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, August 18, 2011

Do we really need them all?

I'm not one of those anti-military types who want us to limit our military to homeland defense, but sometimes I wonder, Do we really need to have an Army, a Navy, an Air Force, and a Marine Corps as separate services?

The Army is supposedly land-based, the Navy sea-based, and the Air Force air-based. But the Army has airborne troops, the Navy has its SEALs (who often, as in the action that got Osama bin Laden, operate on land), the Navy and Air Force quarrel over the specifications for planes they will both have to use, and the Marine Corps, though technically a part of the Navy, seems to be more a land force than anything else.

Some time ago, Canada merged all its services into Canadian Forces. I think that, just because we're a bigger country with a much bigger military, this doesn't mean we can't do the same. It should be much more efficient to eliminate duplication.

Back in 1947 the Defense Department was created, and the Army and Navy no longer had separate Cabinet secretaries to report to. Yet it was only this year that the two services' Washington-area hospitals were merged. More than sixty years later!

I think Canada did it right. Let's do the same!

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