Thursday, October 13, 2005

A Little on the Side

A little common sense, that is.

If you dont like wading through a huge stack of 'favorites' or 'bookmarks' depending on what your browser calls them, you tend to discover 'GEM' sites over and over again.
Such a one is The Post Chronicle

And one of my favorite political commenter/observers, Thomas Sowell, writes for it.

Here's excerpts of two of his latest:
Spoiled Brat Politics
An editorial in a recent issue of the National Geographic's "Traveler" magazine complained that kayakers in Maine found "residential development" near national parks and urged its readers to use their "influence" to prevent such things.

"You are the stakeholders in our national parks," it said.

Really? What stake do kayakers and others of like mind have that is not also a stake held by people who build the vacation homes whose presence offends the kayak set? Homeowners are just as much citizens and taxpayers as kayakers are, and they are even entitled to equal treatment under the 14th Amendment.

The essence of bigotry is denying others the same rights you claim for yourself. Green bigots are a classic example.


And Spoiled Brat Politics: Part II
The idea that what I want overrides what you want has increasingly become part of our thinking, our policies and even our laws. There is literally a federal case before the Supreme Court over the fact that many colleges and universities refuse to allow military recruiters on campus.

Why? Because, as the academics will tell you, they are opposed to the military, either in general or because they think the military are discriminating against homosexuals or for whatever other reasons they have.

These academics have every right to be against the military, for any reason or for no reason.

If they don't like the military, they can stay away from the military, since there is no draft. But what they want is to keep other people away from the military, by preventing students from hearing what the military recruiters have to say, as students hear what recruiters from all sorts of other institutions and movements have to say on campus.

The reason there is a legal issue is that a federal law has been passed, saying that colleges and universities that forbid military recruiters from coming on campus are no longer eligible to receive federal money.

Academics are outraged. They see this law as a violation of their freedom -- including their right to violate their students' freedom. It is classic spoiled brat politics, based on the idea that what I want overrides what you want.


See the connection?
It's nothing more than common sense... you cant reasonably expect, in a free society, to be excepted from the rules governing the use of commonly held resources or commonly provided protections and services.
In the one case, you have no more say, as a visitor, than one who invests in the locale. .. and to say there should be no private investment in the locale makes the whole determination of what IS an investment quite subjective.

In the case of the kayaker, should he succeed in blocking housing along the pristine riverway, will he THEN turn his attention to eliminating walking trails?
After THAT how about invoking rules that one cant set foot on the banks for fear of disturbing flora and fauna?

And we must note that there are those who advocate closing certain wilderness areas against ALL human encroachment.. no matter the reason or motive for being there.

In the case of Academia vs Military, it simply boggles the mind. They have the right to shun the military all they want.
But they should have to go the extra mile and disturb their little comfort zone to do that.
They DONT have the right to disallow freedom of speech and movement to an arm of the same government that feeds them.. at the same time as they are celebrating their OWN freedom of dissent.

But, as Sowell points out.. there's an underlying factor at work, too. That is the litigation industry. If it wasnt for all this foo-foo, what would all the lawyers do?

And note the line ads for class action suits on that site!
Ironic, wot? Ah,well...

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