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 Email Karen De Coster
“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 Email Charles Burris
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 Email Karen De Coster
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.
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 Email Becky Akers
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 2:39 AM
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
The shootings in Las Vegas are a terrible, terrible tragedy. Can we learn from this?
Prescription drug use and/or an emotional condition leading to psychotropic drug use may help us understand mass killer Stephen Paddock better than a search for his motivations.
“Stephen Paddock, who killed at least 58 people and wounded hundreds more in Las Vegas on Sunday with high-powered rifles, was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug in June that can lead to aggressive behavior, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned.” See here for a detailed article.
Valium can cause psychotic symptoms. From web sources, it “Can cause paranoid or suicidal ideation and impair memory, judgment, and coordination.” “Call your doctor at once if you have: confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior; unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger; depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself; hyperactivity, agitation, aggression, hostility.”
We’ve been aware for some time that mass shooters very often are on prescription drugs that affect the brain. Adam Garrie’s article on this is a very good one. Being prescribed this category of drugs is not sufficient to turn one into a killer. On the other hand, it might come close to being a necessary condition. It is known that ISIS fighters take captagon. Guns are also not sufficient, but they too may come close to being a conveniently necessary kind of weapon to kill many people. Bombs, poisons and rockets are not as convenient. If millions and millions of us take prescribed psychotropic drugs and also have access to guns, a few of us are going to become mass killers.
The state-violence visited upon Catalan voters by the Spanish government confirms Emma Goldman’s observation: “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” The American power-structure is equally fearful of the boobeoisie controlling the apparatus of the state via the polling booth, refusing to accept the outcome of last November’s preferences for Trump over Hillary. The “rabble,” as 18th century British authorities called those who objected to their rule, have become the modern establishment’s class of “deplorables.” Ahhh, but if CNN and politicians of both major parties can convince “Joe Six-pack” that Trump’s election wasn’t an expression of democratic preferences, but was an “act of war” perpetrated by the Russian government, not only might the establishment’s desire to delegitimize Trump’s victory be accomplished, but might also provide a “justification” for going to war with Russia.2:45 pm on October 3, 2017 Email Butler Shaffer
Well, well, well: killer immediately identified, “heroic” cops locate him, he’s now conveniently dead, his family’s shocked senseless at such uncharacteristic crimes, the usual suspects demand more control of gun-owners… The tragedy in Las Vegas boasts all the earmarks of a false-flag from the sociopaths who brought us 9/11.
Meanwhile, Our Rulers were “securing” the Route 91 Festival as they do so many other events in the police-state. They searched innocent attendees with nary a warrant or even a thought thereof. Cynics might wonder whether the government cold-bloodedly calculates that its now-accepted ritual of disarmament facilitates these massacres. In any event, all the groping and metal detectors patently can’t prevent these attacks—so why do Americans tolerate the Fourth Amendment’s evisceration?
Again, just as I advise boycotting commercial aviation, so I advise avoiding any gathering that forces you to submit to anti-Constitutional searches. No event on earth is worth the degradation those searches entail: you pay a small fortune for a ticket only to endure the insult of waiting in a mind-numbingly long line so that “security” can abuse you—or worse, as the Deep State grows increasingly murderous.11:01 am on October 2, 2017 Email Becky Akers
Sent: Sunday, October 01, 2017 5:28 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Requesting your opinion
Professor Block, If you have the time, I would appreciate any comments, criticisms, links, suggestions, etc. Also, if you are able to respond, may I have permission to share your thoughts with a discussion group? My thoughts: There has been a good deal of chatter going on about whether or not consistent libertarianism and homogenous communities are congruent notions. I would like to focus on the specifics of residence. The pro side says that, as long as it is on a completely voluntary basis, covenant communities exercising their right of association could exclude, for example, other races from entering the community. It has also been suggested that multiple covenants of this type could link together and basically form an ethno-nation (not to be confused with state). However, this agreement could not hold without special provisions of which I think is not discussed enough.
