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.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mitt Romney, "social conservatives," and pornography

Today I saw a headline on a local newspaper: "Romney plans attack on pornography to try to woo social conservatives." (The online version of the paper puts it slightly differently: leaving out the word "social," but obviously it means the same.) I had originally, on seeing this headline, planned to write a post on how "social conservatives" are a cancer infesting the Republican Party and how Romney is turning me off more and more; I think that pornography is hardly the crowning issue of this campaign, but cracking down on it is as stupid as cracking down on alcohol in the 1920s was, and pornography actually has its good points; a person who might be impelled to commit a rape might be more harmlessly able to give vent to his feelings by looking at it, and certainly if Bill Clinton had looked at porn instead, he might not have wrecked Monica Lewinsky's life, to give two examples.

But on reading the article, I saw more reason to sympathize with Romney's position. He was not talking about porn in general, but about porn directed toward people's e-mail boxes against their wish. Just as I feel people should have the right to look at porn -- no matter how disgusting others might find it -- I also feel people should have the right to control what they look at in a negative way: to decide what they do not want to look at. And on that point I fully agree with Mitt Romney.

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