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Obama White House opposes SOPA, PIPA.
January 14, 2012 3:00 PM   Subscribe

The Obama White House formally speaks out against SOPA, PIPA. The Obama White House has come out against the Stop Online Piracy Act. The move has -- unsurprisingly -- drawn responses from the MPAA, RIAA, and other interested parties.
posted by joe lisboa (226 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
!
posted by Navelgazer at 3:02 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


PROTECT IP Act (PIPA)

Acroacronymnym?
posted by gurple at 3:02 PM on January 14, 2012


The Administration's statement included the following:
“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet…"
posted by joe lisboa at 3:02 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


He's torrenting an n-dimensional chess sim.
posted by fatllama at 3:04 PM on January 14, 2012 [20 favorites]


thank fucking god
posted by facetious at 3:06 PM on January 14, 2012


This is even though SOPA has dropped the DNS requirement. Great stuff.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:06 PM on January 14, 2012


For the Obama White House to express a position on something is very different than for the Obama White House to actually fight for that thing.
posted by tyllwin at 3:12 PM on January 14, 2012 [48 favorites]


That's some pretty transparent pandering there...
posted by Confess, Fletch at 3:12 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


The DNS requirement isn't the main issue, don't let that be the focus, it's a sideshow which they were going to give up anyway as a negotiating tactic, due to the security consequences. Stealing domains without due process is the real issue, first and foremost. Kill the bill.
posted by amuseDetachment at 3:14 PM on January 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


This is even though SOPA has dropped the DNS requirement. Great st

It hasn't yet. Leahy has made promises to reconsider it, but none to actually remove it.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 3:14 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, one man's pandering is another man's FOR FUCK'S SAKE ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE SUPPOSED TO LISTEN TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS, IT'S THEIR JOB
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:14 PM on January 14, 2012 [72 favorites]


Ya, he'll sign it anyways, but at least he will harumph about it.
posted by dibblda at 3:14 PM on January 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Fuck Obama for doing what we want.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:18 PM on January 14, 2012 [35 favorites]


I, too, am happy at this but believe it would be a mistake to let up on congress.
posted by Artw at 3:19 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


the young rope-rider: This was pandering. One of Obama's greatest electoral mandate is judicial due process. SOPA/PIPA violates that principle. The letter from the White House talks about acknowledging different stakeholders, as if this is a discussion. Anytime anyone talks about stakeholders, it is a codeword for compromise. This means that they foresee passing the bill and they will sell us out, like he did with his "concerns" for NDAA. The DNS issue is where they will "compromise" and ultimately try to pass it. Obama is seriously fucking us over. He's playing 3D chess against us.
posted by amuseDetachment at 3:20 PM on January 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


I hear he dislikes SOPA almost as much as he dislikes indefinite detention of American citizens without trial. Good to know how the president feels about these things, regardless of what he actually does about them.
posted by chaff at 3:22 PM on January 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


"[The Whitehouse] will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet."

In other words: We can leave the bill unchanged and issue a signing statement saying that it doesn't do these things.

Please note that Victoria Espinel, the "copyright czar", was hired to do a job, and she has a roadmap. Part of this roadmap is making streaming a felony, teaming up DHS with Hollywood to intercept hardware mod tools, and authorizing wiretaps for copyright cases.

Unless there's a veto threat (a very hollow promise from this President) what's the big deal?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:22 PM on January 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


HAMBURGER
posted by chaff at 3:23 PM on January 14, 2012


Fuck Obama for doing what we want.

I don't know that he has. He's paid lip service to a position. He paid lip service against NDAA. Against Gitmo. His lip service is better than support, but I don't know how much better. He's not vowed to veto it in any form, nor, so far as I know, exerted much effort fighting against it.
posted by tyllwin at 3:23 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Point taken. I graciously admit you guys are right and he will just pass it. I try to hard to support him but he makes it difficult.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:27 PM on January 14, 2012


Fuck Obama for doing what we want.

Has he actually done anything on this? Is the bill passed by the House/Senate and he's NOW in a position to do something?

The NDAA was signed. Yet before it passed Congress The White House threatened on Thursday threatened a possible veto of the annual defense authorization bill Saying VS doing.

I do look forward to the FPP posts on the Blue once SOPA/PIPA pass and then the FPP when the bill is signed. Just like all the NDAA posts here.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:31 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Further, SOPA’s passage through the House seems to have been indefinitely stalled, as SOPA critic Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said on Saturday that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) promised not to bring the bill up to the full House for a vote until a consensus is reached

I like how they try to make it sound so optimistic, when it really just means, "We're not going to vote on this until the public has forgotten about it and isn't paying attention anymore."
posted by mstokes650 at 3:33 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


The day Obama signs SOPA/PIPA is the day I sign up to volunteer with Ron Paul's campaign HQ data analytics team. When a racist, misogynist, potentially economy-ruining Republican candidate has the potential to have less long-term damage than any Democrat, you know you're fucking up somewhere. Screwing with basic civil liberties is not to be approached lightly, and will cause damage in all aspects of our society, economically and socially.

I want Obama to say, "This bill violates basic due process laws. I will veto it no matter the provisions," the letter definitely doesn't say that, anything less is selling us out.
posted by amuseDetachment at 3:33 PM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I hear he dislikes SOPA almost as much as he dislikes indefinite detention of American citizens without trial.

Here's some light reading for you.

On topic, color me ... cautiously optimistic. I have every reason to believe Obama opposes SOPA, probably because he's siding with the OPEN Act instead; a defanged take on the same concept.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:35 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


OPEN is unacceptable. It puts authority in the ITC where it should reside in the Judicial Branch of government. You shouldn't be able to ask the government to shut down websites without due process.
posted by amuseDetachment at 3:40 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not defending OPEN here. Just saying, that's probably what Obama's aiming for.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:42 PM on January 14, 2012


Yeah, I get the impression that the debate between the White House and Congress is actually between PIPA and OPEN, and they want to compromise between the two.
posted by amuseDetachment at 3:43 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fuck Obama for doing what we want.

These are words. Obama has plenty of those. People want effective actions.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 3:45 PM on January 14, 2012


Yeah, I get the impression that the debate between the White House and Congress is actually between PIPA and OPEN, and they want to compromise between the two.

I reckon so. The GOP's got SOPA, and the Dems got ACT. The two parties are smacking their respective bills against each other in the hopes that the final form will be comprised mostly of one or the other.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:48 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am also adamant that the only thing that will stop Obama is an open threat to go to Ron Paul (with commitment to follow through to show we're serious). I'm not joking, it's time to play back 3D chess and do Mutually Assured Destruction. It's fairly obvious why this bill is being rammed through right now. It's election season and I suspect the entire media industry has not yet committed to their campaign contributions. Writing letters won't work if the letters do not contain threats. The benefit from RIAA/MPAA money is far too great with (perceived) minimal political downside. Obama thinks he has us in the bag, and if we give the impression that this action will lose the election for Democrats he will listen. Anything less will be ignored.
posted by amuseDetachment at 3:49 PM on January 14, 2012


When a racist, misogynist, potentially economy-ruining Republican candidate

He's an over 70 white guy. How many over 70 year old why guys arn't "racist, misogynist"? How many are far more open about it? How about the other choices - how many of them aren't animal abusers, racist, misogynist or whatever? How about plain old sociopathic?

As for economy ruining - damn straight. a form of “military Keynesianism,” in which the domestic economy requires sustained military ambition in order to avoid recession or collapse. Imagine Ron Paul's only actual ability as President - Commander in Chief - pulling back the soldiers. How high would the unemployment rate be....all the makers and supporters of the military actions and soldiers without a job?

And you'd be in 'good' company. 14 Democratic candidates qualified for the Democratic primary in New Hampshire, including Obama. Obama won with 48,970 votes. . 2,273 write-in votes (4% of the total votes) went to Ron Paul, giving him second place.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:51 PM on January 14, 2012


He's an over 70 white guy. How many over 70 year old why guys arn't "racist, misogynist"?

I realize this is a derail, but I am so sick of this apologist bullshit from Paulites. There's a lot of reasons not to like Ron Paul, but dismissing his racism and misogyny by citing his age does nothing to disprove that his beliefs make him unqualified for office.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:00 PM on January 14, 2012 [24 favorites]


it's time to play back 3D chess and do Mutually Assured Destruction.

Or ya could stop spending money on products that result in MPAA/RIAA et la having the money to lobby.

I don't grok the appeal of selecting the wood, cleaning it up, making a bat out of it, handing it to the MPAA/RIAA and then complain when beaten with said bat.

An android app that attempts to help people not spend money on the SOPA backers.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:01 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


rough ashlar: The risk for RIAA/MPAA is irrelevance. Their greatest fear is distributed distribution. Saying you won't buy a movie or two probably isn't going to change much, when their fear is existential. You're not going to change their minds, taking that approach is futile at best. The best means of attack is to make the RIAA/MPAA campaign contributions worthless by openly showing that the potential political cost is higher than RIAA/MPAA members' donations.
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:04 PM on January 14, 2012


dismissing his racism and misogyny by citing his age

And does this same standard get applied to other candidates?

Meanwhile you have things like this
http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv213/theendrun/ScottWalkerStandWithMe.png
"Funny as hell" - what fine people.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:06 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Selling out basic civil liberties such as free speech and due process is a bigger deal than making gender rights a state issue than a national one. It's even worse when the politicians are supposed to be "on your side."
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:07 PM on January 14, 2012


taking that approach is futile at best.

Using the political process has shown to be 'futile at best'. (unless you are a Corporate "person") And when SOPA/PIPA passes - what ya gonna have left? Standing in front of the courthouse with your wireless modem torrenting 3's Company in an act of civil disobedience?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:10 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess the rule for 2012 will be "this post features the word Obama - go crazy!"
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


rough ashlar: I don't necessarily disagree with you that supporting RIAA/MPAA isn't important, I didn't mean to minimize the benefit of that. People should know what the members of these organizations are committed to and a boycott of their materials are good. But I still think the best avenue of approach currently is political action. Organizing a boycott of RIAA/MPAA won't change their minds to push for this bill to pass. Advocating for a boycott isn't antithetical, but I'm just saying the present focus should be on political ends, because they will not be swayed. Those fuckers don't deserve our money, we can be in agreement of that.
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:13 PM on January 14, 2012


And does this same standard get applied to other candidates?

Of course it does. Why the hell would I bring it up otherwise?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:14 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I realize this is a derail, but I am so sick of this apologist bullshit from Paulites. There's a lot of reasons not to like Ron Paul, but dismissing his racism and misogyny by citing his age does nothing to disprove that his beliefs make him unqualified for office.

I agree, Paul's racism and misogyny should not be dismissed. Same thing with Obama's bigoted opinion that gay people should not be allowed to marry. Find candidates without these issues, they are out there.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:15 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


boycott ... focus should be on political ends

Sometimes they work together. The step-back of Sinclair Broadcasting and the Swift-Boats back in the 'day is an example.

While it'd be nice for the bill not to pass - what's the backup plan? Constitutional Amendment? Court challenge - who's gonna step into the breach and be the party with standing? What happens when the party with standing has the charges dropped by the State?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:18 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If Obama continues on this path of supporting this legislation, I will be completely cognizant that I am supporting a racist, misogynist candidate. Any current supporters of Ron Paul should acknowledge this as well.

rough ashlar: You're right. We should boycott them as well, I gave the wrong impression by minimizing the benefit of boycotts, but they should be done hand in hand with political action was what I should've been emphasizing.
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:23 PM on January 14, 2012


If Obama continues on this path of supporting this legislation

Maybe I misread, but I'm pretty sure he came out against SOPA and PIPA.


Ron Paul will not save you.
posted by dave78981 at 4:26 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just curious: Has anyone publically asked Ron Paul about gay marriage and if so what level of support did he give it?

Also has Obama ever put his name to newsletters denouncing gay marriage then refused to admit any level of responsibility for them?
posted by Artw at 4:29 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure he came out against SOPA and PIPA.

And had come out against NDAA along with statements from 2007 forward that do not match the actions in the "now".

Just because a political figure has said "no" - doesn't mean what when it comes time to sign or vote they won't go the other way.

No political figure will save you, best plan is to save your self lest you have a "Row VS Wade" decision like people did during Katrina.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:31 PM on January 14, 2012


If you want to know the Obama administration's real stance on something, look at what they do, not what they say.

The SOPA like laws recently passed by Spain were implemented under pressure from the US.

As time shows again and again, this administration is on the side of big business, not citizens.
posted by formless at 4:33 PM on January 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


It's Obama. Whatever he does must be wrong. Even if it's what we want him to do... I guess we should vote for people we're sure will do what we don't want... or something...
posted by tommyD at 4:36 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


dave78981: Obama "coming out against" SOPA/PIPA is editorializing the letter. The letter mostly implied that he wants it changed, which is little difference than when he wanted the NDAA changed.
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:40 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just curious: Has anyone publically asked Ron Paul about gay marriage and if so what level of support did he give it?

He opposes it.

Also has Obama ever put his name to newsletters denouncing gay marriage then refused to admit any level of responsibility for them?

