LRC Blog

Mentioned by Ken Burns?

The United States military “dropped 14 billion pounds of bombs on Vietnam, three times more than were used by all sides in all theaters of all of World War II combined.” The U.S. “spent $168,000 for every enemy combatant it killed.” Perhaps these things were mentioned and I just missed them. Either way, the whole war was a crime against humanity.

5:40 pm on October 16, 2017

Trump And Iran: Have The Neocons Won?

1:50 pm on October 16, 2017

The “Official” Story Will Be the ONLY Story We Get to Hear

1:20 pm on October 15, 2017

Statutory Rape Laws, Age of Consent

Dr. Block, What are your thoughts regarding statutory rape laws, age of consent, sex offenses, etc., from a libertarian perspective? What are your criticisms of such laws today and how would these things be handled in a libertarian society?

Dear D: I have already answered that sort of question in the following publication, and don’t want to take the time to again reiterate my point here. So, please read this. Then, if you have any further questions, objections, etc., get back to me and we can hash this out.

Block, Walter E. and William Barnett II. 2008. “Continuums” Journal Etica e Politica / Ethics & Politics, Vol. 1, pp. 151-166, June; http://www2.units.it/~etica/; http://www2.units.it/~etica/2008_1/BLOCKBARNETT.pdf

2:56 pm on October 14, 2017

Is Iran Malign?

Is Iran malign? Yes, insofar as any state is per se malign; yes, as malign as any other state that wants to secure its borders; yes, as malign as any state with ambitions to expand its influence beyond its borders; and as malign as any state that seeks to export its system of government; and as malign as any state that seeks to consolidate and retain its domestic power; and as malign as any state that seeks military power to ward off other states that are inimical to it; and as malign as any state that builds covert aggressive operations that misleadingly are called “intelligence”.

In short, Iran is as malign as any other state operating in a system of international anarchy that has these kinds of aims; and most do.

Iran is as malign as any state that now includes or in the past has included one or more of the above enumerated properties, such as the U.S. The U.S. at its inception harbored extensive ambitions to expand over the continent. The U.S. targeted not only what are now the lower 48 states, but also Canada, Mexico, Central America, Cuba and Hawaii. It declared the entirety of South America as a region of its influence and potential intervention. In the last century, the U.S. has sought to export its form of government worldwide. It has accumulated military power that both defends America and attacks other states. It has created economic systems that extend its influence to many other countries. Its military alliances and presence span the globe. Iran’s expansion of relations with Latin American countries are mainly economic in nature. They are no more malign than those that the U.S. has with Asian countries. Indeed, the U.S. has forged political and military ties with many such countries that dwarf any similar activities by Iran beyond its borders. The U.S. is far more an aggressive power than Iran.
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11:02 am on October 14, 2017

What Could Possibly Go Wrong . . .

. . . and cause parents to worry by allowing teenage boys and girls to sleep together in tents in the woods now that the “Boy” Scouts are allowing girls as members?  And by the way, why are the “Boy” scouts discriminating against the trans-gendered?  Should the president intervene on their behalf with an executive order?

11:39 am on October 13, 2017

Prof. Fekete Criticizes the Austrian School of Economics as Cultish

Prof. Fekete says this: “Why then does the New Austrian School of Economics (NASOE) take issue with the Mises Institute? As this Manifesto explains it does because post-Mises Austrian economics has ceased to be open to new ideas. It is trying to ossify Austrian economics at the level where Mises left it. It is inimical to the appearance of new knowledge as it flows directly from the founding principles of our school, unless stamped with its own nihil obstat. Discussion and criticism are discouraged. Many a topic is outright tabooed. There is a tendency to turn science into cult.” Source: http://professorfekete.com/articles/AEFNewAustrianEconomicsManifesto4.pdf:

However, here are my critiques of Mises and Rothbard; this provides strong evidence that the MI is open to new ideas (Rothbard, too, criticized Mises; how does this constitute “ossification?”):
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9:53 pm on October 12, 2017

