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.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

On the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

While my previous post was critical of the position taken by Dennis Sanders on his blog, I certainly concur with him in his celebrating the end of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Of course, as a publicly declared gay man, Sanders has more reason to celebrate it than many other people, but I think that all people who believe in the concept of equal rights should be happy in this — but yet it is not quite a total victory for equal rights. As long as the ironically mistitled "Defense of Marriage Act" is still on the books, gay military personnel cannot provide their spouses with the same benefits that straight ones can. However, that bill will hopefully be declared unconstitutional — the Obama administration has refused to defend it, one of the few things this president has done right.

It is a good feeling to see pictures like the Navy lieutenant who went up to Vermont to marry his partner. It will be interesting to see the outcome of legal cases where expelled gay ex-servicemen and -women are suing to get equal treatment (they were only granted half the standard severance pay, for example).

I can't really see the point of view of people who want to be in the military — I did everything I could to ensure I was not drafted, back when I was called! — but certainly, if someone wants to be there, a simple concern for equality has to say that this is a positive step.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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