Is it more offensive in newsletter form or something?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:40 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to get all our equivalences in a row.
posted by Artw at 4:41 PM on January 14, 2012


I'm not angry at Obama for this yet, but if he fucks us again I'll not vote for him doubly hard.
posted by jewzilla at 4:43 PM on January 14, 2012


What's to equivocate? Marisa Stole the Precious Thing is exactly right on this, no politician should take bigoted positions.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:44 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


And had come out against NDAA along with statements from 2007 forward that do not match the actions in the "now".

The Administration was outfoxed on the NDAA. Supporters of the bill boxed him into a corner where, if he didn't sign it, funding to many defense and veterans programs would've been slashed. During an election year that's just not a realistic option, sorry. (If you want a savior, don't elect a politician.) He made that clear with the signing statement- but of course, that doesn't matter to you if you're a certain kind of self hating liberal who's thinking of voting for fucking Ron Paul instead.

Enjoy your free market theocracy.
posted by dave78981 at 4:45 PM on January 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Just curious: Has anyone publically asked Ron Paul about gay marriage and if so what level of support did he give it?

He opposes it.
Here's the relevant section in Wikipedia with citations.

To say he opposes same sex marriage is disingenuous. I honestly think he's squicked by it and would be upset being around gay people, but he's not much worse towards gay rights than Obama from a legislative perspective, and in some respects better.
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:45 PM on January 14, 2012


It's Obama. Whatever he does must be wrong. Even if it's what we want him to do... I guess we should vote for people we're sure will do what we don't want... or something...

No, it's not that. People just don't trust that he will actively follow through, which seems to be his Modus Operandi. Time and again, he has shown that he's either completely spineless as a leader or profoundly disingenuous. Either way, you can never give him the benefit of the doubt.
posted by milarepa at 4:49 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


but he's not much worse towards gay rights than Obama from a legislative perspective

Are you fucking kidding me?
posted by dave78981 at 4:50 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


dave78981: If Obama was really against NDAA, he would've been out every day hammering against the provisions and pushing his party to put out alternate versions of the bill from Senate committees. He did no such thing, and to say he was cornered into it is willful ignorance. Being the de facto head of your party coalition is just as big of a role as the role of vetoing bills.

Just as the Republicans can say "they're hurting the military," Democrats can push out the same thing and claim the same on the Republicans. Democrats and Obama have done no such thing. Willful failure.
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:50 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good thing this was a post about Ron Paul.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:53 PM on January 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


but he's not much worse towards gay rights than Obama from a legislative perspective

Are you fucking kidding me?
Fine we can disagree but I'll give that point to you, I've never really believed that Paul will help gay rights in any way. However, I think issues directly related to free speech and due process is a bigger issue that will impact how other issues (such as gay rights) are understood. With that respect, Obama is utterly failing, and this half-hearted SOPA/PIPA letter is no different than his actions before NDAA. It is indefensible.
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:55 PM on January 14, 2012


but he's not much worse towards gay rights than Obama from a legislative perspective

Are you fucking kidding me?


Yeah, DOMA is a major legislative difference. Both personally oppose gay marriage and want to leave the issue to the states, they differ on if states should be able to not recognize gay marriages from other states.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:56 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good thing this was a post about Ron Paul.

Perhaps people bring him up in the context of legitimate dissatisfaction with current Great Leader's record of dissembling on NDAA, telecom immunity, same-sex marriage and a wide host of civil liberties of import to the public. Ron Paul is a horrible human being, sure, but civil rights are pretty important. If Obama was halfway fucking honest and trustworthy, maybe a scumbag like Paul wouldn't get proposed as a reasonable alternative by otherwise sane human beings.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:11 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


It would make it easier to swallow this latest statement on SOPA, at least.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:13 PM on January 14, 2012


I can't help but observe that what O says and O does are nearly always unrelated.
posted by Twang at 5:23 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Round here, we call that lying.
posted by amuseDetachment at 5:26 PM on January 14, 2012


Good thing this was a post about Ron Paul.

Ron's getting traction in this thread because he's got a different message than the other politicians. He has traction here in this thead because besides having a R (or L) VS a D his message and voting record is different than most others.

Or another variation:
maybe a scumbag like Paul wouldn't get proposed

That is how BAD the other major choices are - Paul is seen as a lesser of various evils.

So long as a large number of voters feel they have to support Candidate X because of the party they are part of - you'll have quotes like: I try to hard to support him but he makes it difficult. Perhaps instant run off voting would work to move the political ball forward.

Take heart - like Obama is a disappointment to many of you, Paul will have feet of clay to his followers also. And for the few of you who are feeling "good" about the statement at the top of the FPP - what are you going to do when you get disappointed when SOPA or its ilk gets signed?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:34 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Look for the flood of people saying how it "doesn't count."

SOPAs not getting signed, not with the DNS provisions. But of course it doesn't count because he didn't burn anyone in effigy first. Just like health care reform doesn't count, or DADT doesn't count, or Wall Street reform doesn't count.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:49 PM on January 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ah yes, I remember Ron Paul making a speech about how he was going to end DADT, then actually doing it. Wait, that wasn't Ron Paul, who was it?
posted by Artw at 5:56 PM on January 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's definitely a plus that he opposes some of the bad aspects of the bill but in the end we are getting some form of legislation along these lines. The entertainment industry is a powerful lobby in the Democratic party and they will get their way at some point.

I value when politicians take stances like this even when they are doomed so I'm with Obama on this one but I don't think anybody should be shocked if some are skeptical of this after he signed the NDAA despite signaling opposition.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:58 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Uhh Artw, I don't think IM was serious about DADT not counting and I'm pretty sure Ron Paul isn't his choice candidate. :P
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:01 PM on January 14, 2012


But for the record: Of 167 Republican House members voting on the repeal DADT in May 2010, Ron Paul was one of only five GOP members to break with his party and vote for DADT's repeal.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:03 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just want to say how brave it is of white men to risk 40 years of civil rights gains of women and minorities to protect their right to torrent Stargate.
posted by empath at 6:11 PM on January 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


I just want to say how brave it is of white men to risk 40 years of civil rights gains of women and minorities to protect their right to torrent Stargate.

Agreed, nobody should support a candidate that wants to leave questions of civil rights to the states as Paul wants to do with gay marriage and other issues.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:15 PM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I just want to say how brave it is of white men to risk 40 years of civil rights gains of women and minorities to protect their right to torrent Stargate.

Right, that's totally what's at stake here. Great analysis.
posted by downing street memo at 6:16 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


protect their right to torrent Stargate.

That "right" doesn't exist. It is already illegal. If it is important to the right holders they should be using the present laws to enforce their rights.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:18 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Right, that's totally what's at stake here.

Well, that's not what's at stake with SOPA/PIPA, obviously. But we seem to have a sub-thread going here arguing Ron Paul's relative merits vis-à-vis Obama.
posted by dave78981 at 6:20 PM on January 14, 2012


I just want to say how brave it is of white men to risk 40 years of civil rights gains of women and minorities to protect their right to torrent Stargate.

I just want to say how brave it is of empath to defend other peoples' 40 years of civil rights gains in the face of a truly terrifying strawman.
posted by mstokes650 at 6:21 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just want to say how brave it is of white men to risk 40 years of civil rights gains of women and minorities to protect their right to torrent Stargate.

Classic. Classic. This should be put into a picture frame.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:21 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


But we seem to have a sub-thread going here arguing Ron Paul's relative merits vis-à-vis Obama.

Right, and the whole thing is a stupid derail (as all political/economic threads for the next 12 months are destined to be) because Ron Paul is but one of 535 federal legislators and is not going to be the next President.
posted by downing street memo at 6:24 PM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


so if obama gets elected president he is gonna enable or permit shitty things to happen

but if we vote for anyone else, another guy will get elected who will be even worse

do i have this right, is this a cogent analysis
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:31 PM on January 14, 2012


re-elected i guess
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:31 PM on January 14, 2012


[Can we dial it back some, please? Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 6:32 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just want to say how brave it is of white men to risk 40 years of civil rights gains of women and minorities to protect their right to torrent Stargate.
I'm not white, and I'm pretty sure Ron Paul thinks of Asians as "others," and is creeped out by us, I'm fairly certain he doesn't see me as a Real American. I don't care. His belief that civil liberties is a state issue is minor compared to Obama's fuckup with the NDAA and willingness to compromise basic due process with SOPA/PIPA. Racial and gender based civil liberties are easy to roll back, all the old racist people dying will make this less of an issue from a legislative perspective (but it's still will be a huge issue socially). Rolling back due process and freedom of speech is a lot harder. Obama is selling us out in the long run.

I'm willing to consider supporting a Republican that probably doesn't see me as an American because Obama and the Democracts have screwed up that bad. I really really want to vote for Obama, if he votes the right way on civil liberties he has my full support and volunteer time. At the present time, it looks like he won't -- he'll be pushing me towards a crazy racist, because the crazy racist will do less damage. The crazy racist doesn't think it's okay to imprison arabs without trial indefinitely.
posted by amuseDetachment at 6:32 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


At the present time, it looks like he won't -- he'll be pushing me towards a crazy racist, because the crazy racist will do less damage

Bull. Shit. Even if by some miracle Paul was elected, he'd being dealing with a batshit insane Congress and a conservative Supreme Court. Considering that's essentially impossible, saying you're going to vote for Ron Paul is essentially telling the rest of the thread that you'd rather have President Romney and said batshit insane House and Senate majorities passing every batshit insane thing they can think of and repealing the good things from this administration, as well as handing over the next 2 Supreme Court justices (and untold Federal judges) to overturn the last 30 years of, well, pretty much everything.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:34 PM on January 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Why is everyone convinced that SOPA/PIPA is going to become law? Everything I've read about it says passage in its current form isn't feasible.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 6:36 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Make that 2 or 3 Supreme Court justices, two of whom are reliably left, and one who can be convinced.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:38 PM on January 14, 2012


Which is ironic, given the fact that the Obama administration already implemented some of the provisions in SOPA by confiscating controlled TLD domains (meaning, com/net/org, not just .us)

It's not surprise that the DOJ fucked up and that some of the confiscated had nothing to do with copyright infringement, instead posting tracks provided by copyright owners for promotional purposes. Other sites that got pulled down were broadly focused message-boards.
I just want to say how brave it is of white men to risk 40 years of civil rights gains of women and minorities to protect their right to torrent Stargate.
On the other hand White dudes pulling the race card to defend their favorite candidates is like super brave.

And seriously, what the fuck are you talking about? Why don't you ask people in Egypt or Tunesia how important a free internet is to protecting civil liberties. Or maybe ask someone in china? Oh wait you can't. Don't think the feds wouldn't use the mechanisms put in place by SOPA to shut down sites like Wikileaks. (Technically anything produced by the U.S. government is not copyrighted, but do you think people operating DNS kill lists are going to care? Or that the next Julian Assnage is going to want to fly to the U.S. to try to get the block removed in court?)

Secondly, the biggest civil rights problem we have in this country is the War on drugs. that's absolutely true in terms of the racial breakdown of who gets arrested, compared to who uses them. Look at the incarceration rate of black men in this country. It's something like one in ten. For those without a high-school diploma it's one in three. (although for white men without a college degree, it's actually still one in 10, I believe, which goes to show how this country actually criminalizes poverty in general)

And not only that, if you look at the historical trends there wasn't much of a sentencing disparity before the civil rights movement. And certainly incarceration levels weren't nearly as high. It was Nixon, implementer of the "southern strategy" who really kicked the war on drugs into high gear.

Anyway, Ron Paul is the only candidate who actually opposes SOPA on the republican side. And now that Obama is against it... again, what on earth are you talking about? Your comment makes no sense at all. No one is going to vote for Romney or Santorum over Obama because of SOPA.
Just curious: Has anyone publically asked Ron Paul about gay marriage and if so what level of support did he give it?
Have you asked if Obama supports gay marriage? He opposes it. Ironically, he only started opposing it when he started to run for president. In Illinois, he supported it. He says its for "religious" reasons but he's said before that people shouldn't use religion to make policy choices. And not only that his church was pro gay! (I don't know that they supported gay marriage but they had gay members and were pro-gay overall)


So, yeah, it's pretty disingenuous to use Gay Marriage, an issue that Obama publicly opposes, as a reason not to vote for Obama over Ron Paul. I think Paul has said it should be up to the states (like a lot of other things), which is the status quo. There are a lot of federal issues involved, in particular immigration, that someone should ask him about.

Would I vote for Paul over Obama? I'm not sure. I think he's actually wrong on economic issues, so I think his presidency would be bad for the economy. I also question how much he'd actually be able to do in order to advance the good things in his agenda if he won.

He is, however, clearly the most anti war president. So if you're concerned about our overseas wars, and stuff like indefinite detainment, etc, then he is by far a superior choice to Obama.

Anyway, he probably won't be the republican nominee anyway. If he is, you could see Obama try run to the right of him on issues like drugs and terror. On the other hand, it will be easy for him to scare elderly voters on social security and medicare.

