LRC Blog

A Correspondence With A Professor From A Very Prestigious University

This is a series of letters I had with L, a retired professor of economics from a very prestigious university. B, a former student of L’s, introduced me to him, saying that L was an admirer of mine. Our discussion ranged widely over mainstream and Austrian economics, anti-trust law and welfare economics, discussing the contributions of, among others, Milton Friedman and George Stigler. L supported these two Nobel Prize winners in economics; he was a grad student of the latter’s. I was very critical of Friedman and Stigler. I accused the latter, not just in effect, of intellectual dishonesty. This is five part letter exchange.

Letter 1
On Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 1:04 PM, Walter Block wrote:

Dear B:

Thanks for the introduction to L.

Dear L (if I may):

B said some very nice things about you, including the fact that you and I have much in common, political-economy speaking. So, I thought I’d open up a conversation with you in this way.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 2
From: L
Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2018 1:12 PM
To: Walter Block
Cc: B
Subject: Re: contact info

Walter,

Good to hear from you, and particularly by way of B. Nice to know that he has not given up his Libertarian ways!

I met you once, in fact, we had lunch together with a mutual friend and economists – D.

C and I have both retired. I am 82 and C 78. We both attend seminars, though infrequent. The Department of Economics at xyz is changing, in much the same way that Chicago (and probably the profession as a whole) is changing. MIT seems to be setting the pace. The questions seem less interesting, and the search for more sophisticated statistical tools the primary goal. We still send our share of Ph.D. students to leading universities and receive enough back that it is still a fine undergraduate program. We consider that to be the primary function at xyz – we have no interest in graduate programs of our own. Educate them and send them away. In the West, only Berkeley and Stanford send more undergraduates into Ph.D. programs than xyz. I wish they came back more interested in Political Economy than Statistics, but I can’t change that trend.

Where are Friedman and Stigler when we need them so badly?

L
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11:16 pm on August 5, 2018

Would Jesus be a Trumpian or a Hoppean on Immigration?

And believe that it should be based on private property?  At least one Biblical scholar I know thinks so, and cites the Lord’s own words to make the case, where He calls the interloper who illegally sneaks onto someone else’s land “a thief and a robber.”  Pope Francis must have slept through that class in Jesuit school.

9:29 pm on August 5, 2018

Would Americans be Concerned — Or Alarmed — . . .

. . . if they learned that such high-ranking positions in the U.S. government as attorney general, secretary of state, head of Homeland Security, assistant secretary of defense, national security advisor, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, members of the House and Senate, various foreign ambassadors, and White House staffers were held by citizens of Iran, Syria, Russia, or North Korea?

I doubt it, since no fuss at all has been made over the fact that all of these positions have been or are being held by citizens of the foreign government of Israel.

9:19 pm on August 5, 2018

Challenging Secular Hollywood

For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe in God, no explanation is possible. — From the film, The Song of Bernadette.

For decades there has been a constant relentless meme from Social Conservatives that Hollywood elites have been engaged in a subversive cultural war against the religious values of the majority of Americans. They point to such films as The Miracle Woman, Elmer Gantry, Inherit the Wind, The Night of the Hunter, Agnes of God, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Name of the Rose, Priest, The Magdalene Sisters, Carrie, The Boys of St. Vincent, Life of Brian, Dogma, Wiseblood, Heaven, The Meaning of Life, Bad Dreams, Heaven Help Us, Silent Hill, Deliver Us From Evil, The Golden Compass, Saved, Leap of Faith, There Will Be Blood, and Religulous, as evidentiary documentation for this case. But there are several sterling counter-examples throughout the years which challenge this assertion. These heroic movies have stood the test of time. These films directly herald courageous persons of faith and integrity, and vilify the political authorities persecuting their deep commitment to principle. Eight of the most outstanding are The Song of BernadetteThe Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, The Fugitive, The Passion of Joan of ArcThe Sound of Music, The Prisoner, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days; and For Greator GloryThree excellent follow-up books related to these subjects are Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe, from the French Revolution to the Great War, Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, from the Great War to the War on Terror, and The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century: A Comprehensive World History. Four of these films are presented below:   (more…)

5:48 pm on August 5, 2018

LeBron James Talks Trash to the President Again on CNN

Unlike all the other Republican politicians, Trump doesn’t just sit back and take it when a leftist ignoramus like LeBron James slimes and smears him on television.  He responds by defending himself and going on the offensive.  He behaves like a man, in other words, which is yet another reason why the man-hating femi-Nazis hate him so much.

