Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

What is a "Right?"

The always brilliant Walter Williams has a column today titled, Bogus Rights. In the column he addresses some ideas which have gained acceptance in recent years.
Do people have a right to medical treatment whether or not they can pay? What about a right to food or decent housing? Would a U.S. Supreme Court justice hold that these are rights just like those enumerated in our Bill of Rights? In order to have any hope of coherently answering these questions, we have to decide what is a right. The way our Constitution's framers used the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people and imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech, or freedom to travel, is something we all simultaneously possess. My right to free speech or freedom to travel imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference.

Contrast that vision of a right to so-called rights to medical care, food or decent housing, independent of whether a person can pay. Those are not rights in the sense that free speech and freedom of travel are rights. If it is said that a person has rights to medical care, food and housing, and has no means of paying, how does he enjoy them? There's no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy who provides them. You say, "The Congress provides for those rights." Not quite. Congress does not have any resources of its very own. The only way Congress can give one American something is to first, through the use of intimidation, threats and coercion, take it from another American. So-called rights to medical care, food and decent housing impose an obligation on some other American who, through the tax code, must be denied his right to his earnings. In other words, when Congress gives one American a right to something he didn't earn, it takes away the right of another American to something he did earn.
Over the years I've had a similar conversation with people who start sentences "The Government ought to . . . ." I would tell them that in reality there is no government. What they are really saying is their neighbor ought to solve the issue at hand. It is a matter of intellectual honesty. Politicians (whether Democrat or Republican) like to buy your vote with your neighbors money but would never openly admit that fact.


Anonymous Rodney A Stanton said...

I wholeheartedly concur. My President plans a fy 07 budget that will have grown the "Govt." 47% in 6 years. That is a( compounding not linear) yearly rate of growth of 6%. The fastest of any President since LBJ. More than twice as fast as Clinton or Ronnie. And Ronnie had a Dem Congress to fight. And fight he did, vetoing almost 100 big government bills; losing about a dozen to overrides. He still grew the "govt" (our neighbors's taxes) by less than 3% a year! Bush has yet to demonstrate the gut to issue even one veto!

11:59 AM

Blogger LargeBill said...


While I support this president in many areas, I am completely baffled by his refusal to address the out of control spending. Even if overridden a veto sends a powerful message.

12:32 PM

Anonymous realitybasedbob said...

Exactly….this is not a Christian nation, never was, never will be.

All that bla bla bla Sermon on the Mount baloney is just that, baloney. Jesus is alleged to have said “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Yea right…Amputees and retards are just sheet out of luck. Why should the government take my money and give it to them, they should just suck it up and accept their fate.

And screw those goofy Beatitudes. Blessed are the poor!! What crap. The rich run things and the poor are just too stupid to get a job. I’ll bet that a poor man switched the words around and the Jesus really said that its easer for a rich man to get into heaven because he could pay the tab. Poor people are always trying to get something for nothing, you know that.

The golden rule is: the guy with the gold makes the rules. Lord knows, (hee hee) that bush has the gold and damn it he makes the rules. He won two landslide elections, what more do the moonbats need to see that the neo-con way is the future? Damn commie liberal hippie free love dope smoking commie America hating moonbats commies.

Of course bush has to spend more money than all other presidents before him, it’s his way of making a place for himself in history.

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth….another Christian lie….Damn Mooslems are trying to take over the world. Mooslems are not meek and screw them if they think they will inherit our earth, idiots think towels make good hats, how smart can they be? We need bombs and guns and kids in uniforms to die protecting our investments from downward market trends. If we have to bankrupt the country to save my golden parachute so be it. And get over yourselves, anyway. If bush has his way, he will bankrupt the government to the point that there will be no government and isn’t that what we all want, no government to force regulations down our throats and take our money and give it to welfare queens?

