An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Special Comment’

Lefty’s Voice: Save the Internet!

There are times in history when a person is required, even if they hate politics, to rise above and beyond the call of duty.  There are times when a person is required to do more than what they had done before.  This is one of those times, because this goes far beyond the world of politics.  It affects the freedoms of each and every one of us!  It affects all of America, and will not only destroy business, but also put our people in bondage.  I am, of course, talking about the Protect IP Act and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act).

On the surface, both of these acts sound, honestly, dumb.  Piracy is a good thing.  This has been proven.  Without online piracy, websites like Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes would never have evolved.  Napster opened the floodgates on something that is universal – the pursuit of cheap entertainment.  And it has been good business all over the place.  It did bring down the record companies, but they were monopolizing music.  Piracy has changed the world for the better and for always.

However, it is absolutely clear that this is nothing more than a ploy against the freedoms that people have.  With these new bills, websites that are perfectly legal under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) will face legal threats.  YouTube vloggers and channels that put up clips from the news (which is perfectly within the real of Fair Use) will be the first to be censored.  And to prevent any legal action, websites will deliberately block anything that could be construed as violations.

It also goes further.  If just a few links that infringe on these new rules are posted, an entire website can be blocked.  So those who like watching YouTube, that could be blocked.  Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, any and all of them can be blocked completely.  To protect themselves, websites will automatically self-censor more, preventing startups from launching.  Websites will no longer be able to count on the DNS (Domain Naming System) for security, which was working just fine before.

And if you are a person who posts your own music, you can be sent to jail!  That’s right, if you aren’t licensed to put your music online, you can be sent to jail as a felon.  So independent musicians who post links on Facebook, you could be sent to jail!  Any non-commercial user can be charged with a felony for posting things online.

Since the day when I was able to pay attention, it was resoundly clear that this government hates the First Amendment.  They hate it.  They hate the people can do what they want and tell the government that they are dead wrong.  They have always hated it.  I wonder very much what the Founding Fathers were thinking when they wrote the Constitution.  They must have either been incredibly ignorant, or incredibly wise.  Because at this very moment, their dream of a free nation is about to die.

It is being supported by everybody.  SOPA has 21 Democratic supporters, 16 Republic supporters, and 1 Independent supporter in the Senate, while the Protect IP Act has 7 Democratic supporters, and 16 Republican Supporters in the House.  These people are totally fine with throwing the First Amendment in the trash.  And the mainstream media isn’t covering this!  I haven’t heard one damn story on MSNBC, CNN, or Fox about this.  Only the independent media is talking about this, and the talk is very small.  It seems like this huge affront to the Constitution might just happen and nobody outside of those who are paying attention will know about it.

Companies like the ones who own Reddit Tumblr, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and many others are fighting back against this.  There are a number of activist groups.  The YouTuve vlogger community has jumped on the bandwagon, from both sides of the sociological and political fence.  There are multiple links that are aiding in the fight against the destruction of the First Amendment, but we need YOUR help!  We need everybody.  I will provide links to opinions and to ways you can fight back.

Opinions –
My Favorite Vlogger
http://youtu.be/ijqjHo3_H8s
Nostalgia Critic
http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic/33243-top-11-reasons-he-wont-review-digimon
Anonyous’ voice
http://youtu.be/HgTO9Eds09Q
Huffington Post article
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-gagnier/sopa-and-protect-ip-what-_b_1099471.html

Ways you can fight back –
Tumblr
http://www.tumblr.com/protect-the-net
Reddit
http://www.reddit.com/r/announcements/comments/me5e9/
A great website
http://americancensorship.org/

The vote has happened, and it has only been to delay.  There is still time to make yourself heard!  We must rise above and beyond the call of duty now, right now!  This is the only chance we are going to get!  I think I’ll end this with a quote,

“The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791–don’t let them die in 2011!”  -TJ Kincaid

Peace out,

Lefty

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The Occupy Movement is going to change the world

The protestors in Zucotti park have been kicked out.  Mayor Bloomberg feels no shame for his vaunted championing of Wall Street and the corruption that the banks on it represent.  As he sends the cops to do his dirty work, the protests grow ever bigger.  As Keith Olbermann pointed out in a Special Comment today, Bloomberg is only adding fuel to the fires of change.  Each day, the people are getting more and more aware of the fact that our system is broken, and if it is to be fixed, they have to get involved.

