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.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Angus Jones, Gregory Kane, and "values"

Before getting into the main point of this post, let me say that, although I used to watch a good deal of television, and mostly situation comedies, I do not have time to devote to watching the “tube,” and have never seen a single episode of “Two and a Half Men,” so this is not a comment on whether that show is “filth” or not, as its teen-aged co-star, Angus Jones, recently claimed. This post is not about the show, but addresses both Jones' comments and the column, appearing in yesterday's Washington Examiner, in which columnist Gregory Kane strongly defended Jones.

First of all, I have no problem with either Jones or Kane's right to express their opinions. But in Jones' case, it seems to me that if he really thinks as he says he does, and feels that the show, which has been the cause of his earning millions of dollars, is such “filth,” he should take all that money and (assuming the producers are not going to accept its return) donate it to charity, so he can live the life of a typical boy of his age. But he seems happy to keep his money.

In Kane's case, my point is somewhat different. It seems that Kane thinks Jones was unfairly criticized because he stood up for his religious values. Well, just as Kane has the right of freedom of speech, under our First Amendment, so do the more secular, and even atheistic, people he denounces. Kane seems to feel that in this country, people who favor “Christian values” (or “religious values” in general, as he manages to include Muslim minister Louis Farrakhan among those he singles out for praise) are being silenced in this country, while those advocating their contrary are given open free rein. I just see that everyone is able to speak out on both sides. Kane asked why Jones had to apologize — I think Jones' apology, as hypocritical as it might be, was because he realized he might be out a lot of money, not because secular forces were exerting pressure on him! (Kane also takes the media to task for not proofreading their headlines. That's the sort of thing I admit I might do, as I am a compulsive corrector of spelling/grammatical errors. But I've seen errors in the Examiner, too, so that is not really fair of him.)

So to recapitulate, I condemn neither Jones nor Kane for expressing themselves. But I think they both need to acknowledge the opposite side's right to express itself as well, and Jones, in particular, is ill-poised to condemn the people who have given him an amount of money that most teenagers (or even adults) would find beyond their dreams.

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