LRC Blog

Worthless Notes: Comey, Rice and McCabe

Comey writes up notes of meetings with Trump. It’s a blatant attempt to get Trump on a charge of obstructing justice. Comey’s behavior has been despicable during the entire election and afterward, start to finish. James Comey is a worm. His notes of meetings have no value.

Susan Rice sends herself an e-mail about a meeting with Obama and others. One reason for the meeting appears to be to keep information out of the hands of the Trump team. “The meeting, which also included then Vice President Joe Biden as well as former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, reportedly covered the topic of what information about the Russia investigation could be shared with Trump’s transition team.”

9:28 am on March 18, 2018


A nonprofit organization in Detroit, Detroit Hives, is succeeding where government could not succeed. Detroit Hives is taking over some blighted property on Detroit’s east side and transforming it into honeybee farms while teaching minority children the art of beekeeping. Unfortunately, even with Detroit’s helpful Land Bank, the process for obtaining ownership of abandoned land can, at times, be frustrating and time-consuming.

7:22 am on March 18, 2018

When Diversity and Corporatocracy Kills

With the Florida bridge collapse, there are the usual suspects: (1) government contracts and the role “diversity” plays in the doling out of those contracts, and (2) rent-seeking interests that continually profit from government intervention in markets in order to “level the playing field.” Based on the various links in this story, there’s some good evidence that, once again, government policy is responsible for the death of innocent citizens.

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida has tweeted: “Just asked USDOT to turn over records related to the engineering, design, construction, safety and inspection of the bridge that collapsed yesterday at @FIU. We need a clear understanding of who had what role in this tragedy and hold them accountable.”

What will they do when they find that government policy and ‘politics as usual’ is directly responsible for the deaths of these individuals? They may find a scapegoat to throw into the pit to make the lawyers happy, but the real cause – government – will never be held accountable.


7:01 am on March 18, 2018

Pygmy Pedestrian Bridge

Two videos, here and here, show Pygmy construction of a pedestrian bridge across a river. Video 1 shows how the first cross-river suspension rope is accomplished. Video 2 shows weaving and other construction.

All right, so the Pgymy bridge methods are too “primitive” for snooty American engineering and require too much upkeep (or do they?). Then why not go aluminum?

Prefabricated aluminum bridges are made and sold in America. Check out the photo. It looks safe and effective.

What unholy alliance of state, university and construction company resulted in the Florida design and construction? Is it really necessary to make a bridge for pedestrians that uses 950 tons of concrete?

7:32 pm on March 17, 2018

re: “Give Me a Break”

Karen, John Stossel explains how he went from a pro Ralph Nader “consumer reporter” to a libertarian-ish critic at 16:48 to 19:53 of this video.

11:14 am on March 17, 2018

Why Is the West Antagonistic Toward Russia?

The UK expels 23 Russian diplomats after hastily accusing and condemning Russia and even Putin himself of poisoning “Sergei Skripal, a former double agent, and his daughter, Yulia, on March 4 in Salisbury, UK.”

This is another in a long-running set of actions by the West’s governments that show deep antagonism, fear and even hatred of Russia. Why does this exist?

Weapons industries batten on the presence of enemies. This is one powerful reason behind the hatred. Attitudes of hatred and antagonism conform to an ideology that economically rewards influential backers and beneficiaries of the national security state. They sponsor elected politicians who receive campaign contributions and are lobbying targets. Government defense bureaucrats rotate through industry positions, think tanks and government posts. Lately, intelligence bureaucrats and agents are attempting to rotate into political positions. In a word, the system is corrupt. Personal payoffs take precedence over the security of the voters.

Voters are bombarded by media that propagate symbols that strike fear into their hearts. Almost everything associated with Russia has been turned into a symbol of strangeness and largeness that generates fear, suspicion and antagonism. Russia is seen as strange and large and to be feared. The list of symbols generating fear is very long. I am not saying these are accurate. I am saying that they’ve been hung around Russia’s neck as negative symbols.

