Building Up the Tallest Midget

It's not March, but we're down to The Final Four

By any standard, the candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination are a sad bunch of retreads, weaklings, reactionaries and fatally flawed losers. Mitt Romney is the quintessential rich White man who can barely keep up a brave face when he’s mingling with the unwashed masses, but he’s willing to put on a brave face and hold his nose if that’s what it takes to win.

Newt Gingrich is a narcissist and an egotist whose intellectual racism and repulsive personality makes him hard even for conservatives to take. Then there’s Ron Paul. He’s a special case. He’s not a great thinker like Gingrich or a flip-flopping fake like Romney. No other candidate can claim the kind of enthusiastic support as Paul does. No other candidate seems as genuine and unpretentious as Paul.

There’s also no other candidate as extreme and out of the mainstream as Paul. I’ve made my case against Baby Doc Paul that he is an unworthy of the presidency. The Washington Post ripped away Paul’s ass-covering lies that he wasn’t aware of the racist material in his newsletters.

I don’t expect the Paul die-hards and dead enders to be the least bit disabused of their fantasy that he is a kindly old man who speaks truth to power and advocates a handful of positions that attracts uninformed liberals. Theirs is a separate reality where neither light nor truth penetrates.

The true believers are with Paul all the way until the last bomb falls on the bunker. It’s the rail-sitters and undecided who will have to finally make a call and choose between acknowledging Ron Paul either is a racist personally or just a cynical politician and manipulative businessman willing to exploit racial and homophobic fears to make a dirty buck.

What comes next in tomorrow’s primary in Florida?

Romney crushes Gingrich by double digits. The anti-Romney forces will continue to bitch and moan, but their failure to coalesce behind a single candidate makes them an annoyance, not an insurmountable obstacle.  Their choices will come down to holding their nose and pulling the lever for Mitt or watch Obama raising his right hand again next January.  Screw the Tea Party!  They will get nothing but insincere lip service from Romney and they deserve nothing.

Paul soldiers out looking for friendlier (and cheaper) caucus states and other places where the Ron Paul Race War Revolution might play well.  He’ll hang around like a bad odor while he decides whether to launch another rogue run as an independent.  Sonny boy Rand might tell dear old dad to sit his ass down in a rocking chair somewhere as not to cock block his inevitable bid in 2016.

Santorum is toast.  Put the pennies on the eyes.  His moment of glory came and went in Iowa, proving yet again that the best thing that unrepresentative state contributes to presidential contests is exposing weak candidates not ready for the real deal and croaking wannabees who had no business running in the first place.  One less repulsive right-winger gone.  No great loss.

Which doesn’t mean Rick Santorum isn’t deserving of scorn for his reprehensible remarks about rape victims and abortion. Isn’t it always the way that it’s the most pious and supposedly reverentially religious bastards who have so much love in their hearts for the unborn and nothing but contempt for the living?

On the way home the other day I passed a church where there were 150 little white crosses in the ground and a sign that read, “In the last hour there were 150 children destroyed by abortion.”

That’s pretty heavy-handed, but it takes a prick like Santorum to make it even worse for women facing the difficult choice whether to have an abortion. Piers Morgan interviewed Santorum and asked him if he could deny his daughter an abortion if she were impregnated through an act of rape.

Well, you can make the argument that if she doesn’t have this baby, if she kills her child, that, too, could ruin her life. And this is not an easy choice. I understand that. As horrible as the way that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or doesn’t, it will always be her child. And she will always know that. And so to embrace her and to love her and to support her and get her through this very difficult time, I’ve always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.

I despise Santorum. He is one of those far Right extremists whom I am incapable of saying a good word about. Beyond his casual racism, there’s his overt hatred of women. I don’t know how you could characterize Santorum’s stupidly sanctimonious remarks as anything but the most repellent kind of misogyny.

Leave it up to a man who will never face an unwanted pregnancy brought out by an act of violence to make an awful situation even worse. Why is the same people who decry government regulation and intrusions into the private life of Americans espouse views where the womb becomes a state-owned asset?

I don’t have an answer, so I turn to the Church of Carlin for one.

Sanctimonious Santorum will be a historical footnote in a matter of weeks or days. Gingrich will soon follow, but after thwarting his threat to Romney in Iowa and again in Florida, the GOP will try to shoot Newt’s zombie campaign of White Rage in the head and put him down once and for all. The powers that be want an electable empty suit to take on President Obama, not a self-centered “big thinker” who wants to colonize the moon.

