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, October 18, 2012

An egregious gerrymander

Peter V. R. Franchot is the Comptroller of rhe State of Maryland. He is also a very loyal and partisan Democrat. So I was very surprised that he has come out against the weird gerrymander of Maryland's Congressional districts that was proposed by Governor Martin O'Malley, and urges voters to vote against Question 5 on this year's ballot.

The Third District is particularly fantastic, and has been termed the third worst gerrymandered district in the country by a study. But some of the others are still pretty bad, even if not that bad. (My county, Montgomery, is divided among the Sixth and Eighth districts as well as that weird Third. The Sixth District does not look too bad, except that it is a deliberate attempt to end the Congressional career of Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett by putting just enough Democrats into the district to make it elect a Democrat. As a result, the Eighth, the district I'm in, runs from the Washington suburbs to the Pennsylvania line, with some narrow threads of land tying it together. The study actually ranked the Sixth as worse than the Eighth, though the Eighth looks a lot worse to my eyes.)

I plan to vote against Question 5. But I'm sure that even if the gerrymander is overturned, Gov. O'Malley will resubmit almost the same plan.

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