It begins with Russia being the largest country on Earth. Their Christian religion differs from the West’s. Their language is inaccessible and strange. Their communist system rivaled capitalism. The Kremlin and its walls symbolize secrecy. Their intent was to subvert the world. They are masters at chess and strategy, sneaky. They are masters at bigness: big satellites, big rockets, big nuclear devices, big tanks, intense rocket batteries. They were first into space and first to make an unmanned landing on the moon. Their army rapes and plunders. Their cold in Siberia is great and terrifying. The bear is an animal symbol that’s scary, surely more scary than the eagle. Their cruelty is noted even by Dostoevsky and emphasized by the gulag. Something as harmless as matryoshka dolls is turned into a symbol of layers of secrecy and deception. Their drinking is large: high-proof vodka in large quantities. They are against LGBT rights. Even their novels are huge, such as “War and Peace”. They defeat the West’s invasions, both Napoleon’s and Hitler’s, partly by size alone and partly by extreme climate. Their May Day parades are huge and imposing, with huge missiles on display and marching soldiers who resemble Hitler’s regiments. They are an energy giant. Their system is seen as run by oligarchs with huge empires of businesses. Their Mafia and criminal gangs are constantly the bad guys in the West’s movies. Their secret services succeed one after another and reach into the West. Communist agents infiltrated the State Department. They stole our atomic secrets. Now they are poisoning ex-spies with dangerous toxins. The color “Red” and the hammer and sickle became symbols to hate and fear.

We could go on. It is always the same as in the preceding cliches and exaggerations. The West turns anything Russia into a caricature and cartoon symbol to be feared and hated. It would not be hard to find activities carried out in the West and demonize them in the same way, and that is surely being done by those who wish to build up hatred of the West. The West’s politicians and media have built up suspicion of Russia among voters and themselves, interrupted only briefly by the war years when Stalin became an ally and then only for public consumption. Once enough Americans have been stirred up, they formed their own anti-communist and now anti-Russian organizations that deepened the process of creating antagonism.

Russia needs to counteract a wall of negative symbols that identify it in the minds of people in the West. Ballet dancers are not enough. It needs to find some positive symbols to represent itself. It has been trying. It has been acting in level-headed ways. It hasn’t been anywhere near as aggressive as the West has been in the past 28 years since the USSR failed. Yet being a reasonable actor on the world stage has not defused the West’s antagonism, which is strongly rooted in the economic and political gains of making Russia into an enemy.

The ideology of being anti-Russia has now taken over the minds of many of those within the West’s political system and its national security and military-industrial complex. Anti-Russianism is now habitual and near-automatic. Many in the West believe in the anti-Russia symbols and exaggerations to the point that they wish to alter Russia fundamentally. Beneath anti-Russianism has grown a desire to tame and control Russia, somehow causing a regime change that will replace the existing leadership with Western toadies and puppets.

10:01 am on March 17, 2018

“Give Me a Break”

John Stossel is a good example of a guy who recognizes the totalitarian impulse of the masses. His Give Me a Break segments not only made a mockery of government oppression, but also, much of his fault-finding was with the people themselves — regular citizens who commence tirades over the details of others’ lives. Be reminded of what happened when Stossel started to focus on government and institutions as being at the root of evil and indoctrination. To quote him:

My colleagues liked it when I offended people. They called my reporting “hard-hitting,” “a public service.” I won 18 Emmys, and lots of other journalism awards. One year I got so many Emmys, another winner thanked me in his acceptance speech “for not having an entry in this category.”

Then I did a terrible thing. Instead of just applying my skepticism to business, I applied it to government and “public interest” groups. This apparently violated a religious tenet of journalism. Suddenly I was no longer “objective.”

Ralph Nader said I “used to be on the cutting edge,” but had become “lazy and dishonest.” According to Brill’s Content, “Nader was a fan during Stossel’s consumer advocate days,” but “now talks about him as if he’d been afflicted with a mysterious disease.”

