May 18, 2010
Cass Sunstein advocates Internet mandates--because he knows what's best for you
Cass Sunstein wants Internet users to know something very important: you're stupid. At least, you're too stupid to read on the Internet without competing views forced on you. Sunstein hopes websites will play along voluntarily; if not, he says Congress should hold hearings and enforce mandates.
Some revealing thoughts from Obama Regulatory Czar, Cass Sunstein, on the need to give Internet readers competing viewpoints–whether readers want them; whether website/blog owners want to provide them or not.
"The site's of one point of view agree to provide links to sites of the other point of view. So if you're reading a conservative magazine, they would provide a link to a liberal site. And vice versa, just to make it easy for people to access to competing views.
Or maybe a popup on your screen that would show you an advertisement or maybe even a quick argument for a competing view.
If we could get voluntary arrangements in that direction, it would be great and if we can't get voluntary arrangements maybe Congress should hold hearings about mandates."
Sunstein verbally shuffles around and throws out the "aw shucks" smokescreen: "If we could do this voluntarily…"
BUT, as usual, a Cass Sunstein argument devolves to: if the people won't do what's good for themselves voluntarily, government will have to nudge them in the right direction–using the force of the government, of course.
Readers have a simple formula for determining loss of freedom: when a government official talks of "doing something for your–or the public's–own good, it means you're about to lose part of your freedom.
"Sometimes, the word 'voluntary' is a little complicated…"
–Obama Regulatory Czar, Cass Susstein
Here's a competing view for Cass Sunstein: slip into the Oval Office, place an "Obama FAIL" sign on the president's desk and see how that goes over.
It's most probably the same reaction most websites will have to a government mandate to force links to sites diametrically opposed to their viewpoint.
Good arguments do present the other side's contentions. For the last 40+ years, there has been no deficit in the presentation of the Left's talking points in the Mainstream Press. In fact, that constant barrage makes it possible for someone with Sunstein's views to be in a position of power in the Obama administration.
40 years ago, Cass Sunstein would have been labeled an "anti-American, anti-freedom crackpot."
With the Internet, competing arguments for conservative and libertarian ideas have gained a wider audience. Bureaucrats such as Sunstein feel the scales have tipped far enough.
That's the big reason readers are hearing about "mandates" at this particular point in time.
Enforcing a government-favored viewpoint on writers doesn't sound only creepy, it's heavy-handed. Cass Sunstein's objections aside, the Road to Serfdom is paved with good intentions–usually about "what's good for you."
ASIDE: In the popular online game, 2011: Obama's Coup Fails, Cass Sunstein is known as "The Rat."
UPDATE: Canada Free Press notes The first of Czar Cass Sunstein's mandated websites now online.
Now that Obama Information Czar Cass Sunstein is making spoon-fed government propaganda mandatory on political websites, Canada Free Press (CFP) is introducingbalancingtherightmessage.com.
Forcibly including government propaganda on political blogs gave us the idea for balancingtherightmessage.com, a dumping ground for the right to do the same thing to the left.
UPDATE #2: Others continue to weigh in on Sunstein's appetite to discourage free speech–or at least that portion of free speech which is inconveniently hostile to positions he and his buddies take.
Calvin Frieburger, NewsReal Blog, asks Do Republicans Get the Stakes, or Have the Guts to Fight?
Ed Lasky, American Thinker: Cass Sunstein's despicable ideas on regulating the internet
In the past, we have seen Barack Obama and his supporters attempt to chill any sort of scrutiny or criticism of him. Many of his records – whether they are transcripts from Occidental or Columbia – have not been released. He lost his senior thesis (on Soviet nuclear disarmament) from Columbia University (how likely was that to happen, given that he felt his own life was important enough to write an autobiography in his young 20s), and his records from his time in the Illinois state senate were "lost".
Now comes a more insidious form of thought control a la 1984, courtesy of long-time friend and probable new regulatory czar Cass Sunstein (who recently married another long-time confidant of Barack Obama's, foreign policy guru Samantha Power). Kyle Smith writes in the New York Post about one aspect of Sunstein's ideology:
Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law professor who has been appointed to a shadowy post that will grant him powers that are merely mind-boggling, explicitly supports using the courts to impose a "chilling effect" on speech that might hurt someone's feelings. He thinks that the bloggers have been rampaging out of control and that new laws need to be written to corral them.
Both pieces are worth the time spent reading them. This guy was merely wrong-headed when he was in academia. As an uber-regulatin' savant, he's dangerous.
by Mondo Frazier