Friday, January 28, 2011

Turning Off the Internet

A couple of days ago I blogged about the possibility that Congress will pass a law giving the President unprecedented powers over the Internet through the use of an “Internet Kill Switch” under cases of emergency.

Well, the government in Egypt has shut down Internet and phone access due to an emergency. See here, and here, and here.

Would what is happening in Egypt be considered a case of an emergency in President Obama mind? The leadership in that country has shut down Internet and phone access. There are three distinct differences between the USA and Egypt.  Egyptians don’t have the same level of freedom of speech and the press that we Americans have.  Most Egyptian media is officially controlled by the state.  Although the Egyptian government is supposed to be democratically elected its form of government is closer to Venezuela than to the USA. Yes there are elections, but to say they are free elections is stretching things a bit. Some would call it totalitarian. Thirdly, we have not yet experienced the level of protests against the government Egypt and Greece have experienced recently.
But here is what worries me. While the press in the USA is not officially controlled by the government, they certainly are at Obama’s beck and call. If you consider the love affair the lame stream media has with the current President, voluntarily shutting down if they were asked would not surprise me in the least. I think many in the press would gladly hand over control of the airwaves and newsprint to Obama with nothing more than a picture of the President in a swimsuit and a promise of a “shout out” at his next press conference.

How many steps away are we from a dictatorship at any given moment in time? I would argue we are closer than any time since FDR. President Obama and his lackeys in Congress (Pelosi, Schumer, Reid, et al) have pushed an agenda that only they agree with. Health Care? The American public, by nearly 2-1 didn’t want it, yet they passed ‘Obama Care’ and signed it into law anyway. Cap and Trade? They are bound and determined to push this through by any means necessary. When it was oblivious their desires weren’t going to be passed in Congress, Obama did an end-round and has charged the EPA with implementing many of the Cap and Trade policies. When the American public called for accountability with the stimulus money, Obama has basically told us to go pound sand, stonewalling any attempts at transparency.

Given the proclivity of the press to basically kiss the Presidents behind and the level of power he has decided to use to get his agenda put in place, what would stop him from shutting down access to information if things started to go bad here? It has become increasingly clear to me that the Constitution is a hindrance for this supposed Constitutional Scholar. Appointing Czars not subject to Congressional oversight to oversee vast tracts of the operations of Gov’t is a strong case in point. The Constitution dictates the Congress will approve the appointment of Cabinet posts, so he decided to appoint Czars with powers only the President could suppress. He has marginalized, with a couple of exceptions (Interior), the Cabinet to the point of near uselessness. The Czars are the policy deciders and directors now.

I don’t think a totalitarian shut down of the gov’t was his thought process when he appointed all these Czars. But wresting control of the executive branch from the Cabinet and eliminating the check and balance provided by the Congress had to be by designed so he could streamline and consolidate his power. Would it be possible for him to completely bypass Congress in an emergency?

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