I saw an interesting bumper sticker the other day. It said: “Yes, I am a senior. Now give me my discount.” I could not help but to think of veterans and the attitude that many of them have when it comes to receiving discounts and other honors because of their “service.”4:11 pm on December 12, 2017 Email Laurence M. Vance
Stipulate That the US Armed Forces Will Become Less Efficient; Should We Welcome This Development?
Breaking news: A Federal judge today rejected President Trump’s order stopping the enlistment of transgendered people into the American military. Posit that this will make the Army, Navy, Airforce and Marines less efficient. Is this something to be welcomed by the libertarian? Yes, since with some 800 military bases in about 130 different countries, the U.S. military is an imperialistic power that has long ago over-reached Constitutional limitations. The “land of the free, home of the brave” is throwing its weight all around the world in an offensive posture. From a libertarian point of view, this country’s fighting forces are to defend us, not engage in offensive actions against other countries in every corner of the globe.3:04 pm on December 12, 2017 Email Walter E. Block
. . . that berates normal people in Alabama, Arkansas, and elsewhere, starring “comedian” Chelsea Handler who daily trashes Trump’s press secretary, calling her a “summer whore” and worse. (Click on the “December 9, 2017” link for the show). These are people who always, always pretend to occupy the moral high ground in society as they sneer at the rest of the country from their moronic “talk shows” on TV.7:53 am on December 12, 2017 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
Trump’s attempt to ban new transgender people from enlisting in the military has been overturned by a federal court. “The Pentagon said Monday that it will begin processing transgender applicants to the military on January 1.”
This is not being forced on the military. Many military leaders want this or don’t care. Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was all for it. Now, personally, I don’t care who is in the military and what they think they are and what their sexual practices and perversions are. But I will say this:
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2017 10:35 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Defense and the minarchists
Walter, do you have any advice on a book or chapter that lays out the anarcho libertarian positions or private law society arguments regarding the military that I could use to demonstrate ancap moral superiority over the minarchists viewpoint or neo con positions regarding the military? Thanks, T
Dear T: Here are some readings on this matter:3:38 pm on December 11, 2017 Email Walter E. Block
Last night on his FOX show Tucker Carlson asked former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski how moving a U.S. embassy in another country from one city to another “makes America great again.” Lewandowski answered that it was important to people in Israel. “But what about Americans?”, asked Carlson. Good question. Well, there are American Jews with relatives in Israel, said Lewandowski.11:23 am on December 9, 2017 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 7:26 PM
Subject: disagreements with Rothbard
Hello Mr Walter Block, my name is S. I live in Argentina and i love your ideas i just listen to your wonderful debate with mr Invictus , and you mention some articles that enunciate the divergences between you and mr Rothbard (You mention for example the agreement of voluntary slavery) I would love to read the other articles that you mention in the Q&A that develop the other point you and Rothbard disagree. when you have some time could you send me the articles you mention? If you can’t, I still love you Mighty Block . I greatly thank you for your beautiful work.
Dear S: Thanks for your kind words.
Let me just say, before I send you that material which contains my disagreements with Murray Rothbard, my friend and mentor, that I revere this man. He was a genius. Possibly, probably, in all of these disagreements I had with him, he was correct, and I was wrong. I still can’t see my way clear to that conclusion, but I’m open to having my errors being pointed out, in this or indeed any other regard. Here is the material you requested:6:06 pm on December 8, 2017 Email Walter E. Block
An article entitled, “Google’s true origin partly lies in CIA and NSA research grants for mass surveillance,” discusses the extensive cooperation—read: “funding” and “research for hire”—between the “intelligence community” and computer scientists:
In the mid 1990s, the intelligence community in America began to realize that they had an opportunity. The supercomputing community was just beginning to migrate from university settings into the private sector …[The intelligence community’s] research aim was to track digital fingerprints inside the rapidly expanding global information network, which was then known as the World Wide Web. Could an entire world of digital information be organized so that the requests humans made inside such a network be tracked and sorted? Could their queries be linked and ranked in order of importance? Could “birds of a feather” be identified inside this sea of information so that communities and groups could be tracked in an organized way?
