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SOPA Hearings Stacked In Favor of Pro-SOPA Lobby

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the piracy-is-a-sin dept.

Censorship 302

Adrian Lopez writes "Techdirt reports that 'apparently, the folks behind SOPA are really scared to hear from the opposition. We all expected that the Judiciary Committee hearings wouldn't be a fair fight. In Congress, they rarely are fair fights. But most people expected the typical "three in favor, one against" weighted hearings. That's already childish, but it seems that the Judiciary Committee has decided to take the ridiculousness to new heights. We'd already mentioned last week that the Committee had rejected the request of NetCoalition to take part in the hearings. At the time, we'd heard that the hearings were going to be stacked four-to-one in favor of SOPA. However, the latest report coming out of the Committee is that they're so afraid to actually hear about the real opposition that they've lined up five pro-SOPA speakers and only one "against."' Demand Progress is running an online petition against such lopsided representation."

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Congress, our representatives? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072414)

Its simple

We are not represented by congress anymore

Its big business, for big business

Re:Congress, our representatives? (4, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072456)

There are two ways you can get your representative to represent you:

  1. Pay him more money than big business does.
  2. Make a believable thread to shoot him.

Neither of these are viable options. So you need to get him voted out of office. Thus, the problem is the voters.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (5, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072538)

But voted out of office in exchange for what? Another one of the same.

Ultimately, yes, the problem is the voters. But it's rather like complaining that if the sheep don't like the pen they are herded into, they should get a new sheepdog, when we all know the shepherd is calling the shots.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072654)

The problem is that by standing for public office, the candidate is showing that they are unsuitable for the job.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (5, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072770)

Exactly. Anyone who really wants the job that much shouldn't be allowed to have it. Arthur C. Clarke wrote a book about a human colony that had this exact rule; leaders were appointed more-or-less randomly, after disqualifying those who really wanted to be the leaders; it was called "Songs of Distant Earth".

Re:Congress, our representatives? (5, Informative)

sproot (1029676) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073048)

So did Thomas More in the sixteenth century and Plato in about 400BC, it's not a new thing.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072680)

But voted out of office in exchange for what? Another one of the same.

Another one of the same who is afraid to go against your wishes on the particular issue you got the predecessor voted out of office for. This is very important. Remember that the rule of American politics is "do anything the corporations pay you to; as long as it doesn't offend the NRA". This is not because the NRA has huge amounts of money (though they have quite a bit); it's because they credibly and effectively make the threat to vote out whoever offends them. If you aren't voted in then you aren't getting your corporate bribes.

There are a bunch of things to learn from the NRA. Things like:

  • Organise; meet; get together.
  • Gather money; put it into a fund which is dedicated to your exact issue.
  • Be extremely focused
  • Physically protest; be seen
  • Write actual letters to specific representatives from specific supporters
  • Very clearly target specific politicians and ensure that you are seen to get rid of them
  • Be fun and interesting to be part of

These things do not come at once and immediately; the NRA was founded in the 1870s and only got to full success in the 1980s, but if you are patient and keep at it you will win.

The idea that we can do nothing is planted in our minds in an attempt to stop us from doing anything. It's true that most people will still ignore you, but that doesn't matter. Most Americans aren't part of the NRA and they are still the effective rulers of the country for the particular issue they care about.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (5, Insightful)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072838)

Don't forget to fear monger to your group endlessly like the NRA does. I'm a gun owner, I love my gun rights. I carry daily. I WAS a NRA member. I'm so sick of getting letters about how Obama (or whatever evil you can come up with) is going to take away my guns unless I give the NRA another cash injection.

Obama has bigger issues than guns, and he won't be taking them away during campaign time (which with our media is basically from day one in office). The truth is that gun rights have gotten a lot better in the last 3 years. Their message of constant fear and attack just drove me away.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1, Offtopic)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072900)

The truth is that gun rights have gotten a lot better in the last 3 years.

Just curious. How much of that improvement has happened because of Obama, and how much because of legal actions by the NRA?

Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single thing that Obama (or Congress) has done to improve gun rights recently.

Obama has bigger issues than guns, and he won't be taking them away during campaign time

Do remember that campaign time ends for Obama the day after the next election, whether he wins or loses....

Re:Congress, our representatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073068)

Right, then he'll go on vacation again.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073554)

Just curious. How much of that improvement has happened because of Obama, and how much because of legal actions by the NRA?

I think it's more because, in the recent past, any politician who had a platform of curtailing gun rights ended up losing in the elections: just look at Al Gore in 2000. If he hadn't talked about enacting more gun restrictions, he probably would have won.

Just curious. How much of that improvement has happened because of Obama, and how much because of legal actions by the NRA?