However, I think a Paul/Obama election would be a lot more interesting then Obama/(Romney|Santorum|Gingrich) election.
[Can we dial it back some, please? Thanks. ]
Er, I had most of this typed out before you posted that. It is a bit of a derail. We ought to be talking about Obama's stance on IP, which is actually interesting. And not very good.
posted by delmoi at 6:39 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


overturn the last 30 years of, well, pretty much everything.

Nah, they won't have a supermajority in the senate so the Democrats could stop anything that went too far.

Why is everyone convinced that SOPA/PIPA is going to become law? Everything I've read about it says passage in its current form isn't feasible.

Current form? No. Some form or under a different name? Yeah. It will happen eventually because the Democrats are pretty beholden to the entertainment lobby, even the good guys in the party, Al Franken is a co-sponsor of PIPA. (And there isn't any particular Republican constituency against it either)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:39 PM on January 14, 2012


His belief that civil liberties is a state issue

He thinks that civil rights is a state issue. That is, if you want the right to eat at a restaurant with white people in Alabama, you're not going to be able to depend on the federal government enforcing the civil rights act. Hell, if you want the right to vote you better hope the state you're in decides to allow it.

And don't even think that the Ron Paul administration would end the war on drugs. He would make it a state issue, which means if Texas wants to execute crack dealers, it's just fine by him.

Ron Paul isn't a libertarian, he just wants to destroy the federal government and let the states run roughshod over your rights as they choose.
posted by empath at 6:43 PM on January 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


zombieflanders: Well then Obama should do the right thing, than risk that, shouldn't he?

I'm willing to gamble on Ron Paul, because that gamble is worth it. If it's a 20% chance, then it's a 20% chance I'll take. I voted for Gore in 2000, and thought the people voting for Nader were idiots. I volunteered for Howard Dean in 2004, but sucked it up and volunteered for Kerry in the Generals, I had full support of Obama and volunteered for him in 2008 in both the primaries and general. I'm not usually one on going for longshots. I'd like to think of myself as very pragmatic, and the pragmatic decision is a small chance of an executive that will do all he can to bring back civil liberties is worth it. Romney and Obama will do the same when it comes to civil liberties and that's unacceptable. All other issues derive from freedom of speech and due process of law.

The Democrat/Republican "compromise" of SOPA/PIPA will be an abrogation of those due process rights. If Obama doesn't want the Republicans to win, and wants actual volunteers for the general election he should veto SOPA/PIPA and actually care about NDAA. Until then, his staffers can fuck off when it comes to technical help from people like me. Because of these two issues, he won't get any support from people that actually design these network/computer/statistical systems that helped him win in 2008. Instead, the moment one of us volunteers for Obama all of us will be ragging on the volunteers for helping an asshole. You want Obama and Democrats to win with real progressive values? So do I, get him to actually repeal this kind of garbage and to actually put effort in rolling back NDAA.

At the minimum, if Ron Paul wins the primaries it'll be be defined by a fun debate about bank bailouts and civil liberties in the general.
posted by amuseDetachment at 6:44 PM on January 14, 2012


and for the record, I'm against SOPA, and honestly, would love to see copyright gotten rid of entirely, but I'm not going to vote for an old crackpot racist to make a point about it.
posted by empath at 6:44 PM on January 14, 2012


@ultraviolet catastrophe
Why is everyone convinced that SOPA/PIPA is going to become law?
probably a different package with the same shit in it

because good things dont fucking happen, the fuckin Form Destroyer is loose and wandering the earth
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:45 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


would love to see copyright gotten rid of entirely

What? What would replace it? (curious).
posted by sweetkid at 6:47 PM on January 14, 2012


And don't even think that the Ron Paul administration would end the war on drugs. He would make it a state issue, which means if Texas wants to execute crack dealers, it's just fine by him.

He would work to end the federal laws, which is all he can reasonably do from a federal position. We do the same thing with alcohol, my state has some of the craziest laws but we didn't end up with too many dry counties in the country as a whole.

He does personally oppose prohibition and considers it a medical issue and not a legal issue.

He thinks that civil rights is a state issue. That is, if you want the right to eat at a restaurant with white people in Alabama, you're not going to be able to depend on the federal government enforcing the civil rights act. Hell, if you want the right to vote you better hope the state you're in decides to allow it.

Exactly, and on gay marriage he thinks the issue should be left up to the states. Want to get married in your state? This crazy dude thinks the state should be able to say no if you are gay. What kind of idiot would think you can leave a question like that up to states that are full of bigots?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:47 PM on January 14, 2012


Why is everyone convinced that SOPA/PIPA is going to become law?

Because they want/need to take down sites like Filestube, megavideo, etc. If copyright law on the internet is to mean anything, they have to do it. Technically, it's not illegal to download from any of those sites. The only reason they can get you for bittorrent is because you're also uploading while you're downloading. If you're just downloading a file from an internationally based file sharing site, you're breaking no laws as they're currently written.

THey're going to have to do something to stop it or just throw their hands up on stopping filesharing.

They can do it by attacking DNS, by attacking search engines, by attacking ad networks, or by attacking payment processors. It looks like DNS is out, but they're going to pass something.
posted by empath at 6:48 PM on January 14, 2012


Obama's position on SOPA/PIPA and the NDAA is crazier than Ron Paul's position on states controlling gay marriage rights.
posted by amuseDetachment at 6:49 PM on January 14, 2012


Why is everyone convinced that SOPA/PIPA is going to become law? Everything I've read about it says passage in its current form isn't feasible.
It's infeasible because of the freakout. Interestingly, I think most people think the effects are worse then they actually would be (at least at first).

This was a bipartisan effort with dozens of powerful co-sponsors in the senate. The authors of the senate version are Patrick Leahy, the dem senator from Vermont, which means he gets elected by the same people who vote for Bernie sanders. Lamar Smith is the author of SOPA, and while I don't know much about him he's a republican congressperson from Texas (of course, so is Ron Paul). He's also the chairman of the judiciary committee.

Check out the list of PIPA co-sponsors. On the Republican side it has Lindsey Graham, Joseph Lieberman and John McCain -- Major conseratives. On the Dem side it has Chuck Schumer, Al Franken and Barbara Boxer. Shumer is a powerful guy and Franken and Boxer are big 'liberals'.

And let's not forget, the U.S has been pushing for international treaties with various countries for years to implement their own versions. France has HADOPI, other countries have similar legislation. Wikileaks showed that while a lot of the laws were unpopular in their countries, the U.S. was pushing for this, hard. And there are international treaties, signed by the U.S. to put these laws in place.

So SOPA/PIPA is the U.S. implementation of international laws that we've been pushing.

It has the support of the massive lobbies, not just entertainment but big industry as well (likely due to inter-lobbyist corruption and alliances, which is an interesting thing on it's own)

So yeah, there really is a good chance it would pass without a major fight against it. This is something that proponents expected to sail through. The probably wanted to get it done now to raise campaign funding, just like laws in the middle of next year will be to pander for votes, this is a pander for corporate cash.

Will it pass now? It sounds like the public campaign against it is working. Were it not for that, I think it probably would pass. In fact, I bet the sponsors expected it to pass pretty easily and probably a boring corporate regulation issue, not something impacting freedom of speech (I doubt they really understood the ramifications)
posted by delmoi at 6:51 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


What? What would replace it? (curious).


Something like-- if you're going to charge money for something or put ads on it, you need to get approval from the original creator-- with perhaps a compulsory licensing scheme, or you can share it for free. And make copyright 20 years or something.
posted by empath at 6:51 PM on January 14, 2012


Nah, they won't have a supermajority in the senate so the Democrats could stop anything that went too far.

And that's worked so well the last decade, right?

Besides, I'm talking about the Supreme Court, where even one opening ensures a conservative court for the foreseeable future, let alone two or three. You don't actually think the evangelicals are whipping up the base for Romney because he's a good moral man, right? Not when they have a legitimate chance to re-litigate Roe, Loving, repeal ACA, and, yes, every civil liberties case possible. It's a sure bet that they'd uphold all of the racist GOP voter laws, too, which makes the whole idea of a Democratic majority--with or without conservative members--a fantasy.

I'm willing to gamble on Ron Paul, because that gamble is worth it. If it's a 20% chance, then it's a 20% chance I'll take.

See above re: all the additional that gets thrown under the bus with a conservative president and Congress and courts.

Romney and Obama will do the same when it comes to civil liberties and that's unacceptable. All other issues derive from freedom of speech and due process of law.

Yeah, no. I can guaran-damn-tee that Romney will do whatever Congress says. And again: judges, all other civil rights cases, etc.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:53 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


In case you don't know what SOPA is designed to take down:

Here's a search on filestube for A Game of Thrones.

Go ahead and download any of it. It's perfectly legal, because under current law, you aren't obligated to determine the legality of the files you download online, and neither are the file sharing sites -- they're only obligated to respond to DMCA take down notices from copyright holders, and foreign sites aren't even obligated to do that.

SOPA is meant to remedy that by just taking those sites off the internet.
posted by empath at 6:54 PM on January 14, 2012


And that's worked so well the last decade, right?

Well yeah, it killed the public option, ending Guantanamo, ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich, lots of stuff.

I would not be as scared of Paul judges as I would other Republican choices, it would be nice to have some who aren't drug warriors for example.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:57 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


He would work to end the federal laws, which is all he can reasonably do from a federal position. We do the same thing with alcohol, my state has some of the craziest laws but we didn't end up with too many dry counties in the country as a whole.

How, exactly, would he somehow work to end the federal laws? With the help of a Tea Party Congress who would love to deny the vote to all the black and brown folks they can't jail? They're suddenly going to approve all the anti-drug war DOJ and federal judges appointees that you and amuseDetachment are 100% sure he'll nominate?

This is magical thinking.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:58 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


He thinks that civil rights is a state issue. That is, if you want the right to eat at a restaurant with white people in Alabama, you're not going to be able to depend on the federal government enforcing the civil rights act. Hell, if you want the right to vote you better hope the state you're in decides to allow it.

And don't even think that the Ron Paul administration would end the war on drugs. He would make it a state issue, which means if Texas wants to execute crack dealers, it's just fine by him.
There is nothing preventing Texas from executing crack dealers today, except for the supreme court ruling that only allows murders to be executed. But they could put them in jail for life. The same way florida gave someone a life sentence for child-porn on their computer (one charge for each image, apparently)

[In fact, Alcohol is legal in this country but In Texas they've actually arrested people for public intox while in a bar, and for having above a 0.8 BAC, so like I said. Even legal drugs can already be cracked down on by state governments, if they choose (or, look at how 28 states have banned "bath salts" despite the fact the DEA hasn't scheduled them yet)]

Here's the thing. There's nothing to prevent individual states from enacting harsher sentences on top of what the federal government does. The federal government is only acting when states don't.

For example the Obama DOJ cracking down on medical marijuana in California, despite the fact that after he was elected he would ignore state laws (until prop 19 in CA).

So yes, a removal of federal drug laws will make things much better for people in more progressive states. Obviously, it will suck in the south, but doesn't it always suck in the south?
posted by delmoi at 7:00 PM on January 14, 2012


How, exactly, would he somehow work to end the federal laws? With the help of a Tea Party Congress who would love to deny the vote to all the black and brown folks they can't jail? They're suddenly going to approve all the anti-drug war DOJ and federal judges appointees that you and amuseDetachment are 100% sure he'll nominate?

He will work to end laws the same way any President does. Sometimes it doesn't work, Obama doesn't have a 100% success rate either. He has made claims that he will issue mass pardons though, and he can also direct enforcement away from drugs like Obama has done with medical marijuana.

They're suddenly going to approve all the anti-drug war DOJ and federal judges appointees that you and amuseDetachment are 100% sure he'll nominate?

I think in the hypothetical where the Republicans elect him we have to assume they did it because they support him, and would continue to do so.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:02 PM on January 14, 2012


Well yeah, it killed the public option, ending Guantanamo, ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich, lots of stuff.

Killing the public option was a good idea? In any event, you're not particularly accurate. It hasn't ended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, certainly not permanently. And said lack of (super)majority is kinda responsible for bringing us Guantanamo and the Bush tax cuts in the first place, as well as the PATRIOT Act, Iraq and Afghanistan, and for that matter NDAA and SOPA and PIPA. Spiffing track record, huh?

I would not be as scared of Paul judges as I would other Republican choices, it would be nice to have some who aren't drug warriors for example.

Again, magical thinking.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:02 PM on January 14, 2012


zombieflanders: Well you better work on this to get Obama to stop it because there's an entire class of technology nerds that will be out of work/bored/pissed-off, which will probably go towards bringing down the figurehead of the guy that was responsible. This will substantially raise transaction costs, and have huge impacts towards the internet, quite frankly, I've talked to many people at technology companies who say they will volunteer for Ron Paul, consequences be damned. You can call this immature and a "take your toys home" attitude. It doesn't matter, the moment he passes SOPA/PIPA/OPEN, it will be uncool to volunteer for Obama. You can make some kind of "LOLHIPSTERS" joke, but no one's going to volunteer for a candidate who acts like Obama. Obama won because of excellent GOTV and analytics, he's going to get ruined on that part because of this single issue.

