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, April 29, 2010

I'm glad I don't live in Florida

There is a pretty good Republican Governor of Florida named Charlie Crist. He had expressed an interest in running for the Senate this year, and at first he seemed to be a shoo-in. Then another candidate, Marco Rubio, joined the fray. Conservatives backing Rubio have made it unlikely that Crist will be able to get the nomination of the Republican Party. So it now appears that Crist will run as an independent. (The mirror image, of course, of what happened to Sen. Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut a couple of years ago.)

Fortunately, this time, just like Lieberman, Crist seems popular enough in his state that he will probably win anyway — though a lot can happen between now and November. It would be a shame for a Republican split to give the seat to a Democrat, as happened recently in a special Congressional election in New York State.

I don't know a lot about Crist or Rubio — I suspect that if I were a Floridian I'd be closer politically to Crist, but Rubio would be acceptable — but I'm glad I don't have to choose between them. If the Democrat, Kendrick Meek (what a name!), ever got close enough that the split elected him because the Republicans could not unite, it would be a tragedy.

Once more, ideological purity is making Republicans weak.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Why I am NOT a "conservative"

On most important matters I tend to hold "conservative" positions, but sometimes I find the "conservative" position to be infuriatingly foreign to my thoughts.

Case in point: Pres. Barack Obama's recent order requiring hospitals to grant family visitation rights to partners of gay patients. We find conservative groups assailing this order as if it were destructive of the marriages of straight couples.

I for one applaud this order. If someone is hospitalized with a serious illness, he should be able to have the company of whomever he considers the most important person in his life. Without exception.

Apparently, a few conservatives are so eager to impose their own religion's concept of morality on people that they have not the slightest shred of compassion for these people.

I really would love to see any demonstration that allowing gay people to have any of the privileges of straight couples in any way reduces the rights of those straight couples.

And so, although Pres. Obama's order constitutes what is considered a liberal act, I see nothing wrong with it. And this is why I cannot consider myself a "conservative," even though I believe that conservatives are basically right on most important issues.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The successor to John Paul Stevens

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has stated that he is about to retire. And of course President Barack Obama will appoint a successor. While many conservatives are gearing up to fight if Obama appoints a very liberal successor to Justice Stevens, I'm not really going to get all agitated.

Why? Because Justice Stevens is just about the most liberal judge on the current court. And so, short of appointing a Communist, Pres. Obama cannot really affect the Court's direction, at least in a leftward turn, by his appointment. And he's not likely to try to move the Court in a rightward direction. So there is no hope that he would do that.

And thus, there is really no reason to worry too much.