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Two Senators Call For ACTA Transparency

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the we-got-more-senators-than-that dept.

Government 214

angry tapir writes "Two US senators have asked President Barack Obama's administration to allow the public to review and comment on a controversial international copyright treaty being negotiated largely in secret. The public has a right to know what's being negotiated in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Senators Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, and Bernard Sanders, a Vermont Independent, argue in the letter."

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214 comments

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In secret?! (2)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30221932)

It sucks. It can't be good if they have negotiate "largely" in secret.

There's my comment.

Re:In secret?! (0, Flamebait)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30221952)

There's a wide gulf of difference between "transparency" and "nothing to see here, move along."

Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222042)

During the election, about 95% of African-Americans voted for Barack Hussein Obama due solely to the color of his skin. See the exit-polling data [cnn.com] by CNN.

Note the voting pattern of Hispanics, Asian-Americans, etc. These non-Black minorities serve as a measurement of African-American racism against Whites (and other non-Black folks). Neither Barack Hussein Obama nor John McCain is Hispanic or Asian. So, Hispanics and Asian-Americans used only non-racial criteria in selecting a candidate and, hence, serve as the reference by which we detect a racist voting pattern. Only about 65% of Hispanics and Asian-Americans supported Obama. In other words, a maximum of 65% support by any ethnic or racial group for either McCain or Obama is not racist and, hence, is acceptable. (A maximum of 65% for McCain is okay. So, European-American support at 55% for McCain is well below this threshold and, hence, is not racist.)

If African-Americans were not racist, then at most 65% of them would have supported Obama. At that level of support, McCain would have won the presidential race.

At this point, African-American supremacists (and apologists) claim that African-Americans voted for Obama because he (1) is a member of the Democratic party and (2) supports its ideals. That claim is an outright lie. Look at the exit-polling data [cnn.com] for the Democratic primaries. Consider the case of North Carolina. Again, about 95% of African-Americans voted for him and against Hillary Clinton. Both Clinton and Obama are Democrats, and their official political positions on the campaign trail were nearly identical. Yet, 95% of African-Americans voted for Obama and against Hillary Clinton. Why? African-Americans supported Obama due solely to the color of his skin.

Here is the bottom line. Barack Hussein Obama does not represent mainstream America. He won the election due to the racist voting pattern exhibited by African-Americans.

African-Americans have established that expressing "racial pride" by voting on the basis of skin color is 100% acceptable. Neither the "Wall Street Journal" nor the "New York Times" complained about this racist behavior. Therefore, in future elections, please feel free to express your racial pride by voting on the basis of skin color. Feel free to vote for the non-Black candidates and against the Black candidates if you are not African-American. You need not defend your actions in any way. Voting on the basis of skin color is quite acceptable by today's moral standard.

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (0, Offtopic)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222074)

Just in case you were wondering Obama isn't the only 2008 candidate with a middle name, McCain's happens to be Sidney.

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222560)

You mean he's secretly Australian?

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222664)

No, it would make him secretly Australia.

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222220)

Therefore, in future elections, please feel free to express your racial pride by voting on the basis of skin color.

Because the Rethuglicans haven't relied on that for poor white votes for the last 40 years or anything. FFS, they torpedoed McCain's 2000 candidacy by implying that he might have a *gasp* BLACK CHILD.

Obvious troll is obvious.

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (-1, Offtopic)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222438)

Tell me more about the black candidates between 1968-2008.

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222450)

The real question is whether dead voters are racist...

Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222592)

During the election, about 95% of African-Americans voted for Barack Hussein Obama due solely to the color of his skin. See the exit-polling data [cnn.com] by CNN.

Note the voting pattern of Hispanics, Asian-Americans, etc. These non-Black minorities serve as a measurement of African-American racism against Whites (and other non-Black folks). Neither Barack Hussein Obama nor John McCain is Hispanic or Asian. So, Hispanics and Asian-Americans used only non-racial criteria in selecting a candidate and, hence, serve as the reference by which we detect a racist voting pattern. Only about 65% of Hispanics and Asian-Americans supported Obama. In other words, a maximum of 65% support by any ethnic or racial group for either McCain or Obama is not racist and, hence, is acceptable. (A maximum of 65% for McCain is okay. So, European-American support at 55% for McCain is well below this threshold and, hence, is not racist.)

If African-Americans were not racist, then at most 65% of them would have supported Obama. At that level of support, McCain would have won the presidential race.