The lying media scum have responded to Trump’s defending himself against this latest smear attack by insinuating that what he is really criticizing is the fact that LeBron James just put up the money for a small private school in Akron.  We’re supposed to believe that Trump is opposed to mega-wealthy athletes like James doing anything to help inner-city black kids.  No one is hereby permitted to criticize Lefty LeBron forevermore because he donated money to that school.

11:57 am on August 5, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Socialism

Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). The DSA web page contains articles that explain their vision to which Ocasio-Cortez aspires. One of these is “Toward Freedom: Democratic Socialist Theory and Practice: The Democratic Socialist Vision (posted on 12/22/2012) by Joseph Schwartz and Jason Schulman. Let us extract from this article some key goals of Ocasio-Cortez’s socialism as represented in this article. If she has important differences with these quotations and rejects them, she can always say so. She is active in making speeches at present.

In this blog, I do not criticize the assertions or program of these democratic socialists in detail or at length. My goal is mainly to make clear what they are after. I do not repeat their arguments and critique them. My goal is to cut through nearly all their analysis so that we can see clearly their conclusions. I list 10 key quotations. My own brief comments are in brackets below the quotes; that much criticism and/or reaction I cannot resist. I am certain that many readers have very many more acute and pointed reactions than my own.

Quote 1: “…the values of liberal democracy can only be fulfilled when the economy as well as the government is democratically controlled.”

[Imagine every business and consumption decision subjected to democratic or liberal democratic discussion and debate before it’s decided. This is an absolutely impossible vision of interminable conflicts and unsatisfactory resolutions by votes in which majority rules.]

Quote 2: “Socialists therefore argue that private corporate property is not only wrong, but also nonsensical. Wealth is a social creation and should be controlled by society as a whole.”

[No private property? No profit motive? Wealth creation will cease.]

Quote 3: “…however we organize the division of labor—the structure of careers and life opportunities—it should be decided democratically…”

[My goodness, these people are crazy and totalitarian! They intend to decide millions of dynamic forward-looking and personal decisions by endless talk, discussion, debate, vote and consensus formation.]

Quote 4: “…stress democratic control over consumption and social provision, in addition to Marxism’s traditional focus on democratic control over production.”

[Does placing the word “democratic” (as in democratic consumption) in front of every freely-done activity assure that it can be done by political processes? Does the word democratic make the thing better? From whence arises this hugely mistaken faith in the “democratic”? It’s unbelievable.]

Quote 5: “The left would have to organize not only in the formal political arena, but also in the workplace, the neighborhood, the church, and the PTA. Though those who hold electoral state power set the boundaries within which political struggle occurs, organizing in civil society (at the grassroots) is critical for the growth of the left. Cultural, educational, and ideological work is as ‘political’ as are elections.”

[Horrible in its insidious and suffocating vision. What happens to those who do not go along with the program? A left in power or striving for power will resort to violence against others and among themselves. It will not be long before the democratic socialists will be bickering, arguing, disagreeing, and shooting one another.]

Quote 6: “…must reintroduce the values of equality and solidarity which support universal public provision through progressive taxation. And it must also advance a compelling vision of economic growth through greater democratic control over capital. A strategy of gradually encroaching upon the prerogatives of capital will involve creative experiments in workers’ buy-outs, democratic control over pension funds, and mandated worker and consumer representation on corporate boards.”

[Capitalism is to be transformed into crowd control of resources. You can imagine how that’s going to work.]

Quote 7: “But only under socialism will fully democratic debate over the use of society’s wealth be possible and the satisfaction of people’s basic needs assured.”

[The words “democratic debate” in their minds suggests a viable method of ownership and control; but it’s not at all viable. It’s impossible to conceive of any sensible disposition of resources and opportunities resulting from endless debates over preferences and their satisfaction. There cannot be a peaceful resolution and outcome of these problems without private property. The democratic socialists lack all understanding of these basics. What they propose has poverty as the necessary result.]