7:16 am on March 17, 2018

Tyranny of the Masses: the Female Brigade

Watching a bunch of screeching, emoting, Oprahfied women argue for gun control on Facebook and take on dissenters is like watching a 16-year-old driver’s training student drive the wrong way on a freeway and take on oncoming traffic. The predictability of their uninformed, meaningless arguments (“no one needs an assault weapon to defend their home!”; “we have to make guns harder to get!”; “the 2nd Amendment needs to evolve!”; “it’s for the children!”) is frightening because we know that such behavior serves to advance that mentality amongst the ignorant female collective as they infiltrate and inspire the minds of other women with their factless fluff and emotional outpourings.

A collective circle of ignorance regurgitating and spreading folly in a shared pool leads to a tyranny of the masses.

The individual tyrant mindsets that make up the collective mass are necessarily the result of democracy. Weaned on the teats of the State, these individuals are imbued with the “democratic” philosophy that government is there to provide for their endeavors, even if it means having the State aggress against others to relieve them of life’s little uncertainties and risks. Democracy gives them a say-so in the political process, a process where coercive powers are exercised at will via majority rule. Once the nipples of democracy have been exposed to the piglets gathering round the hub of majority rule, we engender a perpetual breeding process of decadent usurpation by the masses over the few.

7:54 am on March 16, 2018

Most Businesses Want More Business

But not the U.S. Post Office. Postal workers are complaining about all the packages from Amazon that they have to deliver.

9:09 pm on March 15, 2018

Why Are More and More White People Going to Prison?

The war on drugs. Whites have “accounted for nearly 90 percent of new opioid users between 2000 and 2010, and suffered 82 percent of all opioid-related overdoses in 2015.” No one, black or white, should ever go to prison for possessing a substance the government doesn’t approve of unless he commits an actual crime in connection with his drug acquisition or use. The war on drugs is a war on freedom.

9:07 pm on March 15, 2018

This Married White Woman Objects

“[Democrats] do not do well with white men, and we don’t do well with married white women. Part of that is ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should. All of a sudden, you know, white women who were gonna vote for me and frankly standing up to the men in their lives and the men in their workplaces were being told, she’s going to jail, you know, you don’t want to vote for her, you know, it’s terrible, you can’t vote for that.” — Hillary Clinton

I’ve been waiting for a Social Justice Warrior to defend married white women since last weekend, when that married white woman, Hillary Clinton, smeared us as brainless patsies kowtowing to men.

But five news-cycles have passed, and no one’s stepped forward. Indeed, the Washington Post, that bastion of Social Justice, actually dignified Hitlary’s hate-speech with studies and statistics and all the other indices they ignore when Donald Trump’s in the pillory. And so, as a married white woman, I sally forth into the breach. I do so freely, without any ongoing pressure from my husband, boss, son, whoever. But I’m also reluctant: I hate to accord anything that shrew says even the slightest attention, let alone a rebuttal.

Granny’s outburst both scares and encourages. It scares because aren’t women as a class immune from criticism, even Clinton’s silly, ineffective version? Whether we’re applying for admission to college or a contract with the Feds, we receive special protection and consideration. And that includes all women, even married white ones: we’re as incapable of competing on our merits as all the other colors out there.

But Hellary’s words may signal an end to that status. I’d assumed our gender was powerful enough yet sufficiently beaten down to overrule our race—but perhaps whiteness now outweighs femininity. If so, what will Nancy Pelosi, Fauxcahontas (who, minus her Indian blood, becomes irredeemably white), Ruth Bader Ginsburg and, yes, even Madame Not-President do? Anyway, ladies, brace yourselves: if race now trumps sex in the ever-changing Marxist hierarchy, we’re heading for the same abuse those dead white males—and all those white males who wish they were dead—have long suffered.

