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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I should blog about something today

I am beat today. Twelve hours, almost, at school. Exams. Grading. Union mess. Vaguely smelling of smoke the whole time (Scott has the pictures). Just a long, long day. (I did get out to lunch see my friend Carley at her day job. The soup was tasty!)

Here's my quick take on a bunch of things I have not blogged about today:
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Patrick McIlheran (and, this will surprise you) is being stupid again. His Wednesday column is on Governor Doyle's compromise plan to "lift the cap" on participants in Milwaukee's Parental Choice Program. He neatly parrot's GOP talking points (another big surprise!) and gets in his digs at Doyle's good working relationship with the state's teachers. A more energetic me would do a more energetic fisking.
  • Speaking of choice, the former Harambee School CFO was sentenced this week to seven years in detention.
  • Eye on Wisconsin is drawing attention to Wisconsin GOP hypocrisy. You may remember a few weeks back when the GOP, knowing Democrat Pedro Colòn was just outside, didn't allow him to vote? This week, a Republican committee chairman entered votes for GOPers who were out of the room!
  • I'm waiting for a certain conservative blogger whose name I am not allowed to mention and to whom I am not allowed to link to start calling all those surburban school districts with their nice conservative school boards unpatriotic.
  • Owen writes about rights. Some paragraphs of interest:
    Negotiated rights are those that come about as part of a contract. [. . .] These types of rights also extend to the civil contract between a person and the government. [. . .]

    Natural rights rest in the individual [. . .] The key characteristic of a natural right is that it can be exercised without imposing any obligations on anyone else. After all, if one is one’s own sovereign, then everyone else is also the sovereign of themselves. One sovereign may not transgress the rights of another sovereign by imposing obligations on him or her without his or her consent.

    The rights to speak freely, practice religion, own and control property, self defense, etc. are all natural rights. [. . .]

    Gay rights are a myth. Gay folks are humans just like everyone else and possess all of the same natural and negotiated rights that everyone else has. The notion that one group of individuals has rights separate and distinct from the rights of everyone else is a hateful notion that is in opposition to the cause of liberty. The same can be said for women’s rights, men’s rights, white rights, black rights, etc. We should be striving to ensure that we are all at liberty to exercise out natural, or “human,” rights – not engaging in a horse race whereby each group tries to establish a set of “super” rights for themselves. [. . .]

    One of the more controversial rights--especially in a time of Supreme Court contention--is the right to privacy. Privacy is a natural right. If I want to keep something to myself, it poses no obligation on anyone else. It is my right to do so. The fact that privacy is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution does not matter. The Constitution does not grant rights, nor does it purport to be a comprehensive catalogue of all natural rights.
    A couple of things bug me about this. Starting from the end, "privacy," Owen cleverly avoids (and, who knows, he might have a word limit) the implications of his declaring privacy a natural and, therefore, untransgressable right. Abortion, against which Owen staunchly is, has been ruled to fall under privacy rights--as an individual medical decision. Must be quite the conundrum.

    Second, the "gay rights are a myth" thing. The typical conservative line on any kind of civil rights question is that these rights are "special rights," and that gays, women, minorities--anyone other than straight white guys like me and Owen--should just shut up about it if they can't do all the things we can. Owen also conveniently forgets here to ask the question why straight white guys get to negotiate more rights than everyone else. Straight white guys can negotiate the right to marry whom they love, earn higher pay, not get pulled over on the freeway so often, and so forth.
  • We now have proof postive that "Intelligent Design" is a front for creationism.
And that's the end of that chapter.

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