(reposted from Make HR Happen 1/18/2012)

I feel like I am crossing some sort of cyber picket line by even thinking about posting something about the SOPA protest happening with major players in the online community today. It is uncommon for me to directly comment on political matters because I am basically an advocate of freedom and usually scoff at the polarizing rhetoric of the right and the left. I don’t blog about politics, religion or morality even though I have definite opinions on everything. What I don’t do best is to allow closed minded people block my attempts at being open minded.

SOPA is basically a stupid idea.

That’s my opinion. Make me change my mind if you can. Any believer in freedom has to wince a bit whenever there is a risk of being pushed down the slippery slope of Orwellian big-brotherism.

The US Congress is clueless about most technical issues.

We elect smart people to represent us in the Senate and House of Representatives and they apparently check in for a lobotomy before taking their seat. Why in this time of waning approval ratings would any political body go on such an offensive? Who in their right mind would not have seen the firestorm of controversy that would be generated by SOPA? Oh yes, the same people who can’t figure out how jobs are created at the same time they are squeezing business with overregulation. Here’s a clue Congress: Business creates jobs…you don’t. And for the internet? Go talk to Al Gore. After all, he invented it.

There is new evidence of the power of the online community.

Only a few days after we commemorated the legacy of Martin Luther King’s peaceful protests that changed our society, we are seeing the power of a community of social media and the internet to influence policy. Several of the sponsors of SOPA are already backing down on the details of the original plan and there is evidence that it may go further. Something may pass and be signed into law through compromise and political deal making, but how is it going to be enforced and who will do it? Another government agency? What is wrong here is that we are living on our credit cards and have no intention of paying the bill.

Maybe neither side is right!

There is a fine line between anarchy and civility. Can’t we all just get along? How far is too far and who decides? I ask if any part of the behemoth voices online protesting SOPA are looking at their bottom line instead of what is best for all of us. Giving credit to lawmakers who really want to do the right thing, how much of the proposed legislation is use of political power to push a personal agenda. Some people may be ignoring a problem while others may be running around with solutions looking for a matching problem.

I may be over the top on my comments. I do have a problem with keeping sarcasm out of my writing when I am trying to make a point. The bottom line is that I value my freedom. At the same time I must respect the freedom of others. I have the freedom to swing my fists wildly unless they make contact with someone else’s freedom. This story is not finished.


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