The Republican establishment wants Mittens vs. Obama and they’re determined to get it.

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Giving the President the Finger

Does President Obama have to smack a governor?

Seems there’s a little tension between President Obama and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. She wrote a book nobody read where she griped about how the president wasn’t very nice to her.

President Obama and Gov. Jan Brewer had a tense exchange Wednesday, sparring over the Arizona governor’s portrayal of Obama as “patronizing” in her memoirs.

Obama was greeted by Brewer soon after Air Force One landed in Phoenix this afternoon. The president was handed a handwritten letter by Brewer, and they spoke intensely for a few minutes, according to a White House pool report. At one point, she was pointing her finger at him and at another, they were talking at the same time, seemingly over each other, according to pooler Carrie Buddof Brown of Politico.

“He was a little disturbed about my book, ‘Scorpions for Breakfast,’ ” Brewer told reporters traveling with Obama. “I said to him that I have all the respect in the world for the office of the president. The book is what the book is. I asked him if he read the book. He said he read the excerpt. ”

In her 2011 book, Brewer is critical of the president and accused the president of being “patronizing” and said “he lectured me” during a June 2010 Oval Office meeting. In media interviews after the event, she described their conversation as cordial.

The White House offered a statement with their version of what transpired on the Phoenix tarmac:

“The governor handed the President a letter and said she was inviting him to meet with her. The President said he’d be glad to meet with her again, but did note that after their last meeting, a cordial discussion in the Oval Office, the governor inaccurately described the meeting in her book. The President looks forward to continuing taking steps to help Arizona’s economy grow.

The President has to work with the Republican governors as well as the Democratic ones and some of them became governor running on platforms of opposing many of his major initiatives. It’s a volatile and delicate dance both sides have to play because there are times when the statehouses need to receive favorable responses from the White House.

But with this particular crop of Republican governors, Obama is often dealing with heads of states that are from unfriendly territory and are actively working against him. It’s a hard balance to strike between the presidential and the political. For the most part, Obama does his best not to belittle his Republican colleagues.

They seem to have a problem returning the treatment.

Republicans and rudeness. It's a trend, not an accident

No matter what your reason is you don’t shake your bony finger at the president. You just don’t do it.  You shake your finger at a misbehaving child, not the leader of the free world because you got beef with him.

You lose the argument and the high road when you interact with another person in an insulting, belittling and high-handed way. Your boss or your significant other is not going to react positively if you start jabbing your finger in their face.

It’s a hostile and unfriendly gesture. I’m not at all surprised that the criticisms and defenses of Gov. Brewer’s rude move fall along party lines. It’s yet another example of how the coarsening of our political discourse resembles wrestling matches. We choose up sides and cast the protagonists in the roles of good guys and bad.

The real substance of the issues gets lost in the sideshow,   Republicans like Brewer have been disrespecting the president since Day One and their disrespect has infected the entire politics of the country where heated rhetoric, name-calling and destroying your opponent’s good name is all the rage.

As far as the professional Obama haters are concerned, the only thing wrong with Brewer’s little stunt was she used the wrong finger.

If it were President Obama pointing his finger in the face of Governor Brewer, the condemnation of him would be nearly unanimous. At best, Obama would be blasted for being rude. At worse, he would be called a horrible sexist for treating a woman in such a condescending manner.

Should a woman get a pass for her bad behavior? I don’t think so and most citizen who believe you respect the office of the president, even if you’re not crazy about the guy doing the job, agree with me.

Is Jan Brewer having a Driving Miss Daisy moment where she’s telling Hoke he’s getting mighty uppity these days?   She said later she felt “intimidated” by the President.   Now that I can understand.  President Obama is intimidating.  It’s quite a culture shock for some Whites when they encounter a Black man that is not only their intellectual equal, but superior.  There are 50 governors, but only one president and he has more power than any governor can imagine.

I can’t look into Brewer’s soul and tell if she’s a bigot. Obviously she’s bad mannered and a less than gracious host to a visiting dignitary. Yet, let’s be judicious before calling Brewer a racist.

To paraphrase: never attribute to racism that which is adequately explained by rudeness. Or stupidity,

"See? You CAN make your point without pointing your finger."

