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, January 16, 2012

On Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is being celebrated as Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. Now, I understand that the African-American community feels the need to commemorate one of their own, but I have to say that King is hardly one that I would want to honor with a national holiday. (And this doesn't make me a racist, though opponents of the King's birthday holiday seem to get automatically tagged as such.) While, in the early days of his adult life, he was a positive force for civil rights, he eventually ended up taking a position that I cannot call honorable: while he spent so much of his life trying to gain rights for his own fellow African-Americans, he stood in the way of this country's effort to gain freedom for people in Vietnam. Certainly not a person worth honoring.

I suppose that African-Americans should get to choose their hero, but wouldn't Thurgood Marshall have been a better choice? Marshall was the primary advocate for the side trying (successfully) to end segregation in the Brown v. Board of Education case, and argued for civil rights in a number of other cases, and eventually ended up as the first African-American Supreme Court justice. I don't know when Martshall's birthday was, but I'd sooner make that a national holiday than King's.

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