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.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Both sides are doing it

There are now conservative sites like The Washington Times, who put out an editorial with the title “For left, it’s tolerance and diversity for me, but not for thee,” attacking the lberal press for a double standard. And there are liberal sites like Mark Stern's blog on Slate, that accuse conservatives of the same thing. Really, though, they are both cases of the pot calling the kettle black.

Liberals like Mark Stern like to accuse conservatives of refusing to allow companies like Mozilla their freedom of association — the right to get rid of someone who they find to be against their values — while those same conservatives insist that the Boy Scouts should have the same right they deny to Mozilla. And conservatives like the Washington Times point to the Hobby Lobby case, where liberals want to deny a company the right to exercise its owners' values, while those same liberals cheer Mozilla's doing the same thing.

I think we should be consistent. If Hobby Lobby can run itself according to its owners' values — and I think they should — so can Mozilla. But how this relates to the Boy Scouts is somewhat different. The Boy Scouts are not a company whose shareholders oppose gay rights. They are a membership organization. I can't really equate the Scouts' desire to purge themselves of gays to Mozilla's wanting to avoid having a homophobe as the face of the company.

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