Morning Whip, May 17, 2010

What is a Right? [*1] — If you want to know what our problem is, this is it–the fundamental misconception on the part of otherwise fairly smart people on what a right really is. The simplest way to understand it is: A right to engage in a behavior occurs when that behavior does not require another person for you to engage in that behavior. If what you want to do requires somebody else to do something, it can’t be a right, because you are dependent on somebody else to give that behavior to you. That is why being left alone is a right. You don’t need anybody else to be left alone. Life is a right–you don’t require another person to simply exist. Food, clothing, shelter are all rights only to the extent that you can obtain them without the intervention of another person.

When you must engage another person to obtain something, or to engage in a behavior, you have moved beyond the concept of a right, to the much more complex area of interpersonal behavior–which includes social interactions, economic transactions, and politics. But social interactions, economic transactions, and political actions are not–can not be rights. Rights precede all of those interpersonal transactions, and set limits upon them.

Rights are inherent to every individual, do not require another person’s action in order to exercise, and set limits upon the behaviors that one individual may perform with or for–or impose upon–another individual. Why doesn’t anyone care about the Soviet document archive? [*2]

The archives gathered by Pavel Stroilov and Vladimir Bukovsky, among others, provide evidence in stark terms of the end result of collectivist impulses — and challenge the academic conclusions about the nature of Soviet leaders, especially Mikhail Gorbachev. . .These documents have the power to destroy the carefully constructed facade of Gorbachev by his Western apologists as somehow different from his Soviet predecessors. He was not; he could hardly have risen to the Politburo had he not been an advocate of totalitarian control. He had a much better sense of his enemies than his predecessors, and knew how to charm the media better than any of them. . . The Soviet Communists killed tens of millions of people through malice and neglect over a far longer period of time (than the German Nazis), and that includes Mikhail Gorbachev, who spent decades working in that system.”

This is why it’s a problem when Barack Obama surrounds himself with avowed Marxists. They are not, at their heart, nice people.

Romancing The State [*3]

The recent demonization of Wall Street illustrates how easily Big Business can be hung from the government’s strings, and used as part of its puppet show. Not every corporation fears the destructive power of the State. Some of them dream of harnessing it against their enemies, or exploiting it to firm up the barriers of entry to their industries. Political influence is one of the most valuable resources in a politicized economy. At current levels of central control, its purchase becomes mandatory. When things go wrong, politicians love having big businesses to hide behind.

See, that’s the thing that the statists don’t want you to understand. Big business and big government are totally symbiotic–they live and feed off of one another. Big business likes the ease of buying and selling politicians in a single, centralized government–it’s cheaper than advertising and doing things right by the customer, and much cheaper than buying off lots of more local government governments in a federal system of truly distributed governmental authority and power. On the other side, big government likes having big businesses to kick around in public while they take all kinds of money under the table at the very same time. It’s a wholly incestuous relationship, and its cause is the concentration of power and money in government. Make government power and money more distributed, and you reduce the corruption. It’s as easy as that. And that’s why so many people with lots of money are very, very much against restoring traditional American federalism–with state governments holding real power to check the power of the central federal government. It is an important check, as we are in the process of discovering right now.

Elites Hate When The People Speak [*4] — Of course, in this world, the average American is the elite, compared to the drones, serfs, peasants, and slaves kept by most of the rest of the world’s “governments.” The American “elite” are allied with the dictators, revolutionaries, “progressives,” slaveholders, warlords, aristocracy, and intelligencia who already oppress the majority of humans on this planet, and who tirelessly seek to gain even more control over every single person on Earth. Including, and especially the average American, who is the greatest threat to their schemes, plans and designs for the future.

A Conservative’s Case for Sarah Palin’s Genius [*5]

After Palin finished her speech, I again thought about why left-leaning commentators mock, dismiss, and caricaturize her. And two things came to mind.

First, these critics probably have never fully listened to any of her speeches. Rather, like Attorney General Eric Holder, who recently admitted that he went on Meet The Press to criticize a law – Arizona’s recently passed immigration laws – that he has not even read or been briefed about, these critics are merely parroting popular misconceptions about Palin and thinking they are original and smart in doing so.

