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, May 07, 2009

An evaluation of Obama's first days

The media have decided that Obama's 100-day "anniversary" is the time to evaluate his administration. 100 days is probably not enough time to come up with a real picture of what kind of president Barack Obama is or will be, but I will join the others in evaluating the administration. It started out with some promise, because most of his nominees looked to be at least very qualified, even if further left than I would like to see. But one of those apparently very qualified nominees, Timothy Geithner, turned out to have serious tax problems (not a great thing for someone who is going to be running the department that incluses the IRS!) And just as Bill Clinton needed three tries to come up with an attorney general, Obama needed three tries to come up with a Commerce Secretary (admittedly, not quite as important a Cabinet position).

It is quite clear that Obama is governing not quite as far to the left as I feared, but still pretty far over. He's backed down on some of his more extreme proposals regarding Iraq, for ecample. But his version of the economic stimulus has clearly been a socialist's dream: even governors who stand to benefit have turned parts of it down because it comes with strings attached that they cannot accept.

His foreign policy looks successful at first; we now have more pleasant comments directed toward us than we did under George W. Bush. But this is at the cost of American values. They like us more, because we're deferring to their ideas more. This is a minus, not a plus!

The economy is starting to recover; how much of this is due to anything Obama's done is questionable, though.

All in all, Obama's not done as badly as I feared, but I'd hardly say it was starting well. It looks as though I'll have a lot more negative to say about his administration over the next three years.


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