‘Russiagate’ And The Decline Of Journalism – With Robert Parry

1:05 pm on October 12, 2017

Morton Klein’s Anti-Iran View Published by Breitbart

For several weeks, rumors have circulated that Trump will decertify the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). Trump needs no pushing on this matter, as we know, because he spoke harshly against the agreement with Iran many moons ago. Nevertheless, the anti-Iran contingent has been going full blast to make sure that he does what they favor and that Congress resurrects sanctions on Iran. Breitnart News, which is strongly biased against Iran, has consistently published articles critical of members of the Trump administration who favor certification. (Breitbart News in general exhibits strong biases concerning its favorite causes.) Continuing its anti-Iran promotional activity, Breitbart today carries an article by Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America.

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9:14 pm on October 11, 2017

What Kind of Libertarian Are You?

—–Original Message—–
From: R
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 11:18 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: What to Make of the ManyTypes of Libertarians?

Hola Walter! What do you make of the spawning of the various ‘types’ of Libertarians lately? Geolibertarians, Libertarian Socialists, Neolibertarianism, Bleeding-Heart Libertarians, etc. Are they:
1) Curious minds who are somewhat sincere, but with a motive – i.e.
closet socialists, communists, alt righters who are trying to meld their desires with Libertarianism; or
2) Devious snakes who trying to either co-opt or dilute Libertarianism so as to effectively remove it from the playing field? R

Dear R: I incline to the latter hypothesis. Thanks to you I shall one day write about this issue explicitly. I didn’t realize how many variations there now are. I also oppose paleo-libertarians, and both left and right wing thick libertarians of many kinds and varieties. You’ve heard of that expression, “Give me that plain old fashioned religion?” Well, my motto is, “Give me that plain old fashioned libertarianism.” In my view, correct libertarianism is neither of the right nor the left. We are equidistant from both. We are unique. We are sui generis.

7:16 pm on October 11, 2017

As Many Reasons To Despise DC as Carter Has Pills

In addition to a multitude of other perks, Congresscriminals also enjoy “the secretive Office of the Attending Physician, an elaborate medical clinic where Navy doctors triage medical emergencies and provide basic health care for lawmakers who pay an annual fee of just over $600.” All while these sociopaths condemn the rest of us to Obummercare.

But what inspired David Mueller to send me this story was another benefit attached to Congress’ cheap medical care: Grubb’s Pharmacy supplies and delivers to the Capitol’s door whatever drugs the criminals require. Or, as “Mike Kim, the reserved pharmacist-turned-owner of the pharmacy,” puts it, “‘I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,’ Kim said, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.” Alzheimer’s! Who among us hasn’t long suspected as much? Mr. Kim continued, “It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday.’” Worse, they imagine we don’t, either. Yet another reason to disband and abolish the collective senior moment known as the federal government.

Regarding Congress’ cozy arrangement with Grubb’s, “Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican,” articulated a favorite belief of Our Rulers that applies to so much more than pharmaceutical deliveries: “… I’ll run over between votes and be able to keep my personal responsibilities going … It’s a convenience that definitely allows us to be more productive.”

Yep, these bozos actually fantasize that not only are they “productive,” but that their “work” is far more essential than ours. Ergo, every and any “convenience” is their due. That theory underlies sirens (Get out of the way! Cops’ arresting and caging people is far more vital than whatever has you out on the streets), jury duty (you can certainly relinquish as many days as the State expects since whatever you’d have done instead of sitting in court isn’t nearly as important), and all government’s other usurpations of our time.

Naturally, no rational person wants “productive” Congressional pickpockets. Psst, Grubb’s: how’s about slipping these thieves some sleeping pills instead?

3:01 pm on October 11, 2017

Did Trump Call For Ten Times More Nukes?

