SOPA Markup Day 1: We Don't Understand This Bill, It Might Do Terrible Things, But Dammit, We're Passing It Now

from the how-congress-works dept

So, if you weren't paying attention, yesterday was a marathon session of SOPA amendments... It ran for 11.5 hours, with just one tiny break, and it looks like they didn't even get through half of the amendments. I'll get into some more details in a bit, but honestly the single best description of the insanity of these hearings came from The Washington Post's Alexandra Petri, who called them "nightmarish."
If this were surgery, the patient would have run out screaming a long time ago. But this is like a group of well-intentioned amateurs getting together to perform heart surgery on a patient incapable of moving. “We hear from the motion picture industry that heart surgery is what’s required,” they say cheerily. “We’re not going to cut the good valves, just the bad — neurons, or whatever you call those durn thingies.”

This is terrifying to watch. It would be amusing — there’s nothing like people who did not grow up with the Internet attempting to ask questions about technology very slowly and stumbling over words like “server” and “service” when you want an easy laugh. Except that this time, the joke’s on us.
That really describes the situation perfectly. Over and over again the people in favor of this bill flat out admitted that they didn't understand the technology -- and when the various people opposed to it asked why don't they get some experts in to answer some questions, the supporters had no credible response. The DNS and security aspects were completely brushed aside. As Rep. Jason Chaffetz (who is fighting the good fight against this) pointed out repeatedly, there's simply no reason to rush this bill when there are such widespread concerns about it and no one has taken the time to get the answers to key questions.

But the supporters of the bill -- mainly Reps. Lamar Smith, Bob Goodlatte and Mel Watt -- simply wanted to push forward at all costs. They rejected every amendment raised, except two minor ones (we'll get to that in a minute). Amazingly they rejected all sorts of quite reasonable suggestions -- while complaining that those opposed to the bill never had any suggestions to fix it! And yet when those actual proposals were brought up, they were rejected out of hand. It really was pretty disgusting. Goodlatte's responses struck me as particularly inane. He kept rejecting amendments because he feared that the amendment could be abused. The fact that most of those amendments were to prevent the much wider scale abuses guaranteed under SOPA never seemed to occur to him.

In fact, supporters of the bill regularly used arguments that actually could have been turned around on them. They refused an amendment from Rep. Darrell Issa to limit the powers of the bill to those who actually were in the US, saying that it would set a bad precedent for countries like China... and this came just after they were totally outraged that anyone might think that the entire bill itself sets a bad precedent for countries like China. The disingenuous bullshit was really ridiculous.

Rep. Watt was particularly keen to display his own ignorance. He regularly admitted that he wasn't very knowledgeable on technology -- which should have been a reason to recuse himself or to at least ask for more info from experts. Instead, he just insisted that all of the technical experts were simply wrong. Based on what? Nothing. How does someone like Watt get elected when he appears to want to regulate the internet based on pure faith and against what every single expert has said? It's downright scary.

Later, Watt angrily rejected an amendment to clarify some language to make sure it was limited -- by saying that he believed the language already said what the amendment added. If that's true, why reject the amendment? All it would do is make the intent clear. Instead, he said no. That makes no sense at all.

What was clear, from the beginning, was that the SOPA supporters were not there in good faith. They had no intention of listening to reasonable suggestions to fix the bill, and stuck together as a bloc to reject pretty much all of them -- even while admitting their own ignorance. The really sad part was when Goodlatte tried to equate the views of a couple of policy analysts who get money from the entertainment industry, with the views of nearly 100 independent internet engineers who have pointed out how problematic SOPA really would be. Watt and others tried to pretend that because each side could turn up someone who would say something that those views were equal. It's the insane Congressional equivalent of "he-said/she-said" journalism, where you "hear" both sides, but never seek out the truth. That's nuts.

The simple fact is that nearly every single actual credible internet engineer has come out against these bills. There isn't an equivalence where each side can turn up a few people. The scales are completely weighted down against the bills... and many of those people have no associations whatsoever -- even as SOPA defenders insisted that only "Google" experts were against the bill. Stewart Baker isn't speaking for Google. Sandia National Labs isn't speaking for Google.

The real insanity is that supporters of the bill are rushing forward just because they want to pass "something," and they don't seem to care about the consequences.

As for the two amendments that did pass, one was to say that if you "knowingly misrepresented" a claim on a site, you had to pay attorneys' fees. Of course, "knowingly misrepresent" is a very, very high bar that will almost never be met. A similar amendment by Rep. Chaffetz that would also require fees if you failed to get an injunction in court was rejected, because SOPA supporters were worried this would scare people off. As Chaffetz pointed out: that's the whole point. It would scare off those who don't have strong, legitimate claims.

The other amendment that passed right at the end, was from Rep. Jared Polis, requiring the State Department to do a study on the eventual impacts of SOPA. That doesn't change the law really. It just will at least let people check back in on the damage it does a couple years from now.

A few other key points:
  • Huge kudos to Reps. Issa, Lofgren, Chaffetz and Polis, who combined to repeatedly point out the problems of the bill and to argue forcefully and compellingly about why we needed to fix these problems. That much of the rest of the Committee ignored these concerns, played them down, or rejected them for silly or nonsense reasons, is really just a statement on the sad state of Congress today.
  • I heard from sources that a big time content industry lobbyist was seen hanging out in the "members only" area during the session. If that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about what's going on, then you're not paying attention.
  • There was a bizarre elementary school-like fight that went on at one point. Rep. Steve King tweeted early on:
    We are debating the Stop Online Piracy Act and Shiela Jackson has so bored me that I'm killing time by surfing the Internet.
    Rep. Jackson-Lee found out about this and announced that she was "offended," at which point it seemed like a bunch of these old clueless men started arguing about how inappropriate it was for her to say she was offended. The whole session had to pause while they talked to a "parliamentarian" about whether it was okay to use the term "offended," eventually leading Jackson-Lee to change her statement. Yeah. These are the people in charge of making our laws. Scary.
  • With the session going on for 11.5 hours, there was a short break for lunch, but for dinner Rep. Lamar Smith offered "four kinds of pizza," but apparently only for other members. Staffers had to sit and starve. Nice of them, huh?
All in all, the process should leave you frightened for our country. This was not an attempt to fix a broken law. It was an attempt to please some Hollywood funders at the expense of innovation and jobs. It's insanity.

That said... if you want to watch more of it today, tune in either at the Judiciary website or the KeepTheWebOpen site and make sure you have a pillow nearby for when you want to bang your head on the desk or wall. Once again, I'll be live-tweeting some of the hearing (don't think I can make all of it) from my personal Twitter account.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 7:13am

    Watched a lot yesterday.

    I watched a lot of the proceedings yesterday and as a parent of two kids (14 & 10), uncle to over a dozen more, great uncle to another half-dozen and yet, I've never seen a more blatant display of petty, childish bickering in my near 45 years. The absolute refusal of the Hollywood mouthpieces to even rationally discuss the issue was only surpassed by their complete lack of knowledge on the subject.