I can think of one (maybe not "recent", but definitely within Obama's term and signed by Obama): during Bush's term, it was illegal to carry a loaded firearm in National Parks (except with special permits, etc.). Now, it's perfectly legal, subject to the regular laws of the state that Park is located in. So under Bush, if you had a concealed-carry permit and carried a concealed handgun for protection, you were required to leave that gun in your car, locked up and unloaded, as soon as you drove into a National Park in your own state. Never mind that being out in the wilderness isn't exactly the best place to not have a gun, as there's zero police around for dozens of miles or more, and you never know when you'll stumble across some dangerous wildlife or some armed Mexican cartel members growing marijuana. Shortly after Obama took office, he signed some Republican-led bill that fixed this; now, if you're able to legally carry a gun in your state, this right doesn't go away when you drive into a National Park in your state.

It's one of only two things I can think of offhand that Obama did which are real improvements, and this one he didn't really want to do anyway (it was tacked onto some other stuff he wanted). The other one is the credit card reform legislation, and the law which drastically limits what merchants have to pay for debit card transactions.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073090)

The NRA operates like most special interest groups (life member here)... they harp on the same thing, over and over. They research and detail for us what everyones real record is on "gun control", and send us those lists in American Rifleman so we know the score come voting time. And yes, they ask for money, because it takes money to win. Often that comes in the way of memberships.

Most important, we've got the second amendment in our back pocket and every single one of us votes when we think there's anything remotely related to our right to keep and bear arms.

So yeah, if you care about something. I mean, really care, not pithy slashdot-post-care, you can do all this. No bullshit, no waste, no worthless stunts... just keep your eye on the prize and do what groups do to win.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073280)

Wow. I've never seen anyone more brainwashed.

They research and detail for us what everyones real record is on "gun control", and send us those lists in American Rifleman so we know the score come voting time.

Except that they don't actually do so. They lie [lakelandtimes.com] or play statistics games with the real record instead. Hell, the NRA even lies about its own record [thefirearmsforum.com] .

Most important, we've got the second amendment in our back pocket and every single one of us votes when we think there's anything remotely related to our right to keep and bear arms.

Oh for the love of... no, you freaked-out morons are too busy screaming "second amendment" to pay attention to the rest of the constitution.

A gun is a weapon. It can be used to kill. The NRA is against the registering of firearms, period. We register CARS via license plate in order to make them trackable (hopefully) in the event of an accident/injury/death. Why should guns be any different?

Oh, but no. For you, the "right to keep and bear arms" means "I get to walk into a grocery store with an assault rifle and an extended clip full of hollow-point rounds in case I spot a deer that I want to shoot later that day." What, is there some 30-point buck with a sniper rifle and bulletproof vest sitting out in the woods during hunting season, screaming "I'm ready fo' yo ass"?

I mean, really. The first amendment - far more fundamental to your civil rights than the 2nd - has limitations called time, place, manner. You can't randomly shout "fire" in a crowded theater (though it's sometimes funny to walk into the local firehouse and shout "theater" to see how many of the local firemen get the joke), because it'd cause a panic that is likely to result in injury. Likewise, your "right to own guns" is clearly limitable in terms of what guns are and aren't acceptable, and the government's right to register who owns them is unassailable [cbsnews.com] except for uneducated idiots... come to think of it, the NRA thrives on them.

Nobody is coming to "take away ur gunz." They might - I repeat, MIGHT - pass a law requiring the registration of such guns. It might even include "gun fingerprinting" (ballistic markings) records such that the gun used in a crime can be more easily identified, much in the same way that cars are trackable by license plates.

But don't worry. I'm sure by tomorrow you'll have forgotten anything you read here when the NRA's next "that muzlim nigger wantz to take away ur gunz" memo comes in.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073438)

I don't know who modded this down as "troll", but I think the parent comment here deserves a second look. There's some solid information there.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

whargoul (932206) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073368)

That's the exact reason I dropped them as well and they STILL continue to call me and send me stuff to get me back.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073500)

Another one of the same who is afraid to go against your wishes on the particular issue you got the predecessor voted out of office for

Uniting masses only works if there's just one issue to unite on.

What we need now is to scrap this entire branch of the source code and go back to the original spec, the constitution.

Few want that, though. It would force either amending the constitution, or killing all the federal programs and even entire executive departments that have zero constitutional basis. Good luck convincing boomers that social security isn't in the constitution.

Vote third party (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072804)

I said this yesterday, and I'll say it again today: the problem is that the "two" parties in power now both have the same agenda. It is time for people to start voting third party.

Re:Vote third party (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073154)

Given the choices I think that may require starting a new one.

Re-elect No One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073228)

Ibid.

Re:Vote third party (5, Insightful)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073248)

I said this yesterday, and I'll say it again today: the problem is that the "two" parties in power now both have the same agenda. It is time for people to start voting third party.

This sounds great on the surface. But who exactly am I supposed to vote for? I am American by the way. I cannot in any way vote Libertarian. I totally reject the Libertarian Party. I truly believe that libertarianism is a fatally flawed political philosophy that cannot work. I see communism as a more rational political philosophy. That's really bad. The other parties are too small and too narrowly focused for my tastes so there is no real third party option for me.

