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, March 15, 2013

Maryland and the death penalty

The state of Maryland, where I currently have my home, is in the process of ending its death penalty. The House of Delegates today voted to do so; the Senate has already acted. Governor O'Malley is a death penalty opponent, so there is no chance he will do anything but sign it into law. And it will not make a practical difference, because Maryland has not executed many people in recent years. What it will say is that nobody's life is worth anything — if someone takes it in an act of murder, he will not be required to pay an equal penalty. My wife — who is against the death penalty — takes the position that if someone is wrongfully convicted and executed, as could have happened to Kirk Bloodsworth, it cannot be reversed. This is so, but if someone is murdered, that cannot be reversed either.

Maryland is making a mistake — but I can't do anything to prevent it. I guess we should change the state motto to “Maryland Welcomes Murderers.”

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