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EFF: 48 Hours to Stop the Broadcast Flag

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the hard-not-to-be-cynical dept.

Television 702

The Importance of writes "Think the Broadcast Flag is dead? EFF is warning that Hollywood is trying to sneak the broadcast flag into law as an amendment to a massive appropriations bill. 'If what we hear is true, the provision will be introduced before a subcommittee tomorrow and before the full appropriations committee on Thursday. That gives us 48 hours to stop it.' Action Alert here. List of Senator's phone numbers here."

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702 comments

and the first thing i saw was (1)

scenestar (828656) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868419)

......EFF is warning that Hollywood is trying to sneak the broadcast flag into law as an amendment to a massive appropriations bill. ......

error


Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

Did it ever occure to you yanks... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868564)

That your system of goverment is one of the most corrupt in the world?

How about spreading some democracy in your own back-yard before trying to take over the world.

Re:Did it ever occure to you yanks... (5, Funny)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868644)

We're working on a patch for that.

Re:Did it ever occure to you yanks... (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868680)

Except we started using a git, and it's not quite working the way we want it to.

Första Posten! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868421)

Första Posten!

Re:Firsta Posten! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868461)

On your Leenux Boxen?

heh (-1, Offtopic)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868425)

I always sign these little petitions just for kicks =)

Like recently I signed that move on petition demanding that the president speak up about the downing street memos, but whatever nothings come out of it so far :-/ And no I don't feel special or anything because I did sign it, but these things to amuse me =)

Re:heh (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868445)

You cant sign this if you live in New York, or New Jersey :-/ Cant use my college or home address. This is farking ridiculous!!

Damnit, the bible belt is going to decide wether or not we have a broadcast flag or not, those farkers better not screw up!!(Of course by screwing up I mean doing anything that I don't agree with)

Re:heh (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868503)


For updated information on the DSM scandal, check here. [conyersblog.us]

Re:heh (2, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868570)

Instead of a petition, what we really need is the ability to give the Presidential Office back line-item veto power. With that power, the President could happily strike out stupid attachments like these without being accused of holding back "important legislation".

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court decided that line-item veto power required an amendment (probably correct), so Clinton's strikeout were reversed. :-(

figures... (0, Redundant)

psyon1 (572136) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868431)

I didnt figure it was just gonna go away.

senators (5, Insightful)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868436)

i'd write my senators, but i can't find my checkbook.

Re:senators (5, Funny)

IntergalacticWalrus (720648) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868649)

"i'd write my senators, but i can't find my checkbook."

Gotta love how this was modded 'insightful'...

BroadCast Flag (5, Interesting)

Canadian_Daemon (642176) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868438)

With the new CRIA law in Canada, and now the broadcast flag in America, it looks like the recording industry 'winning'. It's looks pretty bad for those fighting for digital rights.

Re:BroadCast Flag (5, Insightful)

barc0001 (173002) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868470)

The CRIA thing was only introduced as a bill, it's not law yet. Contact your MP. I have.

I wrote about this to CNN (5, Funny)

flyingace (162593) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868444)

Dont know if my news tip will get picked up. These things should not be sneaked in.

Re:I wrote about this to CNN (5, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868464)

Dont know if my news tip will get picked up. These things should not be sneaked in.
I hope you mean that humerously. CNN, being part of a media conglomerate has a vested intest in seeing the broadcast flag go through. I don't think that they are going to bring it to the publics attention against their own best interests.

Re:I wrote about this to CNN (1)

ClownsScareMe (840001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868544)

Not to mention that they are owned by a little mom and pop company called AOL Time Warner.

Re:I wrote about this to CNN (4, Insightful)

Fittysix (191672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868607)

CNN may be part of the problem, but in the end they're journalists, they're ALWAYS looking for some kind of news that can raise public intrest. The CNN news room could care less about wether it goes through or not, AOL/TW might have something to say on the matter but the only thing they care about from CNN is the ratings, not the content.

As I said... (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868451)

It's not over [slashdot.org]

Re:As I said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868508)

well let me be the first to give you a HJ and a blue ribbon, You just figured out what everyone knows about government already... they dont care... its all about what makes rich people rich and locking poor people into playing by their rules....

SS

Why.. (5, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868452)

Why don't I ever hear stories about conservatives/libertarians sneaking laissez-faire clauses into appropriations bills? Someone should have sneakily repealed DMCA by now.

