I usually try to ignore what Congress does or contemplates doing. Not because what they’re up to isn’t dangerous. Ha! Dangerous to liberty defines the very existence of those &^%$#@!s.
But because we shouldn’t have to spend our lives in desperate, hysterical reaction to a bunch of scoundrels, criminals, and tyrants. It demeans us to “WRITE YOUR CONGRESSTHING NOW AND TELL IT TO V*TE AGAINST THE LATEST BILL OF RIGHTS DESTROYING MONSTROSITY BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!!!”
No, if they’re even thinking about voting against our inborn liberties, then our proper response is … well, never mind.
Still, this week there are two abominations out there, both so bad that only a
moron evil puppet fascist senator (same root word as senile) or “representative” (you’ll pardon the euphemism) would even consider voting for them. And so we must at least note what they’re trying to do this time:
1. Giving the death cut to Posse comitatus, sneakily, of course: Read it and weep.
2. And the infamous SOPA. (Tip o’ hat to DA.)
The first wouldn’t just unleash the military upon you and me; If everything I’ve read is true it could lock us up forever with no more hope than a Medieval serf rotting in a feudal lord’s dungeon. They could “disappear” you, and your friends and family might never even learn where or why you’d gone because your “detention” would be a matter of “national security.”
The second … well, you know. The usual stuff of criminalizing us to make the political donors happy.
Talk nicely to creatures who would impose this on you? Nooooo, I don’t think so.
But do as you see fit, as always. Last I heard, the Senate was scheduled to vote today on an amendment that would wipe out the disappear-you provisions (hidden — or so its masterminds Carl Levin (D) and John McCain (R) hoped — in a Defense appropriations bill). Here’s the ACLU’s form-letter form.*
Even if the damnable provision has already weaseled its way through the Senate when you read this, the bill still has to go into conference committee and the eventually be voted on again in both the House and Senate.
On SOPA there’s even more time and powerful Internet armies already massing against it.
* And yes, yes, I know. I’ve dared to mention the ACLU once again, so sure as God made little shriveled synapses, somebody’s going to have a fit of hysteria because I’ve sold my body and soul, am a traitor to freedom, and am lubriciously lusting in debauchery and degredation with gun-hating commie pinkos. So let me just say in advance that linking to their online form letter doesn’t imply endorsement of 100% of the ACLU’s agenda. This time, and plenty of other times, they just happen to be on the side of the angels.
It is amazing that there are still people (sheeple) in America who think that locking up citizens and disappearing them forever is okay – to “keep the rest of us safe.”
Last I heard, my lying snake Senator was still undecided on how he would vote on this bill.
If this bill passes, the expression “Orwell was an optimist” will no longer garner a grin from me.
Claire, where would Start Page fit into SOPA? Technically it’s a web link through Firefox, IE , et al, but Start Page does the browsing.How do you think SOPA would affect its usage?
Brilliant strategy is it not? Write something as evil as this bill to formalize the imperial police state and then propose ”amendments” to it in order to lessen the impact of the whole bill (or so they say).
Cannot eliminate the bill all together because it is part of a spending bill so that can’t be done right? -nope–amend it. brilliant. it almost guaranteed the bill will pass in one form or another. Small steps to total enslavement and the American serf simply whines about a small portion of it. no matter what happens this bill will pass in one form or another as all bills do. The senators will then step up to their microphones and cheer their intelligence for ”limiting” the bad bits and passing just the good, or so they will say. The American citizen slave will fall back asleep, content that their letter writing stopped bits and pieces of it but failed to eliminate the whole thing. over and over it happens with the willing consent of the ”governed” to be conned and fooled.
They should call it the Water-boarding Grannie bill just like people once called obama care the death care bill. All it will take is a good slave to call his master and report in the ”see something, say something” program and Granny is black bagged and ripped from her home to be tortured as a terrorist simply because she was ”suspected” by her loving neighbors. Sadly, the average person will happily cheer and applaud that their master protected them from those ”dangerous grannies”. They will slink back into their open aired prison cell and watch some more programming on TV never knowing it will happen to them next!
Perhaps the police will drag off the 5 and 6 year old as well since they are a threat to the powers that be as well, or perhaps they can torture kids who sell lemonade and those farmers who dare sell raw milk. I am certain they will be perceived as a threat.
Welcome to Nazi Germany where SS agents ripped people from their homes while all the other neighbors watched, happy it wasn’t them and wondering when they would be next in the gas chambers. The only difference is that while Germans cowered before the SS, the american cheers them.
Congress has a 9% approval rate, basically their families and staffs. That means 91% of us disapprove. Want to bet that 91% is probably the percentage of Congress that gets re-elected?
Yes, write, call, email your congresscritter. I would suggest using someone else’s return address, phone, or email acct, just in case…
Pat — I haven’t studied SOPA in any detail, so I can only guess. And your guess is probably as good as mine.
Still, I’m thinking that if SOPA or some similar bill passed, search engines would either be specifically exempted or given a pass. Enforcement would be mainly against notorious pirate sites and/or little people who can’t effectively fight back. But I’ll bet you anything that legal pressure and outright threats would be used against search engines to get them to “comply” with censorship efforts.
As I say, though, just a guess. Who knows what law might eventually pass and how its enforcers might use it over time?
Sure feels like Cory Doctrow’s “Little Brother” book is coming true…
What’s the big deal Claire? After all, the pretense of due process takes time, paperwork, ect…this is simply a logical progression of the police state…gee, I feel “safer” already!
