Candidate For Colorado Legislature Proudly Abuses YouTube's Copyright Complaint System To Kill Account Of Activists Who Mocked Him

from the probably-best-not-to-celebrate-your-abuse-of-the-process dept

While there are still copyright maximalists out there who insist that copyright can't be used for censorship, it looks like we've got yet another example, and it's a crazy one. Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain, who is running for the Colorado legislature on what appears to be the extreme "I hate gay people" ticket, has been able to kill off the YouTube account of Right Wing Watch, a group that (as you may have guessed) highlights and mocks extreme comments from "right wing" politicians. Over the last few months, they've been posting a few of Klingenschmitt's (who goes by "Dr. Chaps") wackier statements, including video clips of him making those statements. This is pretty clear fair use, but Klingenschmitt started using YouTube's copyright claim system to take down the videos.

In part, he argues that the videos are infringing (actually, he argues "plagiarism" which is different than copyright infringing, and the videos are actually neither), but he also focuses on the YouTube comments on those videos. Klingenschmitt claimed that the YouTube comments amounted to "death threats" from RWW's followers -- though, they're pretty standard crazy YouTube comments, not serious death threats. Also, since the comments are not made by RWW, but viewers on YouTube, RWW is not liable for them. However, he kept sending takedowns, and eventually YouTube terminated RWW's account, arguing that it was their third strike.

In response to this abuse of YouTube's takedown policy, Klingenschmitt released a press release congratulating himself, saying "David takes down Goliath." Tim Murphy, from Mother Jones, asked Klingenschmitt if he felt he should be held similarly responsible for the YouTube comments on his own videos, and Klingenschmitt said that if the user is alerted to comments and don't take action, they become responsible, which is actually not what the law says.

Either way, this appears to be another case where copyright claims are being used to censor content that someone doesn't like. And, given that it's in the context of a political campaign for office, that's especially concerning. Stifling criticism of a political candidate by abusing the law should be seen as a huge problem. Hopefully YouTube acts quickly to restore RWW's account. Whether you agree with RWW or not, hopefully you can agree that (1) they should be allowed to post fair use video and criticize politicians they disagree with and (2) they should not be held accountable for comments made by YouTube viewers.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 7:46pm

    Ahem. ‘Legilsature’?

     

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  2.  
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    Nigel (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 8:17pm

    Wow... what a hateful douchebag. I am in CO. Let the chiding commence lol... off to craft an email to this homophobic whack job.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 8:18pm

    politicans lie

    politicians lie, so repeated perjury sounds like an excellent qualification for the legislature. and it's nice to have clear evidence that gay-hate trumps that whole "false witness" thing for this chaplain.

     

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  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 8:34pm

    Either way, this appears to be another case where copyright claims are being used to censor content that someone doesn't like.

    You'd better check in over in Minionville. One of your sock puppets is advocating the misuse of trademark law to censor a name he doesn't like.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131106/09330225148/how-trademark-law-can-finally-kill-dan-snyders -racist-dreamworld.shtml

     

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  5.  
    icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 8:46pm

    Re:

    How is that misuse of trademark law? Its the American indian equivalent of Nigger. Its a clear example of why the law is written the way it is, to prevent the perpetuation of hurtful epithats being protected by law.

     

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  6.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 8:49pm

    "All war is deception." - Sun Tzu

    Since the RWW had taunted Dr. Chaps about his lack of web-savvy ( http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/lesson-dr-chaps-how-internet-works ), the "brag" article on Dr. C's win ( http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/5739873137.html ) includes the close:

    "The Bible says pride comes before destruction. That's a lesson for them [RWW], in how the internet works."

    They've got a point. Lying to Google/YouTube works and is still consequence-free (unless you actually believe in the implications for your immortal soul of bearing false witness *OR* the subterfuge gets onto the radar of some heathen hacktivist group).

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2013 @ 8:51pm

    Re:

    yes, because using copyright laws and tools to takedown critical and revealing commentary is exactly equivalent to applying actual trademark law to prevent exactly what the law was intended to prevent.

     

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  8.  
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    James Burkhardt (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 8:56pm

    Re:

    Moreover, how is it censorship? He can still USE the name. he just can't prevent other people from using it as well.

     

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  9.  
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    Hibby the Hoovy (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 10:52pm

    Re: Re:

    I think your comment misfired. This thread is about a would-be Colorado politician abusing copyright law to silence his critics.

