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Chris in Paris at Americablog gets full credit for not only spotting this story, but for setting up a painful dichotomy: Attorney General Eric Holder is asking Americans to rat out neighbors who engage in intellectual-property offenses (against Hollywood and big pharmaceutical companies) at a time when not a single Wall Street official has been prosecuted for bringing our nation's economy to its knees.

Via Wired:

On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder urged Americans to fink on their neighbors and report intellectual-property offenses like popping or hawking unapproved pharmaceuticals and downloading music and movies illegally.

The announcement at the White House came as the Justice Department kicked off a public campaign against intellectual-property theft, which like all successful wars against societal scourges, will have public-service announcements on MTV.

“Fortunately, we can all be part of the solution. Anyone who suspects an IP crime can visit cybercrime.gov, fbi.gov, or iprcenter.gov to report suspected offenses,” Holder said. “The public’s proactive attention to these issues can help us to disrupt the sale of illegal goods; to prosecute the individuals, gangs, and international criminal organizations that profit from these activities; and to stop those who would exploit the ingenuity of others for monetary gain.”

The point here is not to minimize intellectual property law. The point is to set up the following analogy:

Asking Americans to actively protect the intellectual property of the 1% (Hollywood & Big Pharma) while our country is torn asunder by the 1% is like asking a police officer to protect a tiny private park whose wealthy owner is partly responsible for a city's financial ruin, and owns the property where our country's financial ruin has taken place.

Oops, did I go there?

See, this isn't about creating straw men. It's about calling out leaders who act as though they are made of straw, and who would like us to follow suit and act as their scarecrows.

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