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2017 8:07 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Evictionism (new thoughts)
Dr. Block, (Forgive the length but I tried to keep it compact while including what is logically necessary to the point) Thank you again for being such an intellectually honest thinker on all matters relating to libertarianism, and loyalty to the NAP. I’ve read several of your articles on “evictionism”, your proposed solution to the abortion controversy based on using logic to extract it from the NAP. I have read your book Defending the Undefendable, written in our younger days. In it you mention abortion but with less detailed thought than with alter evictionism essays. I invite you to consider a comparable situation, at least in cases in which conception is not a result of rape. Consider the case of a man, A, crippled for life by a drunk driver, B, or by someone whose comparable negligence of criminal degree results in another person becoming invalid for life and completely dependent for the means of sustenance on others.
Cops hourly prove that they consider themselves superior to us serfs and that they are therefore entitled to attack us physically, insult us, lord it over us, thieve from us, and generally abuse us as much and how they please.
But who knew “park rangers” share these delusions of sordid grandeur? And that merely blowing your car’s horn at so exalted a functionary triggers not only those delusions but violence as well?
A “33-year-old Summit [County, Ohio] Metro Parks ranger … wrestled” Carl Wilson, 72, “to the ground and kicked” Mrs. Margaret Wilson, 71,” after the couple had the audacity to honk at him: “Axner flipped on his turn signal to turn left into the park and said Carl Wilson honked his horn and then angled right and drove around Axner.”
This didn’t set well with Ranger Ass-sorry, Axner. And so he “followed the Wilsons’ truck about a half-mile … When the Wilsons were less than a block from their home, Axner turned on the flashing lights of his patrol vehicle and tried to stop them…Carl Wilson ignored the ranger’s lights, Axner said, and after pausing at a red traffic light, pulled into the driveway of their home. Axner followed, and as he exited his ranger vehicle, he said Carl Wilson ‘began walking toward him yelling that I can’t stop him.’ Axner said he told Wilson three times to get back into his pickup, but Wilson continued toward him ‘with an elevated voice in an aggressive manner,’ Axner said.”
I would have reacted just as poor Mr. Wilson did. Since when do Yogi Bear’s sidekicks get to arrest us and order us around—outside of any park to boot? Well, since the Supreme Dorks invented that power for them in 2013. It seems that the Amerikan police-state empowers any ruffian wearing polyester clothes and a tin badge to detain and cage us.
And that after “kicking” and “wrestling” with people old enough to be their assailant’s grandparents. Ass excused bashing Mrs. Wilson because she grabbed a baseball bat to defend her husband, and understandably so: Mr. Wilson “was wearing a protective brace to shield his heart while his bones healed following open-heart surgery.” Where’s Yogi when we need him to wallop a thug but good?
Ass not only cuffed the Wilsons with the help of arriving cops, he also cited this elderly couple for a long list of offences, most of which boil down to “They ticked me off.” Astoundingly, given that Leviathan’s agencies stand by their brutal employees no matter how they rough us up, a “parks spokesman … said they were in the process of dropping all charges against the couple and that Axner’s boss had expressed regret about what happened…” Tragically, Bossman isn’t sorry enough to horsewhip and fire the bully, though: no, predictably he’s “on paid administrative leave while Summit Metro Parks investigates…”6:28 pm on September 30, 2017 Email Becky Akers
Ken Burns is the establishment’s most noted (and notorious) court documentarian and intellectual bodyguard of the State. For decades his glossy productions have shaped and defended the “official line” or interpretation on the State’s wars, its presidential regimes, or other key historical events, personages, and public policies. As a result they enjoy high esteem and recognition in the mainstream media and court academia. His latest PBS excursion in agitprop is The Vietnam War, a ten part series that has drawn much heated controversy and harsh criticism. Here is a select sample of such commentary and analysis: Ken Burns’s ‘Vietnam War’ is No Profile in Courage: Celebrated filmmaker continues tradition of avoiding inconvenient truths; JFK HAD ORDERED FULL WITHDRAWAL FROM VIETNAM: SOLID EVIDENCE: PBS Vietnam Series: Glossing over JFK’s Exit Strategy; Ken Burns & Lynn Novick, The Vietnam War: Part One; Ken Burns & Lynn Novick, The Vietnam War: Part Two; THE KEN BURNS VIETNAM WAR DOCUMENTARY GLOSSES OVER DEVASTATING CIVILIAN TOLL; Veterans angry, disappointed following PBS’ Vietnam War documentary; The Ken Burns Documentary – A Review; Ken Burns Never Knew How Wrong He Was About the Vietnam War; Ken Burns and Lynn Novick don’t understand anti-Vietnam War protesters; KEN BURNS SAYS THE VIETNAM WAR WAS “BEGUN IN GOOD FAITH.” SO WAS EVERY OTHER LOUSY WAR; KEN BURNS’S VIETNAM: GREAT TV. HORRIBLE HISTORY; and THE LIBERTARIAN ANGLE: THE VIETNAM WAR.1:15 pm on September 30, 2017 Email Charles Burris
Ronna McDaniel, who is the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, writes that the national anthem “is a sacred symbol of our great country”.
