Friday, April 01, 2005

It may be up to us, how Asia based blogs may be the last true bloggers in the World.

The coming crackdown on blogs in the US.
Be very afraid......

I don't normally read Michelle Makin, except when I get one of those loony right wing e-mails from one of my buddies and it usually has her picture and a quote from one of her articles. ( She's like Ann Coulter: nice to look at but then she opens her mouth and ruins it.)
Anyway, I did get linked to an article of hers that jarred me, she wrote about CNET reporter Declan McCullagh who has an important piece warning of the "coming crackdown on blogging."
In a nutshell, the Federal Election commission proposes to include internet communications in restrictions on campaign fianance laws. As Winfield Myers writes:

"The possibilities that [FEC commissioner Bradley] Smith lays out are chilling and, if enacted, could spell the end of blogging as we know it. Indeed, it could turn much of what is published on the Net into a samizdat-style activity.

Sound alarmist? Read on. It all stems, of course, from McCain-Feingold, the absurd and (per the Supreme Court) unconstitutional curtailment of political speech in violation of the First Amendment. Both Senators, and the Democratic members of the Commission, favor regulating political speech on the Internet, lest bloggers and electronic publications enjoy an advantage over print publications. This is a huge power grab by elements of the federal bureaucracy who are threatened by New Media, and a first step by those forces to shut down political speech they don't like."

There is a lot on various political blogs today about the consequences if this is carried to its ultimate conclusion. According toCaptain Ed:

"Bigger blogs will come under closer scrutiny, which means that any expression of support on CQ with a referential hyperlink may well get valued at more than the $2,000 maximum hard-cash contribution. In order for me to operate under those conditions, I will need to hire a lawyer and an accountant to guide me through the election laws and calculate my in-kind donations on almost an hourly basis. How many bloggers will put up with that kind of hassle just to speak their minds about candidates and issues?"

Since I have to pay federal income taxes in the US, they could hunt me down too or anyone else whose opinions they don't like. Both liberals and conservatives as well as those us solidly in the middle should be worried.

As is pointed out by Mike Krempasky of Red State: "Make no mistake - Democrats and Republicans together got us into this mess, including President Bush - who in the most glaring example of political cowardice of his administration signed McCain-Feingold.
But now that it's becoming clear what sort of disaster we're heading for as this law evolves and expands - the Democrats own this one. The Republican members of the FEC have seen the edge of the cliff and are trying to back away, only to be frustrated by the three Democratic appointees on the Commission. So I hope that our friends on the left side of the blogosphere will join us in urging those Democrats to stop this before it's too late.

Consider it the first opportunity for the left-of-center bloggers to have their very own Sister Souljah moment."

If this comes to pass, then like everything else in America, sharp witted political commentary will have to be outsourced. It will be us expatriate Americans who may have to save what is left of the First Amendment. Since after all, there's no crackdown on blogs overseas . (How I wish that were true!)

Geez louise.......Skippy-san


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