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on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 at 2:24 am by Radley Balko
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It looks like Lamar Smith doesn’t have a challenger in the primary (http://www.opencongress.org/wiki/TX-21), but apparently, there is still a chance for somebody to file (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/2012dates.shtml). I guess I won’t have a chance to vote against him in the primary this year. In 2010, he had a decent primary challenger (who never had a chance, of course), but the Dem opponent in the general election was too leftist to get my vote. But this year, I’d vote for Lenin over Lamar. At least Lenin would be out of a job in two years.
Good on ya, Radley. It feels good to see you oppose legislation that would allow a bunch of greedy, amoral, coked up, technically inept and utterly self-interested assholes in Hollywood to take the reins of something that has done more good for humanity than Miramax will ever– or can ever– do.
Fuck SOPA, fuck PIPA, and fuck the congresscritters who support them.
If Congress is indeed the thralls of a Controlling Elite, then they will vote to pass these. The Controlling Elite need to be able to shut down websites they don’t like! There are a lot of sites putting up subversive messages like “The US is buried in debt!”.
If not, then these should be handily defeated. Sure, representatives from California will vote to “protect” the valuable “rights” of their movie industry, buy who else will care?
Of course, the “Unintended Consequences” of this legislation will be severe. Companies like Monsanto, who already have massive legal departments with which to sue the crap out of anyone that dares to blink at them will devote an entire floor of an office building to shutting down websites that speak ill of them. Their first target will probably be Netflix.
My connection here at work is slow so often when the top agitator story is a video I just see a black box for a while and come back to the site later. So this took me awhile to figure out. Maybe Coffee then Agitator would have helped.
Peter Ramins |
January 18th, 2012 at 10:20 am
Yet another reminder of life before the internet did exist AND… we survived. Hmmm. Time to contact my ISP and get back to real life by cancellingmy internet access.
P.s. Employers all over the U.S. are rejoicing due to the increased productiivity of employees in light of the blackout.
January 18th, 2012 at 10:39 am
(Damn! went to find the polish version of that word…and Wiki is blacked out too !!!! Damn you Rep. Lamar Smith, you bought and paid for POS!!! Also saw Chris Dodd on the boob tube this morning, shilling his scum bag ass for the bills. I’m shorting social science degree holders and going long on guns and ammo manufacturers, and feather and tar futures.)
Protest notwithstanding, I am struck by the irony of your black box surrounded by an assortment of advertisements, that going dark in protest won’t interfere with the demand for commerce. In light of the nature of the protest, the underlying interests at stake in SOPA/PIPA, the juxtaposition is deeply disturbing.
Chris (#4): “But this year, I’d vote for Lenin over Lamar. At least Lenin would be out of a job in two years.“
A mass murderer wouldn’t allow an election in two years.
Hyperbole aside, when I bought into the “representative” racket, I actually believed Lamar Smith was there to speak on my behalf. Even though I quit voting over a decade ago, completely removing my consent, he still purports to be a proxy for me, which is simply a lie.
I won’t vote again, even in defense to unseat horrible politicians, because to participate in an election is to agree that whoever gets the most votes has the moral authority to carry out an agenda which, as any reader of this site knows, involves a systematic trampling of the rights of Americans. i don’t agree to that outcome, as individual rights do not depend upon the whims of mobs, and should never be put on the auction block of public opinion.
Look at the result of elections in Egypt, the Palestinian territories, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, and, obviously, Germany before the Enabling Act. The fales idea that democracy has anything to do with freedom is one which has, unfortunately, been inculcated into Americans for generations.
So, while I would hope that Lamar Smith would actually quit politics and get an honest job, I have no interest in playing the game by his rules even if it is to unseat him.
Radley, do you have an article you’ve written with your thoughts on SOPA?
My own reading is that SOPA would be a good weapon for someone to take down competing websites or websites they don’t like since it appears the takedown occurs before any real verification much less due process takes place.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio went off the reservation today, not only dropping his co-sponsorship of PIPA, but now actively opposing it.
