer will be erased from the DNS system.  The primary opponents of the bill point out that sites like Google and Youtube are targets, but the tactic will not be to strike at targets that can afford lawyers, the tactic will be to wipe out small sites that aren’t generating much revenue first and establish precedent before taking out the big guys.  First all the fun sites will go, then youtube, but, hey, you’ll still have Hulu and

Anyone who is favorable to this bill does not understand the constitution and is not fit to stand in office.  It is an absolute rejection of the constitutional mandate to “promote progress and the useful arts” solely to enable short-term profiteering by absurdly wealthy studio execs.

The bills primary sponsors, Patrick Leahy and Lamar Smith: whatever you can do to get these tools of the studio execs out of office, please do.  They’re not from my state, but if they were I’d back anyone who challenged them.

Co spononsors must also be ejected as forcefully as possible.

Protect IP Cosponsors

Sen Alexander, Lamar [TN] – 5/25/2011
Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH] – 6/27/2011
Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] – 7/25/2011
Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] – 10/19/2011
Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] – 5/12/2011
Sen Blunt, Roy [MO] – 5/23/2011
Sen Boozman, John [AR] – 6/15/2011
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] – 10/20/2011
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] – 7/13/2011
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] – 9/7/2011
Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] – 11/2/2011
Sen Cochran, Thad [MS] – 6/23/2011
Sen Coons, Christopher A. [DE] – 5/12/2011
Sen Corker, Bob [TN] – 6/9/2011
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] – 6/30/2011
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY] – 9/7/2011
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] – 5/12/2011
Sen Franken, Al [MN] – 5/12/2011
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] – 5/26/2011
Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] – 5/12/2011
Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] – 5/12/2011
Sen Hagan, Kay [NC] – 7/5/2011
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] – 5/12/2011
Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] – 11/2/2011
Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] – 10/3/2011
Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] – 5/12/2011
Sen Kohl, Herb [WI] – 5/12/2011
Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] – 10/17/2011
Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT] – 7/7/2011
Sen McCain, John [AZ] – 7/26/2011
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] – 10/31/2011
Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] – 9/23/2011
Sen Risch, James E. [ID] – 11/7/2011
Sen Rubio, Marco [FL] – 5/26/2011
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] – 5/12/2011
Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] – 6/30/2011
Sen Udall, Tom [NM] – 7/7/2011
Sen Vitter, David [LA] – 11/7/2011
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] – 5/12/2011

SOPA Cosponsors

Rep Amodei, Mark E. [NV-2] – 11/3/2011
Rep Barrow, John [GA-12] – 11/14/2011
Rep Bass, Karen [CA-33] – 11/3/2011
Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] – 10/26/2011
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] – 10/26/2011
Rep Bono Mack, Mary [CA-45] – 10/26/2011
Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] – 11/3/2011
Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] – 10/26/2011
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] – 10/26/2011
Rep Deutch, Theodore E. [FL-19] – 10/26/2011
Rep Gallegly, Elton [CA-24] – 10/26/2011
Rep Goodlatte, Bob [VA-6] – 10/26/2011
Rep Griffin, Tim [AR-2] – 10/26/2011
Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] – 11/3/2011
Rep Lujan, Ben Ray [NM-3] – 11/14/2011
Rep Marino, Tom [PA-10] – 11/3/2011
Rep Nunnelee, Alan [MS-1] – 11/3/2011
Rep Owens, William L. [NY-23] – 11/14/2011
Rep Ross, Dennis [FL-12] – 10/26/2011
Rep Scalise, Steve [LA-1] – 11/14/2011
Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] – 10/26/2011
Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] – 10/26/2011
Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20] – 11/3/2011
Rep Watt, Melvin L. [NC-12] – 11/3/2011

Posted at 07:54:21 GMT-0700

Category: politics

Red State Wackiness

Friday, October 17, 2008 

I was listening to Christian Radio in a red state recently and heard a news break between the adulational Christian soft rock/country exhort Christians to vote their conscious.  The commentator was, to my liberal ears, neutral in his repeated statements about voting one’s conscious until he said “I honestly believe that if the liberals win the presidency we will see Christians going to jail.”

Some of what followed I couldn’t hear behind my own laughter, but I think he said something about a liberal senate, house, and presidency having unchecked powers to criminalize evangelicals and jail them for their beliefs.

On the one hand this sort of fear mongering seems just bat excrement crazy, and a fringe not representative of the mainstream of conservative thought.  On the other hand…

Read more…

Posted at 15:03:27 GMT-0700

Category: politics

Traveller Privacy Protection Act Worth Fighting For

Thursday, October 9, 2008 

After almost eight long years of unrelentingly horrible news, of an enervating, depressing, distressing litany of stupidity and manifest religious extremism cloaked in political lies finally, finally there is one slim measure of clear thought, of defense of right of justice of decency.

It is narrowly targeted, it is in defense of the civil rights of a minority, but it is good and right and in the right direction and it deserves our full support.

The Travelers Privacy Protection Act (TPPA) is a bill that attempts to address what should be unconstitutional and illegal searches of electronic devices by DHS. Now most people might not know or even believe if they heard the rumors that DHS has claimed the right to confiscate any electronic device they want anyone carries into the US. They can keep your stuff forever. They don’t have to get permission from a judge, they don’t need probable cause or reasonable suspicion or any legally meaningful threshold to justify these seizures.

Not surprisingly, the DHS is reluctant to give up the convenience of a paperwork and accountability-free operation and there’s not too much evidence yet that they’ve been unreasonable in their use of this power, but absolute power corrupts absolutely and it is merely a matter of time before tales of intolerable abuses come to light unless the usual and assumed checks and balances are applied.

So contact your representative now and support the Travelers Privacy Protection Act, written by Feingold, Cantwell, and Smith. It sets a fairly low but legally significant standard of “reasonable suspicion” for search and limits the search to 24 hours. If DHS needs more time, they must find (either on the device or by other means) justification for “probable cause,” which may justify seizure.

Only the United States presumes such unchecked power to snoop through people’s private lives. No other country will seize devices without any judicial oversight. A very strong argument for applying minimal legal standards to DHS seizure is that failure to do so will ultimately justify other nations taking the same position. While the US has, for the bulk of those who pass under suspicion, protected nominal rights it is not necessarily true in other countries and the data on our laptops and phones might be used for political or industrial gain.

The US must strive to set the standard for protecting rights or we will continue to lose any premise of moral authority in world affairs.

Your support helps.

Posted at 00:00:08 GMT-0700

Category: politics