I have the distinct impression that most people who disdain Palin have never actually listened to more than a couple carefully edited seconds of her own speech, and have instead formed their opinions of her from the thin gruel of Tina Fey caricatures, lies and half-truths of the MSNBC nutcases, the partisans at CNN or the Old Media networks or newspapers, and the Soros-funded character assassins at Media Matters. All reflections of the vision from inside the leftist bubble, all echos from the same strident, intolerant echo chamber of liberal media. All utterly mischaracterizing what Palin says, and what she is.

Diet soda for preventing kidney stones? [*6] — “researchers found that the diet versions of several popular citrus-flavored sodas — like 7Up, Sunkist and Sprite — contained relatively high amounts of a compound called citrate.”

Where Kagan Is Better Than Stevens on Free Speech [*7] — She says the Court “made the correct decision” in United States v. Eichman, the 1990 ruling that overturned a federal ban on flag desecration. “I believe this is the only occurrence of the phrase ‘correct decision’ in her articles,” Volokh writes.

So, because she got one decision right, she’s qualified to be on the Supreme Court? Everything I see says she intends to limit your freedoms in deference to governmental power. That’s not the kind of Justice we need , is it?

Amorous Aussie roo has outback residents hopping [*8] — “An amorous kangaroo in the mood for love has female joggers hopping mad in the Honeymoon Ranges of Australia’s outback Northern Territory. . .”

U.S. rights group sues to protect right to swear [*9] — “The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed the lawsuits earlier, argues that the right to use profanity is protected by the U.S. Constitution.”

It’s Like The Love Boat For Free Minds & Free Markets! Announcing Reason’s First-Ever Cruise, February 2011! [*10]

Best Luxury Ships [*11]

Left Plans Massive In-Your-Face Anti-Capitalism Rally on DC’s K Street [*12] — “The goal of the “action” –in organizing parlance— is a show of force calculated to intimidate bank lobbyists and show support for sweeping anti-bank legislation pending in Congress.”

When the right organizes to march, it is in order to be heard. When the left organizes to march, it is to threaten, bully, and intimidate. There is a difference.

BRILLIANT: Another key element of Palin 2012 rolled out quietly — THE MOMMA GRIZZLIES [*13]

A Lesson In Responsibility [*14] — “Put aside, for a moment, the merits of the issues surrounding the oil spill. The idea of Barack Obama, of all people, lecturing anyone on the need to take responsibility, rather than “finger pointing,” is hilarious. Barack Obama, to my knowledge, has never taken responsibility for anything in his life, and his administration so far has been marked by “finger pointing” to a degree that we have never before witnessed.”

College buzz: Oklahoma not interested in leaving Big 12 [*15]

Yost takes over believing Royals can turn it around [*16]

Themes in Science Fiction: Cultural Relativism and Absolute Morality [*17]

6 amazing sci-fi TV shows ruined by their freaky finales [*18]

5 Epic Science Fiction Book Series to Read This Summer [*19]

The 10 Most Harmful Novels for Aspiring Writers [*20]

Your Safety vs. Your Sanity: Carnival’s New Banned Items List Sparks Controversy [*21]

The left: Still trying to label the Tea Party [*22]

If oil spill is Bush’s fault, is 9/11 Clinton’s fault? [*23]

Kagan to Specter: One Supreme Court justice conducted a confirmation charade [*24] — “Ever since the Democrats conducted a character assassination on Robert Bork and almost succeeded in another on Clarence Thomas, the rule at confirmation hearings is to say as little as possible. With John Paul Stevens retiring, every justice on the Supreme Court will have been appointed in this post-Bork environment — and every single one of them tapdanced their way through the hearings.”

Imagine the Reaction if Bush Nominee for Supreme Court Taught a Course in ‘Presidential Lawmaking’ [*25]

Research is your friend, News Media. Try it sometime [*26] — ‘Cuda time . . .

Can we talk? [*27] — House Democrats discover that going it alone without even talking to Republicans only works for a very, very short time . . . (and that’s assuming it’s actually worked at all during this disaster of a Congress and Administration . . .