At this point, African-American supremacists (and apologists) claim that African-Americans voted for Obama because he (1) is a member of the Democratic party and (2) supports its ideals. That claim is an outright lie. Look at the exit-polling data [cnn.com] for the Democratic primaries. Consider the case of North Carolina. Again, about 95% of African-Americans voted for him and against Hillary Clinton. Both Clinton and Obama are Democrats, and their official political positions on the campaign trail were nearly identical. Yet, 95% of African-Americans voted for Obama and against Hillary Clinton. Why? African-Americans supported Obama due solely to the color of his skin.

Here is the bottom line. Barack Hussein Obama does not represent mainstream America. He won the election due to the racist voting pattern exhibited by African-Americans.

African-Americans have established that expressing "racial pride" by voting on the basis of skin color is 100% acceptable. Neither the "Wall Street Journal" nor the "New York Times" complained about this racist behavior. Therefore, in future elections, please feel free to express your racial pride by voting on the basis of skin color. Feel free to vote for the non-Black candidates and against the Black candidates if you are not African-American. You need not defend your actions in any way. Voting on the basis of skin color is quite acceptable by today's moral standard.

Re:In secret?! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222828)

There was a TechDirt article on ACTA a few days ago. According to the industries who are supporting this:
"All treaties are negotiated like this, secrecy is normal"

Re:In secret?! (2, Interesting)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223114)

Yeah, but if they do it in secret then ratify it, it won't really be law. Turns out the government can't enact domestic laws simply by signing treaties - or if they try they won't necessarily stand up in court.

The fact that ACTA is likely to contain punitive measures without a proper hearing will get up most judges noses. I would think it's probably unconstitutional and may even be an act of treason attempting to put the interests and wishes of a corporation or group of corporations above Crown and law. Run the bastards through if they try.

Most judges don't like it when an elected government tries to go beyond their powers - especially when they remove due process and oversight by the judiciary.

Re:In secret?! (2, Insightful)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223300)

Actually, they can. Military treaties have to be approved by the Senate, but if the authority of the president permits him to pass an executive order governing the contents of the treaty, only he needs to sign it. It's a process called Fast Tracking and this wouldn't be the first one to be approved that way.

Re:In secret?! (2, Interesting)

mweather (1089505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223312)

Yeah, but if they do it in secret then ratify it, it won't really be law. Turns out the government can't enact domestic laws simply by signing treaties - or if they try they won't necessarily stand up in court.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

Re:In secret?! (2, Informative)

Reed Solomon (897367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223482)

you mean like all of those RIAA judges Obama's been appointing to the supreme court?

President Obama's speech regarding ACTA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30221936)

Members of Slashdot, and the American people:

When I spoke here last winter, this nation was facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. We were losing an average of 700,000 jobs per month. Credit was frozen. And our financial system was on the verge of collapse.

As any American who is still looking for work or a way to pay their bills will tell you, we are by no means out of the woods. A full and vibrant recovery is many months away. And I will not let up until those Americans who seek jobs can find them; until those businesses that seek capital and credit can thrive; until all responsible homeowners can stay in their homes. That is our ultimate goal. But thanks to the bold and decisive action we are taking with ACTA, I can stand here with confidence and say that we will pull this economy back from the brink.

I want to thank the lobbyists of the RIAA, MPAA, ASCAP, and Microsoft corporation for their efforts gettin' my black ass elected, yo. I also want to thank the American people for their patience and resolve putting up with the aforementioned agencies shit to funnel their dollars into my campaign in this difficult time for our nation.

But we did not come here just to clean up pirates. We came to build a future. So tonight, I return to speak to all of you about an issue that is central to that future - and that is the issue of ACTA.

I am not the first President to take up this cause. It has now been nearly a century since Theodore Roosevelt first called for trustbusting, and oh, what a fool he was. And ever since, nearly every President and Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, has rightfully invested in national security and American global dominance by investing in our entertainment industries. The ACTA was first introduced by entertainment industry lobbyist Nutty McSchitt in 2001 as a response to 9/11. Eight years later, he continues to introduce that same bill at the beginning of each session.

Our collective failure to meet this challenge - year after year, decade after decade - has led us to a breaking point. Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the entertainment industry who live every day under the threat of unscrupulous neckbeards driving them towards bankruptcy. These are not primarily people on welfare. These are middle-class kids who live in their fathers' basements and spend all day masturbating to 4chan. Many will never get a job. Many other Americans who are willing and able to pay are still stealing due to previous experience copying their friends' tapes.

