The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dishonest terminology

As I was sitting in a Starbucks this morning and noticing that "tall" is the smallest size they offer, and "grande" (which means "large") is really their medium size, it occurs to me that people seem afraid to use honest terminology. (Of course, Starbucks' competititors do use "small, medium, and large," so not everyone is afraid to be honest. But Starbucks is by far the biggest in the business.)

Nobody is "pro-legalized-abortion" or even "anti-legalized-abortion"; they are "pro-life" or "pro-choice." As if the only thing alive is a fetus; "pro-life," after all, could mean "anti-euthanasia" or "anti-death penalty," of course. And as if the only choice anyone makes in life is whether or not to abort an unwanted fetus; "pro-choice" could mean "anti-affirmative action," "anti-union-shop," or "anti-compulsory-anything," for Heaven's sake!

Recently pro-labor-union Congressmen introduced something called "the Employee Fair Choice Act." What it really meant was to make it easier for labor unions to intimidate workers into voting for a union, by depriving them of a secret vote in labor representation elections. But obviously, to them a choice to unionize is fair, while a choice not to unionize is unfair!

Obviously, I could multiply cases of dishonesty in terminology, but these examples make it clear that nobody has a monopoly on such dishonesty.

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