LRC Blog

Texas is Still Ron Paul Country!

Texas is still Ron Paul country! I went in to the family-owned Brazosport Tire to get a front end alignment and not only did I get the friendliest service you can imagine, but they recognized me from the Ron Paul Liberty Report, which they said they catch whenever they have the opportunity! They said they also try to listen to Scott Horton as often as possible. Great people! So happy to give them my business!

7:29 pm on September 19, 2018

‘Fort Trump’…In Poland?

12:53 pm on September 19, 2018

Pope to Pedophile Priests: Take the Fifth

That’s what Jesus would do, in the opinion of the PC Pope.  And all these years I thought the job of Catholic priests like the pope was to hear confessions of sin, not to advise the sinners to remain silent about their sins.  (The literally thousands of claims of children having been molested or raped by Catholic priests is the work of “the devil unleashed,” says the PC Pope who now urges a vow of silence on the matter, advice that any good criminal defense attorney would also offer).

UPDATE:  An emailer writes that the pope sounds more like a mafia don instructing his minions to “take the Fifth,” and that this is probably a “dog whistle” to the silent faithful who know of further sex crimes but have not spoken out.

9:38 am on September 19, 2018

Can Rights Clash, According to Libertarian Law? No.

Can Rights Clash, According to Libertarian Law? No.

Question 1: Based on my understanding, rights only clash if the NAP is violated. Is this true?

Answer 1: No. Suppose you and I both claim the same hat. The hat is sitting there. Our rights over that hat clash, even though neither of us used violence against the other. We’re having an honest disagreement.

Question 2: So when we say rights don’t clash, it assumes everything has been clearly defined and everyone is at peace?

Answer 2: People THINK rights clash, and they fight over them, but, the libt view is that if rights seem to clash, then one or both of them are mis specified. Right now, you and I are still claiming that hat. But only one of us, or none of us, may properly be the owner of that hat, if you exclude the possibility that we both own a share in that hat. If rights clash then, according to the mainstream viewpoint, they must be “balanced.” But no principle is ever forthcoming that would answer the question of which principles are to be used in this “balancing” act. Balancing, here, is always arbitrary, capricious and unprincipled.

3:14 pm on September 18, 2018

Two Questions in Political Economy

Question 1: At least during the last two hundred years we have seen in the world a spectacular increase in the quality of life, thanks to capitalism. However, during the same period we have also seen an amazing growth of the State. How could this apparent paradox be explained?

Response 1: The state is an impediment to growth. We achieve prosperity despite it, not because of it. At present, our GDP statistics include government expenditures. Murray Rothbard rightly contended that these payments should be subtracted from private sector goods and services, not added to them.. The capitalist system is so productive that our natural statist instincts promote it, as we become richer, can more and more afford it.

Question 2: The History manipulation by political interests (for example, the history that was taught to German children during the Nazi regime, or in the Soviet Union) can be considered as a violation of the principle of non-aggression?

Response 2: Lies are not a per se violation of the NAP. I now tell you that 2+2=5. I lied. Did I violate the NAP? No. If lies were a crime, then all professors who profess Marxism, Keynesianism, Chicagoism, Public Choice, anything but Austro libertarianism, would be considered criminals. I’m pretty radical, but, I don’t go that far. Am I wussing out? I don’t think so.

2:16 pm on September 18, 2018

Russian Plane Shot Down Near Syria – Who’s At Fault?

1:27 pm on September 18, 2018

‘How Presstitutes Rob America of Peace & Prosperity’ – Gerald Celente at RPI’s Media & War Conference

12:36 pm on September 17, 2018

Vance Lecture in Atlanta

If you are in the Atlanta area, note that on Thursday, Sept. 20, I will be speaking at a Future of Freedom Foundation event at Spelman College called “Mass Incarceration & The Drug War.” Registration and conference information is here.

3:26 pm on September 16, 2018

More Conservative Protectionist Nonsense

I recently wrote about the latest conservative defense of tariffs. Now here comes more conservative protectionist nonsense: Trump tariffs are good business for the U.S. steel and aluminum industries. Not mentioned is that they are bad for the lobster industry and 200 companies hurt by tariffs.

