Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Our Rainbow Baby

July 4th AHG Parade 049

Baby Cassandra decided to make her debut a week early, at 3:36pm on Thursday, April 3rd. She was 7lbs, 5oz.   She’s a wonderful addition to our family, and we’re so blessed to have her!

She’s a cuddle bug, quiet and content as long as she’s in someone’s arms. Thankfully she doesn’t seem to care who holds her, which makes it easy for me to hand her off when I need a break, but if I’m at home by myself and try to lay her down to get something done, I have 5 or 10 minutes max before she’ll cry to be picked up again. Cassie loves looking at faces, so her big sisters like to help out by hovering over her and cooing, or jingling baby toys over her head to look at. When that doesn’t work, I’ll wear her in a sling, which she finds soothing. It’s a challenge learning once again how to get things done with older children and a baby in tow, but we’re managing.

Blogging continues to take a back seat to mothering, homeschooling, and leading an American Heritage Girls troop, but I continue to regularly post on the Oregon Tea Party Facebook page, so be sure to follow it to stay informed.

Thank you!

Rachel

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Waiting For Our Rainbow Baby

Baby Cassandra

Baby Cassandra

I want to thank my patient readers as I have taken a hiatus from blogging during this pregnancy.

It’s been a long 9 months of nausea, exhaustion, hope, fear and anticipation.  Now our rainbow baby is due any time, and I can hardly believe I’ll actually get to hold her in my arms.

I hadn’t originally intended to suspend my blog, but with so many other demands on my body, energy and sanity during this period, something had to give.   I’ve spent the past several months focused on staying rested and healthy in the midst of homeschooling my older three children, acting as Troop Coordinator for our local American Heritage Girls troop, and volunteering for the Oregon Tea Party.

These days my political activism is focused primarily on running the Oregon Tea Party Facebook Page, so please “like” and follow my posts there.  Then click “share” on the ones you find most important.  It’s a simple way to spread the word and make a difference.

One important note: Facebook is now hiding up to 97% of posts of from pages you “like” from your news feed, in an attempt to force those pages to pay for “promoted posts.” So how do you get around Facebook censorship and make sure you don’t miss anything? Hover your mouse over the “Liked” button on our page, and select “Get Notifications” and “Add to Interest Lists.” That’s it.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to take up blogging again, but in the meantime, thank you for your patience and support, and keep up the good fight in whatever sphere of influence you have!

Rachel

To Tell Or Not To Tell

Autumn Peace

Eden & Hope

Life Is A Miracle

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Please Help To Support Thoughts From A Conservative Mom!

This blog is a labor of love for you, the reader who loves this country and wants to stay informed of the threats to our liberty and how to make a difference.  I receive no compensation for blogging and pay for web services out of our family budget: $300 a year.   I tried hosting ads to offset the costs, but they only brought in about $15 over 12 months.

Would you consider making a small donation to help? Just like the fight for liberty, every little bit makes a difference!

Please click on the link below:




With gratitude,

Rachel

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Thank You For Your Patience!

My husband and I recently found out that we are expecting our fourth child, due in March.   It’s a wonderful surprise, but it also means that for awhile, my usual late night blogging sessions are going to be fewer and farther between.   My days will be full of homeschooling a 2nd grader and Kindergartener,  and I just can’t stay awake as late as usual to work when the house is quiet.

During the day I’ll continue to post regularly on the Oregon Tea Party Facebook Page, so please “like” and follow my posts there.  Then click “share” on the ones you find most important.  It’s a simple way to spread the word and make a difference.   You can also subscribe to receive the monthly newsletter I send out for the Oregon Tea Party by submitting your e-mail address at the website.

I will occasionally post on my Thoughts From A Conservative Mom Facebook Page, so feel free to “like” that page as well.

I’ll try to still update my blog a few times a week, but it just won’t be as frequently.

Thank you all for your understanding as I adjust to a new pregnancy and school year.

Love,

Rachel

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Citizen Journalist Smack-down! Juan Williams Claims Michelle Malkin Is Just A Blogger, Not A ‘Real Journalist’

Media elitist Juan Williams, who was fired by his fellow “real journalists” at NPR when he dared to express a politically incorrect opinion, tonight chose to go on live TV and arrogantly disparage the bloggers who defended him by insulting one of the best and most professional in the trade: Michelle Malkin.


