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, May 21, 2013

It's rather amazing

It should not be too surprising that the way the media cover a political story depends on their own political orientation. But how severely it does is amazing. There were three different stories about the Obama administration's actions that monopolized the headlines in recent weeks: The IRS' interference with “Tea Party” groups (but not similarly situated groups on the left) in their quest for tax-exempt status, the harassment of the Associated Press, and the Government's attempts to mischaracterize the Benghazi attacks in order to minimize its security weaknesses. In each case, papers such as the Washington Post and New York Times took the positions that there was really no scandal, that the only thing wrong was that Republicans in the Congress were making it one. Their attitude was that “Watergate” was a real scandal; this was nothing even resembling it. Well, to my way of thinking, if there is any reason to say that the two things were qualitatively different, it was the opposite. “Watergate” was nothing but a couple of overly zealous people doing a burglary attempt on the Democrats. yet it forced a President to resign — a far better president, I believe, than the current occupant of the White House. At Benghazi, four Americans died, including a highly respected ambassador, because of lax security precautions; nobody died from “Watergate.” The IRS business could legitimately be characterized, as was “Watergate,” as a few overly zealous people trying to help the political chances of the President. But in “Watergate” it only involved the offices of the Democrats, and hardly prevented them from doing their business. The IRS actually held up the tax-exempt status of some of these organizations so long that they folded! And as for the AP — well, freedom of the press is what one part of the First Amendment is all about; it's considered one of our primary liberties. The left-wing press says it's ridiculous to compare these scandals to “Watergate”; I think, if anything, they, especially taken together, make “Watergate” look like small potatoes.

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