I've already heard this personally, with the Democratic operations in California. I know this is purely anecdotal, but whenever anyone talks about volunteering for Obama this year, there's a sneer about not doing enough with regards to SOPA and sometimes NDAA. I've heard of many people getting bullied out of considering to volunteer for Obama. This is going to be a defining issue for his campaign, the people that helped him win the primary in 2008 may still be voting for him, but they're sure as hell not volunteering for him this time around.

You talk like I like Ron Paul. If I had a choice between Obama 2008 and Ron Paul, I'd choose Obama 2008 in a heartbeat. You have perfectly valid points with Paul's faults. I'm just saying Obama's is bigger. Ron Paul would shut down Guantanamo consequences be damned. He would tell Congress, it's their problem now, and bully them into funding its closing.

I'm not a huge fan of all of Ron Paul's policy, I'm forced into choosing him. Many others don't take my position, but those people probably won't be volunteering for Obama.

This is a huge issue for Obama's reelection, even if you don't agree with my support of Paul, you have to agree that this is one of the two defining issues of his four years, w.r.t. his volunteer base.
posted by amuseDetachment at 7:03 PM on January 14, 2012


Killing the public option was a good idea? In any event, you're not particularly accurate. It hasn't ended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, certainly not permanently. And said lack of (super)majority is kinda responsible for bringing us Guantanamo and the Bush tax cuts in the first place, as well as the PATRIOT Act, Iraq and Afghanistan, and for that matter NDAA and SOPA and PIPA.

I think you are confused. I was listing examples of how the fillibuster has stopped legislation the party with the majority has wished to pass. I didn't say if it was good or bad. The process is there, we didn't use it in Iraq because Democrats, like Hillary Clinton, supported it. There is nothing electing Democrats can do to prevent Democrats from doing things they want to do.

If you are telling me they would support bad legislation under a hypothetical Republican president I think you should contact them and ask them not to, maybe even threaten to withhold your vote for them.

I would not be as scared of Paul judges as I would other Republican choices, it would be nice to have some who aren't drug warriors for example.

Again, magical thinking.


Could you explain why you feel Paul will nominate judges that don't agree with his views of the constitution?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:07 PM on January 14, 2012


It's perfectly legal, because under current law, you aren't obligated to determine the legality of the files you download online,

And yet, once the "legality" of the files you've downloaded is determined, it is still "perfectly legal"?

by just taking those sites off the internet.

Right - JUST those sites. There will never EVER be overreach eh?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:07 PM on January 14, 2012


You guys have me pretty much convinced we need to run Obama out of office. Kucinich '12!
posted by Ad hominem at 7:08 PM on January 14, 2012


You guys have me pretty much convinced we need to run Obama out of office. Kucinich '12!

Nah, not Kucinich. He would make Paul VP!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:10 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The next ten months are going to be fun around here.
posted by octothorpe at 7:14 PM on January 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Go ahead and download any of it. It's perfectly legal, because under current law, you aren't obligated to determine the legality of the files you download online, and neither are the file sharing sites -- they're only obligated to respond to DMCA take down notices from copyright holders, and foreign sites aren't even obligated to do that.

SOPA is meant to remedy that by just taking those sites off the internet.
Yes, that's what the lobbyists who wrote SOPA are targeting. But the law can't, and doesn't, target specific sites. if SOPA is passed the following things will happen

1) The U.S. will have a nationwide DNS Killfile
2) The government will have the right to remove search results from google, or any other search engine
3) The DOJ will be able to seize com/net/org/us domains (and any other TLDs owned by the National institutes of science, which ICANN has been given a contract)

And, if sites are targeted by the DOJ, they go blank and it's up to the site owner to sue to get it back. Look at Dajaz1.com, for example. When the Obama administration wanted to try this earlier last year, they fucked up. It also turns out that a low level employee made the decision. Eventually, it went through the court system, and the DOJ, after actually reviewing the evidence, after months of stalling, dropped the case and returned the domain

So, one serious problem is government mistakes, and the fact your site could be down for a year and you'll have to pay a shitload in legal fees to get it back.

But the more serious problem is long term. SOPA probably won't affect Youtube or even reddit. But it could affect metafilter or any small site that allows people to post content is going to have either have a huge staff of moderators monitoring what people post, or just not let people post. If they don't do it, they risk having their sites seized

So it's going to prevent new youtube competitors from cropping up. It will have a huge chilling effect because rather then being sued and able to defend yourself in court, your domain just get seized. You get taken offline.

It will also give major copyright companies, Newscorp, viacom, disney, or any other huge corporations the ability to run sites like this, because they'll have a direct line to the DOJ and can tell them not to take down their sites, and work with eachother not to report on eachother for minor infringement. So those companies will have a lot more freedom online then small startups.

Finally... no matter what happens, it means a Nationwide China-style internet censorship, administrated by the DOJ. Whoever gets elected next, and who knows who that will be, will be able to censor the internet with no judicial review, and take sites down immediately, only returning domains if the owner fights them in court, which they can stall indefinitely.

And as I said, Even if they have the best of intentions, they're is still a chance they can make mistakes.

Now obviously I have never given a shit about copyright enforcement in general, so I simply see this bill as bad with no upside. In my view, freedom of speech online are more important then piracy.

But there are are other methods to deal with it. Another 'compromise' bill out there called OPEN which only goes after funding. In other words, if you get accused of being an infringe, you get the wikileaks treatment. Which might suck, but it's much, much better then Nationwide internet censorship. And honestly I do see the argument against letting people make money off copyright infringement, which seems more like the original intent.
posted by delmoi at 7:15 PM on January 14, 2012 [18 favorites]


Well you better work on this to get Obama to stop it because there's an entire class of technology nerds that will be out of work/bored/pissed-off, which will probably go towards bringing down the figurehead of the guy that was responsible.

Yes, I've sent letters and e-mails and talked to every single one of my elected officials. And never mind the whole uber-powerful cabal "class of technology nerds" canard, but did you ever try to convince these guys to do anything like, I don't know, try to form a union or other politically representative group?

It doesn't matter, the moment he passes SOPA/PIPA/OPEN, it will be uncool to volunteer for Obama. You can make some kind of "LOLHIPSTERS" joke, but no one's going to volunteer for a candidate who acts like Obama. Obama won because of excellent GOTV and analytics, he's going to get ruined on that part because of this single issue.

You can tone down the FUD there. Stories are already being published saying he has as strong an organization and as many (if not more) volunteers in every primary state than the entire GOP lineup combined. Are you going to try to convince those folks of their stupidity, too?

I think you are confused. I was listing examples of how the fillibuster has stopped legislation the party with the majority has wished to pass. I didn't say if it was good or bad. The process is there, we didn't use it in Iraq because Democrats, like Hillary Clinton, supported it. There is nothing electing Democrats can do to prevent Democrats from doing things they want to do.

No, I'm not confused, my point is that the Democrats didn't use the filibuster. Your mention of Hillary et al just serves to reinforce that point.

Anyway, I'm done with the latest Obama freakout/Paul lovefest/concern trolling for the night. Have fun.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:18 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, I'm not confused, my point is that the Democrats didn't use the filibuster. Your mention of Hillary et al just serves to reinforce that point.

Again, they didn't use it because on issues like Iraq folks like Hillary didn't oppose the legislation. If you are worried about Republicans passing bills Democrats support that is a valid concern, but you can't stop passing Democratic supported legislation by voting for Democrats.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:21 PM on January 14, 2012


You can tone down the FUD there. Stories are already being published saying he has as strong an organization and as many (if not more) volunteers in every primary state than the entire GOP lineup combined. Are you going to try to convince those folks of their stupidity, too?
But they won't volunteer as much as they did last time around. No one's actually gung-ho about Obama. I'm fairly certain I'm on the volunteer list you mentioned, as with many others who volunteered last time around. Obama has no substantial operations outside Chicago right now. When they start calling people up soon, they won't be turning up.
posted by amuseDetachment at 7:23 PM on January 14, 2012


delmoi: Agreed that OPEN is substantially better, but it still must be rejected. I'd be happy with an OPEN bill that allowed for quick judicial review, similar to that of the less-than-24-hour requirement for warrants dealing with online activities. Currently OPEN is proposed to be handled by the ITC, which is an executive branch office, so it would be a lowly staffer that shuts things down. Also it'll encourage internet companies to move offshore to avoid higher transaction costs, but there's not much you can really do to avoid that if they're trying to pass a bill like this.
posted by amuseDetachment at 7:26 PM on January 14, 2012


Kucinich is so anti-SOPA he is sponsoring legislation to force all websites to serve copywritten material. Imagine how cool it will be when you can download Game of Thrones right from Metafilter. PB is going to put that shit right in the sidebar.

Kucinich is so pro gay-marriage he divorced his wife so he could gay-marry her.

He is so pro-legalization that he is making Woody Harrelson drug czar. They are going to institute daily 420 briefings in the oval office.

He is not only going to close guantanamo, he is going to tear it down with his bare hands.

I'm telling you Kucinich/Sharpton '12
posted by Ad hominem at 7:27 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


This will substantially raise transaction costs, and have huge impacts towards the internet, quite frankly, I've talked to many people at technology companies who say they will volunteer for Ron Paul, consequences be damned. You can call this immature and a "take your toys home" attitude. It doesn't matter, the moment he passes SOPA/PIPA/OPEN, it will be uncool to volunteer for Obama. You can make some kind of "LOLHIPSTERS" joke, but no one's going to volunteer for a candidate who acts like Obama. Obama won because of excellent GOTV and analytics, he's going to get ruined on that part because of this single issue.
The echo chamber effect makes it difficult to figure out how important these things really are overall. But in terms of GOTV the people who volunteer are much more likely to be politically well informed. I would imagine they're more likely to connect with other political enthusiasts online, since they will be people who like to 'get involved', but that's just a guess. One thing though, you're definitely more likely to see the young, and you're definitely going to see the bored and unemployed, since they have the most free time. It seemed like OWS wasn't a very pro-Obama movement, overall. And they're still around, I guess, just not getting much media coverage.

One interesting thing, my mom of all people, who is, by the way, very liberal overall is actually talking about wanting to volunteer for the Ron Paul campaign. I don't think I've ever promoted him to her or anything, it's entirely based on what she hears on NPR, which is how she gets most of her news.

Her biggest issues are drone attacks and NDAA, and while I think I explained SOPA to her I don't think she would have cared much if I'd not told her what I knew/thought. She doesn't spend a lot of time surfing the web.
No, I'm not confused, my point is that the Democrats didn't use the filibuster. Your mention of Hillary et al just serves to reinforce that point.
If you're talking about the Iraq war, they didn't need to filibuster it. They had control of the senate, more then 50 seats. The could simply have voted against it. Instead, they voted a majority of democrats voted for it. 21 senate democrats voted no, 29 voted yes. You'll note the total is 50, which, compared to the republicans' 49 votes. The one independent at the time, ex-republican Jim Jeffords, who was caucusing with the democrats voted against it. Only 23 people voted no overall.

The biggest lie from hard core democratic fans is that the Iraq war was a republican thing. The democrats (in the senate, anyway) voted for it.
[Kucinich] is not only going to close guantanamo, he is going to tear it down with his bare hands.

I'm telling you Kucinich/Sharpton '12
I don't know what this has to do with anything.
posted by delmoi at 7:41 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now obviously I have never given a shit about copyright enforcement in general, so I simply see this bill as bad with no upside. In my view, freedom of speech online are more important then piracy.

Yeah, I agree with you. I think they should just give up on copyright, because anything we do to enforce it effectively, is going to end with some kind of draconian censorship regime, which is much the same problem with the war on drugs.

I was just trying to explain why they're going to pass something. And if you you seriously want to stop the worst excesses of SOPA, you're going to have to come up with some other plan to take down filestube, etc.
posted by empath at 7:50 PM on January 14, 2012


This is a huge issue for Obama's reelection

No, it's not. Let's be honest -- it's a fringe issue that mostly geeks care about. Far more people are worried about when their unemployment checks are going to run out, and the quality of their schools, and when their husband is going to come back from the war.
posted by empath at 7:53 PM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't know what this has to do with anything.

Same thing Ron Paul has to do with anything. If we are going to sit around and blue sky about what will happen when the unpossible happens I'm going to make up a future where Kucinich is kicking it with Woody Harrelson and Sean Penn in the Whitehouse.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:54 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ron Paul is an excellent protest candidate. He would be a fucking disaster as a president. But he's not going to become the president. He is a protest candidate.

Put another way, federalism is always attractive to the party out of power. The American progressive movement, as a "party" that is not in power, is inclined to find Ron Paul attractive, even though much of what he actually supports ought to be an anathema to any real progressive. What's important is not what he stands for, however, but what he stands against. A progressive's vote for Ron Paul is a vote against the drug war, against the Iraq and Afghanistan boondoggles, against SOPA, against NDAA, etc., and perhaps most of all, against compromise.

It doesn't matter much that Ron Paul actually harbors many thoroughly anti-progressive beliefs about race and culture and abortion, or that he's as much a hypocrite as anyone else, especially on gay marriage and on abortion. The point, for his progressive supporters, is that he has greater ideological purity and less of a corporate taint than almost any of his more "reasonable" peers.