1:17 pm on October 11, 2017

Las Vegas Hospitals Were Overwhelmed: Not an Officially Imposed Story

We cannot expect police in Las Vegas to come up with true accounts of the mass shooting right off the bat. They’re not equipped to do it. They have little experience doing it. Investigations take time. There are multiple authorities. There is confusion. There is not enough manpower to provide immediate answers. There are many, many people involved. The police forces are government forces, and as such they are bound to be inadequate in many ways. They’re not designed or staffed to deal with a large-scale situation like this. Hospitals were overwhelmed as a Google search reveals, and it’s reasonable to say that the capacity of police to investigate properly were and probably still are overwhelmed 9 days later.

A road that’s used to light traffic will be clogged by a sudden surge in use or a peak load. Government offices and programs are not designed for peak loads or efficiency. They ration through long lines and waiting if some emergency occurs. Police were overwhelmed in Houston, and we can imagine the pressures placed on them in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, all sorts of people can offer all sorts of theories based upon fragmentary claims of evidence. There are not enough police to follow up every such claim. Such claims presented on the internet may or may not come to the attention of the police, so that addressing them and disposing of them doesn’t enter their calculations. Police will easily be overwhelmed if they attempt to follow up every question and claim raised by people on the internet.

Police themselves who are unaccustomed to communications will be pressured to make guesses and statements about what may have happened, and some will do so, thereby spreading unfounded rumors or saying things that are wrong. In the confusion of the event itself, there will be tremendous opportunities for rumors to start and propagate. Then there will be leaks of information or partial information. There are ample sources of confusion amid these sources.
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9:57 am on October 11, 2017

Zoning and Private Property; Australian Libertarians

From: A
Sent: Thursday, October 5, 2017 10:17 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Question RE non-contact sexual offences/harassment
Hi Dr Block, I only became aware of libertarian theory earlier this year, and it has felt like I have opened my eyes for the first time as I’ve spent the whole year educating myself out of the leftist propaganda I was raised on and never truly questioned. I’m in Australia and there is basically no libertarian presence here that I can find, except for one or two think tanks. I would like to thank you for your work, it is really inspiring and important to me, to demonstrate the strength of holding to principles completely and without exception.

If you have time to answer my question, it is about the NAP and certain types of non-contact offending. I’m a psychologist working with sex offenders, so this is relevant to my work. For example, would it be considered aggression for someone to make repeated phone calls to a woman and just breathe heavily down the line, or to make other lewd comments? Or what about if someone was exposing himself to women or masturbating openly while standing in his own front yard? Or say, stalking a woman (following her and staring at her from a distance all day)? There is no direct threat of physical violence in any of these cases, but I feel like they are deserving of punishment. Thanks! A
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6:30 pm on October 10, 2017

U.S. Dropped 751 Bombs on Afghanistan Last Month

A seven-year high (achieved during Trump’s first year) since 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack O-bomb-a dropped 1,043 bombs on Afghanistan in October of 2010.

2:20 pm on October 10, 2017

Horrific New Revelations On CIA Torture

12:56 pm on October 10, 2017

Leave Cam Newton Alone

Cam Newton is what happens when the victim classes go at one another — black man victimizes a woman. And then you watch the world go mad because shaming a fellow member of the victim classes isn’t an easy thing to do.

This whole thing is still going on especially given Cam’s recent misplacement of words concerning Rosie the Riveter. It’s clear that Cam’s original comments were not derogatory, but rather, he was complimenting the reporter on her perceived knowledge. Yet this highly-paid performer was forced to publicly grovel for upsetting some idiot.

Maybe these bimbos ought to stay out of professional sports locker rooms. Their platform for identity politics shouldn’t be in the midst of naked men unwinding after a game who are trying to perform their job without having their locker rooms turn into a safe space for the easily offended.

Robin Herman, the first women to enter the all-male domain of The Locker Room, once said about her moment: “It was at height of the women’s movement,” Herman said. “It was important to be bold. It was a matter of equity.”