     

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  10.  
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    Hibby the Hoovy (profile), Nov 8th, 2013 @ 10:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ack. I forgot to read the post above.
    Sorry.

    *slinks off*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 9th, 2013 @ 12:06am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, it's the exact opposite of censorship. It's saying "You can't monopolize this word. You must let everyone use it."

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 12:47am

    Re:

    average_joe just loathes it when due process is enforced.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 9th, 2013 @ 1:04am

    Re: "All war is deception." - Sun Tzu

    I love how people like that use phrases about how terrible 'pride' is, and how it will inevitably bring about the downfall of the overly proud person, yet they never seem to realize that they might be a more accurate target of the saying than the one they are aiming it at...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 9th, 2013 @ 1:29am

    Re: Re:

    Certain ACs have the habit of redefining the English and legal languages to mean whatever's convenient to attack people with at any moment in time. Don't ask for a stable definition, because you won't get it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 9th, 2013 @ 1:31am

    Re:

    "misuse"

    Is it possible for you to just post a link to the bizarro world dictionary you guys are using? You can't get the definitions of this many words so completely wrong without drawing from somewhere, surely?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 2:16am

    Re: Re:

    Using a dictionary would be research and fair use, and average_joe can't stand fair use.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Immersive, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 2:59am

    Copy...write!

    Extrapolating... If we assume that Oxford Dictionary is published under copyright, does that mean they can now 'take down' any published work they don't like?

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    tor, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 3:37am

    it's pretty disappointing that the onus or burden of proof rests with the channel that makes videos (in this case the RWW). i like that statement 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof'; whereas in this instance no proof was offered! just opinion and being offended. youtube/google should institute a more even/just arbitration method for when 'copyright' claims like this need to be enforced.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 4:52am

    I am a racist I hate the race of dumb politicians that populate Washington.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    Re: Re: "All war is deception." - Sun Tzu

    Imagine how other countries feel when America boasts as being the best in the world at everything. What does such action accomplish besides inflate people's egos?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 6:09am

    Look! Look! and there it goes DOWN!
    Free speech is down!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 6:23am

    "Hopefully YouTube acts quickly to restore RWW's account."

    Actually, I hope they DON'T act quickly to restore RWW's account so RWW along with EFF and ACLU can file suit to get the whole d*** DMCA overturned on First Amendment grounds!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 6:25am

    Gordon Klingenschmitt does not know what plagiarism means. I can not knowingly vote for someone who does not have a basic command of his native language.

    He also does not understand fair use. In a representative form of government, how can anyone say that such a person represents their views?

    I doubt this guy makes it past the primary.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 6:38am

    I must have missed something because I did not find any reference to the use of the DMCA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 7:36am

    Re:

    Really? So what you're saying is this would have gone down in a similar fashion had the DMCA not been passed?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 7:49am

    Progressives it's fun to poke a stick in their metaphoric eye now and then.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 8:43am

    Re:

    I was unaware that fair use was a progressive issue. I realize that the political spectrum has been dragged to the right, but this is rather silly. Imagine the horror and outrage expressed by fox and friends when they are told they can no longer quote their opponents statements without approval of same. I would be quite humorous actually.

     

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  28.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Nov 9th, 2013 @ 8:59am

    It is very obvious and transparent to any intelligent thinker:
    Each week we see News from many sources and we see this:
    REpublicans make bigoted remarks and show their inner bigoted feelings
    Democrats show how they accept others and care about other people

    VOTE THE REPUBLICAN BEJESUS BIGOT PARTY OUT !
    Screw the Bigot People !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), Nov 9th, 2013 @ 10:02am

    Re:

    DMCA likely wasn't mentioned because the cource doesn't specificly cite that is was a takedown. The source specifically cites they used Youtube's "Copyright Claims System", which has grown in response to repeated whining on the part of Rightsholders that youtube wasn't doing enough.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 11:34am

    It'd be neat to see a kickstarter or something to get these videos aired as commercials in this guy's district.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 1:05pm

    What makes him think he David, He's an ass he is goliath.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    The retired E (profile), Nov 9th, 2013 @ 1:12pm

    He is not Daniel, He has joined the group of goliath's
    I would never vote for him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Outsider's View, Nov 9th, 2013 @ 7:53pm

    Politician be politician

    It doesn't matter what kind of stripe your politicians wear, whether they be republican or democrat, they are of the same stripe. Self-serving, arrogant, one-eyed, pwer-hungry misfits.