Obama Challenges Congress As Giffords Bids It Goodbye.

"Anyone want me to hear me do 'Love and Happiness'?"

There was a lot to like in President Obama’s fourth (and possibly last if he’s not reelected) State of the Union speech.   Not that you would know if you looked at how tight and screwed up the faces of House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor were.  Their seething contempt for Obama almost came off in visible waves.

That’s cool.  Let them gripe, groan and gnash their teeth.   I know and Obama knows he’s not going to get a damned thing out of the Republicans in Congress.  That’s fine because the audience he was going for were Democrats and Independents and from polling results of the president’s speech, they seemed to like what they heard from him.

In a presidential year, everything boils down to politics and so did Obama’s last State of the Union before voters go to the polls to retain or replace him in 40 weeks or so. He used the speech to lay out not just a broad agenda for 2012, but to lay out the initial case for his reelection.

The president also took aim indirectly at Mitt Romney when he renewed his call for tax reform and economic equality and fairness.  Romney launched a preemptive strike at the speech and pimped the Republican standard line that the president is pushing class warfare, envy and dividing Americans.  As if the country isn’t already divided between the few doing well and the many catching hell.

While I was a little surprised President Obama didn’t mention the recovering Gabrielle Giffords who announced this week she would be leaving Congress in his speech, he greeted her on the floor of the House with a big bear hug that Giffords seemed earnestly appreciative of.

Giffords submitted her letter of resignation to the assembled House before the president’s speech and received a standing ovation from her colleagues from both sides of the aisle.

Gabrielle Giffords is a testament to the power of faith, healing and courage. She has served her state and constituents well. Now she needs to serve her own needs and heal.

I wish her well. Godspeed, Gabby

Dreaming Out of Season

One bad play does not a season make. But two...?

The ultimate high in the surprising 2011 San Francisco 49ers season came when QB Alex Smith threw a precisely timed pass to TE Vernon Davis for the winning touchdown with seconds left to beat the Saints was dubbed by the 49er faithful as “The Grab.”  It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in ancient Candlestick Park with sunshine, clear skies and a warm, pleasant light growing in the hearts of every long-suffering fan.

The rainy, foggy and cold Sunday where two critical mistakes by a stand-in punt returner brought an ignoble finish to the season will live in 49ers history as “The Fumbles.”

It took me a few days to swallow the disappointment of the 49ers losing to the Giants 20-17 in overtime, but I’ve digested it now. The Giants deserve to go to the Super Bowl. They made the plays and caught the breaks. The 49ers didn’t and that’s why their season is over.

Now let’s talk about Kyle Williams, the guy who lost the two fumbles that cost the 49ers dearly. The player who so enraged some idiots they rushed to Twitter to make threats on his life.

After the game, my wife asked me if the Niners would cut Williams loose. I replied, “No, they won’t and no, they shouldn’t.”

“It was just one of those situations where I caught the ball, tried to head upfield, tried to make a play and it ended up for the worse,” Williams said.


W
illiams will forever be known and reviled as the goat who cost the 49ers a trip to the Super Bowl. In part that is true and that is something Williams, a second year player from Stanford, will have to own for some time. But football is a team sport and the 49ers lost that game as a team. One or two plays can dramatically alter the outcome of a game but a loss can be attributed to an entire 60 minutes worth of poor execution.

The 49ers offense converted only 1 out of 13 third downs. That’s terrible.

The 49ers wide receivers combined for one catch for three yards in five quarters and almost four hours of football. That’s worse that terrible.  That’s pathetic.

Hero one day, goat the next. Welcome to the NFL, Kyle Williams

QB Alex Smith, who looked like a stud in the previous week’s shoot-out with the Saints looked pretty ordinary against the G-men. His two touchdown passes to TE Vernon Davis were things of beauty, but as Greg Cosell in his NFL Flims blog called out Smith for his “tentative and uncertain pocket play. “

Cosell said, “Smith was reluctant to let it loose on routes and throws that were not only well designed, but were open…One of the attributes that separates high level quarterback play in big games and critical moments is the willingness to make stick throws into smaller windows. Smith did that with confidence against the Saints. In the NFC Championship game, he was hesitant and cautious on throws that were clearly defined.  Simply put, Smith left a lot of plays on the field against the Giants. While Williams publicly shouldered the burden of defeat, it was his quarterback who failed to deliver on the promise he had shown a week earlier.”

