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.

Monday, December 22, 2008

That time of year -- I hate it!

Right now we are in the time of year that I hate the most. I wish I could go into hibernation from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year's Eve. Why do we have to endure it?


First of all, as I've said, I'm Jewish, so Christmas is not my holiday. But I don't begrudge Christians' celebration of the birth of the founder of their faith (though, historically, it seems a matter of record that he wasn't really born in late December; the Romans simply co-opted a day that was already a holiday and renamed it). The problem is when they try to involve me in their celebration. Please leave me alone!


It seems as if at this time of year we are bombarded by three kinds of music, and I'll list them in increasing order of their unpleasantness:
  1. General winter stuff, like "Winter Wonderland," "Jingle Bells," and Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride." This isn't really Christmas music, so it doesn't bother me as much as the other two; I just wonder why anyone would want to be reminded that it's the winter season, with its cold, wind, and even snow!

  2. Then there is the "secular Christmas" music -- things like "Silver Bells," which don't mention Jesus but keep the Christmas theme. I suppose this is the Christians' way of trying to make us feel more at home (and one can even argue that Irving Berlin, who wrote "White Christmas," was Jewish!) But my response to those people is simply this: "When you get rid of the first six letters of the name of that holiday, call me. Until then, keep away from me!"

  3. And finally, the religious carols, from "Silent Night" to "Adeste Fideles," and on down the whole list. Sing them in your church, in your home, or at private gatherings. I no more want to hear them than I want to be proselytized by your clergy.



So, repeating again, Please leave me alone!

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