Tag Archives: Cass Sunstein

Cass Sunstein Is Certifiable; Absolutism, First Amendment New Deal & More Executive Power

Cass Sunstein is one of the scarier of Obama’s czars and the fact that he was confirmed by the Senate makes it 10x worse!  Sunstein may be a very nice man, but when it comes to ideology, theory, ideas, and his views on the constitution, it makes me want to pull my hair out and scream.  I’m not sure what it is about the world of academia and the absolute detachment from reality that many hold, but it’s time for America to get past the status  of holding ivy league degrees; the superficial, and vote for people with real world experience.  Teachers do live in the real world, but my question would be whether not they have actually worked in a job or a place where they have implemented these ideas first to see if they actually work and help people, not hurt.

Besides, Cass Sunstein’s idea of Internet regulation, whereby a panel or individual of some sort would decide what is inaccurate or false and ban content via their own opinion (more detail on this can be found in his book entitled On Rumors), he has also argued that animals should be able to have a lawyer and sue humans, and guns and hunting should be banned.  There is much more to Cass Sunstein and his regulatory ideas in Nudge, another book penned by the newly approved czar.

More information about Sunstein is slowly but surely beginning to trickle out as time passes.  Cass Sunstein is a proponent of absolutism which really is a sick, twisted theory of “no liberty without dependency”:

You owe your life — and everything else — to the sovereign. The rights of subjects are not natural rights, but merely grants from the sovereign. There is no right even to complain about the actions of the sovereign, except insofar as the sovereign allows the subject to complain. These are the principles of unlimited, arbitrary, and absolute power, the principles of such rulers as Louis XIV. Intellectuals have assiduously promoted them; think of Jean Bodin and Thomas Hobbes.

A new intellectual champion of absolutism has now emerged. Mild-mannered University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein has been advancing the radical notion that all rights — including rights usually held to be “against” the state, such as the right to freedom of speech and the right not to be arbitrarily imprisoned or tortured — are grants from the state. In a book co-authored with Stephen Holmes, The Cost of Rights, he argued that “all legal rights are, or aspire to be, welfare rights,” that is, positive grants from the state. There is no difference in kind between the right not to be tortured and the right to taxpayer-subsidized dental care.
In his new book, The Second Bill of Rights, Sunstein seeks to give constitutional status to welfare rights. The title comes from Franklin Roosevelt’s 1944 State of the Union address, in which he proclaimed that “necessitous men are not free men” and proposed a “second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all.” Among the rights FDR proposed were the rights to “a useful and remunerative job,” “a decent home,” “adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health,” “adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment,” and “a good education.”

To further understand the radical nature of Sunstein’s theories, it’s imperative that we also take a look at his proposed First Amendment New Deal which would act as a new Fairness Doctrine, following the same lines of his Internet regulation ideas.

President Obama’s newly confirmed regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, drew up a “First Amendment New Deal,” a new “Fairness Doctrine” that would include the establishment of a panel of “nonpartisan experts” to ensure “diversity of view” on the airwaves.

Sunstein compared the need for the government to regulate broadcasting to the moral obligation of the U.S. to impose new rules that outlawed segregation.

Until now, Sunstein’s radical proposal, set forth in his 1993 book “The Partial Constitution,” received no news media attention and scant scrutiny.

In the book – Sunstein outwardly favors and promotes the “fairness doctrine,” the abolished FCC policy that required holders of broadcast licenses to present controversial issues of public importance in a manner the government deemed was “equitable and balanced.”

Sunstein introduces what he terms his “First Amendment New Deal” to regulate broadcasting in the U.S.

It appears that Sunstein and Lloyd are two peas in a pod.  Both of these men believe that commercial broadcasting companies should fund strictly public broadcasting.  He also proposes more “democratic” means of control like “compulsory public-affairs programming, right of reply, content review by nonpartisan experts or guidelines to encourage attention to public issues and diversity of view.”

Believe it or not, that’s not the worst to come out of Sunstein’s mouth or from his pen lately.  Sunstein actually believes that Obama and those working as part of his administration should interpret federal laws, not the federal courts.

