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Secret treaty appears unconstitutional, implements Orwellian thought-crime punishments in last draft

Last Friday in Tokyo, Japan, big media special interests, the Obama administration, and members of the European Union celebrated.  The EU had become the latest national entity to sign the international Anti Counterfeiting 
Trade Agreement
 (ACTA) [leaked 2010 draft; PDF].  And while SOPA/PIPA had been shot down in the U.S., big media had scored a far bigger win in ACTA -- a far more ambitious edict.

I. "Pay to Play" -- How Obama Is Pushing Big Media's Interests for Cash

Editorial Disclaimer:

This article raises tough issues about quid pro quo and discusses the Constitutional concept of impeachement.  This should be framed in the context that both parties in Washington D.C. appear to be engaging in rampant quid pro quo (cash payments for favorable rules).  In that sense the use of the term "impeachement" should be used purely in a political theory context, in that Congress could not impeach President Obama credibly, without first impeaching themselves.  Now that we've got that out of the way, let's discuss the issue at hand. 

Given the record $4.1M USD members of Hollywood's elite -- top actors and companies -- had given U.S. President Barack Obama in his reelection bid his opposition of the the House's "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) (H.R. 3261) and Senate's "PROTECT IP Act" (PIPA) (S.968) seemed a remarkably principled stand.  Here was a man who received an extra half million more in big media money than he had in 2008, and who received more than any of his rivals.  Yet here he was showing some backbone and opposing a big-media funded proposal that would have caustic effects on the internet.

And yet that opposition seems more like political theater than a legitimate political stand as President Obama in October signed an executive order, which ordered the U.S. to abide by the provisions of ACTA.

Obama bribery wide
Obama accepted cash from big media lobbyists and in exchange pushed ACTA without Congressional authorization. [Image Source: Politically Incorrect]

ACTA is remarkably similar to SOPA/PIPA.  One of its most basic mechanisms is to institute a takedown system similar to SOPA/PIPA.  But where as SOPA/PIPA only accepted takedown requests from domestic firms, ACTA allows takedowns from foreign firms as well.

Say a foreign business wants to get rid of its American e-commerce portal rival.  It could simply masquerade as a reviewer and post a link to infringed content (e.g. a torrent on The Pirate Bay) and then turn around and request a takedown.  Bam! The successful American firm would be out of the picture, at least until it could prove its innocence weeks later after millions in lost business.

ACTA web takedown
ACTA, could be used by foreign businesses to conduct malicious takedown requests similar to the current DMCA/criminal code takedown system (recent MegaUpload takedown pictured).

The same sort of thing could happen to a news site or a forums site.  And such takedowns have been badly abused in the past, for naysayers who argue that the worst could not happen.

ACTA also contains a whole host of other Orwellian provisions, many of which go well beyond those of SOPA/PIPA.  For example it institutes a special kind of punishable infringement called "imminent infringement" that can be committed just by visiting a webpage with an illegally shared media work.  More or less this proposal is real-life pirate "thought crime", so to speak, as it seeks to punish a person for an action they haven't done yet.

II. Big Brother is Watching You: The Government's Plan for an "Internet License"

So how do the feds plan to keep track of all this and catch you in pirate thought crimes?  Well, the Obama administration is cooking up a new mechanism called a "universal Internet ID".  The universal Internet ID, or UIID for short is being pushed as being like a "driver's license for the internet."  It would work as "trusted entity" consolidating your online logins into a single entity.

Security concerns of such an approach aside, the other implications -- government surveillance and censorship -- are troubling.  While the internet's "yellow armband", the UIID, is currently be plugged as a "non-mandatory" measure, it could easily be made mandatory at a later date if the Obama administration can sucker enough citizens into joining the program.

Obama Big Brother
President Barack Obama is seeking a federal internet tracking system -- the "yellow armband" of the internet world.  It would be optional -- at least at first. [Image Source: Fits News]

While the administration likens a UIID to a driver's license, it’s quite unlike any license you've ever seen.  Currently the internet works a lot like the highway system -- there are rules, and there are police patrolling the information highway looking to make sure those rules are followed.  But citizens have the constitutionally guaranteed freedom to travel it without warrantless searches or seizures.  Under the new system, it would be as if the highway patrol put a video camera, GPS, and sensor network inside your car tracking your every movement. 

Of course the public may not accept the UIID, so the Obama administration surely has alternative measures in mind.

III. The Public Cannot See Secret Treaty

The trouble with ACTA is that it was all carried out under the shroud of secrecy and executive orders.  The Obama administration worked to crush the dissent of some smaller European nations who insisted that a law enforced on the public should be available for public review.

ACTA secret
Obama has fought hard to keep the public from being able to read ACTA. [Image Source: PBS]

The public would never have known about ACTA's wild provisions at all, were it not for a source/sources close to the trade agreement who leaked it to the internet.

Unsurprisingly, the concerted public outcry that was seen with SOPA/PIPA has been absent against ACTA.  But the issue may gradually creep into the public awareness as big media pushes for more privileges.

ACTA is a fluid document, in that unlike a law like SOPA or PIPA, it can be changed or altered at any time with little effort outside of convincing the member states to embrace the change.  That is among the many ways it is more insidious that SOPA/PIPA.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation big media is pushing to force internet service providers (ISPs) to kick alleged pirates off the Internet and to adopt expensive filtering schemes.  These measures were originally in ACTA, but were later dropped amid protests.

Three Strikes
Big media allegedly is pushing to modify ACTA to force ISPs to kick to terminate paying customers who are allegedly pirates in a "three strikes" system. [Image Source: AP]

The EFF describes this possible federal free market meddling, writing:

[T]he same industry rightsholder groups that support the creation of ACTA have also called for mandatory network-level filtering by Internet Service Providers and for Internet Service Providers to terminate citizens' Internet connection on repeat allegation of copyright infringement (the "Three Strikes" /Graduated Response) so there is reason to believe that ACTA will seek to increase intermediary liability and require these things of Internet Service Providers. While mandating copyright filtering by ISPs will not be technologically effective because it can be defeated by use of encryption efforts to introduce network level filtering will likely involve deep packet inspection of citizens' Internet communications. This raises considerable concerns for citizens' civil liberties and privacy rights and the future of Internet innovation.

Reportedly big media is keen on seeing that these provisions make a comeback.  They could do so via line item additions to ACTA with little review, outside of consent from member states.

IV. ACTA is Likely an Illegal Document, According to Constitution

If there's one ray of sunshine in this mess it's that ACTA may not be legal or enforceable.  

First its proposed monitoring schemes (UIID, etc.) seemingly violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

A computer is almost certainly an "effect" and online federal warrantless searches and monitoring certainly would be defined by most as "unreasonable" (though the courts would obviously have to agree).

ACTA and the Constitution
ACTA violates the Constitution in three different ways, it appears.  As usual special interest dollars are behind these violations. [Image Source: Google Images/unknown work]

Second there's a board issue with the Consitutionality of Obama signing what is in effect a law, as an executive order.  Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution states:

The Congress shall have Power
....
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

In other words it is Congress's responsibility to regulate intellectual property issues.

Further, nowhere in the Constitution are executive orders acknowledged as a legal power of the President.  And legal scholars tend to agree that such orders are only valid in areas where Congress does not legislate.  In other words, this instance would not be an appropriate area for executive orders as Article 1 Sec. 8 explicitly assigned it to the U.S. Senate.  

Further, Article 2 Section 2 states:

[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur

In other words, ACTA should have been put to a vote on the Senate floor, as an "international agreement" is obviously a treaty.

Thus there are at least three substantial ways that ACTA is unconstitutional.  There is currently a petition running, which asks Congress to take up this issue.

V. Should President Obama be Impeached for Accepting Bribes?

One more thing that's worth noting.  The U.S. Constitution Article 2 Section 4 states:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Herein we enter the realm of ambiguity.  The Constitution never officially defines "bribery", so what is it?  The common sense answer would be that bribery is any time a political official (such as the President) accepts money from a special interest and then fails to recuse themselves on decisions involving that interest.

Under such a common sense principle, President Obama appears to have accepted a bribe to violate the U.S. Constitution and the highest political office, thus he should be impeached under this definition.

(For the record he seems to have accepted many of these bribes [1][2] as have his 2012 opponents on the Republican side of the fence.)

Of course including "common sense" and U.S. politics in the same sentence makes for an almost automatic oxymoron.  Today "bribery" is defined in much more ambiguous terms.  For example, it was illegal for ex-Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who served with Obama in Illinois, to solicit funds from private business in exchange for promised privileges.  

Obama and Blagojevich
President Obama and close friend ex-Illinois Governor Ron Blagojevich were both masters of soliciting special interest and corporate cash for legislation.  Mr. Blagojevich is currently imprisoned for it, but President Obama is allowed to solicit virtually the same kinds of contributions. [Image Source: AP]

Yet President Obama and Bush were allowed to freely collect money from advocacies, corporations, and other special interests and push for special privileges helping these groups.  Aside from legislative help they have been allowed to turn around and put in place special tax loopholes and grants for their funders.

VI. Selective Enforcement -- How Corporate Interest Write Their Own Rules

Such selective and nonsensical enforcement is common in Washington, D.C. these days.  With over $1.9B USD in 2009 [source] funneled in special interest "lobbying dollars" (bribes) to federal politicians, the mess in Washington D.C. is very reflective of the "do as I say not as I do" nature of the federal government's new rulers -- special interests, including corporations.

For example all of this talk about piracy comes from an industry that has pushed Congress and its foreign peers to create laws that allow big musical labels to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from independent artists yearly.  Under the current law a big media house can "claim" an independent work as its own and start selling it.  The rights holder then has to "prove" that the work is theirs, an arduous process that can take years, as they lose precious revenue.

Stealing key
Big media steals hundreds of millions in copyrighted works annually.
[Image Source: MaximumPC]

Further, numerous studies have shown that pirates in the general public are also the biggest legal buyers of content, so paint it as they may, big media is trying to bite the hand that feeds, seeking to punish those that are paying the majority of its bills.

VII. Fact Sheet: Getting to Know Our Neighbor, ACTA
  1. Is ACTA potentially as bad as SOPA/PIPA?

    No, it's worse.
     
  2. Is ACTA Constitutional?  

    I am not a judge or a lawyer, but it appears unconstitutional.
     
  3. Did Obama accept a "bribe" to pass this "law"?

    In the traditional sense of the word, it certainly appears so, but today bribes are known as "lobbyist contributions" and are considered legal in Washington D.C.
     
  4. What does the Constitution say about a sitting President accepting a bribe?

    They should be impeached.
     
  5. Who is behind ACTA?

    Big media entities in the music and film world such as News Corp. (NWS) -- owners of various "FOX" properties -- and the Warner Music Group have pushed this bill as a replacement and/or supplement to SOPA/PIPA.
     
  6. What is the scariest thing in ACTA?

    ACTA's "thought crime" language about "imminent infringement" is particularly onerous, as are plans for a national tracking system.  Of course we can't know what the latest version of ACTA says exactly as  this agreement the President is committing our nation to is not publically available, so we have to rely on (likely illegal) leaked older drafts to know what's going on.

    Note: As a reader pointed out, a handful of nations have defied the U.S. and published the latest draft of ACTA.  One can be found here [PDF], courtesy of the Japanese.
     
  7. What can be done to stop ACTA?

    Sign the Congressional petition to formally review/publish ACTA.  Let Obama know via email, phone, or letter than his support of ACTA will cost him your vote.
     
  8. Why aren't Google Inc. (GOOG), Facebook, Wikipedia, etc. blacking out in protest of ACTA?

    ACTA is incomplete and thus far unenforced.  As mentioned it is probably illegal and unconstitutional, as opposed to SOPA/PIPA that -- while Orwellian -- fall closer to the Constitutionally authorized powers in that they were looking to be passed by Congress.

    The big internet corporations have much to lose if ACTA is actively enforced and some like Google have actively spoken out against it.  But they appear to be adopting a "wait and see" approach, hoping the government will fail to carry through on its proposed actions.
     
  9. Who IS opposing ACTA with action, at this point?

    At this point the only ones seemingly protesting ACTA, for the most part, are Anonymous.  And they are doing so by "hacktivist" distributed denial of service attacks, which while populist, emulate the tactics of big media in taking online content, hence (unfortunately) sinking to their opponents' level.

    To quote English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton "The pen is mightier than the sword."

    That principle is still true, even on the internet.

    Ideas are bulletproof

    Want to fight ACTA?  Do it by protesting and sharing information, not by attacking government websites.  The former approach killed SOPA and it can still kill ACTA -- the latter approach cannot and will not.

Source: Info Justice



Comments     Threshold


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Special kind of stupid
By Shadowmaster625 on 1/30/2012 1:31:44 PM , Rating: 5
It takes a special kind of stupidity to actually go vote for someone who thinks it is ok to force legislation or treaties down people's throats when you arent even allowed to read them. It takes an even more special kind of stupidity to actually re-elect that person. America has that special kind of stupid in spades.




RE: Special kind of stupid
By d4a2n0k on 1/30/2012 4:58:29 PM , Rating: 5
They did re-elect Bush so you are 100% correct!


