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, November 25, 2014

A bit of a surprise

The decision by the grand jury in Missouri not to indict Darren Wilson somewhat surprised me. My prediction was that Wilson would be indicted but acquitted on trial, because of the difference between the standards for evidence in the two kinds of proceedings. In a grand jury decision, one expects an indictment if there is even a case for the prosecution. In the actual trial, of course, the defendant is “innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” And I was certain, from the evidence I have so far seen, that Wilson would be found not guilty because he clearly acted in self-defense.

Apparently, however, the grand jury did not even think there was probable cause that would justify a trial. The case was even more clearly a case of self-defense than the evidence that had been made public demonstrated.

Of course, there are going to be riots. Some people are still convinced that Wilson shot Michael Brown out of racism. It is a shame that some people see racism everywhere. My wife has heard people (including her) described as racist simply because they would not vote for Barack Obama; it could not occur to those people that she might not be willing to vote for even a white person with Obama's history and qualifications. But here it is quite clear: Michael Brown, a big man, over 6′ tall and nearly 300 pounds, hit Wilson in the face badly enough to injure him and was grabbing for his gun when the shooting occurred. This is about as clearly a case of self-defense as can be imagined. And apparently that convinced the grand jury.

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