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Are you a citizen journalist committed to getting the truth out that the media refuses to report? Juan Williams and his fellow Obama apologists claim you’re not “real reporters,” but “just a blogger!”

Well, thank God for bloggers!  If it weren’t for us, the American people would still be ignorant of Fast and Furious, Dan Rather’s “doctored” documents, Monica Lewinsky, Planned Parenthood assisting child trafficking, Obama blocking veterans from the Vietnam Memorial Wall on Memorial Day, and the truth about Occupy, to name just a few examples.

It’s BLOGGERS who have been vetting Obama and revealing to America his radical associations and activities – readily available facts that mainstream journalists have tried to keep hidden since the 2008 campaign!

Mytheos Holt writes at The Blaze:

Williams had tried to argue that there was nothing particularly special about the leaks regarding national security currently emanating from the White House, claiming that every administration had done the same thing. Malkin fired back by raising the point that the liberal press had excoriated former President Bush over the leaks regarding CIA agent Valerie Plame, which were seen as an attack on the country’s intelligence community and, by extension, on national security.

Williams’ response was to pull rank on Malkin. “I’m a real reporter, I’m not a blogger out on the blogosphere,” Williams said dismissively, before launching into a lecture about how reporters talk to officials, something he apparently didn’t believe Malkin had any experience with.

Malkin was visibly offended at Williams’ ad hominem response, but did not call attention to it until Sean Hannity allowed her the last word. At that point, Malkin opened fire.

“The American people are sick of the kind of snotty condescension from liberal elite journalists like Juan Williams who tell us that the rest of us are not doing our jobs, when the point is that when Eric Holder was shamefully approved and nominated and approved to be Attorney General, he had already had a long record of bastardizing national security and the rule of law,” Malkin said. “People like Joseph Connor, whose father was murdered by an FALN terrorist said at the time, and I quote, before this nomination, warning Republicans, that Eric Holder did not have the judgment, values or character to hold that office. We have been proven right, even though we are non-professional journalists.”

[…] “So real journalists are apologists for corrupt-ocracy, we got it,” Malkin said drippingly.

Read more at The Blaze

‘Real journalist’ Juan Williams pwned by ‘just a blogger’ Michelle Malkin

Juan Williams Owes Michelle Malkin an Apology

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Bloggers’ Free Speech Rights Under Attack

When dealing with an enemy who believes that practically any means are justified when attacking political opponents, conservatives must be ever more vigilant.

From The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ):

Free speech is under attack. Conservative writers are now facing threats against themselves, their families, and their livelihoods merely because they’ve aggressively investigated the history and funding of radical liberals.

Ali Akbar is president of the National Bloggers Club, a coalition of 300 conservative bloggers who reach millions of readers, has been targeted by these vicious attacks on himself and, even worse, his family.

Akbar has seen his mother’s home photographed and placed on the internet. He has also received formal notification that he may soon be sued for publishing truthful information about radical liberals and their wealthy donors.

The ACLJ will be providing legal representation to Akbar and his organization of conservative bloggers who are facing threats and intimidation tactics by those opposed to their viewpoint. We will aggressively defend their constitutionally-protected free speech rights from these unwarranted attacks.

As Akbar told the ACLJ, “I’m grateful for the support of the ACLJ, and I’m confident we’ll defeat any and all legal challenges to our fundamental right to free speech. We will not be deterred in our quest for the truth.”

In addition, a number of conservative bloggers have been targeted with a dangerous and illegal tactic that’s become known as SWAT-ing – (making false 911 calls sending police to the homes of bloggers, claiming a crime has occurred.) The tactic has been used in retaliation for posts that conservative bloggers have written.

SWAT-ing and other intimidation tactics to silence conservative viewpoints are quickly becoming a favorite tool of the radical left.

Read more at ACLJ

Who Will Protect The Freedom To Blog?

Report: 70 House Members Call On DOJ To Investigate ‘SWATing’ Of Conservative Bloggers

GOP Senator demands DOJ probe ‘swatting’ attacks against conservative bloggers

Petition Opposing Attacks Against Conservative Bloggers And Silencing Of Conservative Speech!

