"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

To Build a Fire 

As long as I can remember, I have been told by various authority figures (my mother, my drivers' ed teacher, the cop who pulled me over at 2:45 AM) that driving is a privilege, not a right. Of course, it just happens to be a "privilege" that is often prerequisite to significant community involvement - it is, after all, how people usually get to their jobs, their churches, the homes of their extended family members, bingo, etc., etc., etc. - but still, it is hard to quibble with the basic principle that no one has any right to drive a car. And so it is hard to argue that rising gas prices constitute some sort of civil rights issue.

But I wonder - is having a warm place to sleep also a privilege, and not a right? Matt Yglesias assures us that, as far as our government is concerned, it most surely is.




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