Monthly Archives: December 2011
Ron Paul supporters don’t seem troubled by his non-interventionist stance. | AP Photo
DES MOINES — Scary. Not serious. To the left of Barack Obama. A threat to the existence of Israel.
So far though, the voters flocking to his events don’t seem especially troubled by Paul’s noninterventionist stance or his take on Iran, Iraq or Sept. 11.Paul outlines his foreign policy
Even the military veterans who attended Paul’s Salute to Veterans Rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Wednesday embraced Paul’s views. “He’s fully behind national defense,” said state Rep. Glen Massie, a Marine Corps veteran and Paul supporter, after the event. “Militarism is another animal.”
For Paul, it’s a validation of his core message about government overspending, debt and the heavy cost of overseas entanglements.
There’s one big problem: The forces powering his rise in Iowa are incompatible with the path to the GOP nomination.
The anti-war stance, the sharp criticism of the war on terrorism, the calls to rein in military spending — all of it is fueling Paul’s support among the young voters who throng his events, and among independents and Democrats.
In a historically dovish state, with a crowded contest uniquely suited to a candidate with a fervent base of support, it’s a model that can work. But beyond Iowa’s borders, in a hawkish party that has traditionally embraced a muscular military role and recently criticized President Barack Obama for his alleged timidity, it’s a different story.
Paul’s vote against the use of military force against Iraq, his position on military action against Iran, his calls to bring home troops from Germany, South Korea and Japan put him in a distinct minority in the GOP. And there’s no reconciling his positions as he moves forward. If he dials back his anti-war, noninterventionist stance and moves toward the center of his party, he risks losing his base. If he doesn’t, once the field narrows he can’t win enough support to claim the nomination.
In any case, Paul has made moves that shore up his credentials against claims that his views on national security and foreign policy represent a radical or dangerous departure from the mainstream. At the veterans event in Des Moines, a projection screen featured a photo of him in military uniform alongside a graphic noting that “Ron Paul has raised more funds from active military personnel than all other GOP competitors combined.”
JDL Targets Ron Paul And Other ‘Israel Haters’
Armchair Activist: Congressional Haters Of Israel
Posted June 22, 2002
The following is a list of US Senators and Members of the House of Representatives who voted “No” on the resolutions of May 2, 2002 that supported Israel. It is incumbent upon every American supporter of the state of Israel to work to defeat these individuals when they come up for re-election.
SENATORS VOTING “NO” (2)
Robert Byrd, Dem., West Virginia Ernest Hollings, Dem., South Carolina
HOUSE MEMBERS VOTING “NO” (21)
Neil Abercrombie, Dem., Hawaii, David E. Bonior, Dem., Michigan Rick Boucher, Dem., Viriginia, Gary A. Condit, Dem., California John Conyers Jr., Dem., Michigan, Peter A. DeFazio, Dem., Oregon John D. Dingell, Dem., Michigan Earl F. Hilliard, Dem., Alabama Jay Inslee, Dem., Washington, Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Dem., Illinois Gerald D. Kleczka, Dem., Wisconsin Barbara Lee, Dem., California Cynthia A. McKinney, Dem., Georgia George Miller, Dem., California David R. Obey, Dem., Wisconsin Ron Paul, Rep., Texas Thomas E. Petri, Rep., Wisconsin Nick J. Rahall II, Dem., West Virginia Dana Rohrabacher, Rep., California, Nick Smith, Rep., Michigan Fortney Pete Stark, Dem., California
We will update this page whenever votes are cast concerning Israel in Congress.http://www.jdl.o rg/action/armchair/congress_israel.shtml
The Israeli Undermining Of American Democracy
Hello. I am probably what you’d call one of the “silent majority”.. who listens and reads, but rarely gives any feedback even on superb sites such as your own. It’s probably not the best course of action, as I’m sure constant feedback helps determine what’s best to post for your readers, but I’m of that school of thought that Mark Twain spoke of when talking about fools and opening one’s mouth. (at least when it comes to contacting people a bit more prominent than average.. put me in a forum or a chat room where it’s all mostly meaningless and I’ll not be so restrained)
Well tonight I decided I have had quite enough crap, and decided to risk proving myself a fool by opening my mouth, so to speak. I’ve seen several news items on your site related to people like Ron Paul, and feel like this is a person (along with those of you who provide a viable news alternative to the corporate media’s tripe) who has real potential to cut through the crap and help fix our rather twisted state of affairs. As you might imagine, I was rather distressed to find out that people like Ron Paul are targets to be removed from office, solely based on things like opposing blanket support for Israel. The site http://www.jdl.o rg/action/armchair/congress_israel.shtml provides a list of them.
