Letters from the Lunar Outpost

O, he sits high in all the people's hearts; And that which would appear offence in us, His countenance, like richest alchemy, Will change to virtue and to worthiness.
- Shakespeare, English Dramatist and Poet (1564-1616)

SOPA

SOPA Resistance Day

The double-barrel decisions to punt on the bill capped an extraordinary week of public pressure — and an extraordinary reversal of fortunes for Hollywood, whose lobbyists seemed to think they were on cruise control to passage of bills aimed at protecting their content from online thieves.

Source: Politico

Don’t you just love happy endings? Actually, in my case, I’m more of the Leaving Las Vegas ending type of guy, but still, to imagine the big money Hollywood lobbyists smug with the certainty that they had bought and paid for the votes of enough senators and congresspeople to ensure the passage of Chinese government censorship for America, only to see the tech heavyweights use their platforms on the Internet to rally public opinion to the tune of millions and millions of Americans signing petitions and calling their representatives . . . it’s a beautiful thing.

Power to the people – when organized and sufficiently motivated, even the biggest money of the big lobbiests can be defeated. Now if we could only get the same kind of public outcry to let the Obama administration know that “we can’t wait” on jobs and Keystone XL . . .

 

* technically, these bills have not been killed but punted, most likely until after the election. SOPA and PIPA are both heavily damaged in public perception though, so most likely it’s back to the drawing board instead of Congress trying to rework them. Let’s just hope they can find a way to address the concerns of the intellectual property rights holders without trampling the freedom of the Internet.

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If this doesn’t show why SOPA is so misguided and completely wrongheaded, check out the fact that even it’s own co-sponsors are not in compliance with the proposed law!!!

From Jamie Lee Curtis Taete at vice.com:

Congressman Dennis Ross is a Copyright Violator

The above screencap shows the homepage of Florida congressman/SOPA co-sponsor/probable PIPA supporter Dennis Ross’ website.

SOPA Co-sponsor Dennis Ross is a Copyright Violator

Which features the appropriately titled illustration “Overweight Government Pig” by cartoonist John S. Pritchett. You’ll notice that Dennis cropped out the part where it says “© John Pritchett”. We contacted John, and he told us:

“To my knowledge, I did not license the usage of my “Overweight Govt. Pig” illustration to Dennis Ross.”

Wuh oh!

Source: Jamie Lee Curtis Taete at vice.com via Sarah Roman at usamericanfreedom.com

I felt it my duty as a law-abiding citizen to contact the Congressman and let him know of the offense:

Dear Congressman Ross,

This is to inform you that your use of the “overweight government pig” image at your website is in violation of copyright laws, and that your removal of the copyright holder’s name from the image shows premeditation and a willful disdain for said copyright laws on your part.

In keeping with the spirit of the draconian SOPA law which you support, we demand you blacklist your website and remove all traces of it from the Internet.

Thank you for your compliance. Long live Chinese-style totalitarian control of the Internet in America.

Sincerely,

Mike Cornelison

Congressman Ross only takes comments from addresses inside his 12th district of Florida. Feel free to contact him from my Bartow, Florida office:

255 N Broadway Ave
Bartow, FL 33830-3912

Contact Congressman Dennis Ross

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Ah, what a beautiful thing to see a great website so many people depend on willing to stand up and suspend their service in protest against evil . . .

Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge

Interesting to see Google only went halfway with their protest . . .

Tell Congress Please Don't Censor the Web

I was a little disappointed to see Google’s wouldn’t go so far as to suspend their service, but as I thought about it, it’s understandable, really – Wikipedia has the unique advantage that no other site anywhere provides what they provide as far as being a one-stop for any sort of knowledge imaginable, but if you need to do a search and Google has shut itself down in protest, that’s not going to stop you from searching, you just go somewhere else and who knows if once you go elsewhere you might never come back. So I’m willing to cut Google some slack for not completely shutting itself down today.

UPDATE: Excellent explanation of why Google is against the draconian measures of SOPA and PIPA and a cool graphic on just how many of us are with them.

Oh by the way, you remember Chris Dodd, the guy who did more to cause the housing crisis than any other person in America except for maybe Barney Frank? Well this guy is now chairman of the MPAA, and check his quotation here, an instant inductee to the Hall of Fame of Irony and Idiocy:

[Shutting down their services in protest] is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power . . .

source: MPAA Press Release

This guy! Talking about “abuse of power”? This from a guy who supports Chinese-style totalitarian control of the Internet in America?

So basically, he says it’s irresponsible for a website to shut down IT’S OWN SERVICE if they choose to do so, but he thinks it’s perfectly okay for our Federal Government Overlords to have the power to shut down any website they may see fit? Oh yeah, give the government dictatorial powers and nothing irresponsible could ever happen, you’ll never see major websites targeted for their politics or their owners bullied one way or another under the threat of a possible shutdown and I’m sure you’d never see that kind of power used to stomp little sites out of existence before they get too big for anyone to notice.