Of course, a purely political purpose from the beginning.

6:26 am on October 10, 2017

Pence’s Expensive Stunt

It may have cost taxpayers over $88,000 for him to fly to Indianapolis and then walk out on the football game because some players knelt during the national anthem. Pence tweeted: “I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.” Trump then tweeted that he had instructed Pence to leave the game if players knelt. Is there anyone in America who actually thinks that Pence and Trump didn’t know that some players would kneel during the national anthem? Funny and tragic that Pence and Trump don’t think that American bombs and drones that kill foreigners who were no threat to the United States do not disrespect our soldiers, our flag, and our national anthem. I guess they believe, like many conservatives, that the flag stands for empire, hegemony, death, and destruction, but in a good way.

8:21 pm on October 9, 2017

Trump’s 70-Point Immigration Reform – Here’s A Better Way

3:53 pm on October 9, 2017

The NRA Sells Out

Again. Backs restrictions on “bump stocks.” For a libertarian view of gun control, see my Gun Control and the Second Amendment.

8:34 am on October 9, 2017

American Un-Exceptionalism: the Pumpkin Spice Episode

From the “Ya-Can’t-Make-This-Sh**-Up” file.

This is how collective hysteria has taken over the mind-enslaved subjects who long ago turned over their freedom in exchange for so-called safety. The masses of mindless drones mentally checked out long ago, putting their well-being in the hands of governments, bureaucratic outposts, and “experts.” The good little citizens have been obedient to the teachings of their superiors.

This entire school freaked out because someone pointed out that “something smelled weird.” Several people swore they were made ill by this dangerous aroma, and thus were taken to the hospital. The school was evacuated. The culprit?

As it turned out, the strange odor was coming from a common seasonal source: It was “this plug-in air freshener that basically puts out the odor every so many seconds, and it’s pumpkin spice,” Baltimore Fire Chief Roman Clark told NBC affiliate WBAL.

In my time (and I am not that old), this would have garnered nothing more than a few cuss words about a bad odor, and a “yea, whatever,” and teachers and kids would have moved on with their day, dealing with the “strange smell.” It even made Time magazine, with this story. To quote the Time article: “Classes will resume tomorrow, Friday, October 6, 2017,” the school’s statement added. “Mrs. Sylvia Doud, our School Counselor, will be available to meet with any students that may need to talk about today’s events. I would like to thank our faculty and students for their patience and leadership.”

I kid you not. Let’s send out a legion of psychobabblers to coddle people over over this oh-I’m-so-affected traumatic event. How do people look at these things and *not* get it?

8:10 am on October 8, 2017

Why Big Oil Conquered The World

The Worst Example of Fake News I Have Seen In Years

“Former Watergate Investigator Ken Starr Predicts Indictments Over Russia Probe.” This imbecilic “fake news” screed conclusively demonstrates why no one takes the fatuous Newsweek seriously anymore. Special Counsel Ken Starr investigated Whitewater during the Clinton administration, not Watergate during the Nixon regime.

For the truth concerning Watergate, see “It’s the 40th Anniversary of the Watergate Conspiracy.” 

And what does it say of the bogus journalistic integrity of Yahoo republishing this spurious and factually egregious account, just because of its anti-Trump nature?

UPDATE: After dozens of reader comments pointing out the gross historical inaccuracy of the original sloppily written article, Yahoo finally changed it from “Former Watergate Investigator Ken Starr Predicts Indictments Over Russia Probe,” to “Former Clinton Investigator Ken Starr Predicts Indictments Over Russia Probe.” But the sordid facts identifying Starr as the disgraced president of Baylor University in a rape/sexual assault scandal remain undisclosed in the article. Such conduct would tend to impeach his credibility as a responsible authority passing judgment on someone in a leadership position.

