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, September 22, 2015

Ben Carson, Sharia, Kim Davis, the Bible, and the Constitution

First, Ben Carson said he does not believe a Muslim should be President. Subsequently he backtracked, saying he “can support a Muslim who denounces Sharia law.” Apparently, his professed belief is that the Constitution and Sharia are incompatible, and this is his basis. And of course, he has some supporters in this belief, such as Rush Limbaugh. But in fact there are disagreements among Muslims as to what Sharia actually calls for.

If Carson would quit at the point where he said that only a Muslim who is willing to govern according to the Constitution of the United States is qualified to be President, I would agree. And some of what he says is of that nature. Just as I feel that Kim Davis forfeited her ability to serve when she let her religious beliefs trump the Constitution, so would a Muslim who held that he had to observe some aspect of Sharia that contradicted our Constitution forfeit his right to serve. Yet many of the people who applaud Kim Davis's actions agree with Carson's statement — and these are totally inconsistent!

The Constitution clearly states that “…all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Clearly a Muslim who supports the Constitution has a right to serve, and a Muslim who places Sharia above the Constitution does not. Similarly, a Christian who supports the Constitution has a right to serve, and a Christian who places the Christian Bible above the Constitution does not. The two are opposite sides of the same coin.

One person who sees this clearly is, of course, Mitt Romney, a member of a minority religion which has also been condemned by certain people. And his comment is well called-for, as has the comment by one of the current candidates, Rand Paul. I'm glad to see these two prominent Republicans speak up.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Returning to posting

I haven't posted much for a while, because I was hoping that the Republican candidates' standings would coalesce about something reasonable. It is still astonishing that Donald Trump maintains so much support, though he is also opposed by so many that I doubt that he will actually get the nomination. But right now, nobody else seems to be emerging as a plausible candidate.

There is a strong freeling that a non-politician should be nominated. Besides Trump, the names that show highest in a lot of polls are Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. I don't agree with this idea — I think (as was enunciated by Scott Walker in a recent debate) that “we don't need an apprentice in the White House” — although he was specifically talking of Trump, it really applies to all the non-politician candidates.

Although Walker himself has dropped out, it seems (How the mighty have fallen! Just a few months ago he was at or near the top in many polls.), there are other governors who might make good Presidents: I've written favorably of Chris Christie and John Kasich, but I could easily see Jeb Bush as a good choice, too. But if we must have a non-politician, the best of the lot seems to be Fiorina. In debates and interviews, she has shown that she does her homework. If there's an area which her background does not provide her with the knowledge, she studies it. She wouldn't be my first choice as a presidential candidate, but she's the best of the ones who do not have what I consider the necessary experience.