8:06 pm on September 15, 2018

Much Ado about Nothing

Conservatives, and especially religious conservatives, are ecstatic that public schools in Florida must now display the state motto “In God We Trust” in “a conspicuous place” due to a new state law. Evidently, Florida did not trust God before 2006, the first year that the phrase was declared to be the state motto. This is all much ado about nothing—just like the controversy over schools posting the Ten Commandments. A public school is a government school and therefore should not exist. Public schools indoctrinate children with environmentalism, militarism, socialism, and every other evil “ism” all the while failing to really teach children. They should be shut down. Posting “In God We Trust” and the Ten Commandments in every classroom and hallway and restroom can’t possibly right the wrongs that committed by public schools.

9:59 pm on September 14, 2018

Hate-Filled Leftist Intellectual Pygmies at Washington and Lee University . . .

. . . fail to get the university administration to denigrate Robert E. Lee by doing away with Lee’s Chapel where Lee and other family members are entombed.  The poor little commie crybabies on the faculty who pushed for this are threatening to leave the university.  Good riddance!

2:57 pm on September 13, 2018

Pompeo Green-Lights More Saudi Slaughter In Yemen

12:40 pm on September 13, 2018

Why Marxists and Nazis Were Ideological Bloodbrothers

“Both parties, Marxism and National Socialism [i.e., Nazism] agree in opposing [classical] Liberalism and rejecting the capitalist social order.  Both desire a socialist order of society.  The only difference in their programme lies in slight variations in their respective pictures of the future socialist state; non-essential variations, as we could easily show.  The foremost demands of the National Socialist agitation are different from those of the Marxists.  While the Marxists speak of abolishing the commodity character of labour, the National Socialists [Nazis] speak of breaking the slavery of interest.  While the Marxists hold the “capitalists” responsible for every evil, the National Socialists think to express themselves more concretely by shouting ‘Death to the Jews’ . . . . Marxism, National Socialism, and other anti-capitalist parties . . .all agree on the decisive problem of reshaping the social order: they reject private ownership in the means of production and desire a socialist order of society.”

— Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, p. 451. (Published in German in 1922; first English edition published in 1936).

7:44 pm on September 12, 2018

Origins of the Military Oath of Allegiance to the D.C. Deep State

Prior to 1861 West Point cadets took an oath of allegiance to their home states, since everyone at that time considered their home state to be their country, just as Spaniards considered Spain to be their country, the French with France, etc.  This is why Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution defines treason as “only . . . levying war upon the United States . . .” with “United States” in the plural, meaning all the individual states, not the D.C. government.

The oath was changed by the Lincoln regime in 1861 as an oath of allegiance to D.C. when it redefined treason to mean criticism of Lincoln, his administration, his words, or his policies — and enforced at gunpoint.  Of course, levying war upon the free and independent states — the very definition of treason in the Constitution — is exactly what Lincoln did, so that all those West Pointers who were a part of the Union Army were traitors to the Constitution, regardless of whatever oath the Lincoln regime ordered them to take.  (Hat tip to Bob Shaw).

4:27 pm on September 12, 2018

Constitution of No Authority; Public Goods Fallacy

From: R
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 9:49 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Libertarian Questions

Professor Block,

My name is R and I’m a big fan of your writings. I’ve finished The Case for Discrimination, Defending the Undefendable, and Toward a Libertarian Society. I just finished Toward a Libertarian Society and thought your take on abortion and stem-cell research was fascinating. Your “evictionist” approach to both topics is brilliant and very original!

I have two questions for you:

–In Toward a Libertarian Society, you state in chapter 46 (Federalism: Is It Libertarian?) that the Constitution is “illicit” and suggest that it has no authority. Can you please explain that to me or direct me to a book or some other writing for further explanation?

–Can you recommend any good books about how a libertarian society would address the “public goods” issue?

I’ll be starting Water Capitalism in about a month; I can’t wait to read it!

Thanks for your time, R

Dear R:

Thanks for your kind words.

Which Defending the Undefendable? There are now two of them.

The best thing to read on the Constitution of no authority is this:

Spooner, Lysander. (1870) 1966. No Treason, Larkspur, Colorado: Ralph Myles
http://www.lysanderspooner.org/notreason.htm

On public goods, go here:

(more…)

12:37 pm on September 12, 2018

Why Do The Palestinians Get Ripped Off?

