If there ever were a time for us, as citizens of these United States, to engage actively in our own governance, the time is now. Like right now. Before the upcoming Senate vote on PIPA [Protect IP Act] on January 24. That gives us three days to write, or even better, to call our Senators.
The House bill, SOPA [Stop Online Piracy Act], has been tabled for now, but is scheduled to rear its ugly head again in February. So it's important to call (or write) your Congressperson too.
If you're not sure what all the fuss is about, here's a good, balanced explanation from Forbes Magazine titled "What Are SOPA and PIPA And Why All the Fuss?"
Wiki also has a good informational page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Learn_more
In the C|Net article "How SOPA would affect you: FAQ", the author points out that The Honorable Lamar Smith [R], the right-in-my-backyard House Representative for Texas Congressional District 21, and sponsor of the bill, has an interesting slate of major campaign donors.
Quoting the article, "As CNET reported in December, Smith, a self-described former ranch manager whose congressional district encompasses the cropland and grazing land stretching between Austin and San Antonio, Texas, has become Hollywood's favorite Republican. The TV, movie, and music industries are the top donors to his 2012 campaign committee, and he's been feted by music and movie industry lobbyists at dinners and concerts."
As I like to say with regard to pretty much any bill authored by pretty much any Senator or Congressperson, "FOLLOW THE MONEY".
FOLLOW THE MONEY!
CHORUS: FOLLOW THE MONEY!
It is a sad state of the Republic, that it's the special interests (money) driving most of the legislation in both Houses of Congress. It's the interests of the special interests, that our elected representatives are paying attention to, and not the interests of "We The People".
And as I also like to say, "IF YOU'RE NOT ABSOLUTELY FUCKING LIVID (about your perverted/impotent system of governance), YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION".
So the time is now to call or write - to help them start paying attention to we the people, and to help them start paying attention to what is in the best interests of we the people.
Personally, I plan to start dedicating an hour or two a week to communicating with my elected officials - both on the Federal and State levels. They are all now in my contacts in Outlook. We dedicate time to ourselves, our partners/spouses, time to family/friends, time to exercise, time to read/listen to music, time to meditate/go to church/bird watch, time for artistic endeavors like photography or dancing Argentine Tango, time to watch sports or other drivel on the boob tube, time to go hunting, play golf, bowl, macrame'/knit (male emphasis here), play video games, shopping at Cabela's or Home Depot and generally if not specifically time for jacking off and reading on the toilet.
Why not time to actively engage in one's own governance? Dedicated, committed time, especially, ESPECIALLY, in these troubled times.
Dedicated, committed, open/mindful, aware, loving time to read and study and write (or call) about the issues we each hold dear. Too many issues? Pick one.
Sorry to get preachy y'all. I'm not preaching to you, kind reader. I'm preaching to everyone. Pleading with the Universe to get with the program, wake up, and take an interest in this world we've created through our profound apathy and inattention.
So here are the links to make it easy...to find your reps and their contact info...
And lastly, here is the seed for the title of this post. It's the scene from the film "Downfall" (excellent film by the way) - the scene where Hitler gets pissed off when his generals are telling him they are being overwhelmed/overrun/losing the war. The scene that has been hackneyed on YouTube with folks dubbing in new subtitles to make their point.
The subtitles on this one are gone in a flash, so it's a challenge to follow everything. Some of it is silly, but most of it (the subtitle text) is profoundly true. Not that the Internet could ever actually be "lost" over PIPA or SOPA, but the Internet as we know it, could be.
Bear with it to the end - 4:00 minutes - that's the best part...
Thanks for reading, and make that commitment to call (or write) your peeps in the next couple of days. I thank you, and the citizens of the world thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
P.S. Plus I'm really pissed that Congress is spending our precious money and time on an issue that really doesn't need to be addressed. The existing laws are possibly just fine, perhaps with some tweakage. I'll share a reply letter I recieved from my representative, Lloyd Doggett in the comments below, that talks about this. My point is that in these troubled times with very grave issues before us - our Congress deigns to squander precious time on needless bullshit. Especially when they are all clamoring for less regulation and less spending and more job creation. These fuckers need to get with the program. And we the people are the only ones who can help them do that.