1:46 pm on November 16, 2018
…in Georgia and Florida today, and 2020.
1:46 pm on November 16, 2018
…in Georgia and Florida today, and 2020.
Jim Acosta has no right to be in the West Wing. He doesn’t own it. That’s a no-brainer. If he is admitted, he has no right to shout “FIRE!” whenever he pleases; that’s discussed below. If he accosted Trump in any number of other ways that flouted comity, he’d likewise wear out his welcome and be subject to expulsion. Comity means “courtesy and considerate behavior toward others”. His lack of it led to cancellation of his invitation. A press pass is simply an invitation. It can be revoked. The people running the press conference can discriminate on grounds of a lack of comity, a lack that defeats the purposes for which the press conference has been called. They can also discriminate arbitrarily, although the political price for doing so will be high. People do expect there to be reasons for expulsion, and there are in fact many improper behaviors that people will accept as justifiable, such as cursing out Trump, not shutting up, shouting him down, interrupting, making wisecracks, unfurling banners, grabbing the microphones, wearing provocative clothing, etc.
The media do not have a right to a press conference there or anywhere else in the first place. If they are invited, does any one of them have a right to shout “FIRE!” when there is no fire? Clearly not. Why not? It’s because it creates an aggression. It creates the danger of panic and injury contingent on such panic. It also sets in motion the diversion of firefighters and security from more urgent tasks and duties, creating secondary unnecessary risks. The third effect is confusion. If people can shout “FIRE!” at will, how will people know if it’s for real or not? False alarms will undermine the effectiveness of a genuine warning. A theater owner has a right to forbid many kinds of speech, including shouting “FIRE!”. The White House officials similarly have a right to forbid many kinds of speech and other behaviors on that property.
The original Supreme Court decision, unanimous at that, in which Holmes used the “shouting fire” analogy was very, very bad, it should be strongly noted. It stopped a man (Schenck) from distributing flyers that opposed the draft in World War I. It’s bad because of the grounds it invoked, which were that this distribution was a “clear and present danger” to the government’s war-making efforts. This sacrificed the First Amendment. There could not have been a greater violation of free speech than this horrible judgment. The case of Julian Assange is very similar in its injustice. The First Amendment rules out a government law against free speech or a free press. Schenck was stopped from speaking. No amount of Supreme Court twisting and turning can change the fact that they made up grounds for invoking the law (the Constitution) itself against free speech. Those fake grounds were “clear and present danger”. The whole thing is disgusting.
If speech upon the property of others is restricted, it’s because it’s the property right of those in control of the property. They may have reasons or no reasons at all for the restrictions. They don’t need to kowtow to those whom they invite in. An invitation can be conditional upon rules of behavior imposed by the property owner. The Bill of Rights nowhere guarantees that you have a right to exercise your freedom to speak when on the property of others. Although Murray Rothbard made this clear decades ago, the knowledge hasn’t penetrated our society yet.
Judge Timothy J. Kelly has issued a temporary restraining order that reinstates Acosta. It was a great day for misunderstanding the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment and the rights of property owners. Trump’s White House doesn’t have to prove that Acosta has been accorded due process, as the judge thinks. Due process doesn’t even enter into the equation at all because Acosta has no rights at all in this situation.12:54 pm on November 16, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
In view of the terrible tragedy of fire in California, I wondered aloud to a retired firefighter in Maine how this could take so many lives in this day and age of drones, cellphones and communications. Here’s what he said.
“People unfortunately do not listen to warnings issued to protect them. The warnings also might have come too late. Cousin Linda told us her sister lived up a road that had one way in and out and the fire in the spring came very close. It was four miles to the end of the road.
“I have seen fire on the blueberry plains. The wind was blowing and the fire trucks could not catch up with the head of the fire. It was spotting as the embers blew ahead of the fire. Sanford fire lost a truck in that fire. One time near the Libby estate we were in the woods with almost a half of mile of hose and the wind changed and the fire came back at us. The crew gathered and were able to break through the fire into a burned over area. I have seen a fully grown pine tree explode into a ball of fire.
“With the wind blowing 70 to 80 miles an hour, there is no stopping any woods fire. The death total will be growing.