“There is no reason to believe that in the face of statutory ambiguity, the meaning of federal law should be settled by the inclinations and predispositions of federal judges. The outcome should instead depend on the commitments and beliefs of the President and those who operate under him,” argued Sunstein.

This statement was the central thesis of Sunstein’s 2006 Yale Law School paper, “Beyond Marbury: The Executive’s Power to Say What the Law Is.” The paper, in which he argues the president and his advisers should be the ones to interpret federal laws.

See why I’m pulling my hair out and screaming? This is sheer insanity and the man still argues that this is all constitutional!

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Filed under Big Brother, Constitution, Czars, Establishment, Fairness Doctrine, FCC, Media, Net Neutrality, Obama Administration, Progressivism, Radicals, Sunstein

Internet Power Grabs and Information Control

There are more power grab attempts taking place right under our collective noses.  The only reason that some of us know about these bills and plans is due to the Internet and the investigative reporting by bloggers and online journalists.

CNET.com recently came across a bill that was drafted by Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller from West Virginia. This bill is significantly smaller than those that have been getting pummeled down our throats and rushed through congress in the recent months. The bill is only 55 pages long and some of the provisions in this draft make sense, but others raise serious concerns.

The section in question is the one which would give the president complete control of the Internet should a cybersecurity threat or emergency arise.

The new version would allow the president to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” relating to “non-governmental” computer networks and do what’s necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for “cybersecurity professionals,” and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

“I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness,” said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which counts representatives of Verizon, Verisign, Nortel, and Carnegie Mellon University on its board. “It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill.”

Representatives of other large Internet and telecommunications companies expressed concerns about the bill in a teleconference with Rockefeller’s aides this week, but were not immediately available for interviews on Thursday.

This should raise red flags for everyone on both sides of the aisle. Not only could this be a hindrance on our freedom of speech via the Internet, but this gives the central government complete control of an important information gathering tool that has been predominantly unregulated, and has worked quite well for people of all ages to stay informed no matter what ideological side one may fall on.

If this bill were to pass and ultimately there was an instance where the President deemed it necessary to control the Internet, there is no telling, at what point, the control would stop.  There is also no telling who will have that very same control in the next 4 or 8 years when new presidential elections take place and the pendulum swings.

Who would decide what’s an emergency and what is not?  The current administration and cabinet positions are so heavily politicized, that it wouldn’t surprise me if a crisis was created just to stifle dissent on the Internet.

The government also has various agencies and even private companies that monitor the Internet and Cybersecurity so why would the President need to have that control all by his lonesome?  The answer is he doesn’t need that power and he shouldn’t have it!

The fairness doctrine will not come to pass because too many people in mainstream America know what the bill entails. The new fairness doctrine will come through bills like these being slipped through Congress, the Regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, who believes in controlling the Internet or any other source of information that he deems untrue/disingenuous, or through the FCC Diversity ‘Czar’ Mark Lloyd.

If Mark Lloyd’s Prelude to a Farce and his beliefs about Hugo Chavez’s magnificent revolution, or Cass Sunstein’s book On Rumors, where he wants to regulate the Internet, is not enough to make a person cringe, then Obama’s new plan to harvest information from social networking sites should.

NLPC has uncovered a plan by the White House New Media operation to hire a technology vendor to conduct a massive, secret effort to harvest personal information on millions of Americans from social networking websites.

The information to be captured includes comments, tag lines, emails, audio, and video. The targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and others – any space where the White House “maintains a presence.”

In the course of investigating procurement by the White House New Media office, NLPC discovered a 51-page solicitation of bids that was filed on Friday, August 21, 2009. Filed as Solicitation # WHO-S-09-0003, it is postedat FedBizzOps.com. Click here to download a 51-page pdf of the solicitation.

So why is the Obama administration so interested in all of this control?  Why is there no outcry from the left?  The Patriot Act looks like child’s play compared to the expansion of government under Obama in only 7 months.

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Filed under Big Brother, Congress, Constitution, Czars, Democrats, Double Standards, Hypocrisy, Obama, Obama Administration, Progressivism