We are the only advanced democracy on Earth - the only wealthy nation - that allows such hardships for the facilitators of its largest and most lucrative exports. There are now more than thirty million American songs which have been stolen from illegal "Bit-torrent" sites. In just a two year period, one in every three Americans steals music and movies at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans listen to stolen music. In other words, anyone you know could be a thief.

But the problem that plagues the entertainment industry is not just a problem of the corporations. Those who listen to stolen music will tend to have less security and stability than they do today. More and more Americans worry that if people keep stealing music, then the corporate CEOs will lose their jobs, or change their jobs, and they'll lose their thirty-million dollar bonuses too. More and more Americans steal their music, only to discover that their computer crashes and is rendered inoperable due to viruses. It happens every day.

One woman from Minnesota lost everything in the middle of court because her lawyer found that she hadn't reported two hundred thousand dollars worth of stolen music sitting on her computer. The lawyer tried to delay the judgement, and he later died in his sleep due to the stress. A printer from Washington was found to be illegally downloading music and movies, just because university students think that they can get away with anything. By the time the printer was reinstated, her breast cancer more than doubled in size. That is heart-breaking, it is wrong, and shit like that shouldn't happen in the United States of America.

-- Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States of America

Christmas gift is here... (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:Christmas gift is here... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222496)

Remember to keep your bogus enquiries going through to these twats' online customer support people. Be subtle though, as they are ignoring people based on IP address.

ROFLCOPTER (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30221978)

Why legislate in the open when you can negotiate secret treaties in the dark?

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

It doesn't matter if this treaty is filled with rainbows and puppies. It needs to be killed as a matter of principle. Free people and free nations do not make law in the dark.

Re:ROFLCOPTER (1)

jerep (794296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222500)

I don't think we ever were free in that respect to begin with :)

Re:ROFLCOPTER (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222508)

Back before memory was cheap and RAM speeds were fast, we couldn't use a full 32 bits to represent a pixel on the screen. If you did that, even at VGA resolution, you'd end up with approximately 1.2MB of memory reserved just to render to the screen. Double that if you want to have an off-screen buffer to prepare the next frame. On systems that had 8MB of RAM in total you can probably sympathize with the graphics guys when they had to skimp on bpp.

Even until very recently, many image formats only used 24bpp. Seeing as there's no real need to go above and beyond 8 bits per color, you can save a full fourth of the total memory just cutting out the unnecessary byte. Of course, you lose something very important: the Alpha channel. Suddenly, the great cost savings you get with that extra saved byte mean little since your image now can't blend nicely with anything else.

Our government is a 2bpp system in a 32bpp world.

Re:ROFLCOPTER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30223296)

So all that just to say the US government has 4 shades of grey (well 3 shades of grey plus "white") like the original Gameboy?

Re:ROFLCOPTER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30223366)

That's quite a statement, coming from BadAnalogyGuy and all.

what what the name of that Who song? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30221988)

meet the new boss same as the old boss.. Oh, excuse me, i didn't mean to offend any of the myopic zombies that put this guy in office ) And no, it this were an actual troll, i would be making excuses for why his consistent secrecy is tolerable.

Re:what what the name of that Who song? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222154)

The way US politics and campaign finance are run, there is no way to make a credible run for office unless you are "same as the old boss."

If you don't like that fact, find a way to change it. But don't complain that a system designed to perpetuate itself continues to look the same.

Re:what what the name of that Who song? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222236)

the only possible way to control the system is to scale it to a manageable level. The larger the institution of government becomes, the less responsive, responsible, and sensible it becomes.. revolution can't be too far down the road at this rate

Re:what what the name of that Who song? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30223136)

If you don't like that fact, find a way to change it.

I tried, but apparently you can only vote multiple times if your a democrat.. who knew?!

Re:what what the name of that Who song? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222680)

I have to say the rating of flamebait on the parent post simply exemplifies the point that was being made. It would seems that the ostrich maybe a more appropriate party icon for the far left democrats. i assume this will also be labeled flamebait or troll.. best just to ignore opposition than to confront it with a viable argument.

Most insightful department ever (5, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222006)

"We got more senators than that"

Indeed. It's a shame that only 2% of the senate is willing to stand up against this gross violation of transparency and democratic principles. Good luck to Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown and anyone else who might join them.

Re:Most insightful department ever (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222048)

Indeed. It's a shame that only 2% of the senate is willing to stand up against this gross violation of transparency and democratic principles.