Is playing dirty somehow beneath the good guys? Oh, that's what makes them the good guys...

Re:Why.. (5, Informative)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868513)

It can't really be done. One of the big responsibilities of paid industry lobbyists is looking through the details of laws to insert terms that are favorable to them and try to remove those that aren't. As soon as some music customer rights are inserted into an appropriations bill, the RIAA lobbyists will notice and make a big stink out of it, ensuring that the reps who are on their payroll will immediately remove the offending items. It is a nice thought, however.

Re:Why.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868529)

There ARE no good guys.......very few anyway, and they don't get far in politics

Re:Why.. (4, Informative)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868616)

Ron Paul (L-TX, well should be anyway, stupid ballot access laws), trys to recind big government laws but they always get shot down.

Re:Why.. (1)

sleight (22003) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868700)

Exsqueeze me? Sure, in this context, the non-Hollywood owned conservative/libertarian may be the good guy; however, the last time that I checked, most of the legislation that is getting passed these days has to have the backing of some if not all of the Republican party to make it through congress.

In short, if this bill makes it through congress, you'll have some Republicans to thank for it as well.

Oh Crap.. (1, Flamebait)

firew0lfz (690262) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868455)

This shit has got to stop.

First the Real ID Act..

Now this...

When? When will it end?

Re:Oh Crap.. (1)

donnyfire (679042) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868493)

When? When will it end? When we stop electing leaders who answer to the checkbooks of big donors (corporations, etc.), and instead answer to the people.

Re:Oh Crap.. (1)

unity (1740) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868574)

Let me translate, "Never".

You and I can vote all we want, but the stupid people of the U.S. will continue to vote for whomever the media and/or scariest advertisements tell them to.

Re:Oh Crap.. (1)

perigee369 (837140) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868512)

Surely, you must know by now, it's just another step towards martial law... :( The only way "Democracy" is ever going to be restored to what it once was - is at the end of a rifle. But most other Americans in this country are to apathetic/dumb/lazy to fight for their rights, using the method I described above.

It's sad really...

"So this is how Democracy ends - with thunderous applause..." - Senator Padme Amidala, Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Re:Oh Crap.. (1)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868645)

It's sad really...

No, what's sad is that you're one of the "most other Americans", but fail to see it.

What's even sadder is that you work to spread the apathy and cynicism which keep people from bothering to act. You're a tool of your enemy.

Re:Oh Crap.. (1)

andreMA (643885) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868659)

I suspect that ultimately it will end with some gallows erected in DC.

"String 'em up!"
"Anybody got any string?"
--apologies to Firesign Theatre

Re:Oh Crap.. (1)

kiddailey (165202) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868698)


"When? When will it end?"
When Rome falls. [killeenroos.com]

f that "call your senators and representatives" bs (0, Troll)

sakura the mc (795726) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868462)

List of Senator's phone numbers here

someone please remind us all when the FUCK the last time a senator listened to his internet constituents and actually managed to get a bill passed/rejected in our favor.

48 hours? More like 0 hours. (5, Interesting)

PipianJ (574459) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868465)

As soon as it's a rider on an appropriations bill like this, the broadcast flag is a foregone conclusion. The committee probably won't even know what they're doing.

The broadcast flag is here to stay, regardless of the EFF's "48 hours" claim.

Re:48 hours? More like 0 hours. (4, Informative)

ntk (974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868625)

The rider isn't there yet. We've got a strong rumour that it's going to be proposed, but if you kick up enough of a stink at this stage, it can be quietly withdrawn with no-one having to take a stand.

Tell you what, why don't you call your Senator anyway, even if you think this is true? What have you got to lose? If the law goes through, you can tell everyone that you were right. And if it doesn't, you get to say you helped stop the flag against all the odds.

Believe me, I love cynicism as much as the next person, but when it stops you from taking the one tiny step, the single principled stand that might have prevented disaster, you're not a cynic. You're a statistic. And a predictable one at that.

Met a Bill I Like (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868475)

Why don't all the "special interests" who hate special interests sneaking arbitrary laws into bills get together to outlaw them?

Every bill must have a scope. It must apply to a single budget, or a single government organization, or their subsidiaries. Or it must be a "metabill", which specifies only a collection of bills related in an explicit policy, the exact relationship stated in the metabill.

