Thursday, February 24, 2011

Honesty, humility and integrity

Just posted the following comment at Russ Florence's Journal Record column, "Score one for integrity":
Hey Russ - Honesty and integrity don't require humility. In fact, it is possible for a self-effacing person to be dishonest about his abilities and achievements. Such a person can actually undermine himself by appearing to undervalue himself.

Honesty and integrity do require rationality and objectivity - by objectivity I mean the ability to accept reality for what it is - not to distance oneself from it.

This leads to a healthy ego, not a lack of one.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The real debate's lead editorial this morning is entitled "Not inconsistent to want smaller government and snow removal".

It is the writer of this editorial who is being inconsistent.

Here's the comment I left:
"Government exists, in part, to deliver essential services,"

NO. Government exists to protect individual rights.

"Only government is equipped to remove snow from public property"

Here's part of the problem, right here. Over the past century, an idea has been cultivated that only the government can and should do things like build and maintain roads. Yet, prior to that, it was commonly accepted that it was perfectly okay for private concerns to do that - and, in fact, most roads were privately built.

This is where the real debate should be: should the government be involved in things like education, health, roads - and, yes, snow removal - at all?

A government that does step beyond its constitutional mandate must inevitably violate the rights of citizens. If those rights are to have any meaning at all they must be held to be inviolable.
For a while it was commonly accepted that only the government should do things like education and roads. But now there is a growing movement away from that view. Will we ever reach the stage where the idea of a complete separation between the state and things like education is a popular one? It's the way we did things in this country at one time.

What would it take to get back to that? This is the discussion we should be having.