December 26, 2011

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (122611)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:15 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

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Good“Hosting and domain registrar company Go Daddy has lost more than 37,000 domains in the past two days due to the company’s wishy-washy stance on the Stop Online Piracy Act.” I’d like to see OH-01 Congressman Steve Chabot lose at least that many votes as a result of his SOPA cosponsorship.

Update, Via Instapundit: “GoDaddy: ‘We’ve listened to our customers. Go Daddy is no longer supporting the SOPA legislation.’”

Update 2: The pre-Christmas markup hearings at the House Judiciary Committee “adjourned its markup session on the measure without a vote,” and delayed further debate “until after Congress returns from its winter recess.”

Update 3: A current list of SOPA-supporting companies and entities contains many disappointments. In my view, the top five supporters who deserve special infamy include (in alpha order): American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA); Ford Motor Company, especially because GM and Chrysler aren’t, or at least aren’t listed; News Corporation, which includes the Wall Street Journal and Fox News (but most other broadcasters are also on the list); Screen Actors Guild (Hollywood elitists all too willing to stifle everyone else’s rights); and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

One list member I’m not convinced belongs on it is Concerned Women for America, which would be particularly bad if true; but I found no evidence of support at their site, and I’m having a hard time believing that this group would really be behind it.

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Pet peeve purged: Sometime somewhat recently, the folks at Hot Air finally made their news headlines available going back to mid-August 2007. I always wondered why this wasn’t the case from the get-go. It’s not searchable, but if you remember one of Allahpundit’s quirky headline titles, you can at least Google it, and you will find it.

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Jeff Jacoby has written an excellent pair of columns (first; second) on how affirmative action efforts in higher education have been brutally counterproductive with their intended beneficiaries. The second has a term which should be committed to memory:

… the cruelty of affirmative-action “mismatch” — the dynamic by which racial preferences steer minorities to schools where they are underqualified and therefore less likely to succeed. Absent such preferences, black and Hispanic students would attend universities for which their credentials better suited them. Many would earn higher grades or degrees in more prestigious and challenging fields; more would go on to graduate school and careers in academia or the professions. If it weren’t for race-based admissions policies, in other words, underrepresented minorities wouldn’t be so underrepresented.

Once again, good intentions which alter the rules of fair play make things worse.

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The state of Georgia has lost 13,000 jobs this year through 11 months, the only GOP-led state to do so this year. It will get worse if the state gives in and levies new or increased excise taxes (HT Politifact via Hot Air) on alcohol, sweet beverages, and other items, which will drive Georgians who are close enough to do so across state lines to buy them.

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RIP … Lynn Samuels.

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At PJ Media, Theodore Dalrymple makes a great point about how the smoking and anti-smoking lobbies are both vested interests, but misses a big one concerning another possible motivation for the Dutch government’s “not to provide medical assistance to those who say they cannot give up smoking, though there are nearly 20,000 premature deaths caused annually by smoking in the Netherlands” — namely that a country with what is the world’s most aggressive “voluntary” euthanasia regime (which now includes “loneliness” and “finances” as examples of “unbearable suffering” justifying the practice) doesn’t mind the premature deaths all that much.

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8 Comments

  1. That list of SOPA supporting companies you linked to needs to be double-checked before we rush to condemn anyone on it. Besides Concerned Women for America I can find no evidence for several others on the list actually supporting SOPA either, including Ford. Why would an auto maker be especially concerned with media piracy anyway? I also get the sense that the lists criteria for what they consider “supporting” SOPA is very broad and loose.

    And why don’t the software and other media pirates get the blame for all of this? If they hadn’t been violating the laws for so long and so brazenly (and not to mention using moral relevance arguments and other such nonsense to justify it) we would never have got to this point in the first place. SOPA is far from the right way to do it, but the country *does* need stronger anti-piracy laws and enforcement.

    Affirmative Action has nothing to do with good intentions. Someone who wants to play favorites based on race, regardless of whatever “moral” dressing or ‘fairness’ tag they put on it, is nothing more than a racial demagogue and manipulator and does not have “good intentions.” They just want to screw people over and feel good about it.
    Why people still want to give liberals the benefit of the doubt that they have “good intentions” even with their most insidious social engineering policies is beyond me.