    Is it too late to move to Canada? With representatives like this, I have my doubts this one will be a nice place to live for much longer.

     

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    Jeff (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 7:44am

    To paraphrase an awesome comment made yesterday - "The checks have cleared what are we waiting for?"

    That our senators would openly "service" an industry that arguably was built on screwing its own producers is... well I can't find words to express my contempt.

    Hollywood and its hangers on rake in a lot of money and then a small percentage is passed on to our 'elected' congress-scum ensuring things will 'go their way'. The fact our representatives and senators can be bought for such a small amount is actually embarrassing (and a whole other rant). But even more stunning is the difference between the hollywood industry and the tech industry. It brings to mind the anecdote from the 90's about Michael Jordan and how much money he makes per minute of playing time, and how many cars, and houses he could buy; and then how long he'd have to work to equal Bill Gates.

    I would hope that if this law passes the tech industry would finally wake the fuck up and start buying a few representatives and senators of their own.

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 7:46am

    Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    Sopa reaches canada though... Scary how bought these people are. I read last night how one person is running against Smith already.

     

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  4.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 7:52am

    Re:

    ... No. That has been the entire problem with this process from the beginning. We need to remove these people from Congress. Set up term limits. Reduce the amount if donations and change the voting system.

    Once you have the tech industry lobbying, their message is corrupted. Period. This is not about effective laws if one side has the money to buy those that make them.

     

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    Jeff (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re:

    True that... however, the realist in me knows that those in power will never willingly give it up, so the least objectionable method is to out-game the Hollywood insiders...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:06am

    Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    You guys are hilarious.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Lamar Smith must be punished

    We need to make an example out of him: his political career needs to be terminated.

    It doesn't matter who replaces him: right, left, middle, old, young, sane, crazy. We need to identify someone who will run against him and fund that individual to any level necessary to guarantee a win. We need to send a message in a language that his colleagues will understand.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    You know why there's a big push for this NOW?

    Becuase Congress recesses fairly soon. After all,t he best time to push bad laws is just before a recess.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:09am

    Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    I guess you haven't heard of the Copyright Modernization Act in Canada?

    Maybe you should move to Brazil. You can enjoy all the third world Internet you like there.

     

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    ChrisB (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:11am

    Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Hey, don't get us wrong. We don't care. Its not like any of this will make a dent in piracy. People will just go underground. We're worried about collateral damage. Frankly, this is just another way for Hollywood to slit its own throat. None of this will stop piracy.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:13am

    Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Care to share some LSD? Mine is weak: I've been able to enjoy only pro-rape lobby shrills so far.

     

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  12.  
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    Jeff (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:13am

    Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    I'm glad the rest of us (the 99%) are providing entertainment for the entertainment industry shills....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:13am

    Somebody please shoot Lamar in the head.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:14am

    Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    And you just don't see the bigger picture that we are losing our rights in this process.

    I hope you don't have children because you'll have a lot of explaining to do one day...

    Finally, this should make you angry that we have so many obviously dirty and bought politicians. Where is your outrage at the corrupt politicians?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re:

    Good that you did not use the word "corrupt" instead "Lamar", otherwise Mike would receive a call from US Marshalls.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    I find people who think everyone against this is pro-piracy to be even more hilarious. It's like saying I'm against war and then you spinning that into "well then you support terrorism".

    Your views on people and situations are sickening. Us and Them. Nothing more frightening and sad in the world then people who think like that.

    Oh, quick question, all those representatives who raised questions and voiced concerns over SOPA, are they also "pro-piracy" in your opinion?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:18am

    Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    It is never to late to move anywhere, including to Canada. One of the nice things about our country is that the freedom to travel is not circumscribed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    "Where is your outrage at the corrupt politicians?"

    He is either a troll or paid for by the same people that bought the politicians, im betting troll.

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    I had the stream running most of the day, and it was enough to drive any thought of ever running for office from my mind. The half-hour discussion about whether the word "offensive" was offensive was a definite low point. They even had to take a pause to discuss it with a parliamentarian.

    Smith himself was a major low point. First, he kept insisting that he had tried to work with the tech industry for months, but they wouldn't do anything. I assume that he meant that the tech industry would not agree to everything his MPAA bosses were telling him they needed. He also kept insisting that they would pass the bill today which showed how far out of touch with reality that he was.

    Near the end of the day yesterday I came back to my office and was shocked to see that the meeting was still going on. I assumed that they must be replaying the hearing for people who missed part of it when it was live. They were going over the same arguments that I had heard several hours earlier, but I finally realized that it was still indeed going on and they were just recycling arguments.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re:

    Preferably somebody should double shoot Senator Lamar Smith in the head at point blank.

     

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    Keroberos (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    I don't think I've seen a worse example of bought off politicians in my life.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    didnt you know the world is black and white and there is no grey

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re:

    Oops! Reps. Lamar Smith, he is not a senator.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Double that guess. Paid shills usually post much higher in discussion threads, often the topmost comments.

     

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  25.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    Yeah, unfortunately, the corruption of the MPAA has long arms and Canada isn't far enough. I suggest Switzerland.

     

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  26.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re:

    Deja Vu with the DEA in the UK

     

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  27.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    Although the fight isn't quite lost in Canada yet, the Citizens are all still fighting to try to show no one wants that stuff here, it just isn't working too well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    "Huge kudos to Reps. Issa, Lofgren, Chaffetz and Polis, who combined to repeatedly point out the problems of the bill and to argue forcefully and compellingly about why we needed to fix these problems."

    Actually, based on their proposed amendments, they seem mostly aiming to neuter the bill and give 1000 outs to their friends.

    Here's an idea Mike, how about you check out where THEY get their funding from? Or are you only checking out the people you don't agree with?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re:

    How many points for running over Reps. Lamar Smith?

     

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  30.  
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    hothmonster, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re:

    make bribery illegal? You can not bribe enough people to get that law passed.

     

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    Michael, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    In summary

    SOPA/PIPA is a transparent attempt by the corporate-bought government to:

    -Regulate the internet
    -Censor free speech
    -Block/shut down any website deemed offensive
    -Enforce a major media-controlled internet environment wherein they monopolize everything a-la television, radio, etc.
    -Make copyright holders immune to legal retaliation
    -Incriminate internet users
    -Stomp on innovation and economic growth
    -Strongly tempt tech companies to relocate their business overseas while simultaneously making foreign businesses apprehensive about doing business here
    -Cause immense collateral damage

    There's more but that's a good list. SOPA/PIPA are indicative of a morally corrupt government hell-bent on destroying America from within.

     

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  32.  
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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Re:

    You'd think with all the Occupy movements lately that they'd try to hide their corruption a bit more, but probably most of them are the ones legitimately asking, "What do they want?" while at the same time sticking fingers in their ears.

    And this committee meeting has had MANY examples of people sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling, "lalalala I can't hear you. You are wrong. I am right. lalalalala"

     

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  33.  
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    That Crazy Freetard (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Kind of like when craigslist was forced to remove their adult service section. The Johns didn't stop seeing prostitutes, they just went somewhere else. Somewhere where they were a lot harder to catch.