By working with emerging commercial-data companies, [the intelligence community’s] intent was to track like-minded groups of people across the internet and identify them from the digital fingerprints they left behind, much like forensic scientists use fingerprint smudges to identify criminals….
Intriguing, isn’t it, that 9/11 transpired only a few years after this “collaboration” had resulted in tracking so comprehensive virtually no one anywhere escapes the Feds’ surveillance? As if the “intelligence community” created an emergency that would test its new abilities and legitimate its grabbing all of our data. And indeed, over at the NSA in the months preceding September 2001, the war-criminal Michael Hayden was quashing attempts to monitor only foreign “terrorists” (remember that America’s terrorists are other countries’ patriots) in favor of spying on everyone, 24/7.
Such a fascinating intersection of crisis with technical powers in search of legality…5:20 pm on December 8, 2017 Email Becky Akers
Americans. Probably mostly conservatives. Chuck Baldwin points out that an “MIT survey found that 60% of the American people would be willing to preemptively nuke Iran, knowing that 2 million civilians would be killed.” The report concludes that “today, as in 1945, the U.S. public is unlikely to serve as a serious constraint on any president who might consider using nuclear weapons in the crucible of war.”7:45 pm on December 7, 2017 Email Laurence M. Vance
Swamp Creature Al Franken has resigned from the U.S. Senate to be replaced, I assume, by someone even more odious.3:10 pm on December 7, 2017 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2017 8:48 AM
Subject: Defending III
Dr. Block: Will “Defending III” finally include a chapter devoted to the tax evader???
Dear T: Yes. Here are the first few words of this chapter, The Tax Evader (1061 words, so far)
“This chapter is dedicated to the memory of Vivien Kellems, Irwin Schiff and to all others savaged by a criminal gang for not forking over funds they had never agreed to pay in the first place.
“Initially, I labeled this chapter: ‘the tax cheat.’ But, in the process of writing it, I realized that this is only the way the government sees the matter. Those who do not pay their taxes due are ‘cheaters.’ But that is not at all how I look at the matter. Hence, the substitution of the more neutral term, ‘evader.’ ‘Non-payer’ might even be a better, more accurate, nomenclature.”1:20 pm on December 7, 2017
8:04 am on December 7, 2017 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
If you are a violent communist criminal who screams at those with whom you disagree, calling them Nazis and beating them bloody, setting cars and buildings on fire, throwing urine and feces at people, throwing bricks and bottles at the police, and instigating riots then there could be nothing but purity and love in your heart according to the Soviet Poverty Lie Center (SPLC), which has refused to label “Antifa” as one of its “hate groups.” The Singing Nuns are on its list, however, as is almost every conservative and libertarian organization in America. The American Enterprise Institute was condemned by the SPLC for “mainstreaming hate” by sponsoring a public debate on immigration policy, a topic Americans have been debating since the Louisiana Purchase. It was the SPLC, under contract with the Department of Fatherland Security, that advised during the Obama administration that anyone with a “Ron Paul for President’ bumper sticker should be considered to be a potential terrorist. If Antifa is not a hate group, then there is no such thing as a hate group.
A report in a Canadian newspaper about “a private-for-profit veterinarian clinic, where, for a fee, you are able to, pardon the grotesque pun, acquire a CAT scan, along with other medical procedures, for your beloved pet quickly and efficiently” inspired our northern correspondent, David Maharaj, to the following comparison:
“Counter that situation with government-run health care in [Canada], where people routinely die on waiting lists waiting to see a specialist. In the novel, Animal Farm, Orwell speaks of some animals being more equal than others. In this country, animals are definitely more equal than humans on the health care front.”