Of course, Congressmembers should be voting against these big bills, with arbitrary attachments, on the principle of government manageability. But they obviously don't - they're all codependent on letting each other's attachments pass, often regardless of consequences, in exchange for the same favor later on. So we need to force them to stop doing it. Because the mass of laws, their inner complexity and scale, is killing the ability of anyone to participate in our democracy beyond any significant confrontation with the law. When only the lawyers win, we all lose.

Re:Met a Bill I Like (2, Insightful)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868519)

I totally agree: for a bill to be able to be passed into law, it should only contain clauses relevant to the bill's main aim (as stated in the title, perhaps?).

But you US-ans should be so lucky. The problem you're settled with now is one which should be obvious: in a nation where no-one takes the sciences, but a lawyer is glamorised (along with other law enforcement agencies like the police, CSI etc), you end up with a nation of lawyers.
And if your populace is composed of lawyers....they'll do what lawyers do, which is to create laws. And after all the sensible laws are made, they'll add more, and obfusciate the system until a non-lawyer can't possibly understand the law anymore.
And then there come the laws which are only good for the lawyers and the ones paying the lawyers...which the general public won't pick up on, because the law has become so cryptic that little by little, what used to be common sense and common law is no more.

Re:Met a Bill I Like (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868554)

As long as no one passes a law that says I can't have a pistol-grip pump on my lap at all times then I'm ok.

Re:Met a Bill I Like (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868585)

I think the US has been afflicted with our lawyer-centric modern culture in no small part due to TV. The 46-minute TV drama (plus 17 commercial minutes) is very well suited to glorifying charicatures of lawyers, but not other professions, like engineers, doctors, scientists, teachers. While the Web is better suited for more documentary, even "mockumentary" media presentation, in which lawyers look more boring and contrived than these other jobs. Just like newspapers were a medium more sympathetic to the fiery oratory of a preacher or muckraking politician.

OTOH, the evolving Web, especially decentralized social networks, might turn out to best feature pornopop idols like Paris Hilton. I think the next few years, especially as mobile multimedia networks defined by people's contact lists begin to dominate, are the defining moment for the next few (human) generations of mass media. It's up to us to take the spotlight back from lawyers, and feature more real people.

Re:Met a Bill I Like (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868545)

I wonder where those people who are supposedly against these attachments (but "must" vote yes), now?

It's not too late (or too soon) to start a new bill repealing those portions of the bill which were attached arbitrarily.

Re:Met a Bill I Like (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868631)

A popular demand from Republicans (when they had the White House, and a Democratic Congress) was a "line-item veto" power for the President. That's an end-run around not only these contrived, sneaky bundles, but also around the kind of Congressional compromises that are the only legislative tradition we've got. Instead, we need Congress to be accountable for all of these laws they pass. At the very least, as insane as it sounds, we need a mechanism to ensure that they even read the entire bill that they vote for, supposedly representing the millions of people in their state.

Perhaps a good mechanism would be to require each bill to specify which paragraphs must be passed, itemized or by fraction, in order for the bill to pass. Then require each paragraph to be voted independently, then compared to the requirement, and enacted or discarded.

That mechanism might lead to really long paragraphs, with bundled specifications too difficult to manage in legal disputes. We might be forcing the Judicial Branch to throw out these "gumbo laws" as unintelligible. But we've got to somehow force the issue. Congressmembers and lawyers have made a hash of our laws, and our indigestion is going to be forced out somehow. Better on them than on us.

Revolution anyone? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868650)

There's always the last resort... revolt. Viva Le Revolution!

In all seriousness though, our constitution has certain articles and bills with in, should "our" government get out of control... perhaps it was time we started to look them over?

Re:Met a Bill I Like (5, Insightful)

bwalling (195998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868657)

Every bill must have a scope. It must apply to a single budget, or a single government organization, or their subsidiaries. Or it must be a "metabill", which specifies only a collection of bills related in an explicit policy, the exact relationship stated in the metabill.

Please. Did you see what happened to the Interstate Commerce clause? They can relate any two things easier than you can tie it to Kevin Bacon.

I didn't think you could (5, Informative)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868476)

I didn't think you could legislate on an appropriation bill? Is this for real? Its against the rules of the Senate (rule XVI) http://rules.senate.gov/senaterules/rule16.htm [senate.gov]

Re:I didn't think you could (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868532)

The Appropriations Committee can put general legislation in an appropriations bill, and this is going through that route.