Bloggers under fire: Arizona conservative lawyer/activist targeted by left-wing Arizona State Bar

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Coroner: Breitbart Died Of Heart Failure

Rumors and conspiracy theories have been circulating since Andrew Breitbart’s life was cut tragically short by a heart attack.  I admit that my first reaction upon hearing the shocking news was, “somebody got him!”   But the evidence soon proved otherwise.

Breitbart was loathed by the left probably more than any other conservative figure, including Sarah Palin.  Partly because he used to be one of them, partly because he so blatantly exposed their hypocrisy, but mainly because he refused to be intimidated by their outrageous tactics.   He famously re-tweeted his hate mail to expose the hatred of the left, mocking them and practically daring them to keep it up so he could expose their dark underbelly for all the world to see.  Considering all the death threats he received, it wasn’t surprising that many suspected murder upon hearing the news.

But Andrew also had a heart problem that most of the public wasn’t aware of.  He was an unstoppable force, burning the candle at both ends and never knowing when to quit.   PJTV’s Bill Whittle released this video soon after Andrew’s death to bring to light the ignored health problems that sadly led to his fatal heart attack, and hopefully stop the conspiracy theories from gaining traction:

View on YouTube

Now we have the coroner’s report to confirm what Whittle and Breitbart’s family asserted:

The office of the Los Angeles County coroner has completed its investigation into the death of Andrew Breitbart on March 1, and has confirmed that he died of natural causes, namely heart failure.

Chief Coroner Investigator Craig Harvey told Breitbart News that the final autopsy report would be released next week.

A press release issued by the Department of Coroner (below) notes: “No prescription or illicit drugs were detected. The blood alcohol was .04%,” a negligible amount.

The press release concludes: “No significant trauma was present and foul play is not suspected.”

Read more at Breitbart

Conservatives Mourn The Loss Of Patriot Journalist Andrew Breitbart

Breitbart’s Death Inspires Patriots To Continue The Fight, Hollywood Conservatives To Come Out Of The Closet #IamAndrewBreitbart

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Top 25 Political Mom Blogs – Please Vote!

Don’t know how this happened, since I didn’t submit my blog for the contest, but “Thoughts From A Conservative Mom” is currently #17 in the “Circle of Moms Top 25 Political Moms” contest, with 294 votes! I won’t win any prize, except helping to debunk the myth that being a “true woman” means supporting Leftist ideology. Please click on the link and vote! Only four days left. Thanx!

Top 25 Political Moms – 2012

Are you a mom blogger who is passionate about politics? We’re looking for moms all over the political spectrum who discuss and debate current events on their blogs.

We are trying to promote and recognize the work of moms who blog with this contest, rather than blogs that are intended for mom readership. Therefore, this contest is only open to moms.

To ensure that votes are fairly acquired we do not allow for any prizes or giveaways in exchange for votes.

Help us find the Top 25 Political Moms – 2012 by Apr 4, 2012 at 4pm PST byvoting once every 24 hours for your favorite blog. All votes acquired through bots (or any other unfair voting mechanism), and blogs that do not fit in this category will be removed before the list is finalized.

If you have any questions, please check our FAQ page.

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Breitbart’s Death Inspires Patriots To Continue The Fight, Hollywood Conservatives To Come Out Of The Closet #IamAndrewBreitbart

We are all Breitbart Now.

That is the sentiment blazing across the conservative blogosphere as patriots ask, “how on earth can you replace someone as innovative, dynamic, passionate, committed and indefatigable as Andrew Breitbart?”  Answer: you can’t.  But literally thousands of patriot bloggers, media watchdogs and citizen journalists in this country would not even be on the trail right now if not for the man who blazed it before them.

Breitbart’s legacy is the army of conservative activists who are committed to picking up the torch and finishing the fight he started.

One Hollywood insider, Daniel Knauf, decided to finally come out publicly as a conservative and wrote a moving tribute to the man who encouraged and inspired him:

I should state right here that when I first started off on my Grand Hollywood Adventure, I was a socially left leaning, moderate fiscal conservative, proudly independent, ignoring party affiliations and casting my ballot for whoever I thought was best for–or, in any case, would do the least damage to–my beloved country.   […]

Then, on September 11th, 2001, everything changed.