On the other hand, Cankles implies that husbands, bosses, sons, whoever rule the roost, at least when it comes to elections. And that’s heartening. Surveying the beta males, metrosexuals, homosexuals, and trannies that dominate TV, the bath- and fitting rooms at Target, movies, advertising, New York City’s Council, the armed forces, and hair salons, I often fear no real men remain. What gal hunting a husband hasn’t despaired that feminism has pretty much triumphed over Hominem Americanum? Now Shrillary confesses that not only have she and her fellow harpies failed at their mission to emasculate, they’ve failed big-time: more than half of white American male voters, 52% to be exact, dare think their own thoughts and form their own opinions without first asking, “Mother, may I?” So inspiring!

And not only are the 52% thinking for themselves, they’re strong and confident enough to influence the folks around them—half of whom are generally women, or at least so assigned at birth. This sits ill with the feminists, of course: any influencing will be done by them and them alone. But it’s refreshing for those who prefer rationality, freedom and prosperity to a subjective dystopia.

Alas, I admit that Cankles got it right as far as my household, for I am firmly and irrevocably under my husband’s thumb. Last night, for example, when I suggested oh-so-nutritious bean sprouts and bone broth for dinner, Hubby insisted on Chinese food instead. Out we sashayed to Ming’s Palace, where we feasted on shrimp in lobster sauce and pork lo mein. Oh, the gall of the guy.

Given Hubby’s propensity for personal dictatorship, you can imagine our discussions of the election:

Me: Can you believe that moron called half the electorate “deplorable”? I mean, I’m no politician, thank God, but even I know–

Hubby [head and shoulders well inside fridge]: Hon, where’s the ice cream?

Me [frankly standing up to the man in my life]: Look, this is important. That witch called us “deplorable”!

Hubby: It’s not more important than ice cream. Come on, get your priorities straight.

He then twisted my arm until I helped him devour half the carton of Cookies ‘N’ Cream. And when I demurred that pouring chocolate syrup over it gilds the lily, he absolutely refused to listen. Talk about your “ongoing pressure”!

Meanwhile, is it me, or is there something nauseatingly hypocritical about Nanny Clinton’s bashing anyone else’s husband for any reason whatever?

5:17 pm on March 15, 2018

‘Skin In The Game’ – With Special Guest Nassim Nicholas Taleb

12:45 pm on March 15, 2018

Two New Books Now Available

Or at least they are supposed to be. Today is the official publication date of my two new books: Free Trade or Protectionism? and The Free Society. I have plenty of books to sell, but Amazon has been lax in reordering. I assure you that Amazon will have the books back in stock soon.

7:54 am on March 15, 2018

Not Only Can You Get Sexually Assaulted in the Military

Your kids can get sexually assaulted in the military’s school system — the Department of Defense Education Activity, or DoDEA. Just don’t expect much to be done about it. But note that the article begins with a sentence that is only half true: “Tens of thousands of children and teenagers live and attend school on U.S. military bases while their parents serve the country.” No U.S. soldier stationed overseas is serving the country.

Thanks to James.

7:40 am on March 15, 2018

Stop Blaming Mexican Violence on American Guns

Mexico is a land of strict gun control and high homicide. In order to explain this away, many advocates for gun control attempt to blame Mexican homicides on American guns. These claims, however, fail to explain why the same guns that are legal in Texas somehow become far more deadly once they cross to the southern side of the border. I explain more in this episode of Radio Rothbard:

7:30 pm on March 14, 2018

Go Ahead, Dress Like a Woman

Even if you are a man. And even if your employer is a funeral home that has a dress code “tailored to serve those mourning the loss of a loved one.” The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes “had discriminated against funeral director Anthony Stephens”—who is in the process of transitioning into a woman and now goes by the name Aimee—when it fired him in 2013. “The decision by the three-judge panel returns the case to a federal judge who earlier dismissed a discrimination lawsuit against the funeral business filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).”

This is a simple case of workplace dress codes. In a free society, you either dress as your employer says or you go to work elsewhere, as I have written about here. But, of course, Americans don’t live in a free society, as I make clear in my new book The Free Society, which officially releases tomorrow.