This crap should never get to mark-up without spirited discussion. That’s the problem with the process and the people we elect who take part in it. Disclosure laws, campaign finance reform, etc. won’t fix that problem, either. Regardless of party affiliation or wing of party affiliation, these elected officials need to sit down and listen to both sides before deciding to do crap that favors one industry over another. They need to be able to publicly say that not only is side A right, but side B is dead wrong. In the case of SOPA/PIPA, they just phoned that in. They don’t have the courage to say why they think ISPs and Google and civil libertarians are wrong in their objections. It’s the Patriot Act all over again.
I am taking this opportunity to urge you to vote against SOPA and PIPA, as well as any similar initiatives. I think we agree that protecting copyright is important, but laws like these are not the way to go about it. Punishing sites like Google, Wikipedia, WordPress, and other content hosts is a blunt instrument that will hurt businesses and individuals innocent of any copyright violations. That is quite simply unjust. Furthermore, such policy will destroy the innovation and robust exchange of ideas that the Internet makes possible.
Technology is not the problem. Individual violators are. For years I worked in public schools. Sadly, I saw copyright violations occur every single day. If Congress were to address the problem in schools with something along the lines of SOPA-style laws, the solution would be to shut down Xerox. Does that make any sense?
Will you be going back to multiple posts on the home page tomorrow?
C. S. P. Schofield |
January 18th, 2012 at 4:09 pm
If you won’t participate you don’t get to complain. It doesn’t have to be by voting, although that’s the simplest way. If you don’t like the choices, then get inolved in you local parties. When you come right down to it the self-selected political elites get away with their cr*p because there are too few people involved in their party at the local level. If you can’t see working with either major party, then for damn sure DO SOMETHING. Write. Organize. March. SOMETHING other than whine.
And if you can’t in your concience deal with the way things work in this country, even on the level of actively trying to change that, then please leave for somewhere more to your liking. All you are doing here is cluttering up the landscape with fake moral superiority.
@26, any system will be co-opted to control the power by evil people, so no amount of “this should be done” will ever happen. The real solution is to not have the power exist that is so desired by so many. Abolish The State.
Really, C.S.P? I personally do vote, but as long as you are paying taxes, you have every right to complain, whether you vote or not. If you have to abide by the laws that our “representatives” vote into place, then you have every right to complain, whether you vote or not.
It’s fine to encourage people to participate, but government is imposed on us, so we get to complain whether or not we do anything about it.
I personally do vote, but as long as you are paying taxes, you have every right to complain, whether you vote or not.
I’d go so far as to say as long as you are a human being, you have every right to complain. I don’t have to shut up about human rights abuses in North Korea just because I didn’t vote in their most recent election.
If you don’t like the mafia shaking you down for protection money, it’s your fault for not joining the mafia to try to change them. You should leave the neighborhood if you aren’t willing to participate morally corrupt activities to protect yourself from the people who shouldn’t be fucking up your life in the first place.
“I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way: I don’t vote. On Election Day, I stay home. I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,’ but where’s the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote — who did not even leave the house on Election Day — am in no way responsible for that these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess that you created.”
WordPress.com did a cool protest automatic, one click scenario. My Colorado politics blog, Ex Pat Ex Lawyer is blacked out, but with a write congress comment form and a video, etc., and I put the ribbon of protest on some of my client’s sites down here in Cabo san Lucas. The locals are pissed that the gringos are trying to impose their stupid laws on the rest of the world!
Viva la revolucion!!!! Orales!!!!!!!!!
Here’s an example from Baja Waterman of the ribbon – a surf shop client of mine.
I’ve used this opportunuty, where Radley cheats to make the front page 1 post long by making every page 1 post long, to find out exactly how many blog posts Radley has posted on theagitator. The answer: http://www.theagitator.com/page/14312/ (permalink), or 14312+1 because 14313 is pointing to a July 18th, 2011 post for some reason. It’s funny to see how much things have changed since Monday, April 8, 2002 when Radley began blogging. For instance, http://www.theagitator.com/page/14300/ (permalink)points to Radley talking about Hugh Hefner turning 76(!!). What a snooze; the dude’s gonna be 86 in a couple of months, and still doing the same stuff.
Anyway, I figured I’d let you all benefit from my work boredom by posting these links.
#35, Precisely. Injustice is injustice and anyone who wants to has every right to whine about it, criticize it, agitate against it, fight it, etc. in whatever (otherwise justifiable) ways seem most convenient, at any time, for any reason or no reason at all.
