Welcome to 2012, a year wrought with the promise of anguish and disappointment. Hell, add fear to that list as well. The President has just further secured his legal ability to detain you without trial through the National Defense Authorization Act For The Fiscal Year 2012, and though the legislation was passed in 2011, this is the year where we’ll really see results. That is, assuming it’s not done in secret.
If you’re concerned about the implications of such a law, you’re a rational human being. If you choose to express such concern in a public forum, we wouldn’t be surprised if you are labeled a terrorist and disappear without notice.
While President Barack Obama has said that his administration won’t detain American citizens without due process, he might not be in charge for much longer. The 2012 election will likely not bring about any real change, no matter who is elected.
Additionally, Congress is currently sitting on the Stop Online Piracy Act, which would essentially mandate the censoring of websites accused of copyright infringement. Search engines and internet providers would be expected to prevent their users from accessing such sites.
If you don’t have an opinion on “intellectual property law,” it’s time to form one. If you want one ready-made, here you go. Copyright laws in the United States have evolved past their original purpose to protect individuals into protection for large, wealthy corporations to ensure that they can profit from products, such as Mickey Mouse, long after they have become embedded into popular culture.
A vote on the act has been postponed until Congress is back in session. The act could be voted on as soon as Jan. 17, which means you’d better start cramming in the illicit episodes of “Breaking Bad” now.
Back on the home front, University of California students can look forward to having their livelihoods, once again, put in the hands of the UC Regents. The regents meet every two months and could be voting on fee increases at any time.
As for America’s progress on universal health care, the Affordable Care Act is off to the Supreme Court this year for a possible repeal. Even if it does slide through the Justice Department unscathed, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced in December that all states will be allowed to determine their own minimum health care standards, meaning going from uninsured to insured might not be much of a leap.
But as with all things, there is a silver lining. According to reliable and not-insane experts on the Mayan calendar, the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012. And not even Congress can escape death.