Thursday, January 19, 2012

In protest

It was good to see some of my fellow bloggers blacking out their pages yesterday, as I did mine, in protest of the SOPA and PIPA legislation our Congress is suppose to vote on early next week. While censoring the internet isn't the intended goal of the legislation, the bills are so vaguely worded that censorship is what would ultimately happen. For those in the US that are not familiar the legislation (or those in other countries that are interested in learning more), I've been sharing this link: How SOPA would affect you: FAQ. It offers the fullest, yet easiest to understand, description of SOPA's potential impact on the internet.

One of the saddest things about the legislation is that it had such broad support in Congress, primarily because votes were being bought by lobbyists for the entertainment industry. None of our congresspeople bothered to ask any questions from the tech industry about what type of impact this would have on the internet, probably because I doubt most of them even read it. They just assumed it was an obscure law to stop offshore piracy of music and movies that no one would have any interest in. But that's how our Congress works these days and that's part of what the Occupy Wall Street movement is about. The citizens of this country voted these people into office and they're giving their legislative votes away to the highest bidder instead of listening to what their constituents want.

We need a serious overhaul of the system. Wish they'd pass legislation that bans lobbyists and forbids congresspeople and their employees from accepting gifts from outside sources that could potentially influence their decision making on any bill that comes before them. Make our congresspeople really earn the paycheck and outrageous benefits they've afforded themselves by demanding they be well informed about any piece of legislation they plan to vote on, even if that means delaying the vote. I'd rather have things move slowly and be done correctly than rush things through and have a nightmare mess to try and clean up. A good example is the healthcare bill that had so many facts and other pork projects hidden within its thousands upon thousands of pages of rhetoric that new things are still coming to light nearly 2 years after the fact.

Okay, before I keep going on and on about how much I really hate the political state of my country right now, I'm going to step off the soapbox. Let me just make one last comment. If anyone is wondering, yes, I do vote in every election and every primary. I also take the time to learn about each candidate and what they stand for before I decide who I'm voting for; and I feel this is something everyone should do instead of blindly voting for whoever. I think voting along party lines is a dangerous practice that's killing our government.


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