That really surprises you? Our Congress is anything but transparent. Bills aren't drafted in public and debated on the floor -- they are written behind closed doors by the Congressional leadership and only brought to the floor for some grandstanding in front of the C-SPAN cameras before the vote (whose outcome is already pre-determined) is taken. It's even worse in the House than the Senate. In the House you can't do ANYTHING without the approval of the leadership. We are supposed to have a House of Representatives but it's really a House of whatever [insert current speaker here] wants to allow to the floor.

Our Government stopped being about transparency and democratic principles a long time ago.

Re:Most insightful department ever (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222380)

Indeed. It's a shame that only 2% of the senate is willing to stand up against this gross violation of transparency and democratic principles.

That really surprises you? Our Congress is anything but transparent. Bills aren't drafted in public and debated on the floor -- they are written behind closed doors by the Congressional leadership and only brought to the floor for some grandstanding in front of the C-SPAN cameras before the vote (whose outcome is already pre-determined) is taken. It's even worse in the House than the Senate. In the House you can't do ANYTHING without the approval of the leadership. We are supposed to have a House of Representatives but it's really a House of whatever [insert current speaker here] wants to allow to the floor.

Our Government stopped being about transparency and democratic principles a long time ago.

It could be worse. In Canada, our members in the House of Commons have to vote with their party or be removed from it (so votes on bills really are predetermined here). And the senate has rubber stamped every bill through for years.

Re:Most insightful department ever (2, Interesting)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222520)

At least they have to vote with the party line! The Democrats here have every advantage at the moment and still can't accomplish anything, ostensibly for lack of party discipline.

Re:Most insightful department ever (1)

magical liopleurodon (1213826) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222692)

given what they want to do, that's a good thing.

Re:Most insightful department ever (2, Interesting)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222706)

The idea is that we vote on platforms not local dudes. And hopefully what comes out is better than all the double dealing and bribery that occurs if they are completely unfettered.

Also [citation needed] I'm pretty sure there is no such rule, simply that politicians tend to vote with their party line. I know that wayyy back in the day the Whip could dish out minor punishments if people didn't vote with party lines but that's about it. I don't think this is the case anymore, people just get punished if they skip too much and politics can't get done.

BTW, the whip does NOT actually whip anyone, though we can dream.

Re:Most insightful department ever (2, Insightful)

g-lock82 (993180) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223058)

Same here in Australia. I used to hate it, until I realised that it prevented lobby groups from buying a sole representative to do their bidding. Now they've gotta buy the whole party.

Re:Most insightful department ever (3, Insightful)

laddiebuck (868690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222446)

It never was -- there aren't good old days. Transparency and openness only became possible with mass media, mass literacy and cheap papers a century to a century and a half ago, depending on how you look at it. Before then, you had to be a wealthy landowner just to [i]vote[/i] -- you think there was transparency and openness?

Ron Paul (0)

BitHive (578094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222478)

Nonsense and tosh! That doesn't sound like something the founding fathers would have done. What have your liberal history professors been telling you?

Re:Most insightful department ever (4, Informative)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223306)

It never was -- there aren't good old days. Transparency and openness only became possible with mass media, mass literacy and cheap papers a century to a century and a half ago, depending on how you look at it.

Indeed. The fascinating history of the Belgian 'colonisation' (read: enslavement) of the Congo, King Leopold's Ghost [wikipedia.org] , deals tangentially with a campaign in the run-up to the First World War to shed light on all the secret treaties that Britain had signed and which led it inevitably into war.

The campaigner was vilified in the press and mocked by government sources as a delusional paranoid. It was only in the years following the conflict that he was proven to have been substantially correct,

Believe it or not, the situation we have today is about as good as it's ever been. We do at least have some hope of actually exerting electoral pressure on our candidates, and governments do at some point have to bring information such as this into the open. Congrtulations to the two senators for their actions. Their efforts[*] should be supported, regardless of party affiliation.

---------------

[*] Their efforts, that is, not them. One of the great pitfalls of modern democracy is that we often confuse the person with the policy. Policies should be supported or opposed, not people.

Re:Most insightful department ever (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222494)

[insert current speaker here]

Are you are referring to the Madam of the House or the Pimp of the Senate?

We Have a House of Representatives (4, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222628)

We are supposed to have a House of Representatives but it's really a House of whatever [insert current speaker here] wants to allow to the floor.

And the house leadership is selected by elected members of the house, who are presumably representatives of their district, given that's how they get elected. Sounds representative to me. Probably was more so before the mid 90s when party loyalty and fundraising became a bigger criteria for leadership than seniority, so if you're complaining that party politics distorts the picture, I'd agree, but it's still essentially a function of who gets elected.