I remember watching the collapse of the first tower and feeling–literally feeling the breath just leave my lungs, my chest filling with a terrible, ghastly void; a sense of distant screams in a windswept wasteland and loss loss loss oh my God all those people all those people they murdered all those thousands of people…   […]

I was greeted by coworkers in various states of shock, portable TVs turned to the news in all the offices. Like every American, I was approached by a number of colleagues who wished to vent and commiserate.

But unlike every American,  my coworkers expressed little or no anger toward the terrorists who had committed this atrocity. Rather, they directed their vitriol towards American Imperialism, American foreign policy, American arrogance, American warmongering, American racism and, most of all, our American President, the evil, unfathomably stupid, idiot Christian, bumbling Texan oaf, George W. Bush.

And what did I say?

Nothing.

Not a damn thing.

I was just shocked silent. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Were these peoplecrazy?

At one point, one of my fellow writers must’ve noticed that I wasn’t expressing my state-mandated, required ration of Bush-hatred, and confronted me like some rabid Dominican at the height of the Spanish Inquisition, “So what do you think?” she hissed, eyes narrowed, scrutinizing me, as if vetting me for any possible variance from the accepted party ideology, “What would you do if you were the President?”  […]

What I actually said, after a bit of hemming and hawing and averting of the eyes, was, “I’m just really, really glad that I’m not the President, because I don’t know what I’d do.”

(NOTE: Deliver the above in a Goofy uh-huh-yuk-yuk dopey-aww-shucks drawl to appreciate the full “Who, Me? No Ma’am!” gutlessness inherent in the speaker.)

She glared at me for a moment, as if attempting to x-ray my soul to determine whether or not I was a fellow-traveler, or something… else. Finally, she walked out to go write a check to PETA or shit herself over Global Warming or something. I was, for the moment anyway, safe.

Over the ensuing years, I continued to remain silent whenever confronted by the toxic, batshit-crazy, knee-jerk, anti-intellectual, when-in-doubt-blame-America Leftism that pervades Hollywood. I saw what happened to others if they spoke up or disagreed. I actually witnessed one writer, who foolishly expressed his support for the war in Iraq, set-upon and viciously berated by no less than six crew-members for almost 20 minutes straight.

That night, he found his car had been keyed in our secure lot.

Hmm… mustve been a random vandal.

Incidentally, though he had a storied career, an amazing list of credits and is one of the most versatile, talented writer-producers I know, the jobs gradually dried up for him and now he can’t, as they say, get arrested in this town.

Toadies in the MSM assert that there is no Blacklist in Hollywood. And they’re right.

It’s not necessary because Hollywood is a very, very small, very, very ruthless town, where a few key words spoken in the right ears can absolutely wreck a career–code-words like “difficult,” “high-maintenance” and “uneven.”  When you can obliterate a fellow professional with a few well-chosen phrases, why maintain something as crude and inelegant as a Blacklist.

How dare anyone even suggest that there’s a Blacklist against conservative performers?

Blacklists are for mouth-breathers.

Blacklists are for knuckle-draggers.

Blacklists are so… so… Republican.

And so I kept my mouth shut. And a funny thing happened: The longer I was forced to withhold my opinions and beliefs, the brighter they burned in me. Funny. Oppression has a way of doing that in the oppressed.

Ask any Soviet defector…

For years, I bit my tongue, nodding and making non-committal sounds while listening to the most virulently noxious Leftist spew imaginable: Explicit rape-murder fantasies directed toward Palin, Coulter, Malkin and Ingraham; blithely expressed wishes of cancer, assassination and mutilation of Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh; the snide denigration of “civilians” (i.e. anyone not in the entertainment business) in the “flyover states” (i.e. everywhere except New York and east of the Golden State Freeway–Pasadena, for instance is a “flyover state”); and, of course, the endless venomous, profanity-laced screes against the Tea Party.   […]

Then I met Andrew Breitbart.

Andrew introduced me to others–lots of others–in the industry who shared my belief in the exquisite beauty of the American Constitution, my love for this country and my firm conviction in its exceptionalism.

Not dozens of people, mind you. Not even hundreds.

There are thousands of us.

But there are tens of thousands of them.

