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 13, 2010

Elena Kagan

The battle lines seem to be drawn for President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan for the Stevens seat on the Supreme Court. She is, clearly, a different sort of nominee from what we have had recently; the first nominee who was not a sitting judge for many years. Whether this is good or bad is unclear to me; I've generally believed that relevant experience is important, and if I were President I certainly would not appoint anyone to the Supreme Court who was not an experienced appellate court judge. But some people have made the point that a greater diversity of backgrounds might be a good idea. I'm certainly willing to see this tried.

Of course, conservatives are up in arms about Kagan, because her actions as a law school dean were very liberal (people especially point to her barring military recruiters from the Harvard Law School campus over their "don't ask — don't tell" policy). I probably would be too, if it weren't for the fact that it is Justice Stevens whose seat is being filled.

As I posted a while ago, Justice Stevens has been one of the most liberal ones on the Court. So the court's composition is not going to change that much by her being put on it. The only point some people have made that warrants looking at is that Kagan has had a great ability to convince others of the reasonability of her arguments, and they fear she will do the same. But can they really think that Justices Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito are so weak in their convictions that a Justice Kagan could convince them to change? I do not believe so!

Then there are the allegations that she is a Lesbian. To that I say "if so, so what?" If there is anything that should be irrelevant to this question, this is it! However, of course, there are the so-called "social conservatives," who are so afraid of a "gay agenda" to undermine what they consider our moral fiber that this troubles them. Actually, if she is in fact gay, this might be a point in her favor. The idea that homosexuality is a terrible thing perhaps still needs to be dispelled. But it seems that she really isn't. The real problem is that those "social conservatives," by raising this issue, are creating a diversion from real issues — but then, their whole focus is on trying to force-feed their own (anti-gay) agenda on the American people. So let's forget about that issue.

So, opposed as I am to Obama's hyper-liberalism, I would probably vote (if I were a Senator) to confirm Elena Kagan's nomination. Save the fight for the next Supreme Court vacancy.

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