As a libertarian I believe in the rights of private parties to enact vaccine mandates. Why? Because vaccines work and private property rights are paramount. Libertarians accept that some societal rules that protect others would exist with or without government being the one doing the mandating. Speed limits, rules against harming others, insurance mandates, and other requirements would still exist in a free society. Responsible restaurants would still require its employees to wash their hands after using a bathroom even without the mandates of the health department. As a believer in strong private property rights, I believe that it would be irresponsible for a property manager to willingly disregard the safety of those using their property. Mandates are not against libertarian philosophy, especially if they would exist even without government coercion.
I would hope that hospitals, elder care facilities, and any facility that deals with at risk populations impose a vaccine mandate on their staff. Private and public universities should consider requiring the vaccine for students, just like they currently do for other vaccines. I would hope that when appropriate these mandates include exceptions for medical and sometimes religious reasons with potential alternate risk mitigation requirements like testing.
In 2016, Presidential candidate Gary Johnson stupidly suggested that Jewish bakers should be forced to bake a Nazi wedding cake. He was dead wrong about this from any libertarian angle you can find. Those who oppose allowing employers to set their own vaccination rules makes the same mistake. The owners of hospitals and/or their board of directors would be wise to require that their employees are vaccinated, even without a government order. Not having this mandate opens the hospital up for litigation.
Published 7/26/2019, West Milford Messenger
Donald Trump's latest comments directed at congresswomen he doesn't like ("go back to where you came from") puts me in mind of remarks made by politicians of the past.
I'm old enough to remember Richard Nixon, his Vice President Spiro Agnew, and Alabama Gov. George Wallace saying similar things about anti-Vietnam War protesters and college students in the late 1960's and early 1970's when I had just started high school.
Back then the slogan against dissent was "America, love it or leave it."
I have to chuckle to myself when I see all the pro-choice people getting upset over some of the recent abortion restrictions enacted by states across the country. Why are they not pro-freedom on other issues?
On June 3, 2018, the communities surrounding Guatemala's Mount Fuego were devastated by the volcano's eruption. An estimated 1.7 million were affected with displacement after a modest recovery from the mudslides affecting the area two years previously. The human interest aspects to the destruction's story brought Guatemala into focus and some discussion surrounding its plan for relief and recovery. Now, as 2018 closes, a similar situation has occurred yet again for the citizens who have started their lives over. The focus of the human spirit triumphing over harsh circumstances shows much bravery but is only part of a (tired) story we witness repeatedly.
Although Guatemala is a beautiful country with potential, the economy has struggled despite a healthy GDP averaging over 60 billion USD between 2015-2018. The neighboring countries of El Salvador and Honduras, in contrast, averaged 23 billion and 21 billion, respectively. President Morales inherited an inflation rate of ~ 2.4% but rose to remain steady around 4%. Despite long-term pledges of equality, the wealth distribution of the country has remained skewed with more than half of the population below the poverty line and the indigenous population most sharply affected. Nor have Morales' campaign platforms of ending malnutrition and steadying employment made significant social impact. This culminated with protests for his resignation a few months ago after UN corruption investigations arose.
One of Henry Kissinger's aphorisms that remains spot-on today is that "Americans have no permanent friends or enemies, only interests". Darkly echoing Libertarian philosophy, those words are American foreign policy. As such, the consequence of arrogance in the injudicious use of military might has fed the anti-war movement for decades. The case of Iran is a particularly important example of our challenge to understand applying the Libertarian party’s platform of withdrawal from conflict zones.
The tension surrounding Mujahideen-e-Khalq (aka MEK) has provided a split within the anti-war movement - one that has essentially crippled the effort. Groups such as Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, and Hands Off Syria allow their in-fighting to derail any serious movement to effect “welfare/warfare” change. Sarah Flounders manages to be anti-Sisi but pro-Assad. Chris Wilson documents Tamimmi supporters but will not do so for Gazans. And Rania Khalek, employed by Russia Today, assists by spreading propaganda videos such as you see here.
Published in the West Milford Messenger, September 25, 2018
Regarding the article on local veterans groups being concerned over the public's lack of understanding the meaning of Memorial Day and Veterans Day
I can only say look no further than the government school system.
The politicians and bureaucrats have a vested interest in keeping the general population in the dark on how we get involved in all these wars.
Published in the West Milford Messenger, August 16, 2018
A recent letter to the editor in the Messenger put forth the idea that increased government power and control is the way to protect wildlife and its habitat.
This thinking is erroneous.
Private conservation efforts work much better since there is an incentive to do well that government bureaucracies will never attain; that incentive is profit and the need to please donors and investors.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy all come to mind as successful private conservation groups.
Published in the West Milford Messenger, July 5, 2018
Have I missed something, I thought the Republicans were the party of "family values," why then are they OK with breaking up the families of immigrants?
Thanks to our "Bigot in Chief," Donald Trump the Republicans are no longer the party of small limited government.