January 19th, 2012

Captain America

The next steps to fighting PIPA and SOPA: Show them that they can't stop the signal

Just last week, there were only five U.S. Senators publicly opposing the Protect IP Act.

In the wake of the widespread Internet blackout day on Wednesday, Jan. 18, there are now 36.

It would take only 41 "no" votes to permanently stall PIPA and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the Senate.

But we can't get complacent, because the multinational media corporations that are throwing their weight behind PIPA and SOPA will not stop pushing for these bills to pass, and the Senate is expected to vote on PIPA on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Members of Congress know PIPA and SOPA are unpopular, but they don't necessarily understand why, so they could be duped by superficial changes to those bills, which the forces behind PIPA and SOPA are sure to make to gain the votes to pass those bills.

Here's what you can do, in the real world, to fight back against the forces that would end the freedom of the Internet:

1. Call your Senators' offices every day, from now through the day of the PIPA vote on Tuesday, Jan. 24, until you know they'll vote "no" on cloture. If your site participated in the Internet blackout day, consider running a "Call the Senate" link during those days as well.

2. Visit your Senators' district offices (use Google or your local phonebook to find the addresses) to tell them that you oppose PIPA and urge them to vote "no" on cloture. Stopping by to talk to them in person makes the online protests more tangible and credible to them.

You can check the Protect IP Act Senate whip count for continuous updates on everyone in the Senate who supports or opposes PIPA, as well as those who are still undeclared or have yet to be contacted. Phone numbers are listed for all the Senators' district and D.C. offices, next to direct links to their Congressional email addresses, along with tips on how to talk and write to them persuasively.



Dangerous topic?

So the othernight I was discussed non-violence. I was surprised when there was some disagreement in the group about what NVDA (non-violent direct action) was and was not.

The key question was that of property damage. Does destroying property count as violence or must violence be perpetrated against a person?

So we could all agree that if group X wanted to engage in NVDA against wal-mart, there are many ways they could do it. Picket, protest, boycott are easy example.
Clearly that'd be OK and it'd be NVDA. If they went after the Walton family (or just each stores local manager) with axes, that'd be violent, and NOT okay.

But would destroying their property, say, by slashing the tires on all their trucks, would that be VIOLENT or not?

Personally I feel that such property damage is violent. Be it throwing blood on a fur coat (which also affects the person) or destroying the factory of an evil company (assume the factory is empty) these actions are violent, albeit violence for a good end. That doesn't justify it, but I'm not asking here if you think it's good or bad, just trying to get input from others about what they think of as violent and what they see as non-violent.

Let us talk about the political position: Sanctity of Marriage

What gets me with these humps in the GOP is the sheer hypocrisy of their position on issues such as "The Sanctity of Marriage"

Newt Gingrich lacks the moral character to serve as President, his second ex-wife Marianne told ABC News, saying his campaign positions on the sanctity of marriage and the importance of family values do not square with what she saw during their 18 years of marriage.

In her first television interview since the 1999 divorce, to be broadcast tonight on Nightline, Marianne Gingrich, a self-described conservative Republican, said she is coming forward now so voters can know what she knows about Gingrich.

In her most provocative comments, the ex-Mrs. Gingrich said Newt sought an "open marriage" arrangement so he could have a mistress and a wife.

So what's the deal here? Gay's can't marry each other because there is a sanctity issue? And Newt wants his vag, and eat it too?

How can anyone call themselves a member of the GOP, with an ongoing lack of effective leaders within the cabal? Which GOP nominee best fit your 'best candidate' scenario?

Speaking of....Even Perry can't exit a race without stepping in it.

  • ddstory

Super-technology, super-useless

Behold Costa Concordia, the new Titanic*. The prow planted deep underwater, right deck submerged... The sight is eerie, almost surreal. The details about the reasons for this disaster remain mostly a mystery still. And the questions are more than the answers. Are such floating castles really as safe as they appear to be? This is a real concern among people now.

This tragedy can't help but call back memories of the disastrous sinking of Titanic** from a century ago. Then the hull of the presumably unsinkable ship was struck by an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Now Concordia was sunken by the rocks near the Italian island of Giglio***. The steel coat of the ship was cracked open and she sank within minutes. In both cases the criticism primarily fell on the captains, whose careless attitude lead to the downfall of two juggernauts, both then and now****. But still the modern level of technology is supposed to be much higher than it was a century ago, no? And still, the catastrophe couldn't be prevented.

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The Free Market vs. Subsidies

This started out as sort of a thought dump in my journal, but a fetching young lass convinced me to post it here as well. Pardon any lack of cohesion.

I've been thinking about the free market and how that could work (or not) in the United States in a global economy. First, I should disclose that I'm by no means an expert in economics. Second, let's define some terms. A free market is defined as:
An economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses.
This is the foundation of the Austrian school of economics pushed by libertarians and some conservative-types. The global economy can be defined as:
The international spread of capitalism, especially in recent decades, across national boundaries and with minimal restrictions by governments.

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