This Walter Williams is a fella who gets it. Feed the hungry, help the sick, shelter the homeless??? Sounds like Christian socialism hippie crap to me. Of course this Jesus guy was pushing all this bunk…HE WAS POOR!! What, you think that he would push tax cuts for us weathly? Fat chance. He invented welfare on that hill in Karn Hattin. Yea, that’s right. He took the fish and bread from the mouths of rich guys and passed it out to all the bums too lazy to go fishing for themselves. I mean how hard could it have been? The Sea of Galilee was right there!!! The rich boat owners had no problem getting fish. No wonder Ponchus Pilot thought he was a threat and took him out.

I’m with ole Walter on this one; I’ve got mine, screw the rest of them.

Rodney, if you are not with us you are against us.

Freedumb is on the march.

3:54 PM

Blogger LargeBill said...


Not sure if your issue is reading comprehension or what, but I'll try to explain the article to you. Williams is addressing the constant refrain that one government program or another is a "right." He was not saying people shouldn't be charitable. However, it isn't a matter of being charitable when money is taken by the government and given to fund various things. A politician is not being charitable when he offers to give his constituent money taken from a person living in another area. The politician would be charitable if they were to donate from their own pocket. Most people are tired of the dishonesty of the whole game.

4:31 PM

Anonymous realitybasebob said...

My comprehension is just fine. The author (and by extension you) is questioning whether government should be charitable, not whether people should be charitable. Williams starts with a baited question about the right to medical treatment, food and housing. I would argue those rights fall under the “promote the general welfare” clause from our Constitution and was foreshadowed in the Declaration of Independence.

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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 the pursuit of Happiness. — That TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, GOVERNMENTS ARE INSTITUTED AMONG MEN, DERIVING THEIR JUST POWERS FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, AS TO THEM SHALL SEEM MOST LIKELY TO EFFECT THEIR SAFETY AND HAPPINESS.

.....A politician is not being charitable when he offers to give his constituent money taken from a person living in another area.....

If my money goes to helping people…like the disaster last winter in Ohio or for the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by Katrina and not the pockets of traitors like Duke Cunningham or cruise ship owners and all the rest waiting to be shaken out of the current Washington rug, then a politician giving my money to his/her constituent in another area satisfies my charity gene. Fraud and waste is another matter altogether.

(The list of injuries and usurpations is a very interesting read in light of today’s events)

5:32 PM

Blogger Crazy Politico said...

There's no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy who provides them.

What? No Santa? No Tooth Fairy? Where'd that quarter under my pillow come from?

I agree with you on rights. Folks need to remember the words of the Declaration of Independence:

"..that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"

Notice it says "Creator" not government.

6:22 PM

Anonymous realitlybasedbob said...

Notice too, that they said “their Creator”, not Jesus.

From Mr. Williams writings:
Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. Were a private person to do the same thing, we'd call it theft. WHEN GOVERNMENT DOES IT, WE EUPHEMISTICALLY CALL IT INCOME REDISTRIBUTION, BUT THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THIEVES DO -- REDISTRIBUTE INCOME. INCOME REDISTRIBUTION NOT ONLY BETRAYS THE FOUNDERS' VISION, IT'S A SIN IN THE EYES OF GOD. I'm guessing that when God gave Moses the Eighth Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal," I'm sure he didn't mean "thou shalt not steal unless there was a majority vote in Congress."

It appears Mr. Williams is not familiar with Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution he is trying to wrap himself up in.

If God’s commandments are so important to Mr. Williams, I wonder how he feels about the wanton disregard we have towards the fifth commandment and what bushco is calling a war on terror.

I believe a re-reading of the Danbury letter is in order.

8:24 PM

Anonymous Rodney A Stanton said...

How did "The Sermon on the MOunt" get into this? I am confused!

Bill - My daughter in Miss. sends her regards. She presented me with another grandson last Sat!

11:37 AM

Blogger LargeBill said...


I have no idea where that guy was heading.

Congratulations on the new grandson. Glad to hear. Pass on my best wishes to Mom and child.

12:11 PM


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