Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

SOPA Creator In TV/Film/Music Industry's Pocket

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-I-repeat-myself dept.

Piracy 345

First time accepted submitter en4bz writes "Representative Lamar Smith, the creator of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), has been consistently receiving donations averaging $50 000 from the TV/Film/Music industry for each of his re-election campaigns for the past ten years. Smith has received roughly half a million dollars from the TV/Film/Music lobby over the past ten years according to opensecrets.org. Check out the source link for a full breakdown of donors to Smith's campaigns." Speaking of SOPA, new submitter DarkStar1O9 submits this "explanation in simple terms of why this dangerous new bill in congress could result in the extinction of sites that are based on user-generated content like YouTube, Reddit, and StumbleUpon." Update: 12/18 20:42 GMT by T : An anonymous reader writes "Eric S. Raymond weighs in on SOPA and the question of why so many people hate this bill and not the dozens of others just like it that get passed on a regular basis."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

LOL (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38417934)

Well DUH.

Go vote for Ron Paul.
 

Re:LOL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38417996)

Well DUH.

Go vote for Ron Paul.

It's RON PAUL!

Geeze.

Re:LOL (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418070)

I voted for Ron Paul because some guy told me to do so in the comments section of a YouTube video where a group of monkeys danced to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

He'll protect the Internet and stuff. I particularly like how he fights for freedom, except if it involves abortion, separation of church and state, gay marriage, gay people in the military,

Re:LOL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418214)

You won't vote for him just because you dislike his views on a few issues?

I particularly like how he fights for freedom, except if it involves abortion, separation of church and state, gay marriage, gay people in the military,

Sounds no different from the average republican here. At most, these issues won't change. He won't suddenly make it a criminal offense to be gay. And I don't believe he wants to make abortion illegal. He just wants to leave it in the hands of the states.

I'd vote for him because, for the most part, I agree with what he says. I can't say that's true for a lot of politicians.

Re:LOL (4, Interesting)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418446)

Frankly, I view abortion, separation of church and state and gay (and shemale) rights as more important than copyright stuff. So no, even if I were US citizen, I would not vote for him.

Re:LOL (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418498)

It's not just about copyright, but about free speech as well. And privacy. And getting rid of these idiotic anti-terrorism organizations that thrive on paranoia (and feast on taxpayer money).

As I said, those issues likely won't get any worse than they already are. Otherwise, with our previous presidents, they would have already done so. I seriously don't see the difference.

Re:LOL (0, Flamebait)

evilwoodchuck (1456949) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418252)

I voted for Ron Paul because some guy told me to do so in the comments section of a YouTube video where a group of monkeys danced to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

He'll protect the Internet and stuff. I particularly like how he fights for freedom, except if it involves abortion, separation of church and state, gay marriage, gay people in the military,

How would you like it if you were in the military and had to go through basic training, where the circumstances require you to shower in a room with up to 50 other guys showering in it... and they were allowed to be openly gay? It's inappropriate. It's not like we can separate them from us like they do with female groups (they have their own "flight" as we call it in the Air Force made up of all females). If we were to have a "homosexual flight", they would say that we were discriminating against them based on their sexual orientation - which would be true; do you have a better solution?

There shouldn't be any openly gay people in the military. Gays need to accept that the way they are is NOT the status quo, and they need to adapt to "normal" types of behavior and get out of this fantasy world they seem to think they live in.

Re:LOL (4, Insightful)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418276)

Your comment is the definition of homophobia. You're afraid of gay people. Quit being such a fucking wimp and deal with your prejudice.

Re:LOL (5, Insightful)

ninetyninebottles (2174630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418390)

How would you like it if you were in the military and had to go through basic training, where the circumstances require you to shower in a room with up to 50 other guys showering in it... and they were allowed to be openly gay?

Umm, what exactly is the problem with that? Are you afraid the gay will rub off or something?

It's not like we can separate them from us like they do with female groups...

Which is itself a relic of gender inequality. I say put everyone together and teach discipline. If you can't behave honorably and control yourself in a shower with your fellow soldiers you shouldn't be in the military in the first place. How can such a person be expected to act under real stress where their suppressing their animal impulses and obeying orders will save the lives of their fellows or prevent the kinds of sickening, dishonorable abuse that has made American soldiers so easy to hate.

There shouldn't be any openly gay people in the military.

There shouldn't be homophobes in the military, nor people who can't see past one attribute of a fellow soldier and treat them as a person, with respect and honor.

Gays need to accept that the way they are is NOT the status quo...

Prejudiced dinosaurs like yourself need to realize the world has moved on. Ignorance and repression were socially acceptable in the past. People of other races, religions, philosophies, and preferences are as much people as you are and if you can't deal with it and them, you have no place representing the United States of America in any official capacity.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418488)

How would you like it if you were in the military and had to go through basic training, where the circumstances require you to shower in a room with up to 50 other guys showering in it... and they were allowed to be openly gay?