I decided to poke around a little bit on this site, and found they have a listing (“Dear JDL:”) of selected responses to their content.. both Email and “snail-mail”. I notice that it’s filled with a mixture of blind support and blind rage. That’s fine, I understand posting both.. the blind support to lend legitimacy to their “cause”, and the blind rage to show that they are victims and should be supported against such tyranny. Well I decided to give them something I doubt they’ll quote.. or if they do, it’ll be with heavy editing to suit their purposes. I sincerely doubt this is very “newsworthy”, aside from any desire you might have to point out that people like Ron Paul are targets.. but I figured you might get a chuckle from seeing my Email to them. I don’t claim to be the most politically-aware person you’ll ever encounter, but of what I do see, I call it like I see it. Your site has been a great help in getting me to keep my eyes open and question everything they feed us, so I figure it’s the least I can do to repay you with a bit of amusement.
I know, of course, you don’t have the stomach to print anything that isn’t blind hate-mail or blind agreement with your propaganda.. so you probably won’t make this public on your website unless I were to fill it with tons of obscenities, and I’m guessing you’d still edit out the website link. I, however, shall make it public on several Internet forums. Apparently from the link above, even “your” own people can’t stand the hijacking of the Jewish religion by Zionist pigs. I see that your kind must even have sites that counter Neturei Karta and try to proclaim it as “Palestinian propaganda” with some propaganda of your own.
I used to think that there was nothing in this world that I loathed more than organized religion. The brainwashing, the killing of “non-believers” in the name of said religions, etc. Now there’s something that surpasses that loathing: the use of organized religion as a political weapon. You and your fellow Zionists wrongly wrap yourself up in the cloak of religious righteousness and proceed to screw the world senseless to further your own goals. It’s obvious you don’t really believe in a higher power, or you would not seek to so wantonly destroy his/her/its other creations in your fellow man, using that religion you pay lip service to and try to hide behind.
How is it that I, a “lowly” “Atheist” (I have a rough equivalent to your “beliefs”, but it’s easier for conversational purposes to just claim Atheism) have more overall respect for other members of the human race than your entire (illegal, by “your” own law, see link above) State can manage?
You would probably try to accuse me of “anti-Semitism” at some point for writing this Email.. but I must warn you that I am aware that that term is incorrect. Dictionary.com’s primary definition of a Semite is: “A member of a group of Semitic-speaking peoples of the Near East and northern Africa, including the Arabs, Arameans, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Hebrews, and Phoenicians.” My policy is to have no issue with anyone from any other location on the planet, UNLESS they portray themselves to be superior to another solely based on where they live. Since I do not see people jumping up and down proclaiming they are Semites and the rest of us can kindly piss off, I have no problem with a Semite. “Anti-Jewish”, perhaps? Well, beyond my dislike of all organized religion for reasons mentioned above, I don’t really care what religion a person belongs to as long as it has no impact on my life. “Anti-Zionist” would just about cover it, however.. IF the distinction is made that Zionism is a POLITICAL MOVEMENT hiding behind an organized religion. I have “political movements” from time to time, and I can’t say they’re pleasant experiences.
Now that I have all that off my chest and we have a few clarifications in place, we’ll get to the point of this Email. I notice that you have a “hit list” of people in the American government whom you pretend need removal on the sole basis of not supporting your (illegal) State blindly, as you seem to think we all need to do. Sure, you can throw your dirty money at removing people like Cynthia McKinney and Ron Paul.. but as more and more people catch onto your manipulations, we’ll just keep finding new replacements for them.
Eventually, like a poorly-worded Du(m)bya lie, something will click that exposes your kind’s (and by “your kind”, I mean Zionists.. in case you should try to manipulate this otherwise) treachery to a large group of people. I don’t envy your lot in life once that happens.. and I don’t think there’s any religion your political movement can hide behind that will shelter you from the anger of millions of Americans realizing that you’ve been using them shamelessly for your movement’s own goals. While admittedly not the most patriotic person in my section of the world, I do know that not many people like being used.
Please, keep going after “anti-Israel” members of Congress. The more you act, the more chance you have to slip up and expose your REAL motivations to the general population.