Sacred’s main meaning is “connected with God (or the gods) or dedicated to a religious purpose”. Neither the U.S. flag nor the anthem nor the pledge of allegiance are connected with God or religion. Since it’s anti-religious to suggest that the flag, the anthem or the pledge are holy, she cannot be expressing that meaning of sacred.
McDaniel can only mean they’re currently regarded and/or should be regarded reverently, which is also a meaning of sacred. She’s saying that the flag, the anthem and the pledge are or should be regarded with deep respect. We stand at attention before them as an expression of that deep admiration or we should stand before them.
You cannot be forced to respect any person, any god or God, any country, any symbol of a State, or indeed any thing whatsoever, shallowly or deeply, because respect is a feeling and your feelings belong to you. You can, however, be taught or influenced to feel such respect and you can be taught or influenced to exhibit such respect even when you do not feel it.
She may be right that most or many or a majority of Americans regard these symbols with reverence. Who really knows? But if they do, should they? Should you?
McDaniel associates these symbols with the military, with “the millions of Americans who have fought and died to protect our freedoms”, with “our country’s greatest victories and most beautiful moments,” and she mentions an NFL player who is “a former Army ranger”. To her, the flag represents heroic sacrifices. She writes of “the flag draped on the casket of a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice and is coming home to rest…”
We should, she is saying, bow down before the military and feel deep respect and admiration for it because it has preserved our freedoms. Should these national symbols be sacred? Should we regard them reverently? These are questions for each of us to answer, because feelings are personal. These are not simply questions having to do with what NFL players do or do not do, or with what NFL owners contract with their players to do or with what football fans prefer to see or not see.
McDaniel’s article is titled “Why I Stand for Our Flag”. The question her opinion piece raises is broad. One’s attitude toward these national symbols is a personal matter.
Should you stand out of respect for the military of the U.S.? Should you sing the anthem? Should you say the pledge? Should you feel positively toward the flag? Should you regard these actions as rituals, solemnly undertaken?
Not without ignoring multiple millions of deaths and casualties attributable to the U.S. and its military forces since World War 2. Was this really necessary “to protect our freedoms”? Who has started a war against this country since World War 2?
McDaniel is an establishment politician and a political operative. She’s blind to these deaths. She’s convinced it’s all for the good of Americans. Her ability to look at the facts objectively is turned off, shut down, inoperative at this time. Her rational facility is thwarted in favor of a false story she believes and is propagating.