From personal experience, I didn't care, and neither did anybody else. When you're wearing the uniform, anyone else doing so is your brother or sister, regardless of who or what they are, and you count on them day in and day out, so you check the bullshit and get on with your fucking job.

Re:LOL (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418494)

What the hell showering with gays has to do with anything? You think they're going to rape you or something, regardless of if they're interested in you or even think you look nice? It doesn't work like that. Or could you not control yourself if you were showering with women? Because if that's the case, you have a serious problem.

Re:LOL (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418302)

Hahaha, +1!

Re:LOL (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418306)

Don't confuse his personal views with his political stance. He may have conservative values, but he doesn't force those values on others.

Ron Paul isn't running against Lamar Smith (4, Informative)

Weezul (52464) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418030)

As observed here [metafilter.com] , we could realistically defeat Lamar Smith [wikipedia.org] in 2012 because his district [wikipedia.org] picks up much of Austin, including the University of Texas. Fill his local media with talk about Lamar Smith's attempt to destroy the internet.

Not to mention totally legal (-1, Redundant)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418032)

The entertainment industry is allowed to lobby for their causes just like every other industry. It's fair, it's legal and it has worked pretty damn well for over 200 years in this country. I frankly don't see how any of this will lead to shutting down user-generated-content based sites like YouTube. YouTube's parent (Google) has plenty of money and is just as capable of lobbying Congress as is anyone else.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418074)

This needs to stop NOW! seriously, this is corruption.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (0)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418094)

Lobbying is not now, nor has it ever been, corruption. It is simply a form of communication.. i.e. speech. We have an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that protects that sort of thing.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (5, Insightful)

Transfinite (1684592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418150)

Yup I guess corruption could be seen as a form of speech. Still it is corruption and should have no place whatsoever in politics.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (-1, Troll)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418232)

No, corruption is when you can determine that definite “pay to play” or vote buying has happened. That is nothing at all like lobbying. The entertainment industry has every right to convince people of their opinion and support those candidates that support their causes. What you’re advocating for seems to be some archaic form of government where no expert opinions can be brought to bear on politicians. Are you actually espousing that congressional representatives already have some innate expertise on every issue that would preclude their being informed by expert lobbyists? By that logic, I can simply go outside of my house and feel what the weather is like to get a bearing for my opinion of climate change. Why should I, or any representative, fall into the trap of listening to highly trained climate scientists who use government funds and promote a message that requires more and more government funds be funneled their way? Lobbying is an efficient and effective way of bringing expertise and nuance into the government’s sphere that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (4, Insightful)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418290)

Well, it is all well and good to bring in so called "expertise and nuance" into government so that legislators can make informed decisions. So can I assume that you would be OK with eliminating campaign contributions from these so called experts? Because if not, what you wrote is a bunch of BS and just a convenient excuse for buying off politicians.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (0, Troll)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418364)

Well, it is all well and good to bring in so called "expertise and nuance" into government so that legislators can make informed decisions. So can I assume that you would be OK with eliminating campaign contributions from these so called experts? Because if not, what you wrote is a bunch of BS and just a convenient excuse for buying off politicians.

That is certainly an option (not one I would choose, but a resonable option nonetheless), but then you have eliminate all campaign contributions from all groups/people/PACs/etc... If you're going to go fascist and depreive one group of their freedom of speech, then you have to deprive them all.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (5, Insightful)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418512)

Don't you see that in the current system most of us are deprived access to influence? Our votes are the only power we have in this system. I'll never be able to influence my local congressman to pass legislation that favors me, especially if the local corporation can work against me and contribute far more money to their campaign than I can. The simple reality is that this is about who should have the political influence in our country. Because if money is removed from the electoral process then you pretty much remove the influence of corporations and give the power back to the individual voter. But that will never happen will it? Politicians love their money too much and corporations love their influence too much and the American public just sleeps.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (3, Insightful)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418178)

Just because it is technically legal doesn't mean it isn't corrupt. There is such a thing as rigging the system to legally profit from selling influence. That is pretty much what lobbying has become. Sure, if we all had the same amount of money to throw around at politicians maybe it would work for everyone. But since a very small percentage of US citizens hold most of the money, that influence is unevenly distributed.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (1)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418284)

Just because it is technically legal doesn't mean it isn't corrupt. There is such a thing as rigging the system to legally profit from selling influence. That is pretty much what lobbying has become. Sure, if we all had the same amount of money to throw around at politicians maybe it would work for everyone. But since a very small percentage of US citizens hold most of the money, that influence is unevenly distributed.

