Deadly highway epidemic? Only a runner-up

By Nathan Barton

A recent email from a highway safety group provided this chart of “The 10 Worst Epidemics In History” a few days ago.

Rank Epidemic Period In History Estimated Number of Deaths
1 Plague of Justinian 541-542 100,000,000
2 Black Plague 1346-1350 50,000,000
3 HIV/AIDS 1960-present 39,000,000
4 1918 Flu (Spanish Flu) 1918-1920 20,000,000
5 Modern Plague 1894-1903 10,000,000
6 Asian Flu 1957-1958 2,000,000
7 Sixth Cholera Pandemic 1899-1923 1,500,000
8 Russian Flu 1889-1890 1,000,000
9 Hong Kong Flu 1968-1969 1,000,000
10 Fifth Cholera Pandemic 1881-1896 981,899

Continue reading

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What are your priorities?

By Nathan Barton

I just got a Hardware Store ad –  as we race through the “holiday shopping season” once again in the Fifty States. Prominently featured in their “Light Up The Season” flyer is a giant (12 feet tall!) inflatable Santa, sure to show how sophisticated your tastes are as you celebrate the holidays. For just $59.95 plus tax.

No this is not a diatribe against commercialization of Christmas. Nor an attack on those who think there is no Christmas – just “holidays.” (In fact, the word Christmas appears several times in the Hardware Store ad.) Rather, it is a look, as I title this commentary, at our priorities.

One of the very few justifications (from a religious or even godly point of view, especially) for celebrating Christmas – at least as a secular holiday and not a religious one – is that it is a season of good will, of giving of gifts, of showing more concern than usual for the poor, for families, and for peace on earth.

(Of course, that is also a good argument against the celebration. Are we not to be loving, seek peace, care for the poor, have good will towards others, and pay attention to our families ALL YEAR, and not just for a few weeks in December?) Continue reading

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Individualism vs “Social Justice”

From MamaLiberty

This might just be the definitive answer to individualism vs collectivism in a neat and well written article. I suspect it would be very helpful to people who try to explain their individualism, and/or libertarianism, to friends and families. It would be an excellent resource to explain the concepts of liberty on forums and blog comments. I’m definitely going to save this and use those arguments where appropriate. Please do visit Garry Reed at the HubPages.

Social Justice? Libertarians Want Justice; Others Want Control
By Garry Reed

Why would libertarians give up their individuality for a collectivist version of “social justice?” Libertarians believe in real social justice for everyone but too many liberals want “social justice” to disguise what they really want: Social control over everyone.

First, Libertarians believe in social relationships. It’s just that they reject imposed social relationships while accepting and seeking voluntary social relationships of all kinds at all levels of society.

Second, Libertarians believe in justice. That is what their concept of self-ownership and their moral/ethical Non-Aggression Principle against coercion, intimidation and fraud are all about.

Third, “justice” and “social justice” are not the same things even though some social justice advocates try to make it seem so. Virtually every fair, honest, decent human being in the world wants justice; only liberals, progressives, socialists and similarly-oriented people talk in terms of “social justice.”

Read the rest of this excellent article here.

Garry Reed combined a professional technical writing career and a passion for all things libertarian to become The Libertarian Opinionizer.

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Today, there are thirteen states…

By Nathan Barton

Today, there are thirteen states that require NO permit (other than “the Second Amendment” as people are wont to point out) for carrying concealed.  At least for people who are residents of that state, not convicted (or accused, in some cases) of any of thousands of crimes, not determined to be mentally unstable or deficit, and a few dozen other caveats.  These that do not require a permit to carry concealed: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, and West Virginia

Mostly (but not entirely) Western states, these states are generally smaller in population.  It has taken years of work by a lot of people to get these states to back off on a clearly unconstitutional as well as immoral limitation on the freedom of their citizens.  Many still infringe on the God-given, natural rights of people from other states and lands.

Still, it is a much better situation than even a decade ago.  But that is still less than one-quarter of the Fifty States, and probably (quick guestimate) include only about one-tenth of the population of the formerly united States.

Which means that it is yet another way in which the States are divided, fractured, and split apart.  For which I, for one, am grateful. Continue reading

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I was confused – which Congress are we talking about?

By Nathan Barton

Eagle Rising reports that Nancy Pelosi says that the Congress’ sexual harassment system needs to be changed, after recent reports that for years (apparently 20 or more), there have been Congresscritturs sexually harassing each other and staffers. (No report on whether they did anything to lobbyists.)

Honestly, this comes as a bit of a shock, and I had to make sure that Eagle Rising wasn’t channeling The Onion or National Lampoon.  The article also reports that a bill has been introduced in the Senate to require sexual harassment training for all – or at least all new Senators and Members of Congress.

First, (and we double-checked), Nancy Pelosi was once (up until 2010, in fact) the boss: the Speaker of the House.  If this problem has been going on for twenty years, why didn’t she fix it when she was in charge?  And if she wouldn’t/couldn’t, then why didn’t those loving, compassionate squatters at 1600 (you know, Moochelle and her partner) do something about it with that bully pulpit of theirs?  After all, they came to the defense of transgenders and homosexuals-in-love and all the rest.  No? Continue reading

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The truth comes out?

By Nathan Barton

So…  anyone reading this still think that the GOP is preferable to the Democratic Party?  Or that there is a dime’s difference between the two old parties?

A friend shared this tidbit from the Tennessee Star. “The only reason government exists at all is to buy things for the people that they can’t buy for themselves,” Gov. Haslam told the Smith County Rotary Club on Friday as he continued to promote his proposal to increase the gas tax by 7 cents per gallon. (This is a few months old, so not “news” but bear with me.)

Haslam is a Republican – and supposedly a conservative.  Let’s take him at his word: ALL his words.  Even what he said way back in February (and to my knowledge, has not repudiated or repented of saying since then).

Of course, in a sense, what he said is the gospel truth.  Never mind all that garbage about having government to provide a safe and sane society, or protect us from enemies (foreign or domestic), or all that guff about thanking veterans and still-serving soldiers for defending our freedom and protecting our liberty. Based on the time and effort spent, the “real business” of government is taking money from some people and using it to buy things for other people, either directly or indirectly (by giving them the money).

But maybe he exaggerated. Continue reading

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Time to Change the Clocks

By MamaLiberty

The idea of “saving daylight” by changing the clocks is very much like cutting off one end of a towel and sewing it onto the other end in the hope of getting a longer towel! It actually becomes a bit shorter, given the seam line. As for “saving daylight,” we all get the same 24 hours a day of “time,” and how much of that is  day or night is completely out of human control, however it is legislated. Thankfully, there are still a few limits on congress and executive finger farts.

I’m retired now, so the clock change doesn’t affect me much these days, but I remember vividly when I was working as a nurse. It was hard enough to have to cram in a few hours of sleep between the commute and the 12 hour hospital shifts, and harder still when I went to home health and hospice work, which involved seriously irregular hours as well as “on call,” the real nurse killer. Then, twice a year, a roll of barbed wire was thrown into the mix while we juggled the already impossible schedule with the time change.

Such a deal! Continue reading

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