Rather than dwell on what we consider the hopelessly depressing results of this weekend's presidential primary voting (spoiler alert: approximately 75% of all voters are out of their freaking minds), Hope n' Change is looking at a sneakier but no less important threat to freedom being pushed by Barack "I Still Have a Year To Destroy You" Obama: The TPP.
The TPP (which allegedly stands for Trans-Pacific Partnership even though we're more familiar with those first two letters having a different and more accurate association) is the bizarre, mostly-secret trade agreement which our current anti-capitalist president is ramming through. It's long, complex, and, like Obamacare, deliberately written to be misunderstood - so we just want to focus on one seemingly teeny-tiny element which was recently changed (and which the Obama administration is no doubt hoping will fly under the radar).
You can read all about it here, but in a nutshell the TPP will allegedly extend "copyright protection" for things like online content by allowing the government to bring charges against anyone suspected of copyright infringement even if the "copying" (like a simple link to a news story) does no harm to the copyright owner and, indeed, may even be encouraged by the copyright owner.
In other words, Hope n' Change could be shut down for linking to the dry story about the TPP above, let alone linking to stories about more sensitive issues like Hillary's criminal wrongdoing or how "Bathhouse Barry" got his nickname. And if you share one of our cartoons, even though we explicitly encourage you to do so, the government could come and get YOU, too. A very tidy way to curtail bothersome political speech, don't you think?
Despite vagueness in many other areas, the TPP is quite clear about what the government can do to you if it finds you in potential (or even imaginary) violation of their new copyright standards:
• Sentences of imprisonment as well as deterrent-level monetary fines
• Higher penalties in more serious circumstances
• Seizure of infringing items (ie, computers, phones, printers, office equipment)
• Forfeiture or destruction of those items, materials, and implements (that's right, they'll crush them with a steamroller just to further honk you off).• Forfeiture of any assets (such as money) derived from the infringement
• Assignment to a prison cell which you'll share with an angry muscular giant named Mohammed Mustafa "Ass Rammer of Death" X. (Okay, the TPP doesn't specifically say this, but we think it's implied).
It's hard to see either Bernie or Hillary not liking this potential tool for reining in free speech, but can anyone really be sure that a president Trump might not also like the power to keep people from seeing "stupid" things like this troubling review of his past (and current) policy positions..?
Without freedom of speech, every other freedom will soon fall by the wayside. Which is what makes the death of a true Constitutionalist like Antonin Scalia such a critical and tragic loss at this crucial time.