Our Government stopped being about transparency and democratic principles a long time ago.

To the extent that this is true, it's because this is what we (as a whole) really want. Not what we say we want. We might say we want information and transparency, but frankly, even most of the attentive people I know outside the legislature simply don't pay *careful* attention. They might have hobby horses and hot-button topics, but very few of us have the stomach for careful analysis.

We get the government we have because generally we prefer to focus on our own lives, and when we're not, we prefer entertainment and passionate expression of our general philosophies over thoughtful, nuanced, nuts-and-bolts policy discussion. And because most of us need to be *paid* to seriously research a position and then go down and talk to members of congress about it -- or talk to each other reasonably about it. No surprise the people who will pay others to do that are best represented.

If you're one of the few people who donates to organizations that lobby and do legal work, that takes the time to cite policy research instead of simply ranting when you write your reps and senators, that understands the opposition positions and research well enough to know which of their points are respectable and which are refutable, that might even know (and be known to) some of the congressional staff by name, then congratulations, you're one of the few what I'm saying doesn't apply to.

But for the rest of us, well, the government as it now stands is essentially a reflection of our real habits and values instead of our ideals.

Re:Most insightful department ever (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223070)

Bills aren't drafted in public and debated on the floor -- they are written behind closed doors by the Congressional leadership

Are you sure about that? It would surprise me if the situation was that much better in the US than in Europe, where bills are usually written by lobbyists or hired lawyers and often not even read by legistlators.

Re:Most insightful department ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30223118)

And that's why we need to force term limits. We need to keep the people from getting even bigger heads. If you don't know how long your rep has been in office, check out http://forcetermlimits.com/.

Re:Most insightful department ever (5, Interesting)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222108)

I wrote to Senators Durbin, and Burris. They both responded in form letter that they are all for whatever is being negotiated to stop "piracy". Apparently either they didn't read or don't care that what is really happening (from what has been leaked) is the end of Fair Use, and First Sale. Along with DRM with no way out.

Nice to know both my Senators have our interest at heart.

Not!

Re:Most insightful department ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222430)

The problem here is that Durbin is a corporate shill on the take and Burris is simply a moron looking for his next photo op. If you took both of them and converted their molecules to gas they'd be more useful than they are as Senators.

Re:Most insightful department ever (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222576)

Well, living in Illinois ...........

Re:Most insightful department ever (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222586)

The only time they pick up something heavy and disposable is when they get up and go home.

Mike Royko about Aldermen complaining about garbagemen pay scales.

Re:Most insightful department ever (2, Insightful)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222690)

The "way out" if ACTA makes it into US (or Australian in my case) law is to cripple the very economy that the people with their fingers in the ACTA pie are claiming to protect. Don't buy DRM encrusted shite. If the company openly supports ACTA, or is known to have had a hand in writing it, then don't buy their product at all. If they want to bleat about the loss of inflated potential earnings they consider their corporate birth-right then we should cause them some actual losses to teach a lesson through their shareholders. Publish details of every corporate ACTA author, every frivolous law suit, every three-strikes termination, every ludicrous over-reach of reasonable privilege (these are NOT rights, corporate entities and balance sheets are NOT people). They might claim there's no such thing as bad publicity: bollocks. Don't cede fair use (I think there would be a rich vein of parody to be had). Above all, educate the 'sheeple', they can't act on what they don't know (and almost certainly won't be presented to them by the vested interests in the 'media'). If a law is unjust then the people in a democracy have a right to have it changed or overturned and should vote by various means, although I suspect money is the most effective in this case.

Re:Most insightful department ever (3, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222782)

Don't buy DRM encrusted shite. If the company openly supports ACTA, or is known to have had a hand in writing it, then don't buy their product at all.

At which point the following occurs:

[corp exec]: Senator, we're losing even more money to those Evil Content Pirates)(tm)!!!! Here's a bucketful of money. We need the death penalty for copyright infringement.

Senator: OK.

Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222132)

During the election, about 95% of African-Americans voted for Barack Hussein Obama due solely to the color of his skin. See the exit-polling data [cnn.com] by CNN.