This assumes, incorrectly, that all lobbyists are of the same opinion and work on the same side of the isle. Other than unions (which donate over 95% of their funds to the DNC), political lobbies have a fairly even distribution of funds across political isles. In the case of this issue, you have huge corporations with vast sums of money working on both sides of the issue. There is no corruption inherent in this process as you seem to imply.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (5, Insightful)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418414)

"In the case of this issue, you have huge corporations with vast sums of money working on both sides of the issue." That's your justification? So it's not corruption because we have huge corporate proxies fighting for both sides? This is laughable. It' not about which side you are on. It's about the fact that money is involved in influencing a politician to legislate favorably to those who support their campaign efforts. I don't care which side you are on, this is corrupt and it's not how our government is supposed to work. There was never any vision for paid lobbyists within our system. Congressmen and Senators are supposed to be influenced by the voters in their states and districts, not to the corporation who throws the most money at them.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418266)

Individual natural persons have rights. Corporations are legal constructs, which means that the concept of corporations having rights makes no sense.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (2, Insightful)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418322)

Individual natural persons have rights. Corporations are legal constructs, which means that the concept of corporations having rights makes no sense.

I would refer you to Dartmouth College v. Woodward 1819. The U.S. was built on corporations having rights. It's one of several factors that made us the most powerful nation in history.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418292)

Giving money to people is indeed speech. That applies to punching people in the face, too.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (2)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418146)

Trading money for votes may be legal, but it is neither fair nor ethical. Stop being a shill.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (-1)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418422)

Trading money for votes may be legal, but it is neither fair nor ethical. Stop being a shill.

No one has been identified as trading money for votes, and lobbying is clearly not such. Stop being deceitful and obtuse.

Re:Not to mention totally legal (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418206)

I'd be interested to see a study of average amounts of money spent on lobbying over the past 200 years. I would guess it's way up, even after adjusting for inflation or economy size.

Ron Paul is economically illiterate (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418136)

I agree with Ron Paul 100% that we need to get corporate influence out of our politics.

However, everything else he believes will destroy our economy, his beliefs are economic suicide.

We don't defeat the plutocracy in Washington DC by embracing a vision even worse than the plutocracy.

Re:Ron Paul is economically illiterate (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418158)

pretty much this for me. I love a lot of what Ron Paul has to say, and I agree with him about 80% of the time but some of his views on the economy and such just feel a bit out of touch with the real world. Still i'm tempted to vote for him.

Re:Ron Paul is economically illiterate (1, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418340)

I participated in the Free Bradley Manning march by Occupy San Diego yesterday for a few reasons - (1) I believe in the cause (2) I wanted to size up the Occupy movement for myself for an unbiased opinion, and (3) I was hoping to see some action and maybe even capture a little police brutality.

If you were there, I was the guy with the water jug who had the idea to use zip-ties to support the banner poles over the overpass, and was the asshole who said, "Thank you, officer!(stirring a few laughs from the crowd)" after he blocked traffic for us.

The following is a brutally frank assessment of occupy San Diego: They are freaks. They are every bad stereotype the media makes the movement out to be. The only participants with any semblance of normalcy were a few affluent ex-hippies with legitimacy in society, but who had obviously done more than their share of drugs in the '60's.

The message itself and calls to rally were pretty good, and a couple of the speakers were passionate and charismatic. However, when I first arrived, a person giving the speech was a transvestite("trap"). It has seemed that the movement was co-opting itself by inadvertently shoehorning a LGBT agenda into the protests. I sympathize with homosexuals and I agree that they have a right to be pissed off, but it does nothing but hurt the cause of the protest when the impression is that of a gaggle of pissed off people looking for something to shout about.

Many of them are like you - dressed like bad LARPers, who were allowed to escape from their entire childhood and now are out of touch with reality. They are pissed because they failed to adapt to society, they failed to see what was coming. That is not to say that their message is wrong, because America is fucked up for all the reasons that they state. The problem is that they appear to be blaming the system because of their own weaknesses and failures, and that is not what "normal" people like you and I want to be associated with. If we join them, their stench of failure will hover over us as well, and it will make more people the laughing stock of the protest movement rather than gain legitimacy.

You want legitimacy? Stop dressing like steampunk cowboys and renaissance-fair rejects, take a fucking shower with shampoo, and put on some decent clothes. Correct the mistakes you made not conforming earlier in life and gain an air of legitimacy. Your spoken message is excellent, but you're making jokes out of yourself with your costumes, reenacting silly childhood fantasies. Grow the fuck up and I might just offer you more support. I know how to do this. But I need your help. You want to give all this tough-guy talk about being co-opted? Take the fucking offensive and co-opt them. The first step to gaining public sympathy is to take a fucking shower and grab a shave.

I want to offer some final criticism - in the official video of the march, the person operating the camera asks a bystander what they know about Bradley Manning, and the woman says, "Um, he, like, sent that thing to Wikileaks." Come on, you can do better than that!