    Your republicans are no different to your democrats, they serve their masters which is not the electorate. There appears to be very few in your upper and lower houses of parliament that are actually concerned with the good of your nation. The last few presidents you have had are a good indicator of how far you, as a nation, have fallen.

    This site highlights how bad and bigoted the democrat and the republican representatives are on the whole.

    Society today is more concerned about pleasure (which includes doing what you want when you want - so it covers the spectrum from radical left to radical right) than with responsibility. There are many different life styles out there which are the choice of the participants (including LGBT, Westboro Baptist, ghetto gangs, etc) and all are screaming to treated the same as anyone else. They are focussed on their rights and plaesures and basically have forgotten that society is in a mess.

    A broad historical perspective shows what societies are like when they are growing and when they are decaying and it becomes fairly obvious that when self-pleasure in all its manifestations comes to the fore, the society is on the way out. This applies from the highest to the lowest in a society, from governmental structures to the basic citizenry.

    The writing is on the wall right now and most cannot even see it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2013 @ 7:30am

    Re: Politician be politician

    It is easy to point out similarities, but to claim everyone is the same is obviously wrong. Politicians are short on truth and need to finance campaigns, this is a given. To throw up your arms and proclaim it does matter who is in office because they all (insert pet peeve) is rather childish. There are politicians who attempt to represent their constituents, there are politicians who are self serving and then there are those politicians with an agenda that is not in the best interests of their constituents. One would think politicians who state during the campaign that they will work against the best interests of their constituents would not attain office, but through gerrymandering and disenfranchisement it is accomplished.

    There are no houses of parliament in us, there is congress which is comprised of the house of representatives and the senate.

    Society today ... that topic is one of the most used bitchy editorial pieces ever, only second to the ones about how the younger generation is doomed because (insert pet peeve).
    Preaching about responsibility is great for sociopaths because not only do they get their rocks off on it but they see themselves as doing everyone a favor while doing it. It is telling that you have included a group that is discriminated against with a group that discriminates as though they were equal some how. I'm sure that society will always be a mess, in your mind, until everyone starts living the way you feel is correct.

    Archeology, sociology and history do not support your broad claim that the downfall of society can be attributed to one aspect of human nature alone. Apparently things are a bit more complex than that - go figure.

    Some writings on walls is rather good commentary, others see it as graffiti because it offends them.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 10th, 2013 @ 7:39am

    Re:

    Sounds like you're bigoted against bigots. That makes you the very thing you seem to hate.
    Hope you're enjoying Obama and his forced Obamacare, his continuation of war, the NSA scandal, and our continuing loss of freedom.
    Maybe one day you'll wake up and realize that Republican or Democrat makes no difference.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re:

    Not the "makes no difference" mantra again.

    It may not make a difference with the items listed, but it does make a difference elsewhere. Anyone who claims otherwise is blowing smoke you yer ass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re:

    " they're pretty standard crazy YouTube comments, not serious death threats."

    Uh, no.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2013 @ 11:20am

    YouTube is a fucking joke thanks to Google. NO DUE PROCESS nothing

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2013 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    Yes, it is all Google's fault - those basturds

    Has nothing what so ever to do with legislation, laws, court proceedings or anything like that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Outsider's View, Nov 10th, 2013 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Politician be politician

    You really did miss the point about politician, didn't you. There are people who actually represent their electorate who aren't politicians, go figure.

    I know you have a congress, you miss the subtle point about parliament - think deeply about the word and you'll understand.

    Strangely, you have appear to have taken responsibility in the negative instead of the positive. Archaeology, sociology and history appear to give rise to the idea that the fall of societies is rather complex and different for each society but step back and look and it is about that one aspect of human nature. Not seeing the forest for the trees.

    And I really do like you last line.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    PopeRatzo (profile), Nov 10th, 2013 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re:

    This story has absolutely nothing to do with "legislation, laws, court proceedings or anything like that".

    This was a decision made by Google, nothing else. There was no lawsuit or court proceeding that this Rev Klingenschmitt could have brought that would not have been summarily dismissed by the first judge who got within 3 feet of it.

