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RE: Congressional hearing

From: Michael Burks <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 01:07:15 -0500
To: "Charles F. Munat" <charles@munat.com>, "David Poehlman" <poehlman@clark.net>, "Glenda Watson Hyatt" <Glenda@eaglecom.bc.ca>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "disabilityaccess@onelist.com" <disacc@onelist.com>
Message-ID: <000301bf6f9f$401eb260$e2404d0c@computer1>

I agree with everyone in this thread that feels that money is being argued
over people.  I wonder if anyone has contacted Senator McCain's office.  If
the interview with John Williams in business week is any indication, he
should be a strong ally.


Mike BUrks

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Charles F. Munat
Sent: Friday, February 04, 2000 6:27 PM
To: David Poehlman; Glenda Watson Hyatt
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org; disabilityaccess@onelist.com
Subject: RE: Congressional hearing

David Poehlman wrote:

"We are about to go to a more conservative presedidency most likely and that
usually means tightening the laws concerning special rights and priviliges
to the non rich."


I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but it's indicative of how brainwashed
we all are that we say it without thinking...

Accessibility is not a "special" right. Just as laws protecting people from
discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation are not "special"
rights. All of these laws are simply intended to ensure that people get the
basic rights to which they are entitled. And the laws are not enough.

Again, I'm sure you agree, but it's important enough to be worth repeating,
and I think it provides some insight into how far we have to go that even we
fall into the trap of calling them "special rights."

The true recipients of enormous favor and special rights are the rich. The
imbalance is horrifying to anyone with a sense of fairness, and it only
seems to get worse.

The imbalance of power between white and non-white, male and female, abled
and disabled, north and south, hetero and homosexual, etc. seems to be
improving, but only so long as it does not interfere with the prerogatives
of the rich. Note that the problem with the ADA (as seen by some) is that it
"costs too much." And we are left to try to prove that it doesn't.

In my mind, I don't give a damn what it costs. It "costs too much" for any
citizen to be deprived of access to power, and information is definitely
power. Once again, we are arguing money versus people and money seems to be

In centuries hence, if we survive, people will look back at us and wonder
how we could be so barbaric, so greedy, so cruel. Frankly, I'm often ashamed
to be human and would be embarrassed to have to describe myself as one to an
alien species. I often find myself asking, "Aren't there any other planets I
could move to?"

Let's hope that some ray of enlightenment shines upon this upcoming
committee meeting. I feel somewhat reassured knowing that Judy will be
there, but I also see that the cards are stacked against us from the start.

Charles Munat
Munat, Inc.
Seattle, Washington
Received on Saturday, 5 February 2000 01:08:48 UTC

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