Want To Know How Ridiculous The Omnibus Bill Is? It Has A Meaningless Porn Filter Clause Four Times

from the say-what? dept

Following Congress passing the Omnibus spending bill, it of course did not take long for President Obama to sign the bill, meaning that the fake cybersecurity bill/actual surveillance bill, is now law. Particularly ridiculous is that in his little speech about it, Obama talked about how he "wasn't wild about everything in it" but that he was happy that it was a bill "without ideological provisions." Except, you know, for the many ones that did get in there.

But, what do you expect with a 2000+ page bill that Congress was only given a couple of days to look at before voting on. Zach Carter, over at Huffington Post has examples of a couple of ridiculous provisions in the omnibus, starting with a ban on giving any funding to ACORN, the organization that was the target of scorn from Republicans a few years back. So what's so ridiculous about that? Following the pile on against ACORN years ago the organization shut down. It hasn't existed in years. Preventing funding for it seems, you know, kinda pointless, as it doesn't exist.

But it's the other wacky provision that caught my attention. Apparently this provision is in the omnibus no less than four times in different places:
"None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to maintain or establish a computer network unless such network blocks the viewing, downloading, and exchanging of pornography."
Apparently, this little clause has become so standard, you can find it in earlier funding bills as well. It's the 2013 funding bill the the 2012 funding bill and many more, I assume.

And, as Carter notes, this language is "completely meaningless," but it's still in there four times. Just because.

So Congress can't seem to get much of anything done, but it does pass an omnibus bill that includes a weird meaningless porn filter requirement four times... and a damaging surveillance bill. And you wonder why people dislike and distrust Congress.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 7:50pm

    Farewll, freedom. We hardly knew ye

    Well, it seems like it's over. That's it people, shows over. Bar's closing down, and the prohibition on privacy is going into effect. Even now, the NSA is probably seeing this piece of text on a screen saying "FUCK YOU YOU UTTER SCUMBAGS! ALL OF YOU ARE THE WORST TYPE OF PEOPLE WHO DESERVE TO DIE!"

    Yeah, now I'm on the watch list. Whatever, fuck it.

    And you know, I've only been alive for twenty years and this is horrifying. Not just the porn part, but the entire situation. Fuck the oligarchs who want to become the next - and only - kings of the land. Fuck them, their piles of 'donations' and their fucking smug faces that I want to shove into shit. Literal shit. I want to slam the fuckers that approved of this face first into a heaping pile of the freshest, nastiest, most putrid shit on the face of the planet. It wouldn't make anything better, but it would be utterly cathartic.

    What of the next generation? Will that grow up to believe that this is just how things are, should be and always have been? Will they grow up to believe that this is the best possible thing that could happen?

    I'm done. I just...

    Damn

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 12:08am

      Re: Farewll, freedom. We hardly knew ye

      get a gun so you can go down fighting if you ever find yourself being targeted for believing in your rights and your door kicked down in the dead of night.

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

      • icon
        Seegras (profile), 19 Dec 2015 @ 4:20am

        Re: Re: Farewll, freedom. We hardly knew ye

        Armed rebellions and insurrections are quite pointless, unless you get the majority of people on your side. That doesn't mean they have to agree or even participate in your insurrection; but they have to agree with your goal.

        And if the majority would agree with you, Obama would not have gotten a second term, and congress would look quite different. Which would completely alleviate the need for any insurrection in the first place.

        Of course, this is assuming you want to achieve any goal that can be classified as something involving more freedom.

        If you just want to enact some totalitarian state, you don't need the support of a majority. You only need enough forces to overthrow the governments forces. See ISIS.

        So the only option really is to get people to think, and to value freedom more than they're getting made fearful by government propaganda.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 9:22am

          GL with that.. the only way to get them to think is to get them to realize there is a problem, and most people are so deep in denial not even drain-o could flush them out.

          Might as well round up the people who are aware and go start a new society somewhere else.. it would have much better chances of succeeding than trying to convince the masses to pull their heads out of their asses.