Re:Ron Paul is economically illiterate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418430)

ta;dr

(too autistic;didn't read)

Re:Ron Paul is economically illiterate (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418490)

I really feel you on this one. I agree with Ron Paul on so much but I vehemently disagree with him on some fundamental issues that are close to me and represent some of my hottest buttons. This election season has led me to a new conclusion: as a voter I cannot have my cake and eat it too. If I agree completely with a candidate, something is wrong.

I have decided (grudgingly) that those issues where I agree with him due in fact take precedent over areas where I consider him to be completely backwards. As a rabid left winger (voted for Obama) I never ever thought it would come down to this but as it stands I would vote for him over Obama, Hillary, or any other Democratic hopefuls we will probably see in the coming months. I know I still need to listen to them before I can really make a decision but I have little faith in being presented with anything but the same-old-same-old. Maybe someone will change my mind but Ron Paul is radically different and we need someone radically different.

Re:Ron Paul is economically illiterate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418222)

its not like he is actually going to get elected as president you blithering idiot. just vote for him. its a vote for change. and if he gets enough the mainstream will change their views gradually to attract your vote.

Re:Ron Paul is economically illiterate (1, Offtopic)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418314)

so you would also advise me to vote for a racist candidate because our immigration policy needs changing?

hey, asshole: why don't i vote for the candidate i'm comfortable with?

ron paul is delusional, his economic beliefs are insane and archaic. so no vote for ron paul

Re:Ron Paul is economically illiterate (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418332)

But will it destroy the economy faster than what everyone else is doing? The most common criticism of Paul's policies tends to be that it's naive, but naive is usually better than malicious.

Re:Ron Paul is economically illiterate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418450)

Could you please provide an example that demonstrates that Ron Paul is economically illiterate?

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418336)

Why is it that donations are not anonymous?

Color me surprised... (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38417936)

Color me surprised!

Not.

Every congresscritter is in someone's pocket... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38417948)

...the hope that they're in different pockets. You have to compromise your morals as a congresscritter...the good ones make more favorable deals with fewer devils who are less evil.

Except (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418202)

As noted upthread [slashdot.org] , Lamar Smith is vulnerable since UT Austin lies inside his district, meaning the internet could run a serious campaign against him.

No shit? (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38417952)

Which representative isn't in someone's pocket? Good fucking luck finding one...

Re:No shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418012)

Which representative isn't in most corporations' pocket?
 
By the way, has anyone on here read Lawrence Lessig's new book on this topic of corporate influence on politicians? I don't have much money, and have even less income, so I'd appreciate /. feedback on the book before I consider buying it. (The odds of getting it at a library in less than a year are low.)

Re:No shit? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418300)

(The odds of getting it at a library in less than a year are low.)

You can increase those odds by requesting that your library buy it or by pursuing an inter-library loan.

Also, don't his books tend to be available for free [legally] on the Internet to begin with?

Re:No shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418350)

I haven't read it but one part of it bugs me. He didn't release it under the creative commons. After he discussed how important it was on numerous times and everything about it. Of course, maybe the money in media he complains about all time time is different when it goes into his pocket and he was hoping no one would notice when he didn't talk about it. Information wants to be free, for the right price, I guess.

Re:No shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418406)

Why are political donations not anonymous? If the politicians do not know who gave the money, they can not be bribed.

Congress is really voting on itself (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38417970)

Congress not voting on whether the web's most visited sites will remain up. Congress is really voting on whether it remains relevant.

Make an accepted behavior criminal and all you do is delegitimize the law in general, as Prohibition showed.

What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38417972)

If it is "user generated" why would anyone take it down? That implies the user created the content from scratch with using copyrighted (copywritten?) music or video/photo data.

Re:What? (2)

ninetyninebottles (2174630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418054)

copyrighted (copywritten?)

Copyrighted. As in, the government granted monopoly on the right to make copies of a work; ostensibly for the promotion of useful arts and sciences.

Re:What? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418398)

A more accurate description may be 'user posted.' Some is from scratch, some is using derivative works in a clearly legal or authorized way, some is in a gray area, and some is clearly illegal. Takedown requests are pretty common for all but the first, and the recent UMG/Megaupload debacle has reminded us that even that can be subject to takedown by particularly aggressive groups.

arent we forgeting something? (1)

zubiaur (1207636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38417976)

"could result in the extinction of sites that are based on user-generated content like YouTube, Reddit, and StumbleUpon."

What about /.?

Re:arent we forgeting something? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38417990)

Yeah, the possible extinction of Reddit, YouTube, and StumbleUpon seem like pretty compelling reasons to support SOPA.