Re:Vote third party (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073492)

My idea to solve the two party issue is to change how we vote. Instead of voting for a person, let's vote on the issues. Each session the jurisdiction comes up with 10 - 20 issues. Say half from the current session and half from issues which will probably arise in the next. The different parties then decide on which ones they'll vote for and pick who their candidate is going to be. All of the parties must have mutually exclusive choices. Then on election day the voters vote for the different issues. The party who's choices align the closest with the peoples wishes win. I think this would blow open the door for third parties, and better reflect the constituents decision.

Re:Vote third party (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073344)

No, it is time for people to stop waiting for the parties to select their candidates for office before getting involved. If you want to change things get involved locally, where you can make the biggest difference. Support candidates at all levels who support making decisions at the lowest level of government possible.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (2)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073118)

Without the media you stand no chance of being elected, and since the media is controlled by big business they will never allow an unfavourable candidate to get elected.

This is a fallacy they would love you to believe (4, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073268)

What your basically saying is: don't bother to vote, your just going to lose anyway. There are two reasons this is B.S.

1. These are career politicians. They will vote however it takes to get elected. If by some miracle we could vote them out, the 'next guy' would understand that his actions could end his career and would behave accordingly.

2. More realistically #1 isn't going to happen. We're too balkanized of a country. The reason to vote then isn't to win, it's to prevent your opponent from winning by a landslide. Landslide victories embolden them to even worse excesses. If they already know you're not going to come out to vote, and that their jobs are secure no matter how awful they act, what's holding them back? The moral of the story is: vote even if you know your going to lose, or you'll lose more than just your vote.

Re:This is a fallacy they would love you to believ (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073462)

The reason to vote then isn't to win, it's to prevent your opponent from winning by a landslide. Landslide victories embolden them to even worse excesses.

Really? Dumbya "won" by less than 50% of the vote both times, and claimed he had an election mandate to do what he wanted anyways. Remember his famous crack about "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and I intend to spend it" right before he tried to fuck up Social Security in 2005?

Merely getting into office emboldens them to worse excesses. If they don't have a landslide, they just lie and claim they did.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072646)

Neither of these are viable options

I'm glad the Founding Fathers did not think the same way.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072648)

You are implying that there is corruption going on, while there is a more plausible, legal forces that explains why the business get the political ear.

Big Business hires a lot of people who pay a lot of taxes. If they are not happy in your City/State/Country they have the resources to leave and leave a lot of people without jobs and unable to pay for taxes.
The problem will exasperated if business need to pay far more tax. Now a lot of business may be willing to do this without moving or laying off people but what it does is centralize the money flow even further so the business will get more political pull because that is more tax revenue that could leave.

So a Mayor, Senator, Representative, Judge, Governor or President really cannot just ignore what a big business is saying and will need to hear out some of their issues.

Now that the businesses have these peoples ears they can explain things to them so they understand their point of view much better making the decisions much more complex.

Then finally these people contributed to their campaign so they cannot just ignore the business as they owe them a favor.

The core of the problem is that businesses have gotten too big. This is the economical/political version of the Irish Potato famine. Where business diversity has been replaced a small group of large companies. Just like how the Irish were planting very few species of Potato so when a plague that infected the potatoes there wan't enough diversity to handle the loss.
American have gotten wimpy.
In school we are afraid to study Math and Science and all those courses where you cannot BS your way threw, because we are afraid that B in math with hurt you A average, and you will not get into Harvard, or if you are in college you GPA will suffer.
We are afraid to start our own business.
We are afraid to make something new.

In general we are afraid of a lot of things, things that are not really as scary as we make them out to be. But they do take risk and we have became Risk Averse. Thus we go the safest path.
Take those classes that you can get an easy A.
Get a low level job in a big company. Keep quite and out of trouble that way you don't get in trouble.
Buy products from those big name stores because those little shops seem to sketchy.
Complain and moan about a products rise in costs but do not cancel the service. (This part is getting better)

Re:Congress, our representatives? (2, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072840)

"The core of the problem is that government has gotten too big"

Fixed.

If the government were not in a position to grant special favors to companies because it is regulating everything in sight, then business would have no use buying off politicians.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073418)

"The core of the problem is that government has gotten too big" Fixed.

Oh fuck you.

The core problem is not that government has gotten too big. The core problem is that businesses have become bigger than government, big enough to engage in regulatory capture and rent-seeking behaviors.

This is something that's happened time and again. The British East India company essentially took over the British government for far too long, leading to the ruin of Britain as a nation for some time. In the early 1900s, we needed a major slew of trust-busting activities BY the government [u-s-history.com] because of abusive companies like Standard Oil and Nortnern Securities who had engaged in regulatory capture and were exerting unfair monopoly controls, slowly taking over more and more sectors of the economy.

Sound familiar? Strike any parallels at all to the incredibly abusive megacorporations of today that gobble up sectors at an alarming rate? Or did you notice - for instance, that of the "fast food chains" in the US, more than 50% of them are actually owned by ONE company, "Yum Brands", which is itself owned by Pepsi - which also owns Lay's potato chips, Ruffles, Lipton, Doritos, "Quaker" brand, and on and on...