RE: Special kind of stupid
By ppardee on 1/30/2012 5:28:08 PM , Rating: 5
And its that kind of partisan attitude that forces people to elect these fools over and over again. Obama is everything the Democrats claimed Bush was. Our fearless leader is a straight-up criminal.

Bush got congressional approval for his wars. Lybia bomber Obama was told by Congress to pull out and refused. This guy gives money to his buddies in Solyndra and other 'green' companies while ignoring the average Joe. He says deep water oil drilling is bad and shuts down US endeavors, then funds the exact same thing in Brazil. Now, he vows to protect our rights after already violating them behind closed doors (in this, the 'most transparent administration ever').

Bush may have been bad (I disagreed with his foreign policy, but Obama has only continued it. I disagreed with his monetary policy, Obama has only amplified it.) but he is GONE and won't be coming back. Obama is today's problem. Focus on him and the current GOP candidates. Focusing on bad presidents of the past is a waste of time.


RE: Special kind of stupid
By KCjoker on 1/30/2012 5:47:22 PM , Rating: 1
Great post...of course the left wing lunatics will ignore those facts since it's done by Obama.


RE: Special kind of stupid
By topkill on 1/30/2012 8:52:57 PM , Rating: 3
Actually we won't. If this is what he does, he's lost my vote and the support and money I gave the first time around.

I gave him a chance and now he's proving to be every bit as evil as that bastard Cheney. I don't even bother mentioning Bush as he was just a bumbling fool.


RE: Special kind of stupid
By koenshaku on 1/31/2012 12:25:52 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter who you vote for you will be voting for an empty suit with special interest. You can of course try voting for Ron Paul who seems to be the only genuine candidate but he will never be elected hes like voldamort in the media.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb5aGgQXhXo&feature...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedd...


RE: Special kind of stupid
By The Raven on 2/1/2012 4:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can of course try voting for Ron Paul who seems to be the only genuine candidate but he will never be elected hes like voldamort in the media.
The media be damned. He did not get where he is because of the media. He got there because people like you and me like what he stands for. It doesn't matter if you think he will get elected. Vote for him anyway because as it has been pointed out, all the rest of them are basically the same anyway. And if Paul doesn't get elected, vote the 3rd party of your choice. There are not just 2 kinds of Americans.

And I am sick of hearing about people who love everything else about him but are afraid of his foreign policy. If we want to go to war we can go to war. One man in the Whitehouse cannot stop us. It is the president that will talk us into a war (cough! Bush, cough! Obama) that we should be worried about. I have seen the President and the other rep candidates basically lay out reasoning for us to attack Cuba, Iran and Palestine (if you can call it that). I'm not saying they did say this directly, but when they say things like "I will not allow Iran to get a nuke" how do you think they will do that? By attacking them obviously. And why can't we let them get a nuke? Because it is pretty much a forgone conclusion that we will end up in a war with Iran because all Iranians are 'stupid crazy' people that need to be wiped off the map so that we can enjoy our Starbucks in peace with our open borders.

We don't want to have to worry about the eminant invasion of a weak country from halfway around the world. We are too busy worrying about the narco state right next door to us or our own domestic problems. Oh wait, no we aren't.


RE: Special kind of stupid
By superstition on 1/30/2012 9:34:23 PM , Rating: 1
"Bush may have been bad..."

May? So much for opposing partisan bias.


RE: Special kind of stupid
By phxfreddy on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Special kind of stupid
By superstition on 1/30/2012 9:38:15 PM , Rating: 2
You still believe presidential elections are anything beyond theatrical programs put on for us by the elite.

Glass houses...

Forget the politicians. They're put there to give you the idea that you have choice. You don't. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. — Carlin


RE: Special kind of stupid
By Noya on 1/31/2012 12:50:42 AM , Rating: 5
Amen to that. I can't believe how many of these die-hard left and right wing zealots actually believe the whole "Dem. vs Rep." thing and blame Bush and Obama...and Clinton and so on.

You want to place blame for our quickly declining country, blame Wall Street, blame big Pharma, blame the military and prison industrial complexes, blame the outsourcing, blame the beyond rich f*cks that lobby/buy politicians and take and take and take.

Just look at the quality of life indexes for the USA, they've been going down steadily since the 70's when manufacturing was outsourced. Our economy is beyond absurd, based on services and intellectual property. When the biggest employers are the government, McDonald's and Wal-Mart you know you're country is f*ucked.


RE: Special kind of stupid
By vortmax2 on 1/31/2012 10:48:23 AM , Rating: 2
Change happens from the inside-out. If anyone is to blame, we must point at ourselves first. We the people are the ones who have the real control to change things, yet we continue to complain and point our fingers at everyone else. We reap what we sow...


RE: Special kind of stupid
By Basilisk on 1/31/2012 12:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Pogo [Walt Kelley] 1971


RE: Special kind of stupid
By FastEddieLB on 1/31/2012 7:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
There are no heroes left in man. Hope rides alone.


RE: Special kind of stupid
By Ringold on 1/31/2012 9:49:33 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Just look at the quality of life indexes for the USA, they've been going down steadily since the 70's when manufacturing was outsourced.


Yeah! Sounds good, except when looking at facts, like the average American living in larger homes, improved medical care, improved... everything. Far lower inflation, which means folks have a legitimate chance of saving for retirement without inflation taking a huge bite out of it, or buying a home without having to pay double-digit interest rates.

But yeah! Lets pine for the good old stagflation years of Jimmy Carter and central government, 'cause that outlook and approach to governance has served so many European countries so well today. If only we could be like, say, Spain, or Portugal, or Greece!


RE: Special kind of stupid
By rburnham on 2/1/2012 11:26:08 AM , Rating: 2
That is truth. I think it is cute that people still think elections matter. I miss George Carlin.


RE: Special kind of stupid
By sigmatau on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Special kind of stupid
By p05esto on 1/30/2012 10:45:13 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying you would vote for Obama again? Seriously?


RE: Special kind of stupid
By sigmatau on 1/31/12, Rating: 0
RE: Special kind of stupid
By ebakke on 1/31/2012 11:17:15 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Who else can do a better job?
I say we give Ron Paul a shot. I think we all agreed that the bar has been set pretty low. He can't be much worse than what we've been used to for the last 12 years.


RE: Special kind of stupid
By cruisin3style on 2/5/2012 6:08:44 AM , Rating: 2
So true...it is sad that the people who don't seem to have a chance of winning are usually the only ones who can say anything, or seem to be, worth a damn


RE: Special kind of stupid
By gunzac21 on 2/5/2012 3:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously does it matter. I will also be voting for obama, I guess you will vote for romney. Frankly romney is not as conservative as he pretends to be and obama not as liberal. The modern president is forced to bow down to congress and the lobbists that controls congress all the time. I do not believe romney would destroy this country or obama will save it or vise versa, the president lacks the power to do that. In modern times only FDR and Reagan were able to really turn things around economically from there current state because the american people were willing to follow them. If we want another president like FDR JFK LBJ Teddy roosevelt or even reagan we have got to stop acting like the other presidential candidates are evil. Heck remember even the democrats went along with bush in the IRAQ War at first. that being said Sarah Palin really would have destroyed this country if mcCain won and died.


RE: Special kind of stupid
By JediJeb on 1/30/2012 11:13:03 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
It takes a special kind of stupidity to actually go vote for someone who thinks it is ok to force legislation or treaties down people's throats when you arent even allowed to read them.


The biggest problem is the majority of people do not know this kind of thing is happening. Not everyone reads sites like this, and since it seems most of the information about things like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA never see the light of day on main stream media most never will know. The elites in our society worldwide control so much of the media it is lucky any of us ever know about things like this.

The other question to ask is, are any of us putting forth and effort to educate the "unlearned masses" around us. If we are not then we are just as much to blame as the "stupid" people who continue to reelect such poor leaders. There are people who learn through inquiry and there are people who learn through being taught, the second being in the majority in society. It is the responsibility of those with the ability to learn through inquiry to teach those who need teaching.


Finally, some information!
By Solice55 on 1/30/2012 12:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
Haters say what you will, but this is the most concise appendix for ACTA I've found yet, even among petition and protest sites. I knew it was bad the instant I heard of it, but actual details have been scarce.

I'm somewhat concerned about one thing: the unconstitutionality of this. Since it's a foreign policy concept, and not a local policy concept, can we still fight it as being unconstitutional?




RE: Finally, some information!
By JediJeb on 1/30/2012 2:57:34 PM , Rating: 3
This is what I was thinking. Everyone is attacking the attack on Obama, but at least there is some information here about ACTA. There needs to be even more information out there on this treaty what could do more damage to what we know as the internet today than any other one to come along so far.

Maybe Jason did hype up the Obama connections a little but look beyond the political aspects and into the meat of this whole situation people, please. The people who are really behind ACTA want those of us who could understand what the treaty is all about to do exactly what the longest thread here had accomplished, put us at each others throats instead of theirs!

The biggest legal problem here is that ACTA is considered an International Treaty which by definition has very specific requirements under international law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty

Referring to the section labeled Execution and Implementation it says that countries entering into the treaty may be required to alter their laws so that they comply with the treaty. Would this mean that we much amend our Constitution to make an exception for such acts as seizure without a warrant? There is also another section of the above listed site labeled Ultra Vires Treaties under which there would be a way out for the US government in enforcement of the treaty if the one signing it has overstepped their authority. So if it was ruled that provisions are unconstitutional I would hope that would be a way for escape if the Senate has not voted to approve ACTA, but if they do vote to accept the treaty are we then obligated under international law to amend our laws to comply?

There is so much we, the public, need to know about ACTA that we do not have the privilege of knowing currently. I can understand a treaty that affects our national security being secret, but one that affects the rights and actions of nearly every single citizen, not only of the US but all nations signing this treaty, in so many things we do as normal day to day actions of living should be something we have a right to read and comment on. It doesn't matter what company is giving what to any politician on either side of the argument or political fence, ACTA directly affects a major percentage of the world's population and it seems only a very few select people are being given the rights to even know what it says, and that is wrong on all levels.


RE: Finally, some information!
By superstition on 1/30/2012 9:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
many SOPA opponents were confused and even shocked when they learned that the very power they feared the most in that bill — the power of the U.S. Government to seize and shut down websites based solely on accusations, with no trial — is a power the U.S. Government already possesses and, obviously, is willing and able to exercise even against the world’s largest sites (they have this power thanks to the the 2008 PRO-IP Act pushed by the same industry servants in Congress behind SOPA as well as by forfeiture laws used to seize the property of accused-but-not-convicted drug dealers). This all reminded me quite a bit of the shock and outrage that arose last month over the fact that Barack Obama signed into law a bill (the NDAA) vesting him with the power to militarily detain people without charges, even though, as I pointed out the very first time I wrote about that bill, indefinite detention is already a power the U.S. Government under both Bush and Obama has seized and routinely and aggressively exercises. the defining power that had everyone so up in arms about SOPA — shutting down websites with no trial — is one that already exists in quite a robust form, as any thwarted visitors to Megaupload will discover.

quote:
It’s wildly under-appreciated how unrestrained is the Government’s power to do what it wants, and how little effect these debates over various proposed laws have on that power.

quote:
The U.S. really is a society that simply no longer believes in due process: once the defining feature of American freedom that is now scorned as some sort of fringe, radical, academic doctrine. That is not hyperbole. Supporters of both political parties endorse, or at least tolerate, all manner of government punishment without so much as the pretense of a trial, based solely on government accusation: imprisonment for life, renditions to other countries, even assassinations of their fellow citizens. Simply uttering the word Terrorist, without proving it, is sufficient. And now here is Megaupload being completely destroyed — its website shuttered, its assets seized, ongoing business rendered impossible — based solely on the unproven accusation of Piracy.

quote:
Megaupload obviously contains numerous infringing videos, but so does YouTube, yet both sites also entail numerous legal activities as well. As Sanchez put it: “most people, presumably, recognize that shutting down YouTube in order to disable access to those videos would not be worth the enormous cost to protected speech.” The Indictment is a classic one-side-of-the-story document; even the most mediocre lawyers can paint any picture they want when unchallenged. That’s why the government is not supposed to dole out punishments based on accusatory instruments, but only after those accusations are proved in an adversarial proceeding. Whatever else is true, those issues should be decided upon a full trial in a court of law, not by government decree. Especially when it comes to Draconian government punishments — destroying businesses, shutting down websites, imprisoning people for life, assassinating them — what distinguishes a tyrannical society from a free one is whether the government is first required to prove guilt in a fair, adversarial proceeding. This is a precept Americans were once taught about why their country was superior


Greenwald on the shutting down of Megaupload. He speaks to what you were addressing, eh?


RE: Finally, some information!
By JediJeb on 1/30/2012 11:39:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
This is a precept Americans were once taught about why their country was superior


I agree.

Also with this statement there is one change to be made, not only are Americans not taught this is why our country was superior, but they are not taught much about our Constitution and responsibilities of common citizens to maintain that Constitution.

