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Posts Tagged ‘Human rights’

Whittle alert!

Posted by Lissa on October 9, 2008

Mmmmm Whittle . . .

During the presidential debate Tuesday night, Barack Obama was asked if he thought health care was a “right.”

He said he thought it was a right. Well, if you accept that premise, I think you can ask some logical follow-up questions: Food is more important than health care. You die pretty quickly without food. Do we have a “right” to food in America? What about shelter? Do we have a “right” to housing? And if we do have a right to housing, what standard of housing do we have a right to? And if it is a right, due to all Americans, wouldn’t that mean that no one should have to accept any housing, or health care, which is inferior to anyone else’s… since it’s a right?  [snip]



But these new so-called “rights” are about the government — who the Founders saw as the enemy — giving us things: food, health care, education… And when we have a right to be given stuff that previously we had to work for, then there is no reason — none — to go and work for them. The goody bag has no bottom, except bankruptcy and ruin.

In one of those flashes that reveal, perhaps, that I was never as liberal as I thought, I do remember having a conversation a decade ago about how I did not believe food was a human right.  In a more fleshed-out discussion with Jin* five years ago, I explained my reasoning: that, while I firmly believed in access to education and job opportunities, if a person sat there and refused to work, s/he was not OWED food as a RIGHT.  Jin disagreed; he felt that, in a world of plenty and production, just being born human meant that you should never starve. 

I countered with a hypothetical.  “Okay, let’s say that there is a hungry person with no job, and I have bread that I could give him.  But before I give him bread I want him to wash my car.  Or sweep a church.  Or whatever.  But he refuses; he won’t lift a hand or a foot, just sits there and says I still owe him the bread that I bought and paid for, made of ingredients that farmers out in Iowa spent time and labor growing, that truckers spent hours bringing the grain to a bakery and then out to our local supermarkets . . . don’t I have the right to say, ‘Before I give you this bread, clean up that trash on the corner?’ ” 

I don’t think I convinced him, but Jin has always been willing to listen to alternate points of view and new facts.  He’s one of the reasons I rail against all-liberal college professors, because if one QUARTER of his instruction came from a center-right prospective he’d have so much more data!! 

Anyway, RTWT🙂  (I’m so glad Whittle has a regular NRO gig!  With all due respect to the man, the sporadic blog-updates only whetted the appetite . . . )

*Not his real name

UPDATE: Just bought the Indoctrinate-U DVD, hooray!

UPDATE UPDATE: Sarah‘s on the same page

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