     

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  34.  
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    hothmonster, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    +9001 internets

     

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  35.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It wouldn't work. Then we will just have the reverse problem. Yahoo has it right. Walk Out. Just work in the system, and if the corrupt screw you too much, just leave.

     

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    TheFuture, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    yet

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    Re:

    That is your job bum.

     

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  38.  
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    hothmonster, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    Its funny, for knowing so little about the internet these senators would fit in wonderfully on most comment sections. The level of honest discussion and debate reminds me of 4chan.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That is an incredibly ignorant response. And he isn't a Senator either.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A headshot with a BFG would be nice too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:36am

    Is anyone concerned that these reasonable amendments will make the bill, as a whole, more palatable for passage on the house floor, and less likely to be ruled unconstitutional by the courts?

     

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    crade (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    Although you may have to submit to a cavity search or two on the way out..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I hope the game to shoot Reps. Lamar Smith comes out soon.

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    There is your congress, bought and paid for by Hollywood.

     

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  45.  
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    setaside (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    As long as you don't mind the "enhanced" anal fisting you get when you refuse to go through the body irradiator.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:41am

    Re:

    So, to recap:

    - You have no good arguments to present
    - You are reduced to attempt to smear your opponents
    - You are too lazy to actually dig up dirt on your opponents

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is exactly how I see his law and actions in congress.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:44am

    These people probably think that an IP address is an intellectual property address.

     

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  49.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:44am

    Re:

    Ypou find it, you lazy hack.

    Oh, wait, you can't even be arsed to back up your assertions.

     

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  50.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Re:

    So the answer's simple: Kill the Batma^H^H^H^H^HHollywood.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re:

    So, to recap:

    - We have already argued it out 100 times over, considering how many SOPA posts are on this blog
    - The smearing start with Mike. I am only asking him to smear his political heros in the same manner, in the eye of fairness
    - I don't have to dig. Google donated "the max" to Issa.

     

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  52.  
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    Kevin H (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

     

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  53.  
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    Ninja (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    Oh how we are clueless about international stuff. I'm Brazilian. 10mbit connection running at 1.2Mb/s at peak times, could be 100mbit but I don't feel it's necessary for the price. We also have optic fibers for the ones that want it and it's actually cheaper than cable (I'm using cable) but my building is pretty old so there's no space for more cables without some pretty huge layout adaptations.

    But I digress. You are clueless about our internet (even though you might be right for smaller rural areas). And we can download for personal non-commercial uses too, which says tons when you see SOPA going on. Not to mention our electoral system, while imperfect, is way ahead from the US.

    I think we are accepting foreigners for permanent visa. Wanna apply for it?

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:48am

    Public sees members of Congress as the problem

    Pew Research Center poll conducted Dec. 7-11, 2011, confirms other independent polls finding record anti-incumbent sentiment:

    [O]ne of the few areas of bipartisan agreement when it comes to views of Congress is that the problem with the institution is the members themselves, not the political system. In assessing Congress, 55% of the public says they think the system can work fine, it’s the members that are the problem. Just 32% say they think most members have good intentions but the political system is broken. The balance of opinion is virtually identical across party lines.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:49am

    Re: In summary

    Congrats, you swallowed all the koolaid, and are able to spew back Mike's "talking points" without error.

    Take a gold star out of petty cash.

     

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  56.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    No it isn't working to well as the bill winds is weary way through our appointed Senate.

    A number of legal experts up here have pointed out that it will, when challenged (not IF), that it will likely be found to be unconstitutional on a number of points. The best one has been that it will bring "the administration of justice into disrepute" a big no-no under our constitution.

    At least the bill doesn't, yet, AFAIK, include silliness like DNS blocking which would have the security folks up here ripping their hair out and yelling, quietly, in committee that they don't want this, can't live with this, that it stinks and to stop it NOW. Usually they get their way on Parliament Hill. Not always for the better. But this time they'd be on the side of the angels.

    (You'd probably have to be a native born Canadian to understand how it's possible to yell quietly anywhere but we somehow manage to do it.)

     

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  57.  
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    Kevin H (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:50am

    Re:

    I think Lamar Smith has shown the true nature of the entertainment lobby, and the utter corruption that our "leaders" are capable of. This comment is wrong and so has been flagged appropriately. Shit like this only fuels the other sides stupidity.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:51am

    How did Mel Watt get elected

    While I hope this doesn't sound racist, he got elected because he's a black candidate in a HORRIBLY gerrymandered district designed to give a seat to the Democrats so that the Republicans could protect their areas nearby. NC-12 is ridiculous... just look at it on a map... drawn up to segregate the vote and create a majority African American district.

     

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  59.  
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    Jeff (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Re:

    *work* is a euphemism for "pay me off"

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    I don't make a cent from being in favor of copyright enforcement. I am quite wealthy and not a penny from copyright.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:53am

    The congressmen for SOPA seem to be taking the approach that 'we have to pass this bill fast so that we can start learning what's inside this bill'.

    A congressman has actually said that before.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    This site's administrator makes a living advocating for a "piracy should not be fought" worldview. If you are paid to promote a vision of the future where piracy is a legally accepted norm, you are part of the pro-piracy lobby.

     

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  63.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:55am

    Well, I already wrote my reps - told them a vote for SOPA is 4 votes for their competition - all of legal voting age in my house agreed if they vote for SOPA - we all vote against them.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:57am

    Re:

    Funny because 4chan has been running live analysis threads ever since the proceedings started.

     

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  65. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re:

    Really?

    It will make them push harder?

    Shoot Reps. Lamar Smith in the head now!

     

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  66.  
    icon
    Jeff (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well - I for one agree with Google... so I fully buying a senator or two to get the message out... That's how our democracy works now... what's your point again?

     

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  67.  
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    Jeff (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re: In summary

    The troll is strong with this one...

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Let me guess you are a lawyer.

     

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  69.  
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    Chicobo329, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    I'm fairly confident that the absurdity of these hearings is enough to send a message that when this bill is put to the floor it won't get an outpouring of support. And suppose it passes anyway, Obama would be certain to veto it, even if he hasn't said anything yet. Obama wouldn't dare sign this bill, it'd be political suicide and blowing up his major voter groups: young, educated people that use the internet regularly.

     

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  70.  
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    Ninja (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As much as I disagree with the lobby system in the US (bribery painted in a legal color) sometimes you have to play by their rules to set things straight.

    If I owned Google you'd see HUGE amounts on the donations. To prevent the money-happy retards such as Lamar and Goodlatte from screwing everything up.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Michael, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: In summary

    Yeah, I did because, even if his views are heavily biased, he uses facts to back up his claims. You'll see -- actually, I gues we'll all see -- once SOPA/PIPA passes all of the damage it does across the internet, impediments to freedom of speech, corporations moving overseas, and the heavy censoring which WILL occur.

