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.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Supreme Court will be heard on gun control

The question of whether the Disctrict of Columbia can enact and enforce it's extremely strong gun control regulations will now go to the Supreme Court. (See, e. g.,

It's hard to tell how this will end up. The Court's conservative justices are sympathetic to the NRA's crazy view of what the Second Amendment means, but they also believe in stare decisis. And they don't have a total majority anyway.

Naturally, if you have read my earlier posts, I would hope that DC's laws are upheld. But I can't predict what the Court will do.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Mukasey nomination

Well, the Senate confirmed Mukasey, 53-40. Nobody doubted that he was qualified for the post, and Sen. Schumer of New York ad even suggested Mukasey as a good choice in the beginning. But 40 Senators just had to vote no to make some stupid political point. None of them really had an objection to Mukasey except that he wouldn't take a position on whether or not a particular interrogation procedure (which, because it involved classified information Mukasey had not been cleared to receive, he didn't even know if it was in use!) constituted illegal torture.

It seems that the Senate needs to learn that the U. S. is not a parliamentary system. The executive does not fall if the legislature votes no-confidence. The Senate is not supposed to refuse Presidential nominations to Cabinet posts just because they have policy disagreements with the President, or because they want to pressure the nominee into making statements that they might use against the President. The Senate's only reason to refuse a Presidential nomination to an executive office is lack of qualifications. (It might be in order to give more input on nominations to judicial offices, though even there they have no business trying to force the President to nominate someone that does not meet with his approval.)

This is the most belligerent Senate in recent history, and I think they need to read the Constitution and learn the difference between our system and parliamentary ones. Their duty is to legislate, not to try to control the Presidency.