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A WORD FROM OUR FOUNDER
Douglas Paszkiewicz is an nationally (Eisner Award and Harvey Award) and internationally (comic-dom Award) award nominated writer for his own books and numerous national and international magazines. Here are his thoughts this week.
WHILE YOU ARE FIGHTING WITH EACH OTHER, THEY ARE STEALING EVERYTHING.
All you OWS'er and Tea Party members STOP YELLING AT EACH OTHER FOR FIVE SECONDS AND LOOK BEHIND YOU FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR OWN FREEDOM.
How important is the internet? STOP FIGHTING AND ASK YOURSELF THAT. How important has it been to your side, to exchange ideas? to Learn, to get news and opinions? It has been VITAL, yes? Every battle and bill and issue that you think is so important is MEANINGLESS compared to losing the internet ...because if you lose the internet EVERYTHING you accomplish, have accomplished, and hope to accomplish will be turned back and you will have ZERO ability to stop it.
The ONLY issue that really matters, the ONLY struggle to remain free men that you need to stay focused on AT ALL TIMES, IS KEEPING THE GOVERMENT FROM REGULATING THE INTERNET. The internet is something WE ALL DID TOGEHTER...ALL OF US, the tea party, ows, the right wing, the left wing, hippies, businessmen, the 99% the 1% WE ALL TOGETHER made the internet what it is...US. Through fighting , through competition, through wanting to change each other minds, through trying to irritate eachother, WE TOGETHER CREATED THIS WONDERFUL THING. So take a step back because while you are all arguing over these lessor issues the government is passing bills to regulate the internet.
Right now they are using bills aimed at stopping copyright infringement. sounds harmless right? WRONG.
These sites you use to post your speeches and videos and evidence of wrong doing...what if they went away? what if they were closed down because they had a bootleg video on them...what if EVERY PIECE OF FOOTAGE was no longer instantly uploaded but have to be inspected and proven to be owned by you? How long would it take between you uploading your evidence and it being reviewed and passed? and WHO will review it? IMAGINE if you will a world in which the right wing controlled how long this took and if it passed the parameters needed to prove you own it? what if a left wing group controlled this? These videos of kids getting pepper sprayed on a campus, these videos of acorns voter fraud...did you get permission to video tape that cop? to video tape those acorn cronies? If the answer is "no" then guess what will NEVER get onto the internet, and guess what will get you banned from using it, and guess what will in the future NOT been seen by the entire world instantly? This is our generations battle ...tooth and nail we must fight off and pay attention to ANY and ALL attempts large and small from the government to regulate the internet.
We ALL agree that the government it too big and too powerful. We all agree they take power little by little for reasons that seem reasonable at first. We cannot allow them to take ANY CONTROL, at all, no matter how slight, no matter how good natured and just their cause seems to be, because by the time they are done taking, the internet will be completely under it's thumb. Do NOT allow them to collect taxes on it. Imagine the amount of money they could TAKE this way, The amount of money, money that can be used for unjust wars, money that can be used for unjust investigations, money that can and will be used to line the pockets of greedy businessmen in the form of grants, money that can and will be used to fund slanted garbage "scientific" studies. Money that will make our current out of control government seem laughable and benign. Taxing every download, taxing every ebay purchase, taxing you for being on the internet. Maybe they would tax you by the year for using the internet, maybe by the month, maybe by the click. Just imagine the obscene growth in power and money the government would have if it have ANY regulatory power over the free exchange of ideas on the internet.
This is not just a case of the internet becoming as boring and useless as the other FCC controlled media (network T.V., over the air radio) this is a case of us as free people losing an incalculable amount of power and having that same amount of power falling into the hands of a few men.
Those signs you are carrying that say 99%, how would you like the 1% to be able to control the internet? These socialist politicians you loath and mistrust, how would you like their message to be the only message that appears on your computer screen.
EVRY SINGLE TIME the government gets involved just a little...it ends up being involved completely...they told us our social security number would never be used as a form of i. d. they told us that the toll roads would only be up until the highways were paid for, they told us that the intrusive searches in the airports would only go on during high threat levels, they told us Vietnam was only going to be a police action...you can cite your own examples. The only constant with the U.S. government is once they take a small piece they keep taking and never never retreat.
Any attempt at the government regulating the internet is a direct threat to your freedom the likes of which we have never seen before, because we have ever had such powerful technology before. If we allow them to take control of it we will have a government that is more powerful than any other in human history. Your phones, your computers, what you see, hear, watch and where you get your news, and what your fellow man hears sees and watches will be under the thumb of the U.S. government ..perhaps under the control of Obama if that scares you enough to act, or the control of Jeb Bush, or someone worse than either of them. This is not just a case of losing power, this is a case of losing power and having it go directly into the hands of people who abuse power on a regular basis.
Do NOT play the fool to whatever excuse they dig up to get their hooks into the internet. Stopping copyright infringement, stopping pedophilia, stopping drug trafficking or hate speech or terrorism...they can do all of that without controlling the internet, and if they cannot then they do not deserve more power. It will all be the means to and end...an end of the glorious INSTANT UNREGULATED SPEECH, and exchange of ideas that is our current version of the internet.
THIS IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT FIGHT, and it must be every day, any and all of us MUST pay attention and be on the look out for bills, and power grabs of any kind and stop it in it's tracks.
In particular these two bills closing in on becoming LAW....did you hear me LAW.
Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT IP)
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
Put down your sign and stop forwarding your NRA info for five minutes, and CALL your representative. and tell that person in no uncertain terms that you want these bills stopped and you will vote out of office any one who represents you who makes any attempt for any reason to regulate the internet. Get online and sign petitions. If you do not do this than everything else you do for your respective causes is a joke. If you believe in any of your causes enough to march around with a sign, enough to donate to campaigns, enough to...spam your friends, or share links...then you damn well better spam and share this one and you had better ACT...this time and EVERY TIME. Or nothing else you do will be allowed to matter.