Arguments stand or fall on their own merits and honesty is valuable for its own sake.
C. S. P. Schofield |
January 18th, 2012 at 7:48 pm
Please, everybody, I didn’t say “vote or shut up or get out”. I said “Don’t whine, do something.”. Get involved. If voting doesn’t accomplish enough (and I do sympathize with that position), then work at the local level. That’s where political carreers start. Or be a voice in print or on a semi-permenant web page of your own. Try to affect opinion, the way Mencken did, by putting your opinions into words so well put that even those who disagree with you quote you. Or organize a new party, or a new ‘special interest’, or a new venue for debate. Something. ANYTHING.
And if, out of all those options, you still can’t decide to do anything other than comment from the sidelines, from the supposed superiority of somebody who doesn’t vote or otherwise participate, THEN get out. Please. As soon as possible. Society needs politically active Hollywood twits more than it needs you.
Joseph Stalin |
January 18th, 2012 at 11:30 pm
I also wrote my congress people:
I am writing to commend you for your support of SOPA. I totally approve and wish all these people protesting against this very reasonable legislation would come to the Katya Forest to never be heard from again. You are doing a great job!
C. S. P. Schofield (#30):“If you won’t participate you don’t get to complain.“
You have it backwards. Anyone who participates in an election agrees to the outcome. If you voted in 2008 for McCain or Barr or Mickey Mouse, you don’t get to complain that Obama is in power now. I do, because I didn’t participate, so I didn’t agree to the outcome.
“Participat[ion]” means playing the game by their rules. My point is that they lack the moral authority to make those rules in the first place. (See Lysander Spooner “No Treason”, for starters.) It is a flat-out lie that one must play the game by their rules or just sit down and STFU. You can refuse to play the game by their rules AND you can loudly protest.
C. S. P. Schofield (#30): “And if you can’t in your concience deal with the way things work in this country, even on the level of actively trying to change that, then please leave for somewhere more to your liking. All you are doing here is cluttering up the landscape with fake moral superiority.“
The old Spiro Agnew love it or leave it argument?
Who the hell are you to decide who belongs here? Besides my Cherokee ancestors who were here long before Europeans, my colonial ancestors fought the British to put an end to tyranny, not to let people who are decidedly not American in their outlook on freedom and rights declare that the real Americans pack up and ship off.
I’m for open borders, allowing people who want to come here to engage in honest work to do so if they want to, without bowing and scraping and sacrificing a large chunk of their lives waiting. Those people who seek the American dream help dilute the complacent residents born here who don’t appreciate what it means to be an American.
C. S. P. Schofield (#43): “And if, out of all those options, you still can’t decide to do anything other than comment from the sidelines, from the supposed superiority of somebody who doesn’t vote or otherwise participate, THEN get out. Please. As soon as possible. Society needs politically active Hollywood twits more than it needs you.“
So you decide that “doing something” must fall within the arbitrary boundaries of what you define as acceptable? Commenting on a weblog is outside the lines, but inside the lines is engaging in the organized party politics which has enabled these corrupt office holders to transform the “Land of the Free” into something completely different? Of course, you assume that you know that someone who posts a comment which rubs you the wrong way does nothing else, ever, which might qualify as “doing something”—on top of which you project an attitude of “superiority” on the writer, rather than a more sensible analysis in which you realize that the author is humbled before the right of individuals to make their own choices. The writer is not arrogantly presuming to have any business picking a “representative” to decide for other people how to live their own lives. If anyone is acting in a “superior” fashion, it’s those who would resort to force to make others conform to their blueprint for society. Individualists, on the other hand, don’t want any plan imposed by rulers.
If you see such arguments and take them as arrogant, might I suggest you look inward? Ask yourself if you’re angry at the individualist because he or she exposes your poltroonish conformity to an evil system. You defend yourself from such cognitive dissonance by attacking the messenger.
Again, the idea that one should “get out” of a country if one doesn’t follow your arbitrary rules is hostile and abhorrent. There was no America before my ancestors picked up their guns and ran the Brits and their German lackeys out, so if anyone doesn’t belong here, it’s people who don’t appreciate the Declaration of Independence.