Contacted Saxby Chambliss, senator for Georgia. Here is his pseudo-response:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 16, 2011, that included several provisions relating to the authority of the United States to detain and prosecute certain individuals associated with al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
The Guantanamo Bay detention center has been used by both the previous and current Administrations to hold detainees captured in relation to the global war on terrorism. The authority of the United States to hold enemy combatants until hostilities have ended in order to prevent their return to the battlefield is well-founded in our history. Most recently, President Obama signed an Executive Order that formalized the existing practice of holding certain detainees at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely without charge. Unfortunately, we already know that more than one-fourth of former Guantanamo detainees have returned to the fight. By holding detainees at Guantanamo or a similar facility, we can ensure that they do not return to the battlefield or harm our citizens at home or abroad.
The detainee provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act give the Executive branch appropriate authority to continue to fight those terrorists who are intent on causing harm to the United States and its citizens. These provisions also recognize that, because we are in a time of war, detention and prosecution within a military framework is the most fitting solution for handling certain terrorist detainees. On March 7, 2011, after a previous suspension, President Obama approved the continuation of military commissions, conducted by military officers with a military judge presiding, of certain individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay. I am confident that military commissions can provide a fair process for trying any terrorist detainee.
In a subsequent meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee last week, this detainee language was changed to address some concerns of the Administration. These changes include: clarifying that the president has the authority to determine whether the provision applies to a suspected terrorist; and specifying that civilian law enforcement officials are not required to abandon surveillance and interrogations of suspected terrorists. The National Defense Authorization Act remains the pending business before the Senate and, as this debate continues, I will keep your thoughts in mind.
PapaSquirrel — Amazing, isn’t it, how they calmly attempt to make police-state encroachments look like nothing but business as usual? Just “clarifications” of existing powers. Nothing to be worried about.
Thanks for posting that. Those pseudo responses are one reason I quit bothering to contact senators and “representatives” many years ago. Still, I know that in a case like this a huge barrage of mail all making the same point can occasionally sway somebody. Me, I used to write individual letters pointing out how such-and-such would violate the Bill of Rights and surely my “representative” wouldn’t want to do that …
Whotta maroon I was.
Pat – I think I can answer that. StartPage is still a search engine, and still have to index sites so that they can return search results. Under SOPA, search engines are required to remove sites that are a deemed a copyright infringement.
What makes the Internet a groundbreaking invention (on par with the printing press) is that it is free and unfettered.
This still remains one of better quotes I’ve seen regarding SOPA, and pretty well sums up my feelings on it:
“Is this really what we want to do to the internet? Shut it down every time it doesn’t fit someone’s business model?”
I don’t believe any Senators or Representative ever reads the letters sent to them unless it happens to be glowing ones passed on by their flunkies. So it’s a waste of time and effort unless you can get a huge mass of people to sent in a mass mailing, which is doubtful.
As for SOPA, just another form of the old Alien and Seditions Act that cropped up. They always want censorship powers.
DA – thanks for that response. I’ll be keeping my ears open for where this is going.
And thanks, too, Claire, for your response.
Considering where this country is headed, we may yet end up with ham radio and crystal sets again.
Thanks, DA. Your answer was way better than mine!
And ya gotta love how “unbiased” that Wikipedia entry is. 🙂 Of course, it’s no doubt totally accurate.
My gut still says that the main enforcement efforts would at first be directed at big pirate sites and small nobodies who can’t fight back. It would be very interesting to see what happens the first time the fedgov ordered an American search engine to censor its results to please the MPAA and the RIAA. Wikipedia is no doubt right that if SOPA becomes law a lot of U.S. Internet businesses would head offshore.
Saxby Chambliss was asked succinct questions on certain issues by a group of us in 2007. He evaded and lied his way through the answers. I used to rant over his condescending email replies when I’d contact him regarding a bill. I finally learned. I haven’t contacted him since 2008. There is absolutely no point to it. He and Isakson are part of the 1% and probably consider us to be useless eaters.
Claire, We live in a “nation of laws” so if the law says it’s OK to imprison citizens without charge for the rest of their lives, what’s the problem? Law and order are very important to maintaining a civil society, right? It’s to safeguard your freedoms, doncha know.
Woody, have you ever considered going into politics or law enforcement? You clearly have the natural talent for it. 😉
Congressmen and Senators will support it. They all know the end of the US economy is near. Shortly after the EU goes, so will we. I’m sure by now most serving congressmen are aware of how completely intertwined with the Euro we are. When it all goes down they will be hoping for protection. This is going to pass easily. Sorry folks, but Hitler is, and will be evermore, on his way. Newt has got the eye of the crazy weasel in him. The orgasmic ecstasy of his dreams all center around him, the smartest of the smart, being in charge of everything, and every swinging Richard. Anyone wanna bet that Newt turns out to be Hitler incarnate?
Actually this may be good news. It means the situation is so farked up they are not even bothering to hide their attempts any more. So the more brazen they get, the closer the collapse is.
the more brazen they get, the closer the collapse is.
the more brazen they get, the closer the collapse is.
the more brazen they get, the closer the collapse is.
I think Jim’s correct. It’s the dying gasp of Leviathan… of course if Leviathan dies by falling on your ass, that really sucks, but hey, hope springs eternal.
Well the amendment passed with flying colors. The last vestiges of freedom disappear before our eyes. We can tell our kids it was our generation that let freedom and the Constitution finally die after a 230+ year run. According to the paper the vote in the Senate was 60 to 38 to strip away the last bit of freedom.
“So this is how freedom dies, with thunderous applause”
I disagree with mic that our generation let freedom die. Freedom died long before we were born. our generation was born into slavery. Freedom died at the 2nd war for independence (civil war). From that moment on freedom was stripped away one piece at a time. The totalitarians won the day when they convinced people in the north to murder people in the south. All vestige of freedom was extinguished when that happened. The next great act was the federal reserve act and taxation of 1918. All of this took place long before we were born. Not one of us has ever known what freedom is since we have never lived it.
i do agree that the completion of the totalitarian regime was done to applause though.