Logo
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
What Is Social Justice?
I’ve often wondered just what the liberal mantra, “Social Justice,” means.  We hear the expression repeated just about every time there is a discussion about politics and the political parties, and it’s usually used to defend various government programs and so-called “entitlements”, such as Medicare and Social Security, and now Obamacare.
 
However, the term is never actually defined, except to claim that the various social programs are a “right,” based on the notion that they are somehow guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence, with the words “…that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain “unalienable Rights, that among those are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”
 
So, if “social justice” is a right, it has been created somewhere in our history by some sort of legislative act.  But, to my knowledge, it has not.
 
The term “Unalienable rights," is defined as those rights that cannot be surrendered, sold or transferred to someone else, such as the government or to another person.  Such rights are often considered to be "natural" or "God-given" rights (i.e., life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness).
 
However, "inalienable rights" are those rights that can only be transferred with the consent of the person who possess them.

"Endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights," is the phrase that is famously associated with the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Its intent was to express the truth that every person is a creation of God and has certain rights, simply by virtue of their being created by God. Therefore, those unalienable rights or privileges cannot be transferred or taken away by any man. Those rights as conceived in the Declaration, are "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
 
This means that Jefferson and the other writers of the Declaration wanted people to believe that God created human beings who have certain rights that should never be taken away, specifically life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. They avoided the word "God" using instead "their creator" to avoid religious disputes because they were preparing to move away from government-sponsored religion.
 
All of which makes it possible to claim that “social justice” means anything anyone wants it to mean, in whatever situation they want it to apply.
 
Economist Walter E. Williams commented:
 
Most people whom we elect to Congress are either ignorant of, have contempt for or are just plain stupid about the United States Constitution. ... Here, in part, is the oath of office that each congressman takes: 'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same....'
 
Here's my question to you: If one takes an oath to uphold and defend, and bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution, at the minimum, shouldn't he know what he's supposed to uphold, defend and be faithful to? If congressmen, judges, the president and other government officials were merely ignorant of our Constitution, there'd be hope -- ignorance is curable through education.
 
These people in Washington see themselves as our betters and rulers. They have contempt for the limits our Constitution places on the federal government envisioned by James Madison, the father of our Constitution, who explained in the Federalist Paper 45: 'The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.'
 
Thus, the claim that the Declaration of Independence provides the basis for “social justice” is not just incorrect, it is actually a perversion of the intent of America’s Founders.
 
© 2010 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
Posted at 14:15 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



Friday, December 10, 2010
Unnecessary protection of some species
By Andy Caldwell

Years ago, our country took steps to insure that no species would go extinct if something could be done to prevent it.  Thus, we created the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The ESA entailed listing species that are on the verge of extinction or critically close- at least this is what the ESA pretends to do!  These many decades later, the Federal government is hard pressed to show that they have successfully recovered any species that was not erroneously listed as endangered in the first place.  Further, the ESA has been so distorted by environmental, judicial and bureaucratic activists that I believe we need to start all over.
 
I agree with the premise that we should do everything within our power to prevent the extinction of any species.  However, the ESA has been distorted to protect the sub-species of sub-species in remote locales despite the fact that the actual species is in abundant supply in other regions.  For instance, it is true that salmon are extinct or nearly extinct on the Santa Maria River, yet that has more to do with the average annual rainfall in our watershed!  In other parts of the world, there is no shortage of salmon that would bring one to believe this species is on the verge of extinction.  The same goes for the Tiger Salamander and Snowy Plover.  These animals can be found in abundance in regions that have the right geographical and climatic conditions conducive to their well being.
 