In this season where a franchise that had once been the NFL’s Gold Standard of a successful football organization on and off the field, made an unexpected return to glory, no player benefited more from the coaching of Jim Harbaugh than Alex Smith. The former overall Number One pick looked destined to be a bust. Under the tutelage of Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman, they made Smith an effective game manager who didn’t throw interceptions and didn’t make the critical mistake at the critical time.

Against the Saints, Smith proved he could not only manage a game, but with his feet and his arm, he could make crucial plays and win games as well. Smith didn’t throw any interceptions against the Giants, but he couldn’t get the 49ers in the end zone either when they needed to. Smith played it safe and the difference between his lack of comfort with his wide receivers and Eli Manning’s confidence with his group is like that between night and day.

I really believe Kyle Williams will make plays for the 49ers as he learns how to play the position. During the season Williams caught 20 passes for 211 yards and three td’s . Those aren’t flashy numbers, but Williams is fast and can stretch a defense vertically. I have no doubt as a slot receiver and in a four receiver package, Williams will eventually shine.

With this depressing loss the Niners become just another one out of 30 teams not good enough to get to the Super Bowl  with deficiencies and have needs that must be met.

No position needs upgrading more than wide receiver for the 49ers. Michael Crabtree, the first round pick three years ago is a solid Number Two receiver. He lacks the speed or big grab ability to be a consistent Number One. There will be free agent talent available that meets that need. Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Marcus Colston, and DeSean Jackson may be available if the Niners want to bid for their services.

The Niners may not have the bank available to sign a big name free agent. They have several free agents of their own they need to resign including Smith. They may have to look past the premier group of receivers for some gems remaining after the initial buying spree or trade up in the NFL Draft hoping to grab a young and speedy receiver.

I like the place the 49ers are in going in to the off-season. After their first playoff appearance since 2003, they have holes to plug, but this year it’s going to be about adding talent, not blowing up the roster and starting over.

“Everyone in here told me to keep my head up, it’s not on me,” Williams said. “You hate to be the last guy that had the ball, to give it up in that fashion and lose a game of this magnitude. It is what it is. We’re going to move forward as a team. I couldn’t be happier with the teammates I have in here.”

I agree. For far too long after the 16th game the typical Niner fan had to sigh in disappointment and disgust, “Well, there’s always next season.” This year we can say “I can’t wait for next season.” Our Super Bowl dreams are merely delayed, not deferred.   We’re dreaming out of season.

At the risk of echoing Sarah Palin, the San Francisco 49ers don’t need to rebuild.  They need to reload.

Who's got it better than us? Well, there's the Giants...

Dereliction of Duty

The football god that failed

The death of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno at age 85 brings down the curtain on one of the most storied careers in college football.   Conversely, it also punctuates one of the most unexpected and saddest falls from grace any man of his stature has ever suffered.

The Paterno apologists wasted no time attempting to recast him as a martyr who was sacrificed by Penn State officials who fired him in the wake of Paterno failing to take decisive action against former assistant Jerry Sandusky who was indicted for multiple counts of child molestation.

Paterno himself avoided prosecution, but in the court of public opinion he was found guilty of dereliction of duty.   Sandusky was the one who committed criminal acts of extreme depravity.  Paterno’s role in this tragedy is somewhat more murky.

He most certainly does deserve his share of the blame.

Paterno is a legend, but he tainted his legacy by his appalling moral failing to act to intervene and stop children from suffering. Joe Pa deserves credit for the thousands of young men he helped as a great football coach and he deserves the condemnation he is receiving for his cowardly avoidance to take swift and decisive action.

“I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.”

Didn’t know exactly how to handle it? Here’s a suggestion. Pick up a phone and call a cop. You are Joe Paterno. You are Penn State. If you say, “Hey, I think Jerry Sandusky is raping kids. Come arrest his ass” Jerry Sandusky’s ass will be arrested and he won’t be raping kids in the locker room shower.

Paterno’s buck-passing excuse strains credulity.  When a child’s safety is at stake the right thing to do is to take charge of the situation, not farm it out to someone else in a sorry stab at covering your own ass.   It would have been better to accuse Sandusky and be wrong than to shuffle it off to bureaucrats without Paterno’s stature to clean up the mess.