5:29 pm on March 14, 2018

Will Torture Make America Great Again?

1:48 pm on March 14, 2018

Do Hard-Left Urban Political Machine Politicians Lie About Murder Statistics?

A Baltimore policeman who called in to a WCBM Radio talk show this morning thinks so.  He said that in Baltimore, the city with the highest murder rate, the local government picks up at least 300 dead bodies a year that it mislabels as victims of “suicide” or “death by natural causes” despite being riddled with bullet holes and/or knife wounds.  That would almost double the reported murder rate in the city.

UPDATE: Another caller to the radio station said that he was in town visiting relatives and decided to drive over to his childhood home where he grew up.  A police cruiser quickly pulled up along side him and the officer said “What are you doing here?”  After a brief explanation the officer said “you need to get out of here.  I’ll escort you out.  This is the most dangerous neighborhood in the city.”

9:15 pm on March 13, 2018

Are Millennials Abandoning Liberty? – With Special Guest Jeff Deist

12:34 pm on March 13, 2018

Nikki Haley’s Compulsion Flouts the Law of Nations

Flip Wilson had a comedy routine “The Devil Made Me Do It”. Nikki Haley is far from funny when she uses the same kind of excuse, telling us that the U.S. is prepared to attack Syria again. Why? Compulsion, or the devil made me do it. In her words: “…there are times when states are compelled to take their own action.”

Is the U.S. also compelled to ally with Saudi Arabia in its brutal bombings and embargo/blockade in Yemen? Is the U.S. compelled to aid Israel when it brutally invades Gaza? Was the U.S. compelled to attack and destroy Libya? Was the U.S. compelled to attack and destroy Iraq? Was the U.S. compelled to destroy the Taliban government in Afghanistan?

If the U.S. claims the moral high ground to justify attacks on Syria, is this the same moral ground and compulsion that justified its attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen? But such compulsions are no justifications at all. “The devil made me do it” is no different from “The angel made me do it” or “God made me do it”. All are non-justifications, just empty childish excuses. We human beings cannot blame devils, angels or Gods for what we do. Freedom to choose and act is an essential part of our makeup, and no devil, angel or God can be held responsible for this freedom or its consequences when we use it. If they can be held responsible, not each of us, and we lack such primary freedom that’s beyond any devil or any God, then what? Are we machines ruled by predetermined causes in some sort of choreographed and senseless lives? In that case, the result is nihilism. Our freedom to act may be an illusion, but if it is, it’s an illusion we can be sure of, a very convincing one.

If compulsion is a justification for bombing another nation, why condemn and sanction Russia over Ukraine? Couldn’t the Russians argue that they felt compelled to interfere to save Russian-speaking people from being oppressed by neo-Nazi battalions? Couldn’t environmentalist wackos justify their bombings by their compulsion to act against climate-change deniers? Couldn’t FBI officials justify their coup against Trump by being “compelled to take their own action” against the prospective great disaster of his presidency and its irreparable harm?

Couldn’t Nikki Haley have found a better excuse than compulsion? If compulsion is a ruling principle in international relations, then what nation may not have the excuse to flout international law and interfere with another nation?

There is a body of international law that governs international relations. It is not perfect and its enforcement is a delicate matter, admittedly, but it is better than jungle law or “law” generated by compulsion, strong feelings, red lines and feelings of moral obligation, all of which lead to chaos and mass destruction. In 1758, Emer de Vattel’sLaw of Nations” has a section on p. 265 labeled “§7. But not by force.” It begins

“But though a nation be obliged to promote, as far as lies in its power, the perfection of others, it is not entitled forcibly to obtrude these good offices on them. Such an attempt would be a violation of their natural liberty. In order to compel any one to receive a kindness, we must have an authority over him; but nations are absolutely free and independent (Prelim. §4). Those ambitious Europeans who attacked the American nations, and subjected them to their greedy dominion, in order, as they pretended, to civilise them, and cause them to be instructed in the true religion, — those usurpers, I say, grounded themselves on a pretext equally unjust and ridiculous.”

