John Robb's views reflect his military background:
What happens when a government hollows out? Answer: Private interests take control of the machinery of state to enhance and protect their profitability.
In some cases, this results in simple looting (like the US mortgage fiasco and EU meltdown). In others, Byzantine laws and rules are enacted that crush innovation and trample personal rights. Unfortunately, based on this measure, the US and the EU is well on the way to becoming hollow. There's no going back. Link: Global Guerrillas
Like the Patriot Act and its offspring, SOPA appears to be a way for the US government to seem to be protecting the public while actually giving more power to government and their cronies (monied lobbies). Here's an assessment from a friend (Vince S.) who knows how Washington works.
Behind the SOPA controversy is the story of how our laws are
routinely made. Former Sen. Chris Dodd, a man of such towering integrity that he moved his family to Iowa to run for president while still representing CT in the US Senate, is now head of the Motion Picture Association of America. He presented a bill to Congress and explained that it was simply a bill to stop piracy of movies and music. It was passed unanimously in committee, as in all Republicans and all Democrats. You remember the GOP – they're the folk who think that the feds get in the way of free enterprise. You remember the Dems – they're the guys who believe so much in freedom of speech when they're the ones speaking. When the Internet hit the fan, good ole Sen. Harry Reid, a prince among men, was required to pull it from the Senate Agenda.
And this is how our laws are made. Some lobbyist writes a bill and tells Congress that it is good. Congress believes them, not us. Who can blame them? The people with the most money are obviously telling the truth, not the riff-rate electorate.
What hubris! Our elected representative continue to sell their votes to the highest bidders while hiding their real motives.
It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.