So, yeah. Ron Paul as a protest candidate. He's a good one. He's the kind of figure who could only have sway in a winner-takes-all election system like the US has. While many progressives find Ron Paul attractive, in general he'd probably attract more potential Republican voters than potential Democratic voters, which sort of works out nicely for everyone. You don't have to vote for a candidate you don't believe in, but you also don't have to worry about splitting the vote disadvantageously. And there's always the hope that, should the Republicans lose in 2012, that the Republican Party will be forced to take Paul and his ideas more seriously, and to take people like Gingrich, Perry, and Romney less seriously.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:56 PM on January 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


I was just trying to explain why they're going to pass something. And if you you seriously want to stop the worst excesses of SOPA, you're going to have to come up with some other plan to take down filestube, etc.
Let's suppose a mugger comes up to you and demands you hand over all your money, and instead you negotiate and convince him to take half your money rather then all of it.

Technically, that's a compromise. But it's not a very effective way to go about doing things in politics.

And this is the attitude, among 'centrists' that drives me crazy, in terms of politics. Instead of negotiating -- giving up something and getting half in return. People say you need to "compromise" between the republican position and the democratic position, which is almost always just the status quo. (The healthcare bill was an exception, and it's certainly better then what we had before)

The end result is they get half what they want, and we lose of half of what they had.

Why not say, in exchange for figuring out some way to stop filestube, they think of something that we'd take in exchange. Maybe cutting down the time that things are copyrighted back down to something reasonable. Maybe standard licensing for internet multimedia the same way Radio pays standard licensing rates for songs and can play whatever they want. Maybe real net neutrality, including for wireless devices.

Instead, what we get is an exhortation to "compromise" and give the mugger half of what they want.

I say fuck that.

Take something like OPEN and put in something that actually gives us something we want in return.


---

By the way, here's the interesting thing. One of the things the copyright owners wanted was actually to have a chunk of your ISP bill go right to them, for everyone. The same way people (used to) pay a fee on tapes and "Music" CDs gave them the right to copy and share all the music they wanted, a fee on ISPs would have done the same thing. I would have been fine with it.

Recently, there was a argument between copyright companies and radio broadcasters. Copyright law is a little unusual in terms of Radio. You pay a standard licensing fee for each 'selection' of a sound recording. That's usually a song. Copyright owners wanted to change the law to charge broadcasters more, broadcasters didn't want to do that. So they came up with a 'compromise'. They wanted to force all consumer electronics companies to include FM receivers.

So iPhones, android phones, mp3 players and probably and the like would be required include radios that you could use.

So in this case the "compromise" was more like you and your mugger just deciding to compromise by robbing the 7/11. Obviously device manufacturers were outraged.(The receiver itself is probably cheap but I don't know what kind of antenna you need.) I don't think that compromise went anywhere.

But I think SOPA/PIPA are another example of such a compromise. Rather then fight, the telecom companies and the copyright barons have decided to 'compromise' by fucking over the tech industry. Both of which they hate. Telecoms over net neutrality, Media companies over Google making newspapers irrelevant as well as piracy.

They also enlisted companies like Pfizer and people who have to deal with imports, so this gives them, in terms of lobbying power, a lot more power in DC.

---

So ultimately, if the muggers gun is loaded, it will be better to lose half our money, rather then all of it. But, I don't see any reason why we should agree to give them a dime if we can avoid it.

Also, since I always complain about using analogies in general. In direct terms, we'll should only compromise if we have no choice, and without a compromise they'll get all of what they want.

A reasonable compromise, for me anyway, would be to tax ISP connections (for people over certain incomes) to pay for content creation -- like the BBC's TV tax. That would be a huge benefit for the people who actually create content but not their bosses. Or the money could just go to copyright owners directly.

Another compromise would be for them to give up something something we value as much as the lack of internet censorship. It's hard to imagine what that might be, though. So I don't think a real, equitable exchange is possible here.
posted by delmoi at 8:27 PM on January 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


The next ten months are going to be fun around here.

I've always wanted to watch Stargate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:30 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Update: SOPA and PIPA sponsors caving into opposition.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:32 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Put another way, federalism is always attractive to the party out of power. The American progressive movement, as a "party" that is not in power, is inclined to find Ron Paul attractive, even though much of what he actually supports ought to be an anathema to any real progressive. What's important is not what he stands for, however, but what he stands against. A progressive's vote for Ron Paul is a vote against the drug war, against the Iraq and Afghanistan boondoggles, against SOPA, against NDAA, etc., and perhaps most of all, against compromise.

It doesn't matter much that Ron Paul actually harbors many thoroughly anti-progressive beliefs about race and culture and abortion, or that he's as much a hypocrite as anyone else, especially on gay marriage and on abortion. The point, for his progressive supporters, is that he has greater ideological purity and less of a corporate taint than almost any of his more "reasonable" peers.
Well, it's a good thing I'm a liberal and not a "progressive".

The other issue, though, is just one of general 'integrity', meaning whether or not you trust that someone will do what they say when they get elected. What pisses people off about Obama is that he doesn't seem to have all that much. Ron Paul seems like someone who actually believes what he says. That said I don't know how able he will be to carry out his goals if he does win. Ending the fed, for example, isn't something a president can really do, although he can choose not to nominate a replacement for Bernanke that the senate will be willing to confirm. Ending the drug war, well, he will be responsible for the DEA, his administration can remove drugs from the DEA's schedule I think. On issues of war, he'll be the commander in chief of the military, Yet, by far that is where the biggest power struggle would be.

Anyway, it's all hypothetical, because I still don't think he will win the republican nomination.
posted by delmoi at 8:37 PM on January 14, 2012


I say fuck that.

Right, you're just checking out of the debate, basically. I'd love to see nothing pass myself, but something is going to pass, and there's really nothing we can do to stop it. All we can do is shape it.
posted by empath at 8:39 PM on January 14, 2012


All politics is local. Chicago has been big on the "Silicon Prairie" thing for a while now... Obama, as a creature of Chicago politics, is not likely to side with the big NY or LA studios and labels over prestige IT giants like Google and Facebook.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:47 PM on January 14, 2012


The election is not going to turn on SOPA. Not even close. Jobs. Taxes. War. These are the issues that matter most to the vast majority of voters out there. Most don't even know what SOPA is, even though they should and it will affect many of them. But it is far down the list of visible issues, behind wealth gap, gay rights, environment, immigration, abortion, corporate/financial fraud, the drug war... You may or may not agree with those priorities, but that's how it is.
posted by tommyD at 9:11 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


This thread is hilarious. Apparently people are unaware of the difference between the difficulty for the White House of vetoing the NDAA and vetoing something like SOPA. They are also unaware that the White House's opposition actually resulted in very significant changes to the last NDAA. And they are unaware that the NDAA, as passed, essentially changed nothing consequential about current US law regarding terrorists or terrorist suspects.

Nonetheless, Obama did something, so he must be amazingly evil. Even if he did the very thing we all wanted him to do. That bastard!
posted by yoink at 9:18 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't expect him to veto SOPA, yoink, because I think he largely agrees with it. I think his "opposition" is meaningless.

I think he failed to veto NDAA because he's always the reasonable man of compromise.

But if he'll compromise on the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens without a trial, on what issue, would he not compromise? Is there one?

What issue would he fight for as hard as Bush fought for lower taxes on the rich? What will he strive for as hard as Bush strove to attack Saddam Hussein? For what will he take the kind of heat that Lyndon Johnson took over civil rights?
posted by tyllwin at 10:25 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


And they are unaware that the NDAA, as passed, essentially changed nothing consequential about current US law regarding terrorists or terrorist suspects.

Nonetheless, Obama did something, so he must be amazingly evil. Even if he did the very thing we all wanted him to do. That bastard!


Yes yes, everyone who disagrees with your interpretation are simpletons who think Obama is evil.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:29 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


But if he'll compromise on the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens without a trial ...

OK, seriously, this meme needs to die. Here's the relevant clause of the NDAA:
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.
Part of that "existing law" includes due process, habeas corpus, and all the other stuff regarding the judicial treatment of American citizens. This also includes indefinite detention, as it was made illegal in 1971 by The Non-Detention Act, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

Which isn't to say I'm totally down with indefinitely detaining non-US citizens, but I don't understand why something which is demonstrably false about NDAA gets bandied about so often.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:37 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree that the bill does not clearly authorize the indefinite detention of US citizens in its current form. Further, to the extent that it does authorize that, perhaps some court will decide it violate the constitution. I think it's arguable what it does or doesn't permit by its ultimate language, but I'm not going to go into the kind of line-by-line analysis Glenn Greenwald and others have done of sections 1021 vs 1022, or parsing the word "require."

My point is not that it expressly authorizes the eternal imprisonment of US citizens, but rather that what we have in the law now is a "compromise." It provides vague legal cover if they ever "need" to indefinitely detain someone. The indefinite detention clauses have mostly, maybe, been made not to apply to US citizens, but not it's not clearly stated (as it easily could have been), nor stripped out.

He won't go to the wall to have it taken out, because, well, he's just not "go to the wall" guy. And if he's not, why on Earth would we expect him to be a hard ass about SOPA, when its basic principles reflect his own philosophy?
posted by tyllwin at 10:55 PM on January 14, 2012


Right, you're just checking out of the debate, basically. I'd love to see nothing pass myself, but something is going to pass, and there's really nothing we can do to stop it. All we can do is shape it.
Right and this is a perfect example of what's so annoying about 'centrists' in general. You just assume that we're going to lose. Last I checked, fatalism is not inspiring.

And the other thing, what can I do other then complain? It's not an election. I don't have to chose between supporting a hardcore anti-Sopa candidate, and someone who wants to compromise. And beyond that, all that matters, I suppose is how many letters get sent, how much money is raised for opposition candidates, that kind of thing. For example raised $20k for the democratic candidate running against Paul Ryan, who had supported SOPA, mainly because of the visibility of the SOPA issue.

So, two things: preemptively conceding defeat is nto going to inspire people to write letters and raise funds. I mean, why would someone actively donate to a candidate who wants to half-way censor the internet? It's completely absurd to imagine that the opposition to this could actually be mobilized if the issue was just how much are we going to give up?

The second issue, it actually looks like you're wrong. Legislatively, SOPA is nearly dead at this point. So, we've come close to succeeding. Obama came out against it. Some of the original co-sponsors have pulled their support. And PIPA looks dead in the senate. If PIPA doesn't pass then SOPA won't either, since the house and senate versions. It could always come back from the dead, but the house and senate aren't going to want to waste their time on a bill that looks like it's going nowhere.

So, and events have already proven you wrong strategy.

To summarize the point is
1) In order to defeat the bill, you have to get people to understand it and advocate against it en-mass.
2) Advocating surrender before a fight guarantees that you can't win completely.
3) Advocating surrender is not inspiring, which in turn makes you even more likely to lose, because of 1.
Nonetheless, Obama did something, so he must be amazingly evil. Even if he did the very thing we all wanted him to do. That bastard!
I notice you didn't actually quote anyone. That's because no one is saying that and you just want to vent your rage at people who aren't venerating dear leader hard enough.
Part of that "existing law" includes due process, habeas corpus, and all the other stuff regarding the judicial treatment of American citizens. This also includes indefinite detention, as it was made illegal in 1971 by The Non-Detention Act, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
Well, it's a good thing you'll be there to personally ensure that the next administration agrees with your interpretation of 'existing law' and NDAA instead of, for example, Lindsay Gram who actually wrote the bill and has a different interpretation. And definitely no one will end up in prison for years while cases wind their way through the supreme court.
posted by delmoi at 11:11 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


i sort of want to make these into posters and plaster them all over town. sadly, my town would be more likely to support him.
posted by nadawi at 11:12 PM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh, and to add on to what I was saying: the only reason the house and senate (both republicans and democrats, remember, this was a bi-partisan thing) did this was because they thought this would be an issue that they could quickly and easily make some campaign cash off of. Now it's turning out to not, in fact, be not so easy, and actually raising money for their opponents. Which is why you see them giving up before we get to use our 'big' weapon of website blackouts.

Urging surrender now is like standing on the bridge of the death star, urging surrender to Alderaan. (Okay, not really. We shouldn't get complacent. I just thought it was a funny image)
posted by delmoi at 11:20 PM on January 14, 2012


Well, it's a good thing you'll be there to personally ensure that the next administration agrees with your interpretation of 'existing law' and NDAA instead of, for example, Lindsay Gram who actually wrote the bill and has a different interpretation. And definitely no one will end up in prison for years while cases wind their way through the supreme court.