“When I think of all the homes that have been built in the last 25 years, I picture the same thing happening here in Maine. We have not had a drought like the 1947 one. When I started in 1971 that was a dry summer and fall. The [railroad] train started, on the day I was on, 12 fires between N. Berwick and Kennebunk. Some got into the woods. It almost burned down Arthur Page’s big barn. The tracks are right there. When I arrived it was in the grass next to the barn. Maine, New England and the northeast have been lucky.”8:16 am on November 16, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
From: S, J
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2018 8:51 PM
To: Walter_Block Mises Libertarian
The news today includes President Trump’s proposals for crime/prison reform. In the course of a FOX News discussion of this we learn of at least one reason why such reform is necessary: A young man was given a 55 year sentence for selling $30 worth of marijuana. The judge who sentenced the man explained that he was compelled by law to do so, even though he adamantly disagreed personally with what he was about to do.3:00 pm on November 15, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
President George Dub-Yuh Bush fired his top economic advisor, Lawrence Lindsay, after Lindsay told him that the cost of his War on Terra (as Dub-Yuh pronounced it) would likely be in the $100 billion range. The Bush administration then revised its estimate of the costs of the War on Terra to be more like $50-60 billion. News reports at the time said that Dick Cheney himself, uber neocon warmonger extraordinaire, personally fired Lindsay.
Now along comes the latest estimate of the cost of the War on Terra which puts it at $5.9 trillion.12:47 pm on November 15, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
Ever since 1865 discussions of constitutionalism have assumed that the supreme court justices should be viewed as black-robed deities with a monopoly on constitutional interpretation. That is the nationalist view of constitutionalism championed by Hamilton, Marshall, Story, Webster, Lincoln, and all of their political descendants. In his book on the Constitution, written while he was still a Princeton professor, Woodrow Wilson celebrated the fact that the “Civil War” finally forced (literally at gunpoint) this statist superstition on the entire nation.
The opposing Jeffersonian position was that if the day ever came when five government lawyer/political hacks with lifetime tenure were given monopolistic power to decide what everyone’s liberties will be, then Americans will then be living in tyranny. That day arrived in April of 1865. (The best book ever written on the Jeffersonian interpretation of the Constitution is A View of the Constitution of the United States by St. George Tucker, who was Thomas Jefferson’s law professor at the College of William and Mary).
The Washington establishment and its media stooges have recently thrown another one of their hate-fits over President Trump’s replacement for Jeff “Mr. Magoo” Sessions as (acting) U.S. Attorney General because the man (Matt Whitaker) has a history of speaking favorably about nullification, the principle enunciated by Thomas Jefferson in the Kentucky Resolve of 1798. In the famous Resolve Jefferson reminded the nation that when it comes to constitutional interpretation there are three branches of government, not just one. Thirty-four years later Andrew Jackson would reiterate this truth in his veto of the rechartering of the Bank of the United States. “The Congress, the Executive, and the Court must each for itself be guided by its own opinion of the Constitution,” said Jackson while declaring that he disagreed with the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the bank, and his opinion was just as valid as the Court’s.
In addition, the Tenth Amendment gives the people of the free and independent states an equal say as well and they are not obligated, said the great man, to unlimited obedience to the central government. Cementing in place unlimited obedience to the central government has been the primary job of the Supreme Court ever since 1865. That of course was the whole purpose of the War to Prevent Southern Independence from the perspective of the Northern states.10:47 am on November 15, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
Now that Michael Avenatti,CPL (Creepy Porn Lawyer) has been arrested for domestic violence after the police found his wife with a swollen and bruised face, I assume he will take the same position that he took all over television during the Kavanaugh hearings: Guilty until proven innocent. Since he’s a Democrat at least he won’t be pestered by hordes of teenage girls following him around screaming “We Believe Survivors! We Believe Survivors!!” (rented out by the DNC). To be fair, the CPL did reportedly tell the police that “she hit me first.”8:42 am on November 15, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
A reader writes in response to my recent article, “Thank You for Your Service”:
I have found that there are three questions that are unanswerable concerning the military being the protector of freedom.
1) If the military had not invaded ____ or overthrown the government of ____ or intervened in the conflict between ____ and ____, which freedoms would we have lost?
2) Military personnel take an oath to defend the Constitution. How can they defend the Constitution if the very wars they engage in are unconstitutional?
3) If the military protects and defends our freedoms, why have we consistently become less free?
Well said!7:08 am on November 15, 2018 Email Laurence M. Vance
The “creepy porn lawyer,” progressive activist, and putative 2020 Dem frontrunner is arrested for felony domestic violence.
…law enforcement sources say Avenatti was arrested Wednesday after a woman filed a felony DV report. We’re told her face was “swollen and bruised” with “red marks” on both cheeks.