Quote 8: “If the social democratic welfare state can no longer be sustained strictly on a national level, it must be created on an international level.”

[They hold out for organizing the poorer peoples of foreign countries into an international coalition, especially in countries where the welfare states (socialism in action!) are failing. Let’s all 6 billion of us debate who is to have an ipod.]

Quote 9: “To fulfill the promise of political democracy, which is eviscerated by economic inequality, democratic socialists work towards a society characterized by equality, solidarity, and participation. Participation will not be orchestrated from above by a paternalist state, but will occur from below in the workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools of civil society.”

[The democratic socialist vision provokes the proverbial puking. What’s the difference between a state’s power and the powers exercised in more decentralized ways as in workplaces, neighborhoods and schools? Power is power. Democratic power is still power. “Community” control is still control, and their intent is that this control be over all economic decisions.]

Quote 10: “We will finally eliminate the gross inequalities engendered by a capitalist social order. No longer will the accident of a child’s class, race, or sex influence his or her life opportunities.”

[Ridiculous. This idea of gross inequalities along the lines of class, race and sex being a consequence of capitalism has always been ridiculous and it still is ridiculous. Inequalities are created among other things by one’s own habits, character, thinking, desires, plans, decisions, and work. Class, sex and race are sources of inequality mainly when governments make them so, not through a private property order. How can the capitalistic opportunities to create wealth, to own and control private property, and to make economic decisions free from the needless, retarding and baleful interference of others via democratic debates be considered a bad thing? Under capitalism or a private property order, the incentives to utilize undervalued people are enhanced, not diminished.]

9:03 am on August 5, 2018

Would Anarcho-Capitalism Be Stable?

From: B
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2018 5:38 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: The possibility of a lasting free society

Walter What is the best response to this argument?

Even if we achieve a libertarian, an-cap, voluntarist society, it will never last. Human nature is such that eventually someone will start arguing for a state and people will be persuaded into trying it again. People will always have the capacity to do evil and commit acts of violence; there will always be lazy people looking for handouts; there will always be people that have the lust to rule, and so we will never fully eradicate the state. Murray said that the great battle of all time is between Power and Market and neither will ever truly win. Even if we achieved a system of competing insurance companies for a time, eventually they would either band together or just accumulate power, and enough people would support it for ‘the common good’. Especially if we consider the inevitability of natural disasters in the long run. There will always be crises in the future, and people will always have some fear regarding the uncertainties of life, and thus they will always retain the inclination to have someone take care of them and to look for leaders to follow. As long as there is scarcity there will always be conflicts over their use and the possibility for states to exist.

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3:53 pm on August 4, 2018

For God, Queen, and Country

Liberation and subversion, imperialism and class struggles, war and hypocrisy, betrayal and solidarity, are the variegated plot themes running through this eclectic collection of British films I have selected: The Ruling Class; A Sense of History; The Charge of the Light Brigade; Nineteen Eighty-Four; and Breaker Morant.

1:59 pm on August 4, 2018

Which Career Path Should This High School Student Take? Money? Promoting Liberty?

From: J
Sent: Saturday
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: High-Schooler Planning for Econ. Career

Hi Prof. Block, I’m going to be a sophomore next year at Apponequet Regional High School in Lakeville, MA, and I have recently been thinking about what I would like to do with my life. Through the presidential campaign of Rand Paul, I fell down the libertarian rabbit-hole in 2015, and after wrestling with the ideas of liberty for some time, I found Rothbard and became an anarcho-capitalist or private-law libertarian. Since then, I have been absolutely hooked on libertarian theory and Austrian economics. I was just curious if you have any advice that you could give me regarding how to turn Austrian economics into a profitable career for myself one day. Of course, I will not be graduating from high school until the spring of 2021, but I figure that I should begin thinking about this now. All the best, J

