Thursday, January 19, 2012
The Land of the "Free" vs SOPA
As I start typing this it is just before 8:00am (my time) on the day of the protest against SOPA. Yes I have heard that the congress is shelving the two ridiculous proposals, but that does not stop the threat, so the protest goes forward. At least for me, and those who chose to participate. I admit I have already accessed the internet, but I have a business to run, I have to check my emails in the morning to make sure no one has bought something that they are expecting to receive right away. And quite frankly I don't trust people, so when I said I wouldn't be posting today, well that just opened it up for dumbasses to think my pages on Facebook wouldn't be monitored (they always are). So I have been online, but I have not posted anything, anywhere, and I won't until today is over.
Its kinda funny, I am NOT a morning person, but I was up and wide awake before 7:00 this morning. Now for most of you I know that is a normal occurrence, and for that I am truly sorry. For me, morning doesn't usually start until after 9 (not that I actually sleep until 9, but I am usually not awake before then). So on the one day that I have deliberately set to try to stay offline, I somehow voluntarily gave myself even more time to try to fill without it!
That's okay though, I am sitting here watching the snow come down for the first time this year. We have no need to go anywhere today, so the snow is quite pretty. I know I can enjoy it now, because it will be gone in another day or two. That is the way all good snow should be. Fall down, look pretty, and then melt away before getting all dirty and nasty. I wish more things in life were like that, especially our politicians! If they quit thinking that their job is to just write more stupid laws and rules every chance they get, and started realizing they were elected to represent the best interests of their constituents (all of their constituents, not just the rich ones) we would have a much better country, and frankly probably a much better world.
In the United States we have a saying, “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. But the reality is, ignorance of the law is pretty much a guarantee. There are way too many laws, and most of them written in a way that no one can really understand them anyway! Our “justice” system is supposed to provide for the ability of a person to represent his/her self in court, but don't ever try it! So it comes back to only the rich can receive a “fair” trial. Not only because they can afford the best lawyer, but because they can afford the best laws. Our laws are currently being written to benefit the wealthiest at the expense of the rest of us. But if we try to point this out, we are accused of “class warfare”! Seriously?!? WTF is that shit. Oh yes, Class Warfare is real, and it has been going on in this country for decades as the wealthy continue to get wealthier at the expense of the middle class and the poor. But if we have the nerve to even talk about this reality, then WE are the ones committing “class warfare”? You can't be serious. This has got to be part of a bad joke, right?
And now, enter stage right, the religious right wing lunatics who want even more laws, laws governing ever personal aspect of our lives! WTF! I thought I was born into the United States of America, the country that I was always told was “the greatest country on earth!” because of the individual freedoms that we are supposed to be guaranteed by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But now, there is so little left of our freedoms we might as well quit pretending we have any of them! Our government tells us we should “watch” our neighbors, and “report” any suspicious activity! Damn, this sounds really familiar, where have I heard that crap before? Oh yeah, now I remember, in history class as we were learning about Nazi Germany!
Oh come on Mother! Its not that bad, you say. But I say it is that bad, and it is only getting worse. We no longer have the right to travel freely without restrictions. That is a right that is supposed to be guaranteed in this country, but its gone. Don't believe me? Try getting on a plane in this country, not only to you HAVE to submit to illegal searches and seizures of your personal property, know you have to submit to being molested by complete strangers who are paid to assault you. And just try getting through that assault without providing an “accepted” form of Identification! You are monitored, your movements are tracked, and any one for any reason can prevent you from going where you had intended to “freely” travel, and whatever you do, DON'T you dare complain about any of it! Gee, there went your right to “free speech”. And its not just airports. Now there are “check points” all over the country where the police can stop you at any time for any reason and search your vehicle and you for any evidence of any wrong doing. WTF!?!
If you really believe you still have a right to free speech in this country, you really haven't been paying attention. Yes I write this blog, and put it out there for the world to see. And I do occasionally say some outrageous stuff. But I pull my punches in every single post I have ever made. I don't say everything I want to say, I can't tell you everything I think I should. And its not because this is a publicly accessible forum that any nut case on the planet can access and them try to use to humiliate me in some way. I have been humiliated my whole life, no big fucking deal. Frankly, I am scared of my government. And I do not believe that is paranoid in the least. My Mother and I had a long running joke that, if anyone was listening in on our phone calls to each other, they might decide that “Sunbonnet Sue” was a code name for our latest “terrorist plot”. ITS NOT, by the way. In case I am being monitored, I try to keep these things clear.
I have a coffee cup that I bought years ago at a wonderful little Women's History Museum/Shop on the very first trip I ever made away from home by myself. I was 32, I think. Anyway this is back in the late 1990's (this is before “9/11”, I cannot stress that enough here), and when I saw the front of the cup, I just had to have it because it spoke to me and to the core of who I am, who I saw myself as at that time when I was in the process of trying to change my whole life completely. I love the damn cup. It sits right here on my desk to this day, holding my sewing tools and writing tools. It still speaks to me. And I would absolutely LOVE to be able to take a picture of it and use it as my profile picture online! But I can't, and unfortunately, I don't foresee ever feeling “safe” in doing so. It is just a simple white cup, with a simple little logo on the side, but the logo reads: “Ladies Sewing Circle And Terrorist Society”. Now as I said, I bought this before some jackasses hijacked planes full of people and flew them into buildings filled with people. The word has a whole new connotation now, and forever ended my ability to feel so good about my silly little cup. I refuse to give it up, but its meaning is forever tainted.
So, anyway, my point of this little story of the cup is that we live in a different world than the one I grew up expecting. We don't have the “freedoms” we were promised by our founding fathers. They have been corrupted and co-opted in the sake of “public safety”. And the few that we have left are being threatened every day by the “religious right” who scream about a “War on Religion” while they launch an all out coordinated assault on everything that America, and even their own religion, was founded on! Its not just sad, its sickening! People who stand before the world and say that anyone who doesn't do what they say and believe what they tell you to believe, is evil, somehow less deserving of their own life, much less any chance at happiness or a brighter future. That is sick. I don' care who you are, if this is what you believe, you are a sick mother fucker and you need professional help.
We need less restrictive laws in this country, NOT more! There are some laws that are necessary in order to protect society as a whole, and especially our potential for a future as a species on this planet. But legislating morality and personal behavior is anti-American. How it was ever allowed to get as far as it has is incomprehensible to me. But we are here, and there seems to be no end in sight. The last bastion of free speech, the internet, is under attack. Once they have a back door to shutting down “illegal pirates”, they have a front door to you and I. When will we finally say STOP! Get the fuck out of out personal lives and start doing your own damn jobs and we will all be better off. Our representatives were elected to do a job, to Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States. Each and every one of them swears an oath to do so, and then they proceed to tear it apart, bit by bit. And we have all become so terrified of some future terrorists that we are blind to the greatest and most immanent threat to our society, to our nation, and the world. Governments of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich, are doomed to fail. Don't believe me? After all, I am the “crazy” one, why should you believe me? You shouldn't, and you shouldn't believe the Governments either, do the research, look with your own eyes at the numerous examples throughout history. Every single culture that celebrated the rich at the expense of the rest, had fallen, and fallen HARD! So do we sit back and wait for the failure? Or do we stand up, speak out and fight back? Do we each do our own part to take back our governments and work together for a brighter future for all? Or do we just keep giving up our freedoms, our humanity, our sanity, so that the rich can continue to destroy our world, one dollar at a time?