The United States was founded on a governmental system that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. Seems today most citizens want to forget the "by the people" part and focus on the "for the people" part. People are reverting back to being serfs and peasants by relying on the government to provide for their needs at the cost of working as servants for that government. The people who founded this nation left Europe to escape that type of situation and to seek the freedom to live their own lives for themselves while accepting the reality that they had just as much chance at total failure as they did at success. Today too many unwittingly sell their souls to the government just for protection against failure. The people of the US and the rest of what is considered "First World" countries have been lulled into a condition of apathy by their governments just like a cobra is entranced by a snake charmer. If the average people don't break the trance soon, the world governments are going to slam the top on the basket and freedom will be a thing of the past.


RE: Finally, some information!
By Cerin218 on 1/31/2012 3:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
This was the point. The progressives have been working for decades to dumb down the population. This is why they took over education. Thank John Dewey. Democrat. He lobbied for the Department of Education. School systems were called the "Incubators of Democracy" School systems were independent. That way if one system found ideas that worked for them, others could see it it worked for them too. Same as bad ideas could be avoided by others. Problem was that the liberals had to lobby each district to make changes to the school system. This was a lot of work. So Dewey came up with this brilliant idea that if the liberals could create a Department of Education, one entity would hold power over ALL schools. Which meant that to get one progressive revisionist history book in all schools the Fed would make it happen. The net effect was a bad idea would become universal. You were not insulated from bad ideas. We also didn't benefit from different ideas. And slowly as time went by, the liberals stripped out civics and Constitution and economics. Because it's tougher to control an educated populace. So it became about social engineering. Teach people to be peons. Unions (Democrat pets) and liberal professors have been producing the stupid and telling them they're victims, and that's okay. Think OWS. If you people really can't see the progressives (Democrats/Marxists/communists/Stalinist/liberals) have destroyed this country then you deserve the destruction. Look what Obama just did with ACTA. And by the way, Bush was a progressive. So was Clinton. And to be fair, Republicans are only marginally right. They've drifted sadly left. This country is dead, it just hasn't figured it out yet. And people, most of you killed it. Happily. Especially if you voted for Obama. Most of the worst things that have EVER happened to this country are Democrat ideas. Reap what you have sown.

"We have given you a Republic... if you can keep it." - Benjamin Franklin.


RE: Finally, some information!
By JediJeb on 1/31/2012 5:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
I must agree and have always found the term "Progressive" a little irritating in this sense. Think about it, the people who founded this nation were truly progressive. They totally changed the way governments worked. It was a move forward to self governance by the society as a whole instead of rule by a select few as it had been for centuries or even millenniums before. Now there is a group calling themselves "progressive" wanting to push us "forward" back into the old way of doing things. That has to be the most absurd name for what the movement is actually doing that I have ever heard.

There are very good ideas that come from both liberal and conservative thinking, but the "progressive" mindset is nothing more than trying to convince the population that servitude is equal to freedom and that ignorance is truly bliss.


RE: Finally, some information!
By Diablobo on 1/31/2012 9:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, you have it so ass-backwards, there is no doubt you are a right-wing cheap labor conservative trying to spread lies and misinformation. Progressives want the Dept. of Education to promote learning and equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of social standing or merit to society. Since good public education and funding for higher learning leads to an enlightened and more socially and politically independent middle class, the cheap labor conservatives can't stand it. The cheap labor conservatives want uneducated, desperate, dependent and obedient drones for the factories and offices. Your attack on the education system only lays bare the contempt and lies you wish to spread against anyone who doesn't follow orders and keep quiet.
As for Democrats causing the problems...the only problems are from the cheap labor conservatives who wish to take us back to Victorian England and Oliver Twist poor houses and debtor's prisons. They will and have done whatever it takes to obstruct, defund, and tear down any social programs that benefit poor and average Americans. They demand low taxes and high deficits to sabotage and cripple our budgets so we can't do anything but slave away for pennies and be dependent and thankful for whatever scraps the bosses see fit to throw us.


RE: Finally, some information!
By Ringold on 1/31/2012 9:56:14 PM , Rating: 1
What a troll. "Cheap labor conservatives"? That's a new one by me. Conservatives give Newt a standing ovation when encouraging a work ethic that leads people to own their own lives and their own businesses, and you talk about factories.

At least update your nonsense to the current century. "Factories" that employ mass labor is below, or should be below, first-world countries. Conservatives want and understand that we live in an information-age society oriented towards services (ie, software, finance, biology, chemicals, etc), where math, physics, engineering and the like are paramount. The difference in opinion is simply that, well, as Obama's own Rhee would point out, that government-run schools encumbered by labor unions are a colossal failure in America. People on the right and even some on the left merely propose a more incentive-based approach towards reform.

But whatever, keep on with your Marx-inspired rhetoric, fighting the ideological battle of the early 1900s. You're a useful idiot for those in power.


RE: Finally, some information!
By Diablobo on 1/31/2012 10:38:57 PM , Rating: 2
You make my point for me. If we are such a technology and information age driven economy, then why would conservatives be against public education? I'll tell you why, because they don't want a workforce of highly educated, well-paid, and independent workers. They want desperate, ignorant, obedient slaves that they can manipulate, exploit, and pay pennies on the dollar. They want to do away with unions, the minimum wage, OSHA, and any form of independence from the crap jobs and pay so we can compete with Chinese and other third world country cheap laborers. It's a race to the bottom for wages, benefits, and job security...hence the label: CHEAP LABOR CONSERVATIVES.


RE: Finally, some information!
By Ringold on 2/1/2012 11:56:44 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
then why would conservatives be against public education?


Because charter schools hit higher standards on smaller budgets, and can be regulated all the same despite being nominally in private hands.

Go ahead, ask a conservative. That's what they'll tell you, from the heart. You're so caught up in the extremist fringe liberal echo chamber that nothing will ever convince you of good intentions of someone from the other side of the isle though, which is what leads to such bitter divisions.

As for unions, look how good airlines and the auto industry records are, both heavily unionized. Compare that to Silicon Valley, very much not a unionized area. As for race to the bottom, yeah, capitalist Hong Kong and Singapore really are doing awful? Oh wait, they're not. Go back to Huffington Post, or at least bother to learn a tiny bit of economics before ranting on as though you do.


RE: Finally, some information!
By Cerin218 on 1/31/2012 3:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
This was the point. The progressives have been working for decades to dumb down the population. This is why they took over education. Thank John Dewey. Democrat. He lobbied for the Department of Education. School systems were called the "Incubators of Democracy" School systems were independent. That way if one system found ideas that worked for them, others could see it it worked for them too. Same as bad ideas could be avoided by others. Problem was that the liberals had to lobby each district to make changes to the school system. This was a lot of work. So Dewey came up with this brilliant idea that if the liberals could create a Department of Education, one entity would hold power over ALL schools. Which meant that to get one progressive revisionist history book in all schools the Fed would make it happen. The net effect was a bad idea would become universal. You were not insulated from bad ideas. We also didn't benefit from different ideas. And slowly as time went by, the liberals stripped out civics and Constitution and economics. Because it's tougher to control an educated populace. So it became about social engineering. Teach people to be peons. Unions (Democrat pets) and liberal professors have been producing the stupid and telling them they're victims, and that's okay. Think OWS. If you people really can't see the progressives (Democrats/Marxists/communists/Stalinist/liberals) have destroyed this country then you deserve the destruction. Look what Obama just did with ACTA. And by the way, Bush was a progressive. So was Clinton. And to be fair, Republicans are only marginally right. They've drifted sadly left. This country is dead, it just hasn't figured it out yet. And people, most of you killed it. Happily. Especially if you voted for Obama. Most of the worst things that have EVER happened to this country are Democrat ideas. Reap what you have sown.

"We have given you a Republic... if you can keep it." - Benjamin Franklin.


RE: Finally, some information!
By Mint on 2/1/2012 1:04:10 PM , Rating: 4
A lot more information at Ars:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/in...

Much less sensationalist than Mick's article, and no, ACTA does not let you take down a site merely from a complaint like SOPA did.

As for Obama, I'm reserving judgement. I'm pretty sure the EU, which just signed the treaty, would start a trade war if the US didn't comply.


A little much
By lagomorpha on 1/30/2012 1:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I would like to see all lobbying considered bribes, I doubt you would get every member of Congress to vote themselves out of office.




RE: A little much
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:38:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
As much as I would like to see all lobbying considered bribes, I doubt you would get every member of Congress to vote themselves out of office.

True. Obviously Congress could not credibly impeach Obama when they themselves are taking bribes.

It would kinda be like the speaker of the house calling on the impeachment of the President for getting blown under the table, when he himself is having an affair. :)

But yes, fundamentally I agree with your comment.


RE: A little much
By EricMartello on 1/30/2012 9:07:18 PM , Rating: 1
So it looks like the only other viable option on the table is a militant revolution. Seems to me like the majority of the US military, who supports Ron Paul, would be more inclined to side with the people rather than come to the defense of these "ruling class" scumbags. It is a constitutional duty of US citizens to keep the government in check. The USA was founded on specific principles that are now the antithesis of what it is today.


RE: A little much
By superstition on 1/30/2012 9:40:42 PM , Rating: 2
"So it looks like the only other viable option on the table is a militant revolution."

lol


RE: A little much
By Amedean on 1/30/2012 9:43:44 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
So it looks like the only other viable option on the table is a militant revolution


Its sad an example of political zealotry literally turning into extremist. Another score for Jason Mick and his click sensation polarizing articles taking the better of lesser mentally capable citizens.

I thought that the Iraqi people were stupid for killing each other over slight religious differences, but then this guy proves to me that Americans can be just as morally corrupt to say ridiculous things like this and believe themselves right.


RE: A little much
By Alexvrb on 1/31/2012 12:18:33 AM , Rating: 2
Not that I agree with him, but I'd like you to step down from your soapbox and tell us your solution, you know, dazzle us all with your brilliance.


RE: A little much
By EricMartello on 1/31/2012 4:28:35 AM , Rating: 1
I noticed that you disagree yet fail to offer a productive counter-solution...because sitting down and being a good little boy is working out so well for you.

We had to fight to create the USA and it's perfectly logical that we will need to fight to maintain it - and this is even written in the Constitution itself.


RE: A little much
By Breathless on 1/31/2012 8:23:13 AM , Rating: 1
This guy would think our founders were just "crazy religious zealots" as well. No sense trying to reason with a liberal idiot that doesn't understand that sometimes blood has to be spilled for liberty to be preserved.


A bit sensational
By Varun on 1/30/2012 4:09:42 PM , Rating: 5
If anyone wants to read a real acticle about ACTA, ArsTechnica has a much better piece here: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/in...

Less sensational and more rational.

Even by Mick's standards, this article got away from him.

Also Michael Geist has been covering ACTA for a couple of years now. You can read his thoughts here http://www.michaelgeist.ca/




RE: A bit sensational
By Black1969ta on 1/31/2012 1:10:54 AM , Rating: 2
LOL at that site, less sensational, yep it is just almost comatose,

quote:
The provisions of SOPA and PIPA that generated the most outrage were those that would have blacklisted sites from DNS, search engines, payment networks, and ad networks. None of these proposals were included in ACTA. Perhaps this is a reference to the provisions requiring signatories to "promote cooperative efforts within the business community," but as we've seen, there are any number of ways to comply with this requirement that are less draconian than the SOPA provisions that generated so much controversy.


Glossing over the facts is just as harmful as sensationalizing them, if it can do something then it will. that arguement is like saying that "you can survive having unprotected sex with a HIV+ person," sure you can but do you really want to take that chance?

BTW I have nothing against HIV patients, but that was the best analogy that I can think of.


RE: A bit sensational
By Black1969ta on 1/31/2012 1:15:01 AM , Rating: 2
Oh and the part about it being an executive order.

The Constitution give explicit right the the President to draw up treaties, aka agreements, with other nations, but it also give explicit powers to the Senate to approve, Ratify, said treaties.


Is this article a joke?
By Willhouse on 1/30/2012 5:05:09 PM , Rating: 4
This was hilarious. I'm sorry, but this article has strayed far outside the area of expertise of the author and website (IE technical news). If I need political commentary (I don't), I'll consider the opinion of an expert. I don't need Jason to interpret the constitution or decry the state of election contributions in the US for me. Who is it news to that politicians take election contributions and then favorably view the entity who contributed?




RE: Is this article a joke?
By superstition on 1/30/2012 9:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, experts. Look up what Chomsky said about positions of expertise and how filtration mechanisms generally weed out people who are inclined to oppose the status quo.

Certainly, there are experts and there is expertise. But, don't make the mistake of believing everything you need to know is going to be either known by such people, or, more importantly, revealed by them (particularly in a timely manner).

The current administration's war on whisleblowing is just one of such mechanisms. The fake nomination of Dawn Johnsen is another.

Bias and corruption is pretty much impossible to avoid. Good luck trying.


RE: Is this article a joke?
By Black1969ta on 1/31/2012 12:33:39 AM , Rating: 2
I hate to tell you, but this is the information age! there is virtually nothing that Jason Mick can't become an expert on with just a few hours of internet searches, he may have to call in some favors to explain what all the information means on occasion, but by far the knowledge base has expanded beyond the borders of a library or classroom.

As a tech/news site I think there is too much propaganda from time to time, but what news site keeps it opinions to themselves anymore? he didn't try to come off like a prophet or ram his political agenda down our throats, but he did try to point out the scope of the ramifications that this treaty poses.


