An internet diary
Published on February 23, 2008 By IanTyger In US Domestic

So everyone is "eulogizing" Fidel Castro right now (regardless of his actual status, it is clear his time on the stage of the world is at an end. I was reading the comments to Armed Liberal's post on the subject; and ran across a lovely comment by Celebrim (in response to an earlier comment that the US has not realized "health care is a human right.")

I propose a simple test for human rights. Human rights are those things that a man would possess were he the only person on the Earth. They are those things that he possesses by his existance alone, such as: freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom of travel, and security in his person and possessions.

To which I would add, freedom of opportunity, but that could be implied by the others. He then goes on to deflate some bogus 'rights' that the leftists all love (the 'right' to work, and the 'right' to health care).

I will have to admit, we do not live in a world with untrammeled human rights by the limited definition above, and nor would I want to. (The exception would be freedom of thought - I will not grant ANYONE the ability to control my thoughts. You're welcome to persuade me to change my mind - but I can think whatever I damn well please). We all give up (and rightfully so) a very limited subset of all the other rights so that we can live in a functional society; and the rights we give up are the ones that are opposed by other people's rights. My freedom of expression and religion are limited in that I can't seize another person's security or possessions in the course of doing so, my freedom of travel is blocked by other persons' rights of property, and my security rights are impeded by those persons' own rights to security (I can't just haul off and shoot suspicious characters, and if I possess a dangerous object that is "leaking" negative impact, I may be required to rectify that). But in general, any such limitations on rights should be subject to Strict Scrutiny, as the Supreme Court of the United States has concluded. It is noteworthy that the human rights listed above by Celebrim are the ones covered by the Bill of Rights (in somewhat more detail). Other rights covered by the Bill of Rights that aren't immediately obvious as an expression of one of these 5 freedoms (6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments) are detailing specific areas where the government should not tread on the freedom of security.

At the same time, I believe there are basic human responsibilities - the main one being "respect all the basic rights of all other persons". In the US, as a resident, this would include obeying the laws of the nation, while fighting for the repeal of laws that are odious to the freedoms. This means that I am for harsh penalties against employers of illegal aliens, while at the same time I am for the relaxation of immigration restrictions (and by relzed, I mean make it much easier to legally reside and work in the country - a "tight" immigration policy is nothing but protectionism for people who lucked out in being born here). I am also for lower taxes, while at the same time I pay them And as a US citizen, it is also my responsibility to vote whenever possible, and to serve upon a jury when called. Both of these guarantee my input into the governmental process.

I'm sure my views presented here (especially on immigration) will upset some conservatives. So be it. I am proud of my country, and believe that everyone deserves to live under the freedoms we enjoy as US residents and citizens. And until the rest of the world lives under regies as free as ours, I'm all for allowing as many of those people the chance to find the freedom I enjoy. This includes the "freedom" to fail, mind you, and I am not against the idea of judging potential immigrants by their previous actions or forward-looking statements. But the only requirement, in my mind, that there should be on immigration is that you not be a criminal based on the laws of the US, not hold views inimical to the USA. I would like it if you work, as well; and would accept minor restrictions on state aid for new immigrants (to try and discourage welfare immigrants). But requiring immigrants to show proof of employment leads to some of the abuses of the H1 visa, where employees are limited in their bargaining rights with their employer because the employer can, by firing the employee, terminate their residency. Call me an idealist, if you must, but I'd rather be an idealist than a curmudgeon.


Comments
on Feb 23, 2008

I'm sure my views presented here (especially on immigration) will upset some conservatives. 

Actually, I thought your piece here was a pretty good Conservative Manifesto.

on Feb 24, 2008

Well, the "build a wall" types will crap a brick; and so will the "no gay mariage" types. (You see anything in there that would tend to oppose gay marriage?)

on Feb 24, 2008

Fantastic article.  Well said!

on Feb 25, 2008

So you think that healthcare is a priviledge?  I'm not talking about fake boobies and viagara, I mean basic healthcare?  I'm one of those leftist wannabe socialists who thinks that basic healthcare is a right. 

on Feb 27, 2008

This means that I am for harsh penalties against employers of illegal aliens, while at the same time I am for the relaxation of immigration restrictions (and by relzed, I mean make it much easier to legally reside and work in the country - a "tight" immigration policy is nothing but protectionism for people who lucked out in being born here).

This is where you assumed wrong in response to Parated's answer.  Illegal immigrants have already broken the law, so they must be dealt with according to the law.  Many conservatives, think immigration should be eased (not open borders, but not a dribble either), but violating the law is not the way to do it. Changing the law is.  So you are saying pretty much what Parated said.  It is a conservative clarion call.  We can differ on how to go about it, but we agree on the basic premise.  Ignoring laws leads to anarchy which benefits no one, not even the law breakers.  Changing the law allows the honest to pursue an honest course of action, while not legalizing the otherwise criminals.

on Mar 11, 2008
I enjoyed reading your article.

Regarding our rights in human society...from a slightly different direction..beginning with the premise that all authority comes from God.

Our rights to life, liberty, the right to private property, our right to freedom of conscience and the practice of the one true religion are given not only to Americans, but to every human person directly from the Creator. They aren't given to us through the State but immediately and directly. The State's, the Government's, all its citizens authorities' purpose is to promote harmoniously the God-given rights of its citizens. No state or government may not on any pretext take away our God given rights..ever.

Instead of human rights, I'd call them natural rights becasue they are based upon the Natural or Moral Law. The idea of natural law certanly permeates the ideas and speeches of our Founding Fathers as well as our modern works. The Declaration of Independence expressly depends for its authority upon the laws of Nature and of Nature's God.

The Founders understood that our sense of justice and fairness comes naturally to all people and appropraitely referred to it as Natural law. From Natural Law came the self-evident unalienable rights endowed by our Creator.

Dennis Lloyd, in his "Idea of Law" (1964) wrote, "The US Constitution is essentially a natural law document setting out the fundamental authority of the people under natural law and guaranteeing the natural rights of the citizens.....not only did it indelibly associate that law with the idea of liberty but it also enshrined the unique idea, so influential in modern times, that natural rights could be the subject of legal guarantees....Moreover, because they were embodied in the Constitution, ...for the first time an actual machinery whereby natural rights might be brought into the fabric of law and enjoy recognition and enforcement as legal rights."


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