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.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The most annoying time of the year

Two songwriters, Edward Pola and George Wyle, once wrote a song entitled "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," about the Xmas season. To me it is better described as "the Most Annoying Time of the Year." As I've actually said in a number of posts, I hate it.

Normally I would wait to post this until it got closer to that day. (Although one of my earlier postings was also in early November.) But as it happened, over this past night, I had a dream. Now I don't usually put out my dreams on this blog for the whole world to see, but in the dream I was telling a friend (and, strangely, this friend was one who, in real life, passed away over 10 years ago!) that I wished that Christmas were treated, in this country, like Purim, a Jewish holiday that usually is celebrated in late February or March. And that's about how I feel for real.

Nobody who wants to celebrate Purim has any difficulty. There are stores where you can buy noisemakers and the other things one uses to celebrate the holiday. And it probably gets a mention in the newspapers a day or so before the actual date. But we are hardly bombarded with Purim songs, Purim cards, Purim decorations, and the like for the entire months of January and February! Anyone who wanted to ignore Purim would find it as easy to do so as anyone who wanted to celebrate it.

Contrast this with Christmas. It is impossible, beginning in late October or early November, to get away from Christmas decorations, Christmas music on the overhead speakers in department stores, and the like, and on the day itself, everything is closed. (Except, in the more urbanized areas, a few Chinese restaurants!) The Smithsonian museums (one of the few places one can go for an enjoyable time that don't cost a lot of money) are open every day of the year — except Christmas. One year I was in graduate school in a relatively small city — Charlottesville, Virginia. I could not find a single open restaurant — the only way I could get anything to eat (I was living in a single room without kitchen facilities) was by getting candy bars out of vending machines. I would gladly ignore the fact that December 25th is a holiday for many people — but I simply can't. There is simply no way to lead a normal day's existence on that day.

Now, this will put me at odds with such as Rush Limbaugh, who believe this country should be a Christian theocracy. But so be it!

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