Re:I didn't think you could (3, Informative)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868583)

So the rule must be that Senators cannot offer admendments once the appropriations bill is on the floor for a vote but are free to do so in committee.

Re:I didn't think you could (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868543)

Since when has the senate followed the rules of the senate?

Didn't you get the memo? (1)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868572)

Someone put a rider on the senate rules that allows you to ignore them if you are paid enough under the table. Duh....

Re:I didn't think you could (3, Informative)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868591)

That's so naive it's cute. This is America, congress does what it's paid to do.

You're thinking of one of those axis of evil countries where people can vote and they hold government accountable, like England or something.

Re:I didn't think you could (5, Funny)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868594)

Its against the rules of the Senate (rule XVI)

I seem to recall the words of our honerable Senate president: "Go fuck yourself!"

Re:I didn't think you could (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868677)

Not entirely appropriate in this case, though I would agree with you in the general case. The VP said that to one the Senators from my state, Patrick "??AA" Leahy, D, Vt. Given that he was one of the instigators behind the DMCA, it's not even worth my effort to put in an email, though I might try.

Re:I didn't think you could (2, Insightful)

dynamo (6127) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868604)

Someone forward this to the Senate!

Re:I didn't think you could (2, Insightful)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868673)

Yeah right, and presidential executive orders are about ordering more bottled water for the office.

Damnit! (5, Informative)

rogabean (741411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868478)

Only residents of Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, or Wisconsin can sign this.

I'm gonna post this over on the various MythTV communities as well... try to get more support drummed up.

Re:Damnit! (1)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868561)

I know this is a bit ignorant of me, but, what happens when you sign a petition and you're not a member of one of the resident states. Do the petitions just not go anywhere? Are they seen but disregarded, do a fleet of black trucks show up at my house for "inconveniencing the reps". More importantly, does the voice get heard at all. Sorta like when a line gets stricken from the record in court, yeah, the jury is supposed to ignore it, but it still gets heard. What happens?

Re:Damnit! (1)

rogabean (741411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868579)

It wont let you sign it. Already tried (in Florida). So unless you have a valid address in one of these states...

I'm not a big fan of fake info on these.. so

Re:Damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868684)

It wouldn't let me sign it, either; and I'm an Indiana resident (gave the Indiana address that I gave when I donated last, it was certainly good enough then).

bite the hand that feeds you. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868479)

fuck em. I'll just turn the damn thing off. 64 channels of pure bullshit, the movies suck. Even the cooking shows are turning stupid.

Re:bite the hand that feeds you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868617)

I'll just turn the damn thing off.
I can only recommend that, I don't even own a tv, I have so many other interesting things to do now (like reading /., mastrubating, collecting porn, watching girls or a combination) that I don't even have time to watch.

But don't worry, there will be a work around sooner than later.

Even the cooking shows are turning stupid
Well yes, you can watch gay people only so many times.

Link is bad? Here's another... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868482)

List of Senator's phone numbers here [publicknowledge.org] .

Nope, slashdotted to hell. But you can get them from the source [senate.gov] .

Ok, revenge! (0, Offtopic)

the_stinky_pinky (891572) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868491)

Let's just compile a list of the names, addresses, phone numbers and pictures of the media giants involved with this shit ...

Then publish it on the web. Readers can take their camcorders and stalk these fuckers down, then brutally beat them and tape it. The upload the video so that everyone can have a good laugh and the rest of these bastards can see what's in store for them.

And you know -these- videos won't have any copy protection.

Slashdotters Untie! I mean, Unite! (2, Funny)

TheCamper (827137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868498)

Is Congress susceptible to the Slashdot effect?

Re:Slashdotters Untie! I mean, Unite! (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868580)

Is Congress susceptible to the Slashdot effect?

Apparently, it's full of a bunch of media-whoring trolls and flamebait artists.

Re:Slashdotters Untie! I mean, Unite! (1)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868619)

See the senators flee in terror as hundreds of thousands of /.'ers shout GET /index.html HTTP/1.1 at them.

Re:Slashdotters Untie! I mean, Unite! (5, Funny)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868656)

See the senators flee in terror as hundreds of thousands of /.'ers email "In Soviet Russia the bill rides you".

(Note... many are confused as they believe this may be a reference to the previous administration.)

