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.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

How Barack Obama got his first elective office

Barack Obama this year has shown that he is a master of gaming the rules to his advantage. It turns out he has been this from the beginning of his political career.

Alice Palmer had been an Illinois State Senator for years. Obama was one of her staff members. It seems that in 1996, the local congressman, Mel Reynolds, got into legal trouble over a charge of having sex with a minor. When he left the Congress, Palmer decided to run for the congressional seat, and Obama was her hand-picked successor.

The only trouble was, after Palmer chose to run for the congressional seat, a certain Jesse Jackson, Jr. chose to run for that same seat. With such a famous name running against her, she finished very poorly, actually coming in third after Jackson and another State Senator. So she decided to go back to her old State Senate seat — the only problem was, Obama wanted it now!

In the ensuing primary, each candidate needed to get a certain number of petition signatures to qualify for the ballot. She needed something over 700 signatures, she filed over 1700; but Obama, as machine politicians often do, managed to get around 1000 of Palmer's signatures voided, enough to rule her off. In addition, he got two other competing candidates disqualified the same way, so Obama ran unopposed. Naturally, he won the seat! (It was a solid Democratic district, so the primary was all he needed to win.)

A machine politician par excellence, Barack Obama used all the nasty tricks that the Daley machine is known for. Naturally, since Daley had thought of Alice Palmer as a rival for power, he was not too unhappy at what Obama did.

Is this person worthy of being President? Hardly.

More about Obama's past to come in later posts.


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