    Nobody wants Hollywood, the RIAA, et al. running the internet, so go away. As someone previously said, if there was so much support for your side of the argument, you'd have your own blog with tons of followers, yet you don't because there aren't.

     

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  72.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:01am

    Re:

    Well at least you lot seem to b e having a bit of a debate - does seem awfully deja-vu though.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Re: Lamar Smith must be punished

    It doesn't matter, he will probably quit after this election anyways and end up working for a lobbying company anyways. He has it made either way.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    John, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Boycott

    Boycott anything American stop seeing movies.

    Funny how people saying they will move to Canada when our current government in power is just as bad.


    Nostradamus got it wrong the world isn't going to end it was the world wide web that would end it 2012.


    Money talks bullshit walks

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    But that's exactly what we say: you are not a paid industry shill, just a forum troll. Jeez...

     

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  76.  
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    Muggle, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Re:

    Man I hope you're right but some people saying Obama won't veto it just because of the big Hollywood power.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:06am

    Re: Boycott

    No, don't do that, there is no LuLz in that.

    Seed harder.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Nope. Then I might be making money from copyright.

     

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  79.  
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    Ninja (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: In summary

    And you successfully kept your head in the sand.

    But I do agree with him. Sometimes you need destruction to rescue what's lost. Europe knows that too much.

    I say let them destroy the US from within. I wish they did that without idiotic wars on terrorism or whatever and without sticking their noses on every single foreign issue. At least not when they can't live by what they say.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Michael, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:08am

    Re: Boycott

    I said in a previous post that I would boycott any corporate entity which uses SOPA/PIPA to regulate and censor the internet. Why should they get my money when they're acting the part of the internet thought police? They'll get nothing from me, absolutely NOTHING.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:09am

    Can't help but feel like even if the right side of this issue wins out this time, it will be futile in the long term. Similar bills will just continue to be attempted to be rammed through, and eventually people will be tired of filling out petitions and calling their representatives. As long as the government is allowed to be fed cash by anyone who wants something none of this will matter. You can't govern for the benefit of the people if money is directly involved. It's really just sad

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The people making these comments are probably IP extremists pretending to be critics. No one is fooled, it's not like IP extremists haven't done this before.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110919/01530216000/us-marshals-service-asks-us-to-remo ve-comment.shtml

    and who made that comment? An IP extremist pretending to be a critic. and I hope Mike turns over their IP address so that they can get investigated. There is no end to the low that IP extremists would stoop to propagate their agenda and I want those making these sorts of comments on behalf of critics exposed.

     

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  83.  
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    Peregrine, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    We'll be glad to have you here. Over here in Canada, we're watching in utter bafflement as Congress inexorably passes what has to be the most hypocritical law in the history of the nation. Freedom of my speech, my @ss. This is how censorship on the same level of Iran, China, and Egypt begins. The next target for internet blacklisting will no doubt be Wikileaks and anyone who links there. Then it will be any website that speaks ill of the government. And it will go on.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    He makes a living warning that "Piracy should not be fought, not like this."

    It's like using a nuke to kill some delinquints hiding in an alley, only so that, of the millions dead in a destroyed city, the delinquints were not among them.

     

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  85.  
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    Ghede, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:11am

    BAHAHAHAHAHA!
    People in a Democracy get the government they deserve. When you have a voter turnout of less than 50% and it's RECORD-BREAKING, then I think you have an indication of how much of a shit US citizens give.
    Don't forget that NDAA business. That bill was considerably more onerous than SOPA, and you sat there and took it. This bill will pass with flying colours, and you good little consumers will eat that shit up while *MAYBE* 40% of you vote at the next election, and not a single one of you changes your vote to align with a candidate who doesn't threaten everything that your forefathers lived and died for.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    "Oh, quick question, all those representatives who raised questions and voiced concerns over SOPA, are they also "pro-piracy" in your opinion?"

    Obviously reading isn't your strong suit, so I'll repeat the question. WHAT ABOUT THE REPRESENTATIVES WHO RAISED QUESTIONS AND VOICED CONCERNS OVER SOPA? IN YOUR OPINION, DOES THAT MEAN THEY ARE PRO-PIRACY?

    Do try and get over your bias and hatred of Mike. Focus on the issue, or better said question, at hand (see above, the stuff in all caps). Answer that before you go off on your Mike rants (which to be honest, I really don't give a sh*t about or care to hear, your thoughts on Mike's viewpoints and whatnot have been refuted repeatedly and with evidence/citations, there's no point in explaining how misguided and wrong you are in regards to Mike so I won't acknowledge the issue beyond this).

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Perhaps now people will stop buying DVDs and movie tickets? No, people will still feed these facists their money.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Michael, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Re:

    Whatever. If the majority write or call in protest of something and it still passes, what makes you think that our vote is anything more than an illusion?

     

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  89.  
    icon
    Leander (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    wow...

    Wow, I never thought i'd see the day technocide was going to be real. This amount of ignorance and stupidity could've been funny if it weren't so depressing...

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Or an arrow to the knee....

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:21am

    Rendition

    Can we -please- have these terrorists (anyone who votes for this censorship and thus clearly at war with the american people) renditioned off of US soil so that the adults can get back to getting some actual work done?

     

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  92.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:21am

    Re:

    Talking about \b\?

    Even if you are, \b\ is a breeze when you see the horros show in the SOPA hearings.

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    There is no pro-piracy lobby stupid.

    There is millions of pirates who don't give a crap about copyrights that is all.

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Now I get it you are just a jackass.

     

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  95.  
    icon
    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re:

    What, you don't think that maybe if you motivated more than HALF YOUR COUNTRY you mightn't find sufficient people who have some sense?
    I'm fully prepared to believe that perhaps the US is populated, in the majority, by sycophantic consumerist idiots. But were I pressed on the matter, I'd have to say that I don't think it's likely.
    Ultimately you have a choice. Stand up for what is right with your vote, or stand up for what is right with your person. Significantly less than half of you do either, so it's difficult to not view you with scorn.

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:26am

    Everyone needs to email this guy and tell him to leave our internet alone if he doesn't understand it.

    Dominique.Tillman@mail.house.gov

     

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  97.  
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    Concerned Citizen, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    A Black List of Representatives

    Can we get a black list of representatives and senators? These people are nominally responsible to us, and if they vote for this bill, I'd like to know each and every one of their names and districts.
    And make them know exactly what happens when representatives and senators stop representing the people that they are responsible to.

     

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  98.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:29am

    Re:

    Unlike you who only have snarky statements in support of your friends.

    And in your world the sun revolves around Hollywood (and you) so all things bright and beautiful come from Hollywood and to hell with everyone else, to hell with national security none of that matters.

    Hollywood's alleged losses of income are primary, their copyrights sacrosanct and they'd never, ever fib about anything much less their tiny contribution to the American economy.

    They can buy politicians by the boatload and that's cool with you but if Google dares donate/buy one you're screaming blue murder.

    Then again, you come cheap. For free. Oh, sorry, you can't do that can you cause free is always piracy no matter what so you don't come free. Must be that someone gave you a free bag of popcorn fresh from the popcorn plant in payment for your support.