12:25 pm on September 12, 2018

More Senseless Deaths than on 9/11

The U.S. soldiers who have died in vain and for a lie in Iraq and Afghanistan.

6:24 pm on September 11, 2018

Let’s All Help Ross Ulbricht

Ordinarily, I keep my correspondents anonymous. No need to do that here. Indeed, the very opposite is the case. Please, let’s all get on board with this.

Letter 1:

From: Lyn Ulbricht [mailto:lyn@freeross.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 6:31 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Free Ross Donation

Dear Walter,

Thank you for your generous support and contribution to Ross’s defense, as well as to Internet freedom, privacy and restraint of government expansion.

We are now seeking clemency from the president and preparing for one last court battle. Every donation fights back, especially ones like yours. We have a long way to go, but are so encouraged by your support!

Please continue to help us by signing the petition and spreading the word about our campaign. If you haven’t already please follow us on social media, share Ross’s petition and check out freeross.org. In addition, we welcome any ideas or other help.

This is an enormous challenge and we can’t succeed without the generous support of people like you. Knowing you are out there gives us the strength to persevere in this struggle.

You have our heartfelt thanks.

Lyn

FreeRoss.org
Follow us: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Sign the petition

Letter 2:

On Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 12:15 PM, Walter Block wrote:

Dear Lyn:

I’ll do my best to promote this.

Best regards,

Walter

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Loyola University New Orleans
6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318
New Orleans, LA 70118
wblock@loyno.edu
Skype: Walter.Block4
tel: (504) 864-7934

Letter 3:

Walter,

Thank you so much for your support. It really means a lot.

Sincerely,

Lyn

FreeRoss.org
Follow us: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Sign the petition

Also, see this article I wrote about Ross:

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Is Ross Ulbricht of Silk Road a Libertarian Hero?” Journal of Economic and Social Thought. www.kspjournals.org. September, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 327-332;
http://www.kspjournals.org/index.php/JEST/issue/view/68;
http://www.kspjournals.org/index.php/JEST/article/view/909;
http://www.kspjournals.org/index.php/JEST/article/view/909/1023
http://kspjournals.org/index.php/JEST/article/view/909; http://www.targetliberty.com/2017/12/more-on-ross-ulbricht-and-trump-pardon.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TargetLiberty+%28Target+Liberty%29

2:03 pm on September 11, 2018

What We Haven’t Learned Since 9/11

12:32 pm on September 11, 2018

Bolton: We’ll Protect the Jihadists

Foreign jihadists who flocked to Syria now inhabit Idlib:

“Since 2015, Idlib has been home to a complex array of anti-regime forces: secular rebels, Islamists, Syrian jihadists with ties to al-Qaeda – and their foreign counterparts.

“The non-Syrians include fighters from Uzbekistan, Chechnya and China’s ethnic Uygur minority who cut their teeth in other wars but then swarmed to Syria to take up the cause.”

Terrorists in Idlib need only let loose a few tanks of chlorine, an essential element used to purify water, in order to provide the U.S., Britain and France an excuse to bomb Syria. Excuse it is, because far worse weapons uses and abuses occur across the planet.

Bolton’s threat against Assad’s offensive then becomes an Islamic Jihad Protection Act. The jihadists are useful in Idlib to prevent an even larger and obvious victory by Assad and his allies, especially Russia and Iran. Bolton is openly sidelining the objective of destroying jihadist terrorists, making it nominal.

If Assad takes Idlib, there is no doubt that he will then be in a position to expel American forces located in the east and south of Syria. Such a victory for Russia, Iran and Syria is anathema to the upholders of the U.S. empire. It puts the U.S. weakness on prominent display, undermining its efforts elsewhere as in Afghanistan.

3:33 pm on September 10, 2018

Hiding Socialism Under Euphemisms

You’ve probably never heard of Harrop Froma, but her acceptance and rationalizations of socialism in America probably mirror how a great many Americans think. Her views are worth examining for that reason.

She wrote an essay on socialism because socialism is coming out of the closet, and she thinks that American socialists are not genuine socialists.