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11:48 pm on August 3, 2018

Death of a Nation


I just viewed at the cinema Dinesh D’Souza’s new epic agit/prop documentary, Death of a Nation. It is probably the best work of its kind since Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will. The film is bold, audacious, and incredibly flawed in several major aspects of its portrayal of history, particularly its deification of Abraham Lincoln as savior figure, much as Riefenstahl deified Adolf Hitler as the German messiah. The film begins with a brief review of fascism and national socialism in the early 20th century, of their origins and ideological basis, and how these left-wing totalitarian movements came to power in Italy and Germany. It explores their commonality or mutual admiration for FDR’s New Deal. This powerful section of the movie will prompt the viewer to stand up and cheer for revealing deep truths hidden from the vast majority of Americans. But D’Sousa then tries to portray 1930s “progressives” on the left as proto-Nazis and supporters of the Third Reich. This is absurd. Yes, in some aspects Nazi Germany was a state modeled upon ideas first put forward by American Democrats such as segregation, ethnic cleansing of native Americans, eugenics and the war collectivism during WWI. But during the thirties progressives, fellow travelers, and prominent liberal Democrats were members of the communist-created Popular Front against fascism. Accordingly, one powerful image that does not appear in the film is posted above. It is the massive 1939 Chicago rally of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) in September (just after World War II erupted in Europe). A giant iconic image of Lincoln dominates the stage. This was when the Party, led by General Secretary Earl Browder, was pushing the slogan, “Communism is 20th Century Americanism.” Who better to choose than the Great Emancipator as the symbol of their duplicitous campaign of subversion and class warfare because Lincoln, as the destroyer of the decentralized federal republic of sovereign states created by the American Framers, precipitated the murderous War Against Southern Independence. The triumphalist epic closes with a choir singing in a sanctuary that bloody anthem of Northern genocide, The Battle Hymn of the Republic (authored by the wife of one of “the Secret Six” financial angels of the homicidal terrorist John Brown).

6:12 pm on August 3, 2018

Racism?

I’m having a debate with a friend of mine who opposes racism, adamantly, and, yet, denies there is any distinction to be made between the races. Kooky, no? His main “argument” is that there is a gradation in most people; hardly anyone, nowadays, is a pure anything. Including him. He claims to be 1% black, although he admits he looks as white as I am. I’ve tried this argument on him to no avail: Roygbiv. The colors shade into one another. That doesn’t mean we can tell red from orange from yellow, etc. Similarly, the races shade into one another. That doesn’t mean we can’t tell one from the other. Neither colors nor races are social constructs. Both are part of reality. We ignore any part of reality at our peril, whether colors or races or anything else. Color blindedness is a handicap. So is race blindedness. When accused of racism, I’m now gonna claim I have at least one black friend, namely, him. It seems plain and obvious to me that whites are better than blacks in swimming and as baroque musicians, while blacks are better than whites, proportionately, at jazz, running and basketball. Yes, he would deny this, since, there is no such thing as races, or racial differences. Oh, yet, here is yet another way out on the limb claim of mine: blacks have darker skin, on average (there are some exceptions), than whites. If this be racism, count me in.

9:31 pm on August 2, 2018

Assad Wins: Voting With Their Feet, Syrians Come Home

12:43 pm on August 2, 2018

The Libertarian Position on Secession

“[Classical] liberalism . . . forces no one against his will into the structure of the state.  Whoever wants to emigrate is not held back. When a part of the people of the state wants to drop out of the union, liberalism does not hinder it from doing so.  Colonies that want to become independent need only to do so.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Nation, State and Economy, p. 39

The “princely state,” on the other hand, “strives relentlessly or expansion of its territory and for increase in the number of its subjects . . . .  The more land and the more subjects, the more revenues and the more soldiers.  Only in the size of the state does assurance of its preservation lie.”

8:04 am on August 2, 2018

Rand Versus Rothbard

From: L
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2018 7:57 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Ayn Rand

Hello Walter, I’m not sure you would remember me, but we met briefly at the Mises Institute 2017. I am emailing you because I have listened to many interviews of yours discussing your time with Ayn Rand, and her intolerance of people questioning her beliefs, and it has me wondering if you could clarify something for me. What were the contradictions you speak of regarding Ayn Rand’s views, and what would you say are the most significant differences between Ayn Rand’s beliefs vs Murray Rothbard. Thank you for your time, L
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6:15 pm on August 1, 2018

Crossing the Swamp


“One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

10:31 am on August 1, 2018

The Rosetta Stone To Unlocking American History

After viewing Dr. Brion McClanahan’s excellent online college level course on The War for Southern Independence, I am even more convinced than ever that the key to unlocking an understanding of the dynamic of American history, from colonization to the present, is grasping the tremendous impact of the conflicts and contributions the various ethnocultural and ethnoreligious immigrant groups have made on these shores. This is a subject I first began intensely studying forty years ago in 1978 due to the pioneering work in this area by Murray N. Rothbard. This is the Rosetta Stone that deciphers and explains it all. Here are six authoritative volumes which present the essential backstory. I could list dozens of others: Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America; The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, Civil Warfare, And The Triumph Of Anglo-America; Redeemer Nation: The Idea of America’s Millennial RoleThe Puritan Origins of American Patriotism; America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation; and The Progressive Era.