    Have nice day.

     

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  99.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Re: In summary

    Our AC troll wants the job of running the internet for the RIAA and MPAA though. Badly.

    Just do your best to avoid the drool. I understand it's infectious and attacks critical areas of the brain such as reasoning, morality and honesty.

     

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  100.  
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    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re:

    Sorry. I shouldn't be so vehemently anti-US. That's not my intent. My intent is to point out that perhaps your people should have showed their displeasure before it reached this point.
    I'm not suggesting revolution. But for every one of you who doesn't believe your vote counts (and from what little I know of your horrendously broken system, those people are actually pretty close to right), there's someone who votes for a member of the establishment. If you managed to convince the remaining ~60% of your nation to vote, you'd be a step closer to having representatives you actually represent you. Your people would feel more invested in the political process, and that level of participation (300 something million people?) can NOT be ignored.
    Instead the country is happy to be lazy and just accept what is thrust upon them.

    So much for the land of the free and home of the brave.

     

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  101.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Oh; old, wealth, smug, no clue whats going on but a condescending attitude and a polar view of the situation. Arent you just the catspaw.

     

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  102.  
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    Aaron *Head* Moss (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    This reminds me of South Park:

    George Bush: Questions?
    [One man raises his hand]
    George Bush: Yes?
    UN delegate #2: Are you high, or just incredibly stupid?
    George Bush: I assure you I am not high.

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Boycott

    Well I already boycott them, and have been doing it for more than a decade now.

    The thing people need to do is to patronize the free legal alternatives.

     

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  104.  
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    Gonzo, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:48am

    First time

    This is the first time I've ever seen someone comment on how the politicians treat the staff. It's a refreshing change from our normal treatment by the media as if we enjoyed the same perks of being a legislator.

    I work on the state level where it mirrors the federal, and on a typical session day we will arrive at 8am, eat lunch at our desks, support chamber operations until about 5-6pm, support the flow of them taking staggered dinners, resume chamber support at 7-8, continuing to midnight, then work for 2-4 hours further to process the reports they want on their desks in the morning. Due to budget abuses, this isn't spread across multiple employee shifts, this is individuals working up to 19 hours with minimal breaks while the legislators like Lamar Smith email out to all members and staff about member-only dinner being provided by lobbyists.

    Thank you for including this often overlooked reality in your report on this absolutely disgusting legislation.

     

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  105.  
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    blaudclaut, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    world

    Will this bill block sites in other countries too, I'm in Canada will I not be able to see a site they take down say from Netherlands ?

     

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  106.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

     

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  107.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:54am

    Re: A Black List of Representatives

    What happens? That they get a big fat check and cushy job from the mafiaa, tag in whoever gets voted for their replacement and laugh all the way to the bank? Oh Nos!

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    The conservatives have a majority the legislation is passing, no question about it. This seems to be happening all over the world no government wants to be seen as soft on copyright so it's unstoppable. I can't believe how fast it's happening.

     

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  109.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    " not a single one of you changes your vote to align with a candidate who doesn't threaten everything that your forefathers lived and died for"

    I'm sure more people would do that if we had a candidate that fit that bill, its gonna be Obama (more of the same) or one of these batshit crazy repubs. Yeah! fucked either way!

     

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  110.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Lets use the doom engine and build a game. It would probably be a huge hit. Imagine the levels you could build, the USTR, K street, The white house, the capital building, an oil refinery, a movie studio, a huge bank. Chasing down bill wielding zombie politicians, brain sucking lobbyist carrying large sums of cash, interns vomiting up acid based whiskey and cocaine, oh the fun!!!

    The lead up video would be a mutagenic nuke going of and irradiating the city. Leading to a zombie apocalypse in DC.

     

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  111.  
    identicon
    dwg, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Re:

    So, what you're suggesting is that Issa and that small group get their money from...pirates? Seriously, is that what you're suggesting?

     

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  112.  
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    hothmonster, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    even if 100% of the people vote we are still picking between two useless jackasses. The whole system needs to be revamped to allow actual intelligent, considerate, educated, open-minded, non-narcissistic, candidates a chance at succeeding.

    Right now the path to victory is spending tons of money on lies, slander and misconstrued truths. Anyone that does rise to the top in this system has no right being elected.

     

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  113.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: In summary

    I would, but UMG took them down on copyright grounds.

     

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  114.  
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    dwg, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:05am

    Re:

    Yes. And good call, BTW. The amendments, such as they are, may provide what looks like a system of checks, balances and accountability for the law's implementation, that any potentially unconstitutional acts taken under it could be assessed on a case-by-case basis, rather than having the law itself scrutinized at those points.

    I know this restates what you said--it was just such a good point that I thought it warranted some expansion.

     

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  115.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Then by the MPAA's logic, you're a criminal.

     

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  116.  
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    hothmonster, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I guess my point is people don't vote because they see how entirely corrupt the whole system is. Politicians lie to get elected, lie while they are elected and then lie to get reelected. Our media lets them get away with all this shit and keep right on lying. If people do complain the side with the most money vested is going to win. Who are our choices in this upcoming election> 4 more years of lies and bullshit or 4 new years with whichever of the batshit crazy sycophants the other side puts up.

     

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  117.  
    identicon
    dwg, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re:

    His unflinching support of the AIA does seem to blow that way, doesn't it?

     

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  118.  
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    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re:

    You are aware that independents *do* actually run, aren't you?

    And even if they didn't, there's nothing stopping one from doing so. But, no, you just watch the ads and vote based on that instead of actually thinking a bit.

     

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  119.  
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    dwg, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re:

    How about this: everyone and their friends make one single resolution this year--don't go see a single movie that you hear "is so bad it's funny."

    I know you know what I mean, and if that alone stopped we'd have taken a good deal of money off the MPAA's table.

     

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  120.  
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    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    I think we are accepting foreigners for permanent visa. Wanna apply for it?

    I do! Since I visited Brazil recently (and not only tourist attractions), I fell in love with her.

     

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  121.  
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    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The whole system needs to be revamped to allow actual intelligent, considerate, educated, open-minded, non-narcissistic, candidates a chance at succeeding"

    I couldn't agree more!

    But it seems that the populace there would rather keep watching their TV and buying their burgers. I mean, it's not like there's actually anything to stop an independent from running, and with the internet, it's no longer anywhere near as expensive to get the word out.

    That doesn't necessarily make it cheap to do so, nor does it mean that those with vast quantities of cash don't have a big head start. But your nation has been built on the hard work of people who didn't shy away from that sort of challenge, why would you not want to continue in a similar vein?

     

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  122.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If I owned Google you'd see HUGE amounts on the donations. To prevent the money-happy retards such as Lamar and Goodlatte from screwing everything up."

    Have you ever heard of "mutually assured destruction"? That's all you are proposing.

     

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  123.  
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    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Furthermore, there were 13 candidates for president at the last election. If you didn't even know that, then you probably shouldn't be voting anyway - no great loss, I guess.

