Thebastidge: Let my blog alone!
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    ********************Southwest Washington Surplus, your prepping supply store********************

    Saturday, April 30, 2005

    Let my blog alone!

    Please take a look at this and be active in the struggle to maintain the free exchange of ideas:

    Make sure you click through to the article. I see a bill that determines what you can say, and when you want to say it. If abortion is a major issue in an election, will it be off-limits for your website or livejournal in the 90 days before an election? What else might be broadly interpreted as influencing an election? International news on the Internet? Perhaps independat coverage and commentary from inside nations which tightly control their 'official' news media?
    Bradley Smith says that the freewheeling days of political blogging and online punditry are over.

    In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.

    Smith should know. He's one of the six commissioners at the Federal Election Commission, which is beginning the perilous process of extending a controversial 2002 campaign finance law to the Internet.


    Q: If Congress doesn't change the law, what kind of activities will the FEC have to target?

    A: We're talking about any decision by an individual to put a link (to a political candidate) on their home page, set up a blog, send out mass e-mails, any kind of activity that can be done on the Internet.

    Read that again: "any decision by an individual... any kind of activity that can be done on the Internet."

    There is a problem with regulating these things, and that is that there is always a way around it for those with resources, thus it tends to only catch the small scale operator.

    I say open it up, and let 1000, or 10,000 small operators counterbalance each slick political machine.

    If there's anything our system is supposed to be open to, it is the public 'influencing' the vote- the government should be responsive.

    I think McCain-Feingold falls the way of every socialist 'solution' to a problem- you don't need to tell the people how to go about their business, just make them accountable for wrong-doing. For example, fraud is wrong- it doesn't matter if you do it over the telephone, the Internet, or door-to-door. We don't need a seperate law for each. The only thing Congress should be deciding on is who has the jurisdiction to prosecute the crime. If it's interstate, the feds should do it. If it occured all in one local venue, then the local law enforcement should prosecute it.

    In the case of campaign finance reform, make it transparent where the money comes from. I don't care who is getting how much from whom, as long as the people can fairly guage the influence such funds will have on the politician, then they can make a fair choice in the election.

    I don't care if George Soros wants to give a million dollars to John Kerry, or Mao Tse Tung for that matter. As long as everybody knows where the money comes from. And everybody is free to comment freely on the probable outcome of such an election.

    'First they came for the political campaign blogs'

    The principle behind this bill is wrong.

    As I always try to convince people; if the principle is wrong, it does not matter how little the amount is. If you're allergic to penicillin, you don't want a dose that 'probably won't kill you', you don't want a dose of it at all.


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