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Stop Online Piracy Act

Mitch McConnell links Marijuana with Death as Santorum has big day in Primaries

mitch mcconnell


The information age is making it more difficult for politicians to make fraudulent statements and avoid any repercussions.  Years ago, a politician may have said something at a rally or to a local reporter that would not make it to the national discussion.  This has obviously changed drastically as those who try to regulate our social behavior do not even seem to understand quite how it works.

Mitch McConnell is the latest example of an out of touch representative who may be haunted by his impulse statements.  The Senate Minority Leader seemed to learn little from Lamar S. Smith’s failed crusade to crush the internet with the SOPA legislation which encountered an embarrassing political death.  The SOPA bill clearly appeared to suffer from a lack of research and analysis as to just how far reaching it would be.  Mr. McConnell recently told a constituent in a letter that he cannot support marijuana legalization because “it leads to death”.  He then also said that THC was available in pill form indicating that legalization is not necessary.  The Minority Leader was likely referring to Marinol, which has proven to ultimately not be nearly as effective medically as unprocessed natural marijuana.  McConnell took his statements even further and said he had concerns that marijuana legalization would not be following “the scientific process” of the FDA.

Advocates of marijuana will most certainly take offense to McConnell’s statement about the scientific process.  This has become the new criticism as decades of fear mongering talking points against marijuana have been proven hollow.  However, many are left to scratch their heads as to how exactly marijuana is supposed to closely follow “the scientific process” of the FDA if our government officials use every resource at their disposal to deny any such research.

Marijuana reform has the support of the majority of Americans and Mr. McConnell and those like him may regret their stubbornness on this issue.  This is not the only area where the GOP seems to be out of step with Americans.  The race for the Republican nomination for president has turned largely into a battle of antiquated ideologies.  The race is now about eliminating abortion rights, contraception, and women’s health.  Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 and women (who vote in higher numbers than men) may not want our culture to backtrack 40 years and give up their privacy.  Many political analysts expected the Republicans to campaign on the economy, energy policy, and jobs.

The information age is here to stay and expand, our elected officials need to realize that there now can be a quick backlash for empty politically charged statements.  We will see if President Obama and those vying for his job will take note.

Speaking of those running against the president, Rick Santorum had a big day on Tuesday.  He was the winner in the coveted southern states of Mississippi and Alabama keeping himself in the race.  Mitt Romney won in Hawaii as Newt Gingrich was not victorious in any state yesterday.  Many are urging Gingrich to drop out of the race as his chances of rebounding seem slim.  Analysts predicted that Gingrich’s best chances resided in the south.  Although the day was a disappointment for Romney, who is still struggling to gain the support of conservative voters, he did get 1/3 of the delegates yesterday maintaining a healthy lead in the race.

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Attempts to Stop Online Piracy could Lead to more being Stolen from the People


For many of us, the internet is a tool we use daily and most of us may take it for granted.  Whether we are looking for deals on Craigslist or starting a Wikipedia search that may take us far down roads we never anticipated, the internet as currently constructed offers us so much.  Yesterday some users were shocked to be locked out of popular sites such as Reddit, Wordpress, Craigslist, and Wikipedia. While operational, even Google had noticeable changes to their homepage.  This was all in response to the potential Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

According to these sites, the blackout was a sample of the negative effects the far reaching SOPA legislation could have.  Many feel the internet would become much more restrictive and unable to operate in the way it does currently.  The Stop Online Piracy Act, House Bill 3261, was introduced by Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX).  If SOPA is approved it would grant the U.S. government the right to seek court orders against websites who are accused of facilitating copyright infringement.  Search engines and ISPs would be required to block access to such sites.  There are also many other restrictions that alter the current landscape of our leading source of information.  The main proponents of the bill feel that online piracy needs to be punished, however, major lobbyists from the music and movie industries have donated hundreds of thousands to Lamar Smith’s campaign which has angered many critics.

Those who sponsored the bill do not seem to grasp the far reaching implications this legislation could have.  In a recent article, writer Ben Sherman explains ironically that on Rep. Smith’s website, he used pictures that he never asked permission for.  This would be a violation under SOPA rules.  As is the case with medical marijuana, politicians are in the dark about issues regarding the intricacies of the emerging global economy .  The country needs jobs with web businesses and medical marijuana representing growing fields.  Instead of a common sense approach, politicians have tried to pounce on a bullet point, displaying a total lack of perspective.  Another parallel to marijuana has to do with censorship.  Unfortunately, advocates for marijuana reform have experienced the frustrating battle over censorship for decades.  This is why any legislation limiting information can be dangerous and should be a concern to everyone.

While SOPA may not restrict information quite as much as other countries, the comparisons would not be flattering for most Americans.  China is well known for strict monitoring on what its citizens can access.  Similar actions are seen in political revolts.  Libya caught the attention of the world when it basically shut off its internet and did not allow residents to communicate with the outside world.  Fortunately, the bill has been met with huge public opposition.  Several of the bills co-sponsors have abandoned the legislation and the White House has come out against the bill as currently constructed.  A new bill will likely be created but those in public office are surely to have taken note of the strong reaction by the American people.  One day without Craigslist and Wikipedia was an inconvenience, imagine all of our favorite sites down forever?

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