He’s upset with Wikipedia because they shut down a service of their own creation???

In Chris Dodd’s world, I bet you not only should the government have the power to shut down any website they see fit to shutting down, but I bet you he’d also give the government power to force a website to stay online at their demand or risk of fines and imprisonment.

Hit the Wikipedia page, type in your zip and call your representatives.

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We’re three days in on the new year, but nothing much of note has really happened so far, so still not too late to unload my psychic powers on the world . . .

Spun Honey’s Predictions for 2012

2012 Football Predictions1. Coming off the 9-6 LSU victory in the regular season, in the LSU – Alabama rematch for the BCS Championship, someone finally manages to score a touchdown. The way those defenses are playing, forget picking a winner, that’s a bold enough prediction right there.

2. Drew Brees manages to outgun Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field in the NFC Championship, taking his Saints to the Super Bowl. The Ravens, who had a regular season record of 6-0 against playoff teams, beat both the Bengals and Patriots, but end up losing in the big one. They never need an excuse to party down on Bourbon Street, but it’s Super Bowl number two for the Saints and the people of New Orleans.

3. The day before the vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act, Google, Wikipedia, Twitter and Facebook launch a black page protest, shutting down service and asking their loyal users to tell Congress to get their cotton-pickin’ hands off the Internet. Congressional phone lines are flooded beyond anything the Capitol has ever seen, and in a stunning reversal, SOPA bites the dust.

2012 Video Game Sales4. Hollywood will earn $500 billion less in domestic box-office sales from the previous year, just as they did in 2011, and the movie studios still remain completely in denial, crying about piracy when the real problems Hollywood faces are a dearth of new ideas (nothing but remakes, sequels and comic book adaptations) a public that prefers their own home theater experience to over-priced movie tickets and the fact that video games are drawing more and more people’s disposable income.

5. Video game sales will break records again, hitting $20 billion and doubling Hollywood’s take for the first time ever. While video games are just as easy to pirate as movies, you hear very few calls from the video game industry for the government to have an Internet kill switch.

6. London Olympics are smashing, baby! Security is tight, no terrorist attacks, and the only incident is when a bunch of hooligans get out of hand with the celebrations as Great Britain pulls off the upset Gold Medal in football.

7. The Israelis will not and cannot allow the Mullah Hitlers to have nukes in Iran and the much anticipated airstrike is launched. Thankfully, predictions of oil at $250 a barrel are exaggerated, with oil maxing out at $198 a barrel. Gasoline rises to an earth-loving $8 a gallon, and the Obama administration couldn’t be happier.

 Punxsutawney Phil8. Documents come to light proving what everyone already knew, that Attorney General Eric Holder was guilty of perjury when he denied having knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious. Fortunately for the Obama administration, all the news channels outside of FNC decide the story is not as newsworthy as the reports on Katy Perry’s second divorce and whether Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so the story is never even mentioned.

9. On a personal note, I’m able to stay on the straight and narrow with no cigarettes and I get back down to my target weight of 200 pounds this year, but it doesn’t matter because . . .

10. December 21, 2012 lands most conveniently on a Friday, and Mayan apocalypse parties are going off all across America. When everyone else wakes up hungover on December 22, they realize there is no Mayan apocalypse, we survived to suffer a fate far worse, because just a month previous, Barack Obama was given another four years.

December 21, 2012

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STOP SOPA

 

What a wicked political system it is when the big money of Hollywood can buy off politicians and get them to support something as wrong-headed as an assault on the very freedom of the Internet.

SOPA gives the U.S. Attorney General the ability to throw an “Internet death switch” on any website just as easy as obtaining a court order. No jury needed, the AG and a judge become a two-person judge, jury and executioner.

Hollywood’s money has bought the most powerful members of the House and Senate and left opponents of SOPA outgunned, but in a beautiful form of fighting fire with fire, we may see some of the most popular sites on the Internet choose what’s being called “the nuclear option”.

When the home pages of Google.com, Amazon.com, Facebook.com, and their Internet allies simultaneously turn black with anti-censorship warnings that ask users to contact politicians about a vote in the U.S. Congress the next day on SOPA, you’ll know they’re finally serious.

Source: CNET’s Declan McCullagh

An unbelievable collection of many of the most popular sites on the Internet stands opposed to SOPA, along with many founders of the web, think tanks, industry associations, academics, experts, entreprenuers and the list goes on and on. Pretty impressive when you look at just how much of the Internet is speaking out against this bill.

Here is a very handy map listing Congresspeople who have come out on record either for or against SOPA, to which you can respond accordingly:

Spatial Situation SOPA Congressional Support Map”

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Currently Listening To:

Team of Rivals
by
Doris Kearns Goodwin