Bernie Sanders got the ball rolling. Then socialists Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley won Democratic primary slots. Bill Maher says Americans are already socialists and the country is quasi-socialist. Comedian Jim Carrey has chipped in: “We have to say yes to socialism — to the word and everything. We have to stop apologizing.” Elizabeth Warren proposes to socialize corporate ownership, taking ownership away from stockholders.

Froma Harrop says that these self-proclaimed socialists are not genuine socialists and that America doesn’t have piece-meal socialism. For each piece of socialism that we indeed have, she offers a euphemism. Price controls are not socialism, she claims: “A mandated $15 minimum wage is not socialism. It’s a labor regulation.” Is Medicare socialism? She reassures us “Medicare is socialized insurance” but “Medicare is not socialized medicine”. What? Is a single basehit any less a hit because it’s not a home run?

Ms. Harrop doesn’t want us to think we have socialism, so she defines it away. “‘Spreading the wealth’ is not socialism” she affirms. Scandinavian countries are “not taking the means of production away from the private owners. They’re just taxing wealth and using the proceeds to fund their plush social safety nets.”

Just taxing wealth? Just spreading the wealth? Just regulating the price of labor? Just socializing insurance? These are all socialistic. They all are socialism.

Ms. Harrop overlooks a vital fact. People themselves as they offer labor are a means of production. As Ludwig von Mises writes “Labor is the most scarce of all primary means of production…because every variety of production requires the expenditure of labor.”

Taxation does take away means of production from private owners. Taxes on labor divert resources to government hands to spend as it sees fit. This is socialism.

Taxes on labor in America are the largest source of government income. One old estimate says 75%. Economists argue over the incidence of other taxes; some say that 50-100% of corporate taxes fall on labor. Whatever the numbers are, there is no denying that as cattle or sheep are to a rancher, we are to the government.

As everyone should know by now, thorough-going socialism involving nationalizations visibly destroys people, an economy, a country and its government. Not widely acknowledged enough is that piece-meal, creeping and sneaky socialism involving taxation, socialized money, regulations and controls just takes longer. Its harms are less visible and less easy to trace back to their socialist origin. That’s the only difference.

2:38 pm on September 10, 2018

More War Lies? ‘Anonymous Sources’ Claim Assad About To Use Gas

1:30 pm on September 10, 2018

H.L. Mencken Deconstructs the Gettysburg Address

Calls it “oratory” but not truth or logic.

12:18 pm on September 10, 2018

The Gettysburg Address Decoded

By Gary North.  “Government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations.”

7:45 pm on September 9, 2018

Tucker Carlson vs. Objectivist Amy Peikoff on Whether Jeff Bezos is Villain or Hero


As ugly as NFL opening week…well, every NFL week! Sorry Tucker, objectivists are not libertarians and your opening straw man was as pathetic as it gets. Unfortunately, despite a golden opportunity, Peikoff wasn’t that impressive either. Being American doesn’t obligate anyone to celebrate anything, never mind Jeff Bezos.

12:43 am on September 9, 2018

10 Questions for the Ruling Class (That It Will Never Answer)

Actually more than 10, but the rest seem to be follow-ups to the main 10. I particularly like 4, 7, 9:

4. If your ideas are so obviously true why does anyone who questions them need to be shamed, silenced, and fired?
7. After spending more than a trillion dollars and thousands of lives attacking Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and getting nothing for it, why does it now make sense to start new wars in Syria and Iran?
9. How is it fair to use public resources to bail out reckless financial institutions that caused the last economic collapse?

12:33 am on September 9, 2018

Police Officer Returns Home to Wrong Apartment, Kills Neighbor

Another nice example to send to your conservative friends who say, “Why do you fear the ‘good guys?’  If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”

3:13 pm on September 8, 2018

The Deep State and the Anti-Trump Coup: A Retrospective

Recently on LRC Pat Buchanan and Bill Sardi have outlined the ongoing efforts of the anti-Trump coup orchestrated by the deep state.  On October 4, 2015 I first raised the question of the relationship of presidential candidate Donald Trump and the deep state. I believed that this pivotal issue would become the central focus analysts should examine behind the superficial campaign rhetoric of the 2016  election.  How the establishment elites viewed the Trump candidacy would be the crucial subtext to note.  On the November election night in 2016 I issued this following prophetic warning of things to come. My dire prediction is still in the process of being fulfilled.