We still can use our VCR (2, Interesting)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868500)

So I'm not worried about it. I don't have any plans to get a Tivo so it doesn't really bother me. Besides, I think you can get around these by making your own Tivo. Maybe we could route just the video signal from the Tivo/device over to out TV capture card? I'd like to say "the people" will stand up for their rights when they want to, but "the people" are just too plain stupid. Kinda like the proles, they could get it done if they'd all rise up together, but they're all lazy, stupid, and shallow.

Why do you still have riders? (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868506)

I'm an Australian so when I first heard about rider bills I honestly didn't beleive it. Then I discovered that Australia also had the problem of rider bills at some stage. We recognised them as a problem and we fixed them. We no longer have rider bills. Does any other democracy on earth still have them? Is it impossible for americans to recognise a problem and fix it without ballsing it up? It just seems you have all these parasites gaming your political process and you do nothing about it. You know how everyone knows that US congressmen take bribes? Well, here in Australia, it's illegal for politicians to take bribes. It's like that in the rest of the world too right? So why can't americans recognise something that's so straight forward and simple (politicans should not be permitted to take bribes) and do something about it?

Re:Why do you still have riders? (1)

the_stinky_pinky (891572) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868523)

Yes, riders are retarded. On the subject of bribes ... You state is as though open and admitted bribary is accepted. Sure, it's obvious that bribary is going on but it's not exactly out in the open. Anyone should be able to make the connection though. Why else would Cheney quite his super high paying job and sell his Haliburton stock if he wasn't going to make out any better than the relatively small VP salary.

Re:Why do you still have riders? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868530)

It's illegal to take (or give) bribes here too. Sort of. "Campaign donations" are okay, as are "de minimis" gifts. Not sure what the difference is between a bribe and campaign donation except the agreement is explicit in the former and implied in the latter. ;-)

(Some states don't allow riders BTW. This is one of the reforms I have for when I become supreme dictator of the US for a couple years one day.)

Re:Why do you still have riders? (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868610)

Not sure what the difference is between a bribe and campaign donation

Well, if it's before the candiate achieves office, then it can't be a bribe. For other cases though, it's allowed because you don't want to be arresting elderly grandmothers for contributing $10 to a campaign. Seriously.

Campaign contributions are a free speech issue, and any movement to limit them is limiting free speech. Public financing is a scheme to guarantee offices to incumbents and their handpicked successors. We should be getting rid of welfare to corporations instead of adding welfare to politicians.

Re:Why do you still have riders? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868702)

Introducing and passing laws should be handled in the same way as juries are formed. Ever tried to bribe a jury member? Harder than bribing a judge.

Re:Why do you still have riders? (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868626)

Yeah, compaign donations are illegal in Australia too. The conversation went something like this:

Police: "Ok, bribes are illegal, don't take bribes."
Politicians: "This isn't a bribe, it's a campaign contribution."
Police: "No, it's a bribe, and if you take it I'll arrest you."
Politicians: "Oh, ok, sorry."

Whereas in the US the conversation goes something like this:

Police: "Hey guys, 'bribes' are apparently illegal now, looks like we're gunna have to be honest and do our jobs for a change."
Politicians: "Don't be silly, we'll just call them campaign contributions."
Police: "Uhhh, look, I'm not sure you can get away with that."
Politicians: "Really? Here's a contribution to the campaign to help you see things my way."
Police: "Heh, ok, I get ya, it's not like anyone is minding the store anyway."

And no-one was.

Re:Why do you still have riders? (3, Insightful)

Ryosen (234440) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868542)

You know how everyone knows that US congressmen take bribes? Well, here in Australia, it's illegal for politicians to take bribes.

It's illegal here in the US, too....It's just condoned.

Re:Why do you still have riders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868565)

Its called campaign contributions now. Perfectly legal way for corporate america to buy democracy.

It will never change, because the people who their buying off has to want it to change, and they don't want it to.

Re:Why do you still have riders? (0)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868588)

For the record, the US is NOT a democracy.

the US is a Constitution-based federal republic [cia.gov]

Re:Why do you still have riders? (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868663)

I'll tell you the same thing I told the last moron who said the US isn't a democracy because it's a republic, the two are not mutually exclusive. You can have a republic that is democratic in nature, or you can have a republic that is not. You can have a democracy that is constrained by a constitution and is seperated into different levels or you can have a democracy that isn't. Of course, when you actually look at what your country is instead of what it claims to be it is neither a democracy nor a republic, it's a totalatarian plutocracy with a buttload of sugar on top so the fat lazy occupants think they're getting a good deal.