Owned
By TheRealArdrid on 2/1/2012 4:35:51 PM , Rating: 4
And Jason Mick has officially been called out for his idiocy related to Obama.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/im...




RE: Owned
By B3an on 2/1/2012 9:17:12 PM , Rating: 2
LOL i was just reading that and come over here to post it, but beaten to it. I agree with Ars article more. Jason just went way over the top here, even for him. If Ars didn't constantly have so much bias Apple **** on it i wouldn't bother with DT. But anyway...

quote:
ITS ON!!


RE: Owned
By darkpuppet on 2/2/2012 8:43:36 AM , Rating: 2
Awwww SNAP!


Michael Asher
By Ringold on 1/30/2012 1:41:51 PM , Rating: 1
Where'd he go, anyway? Just happened to wonder.




RE: Michael Asher
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 2:08:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Where'd he go, anyway? Just happened to wonder.

I was able to reach him, or at least someone I believed to be him. He told me that he had received a threat at his home, so he had stopped blogging for now out of interest to his family's safety and well being.

Haven't heard much from him since.

I ID'ed him as a commenter based on his recognizable style of argumentation, which certainly beat me up a time or two in my early days here.

I can't for sure verify his identity or his story of what happened, but I wish the best for him, regardless.


RE: Michael Asher
By Ringold on 1/30/2012 4:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. Wow. I don't doubt it, asshats on the internet believe and protest loudly for free speech -- so long as they agree with you. When they don't, they dig up their 'dox' or whatever, and start harassing and threatening individuals at home and their family. Can't beat them in open forums? Then silence them.

I wish him luck as well, I've sorely missed his voice on nuclear issues. I used to be able to find his linkedin account I believe it was, and if I recall he had vast personal experience in the field. It's hard to find expert commentary on it.


RE: Michael Asher
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 5:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wow. Wow. I don't doubt it, asshats on the internet believe and protest loudly for free speech -- so long as they agree with you. When they don't, they dig up their 'dox' or whatever, and start harassing and threatening individuals at home and their family. Can't beat them in open forums? Then silence them.

Yea doxing is an effective technique for the e-bullies these days.

He stirred up a lot of controversy, in that he made his point so eloquently and debated so strongly that those who debated him -- myself included -- were often left clenching their fists in frustration. He could school you in a debate like you were a fifth grader talking to a graduate college student.

When you stir up trouble in a good natured intellectual way, you open some minds, as he did mine, to some extent, but others you engender hatred and strong emotion in some indoctrinated souls. Sadly that appears to be what ended his blogging career (for now).
quote:
I wish him luck as well, I've sorely missed his voice on nuclear issues. I used to be able to find his linkedin account I believe it was, and if I recall he had vast personal experience in the field. It's hard to find expert commentary on it.

Yea he's a somewhat shadowy figure, but surely must have had some sort of solid technical background.

Regardless of our past differences, I came to see eye to eye with him on many issues, including nuclear power. I'm no Asher, but I've tried to carry that torch well enough in his absence (send me good stories to cover, if you come across them). Sadly my tech politics pieces are sporadic as I cover so many different things from smartphones to nanotech.

In my final conversation with Michael Asher (a pseudonym obviously... I'm not even sure if his "true" name he later communicated with me by was not a pseudonym as well) discussed the dangers facing the field of science and technology today.

We both obviously felt the politicization issue was a danger (I don't agree with all his warming rhetoric, but I do feel the issue has become over politicized). And we both agreed that radical evangelism is also a key issue, as it has served as a destructive force towards the field of genetics by stifling evolution education, etc.

Michael Asher showed me that you may be a tech writer, but sometimes you're forced to get political as the issues you deal with often touch on politics and need proper background and research, not just a blind parroting from your news source of choice.

He always struck me as a principled (traditional) conservative, and yet at the same time a free thinker.

With his permission I might publish some of our conversations as blogs to fill you guys in, sometime in the future.


RE: Michael Asher
By Reclaimer77 on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Michael Asher
By Alexvrb on 1/31/2012 12:22:10 AM , Rating: 1
You've got that backwards. The terrorists are using "enviromentalists" as a template. They didn't know how to properly carry out a Jihad until Green Peace showed them the way.


error in article
By mattclary on 1/30/2012 12:42:14 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
SOPA is a fluid document, in that unlike a law like SOPA or PIPA, it can be changed or altered at any time with little effort outside of convincing the member states to embrace the change.


Think that should read "ACTA is a fluid document"




RE: error in article
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:57:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Think that should read "ACTA is a fluid document"

Corrected, thank you!


insider trading
By tharik on 1/30/2012 1:14:26 PM , Rating: 5
Lets impeach all those insider traders too.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.




By A dose of truth on 1/30/2012 2:13:26 PM , Rating: 3
http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/economy/i_property/pd...

That link is the official finalized text of ACTA.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=USTR+ACTA

That link is how I found it.

http://www.ustr.gov/acta

And that link is the official government site where it is hosted.

It is worth noting that protests due to leaked material likely helped water down the agreement significantly, and that there are still suitable problems with ACTA that it should not be passed. However, most of the claims in this article are significantly out of date.




By zzeoss on 1/31/2012 9:20:11 AM , Rating: 2
I've sent him this link aswell, taken from an Romanian article about ACTA. Structure is different but content looks similar.

http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/11/st12...


Doesn't belong in DailyTech
By TechObserver on 1/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: Doesn't belong in DailyTech
By rdawise on 1/31/2012 9:16:18 AM , Rating: 1
I agree 100%. Not a tech article, but Mick has to please his "anti-Obama" fans so such is as it is.

This executive agreement does need to fully disclosed, as does the journalistic policies of Mick. I understand that this is an editorial, but as such does not belong in the news section. Create a special little section of Mick and his soapbox and call it and Editorial section. That way, those of us who want to see news can look at the news articles.


By TechObserver on 1/31/2012 2:32:01 PM , Rating: 3
This is what the article should look like:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/in...

It provides the facts, weighs the pro's vs cons, points out that the current ACTA documents don't look anything like what this DailyTech article does, that ACTA has changed since inception and that even law makers have issues with it. It points out the myths associated with the legislation (such as this article's sensationalism) and helps the reader make their own conclusions.


Jason Mick
By JohnWPB on 1/30/2012 10:36:49 PM , Rating: 3
This is my first post, but have been a long time reader.

So it will probably be my last post, after Jason reads this.

Jason Mick, you're a blooming idiot!




By voronwae on 2/1/2012 7:12:09 PM , Rating: 3
Jason, I've been reading articles about ACTA on Ars Technica for several years now, back into the Bush Administration, so I've never considered there to be any particular great conspiracy. I do have an interest in intellectual property law, though, so maybe I was just paying attention when most people weren't. Regardless, many of your assertions in this article are either factually incorrect or simply don't rationally stand.

I'm sorry to say this, but if you, Jason's readers, want to learn anything, anything at all about ACTA, go to Ars Technica and search for the word "acta". Anything you find will be much better than the above article.




This is already happening
By stardude692001 on 1/30/2012 12:11:21 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of the bias a lot of these provisions are already taking effect. I have been spending the last week relocating because my internet was disconnected due to the three strike B.S.

As a question, is there a way to set up an "underground" internet using hacked or privately owned satellites? Kinda like a pirate radio station.




Please look up!!!
By Schmide on 1/30/2012 1:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
Quid Pro Quo - i.e. what for what.

Collect Underpants

???

Profit.




DT Fliter?
By wpodonnell on 1/30/2012 5:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
Is there a Jason Mick filter? I can usually tell by the sensationalist article title and accompanying sophomoric photo, but my visits to DT would be much more pleasant minus his voice.




SOPA, ACTA, PIPA
By Jeremy87 on 1/30/2012 5:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
I find if funny how all these acronyms are actual words in swedish:
Sopa: failed, unskilled person
Akta: beware, look out
Pipa: pipe (what you smoke)




This is John Galt Speaking
By hiscross on 1/31/2012 8:58:00 AM , Rating: 2
By BSMonitor on 1/31/2012 9:06:38 AM , Rating: 2
Didn't realize this guy was a Republican, but makes sense. Keep drinking the Kool-Aide.




Greed
By hiscross on 1/31/2012 9:26:11 AM , Rating: 2
As always
By Motoman on 1/31/2012 12:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
The solution is clear.

1. Outlaw lobbying.
2. Outlaw political parties.

Problem solved.




Dead Pigs...
By mmatis on 1/31/2012 2:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
coming soon. For it is THEY who spit on their oath to the Constitution and enable this swill.




MPAA's Dodd and Bribery
By rbuszka on 1/31/2012 2:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
Former Senator and current MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd said the following after the apparently successful SOPA/PIPA protest, in which several major web sites took part, causing congressmen and senators to flee from SOPA and PIPA.

via TechDirt:
quote:
"Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,"


Lobbyist contributions are typically made to political candidates in hopes of greasing the political wheels in their favor, as we well know. However, what separates the lobbying contribution from the 'bribe' in the typical sense is that there is no explicit expectation that the lobbyist will receive something in return for their cash. However, this statement by Chris Dodd makes every future MPAA lobbying contribution of any amount to any public official under his watch a "bribe" by definition, because Dodd has stated that he expects a particular "quid pro quo" legislative giveback in return, in the form of enacting any and all legislation the MPAA supports, for the benefit of receiving cash from the MPAA, by stating that the cash will not continue to be paid if the MPAA's stated goals are not met.

Chris Dodd is incompetent and should be fired for making this statement, which changes the nature of any future political contribution made by the MPAA under Dodd from a 'contribution' to an open 'bribe'. Accepting such a bribe is an impeachable offense, and Dodd's frustrated statement above has made the act of accepting any monies from the MPAA by a public official a crime, until Chris Dodd is removed from a decision-making post within the MPAA. My recommendation to the MPAA: Oust Chris Dodd.




Treaties trump the Constitution
By Diablobo on 1/31/2012 9:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why anyone has not realized yet that treaties, once ratified by our government, override and overrule our Constitution. What do you think NAFTA, WTO, and even the UN are for? They are an end-run around our constitution. Look it up. Treaties trump any law passed, even the constitution. If you can prove me wrong, I would be glad to hear it- but it's true, so we have to live with it. That's why they went this route, they knew it didn't matter if SOPA/PIPA passed or not, all they had to do was take it to the next level of treaties and international law.




AWESOME ARTICLE
By faster on 2/1/2012 10:50:35 AM , Rating: 2
The associated press should pick up your article and take it worldwide. They should publish it in the New York Times.




Misleading Article
By bkrharold on 2/1/2012 7:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
This is obviously just a cheap shot at President Obama and his administration, masquerading as a genuine article on internet freedom. This author has a political agenda, not a technical one




By Performance Fanboi on 2/2/2012 2:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
the back of Monica Lewinskie's (sp?)head is just out of the shot.




Worst than orwellian
By marraco on 2/3/2012 5:33:13 AM , Rating: 2
So, now people can be detained, and jailed on base of secrets laws which are not allowed to know, and also cannot allege lack of knowledge of those secrets laws.

Meanwhile people is detained and tortured without any accusation.

At Least the Orwellian world had clear rules.




Not the first time
By rika13 on 2/4/2012 9:24:03 AM , Rating: 2
Obama has flagrantly violated the Constitution multiple times. He has no excuse since he is a Constitutional law professor.

He violated the War Powers Resolution (which codifies the Congress' power to declare war) by conducting operations in Libya for more than 90 days without Congressional approval. Congress even reminded him of such and asked him to ask for their permission. He actively refused to ask them for such claiming it is within his powers (which it is not).

He violated the Constitution by abusing the recess appointment power by appointing people while the Senate was holding pro forma sessions. The Senate started this practice specifically so Bush would not be able to use his recess appointment power, yet Obama thinks HIM doing the exact same practice that the Senate tried to block is somehow legal.

His healthcare law's individual mandate is not only an abuse of the interstate commerce power. It is also ironically, a violation of the 13th amendment (which bans slavery, since it is forcing Americans to perform an action). The Independent Payment Advisory Board (aka The Death Panel) is a violation of separation of powers because any decision it makes becomes law with a requirement that 3/5 of the Senate to overturn it. Lastly he violates the 14th Amendment (Equal Protection Clause) by issuing waivers to businesses, organizations, and even the states he favors while denying them to states and businesses he doesn't, and most were issued without approval from Congress.

The over-sized and graphic (and faked) tobacco warnings, attempt to tax political contributions, and requirement for federal contractors to disclose independent expenditures on federal elections are direct violations of the 1st Amendment's free speech provisions.

The offshore drilling ban is a classic violation of the separation of powers, since his Interior Dept. issued another ban after a judge overturned the first one.




I would be highly surprised...
By Beenthere on 1/30/2012 7:19:53 PM , Rating: 1
...if Bama was impeached for bribery when he should have been impeached for treason years ago.

That being said I doubt you will find any U.S. politician that doesn't routinely accept all sorts of illegal bribes. The U.S. has actually become worse than a third world country when it comes to ethics and morals.




By Beenthere on 1/30/2012 11:22:24 PM , Rating: 1
It seems that some folks here are taking all this nonsense by Bama and the other criminals on Corruption Hill way too seriously. There is absolutely no way on earth to get the U.S. back on an ethical, moral path until every elected official in DC is hung by their thumbs for six months on the White House lawn for all to see.