Broke (4, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418002)

Speaking as a non American, this is how the USA looks today to non Americans. The USA economy is broke, bust, only surviving by the willingness of countries like China to prop you up. Like many Western countries, you sent your manufacturing economy abroad, believing in the fairy story of "Intellectual Property" as the new way of making money.

Intellectual Property is worthless, especially to the many countries that don't care about it. It's not as if the USA cares about fair trade, using geopolitical muscle to frighten smaller states into submission.

If you keep on electing the same morons who push controls on the internet for big corporate friend donors, then the only person you can blame is yourself.

Re:Broke (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418110)

Well, not quite. US manufacturing has recently been on the decline, yes, but we're still top in the world for now. It's more that Chinese output has skyrocketed in recent years. (data) [greyhill.com]
 
With recent increases in Chinese labor costs, the balance is also slowly starting to shift back in our favor. But it remains to be seen what will happen in coming years.

Re:Broke (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418128)

If you keep on electing the same morons who push controls on the internet for big corporate friend donors, then the only person you can blame is yourself.

If you lived here you would see the sheer numbers of completely ignorant people there are in this country that don't give a fuck about anything beyond what is happening on Keeping Up With the Kardashians

Far too many of our populace has become completely complacent. Throw some McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and NASCAR at them and nothing else in the whole goddamned world matters, so long as we're "fighting the terrorists".

Things will change, it is inevitable as this level of ignorance is unsustainable; unfortunately, this country is going to have to suffer a total economic collapse before people start opening their eyes. I wish it were not so, but there's been a real anti-intellectual bent in this country over the last 30 years or so, so there are just too many people that can't see beyond tomorrow or their own backyards. Hell, any attempt to upset the status quo is widely dismissed and mocked, go to CNN and read the comments on any article about an Occupy protest here in the states and you'll see for yourself what we're fighting against.

So you tell me, Non-American: what do we do? Start locking up stupid people? Require IQ tests to vote? How do we nullify the moron voter base? They don't want to hear reason, because they're trained by Talk Radio ideologues to distrust anyone that disagrees with them. So what's your solution? Because honestly, we could use one, and I would really like to find one that doesn't involve Hitler-esque eugenics programs...

Re:Broke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418192)

Nullifying the moron voter base won't help if we still have moron candidates, where are all the intelligent, honest candidates? In industry?

Re:Broke (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418224)

In other countries, it seems. Maybe we can import some? May as well offshore our political candidates along with everything else, amirite?

Re:Broke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418274)

Well, another idea is to simply kill all stupid people? That would solve the problem. Identify the stupid gene, and kill everyone with the stupid gene. But that would be kinda a nazi move, with other consequences, but, on the other hand maybe it would be beneficial to humanity over the long term.

Re:Broke (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418324)

Look at Obama. He's honest, smart, and completely helpless. He wasted most of his first two years trying to negotiate with people who had no intention of ever working with him. All the while, his opponents spread vicious lies about "death panels". They accused him of trying to indoctrinate school children when he told them to stay in school. They demonized his wife for suggesting kids shouldn't eat fast food every day. They complained about him raising taxes ("Taxed Enough Already!") when he had actually cut taxes, as part of the stimulus. They lied and lied and lied and the drooling masses lapped it up, with the result that the liars gained power.

Stupidity and hatred will beat reason and cooperation every time. The GP is optimistic. A total economic collapse will not get the idiots to open their eyes. They'll blame the collapse on whomever Limbaugh tells them to blame. Spoiler alert: they're going to blame liberals, and immigrants, and Muslims, and gays. And the idiot masses will start killing.

Re:Broke (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418370)

The intelligent, honest candidates can't get any campaign funding.

Re:Broke (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418428)

Actually, now that I think about it they can't get on the ballot to begin with either. Ballot access requires being nominated by one of the existing parties, and to get nominated you have to be as sociopathic and corrupt as the rest of them.

Re:Broke (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418216)

I live in non-america too (technically it depends on whether we talk about the country or continent) and we face the same problem. For us in Argentina, it required pretty much full economic collapse for people to start thinking and it's still an ongoing battle. I suppose Jefferson was right, you really need a revolution of some sort every 20 something years, for democracy to work as intended and to keep people interested in real world problems.

Re:Broke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418258)

Why do you think they are so stupid? By that I mean what caused this downward shift? Or are you of the opinion that in general people find it easier to be given their thoughts rather than cogitate themselves.

If you answered yes to the last then might I suggest that television is the issue and has destroyed at least 2 generations of potentially thoughtful people, to get an idea of what I mean by this look at the "inappropriate curve", try to imagine a show like "two and half men" in the 50's or "Califonication" in which the 5th season episode 1 was a string of sex scenes for roughly 20 minutes.

Re:Broke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418346)

Move out.

If there's no way to fix it, it's irreparably broken.