     

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  124.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re:

    No, I don't suggest they get money from pirates. I suggest that they are getting money from the "content grifters".

     

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  125.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    29 is old? I guess by a teenager's standards.

     

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  126.  
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    TongueinCheek, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Preferably somebody should double shoot Senator Lamar Smith in the head at point blank."

    What difference would that make? He's already a mindless puppet int he hands of the movie industry! He'd just keep dancing the jigs they wanted him to.

     

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  127.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    There is definitely a pro-piracy lobby. What do you think the Pirate Party is? Google pays for the EFF and "netroots" organizations to run propaganda in favor of deregulating piracy. Mike Masnick gets his salary from running a site, writing books, and giving talks in favor of abolishing anti-piracy law.

    No pro-piracy lobby? Not from what I've seen.

     

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  128.  
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    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Absolutely agreed. And that's certainly enough to get the average person to despair.
    But despairing won't change anything. The only way to change things is to do something. If you start voting with where your heart lies (and base that on readily available information of how the candidates have acted in the past, not what the god-awful media tells you), convince non-voters (and voters) to do the same, even consider running for local office with a view to bigger things, or anything that takes a little bit of the control away from the status quo, then you're on the right track.
    Change is not affected by people posting mildly comments on the internet. It's done bit by bit. And it's done by people who actually try. Do you think your country won its independence from the British by mailing each other letters saying "The British are mean and I don't like them"? No, they stood up and represented themselves. Some otherwise perfectly ordinary people rose above and performed world-shaking acts, with the support of the populace.
    Seriously, Americans, it's time to shit or get off the can. Start challenging the system - You may not, personally, make a difference. But even Einstein based his work on what had come before him.

     

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    crade (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    For us, it's certainly not "no government wants to be seen as soft on copyright". It's just that the US has us by the balls and keeps squeezing harder until we say uncle we'll put in whatever copyright law you want.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Sad but True

    I think it is fairly safe to say, at this point it should be obvious that congress simply does what it is paid to do. Winston Churchill said, “If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain”.

    What does that quote mean? In short, I think it means if you want congress to behave or act a certain way, you need to pay them. Congress is not about logic, insight, innovation, or critical thinking. We are in fact a capitalist society. I think Churchill was simply alluding to the fact that our opinion really doesn’t matter in Washington. Care to stand out on the street corner and join the protesters on Wall Street? This did not impact congress in one way, shape, or form. Yet, somehow people feel this is making a difference. If you want congress do something, get out your wallet and stand in the hallway and make sure they pass your legislation.

    I agree entirely with the authors point about this legislation being destructive to the internet. But, common sense doesn’t matter here. If you don’t like it, get ready to pay to change it. What will stand and what will fall? That will be determined by he who has the most money. Vocalizing your opinion, well everyone has one of those and they usually give them away for free.

    This is why Rick Perry said he was going to take down 3 agencies of government and then couldn’t even name them. WOW! If your planning on doing away with a government agency you should at least know what it is? So yeah, a flawed bill will pass. I don’t think half these guys congress understand the full impact of what they do. But, I don’t think they care. They simply do what they are told to do by their financial source. That is very much a reality of what we are dealing with today.

     

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  131.  
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    crade (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    Even the cons know it's bad for them, they have the numbers and know the canadian electorate is completely against it. The problem is that we don't run our own country.

     

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  132.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Do you think your country won its independence from the British by mailing each other letters saying "The British are mean and I don't like them"?


    U.S. History: Committees of Correspondence:
     . . . To spread the power of the written word from town to town and colony to colony, Committees of Correspondence were established.

    The first such committee was organized by none other than Samuel Adams. Working with rural patriots, Adams enabled the entire Massachusetts citizenry to have access to patriot text. In fact, Adams knew that the residents of the seacoast towns were more informed of each crisis than those of the interior. The spread of these committees across urban centers happened quickly. Adams and others urged the establishment of correspondence committees in rural inland towns as well.

    The Committees of Correspondence were bold enough to use the British postal service as the means of communication. For the most part, the pen was their weapon of choice . . . 

     

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  133.  
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    blaudclaut, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    Will this bill block sites in other countries too, I'm in Canada will I not be able to see a site they take down say from Netherlands ?

     

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  134.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    " it's not like there's actually anything to stop an independent from running" Actually there are tons of things that keep independents from running.

    I agree the internet opens doors but the system is gamed to keep independents from having any real shot at a national election. You need to have huge petitions signed by an enormous amount of people just to get on the ballet, and rules vary state to state and county to county. So now you need a staff in every state to collect signatures, mostly by going door to door. There are all kinds of little catches to the campaign process which keep any independent without about 30-100 million to throw around out of the race, for instance- by literally not allowing his name on the ballet.

    So what do you do? Start your own party with less money and a lot more internet, fine. Then you are competing with the real parties, but not really because you won't get the same media coverage or invited to any debates. So they will be all over the news and tv lambasting you while only people who already support you will see your response. Not to mention you still need people on the ground doing mailers, going door-to-door ect.

    Sure you could probably get 'some' mainstream coverage, if you sink to their level. But then you end up corrupting yourself.

    I see you point and agree whole heatedly. Hopefully someone steps up and meets the challenge, but I doubt they won't just be another empty suit by the time the system is done with them. But I have given up on this country having a non-violent revolution a long time ago.

     

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    crade (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    Well, kinda.. It will because the DNS servers are housed in the US, but they will probably just find a new location for them before too long.

     

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    ChairmanLMAO (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    The South Rears It's Ugly Head

    Anyone else totally unsurprised that the three biggest sponsors of this bill come from redneck enclaves like Virginia, Texas, and North Carolina?

    It seems fair to say there's nothing more corrupt than a southern politician.

     

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    Eric, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    Canada already has something like this in place. their internet policies are horrendous. Their ISPs are dramatically overpriced and place data limits (and corresponding overage charges) on their customers similar to cellphones here. In addition to that some us sites are unreachable from their isp's

     

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    hothmonster, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah and the other eleven got less than 1% of the vote. Also tell me which of those candidates was not more of the same? For the record I voted for Nader. And fuck you too for pulling your snide insults into a polite discussion you condescending assumptive prick.

     

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  139.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are aware that independents *can't* actually win, aren't you?

    I'm still calling for everyone to vote for Ron Paul, he's just not going to win even if he gets the popular vote.

     

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  140.  
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    Jeff (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    did your tin foil hat fall off??

     

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  141.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    If that's the case then I guess I'm pro-piracy. I guess I should go pirate something instead of paying for Netflix and eMusic.

     

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  142.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: Lamar Smith must be punished

    He'll be hired by the MPAA and make even more money whether this bill passes or not, because he's a good stooge.

     

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  143.  
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    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But the pen did not win their independence. It helped motivate people, yes. Like this article should. Any of you reading this going to change your actions based on it?
    I'd be (pleasantly) surprised,

     

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  144.  
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    Alphonse Damato, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Rep. Watt

    Rep. Watt is a disgrace to the Judiciary Committee. When he argued against an amendment but got it exactly backwards (he was for what was in the amendment, and against what was in SOPA as written) and discovered it, he promptly flip flopped and came out against the amendment.

