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.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Supreme Court's bizarre decision

Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court has fallen victim to the spurious reasoning that the National Rifle Association has spread about the Second Amendment. It invalidated the District of Columbia's gun control regulations. (See this site, though the post is in agreement with this stupid opinion.)
Though the opinion is stupid, it is the law of the land. Just as abortion opponents have to live with Roe v. Wade, we will have to live with District of Columbia v. Heller, the worst U. S. Supreme Court opinion since Plessy v. Ferguson. It means that it is going to be difficult to control gun violence, but of course there will be many further challenges to determine what can legally be done to control guns in this nation.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Real issues and fake issues

It doesn't take fake issues to demolish Barack Obama as a reasonable candidate for the presidency. Real issues will do. For example, why try to claim that Obama is really a Muslim? — clearly he isn't, and in fact Muslims should be OK as candidates, if their principles are consistent with the U. S. Constitution, but what kind of a Christian is he? He was baptized into the Christian church by none other than Jeremiah Wright, who also married him to his wife, baptized their children, and ran a church that Obama attended for two decades. Obviously Obama's idea of what Christianity means cannot be too different from Wright's, despite what he might claim now in 2008!

Similarly, it is perfectly all right for Obama to decline public financing if he feels he can run a better campaign that way. What is not acceptable is to make lots and lots of speeches defending public financing, promise to run a publically-financed campaign, and only when it becomes obvious that you can do better by declining to participate, reversing such an oft-proclaimed position.

Barack Obama's radicalism, his hypocrisy, and his near-total lack of sufficient experience: these are the real issues on which Barack Obama's campaign will falter.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The issue isn't Bush, it's Obama!

The presumptive Democratic candidate for President, Senator Barack Obama, is trying with all his might to make this 2008 Presidential election into a referendum on President George W. Bush. He cannot be allowed to do this. President Bush is not a candidate in this election. Senator Obama is.

There are two major issues in this election, and both have to do with Sen. Obama's desirability for the office of the Presidency. The first has to do with Obama's near-total inexperience. Do we want to have in the highest office of the land a man who, four years ago, was an obscure State Senator in Illinois (whose legislature is not even a full-time one)? And the second has to do with Obama's extreme radicalism. He keeps trying to paint himself as within the mainstream of American politics. But this is a man who got into the State Senate as an activist endorsed by the Marxist organization known as ACORN and funded by a man who was proud of the attempt to destroy the Pentagon! This is also a man who sat for twenty years in a church founded by people such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, with his "God Damn America" sermons, who now claims that he never noticed the extreme anti-American tone of the Rev. Wright, and who only now, after 20 years, leaves that church!

We need to heep our eyes on the real issue in this election: It isn't Bush, who is not even running. It is Obama, whose election would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The California gay-marriage decision - more comment.

People are suing to get the courts to stay this decision. If I were a judge, my questions to these people would be "How does it hurt you if these people get married? What injury do you sustain that gives you grounds for legal action?" So far, I've seen nobody explain any way in which anyone is harmed by permitting gay marriage, except that they think a priest would be compelled to officiate at one where it violates his principles, and this is of course nonsense. I've never heard of a clergyman compelled to officiate at any marriage against his principles, and rabbis refuse to officiate at interfaith marriages and Catholics refuse to officiate at marriages involving divorced people already.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

An interesting post about Barack Obama

I just saw this post. It's something I have thought about myself, and thought I should mention it here. Even the title, "Is Obama Al Smith or John F. Kennedy?" reflects my ideas. I've often said that Obama breaks the ice for African-Americans, as Al Smith did for Catholics, but remember that Smith lost.

More about Barack Obama's history

Is Barack Obama too radical to be President? I certainly think so. Look at this site (with an explanation on this site), this site, this site, and this site, for a start.

The American public needs to know about this.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama, presumptive Democratic nominee

Today we will probably find that the primaries will either give Barack Obama enough delegates to be nominated or come so close that Hillary Clinton will need to give up.

No great surprise. For the last month or more, he's been so far ahead that she had no hope of catching him. But she kept trying. And I can't say I wasn't happy she did, because all the negatives she raised will only help John McCain in November.

What I'm really wondering is how she can (as she will have to, to prove her loyalty to the Democratic Party) campaign vigorously for him, without being called on some of the things she has said to imply Obama's unsuitability for the office. (I don't mean to say he's suitable for the office; but then I'm not going to have to come back and defend him after making the kind of remarks she did!)

To leave the references to Hillary Clinton behind, did anyone notice that Obama finally had to formally leave the Trinity United Church of Christ (Jeremiah Wright's former pulpit)? But it would seem to me that to discover, after 20 years as a parishioner, that the church was spreading ideas he didn't like, is a sign of naïveté that ill befits someone seeking the Presidency. So this decision was really too little and too late to change anything in my mind.

The kids in Texas

The State of Texas seems to have done something far beyond what they intended to — they have created public sympathy for the polygamist group that calls itself the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints.

By taking 400 kids from their parents, and dispersing them to foster homes all over the state, they created a scene of scared kids who (when the court found that the State had acted unlawfully, and had to return them to their parents) showed how glad they were to be with their parents again. Those pictures of a mother hugging her young daughter probably made more people tolerant of the oddness of the FLDS church than ever would have been before Texas acted.

It's probably a victory for religious freedom and the First Amendment. But 400 scared kids were quite a price to pay.