— A person who believes the integrity of the human race is far more important than any petty political goal.
Published: 27 December, 2011, 22:59
An economic collapse. An end to American exceptionalism. Out all chaos and unrest. It isn’t a pretty picture, but it could be a very likely reality for the future of the United States — and Ron Paul isn’t afraid to admit it.
As the congressman from Texas takes the lead in Iowa one week before the state’s caucus is set to start, the libertarian-leaning lawmaker is warning of doom and gloom for the US if the country continues the downward spiral that is dragging almost every aspect of the American way of life. Jobs are leaving, freedoms are crumbling and the US dollar is quickly becoming worthless.
The truth hurts, but for the voters, it needs to be said. Representative Paul knows it and the polls suggest it’s something that is needed to be said.
Paul’s fellow frontrunners in the race for the Republican Party’s nomination have largely refrained from straying from mainstream GOP ideologies. While Paul is no doubt a career conservative, he has managed to separate himself from the rest of the pack by suggesting that the weary ways of modern America aren’t all that his peers have cracked them out to be. Rather, says Paul, America is destined to fail any further if it doesn’t try to pick itself up and piece it back together.
During recent Republican Party debates, GOP contenders have all but waged war with competing nations to continue with America’s policy of governing the globe. According to Paul, however, it is that elitist attitude which is spawning terrorist attacks and other strikes against the States. Fellow GOP hopeful Michele Bachmann writes Paul’s philosophies on such as ludicrous and detrimental to American security, but for the only Republican contender with military experience — and decades in office — he not only thinks otherwise but would seem to know best.
Others have remained amazingly optimistic about America’s economy but have not come close to proposing a legitimate plan for revamping it. Paul, however, recently warned that the current conditions of the country come close to mimicking that of the Soviet Union before its collapse. To avoid this, warns the congressman, America should stop fighting wars overseas, abolish the Federal Reserve and a series of other unnecessary offices if it wants to save its economy.
Once again, all other contenders won’t come close to tackling an issue that doesn’t go hand-in-hand with the mainstream goals of the GOP. Paul, however, wants to end the fed and foreign aid, a move that he says in part could add $1 trillion to America’s budget in only one years’ time.
Radical ideas? Absolutely. But with the last few administrations only worsening America’s standing, a change of pace is without a doubt what America needs to get back on track. That’s why Paul’s supporters — Middle American conservatives concerned about a collapse of the country and young adults thinking outside the box — are coming together in droves.
Those rooting for the Republican congressman are doing so strong enough that they have propelled their candidate to first place in the polls in Iowa. The mainstream media and core GOP establishment, as a result, are not running scared. Does it guarantee a victory for the lawmaker come next week? It could be. Regardless of the outcome, however, it looks as though Paul isn’t afraid to speak his mind and more and more Americans are becoming scared of those that can’t.
Wednesday, December 28, 8:36 AM Make no mistake, writes former Dallas Fed VP Gerald O’Driscoll, the Fed – working through the ECB with its swap lines – is bailing out EU banks and, indirectly, EU governments. Technically not loans, swaps allow the Fed to lend money without reporting it as such, and the figure has ballooned nearly $100B in December. It’s similar to the way Greece hid its mammoth debt through the use of swaps (that worked out well).
The US Navy has said it will not tolerate disruption to a vital oil-trade route, following an Iranian threat to close it.
Iran warned it would shut the Strait of Hormuz if the West imposed more sanctions over its nuclear programme.
The US and its allies believe Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon – a charge Tehran denies.
Reacting to Iran’s warning, a US Fifth Fleet spokeswoman said it was “always ready to counter malevolent actions”.
The Strait of Hormuz links the Gulf – and the oil-producing states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – to the Indian Ocean. About 40% of the world’s tanker-borne oil passes through it.
The US maintains a naval presence in the Gulf, largely to ensure the transport of oil remains open.
The strait “is not only important for security and stability in the region, but also is an economic lifeline for countries in the Gulf, including Iran”, Pentagon spokesman George Little said.
“Raising the temperature on tensions in the Gulf is unhelpful”, he said, but added that he was unaware of any hostile action directed against US vessels.
US Fifth Fleet spokeswoman Rebecca Rebarich told the BBC the navy would be ready to act if required: “The US Navy is a flexible, multi-capable force committed to regional security and stability, always ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation.”