    It is entirely Google's fault for not looking into these false claims of copyright infringement and simply shutting down an account of someone who has done nothing wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Nov 10th, 2013 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    To a degree yes, but Google isn't the only one to blame here, youtube's copyright complaint system was put in place under threat of fines or laws being passed to make them responsible for what was being posted.

    At the same time, if Google had been willing to spend even a fraction of their insane profits defending their users and youtube, we might have had a case by now that would have extinguished the idiotic idea of 'secondary liability' altogether, so I'd say the blame is fairly well split.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Nov 11th, 2013 @ 1:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "It may not make a difference with the items listed"

    Isn't one of the items listed a healthcare reform that was so opposed by one "side" that they shut down the entire government in an attempt to stop it from being enacted? "No difference", indeed...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2013 @ 4:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Indeed.

    Obamacare started out as a GOP idea. But yes - it does make a difference, quite large in fact.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2013 @ 5:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Politician be politician

    What, exactly did I miss? Perhaps you could be more concise and to the point.

    Dog whistle politics is fun - yeah?


    "responsibility in the negative instead of the positive"

    wtf are you going on about?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2013 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh - I was not aware your comment was strictly limited to the contents of this post/story. My bad.



    "This was a decision made by Google, nothing else."

    I wonder what drives decision making at the corporate level ... hmmm - any guesses? I'm sure crazy weighs lawyer any day of the week. Amirite?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2013 @ 6:17am

    Possible solution?

    Get confederate to make disparaging comments about you in the commentary section of three of Klingenschmitt's own YouTube videos. You complain to YouTube three times. Three strikes, Klingenschmitt's account taken down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Rowan Hawthorn, Nov 11th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Same Old Shit, Different "Social Media"...

    It appears that most of the "Social Networking" sites - Facebook, YouTube, whatever - have either been infiltrated by the Rabid Right Wing or they've been intimidated to the point that they're afraid to buck the TeaPubliKKKlan Hate Party's homegrown terrorists. Professional trolls pretty much have carte blanche to behave however they want, while posters who stand up to them consistently get the ban-hammer applied.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 11th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    They're not a race. They're a species. Closely related to rats.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    BernardoVerda (profile), Nov 11th, 2013 @ 4:11pm

    Why cast slurs upon rats...

    ... on account of how some scuzzy humans in a scuzzy social system behave?

    We humans are the ones who set up this system -- and we're the ones who are, collectively, responsible for it working so poorly.

    The much maligned rats, on the other hand, have yet to even nominate one of their own for political office...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Nov 11th, 2013 @ 11:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Oiy, there's no need to insult rats like that, comparing politicians to them. Honestly, what have rats ever done to you to deserve such treatment?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Nov 12th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re:

    > How is that misuse of trademark law?

    Well, the purpose of trademark is to prevent the confusion of similar names in commerce. Not to regulate 'hate speech' or keep companies form offending people.

    So yes, it does seem like this is a case where people who don't like the Redskins name to use trademark law to extort the company into doing something they can't otherwise legally force them to do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Outsider's View, Nov 13th, 2013 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Politician be politician

    If I really have to explain what a politician is - oh boy!!!

    Parliament - talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.

    "responsibility in the negative instead of the positive"

    "Preaching about responsibility is great for sociopaths because not only do they get their rocks off on it but they see themselves as doing everyone a favor while doing it."

    Associating teaching people to be responsible for their own actions and the consequences that they bring with sociopaths is a negative.

    It doesn't matter who you are, there is always someone will will find your opinions and actions offensive because they believe in the diametrically opposite of what you believe.

    Society is a mess, it always has been. There is also sections who go out of their way to try and improve the lot of those around them, just as there are sections who couldn't give a rat's about anyone outside their group or themselves.

    Do I have solutions for all ills - no, but I do recognise that some things are destructive to society as a whole.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Alan, Nov 14th, 2013 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Politician be politician

    Preaching =/= Teaching

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    goldwind, Dec 23rd, 2013 @ 9:38pm

    Response to: gorehound on Nov 9th, 2013 @ 8:59am

    And yet, the democrats don't seem to be doing much good, either (cough, cough, obamacare, cough, cough)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    goldwind, Dec 23rd, 2013 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Politician be politician

    Uh, so you're saying we should all become conformist noobs with no individuality? Yeahhhhhhh, count me out. And, the U.S doesnt have a parliment. We're bicameral.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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