Vattel argues for a moral obligation for one nation to help another nation under some circumstances, but it may not do so “forcibly“. Nikki Haley’s compulsion to bomb Syria for the good of Syrian rebels and some Syrians factually speaking will not be “a kindness”. Besides taking many lives and wounding others, wrecking families and economies, destroying order as in Iraq and Libya, and opening the way to extremist bombings, the U.S. destroys whole cities and ruins infrastructure that took decades to construct. Even overlooking all the evils the U.S. does in the name of good, the U.S. has no authority over Syria or Syrians of any stripe and authority is essential if such attacks are not to violate the natural liberty of Syrians, which means their existence as a free and independent nation.

What does Nikki Haley acknowledge or respect of the law of nations? Apparently nothing, or she wouldn’t have said that the U.S. could be “compelled” to bomb Syria. Compulsion is no more than the law of savage beasts, and not even up to that standard; and she shares this lack of regard for the law of nations with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, all of whom have smashed international law under false and phony pretenses, in its name, or in the name of an oppressed people, or in the name of enforcing law, or of doing something good like removing a dictator, or of stopping weapons of destruction, or even of defending America, which wasn’t even remotely the case.

Americans acting through the U.S. government have no right to inflict so-called “good”, which is far more frequently evil anyway, on any people or portion of a people of another nation. For the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. to argue that “states are compelled to take their own [interfering] action” is an insult to international law and relations, and yet it perpetuates the thinking and tragically the very bloody action at the highest levels of the U.S. government that have gone on for far too many years. Is it not time to see and say clearly that no nation is above the law of nations, and that no nation may rightly enforce its perverted version of that law in the name of a compulsion or even a strong feeling of moral obligation?

10:02 am on March 13, 2018

The Endless “Riches” of Socialism

One vignette among several:

Standing at the door of his day job as a security guard at a pharmacy, Jonathan Marquez, 40, is tired. He has not slept well in two months, since taking a second job, driving a taxi on weekends. He said on Saturdays he used to spend time with his family, but “since I took the second job I barely see them.”

Even with both salaries, he still struggles to feed his family. Marquez’s weekly paycheck of 250,000 bolívars is only enough to buy food. A bar of soap, for example, costs 200,000 bolívars.  “Either we clean properly or we eat,” he said. He always picks food and ends up mixing shampoo left over with water and uses the liquid as soap.

Well, the one thing that we’ve learned from progressives is that socialism can definitely provide an adequate amount of health-care goods and services.  Ooops:

Francisco de Castro, 75, is also facing a dilemma: buy one or two boxes of the medicine he needs to treat his high blood pressure. With medicine growing scarce, De Castro, a retired salesman, hunts daily to find it. If he does, a box of 10 pills can cost more than his monthly pension.

He stopped taking a whole pill daily months ago, and instead has been splitting each pill into four chunks. “That way, I feel I take the treatment every day,” he said.

Amazing to find these accounts on an obscure corner of NBC. But of course they provide few details on what is causing the shortages and none on what is causing the hyperinflation.

5:58 pm on March 12, 2018

Lie #1 (In Importance, Not Chronologically) from the TSA

Our Rulers’ excuse for the TSA is that it protects aviation by keeping dangerous items like guns off planes (by the way, no study anywhere has ever proven that passengers robbed of all defenses but their fingernails are any safer than armed ones—and common sense argues that they aren’t). But like all else about the agency, this claim too is a lie, and the TSA proved it over the weekend.  A “rapper … known as Juelz Santana … left the security checkpoint area Friday at … Newark Liberty International Airport, leaving behind two bags and identification” after the TSA’s busybodies “found a loaded Derringer 38-caliber handgun” in one of those bags. Give the man credit for style: “Police believed he fled the airport in a taxicab.”

