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, April 30, 2008

So NOW He's "outrageous"???

The latest news is that Barack Obama has called Jeremiah Wright's comments "outrageous." Really, it's taken him this long to see the kind of racist demagogue that Wright is? You'd think that 20 years in the Trinity UCC would have given him time to observe Wright! I really can't believe Obama is just now discovering what Wright thinks about the USA, about race relations, and such!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Can Obama really distance himself from Wright?

Now Sen. Obama says that the Jeremiah Wright who is expressing himself in such racist terms "is not the same man I've known for 20 years." Can we really believe such nonsense? There are lots of signs that this is not so. I certainly do not believe him; I put more credence in Wright's words that Obama is saying what he has to now because he is a politician!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Romney for VP?

There is a move afoot to nominate Mitt Romney for VP on the McCain ticket. While I was opposed to Romney for the top spot — his vacillation on the issues worried me — for VP I think that's not a bad idea at all. As this site states, Romney would bring a lot to the ticket. The only thing I wonder about: Would John McCain be willing to take him as VP nominee? It is clear that Romney would take the offer — he's even said so, and his withdrawal speech made it clear that he wants to unite the party. But I've seen word that there is not a very good feeling about Romney in McCain's mind — there were some problems between them even before this campaign.

Obviously, we don't know what — if any — communications there have been about this between McCain's and Romney's associates. But I would like to see McCain/Romney as a ticket in 2008.

One positive thing you can say about Obama

He knows how to play by the rules. He's taken extreme advantage of the Democratic Party's rules in this primary season. When Hillary Clinton wants to see that the people of Michigan and Florida get counted, Obama points to the Democratic Party rules and makes sure everyone understands that they can't be counted under those rules. (See this post.) He wins big in caucus states, where only small numbers come out so that a few voters can influence a lot of delegates. Meanwhile, in the big states with lots of delegates, he relies on the proportionality rules that the Dems have put in place, so even if he loses, he still gets a slew of delegates. Many people (including Bill Clinton) have pointed out that if the Democrats had allowed winner-take-all primaries and (like the Republicans) a number of major states had used them, Hillary would be leading in the delegate count, probably by a lot. This, among other things, is why John McCain got the Republican nomination relatively early, while the Dems are still going at it.

Of course, the actual Electoral College system used in the general election does use winner-take all (at least in 48 of the 50 states). So Obama vs. McCain would be fought under different rules. I wonder whether Obama will be able to re-orient his candidacy to play by the different rules that will apply for the general election.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Obama, the divider.

I just saw a new blog post, which says it better than I could, about Barack Obama. Read it here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Supreme Court's death penalty ruling

The Supreme Court has just ruled that the death penalty could continue. And I approve. Sure, in many countries around the world, public opinion has gone against the death penalty, and the US has come in for criticism for maintaining it. But I feel that not having the death penalty for murder actually cheapens human life — namely, the lives of the victims.

If a person who has killed someone gets anything less than the death penalty, the punishment has not suited the crime. Nothing short of the death penalty can pay for taking another's life, and for that reason nothing short of the death penalty is a fair punishment for such a crime.

Appeals to humaneness make no sense here; the murderer was not sparing of the lives of his victims, so why should we be more sparing of the perpetrator's life?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Obama ... unite the country?

I keep seeing supporters of Barack Obama claiming that he can unite the country. This seems to be the most incredible claim I could imagine.

Obama has been rated the most liberal member of the entire Senate in 2007 by National Journal. He outdoes Bernie Sanders, an avowed Socialist, and Senators like Russ Feingold and Tom Harkin. How can such an extremist unite the country?

John McCain has worked with liberal Democrats like Feingold and Ted Kennedy to introduce legislation; in fact, his ability to do this hurt him among very doctrinaire conservative Republicans. But even he could not find common ground with Obama. If this is so, how can anyone expect copperation between Obama and someone not of the extreme left?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

What a choice!

If I were faced with making a choice between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, there is no question but that I'd go with Clinton. She is clearly as dishonest as her husband, and both Clinton and Obama are very much more liberal than I am, but while Obama is a radical with the "throw out everything and start over" mentality of a visionary, Clinton is more of a pragmatist, who might be dissuaded from trying to implement radical changes by a need to play practical politics.

But fortunately, I don't have to make this choice. By the time I see either name on a ballot, he or she will have beaten the other, and the competition will be John McCain. And I don't have to think about who will get my vote. It will be McCain.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Barack Obama and hate

It seems that not only has Obama's church, the Trinity United Church of Christ, had an awful lot of anti-white prejudice associated with it; it's also said nice things about the Islamic terrorist group, Hamas. (See here.)

It is impossible to believe that Obama could attend this church for 20+ years and be unaware of what it and its leaders stand for. This is a man who wants to unite America?