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        • identicon
          Rekrul, 19 Dec 2015 @ 2:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: Farewll, freedom. We hardly knew ye

          Armed rebellions and insurrections are quite pointless, unless you get the majority of people on your side. That doesn't mean they have to agree or even participate in your insurrection; but they have to agree with your goal.

          And if the majority would agree with you, Obama would not have gotten a second term, and congress would look quite different. Which would completely alleviate the need for any insurrection in the first place.

          I often wish I had the power to control other people and make them do what I want. If I had that power, I wouldn't use it to force Obama and the politicians to do what I wanted, I'd use it to give them one simple command; "From this point on, you can not lie." Then I'd sit back and watch the fireworks as the government implodes.

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          • identicon
            DigDug, 19 Dec 2015 @ 4:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Farewll, freedom. We hardly knew ye

            First off, enact the "We the People" amendment which states...

            Corporations aren't people.
            Money is not speech.
            Government cannot be bought.

            Then force them to "serve their constituents", you know, the "REAL" people, not the corporations.

            Then, program them with Aasimov's 3 laws of robotics.

            Get rid of Osamacare, replace it with an exact replica of Canada's healthcare system.

            End H1B Visa's.
            Make it illegal to outsource any jobs outside the U.S.A.
            Place all funds dedicated to government health care and retirement funds as well as perpetual paychecks, as they will all get the following from the lowest government pleeb to the potus:
            Military style barracks for housing.
            Military chow with retired drill instructors telling them how fast they have to eat.
            Standard American health plan.
            Social Security as their only retirement plan.
            No limos, jets, trips, free postage, etc...

            Oh yeah, and their finances (along with family and friends) will be audited from 10 years before office til death after office and any signs of impropriety will earn them a life sentence at Gitmo without possibility of parole.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2015 @ 4:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Farewll, freedom. We hardly knew ye

              you got to be kidding there are tons of ways to loophole everything you just said.

              Corporations aren't people, is the 3rd party doctrine used for spying on you to begin with. It allows the government to have completed control over your digital and commercial life because they will dictate YOUR life through them. No matter how much abuse a corporation can do it still should have every last protection that a person does, so yes, corporate person-hood is absolutely necessary for a free society. If you don't agree, that is fine, just admit that you are a communist and that you think a corrupt government NEEDS a good control mechanism.

              I do like your last statement, but it is going a bit far to put family members under such an umbrella. There are a lot of cases where it would be totally legit to be working with a company you once helped out legislatively while you were in office. The only thing this is likely to create is just another government bureaucracy that picks winners and losers along the political lines of who is in power at the time, and this is something we never need to allow government to do.

              Every idea you have sounds good on paper but would only in reality serve to entrench corruption and ruling elites further.

              The government should NEVER be in the business of health care of any kind. It is insane that everyone says abortion should be a private decision for the woman only but on the other hand what happens to your own organs OR the food you can put in your body IS a job for government... that is pure political dogshit right there. If you really wanted to fix healthcare, you would instead completely outlaw insurance completely. People literally sitting around cooking up rules on how much people should be paid to save your life, but only using these tools, is insane. We have the already corrupt AMA that could serve in this roll, we don't need a phat cat rich bitch to work in league with a like of the next Obama or Bush!

              The founding principal of the USA is Liberty. The moment you think it is okay to step on liberty to push your own special brand of fucked up politics, be it conservative (blue laws) or liberal (health care)... you deserve a bullet, or at the very least lost the right to even vote or participate in government discussion where only people whom have learned to act like Adults should be allowed.

              People & businesses have to be allowed to destroy themselves, and a Free Market which we absolutely do not have these days, along with very strong anti-monopoly laws would serve us best. Our current economy is no longer capitalistic... its more of an oligarchy now which is what capitalism becomes without strong anti-monopoly laws.

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              • icon
                Richard (profile), 21 Dec 2015 @ 3:04am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Farewll, freedom. We hardly knew ye

                The government should NEVER be in the business of health care of any kind. ... If you really wanted to fix healthcare, you would instead completely outlaw insurance completely.