It doesn't matter what Gram's interpretation is. The Supreme Court upheld the The Non-Detention Act in 2004, and it's an existing law. The NDAA actually clarifies things on indefinite detention that were previously quite vague, and apparently needed to go to the Supreme Court in order to be nailed down. Either way, it's a far cry from the contention that Obama is A-OK with American citizens being detained indefinitely; far enough away to be false.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:32 PM on January 14, 2012


It doesn't matter what Gram's interpretation is. The Supreme Court upheld the The Non-Detention Act in 2004, and it's an existing law. The NDAA actually clarifies things on indefinite detention that were previously quite vague, and apparently needed to go to the Supreme Court in order to be nailed down. Either way, it's a far cry from the contention that Obama is A-OK with American citizens being detained indefinitely; far enough away to be false.
Oh, sorry. I was assuming the important thing is what's actually going to happen with future administrations given this law, not how it affects how people talk about Obama on the internet. It's also at odds with most actual media reports on the issue so I'm just going to assume it's wrong.
posted by delmoi at 11:44 PM on January 14, 2012


At least most media reports I've actually seen, I should say. But the basic problem is that your interpretation of a law isn't the interpretation that's actually going to be used. If a future Newt Gingrich administration decides to use the 'popular' interpretation of the act to imprison an American, no one is going to be able to stop him until the case gets to the supreme court. The passage of NDAA seems like it would make that more likely, not less.

For example: here's the NYT
One provision would authorize the military to indefinitely detain without charge people suspected of involvement with terrorism, including United States citizens apprehended on American soil. Due process would be a thing of the past. Some claim that this provision would merely codify existing practice. Current law empowers the military to detain people caught on the battlefield, but this provision would expand the battlefield to include the United States — and hand Osama bin Laden an unearned victory long after his well-earned demise.
It's an op ed. But you're claiming, apparently that the NYT is propagating an 'absurd meme that needs to die', that they're wrong, and that you're correct. I mean really, how could you expect anyone to take that seriously?
posted by delmoi at 11:51 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


That New York Times op-ed isn't talking about the bill as it was passed. An amendment was added later to exempt american citizens and legal residents from those sections.
posted by empath at 11:59 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


(well, it wasn't an amendment, the conference committee added it after the bill passed both houses, but it was in the bill that Obama signed).

You don't actually have to 'take him seriously'. It's in the bill. You can read it.
posted by empath at 12:01 AM on January 15, 2012


Oh, sorry. I was assuming the important thing is what's actually going to happen with future administrations given this law, not how it affects how people talk about Obama on the internet. ... It's an op ed. But you're claiming, apparently that the NYT is propagating an 'absurd meme that needs to die', that they're wrong, and that you're correct. I mean really, how could you expect anyone to take that seriously?

I'm quoting the language of the legislation which, to me, is pretty clear. Whether Gingrich or Paul or Obama interpret existing laws one way or the other doesn't matter, as it isn't their job to interpret laws. They can try to enforce a law, incorrectly, and get taken to court - as Rumsfeld was in 2004, where he lost.

So I'm a little baffled by why you keep talking about speculative dangers of how this or that president might interpret the law. Any president can interpret law any way they want. There's little that can stop them from trying to enforce a law poorly. Fortunately, the Supreme Court can be - and very recently has been - very clear on indefinite detention of US citizens.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:04 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


If a future Newt Gingrich administration decides to use the 'popular' interpretation of the act to imprison an American, no one is going to be able to stop him until the case gets to the supreme court.

If you're upset because you voted for Barack Obama thinking he'd be better than George Bush on indefinite detention, you better vote for him again, not because he's better, but because he just reluctantly made it easier for the next president to be just as bad.
posted by homunculus at 12:26 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does it matter what he's against if he'll sign it anyway?
posted by clarknova at 1:11 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama this year, there's a sneer about not doing enough with regards to SOPA and sometimes NDAA. I've heard of many people getting bullied out of considering to volunteer for Obama. This is going to be a defining issue for his campaign, the people that helped him win the primary in 2008 may still be voting for him, but they're sure as hell not volunteering for him this time around.

I am pretty much on this boat. In fact, I'm pretty sure SOPA/PIPA is among the rare singular voting issues for me, and while I know it's borderline fantasy, I hope the tech industry has enough clout and savvy to burn those who have sponsored or co-sponsored related legislation, preferably out of office. If I had a magic button I could press, I'd do it in a second regardless of whatever other positions they hold.

I've given Democrats in general and Obama specifically the benefit of the doubt on most issues even where they're not perfect; I tend to see the tension between various policy issues, and I'm really kindof a centrist rather than a liberal anyway.

PIPA/SOPA is different for me. Part of it is personal; I haven't just given my professional life to the internet for the money. But far more important than that, fundamentally it's about whether or not an officeholder and their staff are capable of doing good policy. The PIPA/SOPA stuff accepts questionable premises, delivers blunt instruments, and broadly sacrifices enough other important goods for uncertain benefit that it's hard to believe any office which produced it is anything other than deeply compromised in its ability to do any real good.

Heaven help me but I'm actually regretting supporting Boxer over Fiorina in 2010 despite the later's deep problems, and while Feinstein's challengers are shaping up to be a typical rogue's gallery from the mental hospital the Republican party has turned into, I don't know that I can vote for her after this.

Obama... I'll just have to wait and see. I've been on the fence for a while about whether he's triangulating position or policy. I know some people have had their singular issue moments earlier, but other issues which have been controversial to some have seemed like they could be about either genuine policy tensions or the art of the possible to me. This is different; the status quo is clearly possible, it's arguably workable for all parties, and the proposed remedies introduce more problems than they solve.
posted by weston at 1:15 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tim O'Reilly on the White House Response to the anti-PIPA/SOPA discussion.
posted by weston at 1:20 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of course it will pass. With Obama's concealed enthusiastic approval. The new law will do precisely nothing about online piracy, but will result in plenty of activist website owners doors being kicked down. At this late date, I believe it foolish to expect otherwise.
posted by telstar at 1:57 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Either way, it's a far cry from the contention that Obama is A-OK with American citizens being detained indefinitely; far enough away to be false.

What about the next Guy/Gal/Corporation who is in charge?

If say President Santorum uses the law for such purposes - is Obama "off the hook" because he's not in office at the time?

Heaven help me but I'm actually regretting supporting Boxer over Fiorina in 2010 despite the later's deep problems, and while Feinstein's challengers are shaping up to be a typical rogue's gallery from the mental hospital the Republican party has turned into, I don't know that I can vote for her after this.

Perhaps those of you who have feelings of 'I regret supporting X over Y even though Y sure seemed to suck' should consider backing instant run off voting? In theory IRV allows the least full of suck person a shot at winning.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:03 AM on January 15, 2012


That New York Times op-ed isn't talking about the bill as it was passed. An amendment was added later to exempt american citizens and legal residents from those sections.
Not true. Here's an article in Forbes written after the bill was passed:
The National Defense Authorization Act greatly expands the power and scope of the federal government to fight the War on Terror, including codifying into law the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects without trial. Under the new law the US military has the power to carry out domestic anti-terrorism operations on US soil.
...
Worse, the NDAA authorizes the military to detain even US citizens under the broad new anti-terrorism provisions provided in the bill, once again without trial.
Here's an With Reservations, Obama Signs Act to Allow Detention of Citizens
In his last official act of business in 2011, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act from his vacation rental in Kailua, Hawaii. In a statement, the president said he did so with reservations about key provisions in the law — including a controversial component that would allow the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the United States, without charge.
I mean, I don't know what to say really. It's simply impossible that every major news article would get it wrong, while you and MSTPT got it right. Clearly, you're simply wrong on the facts here.
posted by delmoi at 2:29 AM on January 15, 2012


(er, that should say "Here's an article on ABC news With Reservations, Obama Signs...")

Anyway.
Heaven help me but I'm actually regretting supporting Boxer over Fiorina in 2010 despite the later's deep problems, and while Feinstein's challengers are shaping up to be a typical rogue's gallery from the mental hospital the Republican party has turned into, I don't know that I can vote for her after this.
Do you think Carly Fiorina would have been better on SOPA? People need to learn how the primary system works, and take advantage of it.
posted by delmoi at 2:32 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean, I don't know what to say really. It's simply impossible that every major news article would get it wrong, while you and MSTPT got it right.

Dude, this isn't a dick-waving contest to me. I'm just quoting the legislation itself, word-for-word, citing what the Supreme Court has ruled in 2004 against Donald Rumsfeld when it comes to indefinitely detaining Americans (SPOILER: they were against it), and pointing out that the legislation has cleared up the vagueries that allowed Bush to do his "enemy combatants don't count" thing.

It looks like we're at an impasse in this discussion, but I want to make really clear here what my motivations for even getting involved in this spittle fight were. Rather than showing you news stories reporting on the legislation, I'm trying to show you the legislation itself, and where the courts have sided on the whole indefinite detention thing. It's even been linked upthread.

What about the next Guy/Gal/Corporation who is in charge?

If say President Santorum uses the law for such purposes - is Obama "off the hook" because he's not in office at the time?


Um, yes? If a previous president signs into a law some legislation that the next president uses improperly, that really can't be said to be the fault of the previous president.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:46 AM on January 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's simply impossible that every major news article would get it wrong

The major news outlets fail to correctly communicate the substance of things all the time, sometimes all at once.

Do you think Carly Fiorina would have been better on SOPA?

I don't know. Given the breadth of her other problems I suppose I'd have to admit the possibility she'd have also been terrible on SOPA, but I think it's also possible that her tech industry background and network would have been an influence pushing her more towards the conventional view.

People need to learn how the primary system works, and take advantage of it.

I think you're right; it'd be nice if they did face some challenges and more people turned out for primaries. A few years ago I'd certainly have preferred Tom Campbell to Fiorina as the Republican challenger. I tried to encourage Republicans to pick him at the time. It was pretty clear Boxer wasn't going to face a primary challenge. As far as I can tell, Feinstein won't face one from the Dem/progressive/liberal side of the spectrum this time either.
posted by weston at 3:01 AM on January 15, 2012


delmoi: Legislatively, SOPA is nearly dead at this point. So, we've come close to succeeding. Obama came out against it. Some of the original co-sponsors have pulled their support. And PIPA looks dead in the senate.

I do hope that's the case, but what I've been seeing are headlines that say Obama's come out against SOPA, but body-text that shows the white house has taken a stance merely against the DNS-altering provisions that were already all but abandoned by the legislators this week.

But this confusion is likely intentional? The press release to my eyes looks designed to allow the various 'stakeholders' to feel like Obama is on their side.
posted by nobody at 4:55 AM on January 15, 2012


Obama says a lot of things. I'll wait until he does something to praise or damn him.
posted by Legomancer at 6:12 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


But they won't volunteer as much as they did last time around. No one's actually gung-ho about Obama. I'm fairly certain I'm on the volunteer list you mentioned, as with many others who volunteered last time around. Obama has no substantial operations outside Chicago right now. When they start calling people up soon, they won't be turning up.

No, this is current, active volunteers. IIRC, the NYT and TPM both did pieces in Iowa and NH that actually had evidence of active offices fully staffed with volunteers. And unless I was hallucinating, the work I saw with my own eyes that's already going on in Virginia (NOVA and Richmond) and North Carolina (Greensboro, Raleigh, Durham) matches up. So, you're still going to go with easily-debunked FUD?

I don't know. Given the breadth of her other problems I suppose I'd have to admit the possibility she'd have also been terrible on SOPA, but I think it's also possible that her tech industry background and network would have been an influence pushing her more towards the conventional view.

The cognitive dissonance and/or lack of knowledge about candidates in this statement is astounding. First of all, she was an executive, not a technology officer, which doesn't inform her position on this at all. And second, Hewlett Packard is part of the BSA, which was one of SOPA's biggest lobbiers, who had to be shamed into a "in it's current form" weaseling.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:47 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Myths about detention bill

This article discusses the clause you mentioned, Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, but some others as well. The author's conclusions are in agreement with the majority of the press.
posted by mdn at 8:44 AM on January 15, 2012


I think this is a perfect example of utterly intellectually bankrupt the progressive movement is in America. When alleged liberals support a libertarian, and in the process throw women, gays, and people of color under the bus, the left must be completely dead. There is nobody on the left to look to, because the leftists would rather have fucking Ron Paul. Stick a fork in the Left, it's done.
posted by happyroach at 9:23 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Myths about detention bill

Greenwald's not a legitimate source.

And yes, the press gets stuff wrong all the time. The plain language of the bill says that US citizens are exempt from the sections in question.
posted by empath at 9:32 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean it's not as if we're talking about something incredibly difficult and complicated here. There are only two sections of the bill that refer to detention policy. It'll take you 10 minutes to read them. They aren't full of technical language. Just read them.

And even if they did, somehow provide for the indefinite detention of US citizens without trial, it would be unconstitutional on its face.
posted by empath at 9:36 AM on January 15, 2012


Greenwald's not a legitimate source.

Only because his arguments are inconvenient. There aren't many other writers who actually cite news sources to bolster their claims.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:40 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess the rule for 2012 will be "this post features the word Obama - go crazy!"

Worked for "Bush".
posted by rokusan at 9:41 AM on January 15, 2012


Greenwald's not a legitimate source

Greenwald is doing a line by line parsing of the text. The validity or lack of it in his argument is all that matters, not his general legitimacy as a "source." He may be wrong, but being a bad guy in general (presuming that he is) doesn't make him so,
posted by tyllwin at 9:41 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


He says it's 'muddled'.
posted by empath at 9:50 AM on January 15, 2012


Only because his arguments are inconvenient.