    In regards to smoking, I’ve always felt that tobacco smoking death statistics are exaggerated and often politically motivated. Whenever a smoker dies, they always make the knee jerk claim that persons death was due to “smoking related” issues regardless of any other facts or data. For instance, my grandfather was a heavy nearly lifetime smoker but they still claimed his death was caused by smoking on his death certificate even though he lived to be 90! And the cancer he died from was not even lung or throat cancer either. And let’s not forget the “second hand smoke” nonsense and other stuff they use to inflate tobacco death statistics. Not saying smoking tobacco won’t kill you, I just don’t think it kills as much as so many want us to believe it does. So, I don’t buy that nearly 20,000 Dutch people die from smoking tobacco each year. If they are dying from smoking, it’s because far too many people there are smoking a certain substance with is much more potent and cancer loaded than tobacco which the Netherlands government has idiotically legalized, and that the Dutch people are now paying a heavy price for.

    It *is* sick, however, that the Netherlands government won’t provide medical assistance to smokers but will assist you in offing yourself if you had a bad day at work.

    Comment by zf — December 26, 2011 @ 10:19 am

  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek1uqrwLmQk&feature=player_embedded

    comedian Remy Munasifi uploaded a video to YouTube on Monday that parodies the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and indefinite detention.

    The parody music video is based on the goofy Christmas tune “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” by Randy Brooks.

    From reason.com

    Comment by Cornfed — December 26, 2011 @ 11:36 am

  3. #1, I think everyone understands the need for greater anti-piracy laws and actions. SOPA is far, far too heavy-handed.

    The SOPA list link said they got their info from “the official list of SOPA supporters from the Judiciary Committee’s website (that link doesn’t work, and would be the one CWA is on), and a letter (pdf) addressed to Congress from the Global Intellectual Property Center, which is an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce.” Ford is indeed a signer of that Sept. 22 letter to Congress, so that was a conscious decision.

    Comment by TBlumer — December 26, 2011 @ 11:39 am

  4. #3, I agree about SOPA. That’s why I said SOPA is not the right solution.

    Anyway, the SOPA business list is STILL unconvincing. It does not help that one link is dead and the other link (to a letter) is problematic for several reasons.

    1. The letter does not refer to SOPA at all.

    2. It only refers in very general terms to the need for anti-piracy legislation and that they are glad Congress has given it some early attention. It also mentions looking forward to seeing legislation introduced in the House. The letter is dated Sept. 22. SOPA was introduced in October! Obviously, the letter is not supporting SOPA, because SOPA had not even been introduced yet.

    3. It mentions the need for a “balanced” approach to software piracy, which does not describe SOPA.

    4. It’s a pdf file, a pdf file can be altered to include names that never signed the actual physical letter.

    In light of all that, the companies they accuse of “supporting” SOPA are still innocent in my eyes until some solid evidence appears of their guilt. The letter is in support of anti-piracy legislation in general and not of the SOPA version which was not introduced until after the letter was written. It’s obvious they heard about legislation combating piracy being discussed in the House and the letter was in support of that, and not of SOPA and how it eventually turned out.

    P.S. A search of Ford’s website turns up nothing about piracy or SOPA. A mere singing of some vague anti-piracy letter some nearly four mouths ago is hardly “support” for SOPA even if Ford had truly signed it.

    Comment by zf — December 26, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

  5. You make some good points about the nature of the letter, esp if as you say that SOPA hadn’t been submitted at that point.

    But then, the Congressmen who ARE supporting SOPA are claiming all kinds of corporate support, and I believe they are citing the letter in their self-defense. So I guess in an ideal world we’d circle back and find out where these companies really stand. Zheesh.

    Comment by TBlumer — December 26, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

  6. #5, SOPA was submitted in October, around the 25th or thereabouts I believe. The letter is dated September 22. Hence why the letter refers to anti-piracy laws in a very basic and preliminary way. SOPA did not exist yet.

    As for the Congressman, if they want to claim massive Corporation support and erroneously cite a letter as proof when it shows nothing of the sort, that’s their problem and mistake. That does not mean we should engage in the same nonsense. And it’s not like it’s the first time Congress members have melodramatically
    bloviated on something and falsely claimed mass support.

    Not sure why my comment got the Zheesh, I must say. I don’t think making sure of someones position before we condemn them for it when we don’t even truly know that they even have that position is outwardly too hard too bother with or some wide eyed idealistic impossibility. If DigitalTrends.com didn’t feel like vetting all the 400 plus entities that signed the letter than they should have not put forth the letter as ironclad evidence of who supports SOPA in the first place.

    Comment by zf — December 26, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

  7. It was exasperation with how unconvincing the old document is, and not catching it, not personal. Sorry.

    Comment by TBlumer — December 26, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

  8. #7, No problem. I should have caught that. Catching nuance has not been a strong suit today for me. In my weak defense, it’s been a long day and a long (but enjoyable, don’t get me wrong!) holiday weekend.

    Comment by zf — December 26, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

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