Still think there's any real competition left in the bullshit "free market" the Republicans worship so much? Might as well melt your coins down to a golden calf right now, buddy. There's not a real christian left on the "religious right", they're worshiping greed instead.

We need STRONGER government and another major round of trust-busting. Not weaker government like the Retardicans keep shouting. They're all either fucking clueless, brainwashed Rushtards or their goal is complete regulatory capture of government and rule by their aristocrat masters.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (3, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073516)

... Damn I wish I had some mod points to give you. This comment is AMAZING. Well stated - I've often been at odds with some of my friends who insist that one "brand" of something is better than another - especially when you look at some of the food products, where 4 different "brands" literally come right from the same factory [npr.org] .

Similar link over here [wsj.com] for those who don't want to listen to a recorded audio feed.

Oh and don't forget this one [cracked.com] - it may be a Cracked.com article, but it's actually a great read.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (4, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072864)

Big Business hires a lot of people who pay a lot of taxes. If they are not happy in your City/State/Country they have the resources to leave and leave a lot of people without jobs and unable to pay for taxes.

The crucial thing to remember here is that the tech industry makes much more money for America than the entertainment industry. It still also employs more people. There has to be something else going on to explain why anti-tech, pro copyright, laws get so much support everywhere (not just in the USA)

Re:Congress, our representatives? (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073398)

The thing is significant elements of the tech industry, also, makes money from copyright and favors these expansions of copyright laws (Microsoft, as one example).

Re:Congress, our representatives? (2, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072888)

In school we are afraid to study Math and Science and all those courses where you cannot BS your way threw,

How about English classes? ;-)

I don't think the aversion to science and math classes has anything to do with fear, for most students. It's about 1) interest, 2) laziness, and 3) reward. Why bother working hard and taking the harder math and science classes when you can skate through with the minimum? It's not like these science-and-math-averse students are instead taking all the hardest English or Social Studies classes they can find. American kids just aren't interested in these things; it's not part of our culture. Instead, they all want to become famous singers or athletes, because those are the professions that are idolized in this culture. At the college level, it's all about taking the classes necessary for your major, and science and advanced math classes aren't necessary for a degree in business, finance, pre-law, or marketing. These are the things college kids want to major in these days, because these are the professions that are well-rewarded in our culture, and which have the highest respect (outside of singers and athletes) among the general population. No one respects engineers much in this country, but when people meet a lawyer they practically bow down to them and kiss their feet. Kids see this and so gravitate toward these types of profession. The only exception as far as science prerequisites is pre-med, but even here it seems like most of the new doctors are people from non-American (and non-Western) cultures; it's a lot easier and faster to get an MBA or a finance degree than to become a doctor, so that's what kids go for.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073182)

How about English classes? ;-)

Or just getting off the interilliteratenet and reading a book now and then? The kind of thing you pointed out sometimes amuses me and sometimes annoys me. Substituting "loose" for "lose" is one that annoys me; if you loose your mind, wonderful things happen. If you lose your mind, terrible things happen. One letter changes the meaning of the sentence completely.

If someone doesn't know the difference between through and threw or there, their, and they're, that simply indicates to me that they're not well educated and I should dismiss everything they say. Listening to the ignorant is pretty foolish, and misusing apostrophes and homophones shows incredible ignorance.

I don't think the aversion to science and math classes has anything to do with fear, for most students. It's about 1) interest, 2) laziness, and 3) reward.

I think it's about incompetent teachers. A bad teacher can make the most interesting subject in the world deadly dull and horribly boring. And face it, presented by a good instructor, math and the sciences are fascinating. The way they're presented in the US public school system they're (as the kids would say) "dumb and boring". The kids are almost right, their teacher is the one who's dumb and boring, not the subject matter.

I escaped that trap by having a great first grade teacher. By the time the deadly dull science teacher tried to ruin a fascinating subject, I'd already read about it by an interesting teacher like Asimov among others, who wrote some excellent nonfiction.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073316)

If someone doesn't know the difference between through and threw or there, their, and they're,

I wonder if he was using a speech-to-text converter.

I think it's about incompetent teachers. A bad teacher can make the most interesting subject in the world deadly dull and horribly boring.

I'm sorry, I don't really buy the boring teachers bit. Sure, it can make a difference for some kids, but how many kids go to college and get an MBA or go into law school because they were inspired by one of the elementary school teachers to go that route? They go that route because 1) those things are highly respected in this society and 2) those professions generally pay well, for very little work. They happily go into these professions even though their public school english teachers were every bit as bad and boring as the math and science teachers, if not worse. How many TV shows do you see about engineers? None. How many TV shows do you see about lawyers? Tons of them. Lawyers are revered and worshiped in this country, so college-bound kids frequently choose that path. Engineers, OTOH, don't get any TV shows, and their profession isn't all that great either; as soon as their company has a bad quarter or whatever, they're out the door. When their skills become "obsolete", they're out the door. You don't see this with lawyers, MBAs, finance people, etc.