2:28 am on August 1, 2018

Legalize Everything That Does Not Violate the NAP

From: D
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2018 2:24 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: How to help the Black community

Want to Help the Black Community?

Walter, I’ve been enjoying your articles and blog comments for years. Lewrockwell.com has been my “go to” site for news and opinion for more than a decade.

I’m pretty much on board with drug legalization and see how it would drastically reduce “standard” drugs like pot, cocaine, and heroin. But wouldn’t there still be an underground market for meth and powerful “designer drugs”? How could they ever be regulated so they were relatively safe and legal? D

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4:20 pm on July 31, 2018

War Is A Racket: After 17 Years and Billions Wasted, US Seeks Peace With Taliban

12:45 pm on July 31, 2018

BUSTED! — Western-Produced Weapons End Up In Terrorists’ Hands

12:10 pm on July 31, 2018

What Is A Free Market Supporter? Is He Necessarily Rich? No.

From: C
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2018 10:44 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re:

Walter,

BTW, there are lots of docs who are quintessential free marketers! Every Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and 1000s of others doing “elective” doctoring don’t (and can’t) use any forms of socialized medicine, insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, etc… Good businessmen docs of these sorts make $1M a year rather than a couple $100,000. Whatever the market can bear.

Dear C (this person is a faculty colleague of mine at Loyola University, not, of course, from the econ dept, perish the thought):

You and I have very different views of what constitutes free marketers. You seem to equate it with earning great wealth disreputably. The free enterprise sysem does indeed lead to general prosperity, but “rich” and “free market supporter” are not synonyms. Otherwise, “rich socialist” or “poor free marketer” would be a contradictions in terms, and they are not.

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6:32 pm on July 30, 2018

A Modest Suggestion for D.C.

Now that the city fathers and mothers (a.k.a. sleaezeball cultural Marxist politicians) of Austin, Texas want to rename the place because Stephen Austin was a slave owner, I think it would be appropriate as well to rename Washington, D.C. (and Washington state) since George Washington was a slave owner for 56 years.   The assumption behind all such proposals to erase American history is the notion that all the problems of the so-called  “black underclass” stem from “the legacy of slavery” and have nothing –nothing! — at all to do with the welfare state, the war on drugs, the rotten inner city goverment schools, the minimum wage law, the horrors of public housing, etc.  Consequently, it would seem appropriate to rename D.C. something like Kingville, after M.L. King, Jr.  This will guarantee an instant disappearance of all the problems of the “black underclass” and “marginalized communities,” as the cultural Marxist Left calls it.

12:29 pm on July 30, 2018

Perpetual War For Perpetual Greed – US Threatens Iran (Again)

12:27 pm on July 30, 2018

Want to Help the Black Community?

Want to help the black community?

1. Legalize all drugs. The result will be fewer blacks in jail, less black on black murder, fighting over drug turf. None, at least not from that cause. We ended alcohol prohibition: no more murders over alcohol turf.

2. Eliminate the minimum wage law; less black unemployment. Right now the unemployment rate for black teens (the subgroup most in need of help), is QUADRUPLE (LET ME REPEAT THAT: QUADRUPLE) that of white adults. Before the advent of this evil law, there was no difference in the unemployment rates of the two groups

3. Get rid of the welfare system. It didn’t break up the black family, it caused it not to form in the first place. 75% of black kids don’t have a mother and a father in their home. Before welfare, the black and white families were in a virtual tie for intactness. Read on this Charles Murray’s magnificent book, Losing Ground.

