A government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything away from you – including your Internet freedom.
That’s the thought that keeps running through my head as I contemplate the full-scale panic going on right now about SOPA, the “Stop Internet Piracy Act”.
It’s a bad bill, all right. It’s a terrible bill – awful from start to finish, idiotic to the core, corruptly pandering to a powerful special-interest group at the cost of everyone else’s liberty.
But I can’t help noticing that a lot of the righteous panic about it is being ginned up by people who were cheerfully on board for the last seventeen or so government power grabs – cap and trade, campaign finance “reform”, the incandescent lightbulb ban, Obamacare, you name it – and I have to wonder…
Don’t these people ever learn? Anything? Do they even listen to themselves?
It’s bizarre and entertaining to hear people who yesterday were all about allegedly benign and intelligent government interventions suddenly discovering that in practice, what they get is stupid and vicious legislation that has been captured by a venal and evil interest group.
Yeah, no ****? How…how do they avoid noticing that in reality it’s like this all the time?
The depressing part is how safe a bet it is that they’ll go back to being oblivious the moment their direct interests aren’t threatened. They’ll cheer for the next tax hike, the next round of environmental feel-goodism, the next political “fix” for the next transient market failure – and never notice that by doing so they’re creating the political conditions in which malignant growths like SOPAs inevitably flourish.
So here’s a clue: the only way to keep your freedom – on the Internet or anywhere else – is to defend everyone else’s freedom as well, by keeping your government tiny and starved and rigidly constrained in what it can do. Otherwise, the future you’re begging for is SOPAs without end.
We are only one perceived or contrived national emergency away from having that happen anywhere or everywhere. Anyone who doesn't believe it is no student of history. It happened here already and can again. Some people just need to touch the stove themselves before they figure out it is hot.
I worry about the forced removal of my rights in the hurricane state I live in, too. Nobody ever wants to think about the police going door to door doing "welfare checks" after a storm and pulling people out of their homes and leaving their property wide open for the thugs and looters. I know good smart cops but most of them I know couldn't hold a decent job doing anything more than working for UPS. They will do whatever the **** somebody in charge tells them to do regardless of its legality or constitutionality. They are afraid not to.
Yup. As Ron Paul puts it, the government's job is NOT to protect people from themselves. If they want to stay home before, during or after a disaster, the gov. should pat them on the back and say, "Good Luck," not, "Pack your **** before I pummel your face and steal your only form of personal protection."
Just for the sake of argument, it is very expensive to rescue people when they get trapped by flood waters or whatever so how do we weigh that vs peoples desire to protect their property, something I completely understand, respect and agree with?