Now, the story should end there if the tyrannical, anti-Constitutional TSA truly existed to cleanse aircraft of weapons rather than to enslave us. Mr. Santana’s gun detected and stolen–sorry, confiscated, Mr. Santana skipping his flight: mission accomplished. But no. Instead, cops continued pursuing this guy—who has yet to commit any crime, unless we count his blows against music—until they arrested him this morning. (Once upon a time, the charge, “possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,” wouldn’t have possibly stuck, since the State found that gun without even the pretense of a warrant.)

Good thing the Clowns in Gowns have declared that the TSA’s assaults are “not a resented intrusion on privacy, but, instead, a welcome reassurance of safety,” and that “[T]he danger [of skyjacking] is so overwhelming, and the invasion of privacy so minimal, that the [Fourth Amendment’s] warrant requirement is excused by exigent national circumstances.” Otherwise, we might worry that the Constitution’s completely dead and we’re living in a police-state.

5:06 pm on March 12, 2018

Military Coup: Pentagon To Ignore Congress On Yemen

12:32 pm on March 12, 2018

Eugene McCarthy and the Myth of the 1968 New Hampshire Primary

After the March 12, 1968 New Hampshire primary political researchers did a demographic analysis of the electorate. A substantial number of the Eugene McCarthy voters cast their protest ballots for him not because they wanted peace and withdrawal from the war in Viet Nam, but because they were opposed to LBJ’s war strategy and wanted a more militant and hawkish intervention. They wanted to “win the war,” and not “end the war.” By their ironically casting their protest vote for the dovish McCarthy was the only way they could show their opposition to Johnson.

McCarthy’s strong performance, however, did not mean that voters had embraced his antiwar stance. Many New Hampshire Democrats didn’t even know McCarthy’s position on the war (his staff suspected that at least some of those who voted for him thought they were casting a ballot for Joe McCarthy)—and 60 percent of his backers believed Johnson should be fighting the war more aggressively. Neither Vietnam nor crime, the cost of living nor the Great Society united McCarthy supporters (in fact, an estimated one in five McCarthy voters would cast a ballot for George Wallace in November). Frustration with Johnson was their only true consensus position.

So what led to LBJ’s withdrawal from the 1968 presidential race and his abdication of the presidency?

As historian/economist Murray N. Rothbard noted:

Increasingly, however, the power elite became divided over the morass of the Vietnam War. Under the blows of the Tet offensive in January 1968, Robert McNamara had become increasingly dovish and was replaced as Secretary of Defense by hard-liner Clark Clifford, with McNamara moving gracefully to take charge of the World Bank. But, on investigating the situation, Clifford, too, became critical of the war, and Johnson called a crucial two day meeting on March 22, 1968, of his highly influential Senior Informal Advisory Group on Vietnam, known as the “Wise Men,”made up of all his key advisors on foreign affairs. Johnson was stunned to find that only Abe Fortas and General Maxwell Taylor continued in the hard-line position. Arthur Dean, Cabot Lodge, John J. McCloy, and former General Omar Bradley took a confused middle-of-the-road position, while all the other elite figures such as Dean Acheson, George Ball, McGeorge Bundy, C. Douglas Dillon, and Cyrus Vance had swung around to a firm opposition to the war.

As David Halberstam put it in his The Best and the Brightest, these power elite leaders “let him (Johnson) know that the Establishment—yes, Wall Street—had turned on the war. . . . It was hurting the economy, dividing the country, turning the youth against the country’s best traditions.” LBJ knew when he was licked. Only a few days afterward, Johnson announced that he was not going to run for re-election and he ordered what would be the beginnings of U.S. disengagement from Vietnam.

10:26 am on March 11, 2018

The Devil Must Love Neocons . . .

. . . because he’s created so many of them.  (Just a random thought after an emailer remarked that Tucker Carlson may be running out of neocons to expose as the diabolical liars they are on the issue of perpetual war, as he did with John Bolton the other night).