The great movements have been spawned from people like those who began Occupy Wall Street.  The war in Vietnam was ended by the young getting the old to stand up and to say that it was enough.  Walter Cronkite was also a big help, but I won’t stroke the ego of my field of study too much.  The Civil Rights marches were about the young getting the old to stand tall.  And when the system put them down, it has always only made the movement grow.

It would seem reasonable to assume that those in power simply never learn.  One of the basic bits of human psychology is that we will rebel against oppression.  Those who are being tear-gassed in Oakland, and those who are beaten in New York City are drawing more into their fight every day.

The police are not innocent in this.  In fact, their complacent acceptance of the orders they are being given to attack the people who are protesting makes them as much of villains as those who are ruthlessly gutting the middle class, not caring about the lives of the people that they destroy.  They are fighting for the system, ignoring their mandate to protect and serve.  Like Bloomberg and his open servitude of Wall Street, they are criminals who should be standing with the people, not against them.

There was a rather clever poster by one of the Occupiers about the cops – these guys are one pay-cut away from joining us!.  Touche, Occupier!  But what started as an event that was being ignored is being breathed new life into every single day that the cowardly police and the malicious government officials are putting them down.  It is amazing how these people are able to somehow rationalize the actions that they perform.  A vet gets his skull cracked open, it was “necessary.”  Innocent people who have done nothing to harm anybody are being shot by bean bags and rubber bullets, well, it was “within the bounds of authority.”  Well, I must have forgotten the part where attacking the innocent for no reason was a good thing.

But these people shouldn’t be villified, they should be thanked.  Each time they do their villainous deeds, more people are joining the movement.  When Bloomberg makes back-room deals to make sure he can serve three terms as mayor.  When Bloomberg has his people acting like book-burners with the books at the Occupy Wall Street movement.  When Bloomberg is taking away the generator that is giving heat to the protestors, and basically trying to freeze them out.  Whenever Bloomberg, or any of those like him choose to make a stand in defense of a system, using completely unnecessary force to put the people in their place, more come!

So let’s not villify Bloomberg, let’s thank him.  This idiot has made this movement bigger than it ever could have been.  If the media had simply ignored it.  If the media has simply chosen to not pay attention.  If Bloomberg has simply chose to not care, than the fickle and pathetically dim-witted American public would have just forgotten about it by now.

But Bloomberg chose to be stupid.  He chose to do something that was obviously a bad idea, and now, the movement has grown well beyond New York City.  It is going to change the world!  The movement is everywhere.  It is all over America, including here in my home city of Anchorage, Alaska.  It is across the world.  This movement is now so much bigger than the original architects could have possibly imagined.  They couldn’t have comprehended how this movement could have grown so large.

This is exactly what the world needs.  Now, more than ever, things are becoming worse for everybody.  Obama and his cowardice to do any positive change for the better in this country has been bad enough.  His Healthcare Reform bill was a birthday present to the private insurance companies.  Wall Street reform was a birthday present to Wall Street.  Credit Card reform was worth something.  That is the only saving grace of President Obama.  Were it not for the fact that not a single of the front-running candidates of the Republican Party have any credibility whatsoever, he would be in real trouble in 2012.  The fact is that he is a failure, and all of America will reap what he has sown.

In the meantime, this movement, and all the others like it, are what this country needs.  And it is what this world needs.  More and more groups are coming behind it.  Anonymous has pledged their support, and is showing the world the truth about what is happening.  Voices like Keith Olbermann are coming out in support.  The world is changing rapidly.  For good or bad, time will tell.  But one thing is certain, Occupy Wall Street has changed the game, permanently!

Peace out,

Lefty

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