                You just condemmned everyone except the 0.1% to early death with those two statements. Modern healthcare is not affordable by ordinary people at the stages of their lives where they need it most. (Infancy and old age). Some kind of insurance scheme is inevitable and the government is best placed to provide it universally.

                BY the way do you REALLY mean that governemnt is not involved in ANY healthcare - including wounded soldiers on the battlefield?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2015 @ 6:55am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Farewll, freedom. We hardly knew ye

                  You do understand that governments involvement with healthcare and how healthcare insurance got started is what caused all of this right?

                  The history is there go read up on it. It's simply the law of greed. I will give you a quick example of things.

                  Dr: That will be $50.
                  Patient: I have insurance.
                  Dr: Oh, then that will be $500.
                  Insurance: Whoa, wait WTF? Sorry Patient we cannot pay for that!
                  Dr: Your insurance didn't cover shit, you owe me $500!

                  Any based on the current VA complaints maybe you should consider that the government should not be handling healthcare for solders either because there are a lot of veterans being fucked over by the system which is not even a secret right now, but no one seems to even fucking care!

                  Getting rid of insurance will be painful for a bit this is true, but would result in bringing the cost of healthcare down. I currently have health insurance and I also visited the ER, they said I was not covered for shit! Tell me what good this is? It's a fucking game and a lot of people have become blind to how to fix it. We are in a boat with a lot of holes and we just keep adding the holes!

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        • icon
          crade (profile), 19 Dec 2015 @ 5:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: Farewll, freedom. We hardly knew ye

          The best totalitarian states are the ones where the people are deceived into thinking they select their govt. They are much easier to control that way. Control the information, it's a much more efficient way to oppress than direct force.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 9:31am

      "What of the next generation? Will that grow up to believe that this is just how things are, should be and always have been? Will they grow up to believe that this is the best possible thing that could happen?"

      Yes they will. Most kids these days aren't even aware of a world outside their iPads; Easy made serfs.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 10:55am

        Re:

        Am I seriously the only person on the planet who'se knowlede of the world outside has grown since the advent of the internet?

        Hell it grew even further when I got access to a smartphone that gives me internet while I explore the world outside.

        As a kid I was always stuck inside librarys or my room to get access to even less knowledge.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2015 @ 4:07am

      Re: Farewll, freedom. We hardly knew ye

      What of the next generation? Will that grow up to believe that this is just how things are

      I hate to tell you this but it is your generation raising a fuss on college campuses to get rid of or curtail the 1st amendment. So they don't seem to care about rights and freedom.

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  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 8:07pm

    Ah! The Good-Ol' Days...

    "I remember when you could get free porn on the internet!"

    "Yeah, right, grandpa! Pull the other one."

    Is this to be the legacy we leave our children? Forcing them to buy porn in stores, wearing sunglasses and funny hats so that no one recognizes them? It's an OUTRAGE, I tell you!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 11:18pm

      Re: Ah! The Good-Ol' Days...

      Use a VPN to get the porn filters, problem solved

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 9:02pm

      Re: Ah! The Good-Ol' Days...

      The clause only relates to the funding in the bill, i.e. only to government-funded computer networks. Civilian porn access is still a form of free speech. Though I'd love to see Scalia have to confirm that in a Supreme Court case.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 8:23pm

    Why isn't the default behavior to just vote 'no' on any bill that we cannot fully read and understand before voting on?

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    • icon
      Toestubber (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 8:29pm

      Re:

      That's the 6.6 trillion dollar question.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 8:37pm

      Re:

      They already do close to nothing useful, if they actually had to read and understand what they were voting on before they voted nothing at all would get done.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 18 Dec 2015 @ 9:46pm

      Re:

      It's because a full understanding of every single word in the bill by everyone in Congress, would have changed nothing. All the strategy and maneuvering came BEFORE the vote.