The same fate awaits Americans if we continue down the pit of socialized medicine. The repeal of Obummercare’s mandate seems heartening—but remember that what one set of criminals in Congress repeal, the next can reinstate.7:19 pm on December 6, 2017 Email Becky Akers
Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 10:26 PM
Subject: Your Defense of the Undefendable
Hi Dr. Block! I finished reading your book, Defending the Undefendable, earlier this evening and I just wanted to say that, despite having had the urge to recoil in more than one occasion, I found myself agreeing with your analysis. Your chapters on the (non-government) counterfeiter, the curmudgeon, and the speculator struck me particularly as profound, although I found all other chapters to contain valuable insight into practical economic services as seen through the lens of the Austrian. I plan to attend the Mises University Summer Fellowship in order to further my knowledge of Austrian economics and to improve my prospects of doing research on that basis at a graduate program. Will you by any chance be there? Best regards, J
Harvard College has had private, undergraduate, male-only clubs for a very long time. The Porcellian Club, the oldest club, dates from 1791. Harvard can’t legally force the clubs to admit particular kinds of members, arranged by gender, sex, race, or other attributes. Instead, Harvard has found a stick to beat the clubs with, and that stick is to discriminate against members of clubs that it calls “unrecognized single-gender social organizations (USGSOs)”.
“Starting with Harvard’s Class of 2021, undergraduate members of unrecognized single-gender social organizations will be banned from holding athletic team captaincies and leadership positions in all recognized student groups. They will also be ineligible for College endorsement for top fellowships like the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships.”
If Harvard were a purely private institution, it would have a right to discriminate against all-male clubs. Harvard could be as prejudiced as a KKK member. As a large-scale recipient of federal money, certain federal rules come into play with respect to “diversity”, “affirmative action”, and all such witless devices that claim to achieve social ends by not recognizing basic rights, one of which is to discriminate ad libitum. Under federal rules, Harvard can still discriminate and be as prejudiced as any anti-Semitic zealot, if it discriminates in the politically correct way.
If Harvard were openly to claim that it has a right to discriminate with its scholarships, recommendations, and leadership positions, we could respect that and find it consistent with libertarian reasoning. But then Harvard would find itself having to tolerate private discrimination arising from freedom elsewhere in America as in the making of wedding cakes, the supplying of restroom facilities, the offering of jobs, the openness of motels and restaurants and dozens of other situations. This approval Harvard cannot render. So it must resort to specious justifications other than the assertion of its right to discriminate.
The foremost of these phony arguments is that freedom of males to choose or not to choose associations with others in all-male clubs must be curtailed because it harms the Harvard community’s social life. Such association doesn’t harm those who voluntarily join. How does it harm others? Does it incite their jealousy? Does it rankle them, inciting their resentment? That cannot be laid at the doorstep of an exclusive club. Freedom, exclusivity, and private property all go together. The excluded have had a right for hundreds of years to create and form clubs of their own, along any lines they desire. Harvard’s anti-USGSO policy restricts that right. It is Harvard that is now harming the social options and the social life of Harvard by its illiberal attempts to enforce diversity.
Harvard wants “to create a community where students have the fair opportunity to engage in curricular and extracurricular activities regardless of their gender, socioeconomic status, or other attributes unrelated to merit.” This is not an argument based on Harvard’s right, an argument Harvard cannot make without contradicting its politically correct beliefs. This is an argument that clubs are unfair and unfairly discriminate, something that Harvard cannot demonstrate. If Harvard believes this, it shouldn’t seek to remedy it by unfair discrimination of its own. It should encourage students to form new and more diverse clubs. And if generations of students believed this, they could have formed clubs or associations of their own.
Harvard is blacklisting the all-male clubs. There are no two ways about it. The futile, destructive and unjust attempt to make life “fair” by regulating the micro-behavior of every person, business, family and group in America has reached the Harvard clubs.6:16 pm on December 5, 2017 Email Michael S. Rozeff
One thing that is not being discussed (not even by libertarians) that is in the House and Senate GOP tax bills is the Earned Income Tax Credit. This giant welfare program is basically untouched in both bills. Yet, the refundable part of this credit should have been the first thing that was changed in the tax code. So, why wasn’t it? Because Republicans are welfare statists.5:16 pm on December 5, 2017 Email Laurence M. Vance
If during the presidency of George W. Bush I had written the article of mine that was published today, my inbox would have exploded with hate mail. Now, not so much. I want to make a brief reply to six representative critics in the hope that it might help others, critic or not.
When Alex Bowen, who described himself as “pretty inebriated,” stopped at a Waffle House in South Carolina at 3 AM, he stood at the register for 10 minutes, awaiting service. Finally, he
went outside to look for an employee, and then went back in.