7:00 pm on October 7, 2017

Character Studies


Character Studies (1925)

6:35 pm on October 7, 2017

When ‘working from home’ pisses off the extrovert-collaborative types

This is not a well-done article in The Atlantic. It doesn’t put ‘working from home’ in the proper context, for the most part, and in fact it compares the pitfalls of “working from home” to a study looking at the upside of pilots working together in close quarters in a commercial airline cockpit, as if those pilots could “work from home” and send one another emails each time a problem comes up.

Overall, this piece tries makes the case for people working shoulder-to-shoulder, all day, in order to channel one’s inner team player and collaborative, problem-solving self. No where does this piece take into account individual working style and diversity of the individual; personal time savings from not commuting and primping for work; cultural shifts in generations (and their views of being office-bound and having their work based on hours); and generally, how modern technology doesn’t require building “terminals” in one’s home, as like in the old IBM work-from-home days. Premise fail all over the place here, really.

Twenty years ago I worked for a prominent Public Accounting firm and I spent 60-70% of my days at client offices doing audits, corporate tax work, and financial statement preparation while being forced into their box the whole time: working together in a conference room all day, going out to lunch together, and being expected to collaborate 24/7. That didn’t turn out well. I found the company culture to be suffocating.

The worst thing I endured is going to crappy ‘business-lunch-type’ restaurants and sitting at lunch with senior managers and firm partners, with all of them reminiscing on “the old college days” and their rah-rah for college football. Sheer boredom. I was written up on one 4-week client engagement when the client office was located one mile from my house, and so I took advantage of that and went home every day for lunch to eat frugally (save $$ from not eating out) and let my two dogs out.

Google and Apple work culture can go to heck. Google has all of its lovely on-site benefits, but the company traps its employees on its campus long enough to not have any home life.

6:50 am on October 7, 2017

Ron Paul: The Revolution At Ten Years

1:02 pm on October 6, 2017

Stephen Paddock as Single Shooter

Paul Craig Roberts raises a number of questions about the Las Vegas shootings. I share his observation that reporting today doesn’t provide the detail we want, and behind this are police and investigating authorities that do not provide the information we want. Services provided by public authorities are always second or third-rate and this includes investigation and communication. We can expect sloppy work as a general matter, even if some public employees are conscientious. Botched investigations by people not trained to ask all the pertinent questions and get the answers are par for the public services course.

At least some information is available that addresses some of the concerns raised by Roberts. I do not count myself an expert on weapons or this shooting. Questions can be raised indefinitely about this shooting and about my or anyone’s comments on it. My intent is modest: to provide a few bits of information that might otherwise escape a casual reader in order to suggest that what Stephen Paddock is claimed to have done was in fact feasible for him to do.
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10:53 am on October 6, 2017

USA LIBERTY Act – Making Spying On You Permanent

12:27 pm on October 5, 2017

Our Rulers Hate Serfs This Astute

Regarding the push for more control over our weapons in the wake of the false-flag in Vegas, Kirk writes,

The hive mentality is on display … This is led by the most superficial among us who have podiums because of their ‘celebrity’ status, backed by the most corrupt among us whose only objective is the acquisition of power with the only goal being to RULE, not govern. These types are the most dangerous to us, not honest citizens with weapons whose only objective is to preserve their life, the lives of those they care for, and their possessions.

 

12:10 pm on October 5, 2017

Evictionism, Once Again

From: G
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 2:39 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: eviction
Dear Walter: I listened to your podcast on Lions of Liberty and I have a question. If i invited you to my house for a dinner party from 6:00 to 8:00 and a tornado was to arrive at 8:01, knowing your life would likely be threatened would I have the right to force you to leave and then go to my shelter? I do agree with most of your thought but my view is more leaning to the pro life side. In the case of rape I have no issue with a woman aborting the person. If it is consensual I believe you should have known the risk and carry till viable and put up for adoption if you do not want the responsibility. If the mothers life is in danger, that I believe should be left to the mother and her physician. Thank you. Sincerely G

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6:28 pm on October 4, 2017