If not for the Sandusky scandal we could simply state our sympathy for his family, acknowledge his greatness as a football coach, wonder if he hung around a little too long and let it go at that.

I can’t do that. I won’t do that because to do so is to absolve Paterno from the responsibility any adult has to take action when they suspect a child is being molested. Whether you’re a living legend or the next door neighbor, you have to step up to the plate to protect the innocent. Paterno’s failure to do so was a reprehensible and contemptible act.

The old ball coach faced a moment that required him to call upon his courage.  He punted

Paterno is out of his pain and misery. For the victims of Jerry Sandusky, their pain and misery continues.

There Will Be (More) Blood

You'd look like her too if you had to see Newt Gingrich naked all the time.

The Mitt Romney Inevitability Express went off the rails in South Carolina as the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party found himself losing a race he thought he had won to a fat, unlikable, career politician with an even stupider nickname than his, Newton Leroy Gingrich, also known and despised as Newt.

What made Mitt’s trip down South really suck was he thought after Iowa the torrent of negative ads he and the unaffiliated Super PACS had launched against the former Speaker of the House had finished him off..  However, the lust of GOP conservatives for someone to articulate their hatred of President Obama burns strong as does their desire for an alternative to the rich Mormon who stashes his cash in the Cayman Island.  Losing to Newt 40 percent to 27 percent should send a clear message to the Massachusetts millionaire: the rank and file just aren’t into you–still.

I missed the Republican debate the other night where Gingrich went right-the-freak-off on CNN’s John King for having the elephant balls to ask him about ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich’s accusation that the Newster wanted an open marriage so he could continue banging his booty call and eventual third wife, Callista.

Life is too short to waste it on bad movies, bad music, and bad politicians bumping their gums talkin’ loud and sayin’ nothin’.  I know there was a debate the other night.  I had far more important things to do than watch that crap.  Like peeling a potato or clipping my toenails or picking lint out of my belly button.

South Carolina doesn’t totally change the Republican race as much as it makes it possible  it might go on longer than the experts had though.  Romney believed he had things locked up once Chris Christie decided to stay home eating donuts.  Christie was the only candidate who could have pulled together the diverse wings of the GOP in a united front against President Obama.   His decision to sit out 2012 prompted most of the big money and establishment decided to fall in line behind Romney leaving the hard core Right with nowhere to go and no one to slow Mitt’s roll to the nomination.

But a funny thing happened on the road to Inevitability.   Here we are three contests in and the front-runner’s only victory came in a state he was supposed to win.   The scorecard so far reads Rick Santorum winning Iowa, Mittens taking New Hampshire and the Newster rising from the ashes to kick Mitt’s ass in South Carolina.  Now it’s on to Florida where the results could boost the winner of that state to a the inside track to the nomination or scramble the race so badly, Mitt and Newt might slug it out all the way through January into the spring.

South Carolina did us the great favor of ending the campaigns of Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman.  So why is Ron Paul hanging on for?  Paul’s support is loud but not broad.  He came in third in Iowa, settled for second in New Hampshire, was dead on arrival and if he steps foot in Florida the only reason will be to work on his tan and get a fresh-squeezed glass of orange juice.   Florida is heavily made up of elderly Jewish voters and though Paul is 76-years old, his anti-Israel, anti-Social Security rhetoric won’t play there.

In a normal year, a sleazy douchebag like Newt Gingrich would be bumping around in the lower strata with the rest of the also-rans, but this is not a normal year.  If his record of unethical behavior weren’t enough to sink him like a stone, Newt’s loose zipper would be enough to disqualify him from serious consideration as a serious contender.  Newt is such a man-whore that if he were elected president he would be our commander-in-briefs (tip of the hat to Sandra Booker for that one) whose roving eye means at any moment he might up and leave America for a younger and fresher country (and thank you Rena Marrocco for that).

Regardless of South Carolina, Newt is still big pimpin’ with small bills.  He doesn’t have Romney’s resources to wage a long, protracted and expensive war of attrition.   It may take Romney longer than he planned and cost him more money before he finally crushes the Newt under his heel, but the bet here is when the final drop of blood is spilled in the GOP Civil War, Mittens will be the victor.

But Mitt will have to try to get to the right of Newt to knock him out and the further he drifts away from his moderate reputation, the harder it will be for him to get back and disavow all the positions he’s taken that will be showing up in Obama 2012 attack ads.