      When the Zadroga Act to cover health care costs for 9/11 first responders needed to be reauthorized two months ago, but GOP leaders largely ignored it and it expired. It was then supposed to be included in a transportation bill, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stripped the Zadroga provisions from the larger package.

      With Jon Stewart again rallying public support for it, it went into the Omnibus bill. But that was likely the plan all along:

      No matter how awful the other provisions of the Omnibus spending bill, no matter how well they understand them, Democrats don't dare vote against it. Obama dare not refuse to sign it. Because otherwise the big story - replacing BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!!! - would be how Obama and the Democrats voted against Zadroga and cut off medical care to 9/11 first responders.

      That's what Omnibus and Defence Authorization bills are for. Obama won't sign a bill allowing indefinite military detention of Americans without trial? Congress makes it part of 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which HAD to be passed.

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      • icon
        Seegras (profile), 19 Dec 2015 @ 4:31am

        Re: Re:

        I'm always wondering. Isn't there some law such as "Sachzusammenhang" (the law must only pertain to a certain matter) when making laws?

        Because here in most European countries (apparently not the EU), it's usually mandatory that a law only pertains to a certain matter. You can't put a gun control law into an act aimed at guaranteeing pensions.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 5:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh, how we wish that were a thing...

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

        • icon
          Dan (profile), 19 Dec 2015 @ 5:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Many states have a "single-subject rule", which requires that any legislation relate only to one subject. In some states, it is interpreted more strictly than in others. There is no such provision at the federal level, though I think there should be.

          The other problem here is that so many "requirements" are implemented by way of funding. The nationwide speed limit of 55 MPH (since adjusted) was implemented by way of funding--Congress knew it didn't have the authority to directly impose a speed limit, but it could (and did) require the states to impose one in order to get their highway funding from the federal government. Congress may not have the authority to keep the President from closing Gitmo, but they can make sure he has no money to do so. And so on. So even if there were a single-subject rule at the federal level, a lot of the stuff that goes in these omnibus acts might still be valid.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 6:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It is rather simple. You say the law does A, when in reality it does B.

          Most judges and courts it seems will trust the government on their word that the law actually says A.

          There are a few that stand up to illegal prosecutions but very few.

          What the law itself says matters little. It only matters what those in charge say it says.

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      • identicon
        Rekrul, 19 Dec 2015 @ 2:52pm

        Re: Re:

        That's what Omnibus and Defence Authorization bills are for. Obama won't sign a bill allowing indefinite military detention of Americans without trial? Congress makes it part of 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which HAD to be passed.

        If Obama was against indefinite detention, why did he ask for the removal of amendments that would have prevented the law from being used against American citizens? When a federal court ruled that indefinite detention was unconstitutional, why did the Obama administration appeal the ruling within 24 hours? Why are there videos of Obama defending indefinite detention?

        Keep kidding yourself that Obama cares about the Constitution, the evidence plainly says otherwise.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 5:28pm

        Re: Re:

        So the gatekeepers (whoever they are) of these omnibus bills decide what goes in them, subject to being persuaded, told, coerced, blackmailed or bribed, and this last-minute rush is all carefully designed?

        Presumably it wasn't designed this way originally (the founders of the US were mostly decent and honourable). When did the rot set in?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 5:26am

      Re:

      Amen to that. Unfortunately, the actual default is to just vote however your party bosses tell you to vote. Mindless, self-serving minions, all. And we have no one to blame or thank but ourselves.

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    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 19 Dec 2015 @ 9:27am

      Re:

      Probably because every one of them has stuck something in that bill they want to get passed. They don't care about the rest of it - they just want to make sure their donor's wishes to become law so they can get money for their next campaign. They aren't politicians. They're professional fundraisers.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 19 Dec 2015 @ 10:08am

        Re: Re:

        They aren't politicians. They're professional fundraisers.

        You repeated yourself there. These days there's no notable difference between the two.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 12:38pm

      Re:

      Why isn't the default behavior to just vote 'no' on any bill that we cannot fully read and understand before voting on?