Heart and soul of the right [*28] — Doctor Zero, trenchant as always:

The path to American renewal will be extremely difficult to follow. The morale of our citizens will be a serious concern. Regardless of how awful a president Barack Obama has been, the media will present his defeat in 2012 as a tragedy, bordering on a national sin. They’ll push that meme harder as his failures pile up. We need leadership that combines good cheer, fiery determination, and intelligent mastery of the issues.

Mitt Romney is cut from polished wood, and Newt Gingrich is origami folded from a thousand position papers, blotted with ugly scozzafava stains that may never come out. At this moment in time, Sarah Palin is the heart and soul of the Right.

Did Cronkite and CBS offer assistance to anti-war movement? [*29] — “According to an FBI informant, Cronkite offered advice and CBS resources to assist the anti-war activists, including a helicopter to fly Edmund Muskie to a protest that CBS would then cover. . .”

Matt Welch: We Are Out of Money [*30]

GOV. JAN BREWER DOES IT AGAIN!… Joins With Sarah Palin For Amazing Border Ad (Video) [*31]

Kerry Emanuel and Richard Lindzen: the climatic odd couple [*32] — ” “If these two guys can’t agree on the basic conclusions of the social significance of [climate change science], how can we expect 6.5 billion people to?’’ said Roger Pielke Jr., a University of Colorado at Boulder professor who writes a climate blog.”

WHO study has no clear answer on phones and cancer [*33]

Mr. President, do your job. Secure our border [*34] — ‘Cuda time, again!

Foppish Muffinboy Jeered for Ridiculous Asshattery [*35]

Revenge of the Gold Bugs [*36]

Israel dedicates huge sea-water purification plant [*37]

In Honor of a President Few Remember [*38] — Silent Cal. Ah, to remember a day when a President of the United States knew the wisdom and power of simply shutting the hell up and letting the American people get to the business of living their lives . . .

Apologizing For Arizona [*39] — “Is it unfair to say that the Obama administration consists of a bunch of anti-American ignoramuses? If so, why?”

Forgive the schadenfreude [*40] — Gee. Venezuela elected a blowhard populist-leftist-socialist, and now their economy is cratering. The United States has also elected a blowhard populist-leftist-socialist . . . how’s all that hopey-changey stuff working out for you?

Africa’s lake Tanganyika warming fast, life dying [*41] — You have to read the article to the last line to get to the punch line . . . you’re supposed to blame the Evil Climate Change for it all, but then, there at the very end, we find that “other factors, like overfishing, may be doing more harm than any warming.” But that doesn’t fit the narrative, you see . . .

STEYN: Ignoring Islam [*42] — Yeah, all those guys who want to fly planes into buildings and otherwise kill off all the infidels . . . yeah, we can’t call them . . . well, we just can’t call them anything. Oh, yeah, we can’t draw pictures of them. Or at least of the pedophile goat-herder who may or may not have actually said a lot of stuff a long time ago. I think his name was L. Ron Hubbard. Or Jesus. Or Buddha. Or Zoroaster. Or maybe it was some other name. I really can’t recall right now. Oh, never mind . . .

No, wait, I have a question . . . if any sort of pictorial representation of Mohammed is forbidden, should that not include the pictorial representation which is composed of letters of the alphabet? If not, why not? Maybe it’s only forbidden if it’s in the Arabic script. Maybe it’s forbidden if it isn’t in the Arabic script. This is all very complex . . . maybe we non-Muslims should just completely ignore the Islamic world. But then, there’s that pesky conversion-by-the-sword thing that some Muslims seem to be prone to every so often . . . that’s rather difficult to ignore, although the Obama Administration seems to want to give it the good old college try . . .

Extraterrestrial Global Warming [*43]

Yost plans to use Soria primarily as a three-out closer [*44]

Noroviruses Identified as Common Cause of Travelers’ Diarrhea [*45]

More “good news” about the health care bill’s impact [*46] — “The point, of course, is that access to insurance doesn’t mean access to a doctor. And thus one sure way to see a doctor is via the emergency room. Lack of insurance may have kept some away from seeking services there. That won’t be the case anymore. And, given the Massachusetts example, that’s proven to be true there.”