THEN the message will have been received. Until then it's just a game. Play along and enjoy.




What amazes me...
By Saist on 1/31/2012 4:09:55 AM , Rating: 1
What amazes me is that after everything Obama and the liberal democrats have done over the past 4 years... This... THIS of all things... is what has people up in arms and demanding impeachment?

Guess I really shouldn't be looking a gift horse in the mouth.




Will get my info from an unbiased source
By syslog2000 on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 12:03:42 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Hmm... I think I will hit the "internets" to do my own research. I have seen quite a bit of Anti-Obama bias from Jason Mick to take him and his conclusions seriously.

So you're not even going to read what I wrote because you assign me some fictitious tag?

I would suggest you read. I source my report well.

I've been accused (by Reclaimer among others) of bias against Bush. You're apparently accusing me of bias against Obama.

Really I'm biased against neither. I believe in:
1. Raising issues for free-thinking public debate , hearing all arguments in an issue.
2. Not blindly following any one political party (this isn't China, thankfully, we OSTENSIBLY have political choice).
3. Exercising my right to free speech in informing my readership on interesting and informative issues.

If you wish to post a more factually based criticism feel free. Until then:
./Raving_Complaint 2> /dev/null


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By StanO360 on 1/30/2012 12:41:21 PM , Rating: 3
Don't listen to these people. This is Fascism, leftist/statists are the source of tyranny and this is how it starts. Ironically, they are aided and abetted by the likes of the Occupy and Anonymous Brownshirts. All wanting to act outside the law, all wanting to circumvent the system so wonderfully created in the Constitution.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Amedean on 1/30/2012 12:51:34 PM , Rating: 1
Why is it that the people who are the most polarized political zealots use the following:

Fascist, Hollywood/liberal/celebrity elitists, Nazi, leftists, Marxist....

Almost always these are used to describe the democratic leaning. Atleast support your accusations with hard facts.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why is it that the people who are the most polarized political zealots use the following:

Fascist, Hollywood/liberal/celebrity elitists, Nazi, leftists, Marxist....

Almost always these are used to describe the democratic leaning. Atleast support your accusations with hard facts.

I think you should look at every political opinion/argument separately and consider its merits.

Your comment is a sweeping generality (fallacy of accident), hence is of limited value to a legitimate debate.

Further, what exactly do you mean by "zealot". Your comment is very ambiguous. I feel "zealot" is an inappropriate term to describe open-minded people who exercise their free speech to talk about politics. I would characterize a "zealot" as someone who adopts a rigid perspective (think party politics) and then stubbornly defends it in the face of evidence to the contrary.

How would you define zealot?


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By mcnabney on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:25:36 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Stop injecting your own version of political DERP into a technical board. It is starting to piss me off.

"Technical board"?

This is a news site. Kind of hard to write about the intersection of technology and politics, without writing politics.

Do you have a reasonable dispute about anything in the article that you can factually elaborate in rational words??

I cordially invite you to do so.

If I have something to apologize for it's for doing my job. I write news and analysis, not run a "technical board".

But on a serious note, I do have to ask you... if it was the other party's guy would you feel the same way about this article?

http://www.gamer.ru/system/attached_images/images/...


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Amedean on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
By Ringold on 1/30/2012 1:40:07 PM , Rating: 2
Oh can it or post something more constructive, please. So far its all just "whine whine Glenn Beck whine whine Fox News whine whine you're wrong whine whine I voted for Obama whine whine". Want some cheese bro?


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:46:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have noticed you use a lot of logical fallacies in you replies, but conveniently exclude the numerous slippery slopes, guilt by association, false attribution, kettle logic....etc, in you polarizing opinions.

Please note them explicitly.

I've noted your logical fallacies in several places.

It's legitimate to point out.

Do you feel my intent is to polarize?

If so, how do you think I'm trying to polarize people?


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By mcnabney on 1/30/2012 8:06:21 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, your intent is to polarize and create arguments that drive click revenue. It is also exactly the kind of thing that is destroying this country.

You are actually what is part of the problem. Instead of writing about what this new bill actually is (and it is supported by authoritarians in BOTH parties BTW) you take the route of making president Obama sound worse than Satan, Hitler, and Dracula all rolled into one. That makes you a political hack. Maybe you should spend a little less time on 4Chan?


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Amedean on 1/30/2012 8:48:46 PM , Rating: 1
I would up your rating but I cant for whatever reason. That said, click revenue explains this very well, I mean, how in the world does such hyperbole political garbage get approved by who ever the editor here is.

This site is loosing face and garbage journalism like this is exactly what is wrong with America because it preys on the mentally inept and incapable of rationalization. Looks like my tech news will be migrating to:

tgdaily.com
gizmag.com
slashgear.com
newscientist.com/section/tech
techcrunch.com
technewsworld.com


By wpodonnell on 1/30/2012 9:13:06 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the shortlist.

I used to frequent other tech news distilleries, but found DT when the others dumbed down. I was hoping that it wasn't time to search anew, but you're likely right - the issue probably goes beyond "journalists" like Mick and lies with an editor(s) that'll provide hacks with a forum as long as they bring in the clicks.


By rbuszka on 1/31/2012 2:46:00 PM , Rating: 3
Good riddance. Go quickly. Drive fast and swerve!


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Reclaimer77 on 1/30/2012 10:08:21 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It is also exactly the kind of thing that is destroying this country.


Oh I'm really getting tired of comments being made like that. Look, this isn't the Civil War. People having opinions and beliefs are not "destroying" the country.

quote:
You are actually what is part of the problem.


If it weren't for people like Jason Mick, posting all over the Internet, SOPA would have probably been passed. Part of the problem? That's rich. If public awareness is a problem...

I think you're a big Obama supporter trying to sound clever and being an apologist by taking the fight to Mick. Attack the message by destroying the messenger.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By rdawise on 1/31/2012 9:28:34 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Oh I'm really getting tired of comments being made like that. Look, this isn't the Civil War. People having opinions and beliefs are not "destroying" the country.


This coming from Reclaimer is the epitome of hypocrisy.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Reclaimer77 on 1/31/2012 10:14:12 AM , Rating: 2
???

Please find it where I accused someone of "destroying" the country directly?

Go away bad troll.


By rdawise on 2/1/2012 1:50:01 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
??? Please find it where I accused someone of "destroying" the country directly? Go away bad troll.


Do you really want me to quote every article where you state that Obama or any Democrat is destroying the country? I am not sure if there's enough hours in the day...


By rdawise on 2/1/2012 2:16:06 AM , Rating: 3
Sorry I couldn't let this hypocrite go bye. Let's look at some of things you've said in this article that violate what you said:

quote:
Asher was truly a rational voice on Global Warming as well. It's what I remember most about him. Which explains why he was harassed. Environmentalists are becoming more like terrorists with each passing year

So since you don't agree with enviros, they are terrorists. Hypocrite.

quote:
Get a clue you apologists. This is by my count the third time he's done something that technically qualified as being an impeachable offense.

Don't like Obama, so everyone who supports him is an apologists. Again hypocrite.

quote:
Of course he is lol. Anyone supporting Obama would be.

Hypocrite again. Come on, don't disappoint me now!

quote:
Obama is a horrible President by any objective measure, category, or criteria. He was never properly vetted by the media anyway, as are most candidates (especially Republican), so average people who aren't hugely informed (most voters) had no clue who they were voting for.

Didn't people say the same about Bush? Hypocrite.

quote:
I'm not "pro-Republican". I'm a Conservative. I guess that makes me anti-Democrat, so be it. They do not support or represent my Conservative beliefs and values, so I do not support THEM. That's how Democracy is supposed to work. There's nothing negative about it. It doesn't mean I'm exercising "blind fealty". So you're a free thinker. Who isn't!? It just has no place in a political discussion usually, because sooner or later, it all comes down to picking a side. Making a choice. Democracy. If you can't do that you aren't a free thinker, you're someone who can't be subjective. I think there's an important difference. (not saying you are, hypothetical)

To think that because someone is a Democrat they aren't conservative is just plain stupid. You have fiscal conservative democrats (blue dogs), you have socially conservative democrats, etc. But you chose to label anyone who isn't Conservative (what does this mean btw. Are you conservative all around or just fiscally conservative) as the enemy. DO I need to keep showing how you are a hypocrite? One more time!

quote:
Well, in retrospect then, I suppose I should thank you. It's a lot better than being ignored and writing all this stuff for nothing. And you ARE using me as an example to fight Obama fanbois, after all. A win-win :)

That's right you Obama fans versus Reclaimer. North versus South. Hilarious.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Ringold on 1/30/2012 1:37:26 PM , Rating: 3
I think invoking impeachment might've been a step towards sensationalism, but I think you're right. A bit of this backlash is "Obama dare do something wrong or underhanded or undemocratic? LIES! BURN THE MESSENGER, BURN WITH FIRE"


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think invoking impeachment might've been a step towards sensationalism, but I think you're right. A bit of this backlash is "Obama dare do something wrong or underhanded or undemocratic? LIES! BURN THE MESSENGER, BURN WITH FIRE"

"Impeachment" just highlights the underlying issue -- quid pro quo/bribery.

The Constitution similarly allows members of Congress to be held culpable for taking bribes. So they should, in theory be impeached as well.

It's just a convenient stark (albeit Constitutional) term used to highlight this serious issue.

I have nothing against Obama in particular, at least no more so than any other lobbyist-stroked Democrat and Republican on the Hill (which is just about all of them).


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By EnzoFX on 1/30/2012 3:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
But you still effectively singled him out with the headline alone. I think that's what many are taking issue with. Its one thing to have him as another bullet point, but for it to be the focus of the article implies some sensationalism IMO. Yes this is besides the fact that its a huge widespread issue and one that should be dealt with.


By EnzoFX on 1/30/2012 3:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
So I agree that not only singling him out, but suggesting his, and only his punishment was the extra sensationalist step.

I can respect the guts to post this, and I'm sure we can all agree the bribe-friendly system needs change. Keep naming names, but name them all. If you're going to suggest impeachment, then suggest them for all those names. I guess that's the feeling of unfairness that's going around.


By Reclaimer77 on 1/30/2012 3:26:07 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry but he's the President. We don't hold our highest official to the same standards as everyone else in the world. He has to be held to higher and better standards!

I know this is apparently a shock to most of you, because the media doesn't report it, but Obama routinely has thumbed his nose at the Constitution and laws of this nation. This is just one example.

And this is the man who ran on having a "transparent" White House? The things he's done to our laws and justice system, all hidden behind closed doors, have been abhorrent.

Get a clue you apologists. This is by my count the third time he's done something that technically qualified as being an impeachable offense.


By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 4:38:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But you still effectively singled him out with the headline alone. I think that's what many are taking issue with. Its one thing to have him as another bullet point, but for it to be the focus of the article implies some sensationalism IMO. Yes this is besides the fact that its a huge widespread issue and one that should be dealt with.

True. My point here wasn't to say "Obama is evil, Obama is the only one who has his hand in the cookie jar".

Today DC politics are ruled by campaign donations, largely from corporate interests (but also from special interest groups). Obama is not special or unique here ... all of them have their hand in those same cookie jars...

My only intention was to:
a) Bring attention to the issue (general campaign finance reform)
b) Bring attention to this particular case study of the general issue. (the Obama abuse wrt ACTA)

A) is obviously more important than B) and is more ubiquitous. I was hoping people would talk about A), but predictably they fixated on B). But at least they're here and reading and *may* get the true message wrt campaign finance reform.

That said, I appreciate your comment. I added a paragraph in the opening to try to frame the discussion in a more clear manner. Let me know what you think!


By Black1969ta on 1/31/2012 12:56:53 AM , Rating: 2
I do have one point of contention, Jason . You point out that Obama signed the treaty and acted like it was law of the land; however, it still does not affect us until the Senate ratifies it. My guess is that knowing about SOPA & PIPA, Obama earned concessions from foreign countries, all while know there is now way that 2/3rd's of the Senate want to join the unemployment lines by the end of the years. And even if they do the supreme court won't allow it to stand. even if ratified, if it doesn't pass the constitution test, it i null and void.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By TSS on 1/30/2012 1:24:14 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it's quite simple why. WWI, the great depression, WII, the cold war, the war on terror, the war on drugs.... How long has america been living in fear now? The breaks in between have only served to make the next situation worse.

Even considering the original settelers mostly left europe because of fear for religious procecution.

It's no wonder people learn to argue using fear, rather then fact. It's no wonder people are more succeptible to fear then fact.

And with choice comes alot of fear, of choosing the wrong thing. So naturally, it's easyer to accept a authority figure and point to anybody willing to choose something else as "evil".

The irony is, that those people describe choice with all kinds of words that are defined by their very lack of choice. The sad thing is, there are alot of them. Just look at just about every republican/democrat debate there is.