1:08 pm on March 10, 2018

Christian Bridal Shop Closes

After receiving death threats for refusing to sell wedding dresses to lesbians. Also afraid that the town council “will pass an ordinance banning stores and other places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation no matter what their religious beliefs might be.” The intolerance of the left is mind-numbing.

9:58 am on March 10, 2018

Are Steel Tariffs Necessary for National Defense? No!

Here are three essays, some of these authors really should have known better, that attempt to justify Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel based on national defense considerations. If we do not have an active domestic steel industry we will lose the next war, is their contention.

Lawrence Solomon: The real reason for Trump’s steel tariffs? He’s preparing for war

There are several things wrong with this analysis. One, the next war, if it goes nuclear, will be over in about 5 minutes. We won’t need any new steel for it. We already have quite enough, thank you, even more than necessary. How many times do we really have to blow up the entire world? Two, if Trump would stop his bellicosity (the U.S. in now fighting wars in some half dozen different countries, none of which have come within a million miles of attacking us, or even seriously threatening us), the next war would become less likely. He ran for president on almost on a Ron Paulian peace policy; why oh why does he have to keep his promises on protectionism, but not anti-imperialism? Three, ditto for pulling all US troops back home; this country has some 800 military bases in roughly 130 countries. All of them serve as potential trip wires and hostages for involving us in a major war with a leading nuclear power. Four, let us posit, arguendo, that none of the above is correct. We are now in effect back a century or two in terms of technology. Then, perhaps, yes, we might well need steel manufacturing to protect ourselves. But we hardly need an economically unjustified tariff to attain that goal. Instead, the government in its largesse could subsidize this industry. Not to make steel; oh, no, that would not be needed until and unless war was imminent. Rather, it would be to serve as a fail-safe capacity to produce this good when required. All that would be needed would be a large empty steel mill, sufficient raw materials as inputs, and a very small crew to keep the place well-oiled. I do not advocate any such government initiative. I mention it only to indicate that a tariff is hardly required for national defense even under these heroic assumptions.

3:37 pm on March 9, 2018

I’ll Be Shopping Elsewhere…

…given Best Buy’s “cozy” relations with the FBI–relations so cozy, in fact, that one of the company’s customers is in jail.

And whatever you do, NEVER entrust your computer to its “Geek Squad,” as did the poor prisoner mentioned above.

Update: Bill alerted me to this magnificent (and utterly cynical?) irony: Best Buy’s blog a few weeks ago discussed “Protecting Your Privacy” with “Tips From An Expert.

10:39 am on March 9, 2018

Toxic Effeminacy

The era of the effeminate male, celebrated.

8:04 pm on March 8, 2018

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Law School Student Body Scorned

The heroic anti-left-feminist, Christina Hoff Summers, tried to speak at Lewis & Clark Law School in Oregon, but she was shouted down by a bunch of milquetoast future lawyers. Women, Jews, blacks, Latinos, socialists, and other assorted “minorities” were incapable of hearing a white female speak, peacefully, on terms that were not their own. And these are people that will litigate and judge America’s future through courts of law. Without the government-created education racket propped up by a student loan bubble, most of these morons would be spending their days folding and organizing $32 paper-thin t-shirts, and running a cash register, while serving teenage recipients of parental credit cards at Hollister stores in suburban malls. But they are the future of law.

Several student groups called for the cancellation of the speech by the American Enterprise Institute Scholar ahead of time, calling Sommers a “known fascist” and “rape apologist/denialist.”

The school’s National Lawyers Guild chapter accused the Federalist Society of “inviting a known fascist to our campus to encourage what we believe to be an act of aggression and violence toward members of our society who experience racial and gendered oppression.” The statement gave a list of minority groups threatened or delegitimized by Sommers’s rhetoric.

The Women’s Law Caucus, Jewish Law Society, Minority Law Student Association, Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter, Black Law Student Society, and the Latino Law Society all signed a letter protesting the speaker.

7:38 pm on March 8, 2018