    It was the most egregious example of dishonest and corruption that I'd ever seen in my life. The guy is terrified of pissing off his RIAA overlords (who are top 5 donors to his reelection campaign).

    Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt.

     

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  145.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "content grifters" ! that's a good one.

    Google makes money from advertising. The people who advertise legit are businesses that have lots of money (not pirates or "rouge websites")

    If google is so bad, why don't the movie and music studios pull all their advertising?

     

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  146.  
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    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Change is not effected in one fell swoop. People can start small, at the local level and work up.

    I've no doubt the odds are stacked against. The old guard *always* has the advantage over those who wants things to get better. But if nobody is prepared to challenge things, then things will always stay the same - simple as that.

     

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  147.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    yet.

     

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  148.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    sorry for trying to have an adult discussion with a someone with a little prick who is going to just attack anyone who disagrees with them

     

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  149.  
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    ChairmanLMAO (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    This is what purchased government looks like

    Congresspeople don't care about votes. Their constituents are the industries they carry water for.

    Guaranteed, Lamar Smith, Bob Goodlatte, and Mel Watt have cushy jobs waiting for them as entertainment industry lobbyists (like Chris Dodd) once they leave office.

    America has been bought and sold at auction like a sack of potatoes. The real question facing us is if any of us give enough of a damn to do something about it.

     

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  150.  
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    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I have to apologise. You make a perfectly appropriate point and I shouldn't have been a dick as it debases my argument.

    In my (incomplete) defence, I genuinely thought you meant that there were only 2 candidates. There *are* people who are largely ignorant of the other candidates and they are a VERY large part of the problem, because they don't care enough about their own country to find out.

    That isn't a good enough defence, though. I simply shouldn't have been a dick. Instead I should have worded my objections to that concept much better.

    Again, you have my apologies.

     

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  151.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    accepted

     

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  152.  
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    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That last "you" was plural.

     

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  153.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I agree, personally I just think we are past the point of this system being corrected without some bloodshed. To fix the system you have to be part of the system and to be part of the system you have to be corrupt, or you wont be a part of it for long.

    Not that I am advocating a violent revolt. I just see little other chance of of disrupting the system enough to allow some change to happen. I pray someone can prove me wrong.

     

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  154.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    i was still pissy about the other comment. Its passed.

     

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    cybik (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    don't do it, we're going to get something worse up here.

     

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  156.  
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    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can't say that I disagree with your point here.

    I would like to think that it's not the case. But the last few elections and their results seem to be showing that your government is moving further and further away from a plebiscite as an effective way to solve the problem. I just hope for the best, in that respect.

    Regardless, there needs to be action from the people. Neither form of change will occur without that.

     

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  157.  
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    Ghede (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Thankyou.

     

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  158.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:27am

    Re:

    Personally I hope the bill gets passed as is. It will be a wake up call for the tech sector. It will lead to a ton of new tools to route around the censorship. It will also lead to a backlash against Hollywood and the labels. What actor or artist is going to want to be associated with censorship? Plus it will bring the entire IP issue into public light, the place every IP type doesn't want it to be.

     

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  159.  
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    dwg, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Dammit. With the length of your initial post, I was hoping you weren't a troll. Fooled again.

     

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  160.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re:

    The occupy movement is a joke. If they actually were to come up with a plan that wasn't "pay my student loans" they might have had a chance.

     

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  161.  
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    monkyyy, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    Re: This is what purchased government looks like

    if they censor the internet i will be on a long list of people who will have some extra free time to workaround it

     

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  162.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    I don't pirate a damn thing... and I know this is wrong.

     

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  163.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Let's just start randomly changing DNS for each of the members voting for this bill. And there families. And there staff. I bet that it would only take one week of being on the phone with tech support before this bill was thrown out of hand.

     

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  164.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    by Threatening to move to Canada, this is a Threat to the Economy of your area via the removal of taxable spending and income.

    By threatening the economy, you're now possibly terrorist threat.

    By being a terrorist threat, you're now subject to arrest and indefinite detention.

    You've been tracked.

     

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  165.  
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    hothmonster, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    This is hilarious. Which is what alot of us probably need.
    http://getyourcensoron.com/

     

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  166.  
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    Braden Marr, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 2:57pm

    Corporate Fascist Plutarchy

    This is pure fascism.

    Corporations are not your friend.
    Religion is social cancer.
    Keep corporations and religion out of government. Period.

    Otherwise, fight, physically, if it comes to it, to reclaim your country from these evil people.

     

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  167.  
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    Somna, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 3:12pm

    Re: world

    Will this bill block sites in other countries too, I'm in Canada will I not be able to see a site they take down say from Netherlands ?

    They could only do that if Canada's Internet was routed through the U.S. I don't know if it is or not.

     

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    Violated (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 4:02pm

    I can't believe they objected to the word "offended". How else is she supposed to feel if not offended? It is not like she screamed across the room "Wake up you lazy f**king f**ktard!"

    Well do what you want but clearly they would not last 5 minutes in British politics.

     

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  169.  
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    Anonymous, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    Yet.

     

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  170.  
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    Disgusted Knowledgeable, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 4:35pm

    Outraged

    This entire thing makes me want to vomit. Our politics are in such a terrible state....

    Why is it that people who don't know what these things mean have to be taught in public law sessions at taxpayer expense with the corporations whispering in their ears?

    Hey how much is a plane ticket to Brazil? I've got a 50 kb/s connection =(.

    And i thought I was outraged at the DMCA.....

    Well, there is a silver lining to this. Maybe more people will start using TOR and it will get faster...

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Watched a lot yesterday.

    Or when getting on the greyhound in Ottawa.

     

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  172.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

    Re:

    The only way to vote in this age, including in Canada(Spring Bear Hunt anyone? Husky ring a bell?), is with the wallet.

    How is Hollywood going to buy laws with no money?

     

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  173.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There's a few options that we can do instead. One requires us to make political donations smaller.

    Another requires an overhaul of the system. But I like the Indian notion of bribery not being illegal, just whoever's on the receiving end could be set up for blackmail (IIRC).

    We can change the system, it's just going to take a LOT of work to get through the BS.

     

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  174.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Voting in the US seems to me (as an outsider) to be "choose between the lesser of two evils". Because you're not being given a whole lot of choice.

    In The Netherlands, where I'm from, it's not a perfect system either, but we do have something like 10+ different parties.

    And each party with their own viewpoints, bullet points and ideals.
    The greens, the party for animal rights, the labour party, christian democrats, the socialist party, to name but a few.

     

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  175.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, but what can US citizens do? After they have made thousands of calls, millions of emails opposing this stupid bill, it still has a chance of getting through congress... What is left there to do? Reelections won't be until after this bill has passed. And then it's too late.