Western nations recently imposed new sanctions against Tehran following a UN report that said Iran had carried out tests related to “development of a nuclear device”.
Further measures being considered to target Iran’s oil and financial sectors have brought a furious response from Tehran.
Continue reading the main story
Strait of Hormuz
Narrow strip of water separating Oman and Iran
34 miles (54km) across at shortest point
Used by a third of the world’s tanker traffic
Approximately 15.5m barrels of oil and 2m barrels of oil products pass through each day
Most oil destined for Asia, US and western Europe
50% of China’s oil passes through strait
Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned that “not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz” if sanctions are widened and Iran’s navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayari said that closing the strait would be “easy”.
“The enemies will only drop their plots when we put them back in their place,” Mr Rahimi was quoted as saying on Tuesday by the official news agency Irna.
Adm Sayari later told Iran’s Press TV that closing the Strait of Hormuz would be “really easy” for Iran’s armed forces “or, as Iranians say, easier than drinking a glass of water”.
“But right now, we don’t need to shut it as we have the Sea of Oman under control, and we can control the transit,” he added.
Iran’s threats to close the strait have not flustered markets and oil prices actually fell after a senior Saudi oil official said that Gulf Arab nations were ready to offset any loss of Iranian crude.
Earlier, US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said the Iranian threats were simply “another attempt… to distract attention from the real issue, which is their continued non-compliance with their international nuclear obligations”.
Iran’s navy has been staging wargames in international waters to the east of the strait.
Adm Sayari said the manoeuvres were designed to show Gulf neighbours the power of Iran’s military over the zone.
Washington and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities if sanctions and diplomacy fail.
Iran has vowed to respond by attacking Israeli and US interests in the region.
An embargo on Iranian oil exports has been considered before but dismissed as it could also drive up global oil prices and harm Western economies, particularly in Europe.
It is believed the new measures could cut Tehran off from global energy markets without raising the price of fuel.
Iran nuclear crisis
Q&A: Iran sanctions
Case against Iran strengthened
White House not on war path
Q&A: Nuclear issue
Squeezing Iran: Oil and sanctions
Satellite images: Bushehr reactor
Forty million women killed, buried alive, abandoned, or married off at young age to old men. And if they are not killed, entire villages force their girls into prostitution.
This is a place where 50,000 unborn girls are aborted every month, where thousands of little girls are either buried alive or abandoned. A place where the female ratio is lowest in the world. A place with the highest number of underage girls married to older men, and the highest number of female infanticide: the practice of burying new born baby girls alive.
Around 40 million girls have been aborted, murdered or abandoned in this one nation since 1980.
This is India. Home to the biggest genocide against women on the planet.
And it continues as we speak.
It is a crime in India to use an ultrasound to determine the sex of a child and it is also illegal to perform anabortion based on gender, but the laws are rarely enforced.
India has resources to spend on stopping this massive ill-treatment of women but it prefers to spend billions on weapons.
But can the Indian government really stop this mistreatment of Indian women?
So India basically has a rich government that refuses to share wealth with India’s poor, who happen to be the largest single block of poverty anywhere in the world.
Two women, one Indian and the other American, brought this silent genocide to world’s attention this month. Gita Aravamudan is the author of the book, ‘Disappearing Daughters’. And Mindy McReady is a journalist working for ABC television in the United States.
Together they have produced a compelling documentary, titled, ‘India’s Deadly Secret: Why an estimated 40 million girls have gone missing in India?’
Sadly, the Indian police and judiciary are corrupt and their silence can be bought. Even worse, the policemen and the judges are, after all, Indian men who don’t see much wrong in getting rid of female babies.
“The very people who have to implement the law — the police and the judiciary — also believe that having too many girls is a burden on the family,” Gupta said. “They never implement the laws because they believe in the same thing, and sometimes actually do the same thing.”
The real issue here is Hinduism, the majority Indian religion. It attaches a very low status to women, and thousands of years of practice has entrenched the anti-girl bias in Indian psyche. Today, there are thousands of Indian villages that push their girls into prostitution, if they survive abortion and infanticide.
In September 2011, Catholic Online wrote in a report quoting an Indian charity that “Young girls are pushed into the sex business by their own fathers and brothers, who see nothing wrong with it. They claim it is a tradition that has been passed down through generations. Under the devdasi (“servant of God”) culture, girls were dedicated to a life of sex work in the name of religion.”
