If you’re just jumping in, this is part 2 of my Freedom of Speech duet of articles. Please go back and read part 1, which covers Facebook and the Chinese Internet Censorship Czar, Films About Censorship, and online threat level designations for U.S. citizens.
I’d like to start by covering where we are right now in the U.S. as far as Internet censorship goes. Here is a description of two bills that were brought to the table around 2012, SOPA and PIPA. They ostensibly were meant to create a blacklist of censored websites in order to suppress the illegal spread of copyrighted material, but according to the article by EFF above, there were a lot of hidden caveats that allowed for suppression of political speech, on top of an inherent compromise to the Internet’s domain name system (DNS) through their blocking system. In other words, if these bills had passed, it would have broken the Internet. It also could have stifled sites like YouTube, DeviantArt, Etsy, and SoundCloud because of vague definitions for “rogue” websites. Terrible, awful, stuff.
Apparently, they are now attempting to censor things using international trade agreements. The TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership is the treaty of interest to look at for this. Here is an audio-visual introduction to it from Upworthy, a really cool-looking site I just found:
The way it explains how treaties are used to bypass legislation is extremely relevant considering all the things that are getting done for globalization under the Obama administration. It is the best trick they have in their playbook, and we need to call them out on it. He’s using something called “fast-tracking” to get it passed without the allowance of Congress to make any amendments. We will keep our eye out for what the TPP might end up doing to our online rights. Please do the same. Here’s a more thorough description of it from RT:
It sounds pretty terrible. Julian Assange said of it, “If instituted, the TPP’s [Intellectual Property] regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”
I’m sure everyone knows about this one by now. James Franco and Seth Rogan’s satirical comedy about assassinating Kim Jong-Un, The Interview, as you can imagine offended the dufuses in North Korea. When the trailer first came out, it blew my mind, and I remembered hearing something about North Korea threatening to attack if it was ever released. They have been complaining in the U.N. about it for awhile, and I believe they were able to effect changes with their influence, because Sony made actual alterations to the film. In their efforts to appease this despotic dictatorship on the other side of the world, they made Kim’s death scene shorter and digitally altered thousands of military buttons on the wardrobe of the North Korean soldiers portrayed in the film (for some B.S. reason having to do with disrespecting officials by displaying these actual symbols of respect to their “great leaders”).
The plot thickens, though. Sony got hacked by the “Guardians of Peace,” though we’re not exactly sure if that means North Korean hackers or something else. The hack involved an extradition of hundreds of gigabytes of data (which some claim is impossible in such a short amount of time, therefore it must have been an inside job), along with threats of terrorist attacks on theaters who chose to screen the film. Everyone is blaming everyone: Sony is blaming North Korea, InfoWars is blaming Sony, North Korea is blaming Obama, and some are blaming the NSA.
Whoever it was that hacked Sony, the fallout has involved a long list of decisions that show how fast things can change in a very short amount of time because of Internet buzz and the outrage of the people. First, Sony cancelled a couple of premiers in response to the threats. Then, they pulled the movie completely. Now, they’re offering it on-demand and releasing it in a few theaters. I am proud to say that one of the theaters is a theater in my city that I used to go to a lot when I was very young. They are a very run-down theater in a bad part of town, and they probably will get a huge boost in business because of this bold move. They are called Eastpoint Movies 10, and you can bet I’ll be there if they don’t sell out of tickets.
My favorite of the Google reviews of this dilapidated theater from my childhood is the extremely abrupt, “She laughed and we found a seat once she turned the flash on.”
Another part of the fallout was a counterattack on North Korea (perhaps?) that apparently resulted in the shutdown of their Internet for a few days, as well as a scramble from Sony to try and put the cat back into the bag. You see, along with the extradition of tons of movies and other random stuff the hackers got and released on the Web, lots of e-mails and inside information about stars and executives in the Sony stable were leaked. Sony is now threatening to sue anyone who puts up any of that information. That’s obviously a bunch of bull, and it almost makes me believe this could be a false flag, as we are hot on the heels of Monica Lewinsky’s grudge-with-Drudge speech pushing for Internet censorship, along with the call for Internet censorship from a couple of celebrities who had their personal photos stolen and released on the Web. Anyway, Vox did a good job of putting up a comprehensive list of what was revealed and who could have hacked it.
Sony’s calls for censorship have been claimed by some to be even worse than the attempts to limit freedom of speech perpetrated by the North Korean government in this scenario thus far, and while I don’t entirely agree, I can see why they’d say that. Don’t fight fire with fire. Be an example, Sony. You already made the right decision in doing the online release along with a limited theatrical release. Quit while you’re ahead and count your losses on the skeletons that have been exposed in your closet. A spring cleaning might be in order. The same could be said about revelations by whistleblowers and WikiLeaks about the government. Let’s ring in the Fifth Estate in style this year, with full transparency of all government agencies. This is definitely preferable to their gathering our data and keeping it for a rainy day (or God knows what purpose). You’re watching us? Well we’re watching you! Just a disclaimer: I definitely don’t support the cowardly Sony hackers (who threatened terrorist attacks and are therefore nefarious people). I think corporations have more of a right to privacy than governments, as they are private institutions.
