BILL GOES TOO FAR
Let's get something straight: Internet piracy does not cost the U.S. economy "$58 billion annually" ["Caught Up in the Net," WW, July 27, 2011]. It has been well documented how industry groups routinely and grossly over-exaggerate their losses to piracy.
Still, piracy should be deterred, and there are a number of laws as well as voluntary measures by ISPs that do this (and more on the way).
The principle objections to "PROTECT IP" (S-968) are that it goes way too far. There are deep constitutional objections as well as technical ones. It would be expensive, retard free speech and commerce, and significantly degrade the experience of the Internet. Everyone would lose; only a very few at the top of the royalty food chain would gain.
The MPAA and RIAA do not have the greater good in mind, but rather media control and maximizing profit for a few.
Senator Wyden has made a wise and courageous political move in blocking this bill. Also, I believe Wyden's opposition was specifically to "secret holds" (just like it sounds). This is not a secret hold. Your article mentions that the AFL-CIO is supporting this bill. I am a member of IATSE, under the AFL-CIO umbrella, and it should be noted the decision to support this was never voted on by the membership. I have received a great deal of one-sided propaganda in support of this.
It is my belief that, if all AFL-CIO members heard both sides of the story, many would be in opposition to this Draconian bill.
END DOG OWNER BIAS
Forest Park ranger, the Best of Portland ["Best Kemo Sabe," WW, July 27, 2011]?
Really it's just a perpetuation of the unfounded, and unequaled, bias against dog owners: "the biggest issue he sees is off-leash dogs, which can disturb wildlife, spread invasive species, and trip up bikers." Consider:
-Cyclists can be far more rude, and can do more trail damage than anyone walking a dog. (I know, I'm a cyclist.)
-Cats roam the city with impunity and without regard to songbird predation. Until the city treats outdoor cats with the same restrictions as dog owners, I [don't] buy the wildlife issue.
-Invasive species? How does a dog spread more invasive species than anyone else using the park?
Have you been out to any beach lately? Broughton? Sellwood? The garbage is rife, and it's not from dog owners. There are a lot of users of Portland's natural areas that do far more damage than someone enjoying an outing with their dog. Metro even has a sign at Broughton beach proclaiming in the largest type "No Pets," where in small print it's just mentioned "no guns"; meanwhile, you're ankle deep in trash from partiers.
This city needs to base its concern about dogs in reality rather than perception, and start addressing real issues concerning public spaces.
If you want to see an area that is managed with the cooperation of dog owners, visit the Sandy River Delta with me…. I can provide you an example of shared usage that works, as well as the impact of the overly restrictive Portland / Metro policy regarding dogs.
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