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, November 22, 2013

The relativity of politics

The Senate has changed its filibuster rule. Under the new rule, President Obama can appoint anyone he chooses to to a Federal judgeship, a compliant Democratic Senate majority will ratify it, and nobody will be in a position to prevent him. And Harry Reid is gloating: “The American people believe Congress is broken. The American people believe the Senate is broken. And I believe they are right.” And President Obama has said, “A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to refight the results of an election is not normal. And for the sake of future generations, it cannot become normal.”

Of course, the shoe was on the other foot in 2005, with a Republican president and a Republican Senate. At that time, when a similar change was under consideration, a Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama said, “I urge my Republican colleagues not to go through with changing these rules. In the long run it is not a good result for either party. One day Democrats will be in the majority again and this rule change will be no fairer to a Republican minority than it is to a Democratic minority.” And the Democratic minority leader, a certain Harry Reid, said, “The threat to change Senate rules is a raw abuse of power and will destroy the very checks and balances our founding fathers put in place to prevent absolute power by any one branch of government.”

Interesting. But it shows how all is relative in politics. What was a “raw abuse of power” in 2005 when it might have been done by Republicans is now fixing a “broken” Senate when your people run it? It will all come around. The next time the Senate is Republican — in 2015? in 2017? — the Democrats will come to regret what they just did.

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