by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
sopa, troops

SOPA Sponsors: Pass SOPA To Protect The Troops; Everyone Else: WTF?

from the seriously? dept

The main sponsors of SOPA, Reps. Lamar Smith and John Conyers, are taking political cynicism to new and extreme levels. We've certainly joked about how politicians love to put things like "for the children" or "to save jobs!" on every piece of legislation, because no one wants to be called out for being "against" those things. But now they're simply attaching things that have absolutely nothing to do with SOPA to SOPA... such as claiming that it "protects the troops." That link is to a PDF of a letter sent by Smith and Conyers to their colleagues in Congress, with the headline:
Promote Jobs and Economic Growth: Protect Consumers and Our Troops - Support H.R. 3261
(Amusingly, the URL of that letter also says "Rouge Websites" rather than "Rogue Websites" -- a mistake that lots of folks make, but you'd really expect a bit better of Congress.)

So what does SOPA have to do with the troops? Well, they try to stretch the bill by noting the following:
Trafficking in counterfeit military goods -- H.R. 3261 creates a strong deterrent to those who knowingly risk the lives of members of our armed forces and law enforcement by significantly increasing criminal penalties on those who knowingly traffic in counterfeit military goods or goods sold to law enforcement.
Um. Sorry, but it's already very much against the law to sell counterfeit military goods. SOPA changes nothing there, and certainly won't deter anyone. This is just the ultimate cynical ploy by some Congressional Representatives who appear to have no shame at all, trampling on the good name of our military to pass a bailout bill for Hollywood.

Hell, even the "jobs" claim is bogus. The entertainment industry isn't losing jobs because of "piracy." It's losing jobs because its out-of-touch management hasn't figured out how to adapt to a changing marketplace. Instead, we're seeing tons of innovation and new jobs -- including jobs and innovative tools for content creators come out of the tech industry -- the same industry this bill seeks to regulate, which will significantly slow innovation and job creation.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: "the good name of our military"?

    This isn't really true though. At the end of 2008, because of the near collapse of the financial industry and the tanking of the economy, gas prices cratered. Obama could have easily caused the same thing by allowing us to default on our debt and have the economy crash again. Gas prices actually peaked higher under Bush, although I suspect in 2012 we'll see a higher peak under Obama because we're getting to where gas prices usually bottom out and it's not low enough. That's going to be the problem with gas prices for the foreseeable future. Higher prices as the economy recovers. Electric cars, hybrids, renewable energy, and more drilling will help some, but the first three still make up too little to make much of a difference (plus we get more energy from coal than oil so it won't easy demand too much), and more drilling will take years to make any significant effect.

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