Well, of course anything can be declared a “civil right”. All it takes is using the force of government via law or bureaucratic fiat (FCC imposes new rules on internet) to make something into that. But any basic understanding of the word “right” does not include something which depends on the labor, money, services or assets of a 2nd party for its fulfillment. Health care is not a “right”, civil or otherwise, because in order to fulfill it, one must coerce a 2nd party provider to give the services necessary whether they want to or not.
So is the internet a “civil right”? Depends on who you ask – for the entitlement crowd, the answer is “yes”:
"Broadband is becoming a basic necessity," civil-rights activist Benjamin Hooks added. And earlier this month, fellow FCC panelist Mignon Clyburn, daughter of Congressional Black Caucus leader and No. 3 House Democrat James Clyburn of South Carolina, declared that free (read: taxpayer-subsidized) access to the Internet is not only a civil right for every "nappy-headed child" in America, but is essential to their self-esteem. Every minority child, she said, "deserves to be not only connected, but to be proud of who he or she is."
Heck, the same argument could be made for any number of things – a cell phone, for instance. Any number of people I’m sure would argue that a cell phone and unlimited access to a cellular phone network has become a “basic necessity”. Of course we’re sliding down that slippery slope at an amazing rate of speed.
And if internet access is a “basic need”, a “civil right”, what about the tools necessary to access it? An account with an internet provider and a computer? Software? Michelle Malkin remarks:
Face it: A high-speed connection is no more an essential civil right than 3G cell phone service or a Netflix account. Increasing competition and restoring academic excellence in abysmal public schools is far more of an imperative to minority children than handing them iPads. Once again, Democrats are using children as human shields to provide useful cover for not so noble political goals.
And, of course that “not so noble political goal” is more government control which, of course, translates into more power accrued and more control of every aspect of your life. Malkin again:
For progressives who cloak their ambitions in the mantle of "fairness," it’s all about control. It’s always about control.
Precisely – and they’ll use any trick in the book to enlarge it. And cloaking it in the guise of a “civil right” simply points out, again, how blatantly transparent they’ve gotten in their quest. This isn’t about “rights” – this is about power and intrusion.
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That was the promise candidate Barack Obama made. He claimed that wasn’t the case during the Bush administration and under his leadership, science would be ascendent. They’d just let the chips fall where they may.
Well, except maybe in the EPA when a key to an ideological agenda item – declaring CO2 a pollutant – didn’t have the science available to support the desired result. Read the executive summary of this suppressed report. It outlines why the science doesn’t support the desired agenda item of declaring CO2 a pollutant. Of course without such a declaration, legislation for pollution standards for autos as well as this abomination of a cap-and-trade bill before the House today are without basis.
Michelle Malkin is all over this and it’s ironic that what occurred sounds exactly like what the left accused the Bush administration of doing:
The EPA now justifies the suppression of the study because economist Carlin (a 35-year veteran of the agency who also holds a B.S. in physics) “is an individual who is not a scientist.” Neither is Al Gore. Nor is environmental czar Carol Browner. Nor is cap-and-trade shepherd Nancy Pelosi. Carlin’s analysis incorporated peer-reviewed studies and, as he informed his colleagues, “significant new research” related to the proposed endangerment finding. According to those who have seen his study, it spotlights EPA’s reliance on out-of-date research, uncritical recycling of United Nations data, and omission of new developments, including a continued decline in global temperatures and a new consensus that future hurricane behavior won’t be different than in the past.
It appears, at least in this case, that science isn’t of interest to the ideologues on the left any more than it was to the ideologues on the right. That may be an “inconvenient truth”, but there it is. Again we find what was promised by Obama during the campaign, just like transparency and fiscal responsibility, were “just words”.