Plus, there's tons of examples of kids who did well in science and math, were interested in them, and chose a career in accounting or management instead, simply because they pay much better and have better career longevity. Science careers are particularly bad in this country, far far worse than engineering; good like trying to make a living as a high-energy physicist without moving to Switzerland. The only career path most scientists have is to become university professors then constantly worry about not getting tenure because they didn't publish enough.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072976)

This is the economical/political version of the Irish Potato famine. Where business diversity has been replaced a small group of large companies. Just like how the Irish were planting very few species of Potato so when a plague that infected the potatoes there wan't enough diversity to handle the loss.

That really is a terrible analogy. Firstly, there were MORE species of potato being planted before the famine than there are today. Irish people no longer trusted blue, yellow, orange etc. potatoes after the blight, so they stuck to white ones from then on. Secondly, the Irish famine was not caused only by potato blight. It was caused by a dishonest adherence by the authorities to the dogma that "the markets must be free". Charles Trevelyan insisted that trade must not be interfered with, and allowed massive quantities of food to be exported from Ireland while people starved. The free market might fix such things if it was indeed free, but the Irish people of the time had had their land and all their possessions stolen from them, and were forced to toil in the fields that were once theirs, producing the food that was exported while they themselves starved.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073178)

Which is why we need that metaphorical plague. Sorry, it sucks but sometimes I wonder if another great depression wouldn't do us some good.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072694)

You thought your government represented you?

Think again.

The current distraction is the Tea Partiers, being fed a steady bullshit diet of "OMG GAYS ARE GOING TO FORCE YOUR KID TO GET GAY MARRIED" and "OMG THE GUVMINT IS GONNA TAKE YOUR GUNZ AND YOUR MUNNY IF OBAMA IS ELECTED AGAIN" through the Beck/Rush/Fox noise machine.

You think that the standard idiots even NOTICE that a congressional hearing is stacked one way or another? These are the cud-chewing moron crowd who think that watching C-Span is "boring" and to be avoided at all costs. These are the ones who think they know what the constitution says despite never having read it or done even the most rudimentary study on it - they think "god" is in there somewhere, they think a bunch of other things [usconstitution.net] are in it that aren't, and let's face it, it's scary when all the Onion has to do is profile one of these boobs [theonion.com] and you'd totally think that was a news story if you didn't see the word "Onion" up top.

But don't worry. They're happy to take their daily brainwashing from Rush and the local hate-radio purveyors and "vote" accordingly. It's like we're living in oceania [wikipedia.org] - they've even come up with their own version of Newspeak to handle their hate. The Affordable Health Care Act, passed with bipartisan support? Oh yes - "Obamacare Health Control." Pissed off that Obama is black? Don't mention race, just quietly insinuate he's "Kenyan." Oh and for good measure, mention that he "might be a Muslim."

Of course, when they're trying to keep their lies straight, the veil tends to slip. Rush The Druggie regularly refers to the President of the United States as "uppity." In defending Herman "Pervy old man" Cain from the allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior, the right wing noise machine went on some of the worst misogynist screeds we've seen in the past 3 decades - surpassing even their amazing hatred for Hilary Clinton, Elena Kagan, or Sonia Sotomayor.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

pburghdoom (1892490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072880)

The problem is no matter who we vote in, its the same story. Look at the options right now in the republican primaries, for example... All dbags. Then in the Presidential election it will be one of said dbags versus Obama, how is this the voters fault. They really do not get to pick the candidates, thats all done by the various national committees. We are stuck with whoever they give us. Then it is simply picking the lessor of two evils. What a system.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073056)

voting is not the key.

suppose you have a broken motor (its shorted inside, say) and it keeps blowing fuses. first fuse, you replace it. fuse blows again. damn. replace it again.

at some point, you realize that replacing fuses on a broken motor, while giving you some more 'time', is not a real solution. its not the fuse, its the motor, itself.

voting is a revolving doorway. while someone might be good (a brand new fuse) for a short while, its 100% guaranteed that OUR CURRENT SYSTEM will 'short him out' and he'll go bad. 100% guaranteed. its our system, not the fuses; er, I mean people.

"but I'll put a stronger fuse (person) in!"

sorry, this is not the way to fix it. when the motor is fundamentally broken, you replace the motor.

I hope some people get this... ..before the upstream breaker has to fail.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (2, Insightful)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073216)

Yes, but in a democracy the system is ultimately the people. The system is broken because the people are broken. They don't care about issues like this.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072580)

Ultimately our representatives will get away with whatever we allow, thus the onus is really on us. Most people (sadly including myself) just aren't dialed in to the goings on and don't really give a shit.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

jinushaun (397145) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072614)

Speak for yourself. My congressman votes my way. The problem is that I don't vote for the other 434 representatives...

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073230)

That's exactly what the people who elect the other 434 think.

