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, March 13, 2008

On Eliot Spitzer

Some people have argued that Eliot Spitzer, the New York Governor who just resigned over a prostitution scandal, should be cut some slack because "prostitution is a victimless crime." Ordinarily, I would sympathize with this point of view. I strongly believe in the libertarian concept that something should be criminalized only if it hurts someone. But this is different. Why?

It is just this — Spitzer himself, as attorney general, prosecuted prostitution rings. Spitzer prosecuted people for money laundering who did some of the same things he did to hide his purchases of prostitutes' services. In short, he himself acted toward others as if the things he is guilty of are reprehensible. So it is poetic justice that he was the one to suffer.

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