Sunday, December 23, 2007


If you own a mall and forbid firearms, are you responsible for massacres that occur as a result? If you are President and do not oppose torture on your watch, are you guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity? Common sense knows the answer to those questions.

Everyone has rights. Everyone has the same rights as everyone else. Each right that exists casts a shadow. That shadow is called a responsibility. Whether you choose to exercise your right or not does not change the fact that it still exists and continues to cast a shadow.

Your property is yours. You can choose to allow people to enter it or not. If you do choose to allow people onto your property you are giving up some power over that property. Just because you own property does not mean you can demand that people suspend their human rights while they "visit" you. You can not demand that people become less than fully human just because they set foot on your property. It would be like saying that if you come to my house, I am allowed to strip search you, or worse, whenever I feel like it. That would be ridiculous and wrong. Your body, and all that is contained within your clothes, is strictly none of my business even if you are in my house. Unless you choose to make it my business. Now, if you are leaking radiation or toxic fluids, those are no longer part of you and become my business. If you are not comfortable with that, you should not invite people to your property. Get a dog instead.

"Authority" is not the same as a "right". The President has the same human rights as everyone else, but he also has some authority, though not nearly as much as he may claim. That authority does not include violating the human rights of anyone. Not even enemy combatants or suspected terrorists. Not even if his minions (or puppetmasters as the case may be) think that torturing one of these people may yield vital information. Whoever violates the rights of another is a criminal and should be dealt with as such.

If someone attempts to restrict the rights of others, and calamity ensues because of it, the rights violator has gone into debt. If deaths resulted, how can that debt ever be repaid? If authority is misused and lives are ended or otherwise destroyed, how can that debt be made right again? Better be safe and not try to infringe on the rights of others. Otherwise you may rack up a debt you can't pay, and that will never be forgiven.