    Also, the media won't pick up on it, because it's old hat after that. No need to hold someone accountable over ancient history.
    Besides. there is a new $celebrity_scandal_of_the_day to talk about for about 24 hrs.

     

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  176.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 6:38pm

    Re:

    Heh, I'm still surprised that Cameron has got legs to stand on after his outburst during the Eurotop and his coalition partner Nick Clegg staring daggers at him.

     

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  177.  
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    John Thacker, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:44pm

    How does Mel Watt get elected?

    He gets elected because he's in a massively gerrymandered district.

    Of course, that's true of lots of these people. Most of them need to be knocked off in primaries, thanks to gerrymandering that's how you really make a difference in the House.

     

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  178.  
    identicon
    Muggle, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:15pm

    NOOOOOO

    "What was expected in this contingency was for the committee to resume work whenever the House reconvenes in January. After all, with such controversial and far-reaching legislation, it is better to take one’s time. But no: the committee has announced it will continue markup this coming Wednesday, the 21st of December."


    Unbelievable they must got paid extra by MPAA and RIAA to go through the holidays.

     

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

  179.  
    identicon
    John, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 9:26pm

    Hell ya!

    "In response to SOPA, Anonymous hackers target US government"

    "Anonymous, a hacker organization that made headlines earlier this year by shutting down government websites during the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, said Friday it was preparing to launch what it called “Operation Blackout,” and rallied Americans to participate in nationwide protests in an effort to stop the legislation from passing."

     

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

  180.  
    identicon
    Loki, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Apparently reading comprehension is not your strong suit. He has never advocated "piracy should not be fought". What he advocates is "their are much more efficient ways to combat piracy".

     

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

  181.  
    identicon
    Loki, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re:

    Why would any of these people care about the Occupy movement?

    I get elected. A bunch of people stand on street corners holding signs telling me how much I suck. I get elected again. And Again. And again.

    If these people really wanted to affect real change, they would spend their time researching some real alternatives to the current democrats and republicans who are strangling this country. They would tell all their family and friends who these people are. They would spend their time campaigning for these candidates and they would get them elected. Until then the Occupy movement doesn't really mean a whole lot.

     

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

  182.  
    identicon
    Loki, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 6:16am

    Re: Public sees members of Congress as the problem

     

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

  183.  
    identicon
    Loki, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 6:21am

    Re: Re: Boycott

    Personally, I'd like to go further. I'd like a list of any author, musician, actor, etc. in favor of this that we could put in a database somewhere, so I know not to spend money on them as well. Anyone in favor of this legislation doesn't deserve a penny from me.

     

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

  184.  
    identicon
    Loki, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Voting in the US seems to me (as an outsider) to be "choose between the lesser of two evils". Because you're not being given a whole lot of choice.

    I agree, sorta. I spent a great deal of time in the 2004 election researching alternate candidates, and they are out there (most states had like 5-8 candidates on the ballots). The trouble is the vast majority of the major media outlets are either pro-democrat or pro-republican, and neither wants information on alternatives to get out there (two candidates even got arrested trying to participate in a debate, and most media outlets didn't even cover the arrests).

    I tried convincing as many friends and family as I could (and won a few converts) but most people are/were stuck in this mindset of "the republicans are bad and only the democrats can beat them" or "the democrats are bad and only the republicans can beat them".

    I'm originally from Illinois.
    Our last governor was a democrats. He reports to prison in, I think, February to serve 12 years for corruption.
    The governor before him was a republican. He is currently serving 6 years for corruption.

    Lamar Smith is republican.
    Chris Dodd is democrat.

    The simply truth is that when you look at how both parties operate, their methodologies may be massively different, but they both result in the same outcome (a small group of ultra-rich retain all the power and wealth, the rest survive as more or less a welfare state).

    The problem isn't that there aren't alternative, it is that the alternative aren't given enough voice by enough major media outlets for enough people to learn about them.

     

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

  185.  
    identicon
    Loki, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, you don't need to convince the remaining 60%.

    If only 40% of the people vote, and the vote is pretty well split down the middle, that's only 20% of the people who are voting for each party. If you can convince just 10% of the people standing on the sidelines to vote, and pull maybe 5% of the vote from each party you'd be left with:

    Rep - 15%
    Dem - 15%
    Ind - 20%

    You can still have a huge victory by just getting a small percentage of bystanders and pulling a smaller percentage of moderates from each side.

     

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

  186.  
    identicon
    Loki, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Technically the pen DID win us our independence.

    Had the British accepted the claim, that would have been the end of the issue.

    We didn't have to fight to win independence. We had to fight to keep it.

     

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

  187.  
    identicon
    Loki, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 7:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It can be done, though. I know a lot of people who would have voted for Perot in '92. But thanks to "instant updates" by the time they got to the polls, he was way behind and so they either voted for Clinton (to make sure Bush got booted) or Bush to try to keep Clinton out. Granted, he likely would not have won anyways, but if those late voters had stuck to their guns, he might have made a close enough showing (he still got a pretty good chunk of vote anyways), that the '96 or even 2000 elections might have been very different indeed.

     

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

  188.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Personally, I am enjoying the shrill cries of the pro-piracy lobby

    Idiot. The money is what's old. Old money sometimes goes with an immature attitude toward the rest of the world because of a lack of experience of living in it.

     

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

  189.  
    identicon
    Lizziecat, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 9:58pm

    God this is terrifying! It isn't heart surgery by amateurs, it's brain surgery by the village idiot. I really wish that the people in Congress would stop kissing Hollywood's ass and realize how stupid this whole thing is.

     

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

  190.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 18th, 2011 @ 4:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I was looking at some footage from interviews with Ron Paul, and the host was asking him who he'd endorse, as if he had stepped out of the race.
    I mean, come on, Ron Paul is still running himself.

    But yeah, you're right, there is too much power at the broadcast level, they get to pick the candidates who are invited to the "debates". Which, btw, isn't really a debate, as that would take too much time and can't be done with commercials interstitched. The televised debates are just candidates reiterating talking points in a question and answer setting.
    Debating isn't about answering stupid questions, it's about exchanging ideas, and arguing those ideas in order to try and convince the other parties in the debate.

     

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

  191.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 18th, 2011 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "...question and answer setting..."

    Which are generally pre-approved before they agree to appear on show.

     

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

  192.  
    identicon
    Lisa, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 5:09am

    Re: Re:

    How do we ensure term limits when the people that would have to put that amendment (sp) into action are the ones that are comfy in their lifetime positions in congress?

     

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

  193.  
    identicon
    Lisa, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re:

    How do we ensure term limits when the people that would have to put that amendment (sp) into action are the ones that are comfy in their lifetime positions in congress?

     

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

  194.  
    identicon
    Patriot Giin, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 5:23pm

    Exactly. Just like with their waaaay to much income (for life) with their 40 something paid vacation days per year, and perfect free healthcare (also for life). They would be the ones to take it away.

    Fat chance.

    Read an article couple months ago, we're at 35 of the 37 states turning against the federal government needed to reboot the nation, new continental Congress. New government. New nation.

    We need it.

     

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


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