Saturday, December 31, 2011

Write your congressmen, you lazy bum

I posted the following to Diaspora. It got long enough, I figured I'd share it here:

Given the nature of Diaspora, #SOPA and #PROTECT_IP probably weigh heavier on the minds of the average user here than other, more mainstream social-networking outlets. On facebook, I shared links to form letters expressing outrage at these pieces of legislation, urging my friends to show their support. But there is a higher level of awareness here. For that reason I urge you to do more. While senators and representatives certainly take heed of mass emails, they all share the same message. Thus, it gets read once. There is a number attached, which acts as an indicator of popularity the letter's position's popularity, but a single addition to that number has relatively little impact.

If you feel passionately enough to want to be more than a number attached to a form letter, I suggest taking the time to write your own, personalized letter. Your vote may be a drop in the bucket, but, from friends who have served on the staffs of various congressmen, I have learned that a personalized letter will generally be read by a high-level staff member, at least; by the congressman himself, if it is particularly well-written and insightful (they get hundreds each day, so of course they can't personally read them ALL). Furthermore, a unique (as opposed to form) letter will weigh much heavier in their consideration, often considered equivalent to thousands of votes.

As SOPA and PROTECT-IP are so significant, I hope some of you will take the time to go the extra mile to stand out from the crowd and voice your personal opposition to these insidious pieced of legislation. You can read the letter I composed to Sen. Durbin at if you need some inspiration to get started. To get the most bang-for-your-buck, I recommend targeting your letter toward whichever of your congressman you consider yourself most politically aligned with, but also sending copies to your other two congressmen, modifying them where necessary to make them applicable.

Remember, we may not have the financial means to weigh in against corporate interests, and our individual votes may be next-to-worthless. But we have the advantage of numbers. If we don't use that advantage, we can only blame ourselves for what happens to our country.

Slack be with you,

Reverend Chuck

#censorship #CorporateAmerica #Senate #politics #internet #netfreedom #Congress

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