Oh, yeah, the only reason anybody could possibly have a problem with the places where Greenwald crosses into sophistry and axe-grinding is that it's just inconvenient.

The Lawfare Blog has been doing much better work at explaining the NDAA. Not all of their conclusions are different. Some are. The presentation sure is.
posted by weston at 10:13 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Murdoch blasts Obama, Google over Stop Online Piracy Act
posted by homunculus at 10:16 AM on January 15, 2012


the only reason anybody could possibly have a problem with the places where Greenwald crosses into sophistry...

Meh. I don't always agree with him, but he makes his case based on facts — or at least, those facts that can be evaluated by the reader. This is a welcome change from most journalism where official accounts are given without reference. Further, I've lost count how many times the same people on Metafilter accuse him of racism and worse without actually addressing the content of what he says, which seems more like true ad hom.-based sophistry and axe-grinding, to me.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:50 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Murdoch blasts Obama, Google over Stop Online Piracy Act

Yeah, the nasty old fucker has been having a coniption fit over twitter at this. That he's not going to get to break the onternet is obviously a huge outrage to him.

I honestly hope he has a heart attack and dies, the vile bloodsucker.
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think this is a perfect example of [how] utterly intellectually bankrupt the progressive movement is in America. When alleged liberals support a libertarian, and in the process throw women, gays, and people of color under the bus, the left must be completely dead. There is nobody on the left to look to, because the leftists would rather have fucking Ron Paul. Stick a fork in the Left, it's done.

I share your frustration, but I've made (some) peace with the fact that the Venn diagram featuring the sets: (A) "people who post online about American politics," (B) "people who only follow American politics intermittently, typically in the run-up to presidential elections," and (C) "vocal libertarians [often, for some reason, in various IT-related fields]" overlaps to an incredibly high degree. This is not a slam on any member of any of the above sets. It just comes with the (online) territory.

I used to get pretty angry (heh, see also: my posting history) whenever folks here and elsewhere piled on Obama for real or perceived slights, especially those with (in my opinion) unreasonable and/or (politically) ill-informed expectations. Now I just remind myself that not everyone approaches American electoral politics in the same way or with the same level of attention (again, no slam) and that everyone has their own respective areas of grave personal concern when it comes to this stuff.

Then I go back to doing what I can to support the election of politicians who can best represent my interests and values given the system we have: legislative *and* executive. As utopian as it may sound, Metafilter doesn't have to be a shit-storm in the next ten months of American electoral politics if we, its users, make a concerted effort to behave in a thoughtful way, whatever our respective differences. And, yes, I know this is pretty fucking rich coming from me.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:10 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think this is a perfect example of utterly intellectually bankrupt the progressive movement is in America. When alleged liberals support a libertarian, and in the process throw women, gays, and people of color under the bus, the left must be completely dead.

I think it's sad when liberals suppose themselves as the sole defenders of civil rights. You can turn off your smoke machine. And Marshal stack.

At this point in time, Ron Paul's voting record concerning civil rights doesn't require a lengthy exposition of how laws will be used. It's not as if women, gays, or people of color are somehow immune from the effects of the NDAA, the drug war, or the general paranoia of the past ten years. In fact, if history is any judge, those are the groups who will suffer the most long term.

Nor do we require a thread speculating on how he will vote concerning SOPA. It's not as if there was any doubt. Ever.

And really, instead of castigating folks who are adamant about civil rights as somehow being traitors to the liberal cause, a moment of reflection as to why people are supporting Ron Paul?

You aren't making any friends.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 11:16 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ron Paul's useful idiots on the left

Oh, apparently he opposes the court decision that decriminalised consensual sodomy in the US - which is odd, considering what an awesome defender of gay rights he is according to this thread.
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think this is a perfect example of utterly intellectually bankrupt the progressive movement is in America. When alleged liberals support a libertarian, and in the process throw women, gays, and people of color under the bus, the left must be completely dead. There is nobody on the left to look to, because the leftists would rather have fucking Ron Paul. Stick a fork in the Left, it's done.

I agree, no progressive should vote for any candidate that wants to throw gay rights under the bus by turning their civil rights such as gay marriage over to the states.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:06 PM on January 15, 2012


Ron Paul's useful idiots on the left

I'm no Ron Paul supporter, but I'd question entrusting the valuation of my civil rights to someone who lives in a country like Britain, where CCTV cameras are everywhere, shoot-first-ask-questions-later policies let police off the hook, and libel suits are regularly used to shut up citizens who get out of line. Grauniad, heal thyself.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:34 PM on January 15, 2012


It's almost America!
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on January 15, 2012


How dare someone from the UK have an opinion on civil rights! This is just like that time when that Burmese dissident tried to talk about civil rights, and I was like, "SHUT UP! YOUR COUNTRY DOESN'T EVEN HAVE CIVIL RIGHTS!" Then I flexed my muscles for hours as the boos grew louder and louder.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:39 PM on January 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


I agree, no progressive should vote for any candidate that wants to throw gay rights under the bus by turning their civil rights such as gay marriage over to the states.

Ron Paul, as a DOMA supporter, also favors federal measures against gay marriage.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:40 PM on January 15, 2012


Ending the fed, for example, isn't something a president can really do, although he can choose not to nominate a replacement for Bernanke that the senate will be willing to confirm.

FWIW, just as a trivia note: Ron Paul couldn't even really do this, because he can only appoint the chair and vice-chair from the pool of already-sitting Governors of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. The system is designed to make it difficult to make waves.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:45 PM on January 15, 2012


Ron Paul, as a DOMA supporter, also favors federal measures against gay marriage.

Well, the way he sees it he wants to not only let states ban gay marriages but not recognize them from out of state either. Progressives should not support that either.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:50 PM on January 15, 2012


How dare someone from the UK have an opinion on civil rights!

More like: A journalist from the UK probably doesn't value the importance of broader civil rights as much — having voluntarily relinquished most of his years ago — and therefore may have some difficulty appreciating why it might be an important issue to a few people who live in a country he doesn't live in and in a culture that is foreign to him.

And so I would not mistake the Guardian as experts on American culture, any more than I would go to, say, the Seattle Stranger for the latest hot scone news out of the British isles.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:50 PM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, the way he sees it he wants to not only let states ban gay marriages but not recognize them from out of state either. Progressives should not support that either.

DOMA refuses recognition on a federal level, e.g. people in a gay marriage cannot file a joint tax return as spouses.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:12 PM on January 15, 2012


DOMA refuses recognition on a federal level, e.g. people in a gay marriage cannot file a joint tax return as spouses.

And I agree, progressives should not support candidates that don't want the federal government to recognize gay marriage.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:27 PM on January 15, 2012


[you guys know the drill, take it to email and not here.]
posted by jessamyn at 1:28 PM on January 15, 2012


FWIW I;d suggets removing the initiating comment as well, it's xenophobic garbage.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on January 15, 2012


which is odd, considering what an awesome defender of gay rights he is according to this thread.

You were saying?

Again, Ron Paul's record for civil rights has exemplary overall. It's not like the "useful idiots" (still making friends I see) haven't evaluated it against others also running for office.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 4:20 PM on January 15, 2012


Again, Ron Paul's record for civil rights has exemplary overall.

The hell it is. He's voted against every piece of federal civil rights legislation he's ever had a chance to vote on.
posted by empath at 4:21 PM on January 15, 2012


This is kind of a derail, but this NDAA thing such a bizarre argument, and apparently no ones talking about SOPA anymore anyway:
Dude, this isn't a dick-waving contest to me. I'm just quoting the legislation itself, word-for-word, citing what the Supreme Court has ruled in 2004 against Donald Rumsfeld -- MSTPT
No, it's not a dick waving contest. You're wrong, and I'm pointing it out. If you don't want to believe EVERY MAINSTREAM MEDIA OUTLET ON THE PLANET then obviously that's certainly your choice. But it's 9/11 Truther / Alex Jones / Vaccines cause autism level crazy. My assumption was you just hadn't done the research, and didn't realize you're wrong.
It looks like we're at an impasse in this discussion, but I want to make really clear here what my motivations for even getting involved in this spittle fight were. Rather than showing you news stories reporting on the legislation, I'm trying to show you the legislation itself -- MSTPT
You're only showing a single paragraph, not the whole thing. I'm showing you news stories so that you can see that your 'interpretation' is at odds with the reality that everyone else in the country expects to see.

I mean honestly dude do you think it's possible for a "Meme to die" if it's being reported as the truth in every mainstream media article? How could that possibly ever happen?

So look: if you want the "meme to die" contact those news organizations and get them to take those articles down and issue corrections. Until then the only rational thing to do is to assume that you don't know what you're talking about.

--
Finally, you don't seem to understand what Lindsay Graham and McCain actually did with the law. If you were over in Afghanistan, fighting with the Taliban, obviously it would be legal, before NDAA for the US Military to capture you and put you in a POW camp. You would have been on the "battlefield". But the legal question is, what defines a 'battlefield' Well, NDAA clarifies: THE ENTIRE WORLD IS A BATTLEFIELD, including the U.S. So the U.S government now has the legal right to capture and detain you anywhere in the world, without violating any laws that existed before NDAA passed.

So, the supreme court would have to have a new case about whether the 'the whole world is a battlefield' concept is constitutional. Until then, the US government and military can detain anyone suspected of being a member of "Al Quaeda or related groups" anywhere in the world, US citizen or not, and detain them indefinitely.

The reason I'm posting isn't a "dick waving contest". I'm seeing the obvious factual falsehood that NDAA does not allow detention of Americans repeated on metafilter, and I want to make sure people understand that it's a falsehood when you define falsehood as at odds with what's reported in mainstream credible news sources like the Forbes, ABC, and the NYT. Obviously the MSM can sometimes be wrong but saying "I looked at this law and clearly all the news articles are wrong" is like saying "I looked at the pictures and clearly all the history books saying we landed on the moon are wrong". You need a very, very strong argument backed on lots of empirical, verifiable data if you're going to claim that what's being reported in the news is false.
Myths about detention bill

This article discusses the clause you mentioned, Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, but some others as well. The author's conclusions are in agreement with the majority of the press.
-- mdn
Heh, that's Glenn Greenwald. I like the guy but he's someone that "centrists" will dismiss - Joe Kline called him a "Civil liberties Extremist", for example, for pointing out his mistakes. I made sure to link to "Authoritative" MSM sites, not liberal bloggers.
Greenwald's not a legitimate source.

And yes, the press gets stuff wrong all the time. The plain language of the bill says that US citizens are exempt from the sections in question.
-- empath
See what I mean? With regards to the rest of the media, though. If you want to deny that stuff, fine. But really it's as reasonable a position being a 9/11 Truther or a Birther. Maybe you guys need a cute name. NDAAdner maybe.

Truthers think they are looking at the "Plain facts about the temperature that steel melts at" and Birthers think they are looking at the "Plain facts" about immigration law (see, the law says that if a child was born to a mother who'd spent 4 years in the US over the age of 14 then they are a natural born citizen, regardless of where they were born. But Stanley Ann Dunham was only seventeen and a half! and thus the law doesn't technically apply!) and other random nonsense.

The reason I'm pointing this out is that some people might just be reading comments on message boards or blog posts, rather then MSM news sources and get confused about what reality actually is.

(I mean Even the Daily Show has said the NDAA allowed detention of Americans, Although this was the senate version, not the one with the minor tweaks that make it slightly more ambiguous. Colbert did a piece on it AFTER the signing, but people might assume that he's less credible due to the 'satirical' nature of his show - but his segment actually talks about the "existing law" amendment, and the signing statement)

---
shoot-first-ask-questions-later policies let police off the hook, and libel suits are regularly used to shut up citizens who get out of line. Grauniad, heal thyself.
Actually, most police in Britain don't even carry guns. As a result, police shootings are very, very rare.
posted by delmoi at 5:00 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, it's ALL crazy derail here, knock yourself out.
posted by Artw at 5:07 PM on January 15, 2012


Obviously the MSM can sometimes be wrong but saying "I looked at this law and clearly all the news articles are wrong" is like saying "I looked at the pictures and clearly all the history books saying we landed on the moon are wrong". You need a very, very strong argument backed on lots of empirical, verifiable data if you're going to claim that what's being reported in the news is false.

You're cherry picking news sources that say what you want it to say. Listing articles that agree with your favored interpretation isn't the same thing as making an argument.
posted by empath at 5:07 PM on January 15, 2012


And moreover, newspaper editorial boards aren't particularly qualified to make judgement on laws. If you want to rely on expert interpretations, then do a survey of lawyers or something.
posted by empath at 5:08 PM on January 15, 2012


Let's rag on a guy for being homophobic, but defend the guy that's shutting down the right to due process and freedom of speech. No problems here. Nope.


Come on. You have to understand that Paul supporters have a legitimate claim. Paul is weak on racial and gender rights, but is strong on free speech and due process. You can argue that his beliefs in what should be law for gender rights invalidates that aspect of due process certainly, but you must understand that there is a conscious tradeoff that is occurring.

I am saying that it is acceptable to throw minority rights and gender rights under the bus for basic civil liberties, because the basic civil liberties such as freedom of speech and due process are harder to understand and roll back. You can legitimately say this is a seriously bad thing, but I'd argue that it's a net positive in the long view.

