December 20, 2011, 5:12 PM — Online debate about the Stop Online Piracy Act hit a hysterical fever pitch about 12 seconds after it started, as opponents predicted it would cause the end of Democracy, strangling of the Internet, imprisonment of the innocent and a disappointing shortage of moist chocolate rum cakes during the Christmas holidays.
Mind you, I don't doubt any of those things. Especially the last one; fascists hate rum cake.
Pretty soon, not saying things and not reading them isn't enough. Thinking those things becomes the crime, which is really hard to enforce, and someone has to fund a whole industry devoted to providing the random strip searches, invasions of privacy and enhanced interrogation of children and household pets in an effort to flush out the (venial sin-committing) evildoers before they can speak their thoughts again.
SOPA's supporters, meanwhile, brush off objections from the SOPA opponents – while holding hearings at which the only witnesses permitted to speak were those holding the same point of view as SOPA sponsors their own point of view to be heard.
(That's a good indication of how SOPA would work if it went into effect, isn't it?)