Read the article on ABC’s website: Forced Abortions of Female Babies In India at this linkhttp://bitly.com/spue08?r=bb
How To Help India’s Disappearing Daughters? See http://bitly.com/uHtNIr?r=bb
Read India’s Villages Still Force Young Girls Into Prostitution at this link http://bitly.com/s4CkAV?r=bb
By ARON HELLER, Associated Press
Monday, December 26, 2011
Oded Balilty / AP
Naama Margolese, 8, sits with her mother Hadassa in their home in the central Israeli town of Beit Shemesh, Monday, Dec 26, 2011. The story of Naama Margolese, an 8-year-old American girl that has unwittingly found herself on the front line of Israel’s latest religious war, drew new attention to the religious tensions in Beit Shemesh, a city of some 100,000 just outside Jerusalem, which has become a symbol of the growing violence of Jewish extremists in Israel in recent years.
Published: 26 December, 2011, 13:54
The Private Global Power Elite embedded in major governments is dead set on imposing World Government on us sooner rather than later. Let’s look at 12 mega-processes – veritable “Triggers” – that we infer they are using to achieve their goals.
All roads lead to World Government. This should come as no surprise. London’s Financial Times openly articulated this view in an article by their chief foreign affairs commentator, Gideon Rachman, published on 8 December 2009, whose title said it all: “And Now for a World Government.” These goals are echoed by the Trilateral Commission, CFR and Bilderberg insiders – even by the Vatican.
Macro-managing planet Earth is no easy matter. It requires strategic and tactical planning by a vast think-tank network allied to major elite universities whereby armies of academics, operators, lobbyists, media players and government officers interface, all abundantly financed by the global corporate and banking superstructure.
They do this holistically, knowing that they operate on different stages moving at very different speeds:
- Financial Triggers move at lightning speed thanks to electronic information technology that can make or break markets, currencies and entire countries in just hours or days;
- Economic Triggers move slower: manufacturing cars, aircraft, food, clothes, building plants and houses takes months;
- Political Triggers tied to the “democratic system” put politicians in power for several years;
- Cultural Triggers require entire generations to implement; this is where PsyWar has reached unprecedented “heights”.
Risk-managing this whole process takes into account the many pitfalls and surprises in store. So each plan in every field counts, with “Plan B’s” – even Plans “C” and “D” – which can be implemented if needed.
Twelve Triggers for World Government
Today, the Global Power Elite are wrapping up globalization and ushering in World Government. Paraphrasing the tightrope walker in German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” this implies “….a dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting…”
These 12 Triggers are interlinked and interlocked in a highly complex, holistic matrix, very flexible in its tactics but rigidly unbending in its strategic objectives. When read as a whole, the picture that unfolds shows that whole being far more than the sum of its parts.
1) Financial Meltdown. Since 2008, the Global Financial System continues on life-support. Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner and the US economic hit team – Robert Rubin, Larry Summers and Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup, JPMorganChase mega-bankers working with the Bank of England and the European Central Bank – have not and will not take any measures to help the populace and ailing economies. They just funnel trillions to the banking elite, imposing the media myth that certain banks are “too big to fail” (Orwellian Newspeak for “too damn powerful to fail”). Why? Because it’s not governments overseeing, supervising and controlling Goldman Sachs, CitiCorp, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, JPMorganChase, but exactly the other way around…
2) Economic Crises. Today, “Destructive Extreme Capitalism” is collapsing national and regional economies, reformatting them into international slave-labour Gulag-like entities that Joseph Stalin would envy. Our woes lie not with the world’s real economy (mostly intact), but with the fake world of finance, banks, and speculation;
3) Social Upheavals. Meltdowns in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Iceland and – soon to come – Italy, Spain and others, trigger violent social uprisings, even in the US and UK;
4) Pandemics. Get ready for more “flu surprises” leading to mandatory vaccinations: a discreet opportunity to slip RFID chips into our bodies and test “intelligent viruses” targeting specific DNA strains. Racially and ethnically selective viruses as part of mass depopulation campaigns?
5) Global Warming. As the global economy sinks into zero growth mode, economic drivers shift from growth expansion to consumption contraction. Will coming “carbon credits” open the path to full societal control?
6) Terrorist “False Flag” Mega-Attacks. The Elite have this wildcard up their sleeve to jump-start new “crises” as short-cuts towards world government. Will new “attacks” dwarfing 9/11 justify further global wars, invasions and genocide? A nuclear weapon over a major city to be blamed on the Elite’s “enemies”?
