With the freakishly cold weather that killed everyone on Earth this week, a lot of local news stations are asking some questions.
Thousands of air passengers found their flights delayed, cancelled, or rerouted. What are your rights as an airline passenger?
Public transportation was hampered by blocked streets, frozen conditions, and poor visibility. Rail switches froze, buses stalled, and hundreds of people had to be evacuated from frozen Amtrak trains around the country. What are your rights as a passenger?
You already see where this is going.
Your rights, of course, are the same as anyone in this country: the Bill of Rights is keen to help the news media understand them.
But above and beyond that, what are your rights?
Better question: why does everything get to be a right? The Department of Transportation does not have anything called an Airline Passengerss Bill of Rights. Rather, they have Airline Passenger Protections, none of which are deemed rights. Rather, reference is made to existing legal rights as defined by law. Big difference.
Not everything is a right. The number of imagined rights far exceeds actual rights. Just because you want something doesnt grant it the status of a right. The Czar has spent a lot of time over the years lecturing folks on the differences between Rights and Privileges.
So when the Czar hears that people have a Right to Housing, to a College Education, to Healthcare, to a Job…well, he gets a little crankier.
The Czar thinks really hard about stuff sometimes, and his advanced age he can recall when this cheapening blur of Rights and Privileges began: Franklin Roosevelts Second Bill of Rights. In fact, most of the liberal pantheon of hot topics goes back to that 1944 SOTU address. Look over this list and ask yourself if this doesnt sound like every liberal money-grab canard you ever heard:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
Ever wonder why farmers continue to get bizarre Pigford-like handouts in this day and age? Housing? Healthcare? Education? Welfare? You guessed it: this very speech.
Prior to that, the thinking person relied on the Coolidge mentality of reduction: the country will succeed, Coolidge believed and demonstrated, the less government does. The popular Democrat slam that such thinking resulted in the Great Depression only makes sense if you believe that the government should directly influence economics. Stop and think about that for a second: if you were to travel to 1921 and ask the average American if the government should protect the average person from over-investing in speculative ventures, you would receive a blank stare. Caveat emptor, would be the likely response.
But todaythanks to the FDR administrationmost Americans think that government should have done more to protect Americans prior to the New Deal. This is a nice bit of retconning. Indeed, most of us were stunned to hear Roosevelts overreaching concept of the New Deal, and were pleased when Congress finally began to limit his stretch: Roosevelt wanted to go much, much further with government control over private enterprise, which even Truman despised.
And just as most Americans seem to accept this notion that Hoover caused the Great Depressionperhaps another topic for another timewe seem to accept this notion that there are many more rights owed to us. Not so: the Constitution is clear to underline that our rights come from God; everything on FDRs list is a granted privilege from the government.
Yes, the Czar knows that you have legal rights not spelled out in the Constitution, such as the Right to An Attorney. But the fact is, and the Supreme Court has upheld, that these legal rights are merely extensions of the ones listed in the Constitution. Ghettoputer here has two ways of explaining this to folks: one with a pocket copy of the Constitution, and the other with a mallet. Hint: take the pocket Constitution approach.
But getting access to a bar after three hours of sitting on a tarmac? Not a right, no matter how much the Czar sympathizes.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.