The Opera that is SOPA and PIPA

Not much Richard Armitage today, but I can’t apologize for it. Richard will just have to understand, and somehow I think he does.

For most of the day my site was blacked out with this being the only post:

My friends, I do not like getting political on this blog, and just so you know, I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am merely a U.S. citizen who does not believe the Federal Government needs to have control of the Internet. Many websites are blacked out today to protest proposed U.S. legislation that threatens internet freedom: Senate Bill 968, the Protect IP Act. From personal blogs to giants like WordPress and Wikipedia, sites all over the web — including this one — are asking for you to help us stop this dangerous legislation from being passed.

Please watch the video below to learn why we are opposing this legislation and how it will affect internet freedom, and if you agree with us, take action. I hope you will.

— Sincerely, Frenz

I hope you took the time to check out the link and the video. If you’re still confused, by the SOPA/PIPA saga and all the parties ranting on each side, I have a few more things to say about it, and then my insane self will take over tomorrow.

The crux of this issue is the U.S. government trying to legislate the ability for them to subvert an ip address based on a complaint of piracy. No day in court. Just a complaint. This blows the 14th Amendment to hell. Yes, there are other things that blow it and other amendments to hell, i.e., NDAA, but when do we say enough is enough? The internet is our only decent end-run around mainstream news sources, and it scares the hell out of me to have the government in control of it. That lumbering elephant that does nothing easily to be in charge of handling complaints about piracy?! And do it effectively? I don’t see it. But I do see the system being abused, and then a whole set of additional laws cropping up to deal with that, and on and on and on and one more damned bureaucracy to deal with. Meanwhile we have lost a major freedom of expression.

The good news today is some backers of the PIPA bill have withdrawn their support. But the most important thing to remember is that the fat lady hasn’t sung, and she still bears monitoring. Yep, the price of freedom is still vigilance.

Back tomorrow with RA.

C’mon Give Jimmy a Fiver

December 31, 2011

I popped onto Wikipedia the other day and noticed Jimmy Wales, founder, is again making a plea for donations to the site. Look at those eyes :D (click to enlarge):

If you know the story of Wikipedia, then you know the request is justified. Oh you don’t know the story? Jimmy will explain:

If you don’t want to watch the video, what you need to know is Wikipedia is held accountable by the public. If someone doesn’t agree with what’s inserted there, they may change it, and it’s amazing how accurate it is when compared with traditional encyclopedia. The other thing you need to know is the site is non-profit with 35 paid employees (or thereabouts; at the time of that video, they only had one paid employee, the programmer), and the rest are volunteers. It’s become common knowledge that Jimmy does not take money from the venture but instead makes a living with his speaking engagements and his writing. Supposedly, his net worth is less than $1 million while the potential of Wikipedia as a for profit site is estimated at $3 billion. I can respect what he’s done and cough up at least $5 and hope you will too.

One more look at Jimmy the guy who passed up $3 Billion:

What does this have to do with Richard Armitage? Well, he’s a smart guy, and I’ll bet he would give Jimmy a fiver.

Video courtesy of Ted Talks, and if you don’t subscribe to Ted, you’re missing out. I may have to write a piece on that too. :D

Tangent — Wake up, People

Are you a voter in the U.S.? Please watch this video:

We are all in jeopardy of a dangerous precedent being set with this type of government control, and it doesn’t even do what’s intended. So what control will they take next to try to ensure that it does? And the only ones who really are affected are the honest people. Haven’t we lost enough already in the interest of preserving order? If you still do not understand what kind of power will be ceded to our government, then we need to talk.

If you are already convinced this is a dangerous bill, but you don’t know what to do about it, call or send an email to your representatives, and you can also sign a petition. I signed this one.

Here’s a little more about the urgency of the situation:

Call Congress Today And Let Them Know (Again) That You Are Against SOPA
from the they-don’t-seem-to-be-getting-the-message dept

Rep. Lamar Smith is getting ready to cement his legacy as passing the first bill to create a permanent “black list” of censored websites in the US… and most of Congress still doesn’t understand that the American public is vehemently coming out against this bill. It’s very, very likely that Smith will get the Judiciary Committee to approve the bill tomorrow, at which point it could go to a full vote on the floor at any time. Yes, a bunch of the members of the Judiciary Committee plan to vote to censor the internet tomorrow, and they still don’t believe the public cares about this.

Read more

edit:

Whether you’re conservative or liberal, we’re going to lose something here, and as usual, it will be in the name of protection.