The fix is in (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072972)

The hearings are just theater.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072994)

The real answer to this is to stop thinking Nationally. Start buying everything locally. Cancel all accounts with any bank that is in more than one state. Find the smallest bank you can locally, and re-open all accounts there. Stop shopping at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Kroger, Olive Garden, Chili's, so on and so forth. The American people have allowed businesses to be too big to fail. We have given them all of our money, and allowed them to buy our Congress people. It won't happen in our generation, but if everybody would start thinking like this, and start acting upon it. We could go back to the Mom and Pop era of the '50s. If we do, then suddenly our congress people will have to listen to us again, there won't be any businesses large enough to buy them.

Re:Congress, our representatives? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073260)

kids, think of this when you dress in the morning and head into work for your long 10 or 12 hour days.

you empower the big corps to continue to fuck people over. you have your 'morning anger' here on slash, you say some strong words online but then get dressed, go into work and put up with ALL that mr bossman forces on you. you are a pawn and a slave and you ENABLE The Man to do what he's doing. you're all part of the system even if you are not able to see it.

we all need to work and get income but you don't need to be do HAPPY about serving The Man. do your jobs but don't work overtime. don't go the extra mile. don't give up your personal time. don't just jump when the boss says so.

little by little, we need to detach from the corps. take some of our power back. SOME of it. a little at a time. its the way to make this work. slow boiling the frog works.

take a stand. refuse that extra couple of hours stay. tell the boss that you have your own life and that you don't exist for him or his corporation.

slowly, pull power BACK from the mega corps.

its a start. we NEED a start. else, the more they all own you, the more they fully control you.

strip the mega corps of their extreme and unfair power and maybe we'll get some balance back.

at the very least, REALIZE you are being bought and sold and eventually thrown away (when you are too old or some new cheaper person takes your job). treat the companies with suspicion. don't advertise for them. don't wear their logos. don't make things easier for them to own and control us!

take back your life. its YOUR life, not the company's.

learn to say no to your boss and mean it.

its a start, at least.

Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (5, Informative)

Eevee (535658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072444)

Would it really hurt to follow standard practices and explain what the acronym is the first time it's used?

Re:Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072486)

This is Slashdot. If you haven't immersed yourself in the intricacies of the battles over filesharing including any pending legislation then, well, we need more people like you :(

Re:Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072564)

Of course. If they did that, the summary might contain information!

Re:Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (2)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072584)

The reason SOPA isn't defined is it actually stands for Satanic Overlords and Pedophilia Association. No wonder they have a hard time getting people to listen to them.

Re:Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072922)

You know, I think this is a good idea: pedophilia is so universally reviled in our culture, and there's so much hysteria about it, that maybe this can be used for good. Any time you make an accusation, it doesn't have to be true, but it sticks in people's minds for a long time if the accusation is of something very heinous. So maybe we need to start accusing various politicians of being pedophiles, so that people associate them with this and vote against them.

For instance, I've heard some very credible reports that Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi are all pedophiles.

Re:Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072854)

Unfortunately, they don't even do that in TFA, that I could see.

Did anyone expect otherwise? (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072448)

Really? We all know the pattern by now. Cynicism is so firmly established, people hardly even bother to campaign when they know they'll be ignored.

I'm against this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072698)

and picketing... but I don't know how to show it. - M. Hedburg.

Can I make up my own acronyms too? (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072472)

I am sorry if I am unable to keep up with all the acronyms, but really is it too much to at least spell them out fully one just so we can get a gist?

Heck I get confused with BSA (Business Software Alliance) with BSA (Boy Scouts of America) and BoA (Bank of America)
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) looks a lot like SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol).

If you just write out the Acronym just once you help clarify things much easier.

Re:Can I make up my own acronyms too? (4, Funny)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072830)

It's easy to confuse SOPA with SOAP, though. Neither accomplish the goal stated by the acronym. SOPA won't stop online piracy, and SOAP is anything but simple.

Re:Can I make up my own acronyms too? (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073058)

About 40 years ago, BSA was a British company that made motorbikes (competing with Triumph and Norton)

Re:Can I make up my own acronyms too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073560)

And prior to that, they made guns. My father just recently came upon a BSA/Ithaca bolt action rifle in 300 Win Mag.

Re:Can I make up my own acronyms too? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073096)

ah!

now I get it.

its all XML's fault.

makes perfect sense, now that its all been exposed.

(stupid sexy flanders)

Sounds like a case for the AAAAA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073200)

The American Association Against Acronym Abuse!

Oh good an online petition (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072484)

Yeah that will really show them. How about getting the Occupy folks to help out? They aren't busy.

Re:Oh good an online petition (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072724)

Actually, the Occupy protesters are more gainfully employed and working [wepartypatriots.com] than the Tea Tardier crowd are.

Better educated, too. Which is little surprise, since the Tea Tards mostly follow the dictates of Rush, Beck, and Fox News agitators as a faked astroturd movement, while the OWS protesters actually come less from the Democrat aisle and mostly from the true Independent center.

Re:Oh good an online petition (-1, Troll)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072882)

That would explain the urine, feces, various and numerous communicable diseases, shootings, rapes and of course, the drumming.

Re:Oh good an online petition (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072946)

Let's see, you post as evidence a blog post which, in its first line, says it got its information from another blog post....