4. Get rid of affirmative action. It’s like putting me in the ring with Mike Tyson after I’ve had a few boxing lessons. It is unfair to black students to place them in universities where the average SAT score is several hundred points above theirs. It steers them into majoring in whining studies instead of STEM.

Those are my moderate proposals.

My radical one? Severely punish, with jail sentences, the people, politicians, bureaucrats, responsible for harming the black community with these policies in the first place.

8:39 pm on July 29, 2018

On The Upcoming November Elections

There are around 100 days until the November mid-term congressional elections and the establishment media are already frothing at their mouths with their pitiful predictions and prognostications. Why do Americans continually listen to these self-anointed electoral pundits (who speak in the name of “everyone”) when they have such a miserable track record on predicting the campaign viability of candidates? Look up the historical factual data for yourself on these past races.

In 1972, “everyone” early on predicted Edmund Muskie was the cinch Democratic presidential candidate;

In 1976, dark horse Trilateral Commission candidate Jimmy Carter astounded the pundits with his acceleration in the primaries due to massive coverage from the establishment media (while those in the know knew that “the fix” had been on from the beginning for Jimmy);

In 1980, “everyone” early on predicted GOP candidate John Connolly and Democrat Ted Kennedy were the sure things;

In 1984, Democratic candidate Gary “Where’s the Beef?” Hart was the sure thing;

In 1988, Democrat Gary Hart was again the sure thing until that “Monkey Business.” Later Democrat nominee Michael Dukakis took that infamous ride and his campaign tanked;

In 1992, “everyone” was eyeing Democrat Jerry Brown. The Bush crime family forces insurgent Ross Perot out of the presidential race because of what Perot knows about the Southeast Asian narcotics networks and missing POW cover-up leading directly to the Oval Office. In a hasty last minute effort Perot tries to reinvigorate his campaign but “the fix” was on for Democrat nominee “Slick Willie” to steal home;

In 1996, lackluster GOP Bob Dole challenged incumbent Democrat Bill Clinton (“the fix” was on for Dole to take a fall and take down all the insurgent freshmen congressmen elected in 1994 who voted for the bogus reforms of the Contract With America);

In 2000, “everyone” was touting GOP maverick John ”Tokyo Rose” McCain. But in fulfillment of the terms of George W. H. Bush’s alleged pledge to take the fall in 1992, his son and heir is anointed president by the Supreme Court in one of the most infamous and corrupt races of modern times.

For most of 2003, insurgent antiwar Democrat Howard Dean had been the apparent front-runner for the 2004 nomination, performing strongly in most polls and leading the pack in fund-raising. Then over a span of a few days his candidacy was destroyed by the most intense mainstream media barrage in history, leaving John Kerry as the establishment’s anointed;

In 2008, “everyone” early on asserted Rudy Giuliani was the sure thing for the GOP, while Democrat front runner Hillary Clinton was upended by the unknown dark-horse Barack Obama. GOP candidate Ron Paul was shamefully marginalized, treated with disdain and contempt, or ignored in one of the most disgraceful and despicable episodes in American political history;

In 2012, Ron Paul, the GOP candidate with the largest grass-roots base of enthusiastic supporters and the most phenomenal online campaign funding abilities in history in raising millions in his celebrated “money bombs,” was again sabotaged in state after state and his campaign destroyed by the GOP elite who hated, feared, and loathed his insurgent candidacy, placing the lackluster corporatist Mitt Romney as the nominee.

And leading up to 2016, Jeb Bush was lauded by “everyone” as the new crown prince and heir apparent of the Dynasty. But out of the vile GOP wilderness of neocons, nabobs, and neanderthals, emerged Donald Trump. The Democrats (after sabotaging the insurgent Bernie Sanders), joined the Never-Trump GOP cohort, and the establishment media and its menagerie of presstitutes and regime stenographers in unabashedly and openly being ensconced in the hip pocket of Hillary Clinton’s pants suit.

All in all, triumphs for the deep state and the party oligarchs it enables.

6:53 pm on July 29, 2018

Tariffs Are Indeed A Rights Violation

Dear B: Tariffs, like taxes, are a rights violation since money is seized in both cases by governments, against the will of those who pay them. I don’t see either tariffs or taxes, as at all akin to posting a bond, assuring good behavior.

