Letters to Editor
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.
Published in the West Milford Messenger, May 9, 2018
It comes as no great shock to me that our council members don't want to discuss marijuana legalization and consider it an "inappropriate" topic.
This once again shows that the majority of council members only pay "lip service" to the principles of individual liberty, limited government and the right to choose.
Published in the Suburban Trends, February 28, 2018
In the wake of the school shooting in Florida, it is disturbing to see the uninformed masses out there demanding more gun laws.
It is more than a reminiscent of the civilian population of Germany in the early 1930s demanding "law and order" and a strong government and leader to "save" Germany from the political violence in the streets that was occurring at the time.
A certain political leader did emerge at that time and I think we all know who that was!
There are approximately 300 million guns in private citizens hands, yet only a miniscule fraction of those are ever used in a crime or mass shooting, clearly gun ownership is not the problem.
Originally published in the Suburban Trends, 12/13/2017
Regarding "Take time on legalizing marijuana" (Suburban Trends, Editorial, Dec. 10):
Why are so many in the journalism profession timid and lukewarm about defending individual liberty on all issues? A case in point would be the editorial in which you urge caution in repealing laws against marijuana in New Jersey.
This letter was published in The Record, 12/6/2017
In the Dec. 5 edition of The Record, a letter appeared in which the writer insinuates that Libertarianism is somehow part and parcel of conservative Republican politics. Most Republicans I know are just as hostile towards the Libertarian pro-freedom viewpoint as Democrats on the left are. Neither group thinks that individuals should be allowed to make their own choices in life with regard to personal freedom or economic freedom. To their way of thinking, we exist to serve the greater collective; this is the basis for every authoritarian and totalitarian ideology that has ever blighted human history.
This letter was published in the The Record, 11/23/2017
Judge Ray Moore of Alabama calls himself a Constitutionalist; if so, his copy of it doesn't resemble the one I have in front of me as I write this. Where is the government granted power to decide who can fall in love and be married or what substances you may put into your body? Like most "social conservatives," Moore has disdain for personal civil liberties that he doesn't approve of.
Published in The Record, November 17th
Regarding: “If you want services, pay taxes” (The Record: Your Views, Nov. 15):
The letter writer asserts that people should stop complaining about taxes because they – taxes – pay for schools, police, garbage, pickup etc., but commits an egregious misconception about these services. Namely, that they must be paid for by using coercion, which is the essence of taxation.
Imagine a horse race where the faster horses are given a head start. This is how New Jersey elections are run. The incumbent politicians have given themselves advantages in elections and have paid for it with your tax dollars.
As of October 12th, Democrat Phil Murphy has received $7.4 million in public funds, Republican Kim Guadagno has received just under $2.1 million in public funds. Libertarian candidate, Peter Rohrman, has not received any public funds. NJ’s matching fund program allows candidates to be given $2 from public funds for every dollar they raise. Candidates from other political parties and independent candidates are excluded by setting a minimum level of $430 thousand that must be raised to qualify for the program. The more successful your campaign, the more money you get from the government. In true Orwellian newspeak, NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission Chair, Jeff Brindle, says that these funds allow those who qualify to “mount competitive campaigns”.
This letter was published in the The Record, 10/4/2017
I wonder if the people making such a big deal over some players in the NFL not standing for the national anthem realize we didn’t even have an “anthem” until the 1930’s and the tune to which it’s played isn't even American, but the tune of an old English drinking song. The same could be said about the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, which wasn’t written until the 1890s and by a self-avowed Socialist named Walter Bellamy at that.
This letter was published in the The Record, 9/14/2017, USA Today, 9/13/2017, and the Suburban Trends, 9/20/2017
While racism, bigotry and hate deserve to be condemned, I can't help but observe that many of the letter writers to The Record display an appalling lack of historical knowledge despite their noble intentions.
For example, I see the concept of secession being labeled as treason when applied to the South in 1860. If that’s the case, then the original 13 colonies should be condemned for seceding or breaking away from England in 1776. Keep in mind that the states brought the federal government into existence not the reverse.