So we keep a low profile, quietly taking heart when the Gary Sinises, the Patricia Heatons, the Lionel Chetwynds, the Adam Baldwins achieve a degree of success so solid, so bulletproof, that they can step out into the light and openly express their opinions without fear of crippling reprisal from the Trolls. Not that they don’t pay a price–imagine how much more famous and wealthy each would be if they were strident Liberals.   […]

I saw the hashtag thread #IAmAndrewBreitbart and drew some cheer from it. I mentally debated whether to add to the thread and thought, “Ahh, to hell with it. One tweet. Nobody’ll even notice.”

Besides, I had no choice. The tag was a play on the signature line from Spartacus, and I was a writer-producer on the first season of Sparatcus: Blood and Sand. It seemed preordained.

And thusly I tweeped:

“I wrote Spartacus, and #IAmAndrewBreitbart”

I got a response. Clever stuff. Typically mindless Leftist-style zombie-chant:

“HE LIED AND HE DIED HE LIED AND HE DIED HE LIED AND HE DIED HE LIED AND HE DIED HE LIED AND HE DIED HE LIED AND HE DIED HE LIED AND HE DIED HE LIED AND HE DIED HE LIED AND HE DIED HE LIED AND HE DIEDHE LIED AND HE DIED”

Stupid stuff. A bullshit schoolyard taunt designed to get a rise out of me. Wouldn’t have phased me any other night.

But something snapped.

12 years of silence. 12 years of cowardice. 12 years of humiliating self-censorship. 12 years of hiding what I think, who I am and what I believe in order to protect my livelihood.

And Andrew Breitbart is dead.

It all just started bleeding out of me, white hot, 140 characters at a time. All my rage. All my indignation. Like the jetting pulse from a slashed carotid, for the whole world to see.

Then came the emails. And the Follows. 1,000 in about an hour. My jaws clenched, tears blurred my vision as I typed (as they blur them now as I type): My hero is dead. Andrew Breitbart is dead.

Long live Andrew Breitbart.

#IAmAndrewBreitbart.

Read the whole thing at Into The Black Box

Conservatives Mourn The Loss Of Patriot Journalist Andrew Breitbart

Patricia Heaton Pens Memoriam to Andrew Breitbart

Oregon Citizen Journalist Pays Tribute To Mentor And Inspiration, Andrew Breitbart

An Army of Breitbarts: Andrew’s Legacy Lives On

OneMillionBreitbarts

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Defend The 1st Amendment Rights Of Citizen Journalists: Bloggers Are Journalists, Too!

Protect Your Voice Petition Video

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The establishment media are threatened by bloggers like me because we bypass the traditional gatekeepers of the ruling class and get the truth out.

Jason Stverak writes at The Washington Examiner:

This past December, federal judge Marco Hernandez of Oregon issued a ruling in the libel trial of Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox that has dangerous First Amendment implications.

Hernandez ruled that blogger Crystal Cox was not entitled to the same protection under media shield laws that other members of the press enjoy. This ruling made it easy for a jury to find her guilty of libel. That result threatens the First Amendment rights of all citizen-journalists.

With the Internet increasingly serving as the dominant source of information, a national debate has been taking place asking the question, who is a journalist? Legal scholars, journalism academics and First Amendment advocates all have their opinions and as expected, there is little agreement.

But why is this issue so complicated? Bloggers, like all citizens of the United States, have First Amendment rights. Has the definition of a journalist changed? Or has perception and therefore legal definition simply not adjusted to modern technology?

According to Professor Kyu Ho Youm of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, Judge Hernandez “ruled correctly” in the Cox case. But he also acknowledges that the ruling was based on his “textual interpretation” and that “pre-Internet law needs updating.”

Youm offers a wake-up call to state legislators. Media shield laws must be revised to make clear that bloggers and all citizen-journalists deserve the same protection as the city hall beat-writer at the local newspaper.

This is especially important, as technology and new economic realities have forced newspapers all over the country to cut staff drastically and in many cases, close up shop. The public now relies on citizen-journalists to perform an invaluable service to our democracy — serving as government watchdogs.

Read more at The Washington Examiner

Sign the petition to defend blogger’s rights!

A $2.5 Million Libel Judgment Brings the Question: Are Bloggers Journalists?