Re:Oh good an online petition (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073082)

BTW, here is your highly educated OCW crowd. [nypost.com]

Re:Oh good an online petition (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073380)

Isn't that the same kind of stuff you would find if you cleaned out a big city park on any day of any year?

Re:Oh good an online petition (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073472)

You're kidding...right? This seems normal to you?

They really need to 'clean up their act' (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072494)

SOPA

herp derp

Bad for everyone (5, Insightful)

Djehuty3 (1371395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072500)

I admin a forum with a little over 30k members.

In the past, we've had a former member we've banned file a false DMCA claim against us and successfully take us down. We moved DNS and have been up since; For the record, 1and1 didn't even investigate, whereas our replacement, GoDaddy, kept a note of the circumstances and have notified us when that same person has tried to take us down again.

If this passes, our little forum is fucked. No two ways about it; Somebody will get butthurt about being banned and we'll get taken down, again - but this time, there's a risk of actual criminality behind it.

Don't tell me that this will be carefully used and no false claims will succeed, because we've been on the wrong end of that tale before.

Today, we're participating in the scheme being run by http://americancensorship.org/ [americancensorship.org] ; If you run a site, regardless of mission, you should too.

Re:Bad for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072848)

So have you posted a message for all of your members to write a letter to their senators and rep detailing thier objections to SOPA? 30,000 letters written on paper will make an impact.

Re:Bad for everyone (2)

Djehuty3 (1371395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072904)

Yes I have, as part of the scheme being run by http://americancensorship.org/ [americancensorship.org] . We also have a very annoying splashscreen on /index.php, which is viewable at the link if you have javascript enabled, and a big black bar over our logo at the top of every single page.

However, not all of our members are in the US; if I had to guess, maybe 10k are. Of that, how many will actually give enough of a damn to contribute?

Re:Bad for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073130)

Maybe you shouldn't continue banning people just because you can.

Re:Bad for everyone (1)

Djehuty3 (1371395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073174)

I suspect I'm being wound up, but when somebody is being a deliberate arsehole and intentionally disrupting any and all threads and conversations, they need to be removed. We're very lenient on bans, but the function is there for a reason.

Re:Bad for everyone (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073536)

You sound mad and banned.

It seems very lopsided to me. (3, Interesting)

pstorry (47673) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072534)

It seems that this is hideously lopsided. One out of the six speakers being openly against the bill is an outrage!

Given how much has no doubt been paid by companies for their representation, that sixth person is a bit of a slap in the face. They should take action immediately, and refuse to pay their representatives.

(More seriously, American politics is becoming a textbook on how not to represent the people.)

Fallen (2, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072552)

Between this, warrantless wiretapping, reporters blocked from the teardown of the OWS protest, it seems that the US has reached the tipping point on its way to becoming a fascist.corporatist state. I'm quite surprised that there hasn't been anywhere close to as much outrage as I would have suspected.

Re:Fallen (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072634)

You're forgetting of course the 'free speech zones', far far away from the cameras, ignored by anybody, stuffed with protesters ready to be trucked away to some holding cell.

Re:Fallen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072674)

You have no idea how many people believe that something is right just because someone in a suit on the TV says so.

If I were a sociologist, I'd postulate that the American Revolution would have never happened if TV had been around back then.

People just soak up the propaganda like sponges, and they won't get it until until someone takes their house away. Even then they'll just blame gays and vote for the same old clowns, thinking anything will change that way.

Re:Fallen (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072790)

You think the cud-chewers in flyover country even NOTICED what was going on?

Perhaps you missed out on the memo - they don't pay attention to the news, even when the newsmedia is outraged about not being able to report it.

They get their "info" from the hatemongers and racist shitwads on morning and afternoon talk radio. Like this "Dan Patrick" and "Sam Malone" we have on KSEV and KVCE in Texas; they've been slandering the ever-loving hell out of the OWS movement ever since it started. Sam hasn't noticed yet that this isn't the 70s, though he obviously thinks so, since about every 5 minutes he makes some crack about how the OWS should "take a bath" and OWS women should "shave their pits, shave their legs, and go get a job as a waitress or secretary."

Of course, Sam is an open, out-and-out Birther too, who regularly refers to the President of the United States as "that kenyan muslim."

Fucking misogynist, bigoted shitwads. That's what you're dealing with in the right wing these days.

Re:Fallen (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073150)

america is really 2 (or more) americas.

there's the one you and I live in (if I may be so bold to assume) and then there's that flyover mentality that you mentioned. some call it 'red states' some call it 'pockets of ignorance'.

we are as strongly divided as we were in the civil war times. I'm not entirely sure there ever WAS a true USA central concept here, as the country is just too vast and varied for there to be one thought of The People. The People can't think straight and are told lies by those in power (religion and civil) and become pawns who are echoing the bullshit bleatings of their masters.

problem is, the thinkers are such a minority and it gets worse as time progresses. the dumbing down of america is in full force. control the media and you control their thoughts (hi orwell!).