“That’s when I got hot on the grill with a Texas bacon cheesesteak melt,” said Bowen.
He cooked his go-to meal and even cleaned up when he was done. While he was cooking, he saw the one employee who was fast asleep.
That worker didn’t awaken, despite Mr. Bowen’s clatter in the kitchen and his taking some selfies to document his drunken escapade. When he posted his pictures on social media, “the story went viral…”
You might think Waffle House would be upset at Mr. Bowen’s trespassing and at his making a fool of the company. After all, imagine the reaction of the DMV if, after a few libations, you were to issue yourself a driver’s license while bureaucrats snoozed or, though nominally awake, were moving at their usual glacial pace; you’d be looking at years in prison for your tipsiness alone.
But we’re talking the private market here, in which Waffle House’s profits depend on the goodwill of its customers. And so
a Waffle House district manager reached out to Bowen and asked him to become a Waffle House secret shopper. He even thanked him for pointing out a flaw in their business.
Waffle House …[said] in a statement that customers shouldn’t get behind the counter — but it appears Bowen’s fun served as a job interview nonetheless.
“For safety reasons, our customers should never have to go behind the counter. Rather, they should get a quality experience delivered by friendly associates,” the statement read. “We are reviewing this incident and will take appropriate disciplinary action. In a related note, obviously Alex has some cooking skills, and we’d like to talk to him about a job since we may have something for him.”
When the superiority of voluntary interactions is so patent, so heart-warming, and so overwhelming, why does the State with its soul-crushing compulsion still exist?4:52 pm on December 5, 2017 Email Becky Akers
Sent: Sunday, December 03, 2017 12:36 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: economics of banking
Hi Walter, Can you recommend a good book on the economics of banking. I have a basic understanding of fractional reserve banking but I just want to clarify my thinking on it. Specifically – if I go a bank or credit union and take out a mortgage to buy a house, where does the bank get the money to lend me? I used to think that if the bank took in, say, $1,000,000 in deposits and it had a 10% reserve requirement, it could lend out $900,000. But I’ve read something recently that the bank just creates the money it lends you out of thin air. If so, what is your take on it? Thanks, M
Dear M: Yes, here are some recommendations:3:53 pm on December 5, 2017
And, “the worst bill in the history of the United States!” That’s how Nancy Pelosi (“Pelosi Galore” according to radio talk show hosts on WCBM Radio in Baltimore where Pelosi’s father was once the mayor) described the Trump tax reform bill today. This would suggest that someone, somewhere, must be receiving a tax cut, however small, as part of this legislation.3:19 pm on December 5, 2017 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
. . . to see who the new congresscritter from Detroit will be now that Congressman John Conyers, the poster boy for term limits, has resigned in disgrace after fifty-three years in the House of Representatives. I assume that whomever it is will run under the campaign slogan, “What’s Good for Detroit is Good for America.”
Conyers resigned after admitting to being a pervert whose personal “war on women” included showing up for one-on-one office meetings with female staffers wearing only his boxer shorts, groping and fondling female employees in public, etc. He said he resigned “to preserve my reputation” and endorsed his son as his replacement. The people who elected all those Detroit politicians who have done such a fine job there over the past 50 years will undoubtedly put the younger Conyers into the job. But just in case, his great-nephew has also voiced interest in the job.3:12 pm on December 5, 2017 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
RPI’s Adam Dick joins the program today…1:25 pm on December 5, 2017 Email Daniel McAdams
Says a writer for the pro-Leviathan Federal News Radio, “All of the sexual abuse and harassment news made me think of Alyssa Bermudez, the Army veteran and former Transportation Security Administration employee. … she’s been fighting TSA over both sexual harassment and whistleblower retaliation for complaining about it.”
Your Intrepid Reporter has been musing along similar lines—but not because one of the TSA’s whores can’t take what she dishes out. Rather, I’m wondering about the hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of passengers the TSA’s deviants have traumatized over its 16 miserable years, such as these victims, this one, and more. Anyone for a class-action lawsuit?3:19 pm on December 4, 2017 Email Becky Akers