Daniel Roy Greenfeld

Daniel Roy Greenfeld

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My SOPA boycott

This was originally posted on blogger here.

I'm against SOPA and PIPA.

I believe that those bills will kill not just free speech, but also business within the USA. Innovation will wither. I'm also of the belief that those companies trying to get SOPA into place don't realize that no idea is new and if SOPA passes they'll be hammered with an increasing amount of takedowns and suits against them for anything they do. Litigation based on SOPA won't be as easily handled as the current status quo.

I've signed the petitions, I've posted on Twitter, Facebook, and Google. That isn't enough. I have to be willing to make a sacrifice. And in this case I'm going to make the sacrifice my vote.

My vote sacrifice is a boycott. It's directed at any politician, local or otherwise:

My Boycott:

  • If you as a politician vote for SOPA/PIPA then you lose my vote. Regardless of whatever other opinions you have or party you belong to, you've lost me as a supporter.
  • If SOPA/PIPA passes you can get my vote back by voting for what bill that destroys SOPA/PIPA is nominated.
  • If SOPA/PIPA fails you can get my vote back by voting against whatever bills are resurrected to replace SOPA/PIPA.
  • I will ignore party boundaries. I will vote against my normal grain simply to get you removed from office.


Like campaign finance reform, controls of freedom of speech often have unpredictable repercussions. 
The terrible thing about these bills is that their supporters are bi-partisan. While it's wonderful to see political opponents working together, in this case, it's for a terrible cause. 
So I'm going to cross political boundaries too. I'm going to say that as a registered Democrat I'm going to vote Republican if a Democrat candidate at any level votes for SOPA/PIP.

About Me

I don't use pirated software. I don't read, watch, or listen to pirated content. I purchase everything legally or use open source equivalents. I make a pretty decent salary and am pretty much in the direct center of what is called the 'middle-class'.

I'm also pro-business and a rather patriotic citizen of the United States. I believe in our nation and what it represents, and I know these bills are going to be a dagger in the heart of what our founding fathers gave us.

Finally, as I said, I'm a Democrat willing to vote Republican, Green, Libertarian, or whatever to make my point. That's my sacrifice. My vote and role in this nation that took my family in over 100 years ago is now in the hands of politicians.

What's yours?

9 comments captured from original post on Blogger

mike bayer said on 2012-01-18

So if Mitt Romney wins, then declares war on Iran (OK perhaps we'd need a more crazy repub than him, but suppose). Now we're at war with Iran, 100Ks of innocents die. Because everyone agreed with you, that they too wanted to be single issue voters, and Mitt said what they wanted to hear on this single issue and Obama did not (never mind if he keeps any promises, they never do!) You'd be OK with that?

The only point I wish to make is that single issue voters create an easily manipulable voting public. They'd love for everyone to be single issue. Getting what you want as a politician becomes a simple suduko game, essentially.

pydanny said on 2012-01-18

Mike, you raise some very hard issues. I've considered those as well - that this might mean getting the wrong people into office. But that happens anyway.

For example, Clinton, while I voted for him, bombed a factory in another country for no better reason then to distract from a scandal.

Yes, no politician is perfect, and they all-too-often go back on their word. Either to compromise to get something else, or for kickback. Hence my hard measures.

I would rather risk some things then to lose what control we have over our lives in this way. It's not just our livelyhood, but also our ability to inform each other. If this bill passes, then perhaps negative statements about that war in Iran or some vile corporate behavior will be squashed. We simply can't predict the results.

I want to be able to say no. I want to be able to state it loud and clear and not worry about violation of due process.

If that makes me a single subject voter, then I'm willing to take the risk.

Joe said on 2012-01-18

Danny, do you really think that your vote makes any difference to "your" elected "representative"? Think about it. Even if 100 or 1000 voters in your district joined in your "boycott" will that sway his/her vote? In 2008, thousands of people (maybe even tens or hundreds of thousands) contacted their representatives/senators to stop the $700 billion bailout. Did that stop them?

As someone commented on Google+, "I suggest worrying about and acting on things you can control, and preparing for those things for which you cannot."

pydanny said on 2012-01-18


So I should just give up and roll over and let them take my freedoms away?

No thank you.

John said on 2012-01-18

How is making a choice about who to vote for based on an issue that's important to you a sacrifice?

Sounds like exactly the way the democratic process is supposed to work.

Joe said on 2012-01-19

No, I didn't say that. You can protest, try to convince others of the inequity of "the system," and other things that may help your freedom. But realize that political action and voting in particular won't defend your freedoms. Imagine if they had an election and almost nobody came. Imagine if you were allowed to vote "None of the Above" and NOTA won by a landslide (unfortunately, they won't allow that).

pydanny said on 2012-01-21

Joe, I'm really not sure what you are advocating for me to do or not do. I'm not voting NOTA, I'm voting for the clear opposition.

pydanny said on 2012-01-21


It's a sacrifice because I'm willing to risk the pitfalls of helping the side I usually don't like (Republicans) get into office. The sad truth is that the celebrity/media attachment to the liberal side of things endangers a lot of what I care about.

Joe said on 2012-01-23

Hi Danny,

I wasn't urging you to vote NOTA, because in any case in most elections/jurisdictions NOTA is not on the ballot, because if it were it would be embarrassing to the ones holding the election. If you had two candidates and both had come out in favor of SOPA (not too difficult around your neighborhood), by voting NOTA (None of the Above) you'd at least be showing your displeasure with your choices, but they won't let you do that. If many voters shared your disgust, NOTA may even win (and they would have to cancel the election and have a re-run of course). But they want you to choose from "the lesser of two evils" (which by definition, is still evil).

My point is voting and other political action doesn't accomplish much. Even the SOPA strike didn't, except for a show of solidarity against the bullies. Today's Wizard of Id (first three panels) is a good allegory for what happened after the SOPA strike, i.e., the FBI took down Megaupload (with the help of another "king" down under).

If you really want freedom, I'd recommend you start by reading How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne.

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