Note the voting pattern of Hispanics, Asian-Americans, etc. These non-Black minorities serve as a measurement of African-American racism against Whites (and other non-Black folks). Neither Barack Hussein Obama nor John McCain is Hispanic or Asian. So, Hispanics and Asian-Americans used only non-racial criteria in selecting a candidate and, hence, serve as the reference by which we detect a racist voting pattern. Only about 65% of Hispanics and Asian-Americans supported Obama. In other words, a maximum of 65% support by any ethnic or racial group for either McCain or Obama is not racist and, hence, is acceptable. (A maximum of 65% for McCain is okay. So, European-American support at 55% for McCain is well below this threshold and, hence, is not racist.)

If African-Americans were not racist, then at most 65% of them would have supported Obama. At that level of support, McCain would have won the presidential race.

At this point, African-American supremacists (and apologists) claim that African-Americans voted for Obama because he (1) is a member of the Democratic party and (2) supports its ideals. That claim is an outright lie. Look at the exit-polling data [cnn.com] for the Democratic primaries. Consider the case of North Carolina. Again, about 95% of African-Americans voted for him and against Hillary Clinton. Both Clinton and Obama are Democrats, and their official political positions on the campaign trail were nearly identical. Yet, 95% of African-Americans voted for Obama and against Hillary Clinton. Why? African-Americans supported Obama due solely to the color of his skin.

Here is the bottom line. Barack Hussein Obama does not represent mainstream America. He won the election due to the racist voting pattern exhibited by African-Americans.

African-Americans have established that expressing "racial pride" by voting on the basis of skin color is 100% acceptable. Neither the "Wall Street Journal" nor the "New York Times" complained about this racist behavior. Therefore, in future elections, please feel free to express your racial pride by voting on the basis of skin color. Feel free to vote for the non-Black candidates and against the Black candidates if you are not African-American. You need not defend your actions in any way. Voting on the basis of skin color is quite acceptable by today's moral standard.

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (-1, Offtopic)

Uberbah (647458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222172)

Democrats routinely pick up over 90% of the black vote. Blacks were among the last groups to get onboard the Obama bandwagon at the start of the primary because they didn't think he'd be given a chance.

But back to the 90% part: Southern Strategy. Google it.

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222214)

Mod parent down. Racism has nothing to do with the issue at hand (posting anonymously since I don't want a score 2 comment putting the parent into the spotlight)

Re:Most insightful department ever (4, Interesting)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222162)

I just wrote to my senator urging him to help these men fight this injustice. Write to yours, too.

Re:Most insightful department ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222884)

Done. One meaningless email to Senator Cardin of MD.

http://cardin.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm

Re:Most insightful department ever (5, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222258)

Brown's been on the good side of technology legislation for a LONG time, when he was over in the House he served on the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet and was almost always on the side of the citizenry. Every time I've written him about issues concerning me I have received a detailed and thought-out response, some signed by him personally. I've also had the pleasure to meet him in person on numerous occasions and even had the chance to follow-up on some of those letters. He remembered details of my correspondence so I'm fairly certain they were not simply responded too by staffers. He might not be as approachable today as a senator has significantly more constituents but I doubt he cares less about them.

Re:Most insightful department ever (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222638)

Just a reminder: both of these excellent senators are considered by the media to be on the extreme far-left.

Goes to show just how badly "framing" has warped political discussion in the US.

Re:Most insightful department ever (3, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222806)

I wish they would convert it to metric for the world outside of the US.

Is that center or center-right?

Re:Most insightful department ever (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222934)

Center-right, I'd say.

Re:Most insightful department ever (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223350)

Wow. That's very respectable. The one time I contacted my representative with a long, detailed message about the financial crisis, she sent back a boiler plate response that's not even half as detailed as my message. I understand she has other people to serve but that was a real disappointment. I'm glad at least someone else has had better interaction with their representative. I hate the fact that I live in a secure Democratic town because they don't have any real competition to the seat.

Re:Most insightful department ever (0, Redundant)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222612)

Good luck to Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown and anyone else who might join them.

Say, which party are these two heroes from, anyway?

Credit where credit is due and all that.

Re:Most insightful department ever (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222744)

Senators Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, and Bernard Sanders, a Vermont Independent, argue in the letter.

I mean, even I RTFS.

Re:Most insightful department ever (2, Insightful)

lazy_nihilist (1220868) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222948)

Bernie Sanders is one of the few politicians I IMMENSELY RESPECT. Though I am ideologically opposed to Ron Paul, I admire his honesty and straightforwardness as well. If only the rest of the politicians were like these. Wishful thinking on my part.

Re:Most insightful department ever (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223178)

I am *totally* moving to Vermont now.

The senators can sign a law that takes a way the p (1, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222092)

The senators can sign a law that takes a way the parts of the bill of rights.