The fact that I may have to make this kind of tradeoff is what I'm complaining about. I cannot in good conscience defend a President that I voted for who rolls back the right to due process, much as a Bush supporter should not be able in good conscience support his policies as well.

The fundamental problem is that NDAA and SOPA/PIPA are indefensible policies, Obama, a constitutional scholar knows exactly what he's doing, and that is an indicator of his moral character.
posted by amuseDetachment at 5:12 PM on January 15, 2012


If you want to rely on expert interpretations, then do a survey of lawyers or something.

ACLU: “President Obama's action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.”

Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA.


I'm not a lawyer so I'm not going to say who is right or wrong on the legal interpretations of the bill, but I am going to point out that the interpretation is under debate among the legal community. Nobody should come in here and say exactly what it means as if it is ironclad fact, since nobody is quite sure how it will be interpreted in the end.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:28 PM on January 15, 2012


You're cherry picking news sources that say what you want it to say. Listing articles that agree with your favored interpretation isn't the same thing as making an argument.
Why don't you cherry pick some contrary articles in the MSM? It stands to reason that if they existed, you would have done so already.

And secondly, I'm not cherry picking. I just did some Google searches and picked links from well known news brands. I was logged in so getting 'search personalization'. Using an incognito window to prevent personalization, though still gets those results.

For example searching for "NDAA american citizens NYT" brings up this article with the label "Does the NDAA Apply to American Citizens? - NYTimes.com" Obviously, I clicked that. And according to the article, it does (I excerpted it above)

Searching for "NDAA american citizens sign" brings up the Forbes article I linked earlier. Adding "ABC" gets the ABC link.

Searching for "NDAA american citizens obama MSNBC" gets this link as the second result, (the first is a video from early December.) Except:
Last night on the show, Rachel looked at the import of the NDAA and President Obama's signing statement about how he intends to use the legislation. Under the new law, the U.S. government reserves for itself the right arrest and confine American citizens in military custody, without benefit of trial, indefinitely. President Obama says his administration won't do that, but the law remains a law.
Doing a search for "site:cnn.com NDAA american citizens obama" (just CNN as a keyword doesn't bring up CNN's site) brings up this link which says:
In December, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which makes indefinite military detention without charge or trial, including that of American citizens, a permanent feature of the American legal system.

It's an Op-ed, but the only higher rated seemingly relevant result didn't address the specific issue.

Anyway, if you want people to think there are news articles that agree with you, you should post links to them.
posted by delmoi at 5:36 PM on January 15, 2012


Paul is weak on racial and gender rights, but is strong on free speech and due process.

People keep saying this, but it's flat out untrue. Ron Paul only cares about restricting the power of the federal government. He thinks states should be able to violate individual rights as much as they want.
posted by empath at 5:50 PM on January 15, 2012


People keep saying this, but it's flat out untrue. Ron Paul only cares about restricting the power of the federal government. He thinks states should be able to violate individual rights as much as they want.

Yeah, me and empath have been saying this over and over. If your candidate wants to leave crucial civil rights questions like gay marriage to the states you can't vote for them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:55 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Carl Levin:

“Probably the most discussed provision in the conference report is the provision relative to military detention for foreign al-Qaeda terrorists,” Levin said. “This provision has been written to be doubly sure that there is no interference with civilian interrogations and other law enforcement activities and to ensure that the president has the flexibility he needs to use the most appropriate tools in each case. Those who say that we have written into law a new authority to detain American citizens until the end of hostilities are wrong.”

ACLU:

'The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA."

(Note the ACLU is very careful not to say in that piece that the NDAA authorizes detention of American citizens)
posted by empath at 5:58 PM on January 15, 2012


If your candidate wants to leave crucial civil rights questions like gay marriage to the states you can't vote for them.
I can't vote for a constitutional scholar that knowingly passes a law which egregiously violates due process.
posted by amuseDetachment at 6:02 PM on January 15, 2012


(Note the ACLU is very careful not to say in that piece that the NDAA authorizes detention of American citizens)

What they say is that some members of congress seem to think it can be used that way. I know some folks on Metafilter think the law is obvious and fine but when the ACLU is concerned it might be dangerous so am I. I don't have the expertise to diagnose the law for you but I know the ACLU has a pretty good reputation.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:07 PM on January 15, 2012


Look, the important thing is that Ron Paul isn't down with oppressing straight white guys. Who cares about everyone else? Surely the freedom will trickle down.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:19 PM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not white.

Maybe some people just think that all candidates are a tradeoff and some issues are bigger than others. Obama shouldn't make me go with a racist, the fact that he has is entirely on him.
posted by amuseDetachment at 6:24 PM on January 15, 2012


I know some folks on Metafilter think the law is obvious and fine but when the ACLU is concerned it might be dangerous so am I.

I'm concerned by the bill even though it excludes Americans. I think those sections are not only bad, but unconstitutional, but let's not start with "Obama threw out the Bill of Rights" when a plain reading of the bill shows that didn't happen (or even if you want to go as far as Greenwald himself said, it's 'muddled')
posted by empath at 6:38 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


And they are unaware that the NDAA, as passed, essentially changed nothing consequential about current US law regarding terrorists or terrorist suspects.

I agree we can skip over "threw out the bill of rights" let's just also skip over the "changed nothing consequential" some have gone with. The jury is out.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:42 PM on January 15, 2012


Yeah, me and empath have been saying this over and over. If your candidate wants to leave crucial civil rights questions like gay marriage to the states you can't vote for them.

“I agree with most Americans, with Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Cheney, with over 2,000 religious leaders of all different beliefs, that decisions about marriage, as they always have, should be left to the states.”

posted by quintessencesluglord at 6:59 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Carl Levin:
Because politicians are renown for their honesty and accuracy. He voted for NDAA and he's defending his vote. You can find plenty of politicians saying the opposite, including the authors of the provision, like Lindsay Graham. I mean Hillary Clinton said her vote for the Iraq war wasn't "really" a vote for war, it was just a vote for "the authority".

Carl Levin also said this
"Al Qaeda is at war with us," said Sen. Levin. "They brought that war to our shores. This is not just a foreign war. They brought that war to our shores on 9/11. They are at war with us. The Supreme Court said, and I am going to read these words again, 'There is no bar to this nation's holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant.'"


In any event, a politician is never a credible source.

The thing you quoted from the ACLU was actually the anchor text to a hyperlink which went here. Apparently didn't actually click it, because it says:
In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”
...
In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.
...
UPDATE I: Don’t be confused by anyone claiming that the indefinite detention legislation does not apply to American citizens. It does. There is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032 of the bill), but no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial
...
There you have it — indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. And the Senate is likely to vote on it Monday or Tuesday.
They think the NDAA is unconstitutional, and thus illegal. They clearly, and explicity say that the NDAA does not allow for the indefinite detainment of American citizens, and in fact tell people not to be "fooled" by anyone who says otherwise. In fact, it's very clear that they do think the NDAA.

So your first link is to a politician, the second link says the exact opposite of what you claimed it said, and not only that, it says anyone who says otherwise is actually trying to "fool" you!

Seriously dude, you're just wrong. You need to admit that. It's one thing to be ignorant about what's really going on, maybe because you got "fooled" by dishonest people. It's another thing to cling to that in the face of clear contrary evidence.

What's so odd about this, usually it's people on the political fringe who believe crazy stuff and that the MSM is lying. It's very unusual for people who claim to be "centrists" or "moderates" to assume the MSM is lying. It's just so weird.
posted by delmoi at 7:22 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good thing this was a post about the NDAA.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:31 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The NDAA is relevant because Obama's "opposition" to the NDAA was was similar to his current "opposition" to SOPA/PIPA/OPEN, notably that he had concerns with certain provisions. I see no reason to expect him to veto any bill that comes across his desk.
posted by amuseDetachment at 7:37 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing you quoted from the ACLU was actually the anchor text to a hyperlink which went here. Apparently didn't actually click it, because it says:

I didn't link to it, because that was before the language of the bill changed.
posted by empath at 7:37 PM on January 15, 2012


What's so odd about this, usually it's people on the political fringe who believe crazy stuff and that the MSM is lying. It's very unusual for people who claim to be "centrists" or "moderates" to assume the MSM is lying. It's just so weird.

I don't think they're lying. I think they're wrong. There's a difference. And we're talking about op-eds here, not straight news reporting.
posted by empath at 7:38 PM on January 15, 2012


Here's a daily show clip from after the signing (didn't find it earlier). The reason I'm pointing it out John Stewart is a strong liberal critic of the MSM, but clearly he agrees with them on this.
I don't think they're lying. I think they're wrong. There's a difference. And we're talking about op-eds here, not straight news reporting.
Usually they have some fact-checking. Anyway, feel free to find some MSM sources that say what you think is true. I mean I don't know what else to say. It seems obvious to me that you and MSTPT are wrong. If you don't want to believe it, you don't have too. Just out of curiosity, what standard of evidence would convince you you're wrong? I mean in science, for example, you have the concept of 'falsifiability'. In order for a scientific theory to be valid (according to Popper) you have to be able to come up with an experiment that would prove what you're saying is false. Is your belief that NDAA allows the indefinite detainment of US citizens falsifiable? If so, how would you falsify it?

---
Good thing this was a post about the NDAA.
Yeah sorry about that. There's lots going on with SOPA but this NDAA argument was just so weird

Anyway, Here's an interesting bit on Chris Hayes show on SOPA. TL;DW: he gives a brief overview of the bill and points out that there was only a single mention of the bill on TV news prior to his show. He also has a 'debate' between a NBC VP and the founder of reddit where the NBC guy lies through his teeth.
posted by delmoi at 7:48 PM on January 15, 2012


Oh, and btw SOPA was actually shelved earlier today. Like I said, the anti-SOPA side is doing very well.
posted by delmoi at 1:24 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


It seems obvious to me that you and MSTPT are wrong. If you don't want to believe it, you don't have too. Just out of curiosity, what standard of evidence would convince you you're wrong?

I dunno, when they actually detain an american citizen under the supposed authorization in the bill that specifically says that it doesn't apply to american citizens.
posted by empath at 1:54 AM on January 16, 2012


spoiler: that will never happen.

In fact, if it ever does happen, I will not only close my internet account, I will never post an opinion on the internet as long as I live.
posted by empath at 1:55 AM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


(close my metafilter account, rather)
posted by empath at 1:55 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


But what about under the "muddled" sections?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:07 AM on January 16, 2012


I can't vote for a constitutional scholar that knowingly passes a law which egregiously violates due process.

No, you'll just vote for one who allows it at the state level instead of making it federal.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:20 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Happy MLK day! ...which Ron Paul voted against.
posted by Artw at 1:21 PM on January 16, 2012


I wonder how MLK would feel about the drug war if he were around today.

(Who am I kidding, MLK around today would look just like The Boondocks imagined it.)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:16 PM on January 16, 2012


Andrew Sullivan: How Obama's Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics: The right calls him a socialist, the left says he sucks up to Wall Street, and independents think he's a wimp.

Yes, Obama has waged a war based on a reading of executive power that many civil libertarians, including myself, oppose. And he has signed into law the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial (even as he pledged never to invoke this tyrannical power himself).
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:08 PM on January 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rick Falkvinge has a wonderful retort to this from 5 Jan in It Is Time To Stop Pretending To Endorse The Copyright Monopoly

'There is a saying in the political discussion in Sweden: "Anything you say before but in a political statement doesn't count." We've seen a lot of that practice in recent years with increasingly horrendous cultural monopoly laws.'

See also : Rick Falkvinge says copyright laws are ridiculous and Falkvinge's Google Tech Talk from 2007.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:08 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Andrew Sullivan: How Obama's Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics: The right calls him a socialist, the left says he sucks up to Wall Street, and independents think he's a wimp.
Hahaha, is he still saying that crap? Who exactly is left? I guess he'll "Win" by having the republicans be totally insane and nominating a lunatic to run against him. Unless it's mitt romney, in which case Andrew Sullivan as a "a conservative-minded independent appalled by the Bush administration’s record" would be fine with being president runs.
(Who am I kidding, MLK around today would look just like The Boondocks imagined it.)
Yes, I'm sure he'd be a huge racist ranting about "Niggers"
posted by delmoi at 9:20 PM on January 16, 2012


I meant more about the part where the whole country attacks him for wanting peace.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:35 PM on January 16, 2012


I meant more about the part where the whole country attacks him for wanting peace.

Oh. I haven't actually seen the episode, just that clip. Most of the clips I've seen from that show are pretty funny.
posted by delmoi at 11:29 PM on January 16, 2012


Eh yeah, the rest of the episode was better than the end, didn't even remember that part honestly.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:42 PM on January 16, 2012


Hmm, too bad this thread got derailed so hard. There's actually a ton of activity going on with SOPA.
posted by delmoi at 4:23 AM on January 17, 2012


House to take up SOPA debate again next month
posted by homunculus at 4:01 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Microsoft says it opposes SOPA
posted by octothorpe at 4:18 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


SOPA is Baaaack! via TorrentFreak
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:58 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


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