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.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

My endorsements/votes

Tomorrow there will, I expect, be a post commenting on the Romney/Obama debate scheduled for tonight. But until then, I'm going ti use this blog to present my positions on the various candidates and questions that I will be voting on in a month.

Unfortunately, living in Maryland, my vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan whll probably have no effect. Because of the electoral college, my vote will be submerged by a huge Obama-Biden majority. But Romney and Ryan get my vote and my endorsement, and I'm hoping that enough people in the states where it does matter will vote that way.

Likewise, my candidates for both houses of Congress have little chance of winning, and my vote will be largely symbolic. Dan Bongino would be a major improvement over the incumbent, Ben Cardin, and I wish he had a real chance to win the Senate seat. (There is also an independent, Rob Sobhani, who used to be a Republican, and has some merit; unfortunately, since we don't have a system of approval voting, all Sobhani can hope to do is steal a few votes from Bongino and help Cardin win big.) For the House of Representatives, I am still in the 8th District, and though the recent gerrymandering of the Maryland House Districts has made it less solidly Democratic than it used to — Gov. O'Malley has attempted to force Roscoe Bartlett out of his 6th District seat by moving some Democratic areas into it from the 8th — I am certain that Ken Timmerman has no chance to beat Chris Van Hollen — no matter how much I'd love to see Van Hollen kicked out of the House.

There are also elections for school board positions, but as I have said, I don't vote in those, and there will be Nazi-style elections for judicial seats (Back in New York, of course, all the parties would co-endorse the same candidate, so you often had no choice, but in Maryland there aren't even the fictions of elections with an apparent choice for judicial elections.)

Now we get to the ballot questions.There are seven of them that will be voted on statewide, though it is laughable that we get to vote on the first two. Apparently the qualifications for Orphan's Court judges in each county are set in the State Constitution, so when they are to be changed in one county, everyone in the State gets to vote on the question. Question 1 (regarding Prince George's County) and Question 2 (regarding Baltimore County) will be on the ballot this year; I can't see why people in the other twenty-plus counties even get to vote on these questions, and I intend to abstain on both, as I did in a similar case two years ago.

Question 3 is also a State Constitutional amendment, though one that makes more sense than the first two: It apparently responds to a recent case in the county next door where a County Council member convicted of a crime stayed on the council for a while, because Maryland law permitted her to do so until the actual sentence was laid down. Under Question 3, as soon as an official would be found guilty, they would be removed from office. I don't have strong feelings about this, but I will probably vote for Question 3.

Then there are the questions that will really get people's attention. Question 4 is Maryland's version of the DREAM Act, giving illegals in-state rates on tuition at public colleges. As I have said before, I will vote — and urge others to vote — against Question 4. Similarly, I have indicated that my intention is to vote against Question 5, which implements the particularly egregious gerrymander I mentioned a few paragraphs earlier, whose main purpose is to ensure a 7-1 Democratic majority in the Maryland delegation to the House of Representatives. But Question 6, to allow same-sex marriage, is one I support. I will vote — and urge others to vote — for Question 6, and in addition, for Question 7, about which I have said little so far.

Question 7 expands the law to allow an additional casino in Maryland. It is being supported by commercial interests that hope to own such a casino, and opposed by those who already own casinos — or plan to — that would lose traffic to a new one. My own position is that having the State collect a share of gambling money is preferable to raising taxes on everyone — you can avoid this siphoning of money out of your pocket simply by not gambling! Some people point to compulsive gamblers being put at risk, but just because there are alcoholics we do not ban liquor sales! (We tried once — it didn't work!)

In short, my endorsements:

President and Vice-President: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

United States Senate from Maryland: Dan Bongino.

United States House of Representatives from the 8th District of Maryland: Ken Timmerman.

Questions 1 and 2: ABSTAIN.

Questions 3, 6, and 7: FOR.

Questions 4 and 5: AGAINST.

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