Move to Europe. Move to Canada. Move to Japan. Plenty of options.

Re:Broke (1)

jjjhs (2009156) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418474)

Because moving to another country is as easy as you say it is?

As an American, I can tell you what to do (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418438)

The moron vote is herded like cattle by demagogues who are paid to do so by the Faux News corporate propaganda machine. The demagogues appeal to their prejudices, to ignore the policies that might hurt the plutocracy. So you have the insane situation where the lower middle class hates health care reform, where they are the actual benefactors of health care reform. We have a dynamic where their health and the education of their children is damaged by policies they fully support, because they believe fairy tales like welfare queens with 20 kids and lazy illegal immigrants, that that is the real threat. And they don't want to reward these stereotypes. When of course it is themselves who are having their benefits removed, and the real threat is the corporation who doesn't want their bottom line impacted and the health care insurance corporation who wants the money to keep flowing in the wasteful healthcare system we have.

So what do you do? Forget the morons for a moment, you can't do anything about them. Aim like a laser beam on one issue that even the morons understand: corporate influence in our politics. Keep up a constant drumbeat of how our elected representatives represent the influence of those who pay for the reelection campaigns, rather than the actual people they are supposed to serve. Even a moron can get behind that. It will take time, but enough inertial movement will eventually be established that the point will be too loud and obvious, and even the demagogues can't distract the morons anymore from the real tragedy going on.

It is "We the people", not "we the rich people and the corporations." Hammer on that point every day. This is the weak point in the propaganda machine that the lower middle class morons are currently under full influence of. Their standard of living gets worse every day. And it is exactly because of the agenda of those who pay for the propaganda machine that keeps them spellbound. Break the spell. Show the little plutocrat behind the curtain creating the illusion of the fake frightening Oz.

Re:Broke (1)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418466)

what's amazing is that those people not paying attention are the ones who are being hurt most by the our "representatives".
it's not that they can be bought, it's that they can be bought so cheaply...

Re:Broke (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418486)

How about supporting smaller, weaker, less expensive, less powerful government? Then when someone wants to (mis)use government power ... there won't be much government power. A powerless government is a harmless government. And a weak government can only do limited harm.

Can we do that? Or do you need a huge, powerful, active government to enact your schemes upon your neighbors?

Like ESR (whom I quoted below), I wonder if anyone here will ever learn.

Re:Broke (5, Insightful)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418514)

I'm an American, but here's my answer to your question: Educate. That's our only hope, to educate our way out of this, and that's where the Democrats should narrow their focus. An uneducated person doesn't understand Rawlsian economics. An uneducated person doesn't understand that the U.S. Constitution is outdated and needs to be replaced. Or that socialism isn't a dirty word.

What the neo-cons have done is make a religion out of Americanism. They paint their opponents as unpatriotic blasphemers and the general public buys it. They buy it because they're uneducated, which makes them suckers.

Educate children. Extend the schoolday to 9-10 hours long (most people work at least 8 hours a day, so a 6-7 hour school day necessitates child care of some sort), allow more time for physical activity, self-study, and hands-on learning. Keep these kids away from their idiot parents as long as possible and teach them about the world. Ensure that they're well versed in logic, mathematics, science, and multiple languages. That they are in good physical condition.

There's this bizarre attitude in this country that a parent knows best. That by becoming a parent, some slumbering genius is awakened in each and every one of us and these instincts will guide our children to happiness. Mothers especially love this bullshit - the "maternal instinct" they speak of so reverently. Of course, they fail to mention that infanticide brought on by postpartum depression is nothing more than "maternal instinct."

I would rather see a Brave New World than my country devolve into ancient Rome, a land of bread and circuses, which is the way things appear to be headed. Take these kids away from their parents and fill their heads with every bit of objectively verifiable knowledge we can. That way, when they get older and start making subjective assessments, they'll at least be rooted in logic, which is clearly not the case right now.

Re:Broke (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418166)

Ha ha, English, right? English people all seem to thing America needs subsidized manufacturing. It's totally bizarre.

9 of the 10 best universities in the world are American. 4 of the world's 10 largest corporations are American. America has less debt per capita than Western European nations.

How many people in England use an iPhone, drive an American car, are currently typing this program on Windows or a Mac? Just about everybody. How many English products do I own? Let me look around...(30 seconds later)...I have a handle of Beefeater Gin. And that's it.

And why would intellectual property be worthless? Because it wants to be? People will pay for it so it has worth. It's just as worthwhile as paper money or gold.

Re:Broke (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418230)

How many English products do I own?

How many American products do you own, and by that I mean made in the United States by residents of the United States?

Re:Broke (3, Informative)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418378)

6 out of the 10 top Universities are American, the other 4 are English..Note that at No. 1 is Cambridge: http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2011 [topuniversities.com]

Less than 1% here in England drive an American car because, in the main, they're just too shite for words.

