Stolen Liberty: SOPA and SB 1867

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

“Those who trade liberty for security, deserve neither.”

-Benjamin Franklin

This has become the climate of America, simply put.  We are willing to give up everything for one special interest group or to feel a little safer at night.  What I am referring to are two pieces of legislation that could be the most outrageous since the infamous Patient Protection and Affordable Car Act, also known as Obamacare.  These two pieces of legislation are worlds apart but both carry the same disease of big government.  The legislation I am referring to is the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the National Defense Authorization Act amendment SB 1867.  They say that a frog will be slowly cooked to death as long as the water starts out cold.  With these two pieces of legislation currently in Congress, the burner has been lit, oh and we are the frogs!

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was introduced to the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011.  Lamar Smith (R-TX) and a bi-partisan group of representatives introduced it to the House floor as a way to stop online copyright infringement in the United States.  It’s odd that it came out so close to Halloween as it was dressed up as a harmless bill.  On the surface it sounds like anyone can get behind this, unless you are stealing movies and music that is.  The interesting thing is that unlike most Halloween costumes it gets scarier when the mask is removed.  SOPA would allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) and interested parties such as copyright holders to seek court hearings and eventual injunctions to shut down the web sites that are accused of copyright infringement.  Also within this bill the parties can seek injunctions to bar payment sites like Paypal and compel search engines like Google to exclude these sites from search results under force of law.  It would also force Internet service providers to block access to these sites engaging in copyright infringement.  This bill would make it a FELONY to stream copyrighted material.  To put it in prospective, most of you reading this have committed a felony today.  There is a stipulation that copyright holders who “knowingly” falsely accuse a website will be held liable for punitive damages.  Good luck ever proving that anyone knew, let me remind you that these are the same courts that just allowed Casey Anthony to skate.

Lets get into the ramifications of SOPA.  This legislation extends into a lot of areas outside of the Internet.  If the law goes into effect the government could dictate to Paypal, Visa and many others who they could and could not do business with.  There is not another industry in America where this would fly.  Google and others would be required to remove sites from their registry or be prosecuted.  These search engines have the right to supply people with any sites that are available and to force them to comply with this would be to violate their rights to do business as well.  Again the government would compel Internet service providers to block out these sites and would be forced to unfairly censor the Internet to their customers.  What this amounts to is the government’s ability to turn off someone’s mouthpiece at anytime under the auspices of protecting copyrights.  If the government decided that they were getting to much bad press from a news source or if international news was leaking in that wasn’t supposed to they could in theory shut it off immediately.  You see the government has known for a while that their worst enemy going forward is the Internet due to the lack of regulation.  They are dealing with a more educated and informed populous then ever before.  More people then ever get their news from online sources other than the big three ABC, NBC and CBS.  Gone is the day of controlling a news story.  So what do they do? They find a way to kill it by saying that we must protect the rights of our copyright holders.  There is no secret that business and the government tends to be intertwined and there is nothing saying that a well-placed bribe by Company A couldn’t get Company B shutdown.  By the time all the appeals and red tape are gone through Company A has now defeated Company B.  I am sorry Congress but I am not willing to give up my rights for copyright holders.

On to monster number two.  The Amendment SB 1867 is in my opinion the beginning of the end for American freedom.  The length of the bill adds to its vagueness but the scary part is found in Sect 1032(a). The gist of it is that the United States Military would be allowed to hold a suspected “terrorist” indefinitely until their disposition under the laws regarding war.  There is no regional restriction on this directive and so one must assume that it can happen in the United States as easy as Afghanistan.  It states that the requirement doesn’t extend to United States citizens but it doesn’t place a ban on it either.  The scariest thing about this bill is that they were trying to sneak it by us.  During the Thanksgiving holiday Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI) met in secret and drafted this amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which comes before Congress on many occasions.  This amendment containing such an inflammatory proposal was buried underneath a lot of financial matters and other legal jargon.  It then passed a closed door committee meeting with no hearing at all.  This has been slid through the system and is on the eve of being law as the Senate has passed it.  John McCain and Carl Levin as well as anyone else involved in this should be brought up on charges.  This clearly is allowing the President to loose the United States military on American citizens at will.  Man, it seems like I have heard this somewhere.  Oh yes, that’s right, the American Militia Movement that everyone thinks is crazy.  That’s where I heard it.  Now let’s look at who is a terrorist shall we.  According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation handout being distributed in military surplus stores and gun stores, it is anyone who makes racist or extreme religious statements, is missing fingers, pays in cash and makes comments regarding anti-US ideology.  It could also anyone who buys a large quantity of ammunition, food, high capacity magazines, night vision, flashlights or gasmasks and bi-pods for rifles.

Lets break this down even further so we can see the craziness of this and I guarantee when I am done you will know no less then five people who fit this description.  Makes extreme religious remarks, How about abortion is a sin and homosexuals are going to hell? Someone who is missing fingers, I know guys who are missing fingers from work accidents and so on.  Persons paying in cash, you know up until like a year or so ago my father paid for everything in cash.  I have made several comments regarding my displeasure with the United States in this article so I guess that is anti-US ideology.  Last but not least the final large quantities envelop the entire “Prepper” community and anyone like myself who is a gun enthusiast.  This is how easy it is to now lock any of these people up indefinitely for whatever reason those in power can think up.  I am by no means a conspiracy person but I can connect the dots.  Pretty much any of us are suspicious to the Feds in one way or another and some of us are in more than one category.  I must ask, since when did being responsible and stocking up for the worst make you a terrorist?  I will tell you when.  The government only fears it’s own people when they know they are overstepping. I will leave you with a quote on this subject from our founding father George Washington, “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.”

Both of these bills are dangerous in their own right but together they are a signal of a coming storm in America.  The time is right for the government to begin to slowly take our rights away and it has already begun.  SB 1867 and SOPA are not the first of their kind.  If you do not believe me take a look around at the political landscape.  Does the Patriot Act ring a bell?  What about Fast and Furious?  Due to Fast and Furious the debate on tighter gun restrictions have “spontaneously” begun.  I am here to tell you that this is a plant. The goal of Fast and Furious was to enflame the United States over “assault” rifles.  Did you know that the people of North Korea don’t know that they are one of the poorest countries in the world?  They actually pity countries like the United States because of the poverty we live in.  Do you know why they think this?  Because the government has absolute control over all the information coming in and going out and it’s all in the name of national security.  Just a thought.

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