To make matters worse, the ESA has also morphed into a habitat protection plan.  The theory goes that species experience decline as their natural habitat is diminished or impacted primarily due to mankind’s activities.  Thus, vast swaths of lands, in some cases, millions of acres can be determined to be critical habitat for just one species, such as the Reg Legged Frog.  The ESA and the government agencies that enforce it turn a deaf ear and blind eye to natural causes of species decline, including weather patterns, disease and natural predation.  Further, the cost to protect and attempt to recover a species and its habitat is not bound by cost and neither is there any consideration to force private landowners to bear the full brunt of the costs.  The ESA concerns itself with preventing a take of a species with nary a concern for a taking of private property.  Thus, the ESA trumps our Constitutional Bill of Rights that indicates that the government is not allowed to take private property for a public benefit without financial remuneration.
 
Recently, we saw the County of Santa Barbara fork out $400,000 to set up a conservation easement for Tiger Salamanders near Lompoc.  That really is small change compared to the $15 million tax payers are spending to restore Trout runs on the Santa Ynez River.  And even that is small change compared to the tens of millions of dollars that are going to be spent in one way or another to restore salmon runs on the Santa Maria River. 
 
The most significant and ridiculous costs associated with the ESA has to do with the Regional Water Board’s role in all this.  The Regional Board lists the Santa Maria River’s dry riverbed as an impaired water body.  They claim that the river should be healthy enough to facilitate enjoyment of the river for water contact recreation (swimming) and fishing!  As a test to see if the water is clean enough for fishing, they figure it has to be clean enough to support bugs the fish might eat as they travel up and down the river to and from their spawning grounds.  For this, they want the farmers to capture and treat all the water that runs off their property and they will eventually ask municipalities to do the same. 
 
Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and a 42 year resident of the Central Coast.  For contact information, visit the COLAB website at www.colabsbc.org
Posted at 07:07 AM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



Login Login
Email Address* :
Password* :

New Registration Forgot Password?
Categories Categories
Al Fonzi
Andy Caldwell
Ashly Donavan
Bill Glynn
Dan Logue
Darin Selnick
Dr. George Watson
Dr. Jane Orient, M.D.
Dr. Mike Tabor
Dr. Wendy James
Gary Beckner
Gordon Mullin
Gretchen Hamel
Harris Sherline
Janet Cronick
Jerry Scheidbach
Joe Armendariz
Judson Phillips
Lowell Ponte
Matt Barber
Matt Kokkonen
Mike Brown
Mike Gorbell
Mike Stoker
Phil Kiver
Richard Cochrane
Richard Fryer
Richard S. Quandt
Robert Jeffers
Robyn Hayhurst
Roger Hedgecock
Rooster Bradford
Santa Barbara City Watch
Stephen Wallace, M.S. Ed.
RSS Feed RSS Feed
Top 10 Recent BlogRSS Feed
Al FonziRSS Feed
Andy CaldwellRSS Feed
Ashly DonavanRSS Feed
Bill GlynnRSS Feed
Dan LogueRSS Feed
Darin SelnickRSS Feed
Dr. George WatsonRSS Feed
Dr. Jane Orient, M.D.RSS Feed
Dr. Mike TaborRSS Feed
Dr. Wendy JamesRSS Feed
Gary BecknerRSS Feed
Gordon MullinRSS Feed
Gretchen HamelRSS Feed
Harris SherlineRSS Feed
Janet CronickRSS Feed
Jerry Scheidbach RSS Feed
Joe ArmendarizRSS Feed
Judson PhillipsRSS Feed
Lowell PonteRSS Feed
Matt BarberRSS Feed
Matt KokkonenRSS Feed
Mike BrownRSS Feed
Mike GorbellRSS Feed
Mike StokerRSS Feed
Phil KiverRSS Feed
Richard CochraneRSS Feed
Richard FryerRSS Feed
Richard S. QuandtRSS Feed
Robert JeffersRSS Feed
Robyn HayhurstRSS Feed
Roger HedgecockRSS Feed
Rooster BradfordRSS Feed
Santa Barbara City WatchRSS Feed
Stephen Wallace, M.S. Ed.RSS Feed
Archives Archives
Skip Navigation Links.
Tag Cloud Tag Cloud                      
Validator Validator
XHTML | CSS