      Because "we" is congress, and they go higher in the congressional pecking order based on volume of bills they help create/pass. The more places they sign their name, the better they look, the cushier roles they get, and the more funding they get.

      Why would they have any incentive to vote "no"?

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  • identicon
    Glenn, 18 Dec 2015 @ 8:35pm

    So, basically, Congress can't get enough porn? ...that seems to be what Congress thinks about more than anything else? Unfortunately, we can't put the blame for Congress' "porn addiction" where it belongs--decadent and perverted puritan values (because the truth ain't allowed in Congress).

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 8:41pm

    ...

    I am so... so... SO sick and tired of pornography being the bane of all existance, while murder, violence, abuse, weapon use, alcoholism and more are considered perfectly fine and valid inclusions in media.

    I'm not even talking about in pg-13 media... I mean period. Seriously. The sharing of a wonderful, blissful moment between two consenting adults is something that must be purged from all viewing publics, but go ahead and look up videos of mass murders and torture.

    I do NOT want to live in a country where the numerous SAW movies are perfectly fine, so long as we don't have to see a penis or vagina.

    I can't even get outraged about the anti-privacy provisions, because at least that makes a degree of sense to me. I don't agree with it, I think it's horrible, but I understand their reasoning and logic.

    Porn? Makes no sense to me. Even if... EVEN IF we make the 'for the kids' argument... why is two people engaging in an activity most kids will eventually some day strive to perform themselves so horrible when compared to things no right-minded person should ever even consider doing in reality without a lifetime in jail get a free pass?!

    Disclaimer : I'm not against violent movies and such. I am just SO SICK of this anti-porn mentality!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 9:18am

      You and me both!! I would rather look at porn ANY DAY over violent gorey crap. Yes, even weird shit like Romanian midget BSDM.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      I am so... so... SO sick and tired of pornography being the bane of all existance, while murder, violence, abuse, weapon use, alcoholism and more are considered perfectly fine and valid inclusions in media.

      Too many religious inspired people in politics, whose believe it is their duty to tell other people how to live their lives. Its not about what is reported, but rather about telling people how to live their lives, and making porn and alcohol illegal aid them in achieving that.
      Reported crimes just give them an excuse to gain more power to control society.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 11:11am

        Re: Re:

        I don't even believe it is religious anymore! I understand it used to be, but utter fear and paranoia about a persons own body and their right to it seems to have grown out of control from a religious thing, to a cultural thing.

        I've seen otherwise secular individuals jump on the anti-sexuality bandwagon for reasons as stupid as 'Pornography is a gateway to socially unacceptable behavior and violent deviancy'. In short, porn leads to more porn.

        It is unhealthy and dangerous.

        Teenagers being put on sex offender lists as pedophiles for being in love before they are 18, people mocked and ridiculed because their sexuality isn't 'normal' and in line with pumping out babies every year, I even personally witnessed a couple harassed by police because the guy's 25 year old girlfriend 'looked to young', which according to her happened often enough to have cost her relationships in the past.

        This isn't even getting in to how retarded the idea of marriage has become. I don't mean abstinence before marriage, I just mean marriage. The idea of monogamy and marriage leads to stupid pressure to never find any person but the person you are with attractive, and to stay in broken homes long after you realise the spark is gone.

        Try eating nothing but tuna sandwhiches every day (no pun intended), and see if you still like them in a year and a half. Some people will, I'm sure, but I bet most of you will be sick enough to eat dirt just for a change.

        Government thinks it is the new religion, not content to dictate what we need for a functional society but rather intent on going above and beyond to define individual normalacy.

        This country is horribly repressed, dangerously pent up, fed violent imagery their whole lives, denied any reasonable outlet, downtrodden in impovershied consumerism, and people wonder why American's are so violent and aggressive! I feel for my fellow countrymen, assholes they may be.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2015 @ 9:06am

      Re:

      I have to agree with you. Societies where children are ashamed of nudity are societies that teach children that nudity is shameful. Being shocked by genitalia is entirely a socially engineered phenomenon that most of us are victims of.

