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 23, 2012

I am so glad I do not live in Missouri!

I would hate to be living in the State of Missouri this year — as I would have hated to live in Delaware two years ago. As Delawareans did in 2010, Missourians have nominated a Republican candidate who is beyond the fringe of acceptability. To have to choose between a weird Republican candidate who deserves to be deprived of any sort of office of importance and a Democrat who would, if elected, help perpetuate Harry Reid's control of the Senate is the kind of torture I hope never to have to endure myself, and I certainly do not have anything but sympathy for Missourians who have to make this choice in November.

Representative Todd Akin seems to think he is being pilloried for using one word — “legitimate” — to describe rape. But in fact, there is more than just this. If it was just the case of his saying “legitimate rape” to mean “true rape,” I do not think it would be that bad. But it was his expressed belief that a woman who is truly a rape victim could not become pregnant — a bit of idiocy that ill behooves a candidate for the United States Senate.

Then, there is one further position which Todd Akin has taken that would make it impossible for me to support him, if I'd been a Missourian. The fact is that Rep. Akin has made it clear that his main issue is abortion. Now I can support a candidate who is anti-abortion, if this is not his main issue and if, on issues that the candidate and I consider more important, we are in general agreement. But if the main issue on which a candidate is basing his campaign is one I oppose, it is clear that I cannot support him. And my position on abortion is clear. I don't believe in unrestricted abortion on demand with the woman being the only one to make the decision. I believe there should be some restrictions — for example, if she is married and her husband wants the child, he should be able to prevent an abortion — but in general, I am much closer to the “pro-choice” side than to the “pro-life” side in this spectrum. And so Todd Akin is outside the pale for me, while Romney-Ryan (who are “pro-life,” but do not make it one of their top issues) still get my support.

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