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.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Several days ago, just after the Republican convention, my wife and I were sitting in a bus shelter waiting for the bus, when an African-American woman sitting next to me struck up a conversation. She asked what I thought of the political events going on, and I made some sort of neutral remark, not being in the mood at the time to strike up a political argument. (Given her race, I suspected that she and I would be on opposite sides — not a guarantee, given such people as Condoleezza Rice — but the odds were that way.) She pressed harder, saying that it seems that the candidates were saying the same thing over and over, and I remarked that they are campaigning on their issues. Finally she pushed harder and I was forced to stop my neutral talk, and made some remark that we need to get rid of this president and put Mitt Romney in his place. She then went on the defensive, claiming that Barack Obama has made the world respect us again. That strained credulity, I thought. I pointed out how Iran hardly respected us, going forth with its nuclear program despite our entreaties. I could have mentioned North Korea as well, but didn't think of it.

That conversation ended when our bus arrived, but now my mind went back to this conversation as I am thinking about recent events which show how little Barack Obama's America is respected in the world. In Egypt, they tear down the flag on our embassy and put up an al-Qaeda banner. In Libya it's even worse: our ambassador is murdered! Barack Obama has brought us the world's respect? Hardly — it looks more like contempt than respect!

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