      If it's not obvious, I'm not advocating flashing children.

      I'm just saying nudity is a problem only where PEOPLE have made it a problem. The universe has no opinion on the matter / shame about nudity is morally relative.

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  • identicon
    Whoever, 18 Dec 2015 @ 9:09pm

    Bills of attainder

    starting with a ban on giving any funding to ACORN, the organization that was the target of scorn from Republicans a few years back.

    Isn't such a provision unconstitutional?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2015 @ 9:15pm

    With friends like these we don't need any enemies.

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

  • identicon
    Simon is the one true mesima, 18 Dec 2015 @ 9:40pm

    Obama speaks truth...

    For people that tell only lies, murder, theft and sociopathy.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 12:03am

    it is a bill that will allow those who wrote it to do whatever they want it to do as few will bother to actually read it to see if it doesn't allow for such things.

    The bill's a McGuffin.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 4:09am

    Mike, see section 3 of the bill:

    "Except as expressly provided otherwise, any reference to “this Act” contained in any division of this Act shall be treated as referring only to the provisions of that division."

    The porn provision is only listed once in each of divisions B, F, H, and J, meaning it will only apply to the appropriations in each of those divisions. So the provisions aren't redundant, but they do target some agencies and not others.

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  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 19 Dec 2015 @ 5:15am

    Truth

    It is not insurrection when the laws of the land states "We The People." Not "We the government." People need to remember that we are in control of our land.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 9:27am

      The only thing people remember is the jiggle of Honey Boo Boo's ass on the TV as she waddled her way to Walmart sucking 'sketti' sauce from her elbows as she and her fat mama buy a tub's worth of mayo so they can take a bath in it.

      Who needs freedom when you've got entertainment like that?

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    • identicon
      Rekrul, 19 Dec 2015 @ 2:57pm

      Re: Truth

      It is not insurrection when the laws of the land states "We The People." Not "We the government." People need to remember that we are in control of our land.

      To paraphrase a quote from Army of Darkness;

      We're in control of exactly two things; Jack and shit, and Jack left town.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 6:34am

    You know , I seriously thought with the Snowden thing the killing of CISPA , we were making some serious headway , but fuck everytime the people move an inch those fucking politicians destroy it, land of the free my ass .. we are but mere slaves ..

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  • identicon
    tony in san diego, 19 Dec 2015 @ 6:36am

    So all the terrorists have to do is put their plans on TINDR or GRINDR, and the government will never see it!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 11:26am

    porn filter or encryption ban?

    the porn filter seams harmless- but consider this...
    1. accurate/effective filtering requires dpi.
    2. encryption defeats dpi.

    Is this "porn filter" really ban porn, or encryption?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 2:06pm

    US Government to the people: You can't have your inherent rights OR your porn!!! :)
    Also please stand still until one of our officers can shoot you... I MEAN, assist you :) :) :)

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

  • identicon
    DigDug, 19 Dec 2015 @ 3:53pm

    Contact your congress-critters

    I've already told mine that he was a rube and that he didn't have a fucking clue as to what he just voted for.

    His ignorant e-mail stating how it was a vote to promote freedom and privacy was a total joke.

    I referred him to the EFF to get what JWB would call "an edumacation" on what the fuck he really just voted for.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 5:41pm

    I'm utterly shocked that Congress ignored the FUD of Mike Masnick.

    Maybe it's because they already know that he doesn't give a shit about privacy (See: Google) and that he's only worried about his VPN being compromised.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 8:48pm

    I am going home. As long as no one gets in my way there won't be any trouble.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2015 @ 8:50pm

    Review Time

    Since they don't have time to review 1000 pages per day it should be 1 day per 50 pages.

