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, March 22, 2012

Whatever happened to freedom of the press?

It's not clear as to whether this is White House censorship (one more assault on the Constitution by our President!) or media being so subservient that they'll just roll over and play dead at Obama's command, but this interesting post just appeared on Dylan Byers' blog on Politico's site:

The White House is now confirming that it asked media organizations to pull a report about Malia Obama's school trip.

“From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest,” Kristina Schake, communications director to the first lady, told me via email. “We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.”

On Monday, the AFP reported that Obama's daughter was on a school trip along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The story was picked up by Yahoo, The Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as U.K. publications like the Daily Mail and The Telegraph and other overseas publications like The Australian.

But on Monday night, the story had been removed from those sites. The AFP page for the story now links to a story titled "Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail," as does the Yahoo page. The Huffington Post page now links directly back to The Huffington Post homepage. The Daily Mail, Telegraph, and Australian stories now lead to 404 error pages, reading "page not found." The International Business Times story also links to the IBT homepage, though a version of the original story still exists online.

Nobody made the press scrub stories on Amy Carter or George W. Bush's twin daughters. But Obama's girls are off limits.

Thanks to Tom Bowler, whose blog, Libertarian Leanings, posted a note about this and thereby called my attention to it.

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