7) Generalized War in the Middle East. As we speak, naval forces, bombers, entire armies are poised to attack and invade Syria, Iran…
8) Ecological/Environmental “Accidents”. The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident sparked the beginning of the end of the former USSR by showing the world and the Soviets themselves that their State could no longer manage their own nuclear facilities. April 2010 saw the BP “Deepwater Horizon” oil rig eco-catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico; since March 2011, Japan and the world have been grappling with a much larger nuclear accident in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex. Was foul play involved?
9) Assassination of a major political or religious figure to be blamed on an Elite enemy. Mossad, CIA, MI6 are really good at playing this type of dirty trick;
10) Attacks on “Rogue States” – Iraq, Libya… Who’s next? Iran? Syria? Venezuela? North Korea?
11) Staged “Religious” Event. The growing need of the masses for meaning in their lives makes them easy victims of a Hollywood-staged, 3D virtual reality hologram show, orchestrating a “second coming”. An electronically engineered “messianic figure” acting in sync with Elite global objectives? Who would dare go against God himself?
12) Staged “Alien Contact.” This too may be in the works. For decades, large sectors of world population have been programmed to believe in aliens. Here too, hologram technology could stage a “space vehicle landing” – on the White House lawn, of course – highlighting the “need” for Mankind to have “unified representation” in the face of extraterrestrials. Further justification for world government?
What do such interlocking “crises” have in common? Global warming, pandemics, “international terrorism”, financial collapse, economic depression, even alien contacts? They all serve to show that they cannot be addressed by any single nation state, thus “justifying” the need for World Government.
2012: We must stay especially alert, understanding things the way they really are and not the way the global TV Masters want us to believe they are.
Adrian Salbuchi for RT
Edited: 24 December, 2011, 17:23
Anti-SOPA activists find ways to keep the Internet free
Defense Authorization Act
TAGS: Law, Internet, Information Technology, USA
As Americans ready for a legislation that will impose a government-sanctioned firewall over the Internet, the elite computer-literate hacktivists attacking the law are finding ways to circumvent the passing of SOPA.
If the House and Senate have their way, the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, will leave Capitol Hill soon and seemingly cloak the Internet with Congress-created blockades that will shun every user of the World Wide Web from a whole slew of content, including music, videos and, in a nutshell, knowledge. Under the legislation, violation will yield massive fines and imprisonment — all for such action as uploading videos to YouTube. While the legislation is being delivered as a way to deal with copyright infringement and piracy on the Web, the law itself will severely cut down the free-flow of information online and would make something as simple as singing karaoke a crime if the footage ever finds an audience on the Web.
“SOPA is a joke,” an activist affiliated with the online collective Anonymous says to RT under condition of anonymity. “It’s Internet censorship under the guise of anti piracy. Everyone knows this.”
That guise is being guided by the government, however, which could make it come to life in the very near future. Only one week ago Congress approved the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, a legislation that allows for the indefinite detention and torture of American citizens. With being shackled at Gitmo a real-life threat now, activists against SOPA realize that the censorship shouldn’t be something that they’d put pass Capitol Hill. In preparation, adds the source aligned to the online collective Anonymous, “We are preparing for censorship much like China.”
As the realities of SOPA passing becomes an Orwellian-threat almost coming to life, computer users are quickly taking to the Web to spread information to other surfers on how to sneak pass the firewall that could cause the censoring of the Internet. “Most of us have been stockpiling IP addresses,” adds the source. Under SOPA, the government is believed to go after the Web by means of attacking the Internet’s domain naming system, or DNS. That’s the process that translates the actual, alphabetical domain name from a series of numerical characters, the Internet protocol (IP) address.
In order to get around such filtering, activists have already begun circulating lists online that chronicle the IP-addresses of popular websites that could be censored on SOPA so that users will be able to keep a roster handy of the digits that can be typed to dig up sites even as at risk as Google.com (which you could alternatively navigate to with the numbers 188.8.131.52 pasted into your browser). “SOPA emergency lists” have been spread around the Web in recent days via Twitter and viral messaging, allowing users to save a list of sites as innocent as Digg.com or The Onion, which are just as prone to having the plugged pulled on them than anyone else.
Erik Martin, the general manager of the popular website Reddit, wrote last week that, “If SOPA passes in anything like its current form, it would almost certainly mean the end of Reddit.”