This is a picture of a stupid movie starring Jeff Goldblum whose title references Pittsburgh, PA, used to underscore how dumb South Pittsburg, TN, looks right now. They are the first in what I’m sure will be a long list of cities and/or small towns that abuse their local sovereignty to paradoxically subvert federal and state law and go against what the constitution stands for by limiting freedom of speech. They have issued a ban on negative comments about it, according to this Times Free Press article.
More specifically, the commissioner, Jeff Powers, responded when presented with the complaint from employees that they can no longer post anything on Facebook, “Well, you can. Just not [anything] that sheds a negative light on any person, entity, board or things of that nature.” Oh, that’s nice then. So if I’m a South Pittsburg resident, my freedom of speech is only being partially limited, and not on anything important—just silly dribble like how I feel about the local government and its officials, and how they could change to encourage freedom and peace in my town.
Luckily, the town has only 3,000 people, but it’s a sign of worse things to come. Imagine if Chicago, New York, L.A., or Baltimore enacted this policy. Each city would have to start a whole new Internet to save their personal freedoms allowing their expression of dissent.
Remember to MRAP Your Gifts
I just realized (while thinking of the heading of this section, clearly) that this is a Christmas post! Sorry for not doing something more topical. We had our Christmas trip last week, so we had a good time of rest and celebration with Rachel’s side of the family.
So, these gifts of MRAPs have been going out to tons and tons of police departments. They are apparently left over from the Afghan/Iraq wars and are being presented to city police departments. Some say that this is to militarize the police, which can have a number of motives behind it that are unclear… Or are they?
One sheriff’s deputy made his understanding of the purpose for having such a heavy military-grade vehicle pretty clear in this YouTube video released to InfoWars and now gone viral:
I finally got to see the whole clip here, and I really wanted to believe that these guys were taken out of context. In some parts of the video before the bombshell that happens where I have it cued, I’m thinking, “They understand that this lady is a constitutionalist and there’s no way they mean what they’re saying.” However, by the time the guy points out to her that there are these “types” out there hoarding weapons, even after saying that people shoot at them with AK47s and stuff (which, considering the later comment, implies that constitutionalists are the ones who they’ve been battling), it rather seems he’s taunting her in response to her pressing questions about the intimidating appearance of this juggernaut in a Walmart parking lot.
There were protests in front of the Spokane police department after this video went viral.
Words of Hope (I Hope)
I hope and pray that more people will care and learn what the Constitution is really about, and what the Second Amendment means for the welfare of our citizens. It is the only thing keeping “the wolf from the door,” as the Radiohead song goes.
People like this globalist in a police uniform make the Second Amendment seem like a dare. If they can convince everyone that the “Molon Labe” dare is aggressive and not a standing defense that upholds peace and order in society, they win. The good thing about revelations like this is that militarized police who support the UN are tipping their hand. It’s a struggle of awareness, and I thank the woman who shot and released this video for her service.
I also would like to acknowledge that there are plenty of constitutional men in uniform who encourage us to defend our rights (and also aid us in doing so). I know you’re out there, and I thank you for your service in protecting us from crime but also protecting our rights. God bless you.
This MRAP fiasco reminds me of an anecdote my Dad shared with me about a sheriff that he came across when he used to do HUD inspections of homes that have been defaulted on. He told me that the sheriff was notorious for enforcing the most stringent of UN laws. In one instance, he demonstrated preference for UN law by posting a notice that was in conflict with federal law. The sign that was posted included the words, “Do not unpost, on pain of imprisonment,” and “Do not enter, on pain of imprisonment.” This resulted in a temporary crisis for the inspector and tied the hands of people trying to sell this house. Ultimately, he entered anyway on the go-ahead of his boss.
Did anyone else know this was happening? I think we should get a list of names of sheriffs and other officials who are employing this M.O. and post it online so that people can vote them out of office. There are probably more of them than we know, cropping up everywhere, just as the proliferation of Agenda 21 and federalization of lands goes on right under our noses while we are none the wiser.
Mind you, this guy was out in the sticks. Who would know that there are officials with such beliefs enforcing global law in such remote areas? They have to be UN plants. Anyway, it’d be very helpful to have a list of UN-oriented officials, because they are operating outside of the Constitution, and really they shouldn’t be in office.
Just be vigilant, and don’t be intimidated. Pay attention to your world, and make a big stink when these kinds of infringement on Freedom of Speech are perpetrated. Don’t forget. Write it down. It’s so easy to forget all of these things, and those in power are counting on your forgetting or not having time to do anything about it. Don’t assume someone else will do it. That’s the bystander effect. Don’t get lost in your iPhone, looking at porn and the newest Katy Perry video or Super Bowl halftime show. Maintain solid principles, stand up for the innocent, love your neighbor, love God, and love everyone. Pray for your country (and your world). We’ll figure this thing out. 😉