By invidious on 1/30/2012 3:08:05 PM , Rating: 2
First, fear is part of the human condition, is has nothing to do with America. Second, "living in fear" implies it dominates our decision making, which it does not. Fear being used as a political tool has nothing to do with Americans being afraid. Just because someone is appealing to fear emotions doesnt mean they are wrong and it doesnt make you afraid for agreeing with them.

quote:
WWI, the great depression, WII, the cold war, the war on terror, the war on drugs....
The only one of those that has anything to do with fear is the cold war. But even that is a bad example because nuclear holocost is worth being afraid of. A better example would have been McCarthyism during the cold war. None of the rest of those things were based on fear, they are based on prudence. I don't need to fear drug cartels or Nazis or a depression in order to be opposed to them.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Just Tom on 1/30/2012 12:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
You realize that under your definition Anti-SOPA organizations are as guilty of bribery as Pro-SOPA organizations?

Bribery =/= someone spending money on lobbying for something I disagree with.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:10:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You realize that under your definition Anti-SOPA organizations are as guilty of bribery as Pro-SOPA organizations?

Bribery =/= someone spending money on lobbying for something I disagree with.

Of course.

In common sense terms a bribe is a bribe.

I make no exceptions for Google.

I understand the counter-argument is basically "the system is corrupt, we are in the system, we must be corrupt".

But any time a politician is paid by a special interest group, corporate or otherwise to change their opinion, they are not representing their voter base and hence have turned the political system into an oligarchy, i.e. a system where the powerful/rich interest rule supreme.

Clearly the problem is that there's no escaping this system overnight. But I think the important thing is to highlight the ongoing bribery on a federal level of both parties (and fringe candidates as well).

Federal politicians should receive federal funds to run for office, otherwise they will inherently be representing their funders, not constituents. Otherwise there shall be no democracy, only oligarchy.

I realize this is an offensive thought to some, given how deeply entrenched the "lobbying" (aka bribery) mindset is to people of all different politicial persuasions.

But free thought is seldom easy.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By mcnabney on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:29:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Were you all pissed off about the donations GWB received prior to giving billions of dollars to that industry? Of course not, because you are showing yourself to be a political hack.

Ah, so you would be fine if I was talking about "GWB" ("George W. Bush"?), but when I talk about the exact same thing going on with Obama you get all touchy.

Let me be clear -- I came to DT in late 2007. By then the Bush era was coming to a close. I only began to write analysis and editorial in late 2008. Had I been around in the Bush era, I surely would have had plenty to say.

I'm equal opportunity.

In fact in many of my pieces I've been called out for pointing to the role of the Bush administration in various controversial policies...

But I must note that it appears you are exercising selective logic -- blind party fealty.

quote:
We see this type of crap every damn day from every other source. It has no business here. Can we please stick to the facts of technology?

Why are you reading the article if you don't want to read/comment on politics. This is a tech-policy issue, so clearly it has a place on a technology site.

I guess the fact that you are here indicates you are enjoying this to some extent despite your complaints.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By mcnabney on 1/30/2012 8:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
Stick with the FACTS, not the DERP. I think that we can all agree that FACTS are what is important on a board based upon technology.


By Dorkyman on 1/30/2012 9:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
Hang in there, Jason. Report it as you see it, and always be party-neutral, which you can test by inserting W in place of O and ask yourself "would I still write it the same way?"


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Just Tom on 1/30/2012 1:56:32 PM , Rating: 1
Fai enough, but while I have seen a constant accustion of bribery on the part of Pro-SOBA groups I have yet to see any such claim regarding Anti-SOBA groups.

quote:
But any time a politician is paid by a special interest group, corporate or otherwise to change their opinion, they are not representing their voter base and hence have turned the political system into an oligarchy, i.e. a system where the powerful/rich interest rule supreme.


And how exactly do you determine they changed his opinion because because he was paid by a special interest group? Perhaps the group made contributions because the politician in question is generally in tune with their political leanings. Unless their is some sort of tangible evidence of quid pro quo how are you going to determine that opinions were changed?

quote:
Federal politicians should receive federal funds to run for office, otherwise they will inherently be representing their funders, not constituents. Otherwise there shall be no democracy, only oligarchy.


I respectively disagree. Money is by definition fungible. Would you also outlaw third party advocacy? If not the money ends up in Super-PACS not controlled by the candidate but still doing her bidding. If you decide to outlaw third party advocacy who determines whether any particular ad is political in nature? In your scenario you are encroaching on restricting political speech, which I find truly terrifying.

The problem is not lobbying, the problem is an un-informed electorate and a central government that controls too much of the economy. If people were truly outraged over the actions of their representatives we'd see more than 90% of incumbents winning every election cycle. And if the central government did not control so much of the economy the risk/reward benefits of lobbying would be greatly diminished.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 4:33:41 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I respectively disagree. Money is by definition fungible. Would you also outlaw third party advocacy? If not the money ends up in Super-PACS not controlled by the candidate but still doing her bidding. If you decide to outlaw third party advocacy who determines whether any particular ad is political in nature? In your scenario you are encroaching on restricting political speech, which I find truly terrifying.

What in the world?

Free speech is not paying off a politician!

If that's what you think free speech is you have a truly bizarre and peverted view of free society.

Paying a politician off to promote your views is not free speech. If it was free speech would be a luxury only the wealthy and/or well organized advocates could achieve.

The problem with cash contributions of all kinds is that they seem fine and good when they're supporting the causes you believe in, but it's a two way street, and ultimately leads to a system where the law comes down to who outspends the other side.

This fundamentally is not democracy, it is oligarchy -- rule (predominantly) by the rich and powerful.

quote:
The problem is not lobbying, the problem is an un-informed electorate and a central government that controls too much of the economy. If people were truly outraged over the actions of their representatives we'd see more than 90% of incumbents winning every election cycle. And if the central government did not control so much of the economy the risk/reward benefits of lobbying would be greatly diminished.

While I agree wholeheartedly with you to an extent, you are downplaying the role of media visibility to modern politics.

Even if most voters cared and were informed, a well-heeled politicians would be more prepared to wage an information war with his or her rival and win. Again, the second cash lobbying is allowed, you're essentially buying votes -- how many is indeed owing somewhat to the education level. But this is not free speech or free society.

This is not democracy in any sense.

A fundamental issue is that the members of public -- even if responsible voters -- have limited time due to their personal and financial commitments (e.g. holding a job, taking care of family, etc.). Thus they can't spend years digging for dirt online, though they can try to educate themselves as best the media lets them.

Let's remove money from the politician and let the votes of the people decide the issues.

That's my ultimate hope...


By Just Tom on 1/30/2012 5:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Free speech is not paying off a politician!


I do not recall saying it was. Paying off a politician is a crime and not protected by the 1st Amendment. I was directly replying to your statement as follows:

quote:
Federal politicians should receive federal funds to run for office, otherwise they will inherently be representing their funders, not constituents. Otherwise there shall be no democracy, only oligarchy.


Come on Jason, you're a bright fellow. Try thinking it through. The 'bribery' you have described has been nothing more than campaign contributions. You have cited no quid pro quo money exchange, which is already illegal. I asked a simple question: Would you outlaw third party advocacy ads? Financing federal elections is all well and good but how does it limit the corruption of politicians if the money is still spent but now instead of it being spent directly it is spent indirectly. Either you outlaw third party advocacy ads or financing federal elections is a meaningless move.

quote:
Even if most voters cared and were informed, a well-heeled politicians would be more prepared to wage an information war with his or her rival and win. Again, the second cash lobbying is allowed, you're essentially buying votes -- how many is indeed owing somewhat to the education level. But this is not free speech or free society.


You have still not explained how you would handle third party advocacy ads. By cash lobbying I am assuming you mean campaign contributions; if you outlaw campaign contributions, which would probably not withstand judicial review, do you really think the money would disappear? It would simply shift to other forms of support. Super-PACS would run ads circumventing the ban on campaign contributions. Do you really think that a politician would be overly concerned if money was spent on his behalf by a third party rather than his campaign? This is about being re-elected, the method is not nearly as important as the goal.

quote:
Even if most voters cared and were informed, a well-heeled politicians would be more prepared to wage an information war with his or her rival and win.


You are supposing that the other candidate does not have enough money to get his message out. If he does the fact he is outspent is far less crucial. Sure, I'll agree with you that in situations where one candidate is vastly outspent the odds are against him. This is a link to independent spending for the last Presidential election. Now imagine a situation where all that money that went to Obama has no outlet, do you really think that it wont be spent? The money is spent because it is worth the payoff.

It is impossible to remove money from politics when the government controls so much of the economy. The stakes are just too damn high.


By nafhan on 1/30/2012 1:14:21 PM , Rating: 2
IAMNAL, but I play one on Wikipedia:
quote:
Politicians receive campaign contributions and other payoffs from powerful corporations, organizations or individuals when making choices in the interests of those parties, or in anticipation of favorable policy. However, such a relationship does not meet the legal standards for bribery without evidence of a quid pro quo
Proving the this for that, seems to be the key. That in mind, it seems like recent statements from the ever so eloquent former Senator Chris Dodd could constitute reasonable grounds for looking into bribery allegations...


By geddarkstorm on 1/30/2012 1:46:26 PM , Rating: 2
It is all bribery, no matter who's doing the buying out of our representatives to push legislation for them, instead of us who elected them.


By invidious on 1/30/2012 2:43:42 PM , Rating: 2
Corporate campaign sponsorship should just be illegal. I see no reason that politics should be allowed to be so profitable, it only serves to attract corruption. Politicians should be forced to do what is right for their citizens, not their constiuants. The only way to make this happen is to elimate alterior motives, IE lobbying, sponsorship, and lucrative salaries/benifits.

Policians should not be rewarded with huge salaries just for being elected, being elected is the reward. If anything they should be rewarded for doing a good job through performance incentives based on approval ratings.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By nafhan on 1/30/2012 1:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'd say the "impeach" thing is a bit hyperbolic, not because I disagree with you, but because the general tone of article seems to make it sound like this is a situation somewhat unique to Obama and this particular bill. I'd say most high level US politicians are guilty of this type of behavior almost continuously. In other words, you'd have to throw 'em all out and get rid of the system to really take care of this problem. I'm not really certain what needs to be done, but the fact that one can't get into a Congressional or higher office without spending millions on the campaign seems like a good place to start looking for a solution.

Also, "./Raving_Complaint &> /dev/null" might be a more useful command for you :)


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:15:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd say the "impeach" thing is a bit hyperbolic, not because I disagree with you, but because the general tone of article seems to make it sound like this is a situation somewhat unique to Obama and this particular bill. I'd say most high level US politicians are guilty of this type of behavior almost continuously. In other words, you'd have to throw 'em all out and get rid of the system to really take care of this problem. I'm not really certain what needs to be done, but the fact that one can't get into a Congressional or higher office without spending millions on the campaign seems like a good place to start looking for a solution.

Again if you have read my SOPA coverage, or other pieces, a la:
http://www.dailytech.com/Romney+Blasts+EV+Loans+Au...

I call out bribery on both sides.

I'm equal opportunity.

Is the federal government wholly corrupt in a financial sense at this point?

Arguably, yes.

Is this an "Obama" exclusive issue?

No.

Could Congress credibly impeach Obama when they are accepting similar bribes themselves?

Of course not, they would be hypocrites to do so.

You can claim I'm on the Republican side or on the Democratic side, but I'm not on either side. I'm on the people's side. I'm on the side of freedom. I'm on the side of democracy.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By nafhan on 1/30/2012 1:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to this particular article only, but I get the feeling that I generally agree with you politically... Anyway, you pretty much sum up my thoughts with this:
quote:
Could Congress credibly impeach Obama when they are accepting similar bribes themselves? Of course not, they would be hypocrites to do so.
I just felt like that wasn't made clear in the article itself. You do, however, do a good job of clarifying points like that in the comments. Thanks!


By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just felt like that wasn't made clear in the article itself. You do, however, do a good job of clarifying points like that in the comments. Thanks!

You're welcome.

I apologize to you. Clearly my text was written in such a way that you felt I was "picking" on what particular political party and hence showing bias (which was not my intention as I do not hold such a bias).

FWIW, I do in many other articles pointed to Republican corruption/quid pro quo/bribes.

I consider myself a free thinker, hence I'm willing to point out corruption on both sides.

That's a tough lot as you'll get attacked by both sides. I'd imagine that a certain number like yourself are actually free thinkers and just misunderstand what I was getting at.

Of course there are those who exercise blind party fealty, and my commentary will never be acceptable to them.

I wholly realize all parties involved are engaging in quid quo pro. The federal budget, executive office, and legislative duties have grown a massive amount of hands and all of those hands are in the cookie pot of lobbyist money -- democrats, republicans, "independents", all of them.

I merely oppose this system as it creates in essence an oligarchy where the rich and powerful rule the government by bribes and the people's voice is effectively suppressed.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 2:04:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was referring to this particular article only, but I get the feeling that I generally agree with you politically... Anyway, you pretty much sum up my thoughts with this:

I've added this explicitly to the article's opening. (See: Editorial Disclaimer...) I feel it hurts the readibility slightly, but it at least frames the discussion in the appropriate context. Thus it seems better with than without.

Let me know what you think.


By nafhan on 1/30/2012 2:38:34 PM , Rating: 2
I think that's pretty good.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Samus on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Just Tom on 1/30/2012 3:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Comparing Barack Obama to 'Blago' would send you to Guantanamo Bay under virtually any other administration (especially George W Bush, which is why Guantanamo is so full...)


