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Сегодня прочёл в New York Times любопытный факт о Нэнси Пелози. Как многим уже известно, лидер демократов в Палате Представителей Нэнси Пелози после только что прошедших выборов становится спикером Палаты, официально - третьим человеком в стране (по списку замещающих должность президента в чрезвычайной ситуации: после самого президента и вице-президента). Впервые в истории США на этом посту оказывается женщина. Нэнси Пелози 66 лет, у неё пятеро внуков.

Так вот, как раз к выборам подходило время одной из её дочерей подарить ей шестого. Поздно вечером во вторник, когда Нэнси уже спала, её разбудили помощники. "Что, родила?" - спросила Пелози. "Нет, на проводе президент. Позвонил поздравить вас с победой демократов на выборах и грядущей должностью спикера".

Мне кажется, Пелози - правильная бабка. Одобряю.


Nov. 10th, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)
Just to be clear, I'm in favor of universal health insurance. I think it's a good thing. But I cringe when people (usually liberals) refer to it as right. IMHO it is exactly a privilege. A civilized country must be clear to have 100% of its population privileged (wrt health care) and ashamed otherwise. But why is it right? Surely it's not stated as such in the Constitution nor is is ajudicated by courts. By no means it is a right.
Nov. 10th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
The English word "right" might mean both "legal right" and "social right":

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Right \Right\, n. [AS. right. See {Right}, a.]
1. That which is right or correct. Specifically:
(a) The straight course; adherence to duty; obedience to
lawful authority, divine or human; freedom from guilt,
-- the opposite of moral wrong.
(b) A true statement; freedom from error of falsehood;
adherence to truth or fact.
[1913 Webster]

Seldom your opinions err;
Your eyes are always in the right. --Prior.
[1913 Webster]
(c) A just judgment or action; that which is true or
proper; justice; uprightness; integrity.
[1913 Webster]

Long love to her has borne the faithful knight,
And well deserved, had fortune done him right.
[1913 Webster]

2. That to which one has a just claim. Specifically:
(a) That which one has a natural claim to exact.
[1913 Webster]

There are no rights whatever, without
corresponding duties. --Coleridge.
[1913 Webster]
(b) That which one has a legal or social claim to do or to
exact; legal power; authority; as, a sheriff has a
right to arrest a criminal.
(c) That which justly belongs to one; that which one has a
claim to possess or own; the interest or share which
anyone has in a piece of property; title; claim;
interest; ownership.
[1913 Webster]

Born free, he sought his right. --Dryden.
[1913 Webster]

Hast thou not right to all created things?
[1913 Webster]

Men have no right to what is not reasonable.
[1913 Webster]
(d) Privilege or immunity granted by authority.
[1913 Webster]

I think we both can agree that health care is social right
Nov. 11th, 2006 05:08 am (UTC)
Arguing about legal rights is a normal thing because there is a reasonable well defined process to establish who is right ... I mean correct.

Talking about social rights, OTOH, is a waste of time because there is no way to determine who is wrong. Such an argument would typically come down to a pissing match. Which is exactly what we see in this case.

I agree that care is social right in the modern USA but it is not a universal social right. I'd have hard time arguing that the same applies to Ghana, Burma etc.
Nov. 11th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC)
It is simple. Legal rights are the area of courts. Social rights are the area of politics. So the real question here is this: do we, the citizens of the US, agree that any sick person should have some basic helath care even if he is broke? If we do, there is a social right to health care. If we do not, well, there is no such right.

Now it seems that there is growing consensus that the majority of people, if asked this question in this form, agree. That is why it is a federal crime for a doctor to leave a person dying even if he cannot pay. On the other hand some people on the right want to reverse this development. This is their right, of course. What they should not do, of course, is to use demagoguery and lies.
Nov. 12th, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's simple. The devil is always in the details. For example, "any sick person". For US citizens I might give one answer, for legal immigants another, for illegals yet another, for tourists who didn't bother with buying insurance - something else.

The definition of "basic health care" is a subject of separate debate. IMHO, the poor folks on Medicaid receive way more than what's reasonably described by "basic". While there may not be any general definition, one gets a good idea of what is basic by looking at the expenses as compared to other parts of the budget.

But I agree that social rights are the area of politics. On second thought I'm not sure I see a lot of a difference between a social right and a priviledge.



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