Dan is a massage therapist working in Albuquerque. A NM resident since 2002
The logic given here is that if you stop someone from illegally downloading a TV program, they'll go out and buy it, or subscribe to HBO or other premium channel. That argument just doesn't make sense. A very small percentage of downloaders would actually go out and buy if they couldn't get it for free, but most will move on and go back to playing video games. So the actual cost to the industry is far less than the estimates the TV and music industry claim. This doesn't excuse piracy, but it puts the damages in perspective.
Yes, measures need to be taken to stop piracy; but we need to recognize this won't increase music or TV revenues by much. The measures taken need to be proportionate to the harm done by the illegal action, and the current laws are sufficient to control this activity. We don't deal with it by allowing the wholesale blocking of foreign sites; that kind of censorship is a slippery slope leading to government control of the information US citizens can access. It is exactly the type of method used in communist China, Iran, and other oppressive regimes to control information flowing to the people of those countries. This cannot be allowed to happen in the USA; and it saddens me that these representatives think such a measure would be OK.
I was disheartened when I called Sen. Bingaman's office to protest the Protect IP Act (PIPA). This act, if passed into law, would allow the government to force foreign websites off the internet - they would be able to block those sites from access in the USA. The claim is that they would only do that to protect US film makers and recording artists - but the act would not stop there.
The thought that our government would copy China - a communist country - in restricting access to foreign websites is chilling. And the fact that a Democrat Senator supports this measure is disturbing.
Clearly, the payments from the film and recording industries to our legislatures have bought them off; while they can't get together on the economy or unemployment, apparently both sides are willing to unite against freedom of information.
It's just as well Bingaman is not running for reelection - I could not vote for someone willing to restrict the freedoms of Americans.
It requires ALL state officials, including the police, to do their job. If DURING their normal duties, they come to the conclusion someone is here illegally, they have to follow up. This means if the police pull someone over for a traffic violation, and the occupants can't explain exactly where they are going, or what they are doing, then the police might suspect they are engaged in human trafficking, and they will then ask about immigration status. The far left have blown this up into an issue, when it shouldn't be. Stops based simply on race would be thrown out on appeal, as being invalid under the 4th amendment. The police know that and wouldn't waste their time.
In fact, this is what our own NM police should be doing. It's a valid aspect of an ongoing investigation.
The more worrying part is that poll officials might be encouraged to ask about this; and that could lead to profiling. Everyone going to the polls should take ID - I always do, even though it isn't required in NM. Then they can ensure they are not disenfranchised.
I don't care so much about Ralli's as your note that it leaves just three Gay bars in a town of 700,000 people. Even at just 5% of the population, that means there are 35,000 gays and lesbians in this city - come on people, how about some decent gay venues for this city?