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6:54 pm on July 28, 2018

Robert De Niro

A couple of days ago I viewed on TV Robert De Niro’s latest film, The Comedian, which came out last year. From first to last it is a celebration of his character’s angry, viciously foul-mouthed rants and aberrant episodic behavior that gets him in one devastating self-destructive encounter after another. Along the way he meets a similar young woman and they proceed with a bizarre “relationship” based on their mutual sociopathic personalities. From his public demeanor over the past several years, this must be the true persona of the great but tragically flawed actor. I believe that one could multiply his similar dysfunctional public outrages across the entertainment/media spectrum from Hollywood progressives to East Coast misanthropic boors and pompous elites.

1:46 pm on July 28, 2018

How Best to Promote Liberty?

Dear M: As far as I’m concerned, this is an empirical issue: what will work best in converting people to liberty. In my view, there is no one right way to do this. The two most successful people in this endeavor, in terms of numbers of people converted, are Ayn Rand and Ron Paul. Yet, they were polar opposites in terms of how they approached this. Ron has always been a sweetie pie; no one would say this of Ayn. I am buttressed in this view by Austrian subjectivism: different strokes for different folks. Then, there are those who rely on the Meyers-Briggs findings to explain why we have such great difficulty adding to our numbers: most present libertarians fit into a psychological grouping which encompasses a very small part of the entire electorate. I’m up in the air about this one too. My own thought is that most people are hard-wired not to accept Austro-libertarianism, and that we, who do, are sort of like biological mutants. I am not aware of the relevant literature, but, if readers of this blog supply me with any, I’ll send it to you. Best regards, Walter

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2:16 am on July 28, 2018

Peter Dale Scott On The American War Machine


Classic interview of Peter Dale Scott in which he brilliantly outlines and places in historical context his vast body of decades of authoritative research on deep politics, deep events, and the deep state. I believe The American War Machine to be his finest work, a majestic synthesis delving into the clouded netherworld of hidden history.

Publisher’s Weekly Stared Review notes:

In Scott’s view, the American military-industrial complex so feared by Eisenhower has grown into a military-industrial-corporate behemoth. This ‘overclass,’ often functioning independently from the official elected government, has spearheaded countless actions that it perceives to be in the best interest of perpetuating American hegemony. With exhaustive research and extremely persuasive arguments, Scott seeks to prove that the funding and motivation behind America’s assertion of global supremacy can be traced to drugs. Drug money fueled American actions in Laos and Vietnam during the Cold War, American support of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the ’80s, and defines American political action in Latin America and present-day Afghanistan. By looking at covert activity and recorded history through the lens of American global dominance, Scott makes a terrifyingly compelling case; he asks readers to consider what actions taken in the last fifty years have not benefited America’s military-industrial complex, such an integral part of the global economy. . . . [His] carefully structured arguments never fail to interest or disturb.

8:25 pm on July 27, 2018

Digital Dementia and Brain Hacking

Brain Hacking 160 Minutes; Brain Hacking 2 – 60 minutes; Brain Hacking 360 Minutes

The following script is from “Brain Hacking,” which aired on 60 Minutes on April 9, 2017. Anderson Cooper is the correspondent. Guy Campanile, producer.

Have you ever wondered if all those people you see staring intently at their smartphones — nearly everywhere, and at all times — are addicted to them? According to a former Google product manager you are about to hear from, Silicon Valley is engineering your phone, apps and social media to get you hooked. He is one of the few tech insiders to publicly acknowledge that the companies responsible for programming your phones are working hard to get you and your family to feel the need to check in constantly. Some programmers call it “brain hacking” and the tech world would probably prefer you didn’t hear about it. But Tristan Harris openly questions the long-term consequences of it all and we think it’s worth putting down your phone to listen.

7:17 pm on July 27, 2018

Will All Restrooms Someday Be Unisex?

Another federal judge has ruled in favor of gender-confused students, “saying that saying that forcing them to use restrooms that correspond with the gender they were assigned at birth would violate civil rights law.” This follows a federal judge’s ruling last year “against a group of parents and other community members who were seeking to bar a school district from allowing transgender girls and boys from sharing bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice with other girls and boys.”

If this continues, as it no doubt will, will all restrooms someday be unisex by government decree?

9:01 pm on July 26, 2018