I have an iPhone, but it's made in China, as is my PC. My gogglebox comes from Korea, my motah from Germany, my desk from Sweden & my rug from Iran. Oh, I've just taken stock & the only American object I own is a bloody Weber barbeque.

Re:Broke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418182)

I hate to say this, I really do, but I think anyone in the world would be hard pressed to find a politician (or normal person) who wouldn't do these kinds of things with the amount of money changing hands. Ideology doesn't make your next boat payment.

As far as IP, I agree with you. I think the entertainment industry overestimates their value to the world. Out of all the movies I've seen in the last ten years, I'm hard pressed to think of more than two I enjoyed enough to pay to see them in the theater. I'd rather spend my money on food and drink. I get way more enjoyment out of a dinner and a few beers. A dollar for a song that can be copied infinitely? No, I'm sorry. No.

Re:Broke (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418186)

You're misinformed. China owns a whopping 8% of the US debt. The country is nowhere near broke. Eliminating the Bush tax cuts and putting some common sense reforms in place in Medicare and Social Security (e.g. means testing, increase the payroll tax cap, allow young healthy people to buy into Medicare) are all we need to get back in the black.

Our problem is a political one, not an economic one. The Republicans have abandoned any notion of loyal opposition, and now view politics as a war in which one's opponent must be destroyed utterly, no matter the cost. So solutions that are entirely reasonable, such as Obama's proposed plan to reduce the deficit by $2 trillion, get torpedoed, simply because a Democrat proposed them. Instead we get plans like the super committee, which was supposed to cut $600B from each of domestic spending and the military. But even that's too much compromise for the Republicans, so now they're trying to weasel out of the very same deal that they insisted on a few months ago.

As long as voters continue to view politics as a team sport, we're screwed.

Re:Broke (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418316)

Like many Western countries, you sent your manufacturing economy abroad, believing in the fairy story of "Intellectual Property" as the new way of making money.

While there is a lot of merit in what you say, the notion that IP has become most of our economy is not true. If you take the broadest definition of media -- including not just CDs and movie tickets, but things like Internet advertising and billboards -- total US media revenue is something like $450 billion per year. That is about 3.1% of the economy. Add in patent licensing and the monopoly rent portion of revenue on patented products -- using a similarly broad definition -- you're still well under 10% of GDP.

The idea that IP is the last thing we are capable of is false. It may be a larger portion of our economy than of many nations, but it is still a small enough portion of the economy that it could disappear tomorrow and it would not be as bad as the 2008 crash.

That also means that we don't need to set the Internet on fire and start throwing people who download The Little Mermaid in jail. If 10% of the people are assholes who don't pay for the media they consume and we just ignore them and go on with our lives, we'll be fine.

Re:Broke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418396)

You don't seem to understand that the only people that run for office are morons.

Dead on arival in the Senate.... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418006)

The House of Reps may very well pass this bill since it's currently Republican controlled, but it stands very little chance of making it through the Senate or getting signed by the President. Internet-aware politicians like use the 'net wisely like the way Obama ran up large numbers of small donations just by asking for them on Twitter.

Re:Dead on arival in the Senate.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418018)

except the dems are even more in the pocket of hollywood than the reps are...

Re:Dead on arival in the Senate.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418100)

That's why the Senate is debating PIPA while the House debates SOPA. Divide and conquer. Sympathy for big corporations is what is being established here. There are big bad evil pirates ruining a business model that needs stronger protection, according to industry lobbyists.

Re:Dead on arival in the Senate.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418228)

Nope. The entertainment industry donates to the Democrats at least as much as they donate to Republicans. Joe Biden did their bidding for years in the Senate, and he wasn't the only one.

Re:Dead on arival in the Senate.... (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418382)

The House of Reps may very well pass this bill since it's currently Republican controlled, but it stands very little chance of making it through the Senate or getting signed by the President.

This is one of the problems in politics today - people automatically attributing everything bad to the party they oppose. Erroneously convinced that they bear no fault for the ills of the country, they continue voting the exact same corrupt politicians into office year after year. (In this case Democrat voters are in the wrong, but the exact same thing happens with Republican voters.)

The entertainment industry favors Democrats [opensecrets.org] by a 2:1 to 4:1 margin. 7 of their top 10 recipients and 13 of their top 20 recipients are Democrats. Obama is their biggest recipient, receiving 4x more money from them than the next highest recipient (also a Democrat), and nearly 10x more than the highest Republican recipient. Barring a miraculous attack of conscience, he is sure to sign this into law if it passes.

The only thing that's stopping SOPA from passing in the Senate is that it's a House bill. The Senate equivalent is Protect IP.