Poor Stephanie Ruhle. The MSNBC anchor gets sweaty and tongue-hanging-on-the-floor orgasmic every time Avenatti comes on the air, anticipating that Avenatti will finally have the goods to take down Trump. Progressives usually couldn’t care less about consistency, but should this charge stick with hard-to-refute evidence, it may be too much for Stephanie and the rest of Avenatti’s #metoo MSNBC groupies to defend him. But as usual with progressives, don’t hold your breath on that.8:33 pm on November 14, 2018
On Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 11:26PM T wrote:
Your point concerning a libertarian approach to abortion is interesting, but you fail to accurately describe the situation.
A pregnancy where the woman was a willing participant isn’t merely a case of trespass. It is like inviting a disabled person to your home and then deciding you don’t want that person there. Knowing the person to be incapable of leaving on his or her own power, libertarian philosophy would say that the inviter has a responsibility to ensure that the “trespasser” departs safely. Any action to expel the “trespasser” which would result in death or serious injury would constitute an initiation of aggression on the part of the property owner.
In the case of a forced pregnancy, the disabled “trespasser” has been forcibly dropped off by a stranger. It is the stranger who committed the offense, not the “trespasser.” In this case, too, the “trespasser” has committed no willing offense and has no ability to produce a remedy, and I hardly think that libertarian philosophy would consider this “trespass” to be a capital offense.
The true issue in abortion, is whether the fetus is or is not a person. If the answer is yes then how the pregnancy occurred is irrelevant. If the answer is no then the timing of the abortion is irrelevant. Yes or no; that’s where the real battle is. T
Dear T: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this challenging issue with me. I think I anticipate your objections to my theory in the publications below. If you don’t think so, do, please, get back to me on this matter. Best regards, Walter12:17 pm on November 14, 2018 Email Walter E. Block
I often receive unusual responses to the articles I write for LRC. My most recent article, “Thank You for Your Service,” did not disappoint.
When the subject line reads: “Go f*** yourself, libertarian moron” (with other characters besides the ***), I know I am in for another unusual response. I was told: “Learn something about the real world before you write such bilge. Easy to sit on your fat ass and pontificate when you nothing about how things really are on this planet.” But if you read everything in my article that comes before my criticism of veterans, you will see that I in fact am writing about the real world and how things really are.
In another response, there was nothing in the body of the e-mail, but the subject line read:
And_most_of_all,_we_don’t_like_hypocrites_like_you_who_enjoy_the_benefits_the_military_dies_for,_pay_the_taxes_that_buys_the_military_you_hate_and_profits _from_the_companies_that_feed_the_war_machine…_f***_ you” [with other characters besides the ***]
The benefits the military dies for? What in the world would those be? He didn’t say. They never do. The truth is, U.S. soldiers die for nothing, and have done so for a hundred years, as Jacob Hornberger recently began his article about World War I: “Let’s be blunt: the 117,466 U.S. soldiers who died in World War I died for nothing.”10:03 pm on November 13, 2018 Email Laurence M. Vance
The claim that Harvard admissions favor Jews is contested at length in this article.
To make such a claim, an essential number that’s needed is the portion of students who are Jewish. The population, whether undergraduate or graduate, has to be spelled out first. This number is not available. The Ron Unz study says it’s 25%. He got that number in 2012 or so from Hillel. Hillel disclaims it, saying it’s based upon a local Hillel estimate. He also used a scale-up method involving Jewish-sounding names.
This question cannot reach firm conclusions without knowing how many Jews are actually being admitted. We also need to know details about the total population from which Harvard draws admissions.
Hillel International has a list of the top 60 schools by Jewish undergraduate population. Harvard is #60, and the percentage is given as 12 percent (803 students). We do not know how this number was obtained. This is a bit less than half of the 25% number used by Unz. However, this number finds support by a different method of assessment that comes up with a 10-11 percent figure. This method replicated Unz’s scale-up method.
