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[Fwd: Fw: The ADA Stalks the Internet]

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 13:59:44 -0500
Message-ID: <38C7F4A0.D00E140D@clark.net>
To: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
did anyone else see this?

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fw: The ADA Stalks the Internet
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 10:17:50 -0800
From: doris fisher <doryfisher@MEDIAONE.NET>
Reply-To: doris fisher <doryfisher@MEDIAONE.NET>
To: VICUG-L@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU

I found this in my in-box; didn't look at properties to see which list
it
went to.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Frezza (frezza@alum.mit.edu)" <frezza@interramp.com>
To: <frezza@alum.mit.edu>
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2000 4:42 AM
Subject: Re: The ADA Stalks the Internet


> Gentle readers,
>
> I apologize for this group response but the volume of pure hate mail I got
over
> this column makes it impossible to respond to each of you individually, as
I
> normally do. (I haven't seen anything this vitriolic since I suggested
that Ham
> radio operators surrender some of their underutilized frequencies for
auction.)
>
> Let me start from the top. I write op-ed pieces that discuss the impact of
the
> Internet on industry, the economy and society. All of these are composed
from
> what would be called a strong libertarian viewpoint. These columns express
my
> views and are not necessarily those of the editors of InternetWeek or my
> partners at Adams Capital. Notwithstanding the desire of some of you to
get an
> injunction against me writing columns,  we still live in a country where
it
> remains legal to express one's opinion, however politically incorrect. I
do
> hope that this doesn't change any time soon or I will have to find another
> country to relieve me of my tax dollars. :)
>
> I understand and appreciate the point of view of the many blind and
handicapped
> readers who wrote to me telling me how important the Internet has become
to
> their quality of life and their productivity at work. The fact that we are
> communicating with each other at all is a testament to the tremendous
progress
> we have made, progress that I am absolutely sure will continue. I don't
have to
> be blind to understand this, so all of you who expressed a desire to poke
my
> eyes out as punishment for the audacity of speaking my mind need to
consider
> what this says about your moral fiber.
>
> For those of you who don't know me at all, let me share this tidbit. I
served
> as a director of a company for three years whose main product is providing
> wireless Email for the deaf as a practical alternative to cellphones. This
was
> an extremely gratifying experience and an example of what the private
market
> can do all by itself, without government mandates or coercion. My only
payment
> was the gratitude of the people we helped. I also have a handicapped son,
but
> that's another story. Do I consider him unfortunate? I sure do, but thanks
to a
> number of greedy pharmaceutical companies, he can live a nearly normal
life -
> if you consider poking yourself with a needle five times a day normal. I
sure
> hope these pharmaceutical companies are allowed to keep making enormous
profits
> because maybe someday they will find a cure.
>
> So don't call me a handicapped hater, that's way out of line. What we
clearly
> disagree on are the philosophical premises under which it is proper to use
the
> police power of the state to advance the ends of any particular special
> interest at the expense of the general interest. If you read my column
> carefully you will see that it is not anti-handicapped, it is
anti-government.
> All of my columns are anti-government, so please don't think I've singled
out
> the handicapped or their advocates for special treatment. It was merely
your
> turn.
>
> The analogy that many of you have made comparing the ADA to civil rights
> legislation is a very good one. Civil rights legislation did two things,
one
> good and one bad (in my humble opinion). The good thing the civil rights
> movement did was guarantee equal treatment before the law regardless of
race,
> creed, or nowadays sexual orientation. The bad thing it did was create a
whole
> new class of positive rights or entitlements, quite different in form and
> substance from the negative rights embodied in the first ten amendments to
the
> constitution. ("Congress shall make no law that ..." is a negative right.
It
> imposes no costs on others. "The right to healthcare..." is a positive
right.
> Positive rights, which can only be had at someone else's expense, tend to
> evolve into forced charity.)
>
> For example, it was entirely just, good and proper to eliminate de jure
> segregation of public schools. This is consistent with the constitution.
> Imposing affirmative action quotas on private employers, however, merely
> compounds injustice. I believe it is wrong. A majority of the electorate
is
> finally coming around to that view, though it took quite a long time to
figure
> out that affirmative action was a failure.
>
> Since blind people have money extracted from them at the point of a gun by
the
> government (well call these taxes), it is entirely appropriate that they
should
> be accommodated when they receive government services. I have no argument
with
> this, and neither does my column. If  the government wants to go about
> achieving this objective in a ham-handed manner by suddenly halting all
> computer purchases until some new standard of "equal" accessibility is
> achieved, that's fine with me. I'm in favor of anything that creates
gridlock
> in Washington. Have at it.
>
> I disagree most vehemently when the ADA is used to dictate accessibility
> standards to non-government organizations as this should be a matter of
private
> choice. If Joe's Deli wants to put in a wheelchair ramp, that should be up
to
> Joe. Feel free to educate Joe on the virtues of accommodating the
handicapped.
> Go ahead and organize a boycott of his deli if he doesn't see the light.
But
> when you show up with guns and clubs and try to shut down his business, I
am
> going to consistently take Joe's side.
>
> Got that?
>
> For a more thorough treatment of this point of view as it relates to the
ADA,
> see
>
> Handicapping Freedom: The Americans with Disabilities Act
> http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/reg18n2e.html
>
> If you can't understand and respect this point of view, even while
disagreeing
> with it, then you have no right to expect me to respect your point of
view. In
> that case, we have no recourse but to duke it out in the political
marketplace,
> seeing who can buy more votes to control the guns and clubs wielded by the
> state. I write provocative columns because it's cheaper than buying
> congressmen, who never stay bought anyway. If you don't like my column,
don't
> read it. If you want to speak out yourself, get your own column. It's a
free
> country.
>
> The big difference between us is I don't want to force anyone to do
anything
> against their will, and you do. Give it your best shot, but don't expect
my
> moral sanction.
>
> Regards,
>
> Bill Frezza
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


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Received on Thursday, 9 March 2000 13:59:54 GMT

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