Re:Why do you still have riders? (1)

Famanoran (568910) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868672)

That's interesting.

Why is the US goverment trying to impose "the freedom of democracy" on countries, when they themselves do not have a democracy?

Yes, I realise that they are bringing "freedom" and "elections" to these countries, and that they have a "strong democratic tradition", but why then do they call it a democracy? Maybe they should practice what they preach...

Re:Why do you still have riders? (4, Interesting)

ajs (35943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868692)

"For the record, the US is NOT a democracy."

Hi, welcome to the 20th century... well, you're a bit late, but that's OK.

Here in 20th-land we call any form of government where the people elect leaders, and where any citizen (with minimal restrictions, usually based on age, nation of origin, etc.) can campaign for those offices, a "democracy".

Yes, this does NOT fit the classical definition, but since no one has founded a democracy in a VERY long time (arguably never), it's not going to be very confusing as we continue to use the new definition.

If you're going to stamp your feet and hold your breath over it, you're really going to be unhappy, since most of the world started using the new definition [answers.com] (also, check out Wikipedia's excellent article on the topic of the modern usage of the word "democracy" [wikipedia.org] ) at some point last century.

Re:Why do you still have riders? (1)

king wilson (252680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868643)

So you think that just because you folks in Australia have made taking bribes illegal, that it doesn't happen?

And it's the americans that can't recognize simple things?

Re:Why do you still have riders? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868681)

It does happen, and we arrest and jail politicians for doing it. When was the last time a politician was arrested for taking a bribe in the US? When our politicians get done for taking bribes it's a few thousand dollars that they were too weak to resist. Your politicians rake in millions of dollars in compaign contributions and no-one even blinks.

Re:Why do you still have riders? (1)

Horrortaxi (803536) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868690)

Does any other democracy on earth still have them?

Probably not, but the US is a democracy in name only so you can't really look to us for what good democratic practices are. I mean, we're the last country you'd want setting up democracies in other parts of the worl...oh wait. Shit.

Time to get a HDTV receiver... (1)

Barkmullz (594479) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868509)


1. Buy a bunch of these [bottomdollar.com]

2. Wait for the inevitable resolution of the amendment.

3. ?????

4. Profit!

EFF has a site that will fax your senator for free (5, Informative)

Shonufftheshogun (620824) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868514)

You can fax and email appropriation committee members for free at the EFF's action center [eff.org] .

damn them (1)

xWastedMindx (636296) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868537)

damn those sneaky bastard politicians.. damn them all to hell.

48 hours to stop it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868548)

That gives us 48 hours to stop it.

What makes you think we want to stop it?

What the hell is wrong with our government? (1, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868555)

Why isn't anyone clamoring for a law against pork? It has to be one of the baldest rapes of democracy going, but nobody seems to care when it isn't being used to pass a law that they don't like.

Re:What the hell is wrong with our government? (1)

drwho (4190) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868670)

A law against pork? Well, not all of us are jews or muslim or vegetarian.

Re:What the hell is wrong with our government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868689)

What are we supposed to do? Write our congressmen? We don't have any control over them. They do what they want. And what they want is to be relected, and to have lots of money. And how do they accomplish that? By doing what corportations want them to, and by investing in corporations whose interests they can then support.

What can we do to stop this? Write them? Protest? Fat lot that will do. Make laws to make taking campaign donations illegal? They make the laws, they'll never pass a law like that.

The only thing we can do is either leave the country and let the asses stew in their failed economy, (and who here is willing to give up everything for an ideal?) or somehow get a bunch of folks WE want elected to congress. But the chances of that happening are slim. We'd have to fool people into voting for our guys. Make them think they are voting for some religious nutcase. Tell them what they WANT to hear. Then do what we want to do instead. It's how they play the game, so we need to do it too.

Anyway I give up. This country is irreversibly screwed up. I wonder what country would be best to live in without all this screwed up crap.

Bullshiiiiiiit (1)

adam.conf (893668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868573)

Wow, a bunch of 90 year old get to fuck over digital freedom, not even understanding what they are doing. If this law passes, well fuck, software'll be out two weeks later that unencodes the flag. Still, wow... it better not pass

Forget a line-item veto for Presidents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12868597)

Senators and Congressmen should be have line-item votes for each bill. That way they could be held accountable for every stupid thing they pass, rather than being able to claim "oh, it was attached to a bill that was necessary, so I didn't have any choice."