Why Bloggers and Citizen Journalists Deserve A Shield Law

Bloggers’ Rights

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Websites ‘Go Black’ To Protest SOPA

Wikiout! English Wikipedia anti-SOPA blackout

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SOPA is still a serious threat to internet free speech.

Paul Tassi warns at Forbes:

I’ve been hearing chants around the internet today that are quite literally “ding dong, SOPA is dead!” After some news this weekend, many are writing off the bill entirely. Here’s what happened to make them believe that.

– The White House published an official opinion that indicated they would not support a bill like SOPA

–  The official vote on SOPA scheduled for late January has been cancelled, and the bill has been pulled from the floor.

So is it dead? Did we win? No, and here’s why:

– In that same statement, the White House also said “While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response…” followed later by ““That is why the Administration calls on all sides to work together to pass sound legislation this year that provides prosecutors and rights holders new legal tools to combat online piracy originating beyond U.S. borders.” They still want to pass anti-piracy legislation this year.

– SOPA is not dead, it’s been “shelved” and won’t return “until a consensus is reached.”

– Protect IP (PIPA), the Senate version of the House bill, is still very much alive, and has not even been shelved, much less killed. It is equally as bad of an idea as SOPA, even if most protests are being directed at SOPA recently.

So what does this mean? Though the battle is won, the war is not. SOPA could easily make a resurgence if it sculpts itself to whatever the White House’s unspecified specifications are, and PIPA could also pass, as even with recent changes to it (courts can’t force ISPs to block websites), it’s still harmful.

Some on the internet are describing what’s happening now as an old sales tactic. You make a ludicrous offer on something (SOPA), then retract it and make a new, slightly less crazy one (PIPA, or a reshaped SOPA) that suddenly feels sane by comparison, and the other party accepts.

The entertainment industry didn’t spend millions lobbying Congress for these two bills just to give up now, and as such, you should expect this fight to continue. As I’ve said before, these bills can’t be changed or postponed, they must be crushed. We’re getting there.

Read more at Forbes

SOPA Threatens Free Speech and Jeopardizes Internet Security

SOPA Could Effectively Shut Down Bloggers

Who is ‘The Press’ in the First Amendment?

Internet Piracy Bill: A Free Speech ‘Kill Switch’

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SOPA Threatens Free Speech and Jeopardizes Internet Security

If this bill passes, it could very well be the end of this and many other blogs on both the Left and the Right.

Rob Bluey warns at the Heritage Foundation:

Would you be outraged if the Department of Justice shut down The Foundry without any warning and blocked access for more than a year?

That’s exactly what happened to a hip-hop blog called Dajaz1.com, which was falsely accused of criminal copyright infringement. The blog posted music from artists promoting their work. But federal authorities viewed it differently. They seized the domain name, then shared virtually no information with its owner for more than year. Only recently did they quietly drop the case.

The government’s handling of this hip-hop blog is fueling fears about legislation moving quickly through Congress that addresses copyright infringement and online piracy.

The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA as it’s known in the House, and the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act would give the U.S. attorney general the power and authority to block criminal enterprises from trafficking in illegal products online.

Their cause is a noble one. Business incur significant losses when Americans buy counterfeit items. Consumers must also be increasingly vigilant about purchases they make online. Federal authorities shut down more than 150 websites just last month for pirated goods.

But the two bills making their way through Congress are the wrong solution. They pose serious threats to freedom of speech and expression and raise security concerns. With the Senate possibly voting on the PROTECT IP Act in January and the House moving forward with hearings on SOPA, Americans should understand what’s at stake.

As the case with Dajaz1.com illustrates, the federal government already has the ability to shut down U.S.-based websites. A growing number of so-called “rogue sites” are located outside the United States, however, limiting the government’s ability to block them.

SOPA would give Attorney General Eric Holder and individual intellectual property holders the ability to sue these rogue sites if they were “dedicated to theft of U.S. property.” The government, through a court order, could take these four steps:

  1. Require Internet service providers to prevent subscribers from reaching the website in question;
  2. Prohibit search engines such as Google from providing direct links to the foreign website in search results;
  3. Prohibit payment network providers, such as PayPal or credit card firms, from completing financial transactions affecting the site; and
  4. Bar Internet advertising firms from placing online ads from or to the affected website.