8:59 am on September 8, 2018

Steve Schmidt Ramps Up Anti-Trump Attack

Steve Schmidt was a campaign strategist for Bush 2 and McCain. He has been a top-level Republican. In June of this year, he resigned from the Republican Party, citing the cowardice of its leaders who would not check Trump.

In June, Schmidt criticized Trump severely for 5 reasons; (1) Stirring up people with lies at rallies; (2) attacking minorities; (3) creating a sense of people being victimized; (4) alleging conspiracies, like the deep state; and (5) claiming to be above the law.

Three months later, Schmidt has radically altered his attack. He now says Trump is “psychologically unfit”. Even worse, he’s “mentally ill and mentally unfit”.

Why should anyone worry one whit about foreigners soiling the Snow White American electoral process when we have hundreds and thousands of Schmidts openly and anonymously trying to hound Trump from office?

Did Schmidt learn something between June and September that allowed him to conclude that Trump wasn’t just a racist, lying demagogue but indeed mentally ill and incapable of doing the job? Why hasn’t he told us what he saw? Why doesn’t he tell us how he missed such an important fact 3 months ago? He had plenty of time in the years preceding to see that Trump has some variety of mental illness. And what exactly is the illness he is suffering from? Couldn’t Schmidt fill us all in on that important detail? Is he paranoid? Is he schizophrenic? Is he depressed? Is he manic depressive? What is his disorder? Does he have delusions? Is he a megalomaniac? Is he taking medication for this illness? Has his doctor diagnosed this? Does Trump refuse his meds?

Schmidt and others who are making extreme statements like his have read the same tweets available to all. He has access to the same speeches and statements we all do. What can he point to that shows mental illness? The whole mental illness thing is as much a red herring as are such charges as misogyny, xenophobia, racism, consorting with the enemy and being a traitor. And we obviously cannot conclude madness in the White House from Bob Woodward’s gossip/hearsay or the babbling of Mr. Anonymous in his op-ed.

All the evidence points in one direction and one direction only. Large numbers of the Democratic-Republican Establishment intensely dislike Trump’s policies that threaten the empire, them and their positions. They are all trying to oust him from office without losing their own seats and positions. The attacks on Trump are inspired by political differences that impact upon the beliefs, the livelihoods and the positions of those who will lose out if Trump has a chance to follow his instincts and rein in the empire.

Schmidt’s charge of insanity like many statements about Trump are never proven or backed up by anything. There are incredibly baseless lies and false accusations like his constantly being floated by men and women inside Congress and out, which the brainless media do not dig into or question that could not stand up in court for 5 seconds.

If Mueller ever comes up with a report that suggests obstruction of justice, that will add to this travesty.

Obama has tossed in his entirely worthless two cents with his own version of these kinds of attacks on Trump. In a single speech, he manages to call Trump a Nazi or Nazi-sympathizer, an obstructor of justice, and a KGB asset who has left the American electorate open to attack. Obama manages to label Trump supporters as people who are fearful and resentful of people of color. Obama’s speech is truly ghastly politics. This is where this election stands this year. It is getting worse as the election approaches. Worse lies and false charges are ready to be sown in the near future. This spectacle is a truly nauseating example of democracy.

7:31 pm on September 7, 2018

Why Bob Woodward Says Trump is “Crazy”

Journalist Mark Steyn has an advance copy of the new Bob Woodward book on the allegedly “crazy” Trump White House, the new theme of the deep state, which dreams of using the 25th Amendment to get rid of Trump and replace him with another Clinton/Bush/Obama-style puppet of theirs.  Appearing on FOX News last night, Steyn read a passage from Woodward’s book to illustrate the author’s “evidence” of Trump’s alleged mental imbalance.  In a meeting with all of his top military generals, Woodward writes, Trump walked in and said (paraphrasing):  “So, when are we going to start winning some of these wars we’re involved in.”

That’s the “evidence” that Bob Woodward, longtime employee of the CIA-front Washington Post, has of Trump’s alleged insanity: questioning the decades-long abysmal failures of the military/industrial/spying/deep state complex.  How is this different from how the Soviets accused critics of socialism of being mentally ill, and sending them off to “mental institutions”?

9:38 am on September 7, 2018