If I'm not mistaken.... (5, Funny)

Kwirl (877607) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868615)

By the time this story is an accepted submission, it will be 36+ hours past the deadline. All slashdotters should therefore direct their attention to criticizing the outcome pre-emptively in order to maintain an effective schedule.

Email is counterproductive (4, Insightful)

drwho (4190) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868628)

Email is routinely ignored by congressional staffers. Signing a paper petition is a little more useful. A phone call is better still. A written letter is far superiour. Saying what you think in person is better still. The reason for these classifications is that elected officials are getting spammed and information overloaded like everyone else. If you spend more effort getting your particular issue heard, they also feel you will be more likely to remember them on election day. It's fairly valid.

I am highly critical of these online petitions, because people believe that they have done something, and therefore will not follow up their web form tick-off with something more substantive like the communications mentioned above.

I know it's a bit too late to dash of a handwritten letter to your rep in this occasion. But a phone call may be appropriate.

Re:Email is counterproductive (4, Insightful)

hacker (14635) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868693)

"I know it's a bit too late to dash of a handwritten letter to your rep in this occasion. But a phone call may be appropriate."

And at 200 calls per-hour, they'll just stop answering the phones. Seriously, do you think they're going to listen?

Going down there in person is a hit-or-miss chance of actually speaking to someone with the power to change anything... or you'll end up in jail for "stalking" your senator.

The reason they probably slid this through on a rider so fast, was likely so people could NOT write to their senators in time.

I love my government more and more every day, don't you?

Shouldn't the headline change in real time? (2, Funny)

Fortyseven (240736) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868629)

I mean, 12 hours from now it won't be true. Even right now it's not true anymore. Oh my god...time is slipping away from me...help...Calgon! *brrzzt-thud*

Eventually this kind of stuff will stop (1)

AngelofDeath-02 (550129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868661)

I'm just waiting for the government to tick off enough people that they start excercising the right to bare arms ... It's unfortunate, but I'm afraid things will get a lot worse before they get better. Seriously though, how much do they think the general public will tolerate? I understand that for the majority these things have no effect on their daily lives and are thus of no consequence, but perhaps there should be some sort of campaign by more educated people than myself about all the dirty underhanded dealings our government actually does... I imagine that even the stupid people will realise that this is a bad situation when you say "Hey you know such and such bill? It does this ... and was voted against. So our nice government snuck it in this bill, which is about something else" You don't see these kinds of statements making it on the daily news...

Our Founding Fathers messed up... (4, Interesting)

SeventyBang (858415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868671)

...on one topic: permitting piggy-backing legislation on unrelated legislation. There were Congress Critters who actually added material to 9/11 bills because they knew it would be passed. If contenders for their offices don't point this stuff out, they deserve to lose and take a job working on a honey wagon: fringe benefit - all you can eat.

The fact the Broadcast Flag has been inserted to another bill is an example of where someone needs to make a phone call to Guido and have him wait on a door step, ring the doorbell, and kneecap someone.

Some are more adept at doing it than others. One good example is a former KKK member. That should provide enough information to forego the necessity of naming them. Some of the network reporters are good at presenting some of the larger garbage ammendments but they never say who actually added the material to the bill.

When writing to your senators, please (2, Funny)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868675)

When writing to your senators, please use soft paper. Best of all, use bathroom tissue. This way you will make it comfortable for senators to "work" through your mails.

Orwell just rolled over in his grave (4, Insightful)

hacker (14635) | more than 9 years ago | (#12868676)

Ok, so here we have the FCC mandating that we have to all convert our "old analog" television sets to digital television sets by 2007 or something...

Then we have the "Broadcast Flag" being driven through on a rider, shh... nobody will notice.

And now they can basically control what you can record via your "Dish DVR" or "TiVo" or TV tuner card or whatever other device you want to use, because of Hollywood pressure.

We already see DVDs where you can't bypass the intro commercials to get to the navigational menus, even for DVDs which we bought, which should have paid for the removal of those commercials.

Next, we'll see television sets being sent a signal that ignores the remote control's "channel" buttons during commercials. You just won't be able to switch away during commercials... you'll be forced to watch them (or power off your TV).

How far are we from a Telescreen here, really? I mean... all they need is a way to peer back in, and a way to stop you from turning off the TV or the volume...

Orwell would be proud.

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