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SOPA and PIPA, FAH Q from JOL

Today is a pretty interesting day in political history.  Today is the day that Reddit goes black from 8am to 8pm EST to protest the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act.  This is also the day that a hearing is taking place about these two bills being pushed through Congress – and there are a lot of amazing brains testifying today in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about how these two bills are going to kill the Internet as we know it.

From an article in The Hill, House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa:

“An open Internet is crucial to American job creation, government operations, and the daily routines of Americans from all walks of life,” Issa said. “The public deserves a full discussion about the consequences of changing the way Americans access information and communicate on the Internet today.”

Also, from an article at Ars Technica, Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro:

“The bill attempts a radical restructuring of the laws governing the Internet,” said CEO Gary Shapiro. “It would undo the legal safe harbors that have allowed a world-leading Internet industry to flourish over the last decade. It would expose legitimate American businesses and innovators to broad and open-ended liability. The result will be more lawsuits, decreased venture capital investment, and fewer new jobs. The significant potential harms of this bill are reflected by the extraordinary coalition arrayed against it. Concerns about SOPA have been raised by Tea Partiers, progressives, computer scientists, human rights advocates, venture capitalists, law professors, independent musicians, and many more. Unfortunately, these voices were not heard at today’s hearing.”

One more poignant one, from Representative Zoe Lofgren, regarding the expert opinion letter that she asked Dr. Leonard Napolitano, Internet Security Expert and the Director of the Sandia National Laboratories’ Center for Computer Sciences and Information Technologies to write on the SOPA and PIPA mess:

“This analysis from one of our nation’s top cybersecurity experts is the definitive word that this legislation would undermine Internet security efforts and would harm the Internet. Dr. Napolitano and his team are tasked with securing our cyber infrastructure. Their assessment as experts at our national lab gives us the final answer as to whether these bills would endanger our security. They would.” 

You know, this affects us all.  If you use the Internet, if you’re reading this message, the SOPA and PIPA affect you.  If you like JimOnLight.com (which, quite frankly low on the totem of importance in this issue), this affects you.  As PIPA is written now, if we were to post even a link to something on the site and someone disagreed with me linking to them or to their content, they could just sue us, and then block the site from the web.  How far are we all gonna let this go, folks?

Watch this:

Then check this out – from AmericanCensorship.org:

Where do YOU stand?  How do you like your internet?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Here are some additional resources on SOPA and PIPA – get yourself informed.  Ignorance is not an option or an excuse, not anymore.

Thanks to Questionable Topic for the photo!

A Note about the 2010 Midterm Elections

Well, as you all probably know by now, the Republican Party has taken control of the United States House of Representatives.  Headlines across America are displaying titles like “GRIDLOCK IN AMERICA” and “THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN” and all kinds of other stuff like that.  Here’s the situation America finds herself in as of today:

Republican leaders like John Boehner are making statements like “This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles.”  Republican Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, the #3 House Republican, is making statements like “Look – the time to go along and get along is over.”

Yeah.  Great effing attitude, especially when one in ten of our fellow men and women are out of work.

Democrats are not off the hook here, either – I am an equal opportunity caller of the bull, and Democrats are doing their fair share of stupid crap.  There is a reason that Harry Reid of Nevada SQUEAKED by Tea Party favorite Sharon Angle.  I mean, come on, America – did you see NONE of Angle’s back-and-forth gaffs in this ridiculance we called a midterm race?!  Why was this even an issue?  Democrats are doing nothing that can be considered groundbreaking either.  No one is doing anything.  This is why we are in this situation.

I have a message for the Congress, and specifically the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives.  I want you to listen closely, because the people who read JimOnLight.com are a strong majority of people who love light, lighting, light engineering, power distribution, and technology, to name a few issues we care about here.

This is a short list of things you need to accomplish in my world, you newly found controlling Republicans.  Let’s see if you can “get along” enough to fix these things:

  • Our ever-aging and ridiculously Keystone Cops-esque national power grid
  • Stop being patsies to the money from big lighting monopolies.  Just stop that now.
  • Stop legislating things like INCANDESCENT LAMPS and do something productive to SOLVE the problem, or get someone in who CAN solve the problem.  Legislation is a lazy fix to a technological issue.
  • Get out of the pocket of Big Oil and Big Coal and start getting solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal power running in our country on more than the pathetically small scale it’s in now.  If the military were to say “well, we need this new weapon to protect ourselves from whatever it is we’re protecting ourselves from,” you’d hop on that like flies on poo.  WE NEED SUSTAINABLE POWER GENERATION TO PROTECT OURSELVES.  GET ON IT.
  • Stop encouraging America’s ridiculously intelligent people to go work on Wall Street and in Big Government and start giving incentive to get the next generation of Optical Engineers, Laser Scientists, Lighting Designers, and Electrical Engineers, as well as Researchers, Teachers, and general technology leaders working and fixing our problems.  Perhaps then we won’t be ranked so embarrassingly low in the world’s rankings of education and technology.

I’m sure my readership and I can come up with about another thousand list items.  Just give me a call, you know my number.  America is a place full of opportunity and really smart people.  Give us some credit, we’re not all stupid like you think we are in the political campaign ads you pay millions of dollars to run.