Hello from the normally silent center, everyone. My liberal friends describe me as centrist, and my conservative friends think Im a flaming hot-pink socialist. At least being centrist lets me have friends on both ends of the spectrum. Because the center can include people with different stances on various issues, Ill give you a run down of my own views, free of any apologies. On fiscal issues, Im very conservative. I staunchly support the concept that government needs to pay off its debts as quickly as possible and to have a balanced budget most of the time. Deficits are acceptable only in a deep crisis. On social issues other than abortion, Im about as liberal as they come. (On abortion, Im basically pro-life, but Im not one of these ban all abortions without exception extremists.) In other ways, my politics is mostly like Einsteins principle that everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Put another way, I think government should be made as small as possible, but no smaller. And that the free market should be made as free as possible, but no freer. (Sorry invisible hand fans, but markets dont improve all by themselves. They get choked to death by the crooks.) I dont plan to do a lot of back-and-forth here, because every forum is home to lots of rabid partisans, and nothing that anybody can say or do will get them to change their minds. Mostly Ill be blogging the centrist opinion on current issues. However, if you want to get into a discussion with me, attack only my ideas or those of others. Do not attack groups of people or anyone else except a public figure. (Theyre fair game, of course.) Get hostile or rudely condescending and Ill ignore you. Behave civilly, and Ill listen to what you have to say. Thats it. Im not here to win or lose, just to speak my own mind.