Re:The senators can sign a law that takes a way th (2, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222262)

Senators don't sign laws or treaties, they only approve them.
The President is the one who ultimately wields the pen.

Re:The senators can sign a law that takes a way th (2, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222458)

Yes and no. They can still put something into law with 2/3rds majority vote.

and the supreme court can void them (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222510)

and the supreme court can void them

Re:and the supreme court can void them (1)

54mc (897170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222668)

and the supreme court can void them

This isn't in the Constitution. It was established BY the Supreme Court in Marbury v Madison.

Re:and the supreme court can void them (2, Insightful)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222778)

The supreme court gave itself the power to rule that laws passed by congress were unconstitutional. I believe it remains to be seen whether the supreme court would extend the scope of that power to include treaties signed by the president.

Re:and the supreme court can void them (2, Informative)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223052)

IIRC, the President can sign whatever treaties he wants - but Congress still has to vote them into law, somewhat like a regular bill. This means that, say, Obama could sign this treaty and Congress could totally ignore it.

If Congress did sign the treaty into law, the Supreme Court could overturn the law that actually makes the treaty binding... but only if it is challenged, and the challenge gets to the Supreme Court.

Cheques and balances!

Re:and the supreme court can void them (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222724)

And in the time it takes for a case to actually REACH the supreme court, irreparable damage will have already been done.

Re:The senators can sign a law that takes a way th (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222608)

The Legislature is supposed to WRITE the laws, the President signing a law is the approval part.

Re:The senators can sign a law that takes a way th (2, Informative)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222798)

Okay let us be clear here about treaties. This process does not follow the normal process for laws because its . . . different. The president gets to negotiate a treaty with a foreign power or powers. The senate then has to ratify it with 51 votes (but really 60 for the usual reasons in the senate.) The senate can't override the president on a treaty. Now, that said, while the senators don't have any authority as to the terms of the treaty, its a problem for the president if he negotiates a treaty the senate won't ratify. It reduces his credibility for all future treaties, so generally if two senators make a request, he's at least going to listen. Especially when those votes are ones he's counting on for his agenda in other matters. And yes, despite the irregular nature of it all, a treaty once negotiated by the president and ratified by the senate becomes part of the law of the land, unless it otherwise violates the constitution.

Re:The senators can sign a law that takes a way th (1)

TD-Linux (1295697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222504)

The senators can sign a law that takes a way the parts of the bill of rights.

After which it will be immediately ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Re:The senators can sign a law that takes a way th (4, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222754)

Our current plethora of unconstitutional laws and policies would suggest that's not the case.

Re:The senators can sign a law that takes a way th (1)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222794)

Unfortunately this is a treaty, not a law. I don't know if the supreme court can nullify a treaty.

Re:The senators can sign a law that takes a way th (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223038)

the treaty would not be nullified, but a treaty does not make domestic law, and any laws that complied with the treaty would be unconstitutional.

Re:The senators can sign a law that takes a way th (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222810)

depends how they phrase it doesn't it...

Re:The senators can sign a law that takes a way th (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222940)

Nah. Being a treaty and not a law, they could simply say that it is unenforcable in the US. Either way it would be the same: totally legal, and yet effectively meaningless.

Re:The senators can sign a law that takes a way th (1)

drizek (1481461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223130)

No they can't.

They are the lowest rung on the ladder. The President has to sign it and the Supreme Court has to approve it.

My original link + PDF of the letter (5, Informative)

angry tapir (1463043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222104)

Here's the link [goodgearguide.com.au] to the longer article that was originally in my story submission before the editor removed it. It includes a link to a PDF of the letter [publicknowledge.org] .

cheers,
A. Tapir

Re:My original link + PDF of the letter (1)

angry tapir (1463043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222130)

Oops posted too soon: ... PDF of letter by KEI and Public Knowledge about the agreement.

Gonna be modded down but ... (0, Flamebait)

ThomasFlip (669988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222336)

America had a choice,,, Ron Paul. The sad part is that the 2012 election will once again reign in "change" in the form of a Republican "conservative". Both parties are bought and paid for with the exception of a few individuals. Wake up people!

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222376)

American was not interested in a racist religious nutbag.

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (3, Insightful)

Nithendil (1637041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222472)

Ron Paul may be a homophobic, racist, religious, evolution denying nutbag, but at least he isn't a globalist, corporatist, wiretapping immunity wishwashing, patriot-act handwaving, trillion dollar handouts for everyone nutbag. While it is nice to have a president whose morals and ideology matches your own, at this point I would be supremely happy to just have someone who isn't a scumbag willing sell out our rights or future for the highest dollar. Or perhaps it is me who is crazy and just doesn't see the big picture of how we can continue to spend money we do not have on a recession caused by us spending money we do not have.

