Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Wi-Fi

San Francisco's mayor believes that one of your basic human rights should be free wireless Internet access.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom ... said on Monday he considered wireless Internet access a fundamental right of all citizens.

[...]

Wireless access can be seen a basic right that should be available not just to business professionals but also lower-income citizens. "This is a civil rights issue as much as anything else," Newsom said.

Maybe a Million Web-Surfer March in D.C. is next on the agenda.

Here are some possible placard slogans and chants:

1. Make Blogs, Not War
2. 40 Million Americans Without Internet Access – Shame!
3. From each according to their bandwidth, to each according to their need to view porn.
4. Down with Big Browsers
5. Hey Religious Right, You Want Family Values? Give Me Match.com.
6. No Free Chat Rooms to Discuss Britney's Baby = Fascism
7. Give Me Ebay, Or Give Me Death
8. People.com, Not Profit
9. Why, Why? Why No Wi-Fi?
10. What Would Che Do?

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San Francisco Mayor: Free

San Francisco Mayor: Free Wi-Fi a "Rights Issue"
Wireless access to the Internet also requires access to a laptop. Think Newsom can persuade Google to provide those too?

[insert slippery slope

[insert slippery slope argument here] Inevitably, this will mean that government will do for the internet porn industry what it's done for public schools and roads.

Actually, I'd be pleased as

Actually, I'd be pleased as punch if the porn industry went belly-up and died -- but only because people chose righteousness instead of sin -- not because government tried to coerce them into a virtuous life.

I suppose that if Mayor Newsom thinks that universal Internet access is an essential function of government, we aren't too far from calls for tax-supported porn. Stranger things have happened inside statist minds.

"[insert slippery slope

"[insert slippery slope argument here] Inevitably, this will mean that government will do for the internet porn industry what it’s done for public schools and roads." John
You mean set asides for veterans, women and minorities, compliance with OSHA, the Endangered Species Act, environmental impact statements, compliance with the American With Disabilities Act, goals and time tables as in affirmative action statutes, the Byrd Amendment? Good God.

not my porn!

not my porn!

Make Blogs, Not War Doug

Make Blogs, Not War
Doug Allen at Catallarchy presents some creative slogans for a basic human right. I particularly like the third one and

I like the first bullet

I like the first bullet point on this justification for municipal run wireless:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/27543

I'm curious to know what the

I'm curious to know what the ISPs think of this plan.

But then again, if they can win some sweet no-bid contract with a few large municipalities, it might not be so bad. But then you run into a competition problem. I still remember my freshman year in the dorms at Central Michigan U. As is probably the case most places, we had ONE cable TV provider, and ONE telephone service provider.

The TV wasn't bad, we actually caught like 8 episodes of the simpsons each day (being sandwhiched between Detroit, Windsor Ont., Flint and Traverse City, we got several fox affiliates)

The phone bills, however, were ridonculous. I remember paying 35 cents a minute for a long distance call to my girlfriend at home. This was 1998. I could make a cell phone call for less than that, even back then. Except I didn't have a cell phone.

Since laptop ownership (a

Since laptop ownership (a necessary prerequisite to making use of wireless internet access) is highly correlated with higher income, you'd think someone would attack this policy just on the basis of the injustice involved in taxing lower and middle income families to provide a luxury benefit to upper income families.