You, however, do not have to turn yourself or allow yourself to be turned into a robot who worships the military or the State and who short circuits its own thinking with myths and propaganda. You can walk away from this and free yourself from it, because your feelings belong to you and you do have a will. You have no good reason to regard symbols of State with reverence. They really do not deserve it, and that’s being charitable.10:47 am on September 30, 2017 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2017 5:47 AM
Subject: A question on “Socialist Land Reforms”
Dear Dr. Block: Mises wrote this about pre-capitalist conditions: The pre-capitalistic system of product was restrictive. Its historical basis was military conquest. The victorious kings had given the land to their paladins [i]. Question –Is it legitimate for the state to forcibly redistribute land (title and ownership – not tenancy rights) as part of a Property Rights program? I came up with a fictional example (sorry to Tax your patience, because taxation IS theft): Let us say that in a country called Dystopia, Queen Hillary and her military captured all the land that was homesteaded by lovely peasants and gave it to her paladin Bernie. Bernie set up an extractive State. He ate off the peasants’ labour while promising them free college. When he was done, he passed the land on to his kid Bernie the Baby Boomer; who passed it on to his son Bernie GenX; who in turn passed it to his son Bernie the Millennial aka BernieM. All Bernie’s lived off of Tax Revenue i.e. theft. At the turn of the millennium, the peasants demanded – and got – adult franchise. They elect a hitherto unknown Murray Rothbard as their President. Murray and the peasant Congress pass legislation to forcibly take over BernieM’s land and redistribute (title and ownership – not tenancy rights) based on who is cultivating how much land. They also do away with all taxation, subsequent to which Murray dissolves his government. All goods and services (including ‘government’ services) are privatized. At first glance, President Murray is violating the Non-Aggression Principle and forcibly stealing BernieMs’ land, which is a strict No-No. On second thought:1:33 pm on September 29, 2017
Roger Ailes’ toady who trashed Ron Paul during his most recent presidential run (one instance among several: declaring Ron and his supporters responsible for a fake YouTube ad that was never proven to come from either), is now apparently the recipient of some bad (and some would say well-deserved) karma.
Offending the cast of Will and Grace, insulting Jane Fonda by asking her about her plastic surgery, and then a crew member on air stepping into the camera frame, seeing his mistake, and then cursing on air. (Of course to most people, insulting Hollywood types, especially unintentionally, is hardly any great offense.)
More in the truly offensive category is her cribbing New Ager Oprah, asking her deceased father for career advice (2:29 here). The story of her father suddenly dying at 45 is moving and tragic, but all the more reason to leave the poor man alone and let him rest in peace, not exploit his memory for cheap benefits. Despicable.12:26 pm on September 29, 2017 Email Dale Steinreich
Steve Bannon’s political philosophy needs to be understood because he’s becoming a political force to be reckoned with, what with the win of Roy Moore in Alabama. He’s a conservative, not a classical liberal and certainly not a libertarian. One might start by reading this, this, this and this.
To understand how his ideas line up compared to libertarian ideas, one may consider various questions and then compare the different answers that he gives as opposed to what libertarians give.
What should be done to restore the health of the American economy?
Where does control over property at the personal level come from?
What role do Judeo-Christian values play in capitalism?
What factors underlie long-term business investment?
What factors underlie civil society?
What are the causes of socialism and fascism in American government?
Is Henry Clay’s American System a sound basis for rebuilding America’s economy?
Should today’s policymakers consult Alexander Hamilton’s Report on Manufacturing for inspiration?10:28 am on September 28, 2017 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2017 3:35 PM
Subject: Thoughts on collecting unemployment (insurance)
Walter, As a 25 year old entrepreneur who chose not to attend higher ed I’m pleased to say you’ve helped guide my train of thought in the proper direction since the age of 18. Thank you for contributing to the cause! I always loan out (and buy more copies of) defending the undefendable. Over the past 2 years I’ve been with an online marketing business. Last year I generated $150k and was named a 3% equity shareholder. This year I generated $300k and was just let go 2 Fridays ago. (Now that revenue is especially on autopilot) I do recognize it’s the business owners decision and respect that right. I’ve been a little bitter to this company as they owe me 90 days of compensation due to a severance clause we agreed to, along with still needing to make good on the offer of 3%. I was collecting both salary and commission and recognize this company did not terminate me “properly” according to the state rules. What are your thoughts on collecting unemployment (insurance)? I recognize and hold true that it can have the same effect as feeding a wild bear. Not to mention it’s predicated upon the continuance of force through the state, along with being a massive wealth redistribution. Do you hold any positives on it? In good faith, – Joshua