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222646)

Reading political discourse among most slashdotters is like watching old people fuck.

It's messy, clumsy, and a little bit revolting.

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (1)

Nithendil (1637041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222970)

True but I don't understand how my comment is labeled troll but the two above, equally off-topic quotes are insightful when all I did was expand on them.

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222492)

American was not interested in a racist religious nutbag.

So how did you yanks get Bush?

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (1)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222522)

i am an atheist but i'd vote for the pope himself if he truly believed that following words of constitution is not passe, advocated drastic cuts in federal spending, stopping war machine, restoring sound money policy and allowing people to be personally responsible for their life, without government interference.
You can say a lot about the man, but not that he is just like every other career politician without principles. 'Traditional' candidates are two sides of the same coin, merely disguised as rep/dem. In the end they all blow taxpayer's money left and right, they all increase public debt by 1 trillion every year and they all lick wall street balls whenever wall street feels like it.

American Politics (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222532)

Hey, three out of three ain't bad!

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (1, Troll)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222582)

we got Obama, so you are wrong

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (1, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222666)

Seconded. He was a Republican long before proclaiming himself Libertarian. Republican and all that is implied by that...

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/angry-white-man?id=e2f15397-a3c7-4720-ac15-4532a7da84ca [tnr.com]

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222808)

When did he proclaim himself Libertarian? At least during the 08 race, he opted to not run on the Libertarian ticket after losing the Republican race. If he switched, a) it must have been recently, and b) citation please. He's liked by many Libertarians to say the least, but as far as I'm aware he still has an (R) next to his name.

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (2, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222854)

He ran as a Libertarian in the 1988 presidential election.

Political party:
Republican (1976-1988)
Libertarian (1988 Presidential Election)
Republican (1988-Present)

He remains a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Liberty_Caucus [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Paul [wikipedia.org]

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222656)

Well, I want to believe.

I want to believe that we can buy our way out of a recession with money loaned to us by China.

I want to believe that real change is just around the corner and we just have to wait for the country, economy and rest of the world to catch up.

I want to believe that we can offer health care to everyone for free without it costing anyone more money.

I want to believe that we can just blame George Bush for everything that is wrong and with him out of the presidency we don't have to worry about any of those things anymore.

I want to believe that the US can abandon commitments to the rest of the world without consequences just because our priorities change. Let Israel, former Soviet countries and everyone else just fend for themselves.

I want to believe that the US can accept everyone that can make it here as a new citizen without any difficulties. I want to believe we can take care of them all, because, well, that's the way it should be.

I want to believe that government managed health care can be free, open to all, and much, much better than what we have today.

I want to believe that money is irrelevant and we should just focus on goodness, love and peace.

Unfortunately, it is really hard to believe stuff like this. I keep trying to convince the bank they should take "peace" and "love" instead of a check for the mortgage. I try to convince my employees that goodness and love is more important than a salary or benefits. So far, it isn't working out all that well.

So as much as I'd like to believe, I am faced with reality which doesn't allow for believing in stuff like this.

Re:Gonna be modded down but ... (2, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223210)

Maybe you want to believe that crap, but most of us want to stop hearing jingoistic misrepresentations, exaggerations and outright lies. Unfortunately, neither you nor the rest of us seem destined to get what we want.

LEAVE USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30222578)

Just leave the US. It's done for. Our best chance at freedom will be independence in space. Go live in a remote country and get away from these douche bags. You getting raped so much in the US that your asshole is gaping.

nt (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30222688)

Tag this with "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense"

Against ACTA or not? (1)

LeperPuppet (1591409) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223304)

So are they actually against ACTA, or just signaling to the RIAA and MPAA that they need some campaign contributions?

All right! (2)

nonades (1053946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30223314)

Finally, my senators are doing something before I have to do something! God bless Vermont. In all seriousness, we need to stand up against Big Media. The morons running the RIAA and MPAA need to learn that they can't control media like they used to, times have changed. "Kick back watch it crumble See the drowning, watch the fall I feel just terrible about it That's sarcasm, let it burn ... The dinosaurs will slowly die And I do believe no one will cry I'm just fucking glad I'm gonna be There to watch the fall" Dinosaurs Will Die - NoFX
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