In other news (1)

CruelKnave (1324841) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418022)

. . . dog bites man.

relocate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418026)

This would be a perfect opportunity for a place like Ireland to lure businesses with promises of freedom of speech. Their economy could use it, for sure.

ESR on SOPA opponents (2)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418140)

ESR on SOPA opponents: [ibiblio.org]

It’s a bad bill, all right. It’s a terrible bill – awful from start to finish, idiotic to the core, corruptly pandering to a powerful special-interest group at the cost of everyone else’s liberty.

But I can’t help noticing that a lot of the righteous panic about it is being ginned up by people who were cheerfully on board for the last seventeen or so government power grabs – cap and trade, campaign finance “reform”, the incandescent lightbulb ban, Obamacare, you name it – and I have to wonder

Don’t these people ever learn? Anything? Do they even listen to themselves?

It’s bizarre and entertaining to hear people who yesterday were all about allegedly benign and intelligent government interventions suddenly discovering that in practice, what they get is stupid and vicious legislation that has been captured by a venal and evil interest group.

Yeah, no shit? How...how do they avoid noticing that in reality it’s like this all the time?

Re:ESR on SOPA opponents (1)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418470)

When were incandescent bulbs banned? I thought they only banned inefficient bulbs.

Serious question: ***Warning requires effort*** (3, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418142)

Does someone want to reply to this post with a list of Senators/Representatives who are for SOPA? If Slashdot had a list of these people, we could just vote them out next election. Intent to violate our first amendment rights should be a good reason to vote them out.

Re:Serious question: ***Warning requires effort*** (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418420)

I can't speak for everyone here in California, but I say, that would do much harm to whatever taxes we can collect from advertising revenues on the websites, most of which are headquartered here.

Violating our right to free speech will be the least of the worries to the internet companies and Federal government, as they'll be focused on all the tax revenue that will be hacked off with this.

A simple challenge from the Justice depts, and States, can delay the implementation of this, and that pressure can wipe it out all together.

SOPA is sponsored with your money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418208)

It is you who paid them money! Think of it every time you buy music and films from whatever online or offline store.

"Do-noting Congress"? (2)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418280)

NBC reported last week that this Congress is on a pace for a record low number of bills passed, and cited the failed Super-Committee effort to reach a budget deal as one of the time wasters as they were doing that required-to-keep-the-Government-running step rather than marking off new territory. So, it looks like we're going to have SOPA floating around for the rest of this term until January 2013...

Re:"Do-noting Congress"? (2, Insightful)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418330)

Yay for the "do-nothing Congress!"

"No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."

-- Gideon J. Tucker

It's interesting to me that Smith is in Texas. It always seems like the entertainment biz is keeping cow state politicians in cash. For a long time, one of the senators from South Carolina -- I want to say Ernest/Fritz Hollings -- was in Disney's pocket. The lesson seems to be, buy a Southern politician: they're cheaper and they stay bought.

Shockingly small amounts of money (5, Insightful)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418294)

One of the shocking things to me is how cheap it is to buy your own laws. A million people could part with one dollar and easily block these laws. A million people isn't even 1% of the population. I think we need to start a PAC (or some type of corporation) and start buying our laws just like everyone else. Surly, as non-caring as everyone is about these issues, we could get 1% of the population to go in on some laws that favor the people.

DNS Takedown (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418342)

"That DNS server is spreading my copyrighted internet address, I want it taken down"!

Surprise ? Not. (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418360)

What, you think that Lamar Smith has suddenly developed a deep and abiding love for DNS ? Or that he intrigued by the parallels between the Border Gateway Protocol (version 4+) and the Book of Exodus ? Anyone who doesn't think he is coin-operated is a mark and an idiot, ripe for the fleecing.

Politicians: not just whores, but cheap whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418366)

Are we surprised to see a connection between "campaign contributions" and the legislative actions of their recipients? Probably not. What should surprise us is how cheaply politicians can be bought. Many of us aren't too shocked to learn that politicians are influenced more by bags of cash than by the wishes of their constituents as greed and venality are common human failings. What does shock is how cheaply they can be bought. Bad enough that they're whores, but even worse that they're cheap whores.

So what? (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418426)

We all guessed it was the case. Now someone has proven it. The disgusting thing is he's allowed to do it. No one will investigate it. No one will, when the vote comes to the floor, say anything like, "I'd like to point out the less-than-honorable douche bag is a paid shill. I'd like to, but it wouldn't really narrow it down in this once-distinguished chamber, would it?" No one did anything about Meredith Attwell Baker; what she did was legal but equally disgusting. Again, let me say ... so what? And all of the talk about voting for so-and-so because he's pro-[insert thing you agree with] or against [insert something you disagree with] makes zero difference. Change the lobby rules or it doesn't matter for whom you for vote: it won't mean anything different will happen.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?