Those of us who have watched the British comedy series Yes, Minister, and its sequel Yes, Prime Minister, understand the insidious relationship between the British Civil Service and the ministerial officials who theoretically govern the nation on behalf of the people. The “official investigation,” conducted by civil servants when uncomfortable facts come to light, is a device intended solely to find no proof of official wrongdoing.
This Independence Day weekend Americans have been reminded once again of the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty ... and broadband?” Believe it or not, Finland has just declared broadband a legal right of all its citizens, with the government guaranteeing that every home has access at one-megabit speed.
Senator Joe Lieberman, alongside other lawmakers, has drafted a bill that, critics say, gives the President of the United States the power to shut down the Internet. The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act was unanimously approved June 25 by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and now awaits a vote on the Senate floor, though a date for such a vote has not been set.
Last month, Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) unveiled their “American Power Act,” custom-tailored to President Obama’s plans to set up quotas for industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with total allowable emissions reduced over time. Better known as cap and trade, the bill is an updated version of S. 1733, companion legislation to the House-passed Waxman-Markey bill, H.R. 2454. Kerry’s official home page brags that the new bill “puts America back in control of our own power generation, starts to clean up the carbon pollution that threatens our climate stability, and puts us on the path to a new, cleaner and more prosperous economy for the 21st Century.”