I have little long-term faith for our country, sad to say. I see where things are going and I see no good side to it at all ;(
the marching morans are carring out the orders of their masters.

sometimes, humanity makes me sick. this is one such time.

Re:Fallen (1, Troll)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072988)

it seems that the US has taken another step towards a truly free market society.

FTFY

George Carlin had this nailed (4, Insightful)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072748)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5dBZDSSky0 [youtube.com] - That's it. Sorry.

Re:George Carlin had this nailed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073222)

I think he said it better here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaa9iw85tW8

Well, it is Google, so it *might* get interesting (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072756)

Their best gambit might be to stand up, name every company and organisation against SOPA, then say "These proceedings are a farce. Go Cheney yourselves." and walk out. We can but hope.

Re:Well, it is Google, so it *might* get interesti (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072872)

If I was google, I would check all the companies that have lots to lose with this bill, name all and say how much cash they bring in. compare all of that with a best case scenario of the whole entertainment industry earning double what they get so far. I am pretty certain that the best way to vote should be clear from that.

Ron Paul's against it. (3, Informative)

Khith (608295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072858)

Ron Paul Comes Out Against SOPA; Joins Other Elected Officials Saying No To The Great Firewall Of America [techdirt.com]

It's good to know that some people in government are unhappy with this. I didn't know Paul's stance on internet issues before, but now I know that he's against crap like this.

Re:Ron Paul's against it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073292)

It's good to know that some people in government are unhappy with this.

Michelle Bachmann is against it as well:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111014/15221616369/michele-bachmann-comes-out-against-protect-ip.shtml

She's the rep for my district, she's bat-shit crazy, but at least she got something right.

Re:Ron Paul's against it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073452)

Paul's stance can be determined on any issue with the following formula:

Is it covered as an issue that the Federal government has authority over in the Constitution?

If yes, he's for it.

If no, is it pro-abortion or pro-women's rights?

If yes, he's against it.

All else, he's against it.

/. mirror? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072908)

When did techdirt start mirroring /.?

Create an underground backbone. (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073086)

If you can organize people to be part of a network you can create a free and open web. They will have to do the following.

1) buy a wireless router and allow it to become part of the grid network.
2) refuse to restrict any traffic regardless of how you feel about it.
3) if you can afford it, pay for a vpn connection to one other city that has done the same.

If people are not open to allowing any traffic to flow, then they want to be censored.

AFL-CIO WTF? (3, Insightful)

danlip (737336) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073120)

Why the hell is AFL-CIO for SOPA? And why are they considered a relevant party to testify? As a matter of fact, why is MasterCard for it? Visa is against it. MPAA is obvious, and Pfizer I can understand (they want to block sites that sell knock-off drugs).

Re:AFL-CIO WTF? (2)

rkhalloran (136467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073382)

>> Why the hell is AFL-CIO for SOPA?

Cozying up to the MAFIAA: "all this movie piracy is costing your people trade jobs in set building, craft services, etc etc etc". Just as much BS as they're pushing at Congress, but threatening the "little people" that they're losing work.

I've never understood American (5, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073276)

I've never understood Americans.

Your first amendment is the right of free speech. But you have the FCC and they can ban you if you show someone that says words like fuck on the TV. How can a government agency ban a private company if they try and use their most important right as in the Constitution?

Then you have the amendment that they shall no seizure of property without a proper warrant from a judge. But your country searches everything if you try and go on a plane. In not just search the bags, but it strip-search everyone, including children and babies.

The Americans claim to have the best democracy of the world, but you have only two political parties. Then you claim do be the most advanced civilization, but your poverty rate and child-death-rate is one of the highest in the western countries. There are a lot of cases in America that people die because of bad teeth.

And now you don't only have the DMCA law, that ignores the due-process and innocent-until-proven-otherwise rule, but you have soon the SOPA law.

I wouldn't care, but you try and export that anti-democracy laws to us in Europe, too. Just build a big wall around the USA, have your own internet and leave us in peace.

Re:I've never understood American (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073486)

Our Constitution is nearly meaningless, unfortunately, like most of our other law. The will of the Masters is all that matters, and no law or centuries-old document will be allowed to contradict it. They've gotten really brazen about it, too. They're so entrenched and so firmly in control of the process, though, that nobody can find a way out.

Pro-SOPA / Anti-SOPA (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073346)

With no mention of what the initialism stands for, this summary reminds me of the great pro-skub / anti-skub [pbfcomics.com] debate.

99% and the 1% (4, Insightful)

duranaki (776224) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073366)

I can't say I've been occupying anywhere but work, but it seems amazing how many stories I've been seeing lately that strike me as "Congress trying to pass a law to help the 1% at the 99%'s expense". You'd think they'd at least wait until some of this blows over, but I guess they really don't care or feel threatened.

Draw the line. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073376)

It's time to get organized folks. Start getting together in person and in secret so everything you say can't be recorded. Talk in person about the options to deal with this and the other situations going on within our governments.

Tacitus would have said : (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073542)

They make censorship, and they call it democracy.

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