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.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Obama and McChrystal

President Obama has fired General Stanley McChrystal and replaced him with Gen. David Petraeus. And no matter what you think of Pres. Obama, he had to do it.

The military operates under a "chain of command" system. And under our Constitution, the President is the commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy. So while Gen. McChrystal, had he been a civilian, would have been protected by the First Amendment, as a soldier, he was bound to defer to higher rank.

As commander-in-chief, Pres. Obama outranks any general, even the highest. And certainly, when such people as Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Joseph Lieberman (none of whom is a great friend of Pres. Obama!) condemned McChrystal's remarks, it was clear that they were beyond the limits of his free speech rights.

I cannot say how justified McChrystal was in his comments. But whatever their accuracy, they certainly constituted insubordination. I am one of the few people still alive who remembers Pres. Harry Truman's dismissal of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and as a child I was with MacArthur and against Truman. But if Truman was justified then, and after 60 years I think he probably was, so Obama is justified in getting rid of McChrystal.

Insulting Vice-President Biden was not such a great thing to do, either!

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