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Get over it lady

When POTUS announced he'd veto SOPA it was simply him reiterating a Statement of Administration Policy, which OMB/EOP often releases to make official a veto threat. It wasn't some extra-legal thing, it happens often when Congress passes a bill POTUS objects to. You may not now because since 2010 Congress has hardly passed anything st all but it happens often and is a normal exchange between the coequal branches of government.

And often Congress won't vote on a bill under a veto threat without the votes to override, instead choosing to shelve the bill or further amend it to make it palatable to the administration.

Just cuz it didn't go your way doesn't make it evil and unprecedented.

Get over it and take some classes on AMERICAN Gov. while you are at it.

Catherine Fitzpatrick

No, it *is* definitely bordering on the extra-legal. When Obama has Alec Ross appear that he is whiplashed by a townhall on Facebook or by legions of Twitterers into asking the president about a policy, and then shortly thereafter, he announces that he won't vote for a bill that hasn't come to the floor, that's executive overreach. Sure, presidents do this. It's been done before by Bush.

But Obama does it increasingly, and he ALWAYS does it on anything related to the Internet, ever since his Silicon Valley dinner where he reached some kind of "consensus".

It is not a "normal" exchange when after many rounds, when after a number of offers of amendments, the bill does not even come to a vote.

What is Anonymous afraid of? If a bill comes to a vote, it might win? Voting of the real sort and not the mob sort, with accountability, really scares geeks I've found -- it's the one thing they always want to do away with in any setting, especially the "no" vote.

If SOPA had come to a vote, it might *still* have lost. We can't know that because not every congress person had indicated their preferences.

But it was a hustle from "the Internet" that pretends it's now a branch of government -- or worse, "the government" itself.

This entire exercise very much weakened American democratic institutions. Those who want to weaken them and do circumventions around Congress are always the ones to rush forward and claim this was "normal". But everything about it was not "normal":

Recovering Hipster

I remember being very uncomfortable with the SOPA blackout when it happened. When I look for opinions on a subject, I can usually reliably search for "the problem with X" or "arguments about X." But on SOPA day, there was none of that. It's interesting to continue to read and think about the ideologies behind that.
I don't think that Silicon Valley wants to create a communist world, though. I think they want to create a medieval world (like the example you mentioned) with royal patronage as the source of money for art, as opposed to the marketplace.
People who want that seem to misunderstand a key element of democracy: that if you create a world ruled by your whims, it'll at some point turn into a world ruled by someone else's, and that it's worth giving up a little bit of your "freedom" to dominate others in exchange for freedom from being dominated by others.


do they have a 12 step for hipsters?:)

Catherine Fitzpatrick

The SOPA blackout was a giant tantrum. It was a huge anarchic and destructive attack that said "the Internet can only be used the way we say it is -- or else". I hate that. It's indefensible. And Wikipedia was wimpy and deceitful about it, because they still left back doors open all over so that their traffic figures wouldn't be ruined.

I agree that Silicon Valley does in fact tend toward feudal worlds, especially in the WoW culture and other gaming culture, and they like the draconian authoritarian person of the Benevolent Dictator in open source projects best of all. But that *is* what communism is. Communism is above all, as I'm explaining here, *reactionary* and not progressive. It seeks to go back from the Enlightenment indeed to the Dark Ages.

The Soviet system ran on that royal patronage of the arts, only substituted the name "commissar" for the royalty and "creative unions" for guilds.

I don't see that we have to give up freedom, however, in order to ensure everyone has freedom. It means that the tantruming set doesn't get to have tantrums, but then, that's not freedom, it's licentiousness.


the problem isn't those having tantrums... its that those they're directed too- allow them to succeed.

this is where leaders fail today. allowing the market to dictate the society.

you're terrible

First, you're incredibly ignorant about how government actually works, not how you think it should work. Presidents threaten vetos and Congressional leaders cancel votes when they aren't sure they have the votes to override a veto because to lose an override vote would be a major political blow for the party in control of congress, just like an override of a veto would be a blow to a president.

Leadership also pulls bills from the floor when members don't want to actually vote on a controversial or potentially politically toxic bill.

And how has Obama done this increasingly? Very few bills have even gotten to the stage where OMB/EOP would issue a Statment of administration policy since the GOP took over the House in 2010. I know you hate Obama but at least get your facts straight. Also, the SoAP didn't originate with Bush. It's been a part of the process for many, many years. And even before the advent of the official statement itself, Presidents have been threatening vetos on bills at all stages of the legislative process. The difference is in this case you are obsessed with finding reasons that the amorphous "geek class" (whatever that is) is destroying America and the saga of SOPA lets you rant endlessly about how extraordinary the situation was even though what happened was actually a fairly typical scenario in the legislative process if you look beyond the Bush 43 and Obama presidencies.

Seriously, lady take some extension classes and learn some American political science.

On a related note, why is it that you make the rhetorical link jumping from Google, Demand Progress, and all the different groups that using legitimate methods of speech spoke out against SOPA to the cyber-vigilantes of Anonymous?

Is it your way of marginalizing the people with whom you disagree, by comparing them to outlaws? Thats like saying that all Anonymous members are programmers, Bill Gates was a hacker therefore a member of Anonymous.

All anti-abortion protestors aren't the ones who bomb clinics or shoot doctors, but if I equated all to the most extreme I'd be committing the same logical fallacies that you commit daily. It might feel good but its crappy rhetoric.

Also, why is a large amount of people voicing opinions on subject like SOPA via the Internet less legitimate than those who would use direct mail or church phone trees to get people to contact their elected officials?

Are liberal causes mobilized on the Internet somehow less important than activists for other causes mobilized via direct mail?

Just be honest, admit you have a visceral dislike for younger people and technologically-oriented people with whom you disagree. That's why you sarcastically refer to the teens and their "i-phones" and their tumblr blogs and you talk about young people like they are mindless sheeple bleating in response to reddit or cory doctorow.

It's ok for you to feel that way, it's just not ok to attack those you dislike in the irrational way you do.

As an aside, you'd be much more effective as an advocate if you would discuss recent issues and stop obsessing about a bill that died a year ago.

And one more thing, Swartz didn't break into JSTOR -- he had legitimate access as a Harvard fellow. Even JSTOR admitted this. Calling what he did "hacking" in the way Anonymous vandalizes websites and steals information is like saying someone who shoplifts a candy bar broke into the store's safe and stole several thousand in cash.

I've read your blog's archives and it seems to be that your hatred for these people goes back to the way people in Second Life responded to you. Let's put aside that Second Life is a game that noone cares about and just look at the facts, you considered it big business and advocated policies to protect your business and keep players who thought you were an idiot from playing pranks on you (the so-called "griefers"), the Lindens agreed with those people who found you obnoxious, and so you decided all the SL "geeks" who were against you were the same. You've continued to employ this "them versus me" dichotomy and even equate the idiots who put your face on an easter island-like head in a game with people who steal information and vandalize websites. But to you they're all "geeks" and therefore all bad.

Your rhetoric is alarmist and irrational and your logic poor. But you have the righteous indignation of a true believer, unreceptive to any information that disrupts or doesn't fit your narrow worldview of geeks/internet bad, any kind of law they dont like good.

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