You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

January 19, 2012

Why I Support SOPA

I support SOPA because it will formally transform the United States into a communitarian paradise. Just look at its official description:

To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.

And here's Rep. Lamarr Smith, who introduced SOPA last fall, explaining why it's awesome:

The problem is a $100 billion problem. That's how much we think the theft amounts to of American goods, American products and stealing our inventions...These are online pirates. They are stealing our property.

What does this mean? Well:

1. 40% of stock market wealth is held by the richest 1% of Americans, and 80% is held by the richest 10%.

2. Large chunks of media corporations based in the U.S. are owned by foreigners (for instance, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal).

It would be one thing if SOPA were just about protecting the wealth of the world's richest people at the expense of everyone else's free speech. But au contraire! It's clear from what its supporters say that SOPA will turn U.S. media conglomerates into our common property. We'll all get checks from them every year, like Alaskans do with their oil!

This is why I support SOPA and everyone smart like me should support it too.

—Jon Schwarz

Posted at January 19, 2012 06:06 PM

Seriously though, at this point there's a strong case for what Leninists (I think?) call "heightening the contradictions". Here, that would mean supporting SOPA.

Perhaps there's no better way to convince people of the need for revolution than for the government to cut off their pirated porn streams.

Posted by: Cloud at January 19, 2012 07:15 PM

al franken likes it ... and the campaign donation money that comes with it ... so I like it too. al franken is funny and he is very liberal and I like funny liberals, so whatever al franken does is a-okay to me.


Posted by: Z at January 19, 2012 09:18 PM

It's also funny that they're stealing it, but don't seem to actually be getting rich off it.

Posted by: saurabh at January 20, 2012 12:15 AM

It's called SOPA, so I'm sure it's clean. Well, 99 44/100% Sure. It Floats!

Posted by: tom allen at January 20, 2012 07:58 AM

.... you guys can not be serious. The land of prolefeed is sponsering totalitarian madness, and you think it's a good thing.

Here's the problem. It isn't going to stop piracy. They will find a way around it. THEY ALWAYS DO. Also, this will censor most of the websites that people use every day. Granted, losing something like a site with pictures of kittens with cute captions isn't that big of a loss, but sites like Wikipedia, Youtube, and most social networks will also be affected.

Basically, this bill will block the main pipeline of information that almost everyone uses nowdays, bringing the flow of information and knowledge to a weak trickle. Progress can not be made without information.

Why are they doing this? For money. This bill exists only for the purpose of saving money.

Think about it, won't you? Thank you.


P.S. Educate yourselves while you still can about this bill, along with the ramifications of it (both short and long term.)

Posted by: ThePhreakyHelix at January 20, 2012 08:39 AM

$100 billion??- the industry itself has claimed losses at $58 billion! (this number is also made up)- i cant compute the math here, but pretty soon the propagandists are gonna point out that every time i click the mouse, i cost them a nickel!?

Posted by: frankenduf at January 20, 2012 09:23 AM

ThePhreakyHelix - re-read the post carefully, then repeat after me: "Boy, is my face red!"

Posted by: saurabh at January 20, 2012 10:32 AM

Hard to argue with that. Especially if they cut off access to your website.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 20, 2012 10:36 AM

An interesting read.....

"Patent Nonsense
Intellectual property enforces a monopoly over the mind."


Posted by: Rupa Shah at January 20, 2012 10:55 AM

Posted by: mistah 'MICFiC' charley, ph.d. at January 20, 2012 02:18 PM

On SOPA, I believe the relatively sane billionaires at Google won this round.

Posted by: Batocchio at January 23, 2012 04:11 AM

Krugman was never an ally of Obama? Come on that's stupid. He supported Obama on health care reform. Krugman's not liberal? Really?

And your blog post on Hitchens was really stupid too.

Posted by: Peter K. at January 23, 2012 01:42 PM

Krugman named his blog "Conscience of a liberal." You must have a crazy definition of what a liberal is.

And about Hitchens, bin Laden and the Palestians. What if bin Laden said we did because of world hunger? So what? Yeah hunger's a problem.

Or I'll put in terms maybe you can understand. Say it's right after WWII when Hitler invaded Poland, France, Russia, etc. and gassed trainloads of Jews among others. Someone points out "well the allies were pretty harsh about World War I reparations." It's sort of besides the point even if true. Knuckleheads like you give the left a bad name.

Posted by: Peter K. at January 23, 2012 01:57 PM

Mirror, mirror
On the wall
Who's the sanest
Of us all
Is he with us
Or one of them
How does he dress
Who are his friends
And I
I'm so confused
Which way to choose---Steppenwolf
Ah, the politics of division, its in OUR blood, heart and soul.
Ain't that America
You and me, Babe---John Melloncamp

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 23, 2012 03:20 PM

Wow, comparing bin laden to Hitler is fucking genius. Wish I had thought of that before. Except, hmm, bin Laden wasn't exactly at the head of a state apparatus bringing its industry to bear through sheer intimidation of the general public. Instead, he was the nominal head of an organization that promoted asymmetric warfare, that relied on a decentralized network of volunteers who felt sympathetic to his cause. So, what he said mattered a lot, because it determined how many people found his ideology worth supporting. This, and this alone, is the determinant of "al Qaeda"'s strength. Thus, when al Qaeda says that things like the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, American presence in Saudi Arabia, American starvation and later bombing of Iraq, Arab dictatorships' cooperation with America are all things they are fighting against, we should consider whether those things are worth stopping. I'd say they're worth giving up just on their own merits, regardless of whether they'd also have the effect of reducing support for al Qaeda.

Posted by: saurabh at January 23, 2012 06:20 PM

saurabh: ALL excellent activities to drop which would, no doubt, lead to a better, safer, happier, more productive nation and, yea, world. None the less, WE ARE AMERICA, there are TRADITIONS to concider. They can tell it to the Drone.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 23, 2012 08:07 PM

"I'd say they're worth giving up just on their own merits, regardless of whether they'd also have the effect of reducing support for al Qaeda."

Yeah just like World War I reparations were unfair to Germany. Actually it was America's fault. Germany owed the UK and France excess war reparations throughout the twenties until the Great Depression and the UK and France owed the US war time debts. America wouldn't negotiate down its debts and so the UK and France wouldn't let Germany get out from under its debts.

The Nazis took power in Germany partly via their ideology and propaganda. It was thanks to people who said things like "yeah Hitler is right the war reparations were unfair. They're trying to keep Germany down." Like what Schwartz is saying about bin Laden.

Bin Laden screwed the Palestinians, got Bush re-elected, got Iraq and Afghanistan invaded and got himself assassinated. Good work. Well done.

Posted by: Peter K. at January 24, 2012 10:56 AM