    2000 pages - 40 days

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

  • identicon
    Josh, 20 Dec 2015 @ 1:39am

    Vote counts are wrong

    These are the vote counts for cloture. The actual vote count was 74-21.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2015 @ 6:12am

    Sadly not as meaningless

    I think this sheds light on a deeper problem within the government. When I used to work as a civilian employee for the Navy, there were actually people who a. literally did no work and b. browse porn during work hours. It was pretty distressing when these people would get caught and you'd see that nothing happened to them. Makes you glad to show up everyday , do your job, resist watching your daily porn for 8 hours and see the person who cant will get the same (sometimes better!) pay/benefits as yo at the end of the week. Real motivating. I still don't understand why or how it can be so difficult to fire a government employee when they fuck up bad.

    This line goes to agencies that need to pay to maintain their networks. They must pay to install filters and have someone maintain the blocks so that some of their workers might actually get bored during the day without porn and do some fucking work! Wouldn't need this language --or to shell out more for a 'porn free' network if the untrustworthy people using the network were no longer allowed to...

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

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 20 Dec 2015 @ 9:43am

    The moral high ground, for bottom dwellers.

    Methinks the porn clause is simply the candy included for all the politicians involved. They all know that nothing is ever really going to be done about porn - as its the most popular single "topic" on earth - but they can always point to the anti-porn parts of every bad bill they sign when asked why on earth they did so.

    "For the children", is an awesome political response, that nearly always shuts up your opposition.

    Its in there five times because most of these assholes in office don't bother to read the whole thing and this way its probably near enough to the section they do read - they're own pet money-maker or freedom-killer clause - that they'll notice it.

    ---

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

  • icon
    Koby (profile), 20 Dec 2015 @ 11:30am

    The provision to block porn is likely in response to a number of stories like these which have been appearing in recent years:

    http://www.inquisitr.com/1392168/government-workers-caught-watching-porn-says-its-not-their-fa ult-they-were-bored/

    http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2015/03/02/cbs-exposes-porn-watc hing-government-employees-who-cant-be-fired

    Basically, some government workers are watching porn all day instead of doing their jobs, and amazingly their superiors are unable/unwilling to fire them. So someone who wrote the language of the spending bill has decided to introduce this anti-porn language as a mandate that either the government IT admins block porn, or else they don't get funding.

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

  • icon
    Kal Zekdor (profile), 20 Dec 2015 @ 5:41pm

    Terrifying.

    This is why Omnibus bills are frakking terrifying. Anything that can get shoved into that monstrosity will effectively become law without any meaningful debate, and almost zero chance of being voted down.

    Congress desperately needs to make some procedural changes to the legislative process. One of the most badly needed changes is to do separate votes for each attachment to a bill. That way, even if someone attaches a rider to a "must-pass" bill, the bill itself can still pass even while the rider is voted into oblivion.

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

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 20 Dec 2015 @ 9:58pm

    Damn, it's funny to read

    It's funny as hell to read this story in no small part because it seems to indicate a lack of understanding on how such a bill would have been drafted.

    Each of the parts was likely written by different people, by a different committee, or by a different individual. In order to make it all work out, there is exclusionary language that limits the application of terms in a section to that section. That is some sharp eye lawyer doesn't take terms from one section and try to apply it to another to get legal advantage.

    The Republican party in general tends to throw in morals clauses every chance they get. To meet legal challenges, they are careful to use the exact same text each time they toss that clause in. So in 4 sections of this bill they got to toss in their usual morals clause, nothing more.

    There really is nothing unusual about it. Taken out of context ("hey, dem idjuts sed the same thing 4 times mama!") it can seem funny, but once you understand context and how the law is written, it's not only not funny, it's reasonable.

    It's why most newbie politicians full of great aspirations end up stopped cold once elected: They come to realize how a law is written, the time required to do it, and how each and every phrase and paragraph has to be very careful crafted. It's nowhere near as easy as it appears on a blog... :)

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

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 21 Dec 2015 @ 3:08am

    What it really means

    "None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to maintain or establish a computer network unless such network blocks the viewing, downloading, and exchanging of pornography."

    Actually means:

    "None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to maintain or establish a computer network ."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2015 @ 10:14am

    "Let me sign this really fast, I wanna get out of here and see Star Wars."

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


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