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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Obama (surprise!) follows the Constitutional rules

I was surprised to see that, after having his spokesmen proclaim he had no need to, President Barack Obama has changed his mind and indicated that he will in fact go to Congress for authorization to take military action against Syria.

Of course, after he saw the developments in Britain, perhaps he realized he had better. Unlike a President of the United States and Congress, a British Prime Minister usually can get his way with Parliament. He is elected by a majority of the House of Commons (though in this case, David Cameron needed to cobble together a two-party coalition to gain the office) and members of Parliament almost never vote against the wishes of their party leader. (Imagine how much happier John Boehner would be if we had that tradition!) But this week, the House of Commons voted Cameron down when he asked for authorization to join us in military action against Syria. And Cameron had to admit that “the British parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action.” He added, “I get that and the government will act accordingly.” Obviously, President Obama took a lesson from what happened to David Cameron. He is bound by a Constitution in a way that Cameron is not. The British Constitution is not a written document, but an accumulation of traditional ways of doing things, and can be changed quite easily. Ours cannot. Finally, President Obama seems to have learned that he cannot flout it, at least in this instance.

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