“The legislation addresses a legitimate problem,” wrote Heritage’s regulatory policy expert James Gattuso, “but it may have unintended negative consequences for the operation of the Internet and free speech.”

Free speech: The legislation gives the government the authority to tamper with Internet search results by requiring firms like Google to block links to infringing websites. Placing this limit on information providers is troubling and arguably a violation of the First Amendment. Besides, Washington’s appetite for power is uncontrollable, and this would almost certainly lead to a slippery slope of unwanted interference in the future.

Internet security: Criminals would almost certainly discover new ways to circumvent the government’s measures. But the most glaring security problem with SOPA is the damage it would cause to DNSSEC, the new Internet system designed to limit certain crimes. This would jeopardize security across the Internet, potentially creating new challenges.

“The federal government needs to protect intellectual property rights,” Gattuso concluded in his analysis. “But it should do so in a way that does not disrupt the growth of technology, does not weaken Internet security, respects free speech rights, and solves the problem of rogue sites.”

The debate over SOPA is already among the most intense and polarizing taking place in Washington — and rightfully so. With concerns about free speech and Internet security taking center stage, lawmakers would be wise to look at alternatives when they return in January.

SOPA Could Effectively Shut Down Bloggers

Who is ‘The Press’ in the First Amendment?

Internet Piracy Bill: A Free Speech ‘Kill Switch’

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SOPA Could Effectively Shut Down Bloggers

Political blogs such as this are heavily reliant on being able to quote articles and commentary  – with proper attribution and hyperlinks, of course – for the purpose of discussion.  If SOPA passes, the government could shutdown entire websites just for featuring such content.

Erik Erickson warns at RedState:

The Act intends to stop online piracy. The way the Act goes about doing this is, in large part, allowing Eric Holder to take control of the internet and shut down websites he does not like. It is a totalitarian response from a bipartisan coalition of Congresscritters most of whom admit they have no freaking idea how the internet even works. Don’t believe me?

In a committee hearing on SOPA, co-sponsor Mel Watts (D-NC) was really open about itsaying, “I’m not a nerd” before proceeding to admit he understood nothing about the law, how the internet worked, or pretty much anything else related to it.

The legislation originated with Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX). As Neil Stevens explained in detail here the legislation will wreck terrible havoc on the internet. There is an alternative called the OPEN Act, which stands for Online Protection & ENforcement of Digital Trade Act. The OPEN Act accomplishes what SOPA intends to accomplish without handing Eric Holder the power to shut down websites that make him unhappy. Another big difference is that SOPA is backed by rich men in Hollywood and the OPEN Act is backed by people who actually use the internet and know how it works.

This battle is so important — and is one of those rare fights where the left and right are united against Congress — that I suggest the left and right unite and pledge to defeat in primaries every person named as a sponsor on H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Read more at RedState

Under SOPA, the mere fact that I just quoted part of an article could get my entire site shut down, without warning or due process.  All it takes is a single unsubstantiated complaint to a high and mighty bureaucrat with the unconstitutional power to play judge and jury and shut down free speech on nothing more than his say-so.

As with all “well-intentioned” abuses of power, lawbreakers will continue to find ways around the law to pirate copyrighted information, while law-abiding citizen journalists and pundits will find their freedoms of speech and the press severely curtailed.

SOPA must be stopped.

Internet Piracy Bill: A Free Speech ‘Kill Switch’

SOPA is the end of us, say bloggers

Stopping Online Piracy – One Way or Another

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Internet Piracy Bill: A Free Speech ‘Kill Switch’

Internet Censorship Is the Wrong Answer to Online Piracy

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This would have a HUGE chilling effect on blogs like this one, where attributed content is routinely quoted for discussion purposes.

I’m all for defending intellectual property rights, but to give government the unconstitutional authority to take down a website on nothing more than an unproven accusation – with no due process – is an assault on intellectual property rights and free speech, not a protection.

Bill Wilson from Americans for Limited Government warns at The Hill:

What began as an attempt to restrain foreign piracy on the Internet has morphed into a domestic “kill switch” on First Amendment freedom in the fastest-growing corner of the marketplace of ideas.