“SOPA would make running Reddit near impossible,” added Martin. “And we have access to great lawyers through our parent company. I can’t imagine how smaller sites without those kind of resources could even attempt a go at it if SOPA passes.”
For the less computer-savvy, developer T Rizk has created an add-on for the popular Web browser FireFox which instantly translates domain names to their IP equivalent. His program, DeSopa, is available for free and is just one of the latest alternatives birthed through the chilling legislation.
“I feel that the general public is not aware of the gravity of SOPA and Congress seems like they are about to cater to the special interests involved, to the detriment of Internet, for which I and many others live and breathe,” T Rizk explains to TorrentFreak.
“It could be that a few members of Congress are just not tech savvy and don’t understand that it is technically not going to work, at all. So here’s some proof that I hope will help them err on the side of reason and vote SOPA down.”
Other material circulating online includes a tutorial sent through Twitter that serves as a beginner’s guide to both the Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA, the Protect IP Act that stands to yield similar consequences. One text file, “Why SOPA and PIPA Suck,” explains in layman’s terms, “How this legislation may very well fuck up the Internet.”
“It is often difficult for us average folk to sympathize with the billionaire performers in Hollywood and RIAA/MPAA who claim that we’re stealing from them and compromising profits,” writes the author of the document. “They are correct – it is stealing, plain and simple. However, you don’t see blanket legislation that infringes our basic privacy for any other crime, like shoplifting.”
“To the best of my knowledge, Congress has never enacted this type of blanket legislation that invades our privacy – except in the name of combating terrorism, of course.”
Even easier to understand is a video uploaded to YouTube this week by Leah Kauffman, the mastermind behind the Obama Girl-videos that led up to the 2008 Election. Over computer-programmed drums and a soft piano melody, Kauffman sings, “Don’t put up a firewall when we could have it all / Say no to protect IP / You won’t stop piracy / What is this China?”
The American Civil Liberties Union has added, “By instituting this practice in the United States, SOPA sends an unequivocal message to other nations that it is acceptable to censor speech on the global Internet.” Even the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, said in a recent speech that SOPA would essentially “criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself,” calling it “reasonable,” but that its “mechanism is terrible.”
Despite their attempts at appearing as advocates against SOPA, Google has also gone on the record to encourage Congress to find other ways to strike down websites that the government doesn’t want to grow. Before Congress last month, Google copyright policy counsel Katherine Oyama told a House Judiciary Committee that while the bill would “jeopardize our nation’s cybersecurity,” she asked lawmakers to consider other ways of censorship.
“If you cut off someone’s financial incentives, they’re not going to want to pay for the servers, the bandwidth and the infrastructure,” she said. In order to do that, she suggested the government look towards the precedent set by stopping funds from going to Julian Assange and his whistleblowing site, WikiLeaks.
“You look at WikiLeaks. I think this is a good example of the fact that this a strong remedy: choking these sites off at their revenue source,” said Oyama. “I think [copyright infringing sites] are in business because they can sell advertising or because they can process from subscribers. If you could get the entire industry together and choke off advertising and choke off payments to those sites, you could be incredibly effective without introducing the collateral damage we discussed to free speech or Internet architecture.”
Google and other big web companies shouldn’t expect the battle to end with a little snafu in the financing of the sites in question, however. Given the support that anti-SOPA and PIPA activists have received in this month alone, Big Internet is a force to be reckoned with. When the National Defense Authorization Act was approved last week, hacktivists were quick to wage an all-out campaign on the lawmakers who helped make the law possible. In the days since, personal information and private details relating to the politicians that voted in favor of NDAA have made its way around the Web, with hackers vowing to continue to wage a cyberwar against Congress and those that let the US government turn America into a battlefield.
“We’ve been watching you systematically destroy the rights of your own people, one law at a time. No longer shall we stand by and watch you enslave our fellow citizens,” an Anonymous operative wrote on the Web recently. “You have continued down this path of treason by creating acts such as the National Defense Authorization Act, Stop Online Piracy Act, Protect IP Act, and more. You’ve tried to conceal the true purpose of these bills, and pass them without the consent of the American people.”
“We are now here to undo your sordid life’s work in its entirety. No longer will your transgressions go unnoticed. No longer will you enslave the people. The world will know of your violations against the rights of the citizens you were elected to represent,” adds the Anonymous operative.