Right, because all those people with the Bushitler tee-shirts and signs are in Gitmo now.

quote:
Over 70% of the population voted for him, but less than 25% of the House has supported him from the beginning.


Are you from bizarro world? Obama received 53% of the vote, not 70%. And the Democrats has enormous majorities in both houses of Congress and he passed more or less anything he wanted the first two years. If only 25% of the House supported him there would have been no stimulus or Obamacare.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Reclaimer77 on 1/30/12, Rating: 0
By Ringold on 1/30/2012 4:58:10 PM , Rating: 4
He said he's from Chicago. In Chicago, when its a Democrat, 53% of the vote does magically end up being 70%. Duh. :P


By CharonPDX on 1/30/2012 7:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
Um, no, it's being ignored for being purposefully inflammatory beyond reason.


By syslog2000 on 1/31/2012 3:52:13 PM , Rating: 3
Err... don't see where I was "raving"... but then, hyperbole seems to be a recurring theme for you.

I have read quite a lot of your articles, many of them in depth. I agree with a lot of them. I disagree with a lot as well.

My observation - and that is all it is, an observation - is that many times your political leanings start taking front and center. I don't mind, you certainly have a right to your opinions, and a right to air them.

The only thing I was trying to get across in my post is that I don't trust your un-biasedness enough to consume political articles written by you - irrespective of your research, since in mind, that research would be pre-disposed to point a certain way. That is all. Nothing more, nothing less.

Thanks.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Amedean on 1/30/2012 12:11:57 PM , Rating: 2
SERIOUSLY +1 +1 +1

This guy is turning into Glenn Beck!

quote:
President Obama and close friend ex-Illinois Governor Ron Blagojevich were both masters of soliciting special interest and corporate cash for legislation. Mr. Blagojevich is currently imprisoned for it, but President Obama is allowed to solicit virtually the same kinds of contributions.


Give me a break, as close friends as I was to the principle when I got in trouble! There is a big difference between professional acquaintances and fishing buddies. It was the president that pushed for the investigation which led Blagojevich to court.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
YOU:

quote:
SERIOUSLY +1 +1 +1

This guy is turning into Glenn Beck!


RECLAIMER:
quote:
And it would be REALLY nice if you could possibly post on ANY topic without finding a way to pull the "Blame Bush" strategy.


Humorous how one of you thinks I'm an evil liberal, while the other is whining that I'm an evil conservative.

I'm not pro-Democrat or pro-Republican.

I'm for freedom of speech.
I'm for Democracy.
I'm for the people.

Free thought is hard for one-party sorts who exercise blind fealty to their party to comprehend, but I hope you shall understand my perspecitve in time.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By geddarkstorm on 1/30/2012 2:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
It's amazing how both parties have become basically the same (in action) over the past decade or two, and neither is really serving the American people any longer.

Yet, by putting on such a show and theatrics, and making issues so polarized (even if in the end corporate interests always win by the time legislative deadlines hit), people have become aggressively slaved to one party brand name or the other. It's not that anyone has been orchestrating this on purpose, it's a consequence of a corrupted system, where the real forces that drive legislative agendas are disassociated and mostly hidden away behind the ruse of party bickering. And because the public is too distracting yelling at itself over brand name hyperbole, it's missing the real action and what's actually going on in our capital. Effectively, making the public powerless through division and diversion. Democracy is being conquered from within.

Everything you stand for is what all political parties should stand for. The differences should only be about clashing ideas on how best to carry out and protect those three goals you list; in which case whoever wins, we all win. But all that's been lost from Washington lately, smothered in corporate greed.

The government is about watching out for the interests of the people. Corporations are about watching out for interests of profit. The two are more incompatible than crude oil and water. And yet they've been allowed to mix. And now we're drowning in an oil spill.

I love how you pulled up that line from the Constitution about bribery. I had actually forgotten that was an impeachable offense. I think it's time we made our government accountable again to obeying the Constitution it swore to uphold.


By Samus on 1/30/2012 2:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
They don't even serve each other, just themselves. And the President along with a lot of good people who *want* to make a difference are caught it a very broken system that turns on anyone who wants to make a difference for the better. Because that would mean less money.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Reclaimer77 on 1/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 4:48:11 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Okay Jason this is like the third time I've seen you drop my name when I wasn't even here to defend myself. I feel you're taking my statements far out of context, just a bit. I don't mind you using my statements to defend yourself, but throwing me in some "one-party" category as if that precludes me from free thought is offensive. You're basically saying that I'm a robot and you're some elevated "free thinker". Gee thanks buddy.

I'm not "pro-Republican". I'm a Conservative. I guess that makes me anti-Democrat, so be it. They do not support or represent my Conservative beliefs and values, so I do not support THEM. That's how Democracy is supposed to work. There's nothing negative about it. It doesn't mean I'm exercising "blind fealty". So you're a free thinker. Who isn't!? It just has no place in a political discussion usually, because sooner or later, it all comes down to picking a side. Making a choice. Democracy. If you can't do that you aren't a free thinker, you're someone who can't be subjective. I think there's an important difference. (not saying you are, hypothetical)

Sorry Reclaimer, I actually like you, and meant no offense by my reference.

Sadly, you were one of my noisiest critics in some of my past pieces, so I'm just using that as a case study to show that free thinking/party agnostic perspective is often mistaken for political bias.

I'm not saying you're not a free thinker, but I would say at times you're a bit narrow in your strong support of the Republican party. But I can understand that. To be fair, I used to be that way with the Democratic party.

I actually worked as a campaign volunteer for Obama.

As a journalist I've felt compelled, though to become politically agnostic, trying to dig as deep into issues as possible.

My new perspective has also come on a personal level as I've come to see some of the major issue affecting all parties on the Hill today and start to think of solutions. Some may disagree, but I think this is responsible journalism -- more so than thinly veiled pro-party rhetoric of the Obermans or O'Reillys of the world.

I actually model my writing and research approach after NPR and local public radio, much of whose programming I admire. With shows like "This American Life" you may not agree with them, but they force you to think and source their arguments well.

That is my own goal.

Again, I apologize for using you as a sample criticism, as our conversations of late have grown increasingly cordial and I think we do see eye to eye on some key issues.

My point is that those who criticize me and my political statements often do so out of a fundamental misunderstanding of my points and a feeling that I'm personally persecuting their political party of choice. This is not at all my intention.

I used your comment as it illustrates the confusion on my views and I think illustrates why my views should be read more carefully and logically discussed before simply going "flame on".

You've been increasingly considerate in your commentary towards me as years have rolled along and I thank you for that, and would consider you an e-friend of sorts.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By ilt24 on 1/30/2012 12:25:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Hmm... I think I will hit the "internets" to do my own research.


Right, Jason included a Fact Sheet in the article...but then you can read this and things seems a bit different.

What is ACTA?
¦ACTA ensures people everywhere can continue to share non-pirated material and information on the web
¦ACTA does not restrict freedom of the internet. ACTA will not censor or shut down websites.

¦ACTA ensures that organised crime can be pursued when intellectual property is stolen - harming innovation, fair competition and destroying your jobs
¦ACTA is not about how we use the internet in our everyday lives.

¦ACTA allows people to continue using their social networks such as Twitter and Facebook just as they have in the past – no change.
¦Computers, iPads or iPhones will not be checked or monitored – ACTA is not Big Brother.

Why is ACTA not SOPA?

¦SOPA is a US draft law that would change US legislation. ACTA does not require any EU law changes. Anything you can do legally today is still legal after the ratification of ACTA.
¦ACTA does not foresee cutting off internet access to anyone.

So why does the EU support ACTA?

¦Because ACTA ensures the EU's already high standard of protection for intellectual property goes global - protecting jobs in Europe. Because Europe is losing €8 billion annually through counterfeit goods flooding our market.

http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/t...


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Amedean on 1/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thank you for the biggest trump in Dailytech history......

Proof that Jason spent more effort on connecting Obama to corruption than the actual legislation......wow, priceless!

I almost thought this was sarcasm.

But no, EU ACTA propoganda does not marginalize the points I raise.

I'm sorry to dash your hopes.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Just Tom on 1/30/2012 4:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
Disregarding your bribery repetition and impeachment hyperbole I think you do have some really serious points. If Obama is seeking to enact ACTA the way you describe it is blatantly un-Constitutional. Whatever the merits of ACTA a President cannot legislate, this is properly the function of either the Senate –if Obama seeks to ratify it as a treaty – or the full Congress if he seeks to make it American law. Ruling by executive order is something third world tyrannies engage in, it should not be something America do.


By Reclaimer77 on 1/30/2012 4:11:36 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If Obama is seeking to enact ACTA the way you describe it is blatantly un-Constitutional.


Is anyone surprised? This is the President who thinks the Federal Government has the power to mandate health insurance by compelling individuals to participate.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By nafhan on 1/30/2012 1:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
"... but the used car salesman said this car didn't have any problems!" Of course things will seem a bit different when you are taking statements from one of the primary organizations behind this legislation. Don't forget that with statements like "We'll only get the bad people!", there's an understood "We also define who the bad people are, and reserve the right to change our minds on who that is at any time."


By nafhan on 1/30/2012 1:27:00 PM , Rating: 2
One more thing, those statements apply primarily to how ACTA would be enforced in the EU. It doesn't necessarily reflect what may happen in the US.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:32:35 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
ACTA does not restrict freedom of the internet. ACTA will not censor or shut down websites.

Interesting.

So we should blindly trust a proposal that the government tries to hide from us and refuses to publish?

A proposal that every leaked draft of says it involves takedowns.

quote:
ACTA does not foresee cutting off internet access to anyone.

Did you read the article?? I clearly note that three strikes provisions have been taken out of the latest draft.

/reading comprehension.

Again are you really in support of secret treaties funded by corporate money that citizens can never see the text of?

Please answer that question before you complain any more, thank you.


RE: Will get my info from an unbiased source
By Jacerie on 1/30/2012 3:49:43 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
So we should blindly trust a proposal that the government tries to hide from us and refuses to publish?


Unfortunately, Jason, for the past 11 years that is exactly what we have been taught to do. The Patriot Act is the pinnacle example of this. No one seems to care or question that it is impossible to gain a copy of the Patriot Act or the fact that it is illegal to do so. Why should ACTA be any different?


By ilt24 on 1/30/2012 4:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Again are you really in support of secret treaties funded by corporate money that citizens can never see the text of?

Please answer that question before you complain any more, thank you.


I find it interesting that you keep saying you can't see the text, yet you did seem to have had no problem coming up with a fact sheet.

As for the post I originally replied to...it from from somone who thought there might be another side to this, and I posted another side. I peronaslly look at more than one side before formulating my opinion and your rant..I mean article, sounds like you trying to come up with the worst possible case of what could be done, when you really have no idea what's in the Agreement.


By spread on 1/30/2012 1:32:21 PM , Rating: 1
Then do it and bring something to the debate instead of bullshit.

I await your reply for or against this article and reasons for or against and supporting proof of said reasons.


By Dawnesha on 1/30/2012 2:02:54 PM , Rating: 2
+1


*sigh*
By cubby1223 on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: *sigh*
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 11:58:18 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
And why do you assume it will be a Chinese firm taking down an American firm? Why did you not use the example of an American firm wanting to take down a Chinese firm? Hmmm?

It's merely a hypothetical example of what the law authorizes. Would the U.S. gov't agree to take down Amazon if SOPA was passed and someone posted a link to a Pirate Bay torrent on there and Amazon got reported?

Maybe not.

Enforcement of the law, and the law are two separate things, and that is a problem unto itself. If a local politicians attends police charity dinners and fraternizes with his local PD he may earn himself a free ride home when drunk rather than be charged with a DUI (this happened twice in my area with a local politician). Of course this is true. I realize this.

Still it is legitimate to debate laws even if you think they will not be enforced or will be selectively enforced.

The Chinese firm was selected because China is now the world's second largest economy and hence America's biggest competitor. Nothing nationalist or offensive about that. It's just simple business and numbers.

Further, your comment fails to address the problem of bribery/lobbying which is obviously at the heart of this debate. What do you think about that?


RE: *sigh*
By Amedean on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: *sigh*
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 12:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hey, its another Jason Mick hate Obama article......

I swear this is starting to turn into the Glen Beck style journalism where you peace together loosely related events and solve how Obama is responsible all the corruption in U.S. politics. Hey, is this a tech news site or Fox News opinion?

Funny Reclaimer has claimed I'm Keith Oberman at MSNBC.

It's funny how free thought is so baffling to political extremists of both parties.

Do you disagree with:
1. My right to free speech?
2. That people should discuss important political issues?
3. That lobbyist cash contributions in exchange for legislation should be evaluated?

Note I link:
http://www.dailytech.com/Romney+Blasts+EV+Loans+Au...

Am I an evil liberal for raising that issue?

Or wait am I an evil conservative for pointing out the debate sounding this issue?


RE: *sigh*
By Amedean on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: *sigh*
By ppardee on 1/30/2012 5:53:47 PM , Rating: 1
I agree! This has nothing to do with free speech! It's not like the government is being given the power to take down any site without any oversight simply because a possibly-anonymous person has claimed that the site might be facilitating copyright infringement.