Football is my favorite sport, but watching Republicans claw, fang and devour each other is my favorite bloodsport. It’s been simply splendid entertainment.

You don't like me. You REALLY don't like me.

Rick Perry IS The Biggest Loser

America doesn't want a total dumbass as president.

There’s one less bozo in the Republican Clown Car.

Happy Trails, Governor Goodhair. The Rick Perry Party is over.

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Texas Gov. Rick Perry ended his campaign for president Thursday morning and endorsed Newt Gingrich.

“I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform this country,” Perry said.

Making what he called a “strategic retreat,” the Texan obliquely referred to Gingrich’s checkered personal life just hours before an interview with the former House speaker’s second wife was to speak out in a TV interview.

“Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?” said Perry.

Citing his Christian faith, Perry said of Gingrich: “I believe in the power of redemption.

“I will leave the trail, return home to Texas, and wind down my 2012 campaign. And I will do so with pride.”

Pride?  You mean the closeted and self-hating kind of gay pride, Rick?  Not sayin’, just sayin’.

Perry entered the presidential race with every advantage, money, experience, great hair and no idea how to run for president, so he ran one of the worst campaigns I’ve ever seen. Inept in live debate, reactionary in his positions and painfully inarticulate in public, Perry is a heavyweight in Texas, but outside of it, he repeatedly proved he simply was not ready for prime time.   After stumbling and bumbling his way through debate after debate, Perry’s poll numbers fell off a cliff as he was elbowed aside by other equally reactionary Anti-Romney candidates.

Perry tried to be the most reactionary Republican in a campaign full of them. His only success came when he entered the race he effectively burst Michelle Bachmann’s bubble, but his fellow Texan, Ron Paul had already staked out the White supremacist/extremist constituency, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were far more skilled at race-baiting leaving Perry with no room on the Right to move to.

Game, set, match. Perry did nothing in Iowa, disappeared in New Hampshire and two days before voters in South Carolina could humiliate him further, Perry quit.   Perry had become so irrelevant to Mitt Romney’s eventuality that when he announced he was hanging up his spurs, it wasn’t even the top story of the day.   The news media was focusing on one of Newt Gingrich’s ex-wives going on ABC to out the former Speaker of the House as a freak who wanted an “open marriage.’

The speculation is Perry will try again in 2016. The same thing is said about every unsuccessful candidate whether their name is Bachmann, Cain, Pawlenty, or Huntsman. These are not temporary setbacks that can be resolved by licking their wounds and retreating from the national stage. These are failures and losers.

Out of all the contenders, none of them fell off as fast and landed as hard as little Ricky Perry. The far-right, religious freak and potential closet case that couldn’t.

Slipping Into Darkness

Normally I don’t believe in symbolic gestures.  Activism without action usually strikes me as little more than feel good gestures that may attract attention, but have little genuine effect.

But there are always exceptions…

This year will mark my fourth year of blogging.  At some point I will end The Domino Theory and move on to something else.  When I do pull the plug I want it to be my decision and not that of some wrong-headed legislation pushed through Congress for the benefit of some greedy corporations looking to regulate and control content of the Internet.

Writing in The New York Times, Rebecca McKinnon describes the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in stark terms with dire consequences.

“The potential for abuse of power through digital networks – upon which we as citizens now depend for nearly everything, including our politics – is one of the most insidious threats to democracy in the Internet age … This is no time for politicians and industry lobbyists in Washington to be devising new Internet censorship mechanisms, adding new opportunities for abuse of corporate and government power over online speech.

My blog will be “going dark” today for 12 hours to protest the SOPA/PIPA legislation being pushed through Congress by Republicans with the support of some clueless Democrats and opposed by the Obama Administration. If you visit Wikipedia or Google among other websites you will see “blacked out” images. This is not hypothetical and this is not theoretical. This is CENSORSHIP and it is here

We’ve seen this battle before.  It used to be fought over audio tape cassettes and VCRs.   Then it was waged over file sharing, ripping music and pirating movies.  Now it’s about whether you’ve secured the proper permissions and rights to share that You Tube video you’ve been passing around to your 5,000 Facebook friends.

I would like to assume this lousy legislation will die a quick and painful death in the halls of Congress, but when money and power wants something they tend to work very hard to get what they want.   We who depend on the Internet to stay free so we can speak freely must work equally hard.

Fight for the future.