18 January 2012

Say NO to SOPA!

You may have noticed that both Google and Wikipedia are acting a little funny today. . .

They've been "blacked out" in order to draw public opposition to a power-grab piece of legislation pending in Congress, the so-called Stop On-line Piracy Act (SOPA).

Like most gobbledygook coming out of D.C. these days, SOPA is a front for the Nanny State.  Plain and simple.  Yes, intellectual property theft is a real problem; and Yes, the internet has only served to worsen an already bad situation.  

But how would the gov't use its power to shut down domain sites and confiscate domain names in the future?  Written to prevent copyright infringement, SOPA (like RICO) is easily morphed into a political tool by a creative prosecutor or judge.  Crying "copyright infringement" is already used by political parties, corporations, and various interest groups to silence their opponents.  Youtube, Hulu, and other internet sites quickly remove vids for no other reason than that the unflattering content of those vids offend someone with a point-of-view.

Make no mistake.  Our Nanny State Betters would love more than to have legal recourse to shutting out their opponents.  Pro-life Christians?  Out.  Defenders of marriage?  Out.  Anti-public union activists?  Out.  Catholic bishops teaching the faith and "offending" delicate feelings?  Out.  Post a video of a politician saying something stupid?  Out.  Right-wing talk radio annoying you, Senator?  No worries.  You get the picture.  Just about anything can become a dispute over intellectual property with the right politician writing the definitions. 

The basic question for me is:  when has giving gov't bureaucrats more power to define and regulate our lives been a good thing?  The internet is one of the last arenas of truly free discourse in the U.S. 

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  1. Urged on by your posting, and by an email from an atheist libertarian friend, I did something equivalent
    to "The Heroic Act".

    I emailed
    my Congresswomanperson, Nancy Pelosi,
    to say NO to SOPA.

    Now I have to go out and have my software disinfected. Is there some kind of cyberexorcism you can do after contact with evil spirits?

  2. USM, throw some holy water on it. If it starts randomly charging your credit card for liquor, union dues, and air fare, call me. I'll do a full blown exorcism over the phone.

    You are a hero.

  3. "The internet is one of the last arenas of truly free discourse in the U.S."

    It should be pointed out that the Internet is not exclusively American. It is truly international. Therefore the US government would not have jurisdiction over the entire internet. Having a law for some users and not for others would require the US to set up a wall, much like the Chinese Government has done around China through their firewall.

  4. Unappreciative10:44 PM

    I just read the Master's letter on Dominican women. "Dominican women, I believe – though it is really up to them to say it – bring to the holy preaching a unique experience in their relationship with Christ, a particular manner for studying the Word, a precise way to organize a chapter, a vulnerability regarding what brings life and what causes death in our world, a way to say God."

    fr Cadore continues to disappoint.

    Taking the masculine for granted, I wonder if he could, or would have the courage to, enunciate the specific gifts of men. Especially given the toxic effects of feminism.

    I hope that his letters will be as ephemeral and ineffective as most of his predecessors' pious missives.

  5. Unappreciative, all I can say is that our Master is French! :-)

    This means, to me at least, that he is bred is to be ephemeral, delicately poised btw saying too much and nothing at all.

    Have I learned anything from the French? Oui! :-)