Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Federal Power Grab - Trying to Keep Up

If it's true that the motto of internet users is "they can touch my balls, they can feel up my wife and daughter, but they better keep their damned filthy hands off my Internet", maybe this will trigger some small portion of the outrage SOPA/PIPA generated.  The US has decided they can shut down any .com domain anywhere in the world. According to Wired magazine (that link):
When U.S. authorities shuttered sports-wagering site last week, it raised eyebrows across the net because the domain name was registered with a Canadian company, ostensibly putting it beyond the reach of the U.S. government. Working around that, the feds went directly to VeriSign, a U.S.-based internet backbone company that has the contract to manage the coveted .com and other “generic” top-level domains.
The feds' argument is that since the .com domains are controlled by VeriSign, which is a US company, and were granted a monopoly by the feds as internet registrar, the US has the right to shut down any domain ending in .com whenever they choose. 
Furthermore, it says it has the right to seize any .com, .net and .org domain name because the companies that have the contracts to administer them are based on United States soil, according to Nicole Navas, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman.
Advise to any company spokes-types who happen across this: you might want to consider a different domain.

All the discussion of Sandra Fluke and "slut-gate" has controlled the narrative and shifted it into contraception and "women's health issues" instead of the first amendment.  So Ms. Fluke (I keep hearing it pronounced "fluck"; rhymes with...) did her job as the faithful leftie foot soldier she is and got the media and public distracted.   Meanwhile, it's worse than you think.  Newly-appointed Cardinal Dolan was asked to the White House to discuss the situation.  He was told to shut up and accept what the government tells him to do.  In the Cardinal's own words:
At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. They were informed that they are.  So much for “working out the wrinkles.”  Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America.  The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.  [emphasis added - GB]
Cardinal Dolan's letter is here in pdf form  He says the administration told him it's a done deal, the church needs to get over it and just "work out the wrinkles".  Secretary of HHS Sebellius even offered the absurd argument that “Religious insurance companies don’t really design the plans they sell based on their own religious tenets.” Srsly?  When was the last time you were involved in those plans, Skippy?

As I frequently say, don't worry - it's not that bad; it's much worse.  The Obama administration has argued that it has the right to tell churches who they can hire as pastor/teachers
Acting Deputy Solicitor General Leondra Kruger told the court, during oral arguments, that the federal government should be able to trump the church on these decisions.

"Their submission is that the hiring and firing decisions with respect to parochial school teachers and with respect to priests is categorically off limits," said Kruger. "And we think that that is a rule that is insufficiently attentive to the relative public and private interests at stake, interests that this court has repeatedly recognized are important in determining freedom of association claims."
Did you know this made the Supreme Court?   The story is in the context of a woman who developed narcolepsy and couldn't do her job, but when has ever held to narrow interpretations of law?  There's a story that even Justice Kagan looked at the Solicitor General and said something like "You can't possibly be making that argument, can you?"

Trying to keep up with the attacks on our liberty is a full time job for an army. 


  1. Trying to keep up with the attacks on our liberty is a full time job for an army.

    Sadly that's the bitter truth.

  2. This "administration" is completely, totally, out of control.
    Orwell was a few years too early.....

  3. Orwell wrote 1984 in 1948 and just swapped the last two digits ... no real significance to the date - it was an arbitrary point in the future - but his message was the overwhelming appetite of the State for power and resource.

    Phil B

  4. quote:

    "Secretary of HHS Sebellius even offered the absurd argument that “Religious insurance companies don’t really design the plans they sell based on their own religious tenets.”

    So let me riddle you this SGB. If this is the new 'template', will Obama and company now mandate that muslim sharia compliant insurance companies cover the cost of medicines that use pork products or alcohol in their compounds for employees that are not muslim?

    1. It seems that the answer is yes, they'd make muslim insurance companies violate their principles, too. They will apparently require Seventh Day Adventist schools to serve meat (probably already do, come to think of it), and likewise for Buddhists. They're apparently saying that pesky old 1st amendment is just too antiquated, and they know better. There is no limit to their thirst for power.

      Now would they? might well be a different question because the left clearly never holds Islam to the same standards as Christianity.

  5. The potential exists not only to turn off certain websites but to just remove selected information from a website giving the impression to the majority of people that no killswitch was even engaged in the first place. Please refer to the chapter "Shaving Off Communication Like a Razor" (from over a year ago) in "Roadkill Medicine".

    1. I remember that, and I think we even discussed it at the time you posted it.

      I wonder if there's anyone anywhere alleging that it's actually now being done? I'm sure you remember (someone's?) counterpoint that "the internet views censorship as damage and routes around it". I'm not a good enough computer weenie (somebody should ask Borepatch), but it might be interesting to ponder how that could be detected.

      Clearly, you were able to read this post, so they're not doing it to me. Yet. And the fact that the only way they seem to go after these sites they've been hitting is plain, old JBT tactics makes it seem like cutting out words and things might not be that doable.

      Food for thought, for sure.