Proposed federal legislation purporting to protect online intellectual property would also impose sweeping new government mandates on internet service providers – a positively Orwellian power grab that would permit the U.S. Justice Department to shut down any internet site it doesn’t like (and cut off its sources of income) on nothing more than a whim.

Under the so-called “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) the federal government – which is prohibited constitutionally from abridging free speech or depriving its citizens of their property without due process – would engage in both practices on an unprecedented scale. And in establishing the precursor to a taxpayer-funded “thought police,” it would dramatically curtail technology investment and innovation – wreaking havoc on our economy.

Consider this: Under the proposed legislation all that’s required for government to shutdown a specific website is the mere accusation that the site unlawfully featured copyrighted content.  Such an accusation need not be proven – or even accompanied by probable cause. All that an accuser (or competitor) needs to do in order to obtain injunctive relief is point the finger at a website.

Additionally, SOPA would grant regulators the ability to choke off revenue to the owners of these newly classified “rogue” websites by accusing their online advertisers and payment providers as co-conspirators in the alleged “piracy.” Again, no finding of fact would be required – the mere allegation of impropriety is all that’s needed to cut the website’s purse strings.

Who’s vulnerable to this legislation?

“Any website that features user-generated content or that enables cloud-based data storage could end up in its crosshairs,” writes David Sohn, senior policy council at the Center on Democracy and Technology. “(Internet Service Providers) would face new and open-ended obligations to monitor and police user behavior. Payment processors and ad networks would be required to cut off business with any website that rights-holders allege hasn’t done enough to police infringement.”

Read more at The Hill

Debate over Internet piracy bill SOPA rages in the House

Overkill on Internet piracy

SOPA is ‘Internet censorship,’ says Google & Twitter & Facebook

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Denver Occupiers Try to Crash BlogCon11 *UPDATED*

After violently harassing attendees of an Americans For Prosperity event honoring Ronald Reagan in D.C., the “Occupiers” have selected their next target.

The “Occupiers” plan to crash the conservative bloggers’ conference hosted by FreedomWorks in Colorado.  The Denver Occupiers have a history of violent clashes with police.   Now they want to go rampaging against hundreds of bloggers armed with cameras?  Nothing like handing them free material!

Stay safe, all my patriot friends!  Let the world see the true difference between the Tea Party and the hostile “Occupy” movement.  Wish I could be there with you!

Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit shows how he and his fellow bloggers prepared for the face off:

Bring It—
The Occupy Denver hobos announced this morning that they will crash BlogCon11 today at 5:00 PM.

We decided to get ready…
“Up Twinkles”

And, “Block”

Founding Bloggers has more pictures.

In case you’re not familiar with anarchist “general assembly” hand signals for the “consensus” process, a Portland Occupier explains it here:

View on YouTube

UPDATE:  Looks like some of them jumped the gun for the planned attack, swarming the lobby of the hotel.  All American Blogger reports that

Occupy Denver, sans Shelby the dog, attempted to invade BlogCon in Denver.

My cohorts reacted brilliantly.

They mercilessly mocked them.

The thing I love about Tea Partiers is that they know how to diffuse a situation with humor. When Occupiers tried to storm the lobby, the bloggers held their ground and chanted “We want the dog! We want the dog!” (Denver occupiers recently elected a dog as their leader.)

View on YouTube

They’re not in full force yet. Hopefully that’ll give the cops time to take it seriously before they swarm. It’s disgusting that these people can’t respect the rights of others who dare to disagree with them.

Breitbart is uploading video updates as fast as he can get them.

Stay tuned…

UPDATE II:  Yid With LID shared this video (filmed by Jason Pye) of the Occupiers leaving as the bloggers sang “Na, Na, Na, Na, Hey, Hey Goodbye!”:

View on YouTube

Apparently they did come back later but were met at the curb by several bloggers and didn’t come inside.  One lady physically attacked comedian Steven Crowder.

Occupy Denver at BlogCon 11: After Action Report

One Occupy protester arrested at conservative conference in Denver

Coke Heads Protest Koch Heads at Blogcon 2011

Denver HS Teacher Brings Students to Join #OWS Mob As They Storm Conservative Conference (Video)

Denver Occupiers fail in effort to occupy BlogCon11

Lessons From the Battle of BlogCon 2011: The Occupiers Deserve Derision

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