Its not like some future president is going to see something that will hurt his agenda on a site and have some lackey post a link to a torrent as an excuse to kill the site.

No, this has nothing to do with free speech.


RE: *sigh*
By Natfly on 1/30/2012 3:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
4. Hyperbolic "analysis" and fear mongering being passed off as a news article.

Don't get me wrong, I think we are on the same side, thinking these laws are probably unconstitutional and these "donations" are essentially bribery. The scenarios proposed are just highly unlikely.


RE: *sigh*
By rdawise on 1/31/2012 9:47:43 AM , Rating: 2
I am glad you linked that article. Let's compare just the titles:

"Romney Blasts EV Loans Auto Bailout Gets Big Money From Bailout Banks"

"Impeachable Offense Obama Takes Bribe Institutes SOPAs Evil Twin ACTA"

WHich one seems more inflammatory to you? In one article you state facts. Romney did attack the bailouts, yet he accepted money from banks. In the other you state opinions that Obama should be impeached because of "bribes" (btw shouldn't you come to the same conclusion about Romney, yet surprisingly you didn't). This is why your article is passing the BS radar. No one can argue the point that ACTA shouldn't be fully disclosed and discussed, but even you should be able to see that you crashed your own logical argument.


RE: *sigh*
By Reclaimer77 on 1/31/2012 10:08:18 AM , Rating: 1
You left out the question mark. Mick isn't saying "impeach Obama". He's positing that this MIGHT be an impeachable offense.

Either way, how can you guys defend such a monstrous move by Obama? Do you realize what he's done!? The fact that you want to bash Mick while giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, with so much riding on the line, proves your bias and partisan slant.


RE: *sigh*
By rdawise on 2/1/2012 1:44:54 AM , Rating: 2
I also left out the punctuation on the other article's title as well.

Where do you see me defending Obama's move? In my response I explicitly say that this needs to fully disclosed instead of the approach Obama took. It needs to be a treaty not an executive agreement. If anything you response shows your bias-ness if you can't even respond factually on what I post.

I am attacking Mick because of the blatant partisan attack while in another article actually composing himself and making a fully formed argument.


RE: *sigh*
By trenchDiggr on 1/30/2012 12:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, didn't Google also contribute to Obama? And they are opposed to ACTA/SOPA/etc, right? So if The US had not signed on to ACTA, that would have been equivalent to accepting a bribe from Google! Impeachable offense! Impeachable offense!

Poor Obama, apparently there was no way he could have avoided committing an impeachable offense. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The author of this article is a genius.


RE: *sigh*
By Amedean on 1/30/2012 12:41:53 PM , Rating: 1
Jason is forgetting that the majority of dailytech readers are intelligent enough to not buy into his snake oil pseudo political news.


RE: *sigh*
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hey, didn't Google also contribute to Obama? And they are opposed to ACTA/SOPA/etc, right? So if The US had not signed on to ACTA, that would have been equivalent to accepting a bribe from Google! Impeachable offense! Impeachable offense!

Poor Obama, apparently there was no way he could have avoided committing an impeachable offense. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The author of this article is a genius.

Absolutely. Google is bribing just like the next guy.

The headline merely highlights this issue.

If Obama is impeached, practically every federal official should be.

If common sense were exercised virtually every Congressperson and the President and his cabinet could be found engaging in quid pro quo -- i.e. a bribe. According to the law this is impeachable.

It is difficult to prove this under the current system, but that is why the nation is in deep trouble. The system invites abuse.

Again I urge you to look beyond Obama and party politics and look at the deeper issue here.

Try free thought for once.

I'm not trying to score a win for the Republicans or the Democrats. I'm trying to highlight the massive corruption that occurs within both parties at the federal level.


RE: *sigh*
By trenchDiggr on 1/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: *sigh*
By geddarkstorm on 1/30/2012 2:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
How do you relate a real and potentially dangerous issue to the public (bribery is an impeachable offense for a reason), so that people are motivated to push for change? Do you think the politicians themselves will want to reform campaign finance and eliminate corporate influence in the government? Really? Then why did they expand the power of corporate influence through Super PACs just two years back?

There are times when the people do need to get riled up. And nothing I see in Jason's article is nonfactual or untrue in any way (unlike Glenn Beck's crazy stuff). If you have a factual point of contention, it would be important to point it out. Serious issues like this must be founded and framed correctly, so that proper actions can be pushed forward to fixing and changing things: such as the ones you list, which are exactly the starting place we need. But again, who is going to care unless they are shown there is a real problem endangering their rights and future, in the first place?


RE: *sigh*
By polishvendetta on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: *sigh*
By Solandri on 1/30/2012 3:24:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
quote:
Hey, didn't Google also contribute to Obama? And they are opposed to ACTA/SOPA/etc, right?

Absolutely. Google is bribing just like the next guy.

I've worked in countries where corruption was openly rampant. This is the problem with corruption. Things get so bad that even if you want to do the morally right thing, you can't. You have to pay bribes just to stay in business.

Political and legal fights are different from economics this way. Good economics is a positive-sum game. Even though there are individual winners and losers, on the balance the whole of society wins. But political and legal fights (especially if there's widespread corruption) are a negative-sum game. No matter who wins, society loses.


RE: *sigh*
By rdawise on 1/31/2012 9:36:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Again I urge you to look beyond Obama and party politics and look at the deeper issue here.


LOLWhat? Your article states that the president should be impeached for taking bribes and then you state look past Obama? Hypocrite much?


RE: *sigh*
By Ramtech on 1/30/2012 12:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
As far as i know China didn't signed ACTA


RE: *sigh*
By StanO360 on 1/30/2012 12:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
They don't need to as rule of law does not apply to China, and ACTA is a de facto reality in China,


RE: *sigh*
By jimbojimbo on 1/30/2012 12:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter if they signed it or not. It only matters to the citizens of the country that agrees to enforce it, meaning the US.


RE: *sigh*
By Uncle on 1/30/2012 12:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
"Why did you not use the example of an American firm wanting to take down a Chinese firm?"

Its this same mental diseased attitude that brings ACTA, SOPA,and PIPA from the pits of hell and foisted on to the unsuspecting people of the world.


Really?
By trenchDiggr on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By Cygni on 1/30/2012 12:36:53 PM , Rating: 4
Anything to get clicks, man.

I've been reading DailyTech since it wasn't even DailyTech, just a bar on AnandTech's page. I'm tired of the poor stories pieced together from other articles, the horrific global warming posts, the wasted time. Today is the day I take it off the RSS feed.


RE: Really?
By AntiM on 1/30/2012 12:41:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
....every politician in this country would be in jail.


I would imagine that most of them should be. George Bush should definitely be in prison, for various reasons, not the least of which are war crimes against the country of Iraq.

Anyway, I can't understand why so many Americans are willing to give up their constitutional rights. Our system of government seems to be breaking down. The system wasn't intended to only benefit those with the largest bank accounts. Concerning campaign reform and bribery, we don't need new laws, we just need to enforce the ones already have on the books. I don't have any better ideas at the moment, I just know the system isn't working.


RE: Really?
By acer905 on 1/30/2012 1:03:39 PM , Rating: 3
One idea. Make all contributions blind. Some people argue that killing lobbying is needed, but campaigning costs money, so simply mandate that all campaign contributions are anonymous.


RE: Really?
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:41:43 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
One idea. Make all contributions blind. Some people argue that killing lobbying is needed, but campaigning costs money, so simply mandate that all campaign contributions are anonymous.

That's actually a decent suggestion, but how do you suggest preventing a company from telling a politician they're who donated?

Otherwise why would they donate?


RE: Really?
By Black1969ta on 1/31/2012 12:43:00 AM , Rating: 2
How about a blind donation into a candidate pool? Say you can donate to primaries and/or actual election. but available candidates split the pot. and that is all they can use, not even personal funds. Ads can be run by anyone, BUT they must contain the actual buyer(s) name, corporation or individual, (I.E. now more ambiguous, committee to elect John Smith, instead it would be paid for by General Motors, or Jane Doe!


RE: Really?
By ebakke on 1/31/2012 11:35:40 AM , Rating: 2
They'll all say "Paid for by [some shell company or PAC that hides the identities of the contributors]" :(


RE: Really?
By Invane on 1/31/2012 11:38:52 AM , Rating: 2
There's no way this would work. Sure, the donations would be 'anonymous' but you can damn well bet there'd be talk in the back room of how much money might suddenly show up in their funding pool if they were to do the right things.

I can see no way to bring accountability to the system. What happens when a corporation's lobbyist 'accidentally' mentions they put, or could put, a large sum of money in the politician's fund?

What this would accomplish is to drive the information of what special interests purchased what politician underground. While you can be sure the players involved would know, the American public would not. We could no longer connect money a politician was accepting to the interested parties funding him.

This seems like a good idea on the surface, but is a large step backwards.


RE: Really?
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:43:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can argue for campaign finance reform and wholesale elimination of private donations (which I happen to support), but to single out one politician for a practice that *every* politician engages in, is beyond absurd.

And if you bothered to follow my commentary you would realize that's precisely what I'm doing.

http://www.dailytech.com/Romney+Blasts+EV+Loans+Au...

So I'm basically following your suggestion, but still am attacked by you.

Who is being sophomoric?


RE: Really?
By Schmide on 1/30/2012 2:09:25 PM , Rating: 1
This post went from +4 to -1 in one second???

Who bribed who to down-vote it or is there an another abuse of power in the powers that be?


RE: Really?
By trenchDiggr on 1/30/2012 3:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I noticed that too. Quite odd. Abuse of power is my bet. It couldn't be that DailyTech admins/writers have the capability to manipulate the ratings of postings they don't like? The credibility of this site is dropping fast.


RE: Really?
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 4:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This post went from +4 to -1 in one second???

Who bribed who to down-vote it or is there an another abuse of power in the powers that be?

It happens. All of my posts were voted down to 1 in a second too. (there were about 10 at the time)

I doubt any one person has that many votes!

/joins your conspiracy train


RE: Really?
By geddarkstorm on 1/30/2012 2:23:12 PM , Rating: 1
"but to single out one politician for a practice that *every* politician engages in, is beyond absurd."

No, it is not. Are we going to give up enforcing laws if "everyone is doing it!"? The fact we've REALIZED everyone is doing it now, and that it's become a serious issue and problem, means we need to show clear examples (no one should be setting a higher standard than the President, so him failing to do so is indeed a worthy thing to point out) to begin rolling the ball of change. Since, as you said, all our politicians are doing it, so which ones of them can we trust to put a stop to it? Hmm?


RE: Really?
By Invane on 1/31/2012 11:44:49 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The current system of lobbying amounts to legalized bribery. Unfortunately, this benefits the people with the money, so it's going to be VERY difficult to change.


...and what?
By Dawnesha on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: ...and what?
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/30/2012 1:40:36 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
This made my day. +1

We need to dedicate a new tabloid section for the DailyTech!

LOLWTFBBQ...

Care to dispute logically anything in the article?

Or do you wish just to fallaciously hurl vague and sourceless character accusations?


RE: ...and what?
By Dawnesha on 1/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: ...and what?
By xytc on 1/30/2012 3:42:42 PM , Rating: 1
If someone that purchased a legal file from an online store uploads that file to a file sharing site like MegaUpload for backup purposes or easy access for him to that file from any device he wants whenever he wants, with what right do the site owners or FBI delete that file based on a copyright holders request since that file was legally purchased in the first place ?
Second there are dozens I mean dozens of free artists or individuals that create their own content music, videos, books or any other document that they produce and they like to share what they create with others by uploading those files on a file sharing site like MegaUpload was. The same applies here with what right do the site owners or FBI delete someone else's intellectual property art work, documents or files based on a 3rd party request which has no copyright on those files ?
Remember that whatever you create as a user you had the copyright on that content whether is a pictures you take on a vacation or a video you make, some ideas or thoughts you write in a document even a book or a song you write, poetry, technical or scientific data or discoveries you might make or any other content you produce you hold the copyright on that as a creator, and if you upload any of that on a file sharing site like MegaUpload was you could use those powerful copyright laws like DMCA, ACTA, SOPA or PIPA to fight back against those that deleted your copyrighted content whether they are the site owners, RIAA, MPAA or FBI.
Remember if you cannot fight against the law then fight with the law on your side. ;)


RE: ...and what?
By rdawise on 1/31/2012 9:20:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Care to dispute logically anything in the article? Or do you wish just to fallaciously hurl vague and sourceless character accusations?


You mean like your bribe accusation you made about ACTA even though it has been in the works since 2008? You first....


Yellow Journalism Much?
By gamerk2 on 1/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Yellow Journalism Much?
By ppardee on 1/30/2012 5:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
Editorial... Editorial... I know I have a dictionary around here somewhere. I wonder what that word means.

I'm guessing it means something like: an article written in such a way as to get the reader to agree with your own personal point of view.


RE: Yellow Journalism Much?
By rdawise on 1/31/2012 9:10:31 AM , Rating: 2
Mick is showing to be an EXTREMELY partisan other whose articles have little if anything to do with tech and more so with pleasing his fans like Reclaimer.

My proof, his mention of the President taking brides to push this, but this was in play since 2008. Guess who was in office then....


"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home