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, January 21, 2014

Kim Guadagno and Dawn Zimmer

Lately we have been seeing an exchange of charges by New Jersey lieutenant governor Kim Guadagno and the mayor of Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer, with each implying that the other is lying about a meeting that they had, and in Zimmer's case, implying that Governor Chris Christie was pressuring her to approve a real estate development in Hoboken by withholding some of the relief money for Hurricane Sandy. Reading both sets of claims, it looks like “Alice in Wonderland.” And yet, I think I can figure out what happened, that could lead each of the two to say what she has on this subject.

Guadagno has recused herself from all matters involving Hurricane Sandy, because she herself owns a property that was damaged by the storm. However, Zimmer was probably unaware of this, and headed into the meeting in question, with her mind mainly on the Hurricane Sandy relief, assuming that this was what she would be discussing with Guadagno. I assume that Zimmer brought up the Sandy relief question immediately, and was told by Guadagno that this was not the place to discuss it, that she should talk to someone else. And Zimmer immediately assumed that she was being told that the Sandy relief money was being conditioned on her going along with whatever Guadagno was advocating — namely, the redevelopment plan. Guadagno probably did say, as Zimmer says she did, that the message was to be considered as coming from Governor Christie, but the message was not that the Sandy relief funds were being held up until Zimmer approved the redevelopment plan; simply that this plan was something the Governor wanted to see approved. Yes, Governor Christie was pushing hard for the redevelopment plan, but the idea that the money for Sandy was being conditioned on this was in Zimmer's head. In short, Dawn Zimmer went into the meeting with Sandy on her mind, Kim Guadagno tried to tell her that Sandy was not to be discussed, and Zimmer read it incorrectly as a signal that the Sandy relief was conditioned on her going along with Christie's demands.

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