Other factors are at work that influence the findings: “First, the geography. Typically over 40% of Harvard College students come from New England and the mid-Atlantic, a group of states that includes 48% of American Jews but only 21% of the white population.” Second “Unz’s estimate of 6% Jewish National Merit Scholar semifinalists is too low…”
I spent 4 years at Harvard College(1958-1962). The student body wasn’t 25% Jewish. Maybe it was 10-12%. It’s very hard to for me to imagine that Harvard in the decades that followed admitted 2.5 times as many Jews for whatever reason, such as pressures upon it. That high a number would place Harvard in a category like some New York schools. This seems to me implausible. Just hearing of a 25% number made me suspicious. A lengthy background in research and statistics is a factor in my skepticism about accepting claims, and it’s why I searched the internet a bit and wrote this blog.7:16 pm on November 13, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 9:44 PM
Subject: Question about death penalty
Dear Mr. Block, I’m a Brazilian student of Austrian Economics and I’ve read your excellent argument about the death penalty using Nozick’s example of the life transfer machine. Some people I’ve spoke with still think that the criminal’s life is only forfeit in the presence of the machine (they think the concept of justice is somehow dependent of the technology of the time). I’d like to humbly ask you some suggestion of arguments or reading material to answer to these claims, proving that the morality/justice of the death penalty does not depend on the actual existence of the machine. Please help, Thank you ! A3:04 pm on November 13, 2018 Email Walter E. Block
President Macron of France wants a European army. France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire wants Europe to become an empire: “Do not get me wrong, I’m talking about a peaceful empire that’s a constitutional state.”
Post-World Wars I and II Europe has already demonstrated its non-peaceful intentions: Yugoslavia, Libya and Ukraine are three examples. A European empire will try to suppress Greece, Italy, Spain, Hungary and Portugal, for starters. It will choose the financial officials, set the taxes and control the debt. A European empire will step up its designs on Africa and Syria.
Macron and Le Maire are speaking against the tide of a crumbling monetary union, against states that prize their individual sovereignty, and against peoples who value their distinctive histories and cultures. Why would Switzerland and Great Britain become components of a United States of Europe? Le Maire says it’s a matter of gaining power so as to be on an equal footing with the other great power empires of the U.S. and China. But a United States of Europe that commands centralized power will surely suppress its component states. The measures taken won’t be peaceful.
Le Maire wants an empire in which the powers of the European Central Bank are undisputed and unchallenged.
The anti-federalists, as they came to be known, were anti-empire and anti-Constitution. They knew that the principles of the American Revolution were being erased by the new government and constitution. Anti-federalist James Winthrop in his letter (Agrippa IV) of December 3, 1787 writes
“We find, then, that after the experience of near two centuries our separate [state] governments are in full vigour. They discover, for all the purposes of internal regulation, every symptom of strength, and none of decay. The new system [U.S. Constitution] is, therefore, for such purposes, useless and burdensome.
“Let us now consider how far it is practicable consistent with the happiness of the people and their freedom. It is the opinion of the ablest writers on the subject, that no extensive empire can be governed upon republican principles, and that such a government will degenerate to a despotism, unless it be made up of a confederacy of smaller states, each having the full powers of internal regulation. This is precisely the principle which has hitherto preserved our freedom. No instance can be found of any free government of considerable extent which has been supported upon any other plan. Large and consolidated empires may indeed dazzle the eyes of a distant spectator with their splendour, but if examined more nearly are always found to be full of misery. The reason is obvious. In large states the same principles of legislation will not apply to all the parts.”12:40 pm on November 13, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Trust in government is very low. Trust declines sharply when disorder rises, and wars signal disorder, showing that the government has failed to keep the peace. Most people like and want peace. That’s when they make more money and are safer. Fewer people like and promote wars, but this group includes powerful and influential people who way too often get their way.
A new bout of disorder is at hand. One source is a Democratic Inquisition being born in the House of Representatives. The target is Donald Trump. A long fight may ensue, bringing divided government to the fore. Disorder will rise as the stock market goes bearish and the economy peaks and declines. The FED is tightening, merely by letting its massive bond portfolio mature without re-investing the proceeds. Trump publicly scolded Chairman Powell, adding to the disorder. Sadly, mass murder events are on the rise, creating an uneasy environment of fear. The same goes for mass civil disturbances like those of Antifa. Trump seems anxious to dial down wars in Yemen and Afghanistan, but miscalculations elsewhere are a risk. The Persian Gulf and the Iran-Saudi dissonance create a hot spot. Trump is a complex agent of change as he re-orders America’s world position. The media attack and distort his actions relentlessly, making the media a notable source of current disorder.
Americans could stand a break. More disorder will itself generate disorder from those seeking to take advantage of the confusion. But the main effect will be that voters will seek candidates who promise to put things right and soothe the troubled waters.8:40 am on November 13, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
In response to someone who thanked him for his service, a veteran (and LRC reader) wrote the following to him and forwarded it to me:
I am a veteran and thank you for the sincere acknowledgement. Frankly I find much of veteran worshiping in the media today to be over the top. In the case of the NFL games today I found their presentations and “special” veterans tributes to be both patronizing and disingenuous. I am proud of my time served and just having the opportunity to wear the uniform was enough satisfaction for me. I had a job to do and I faithfully and dutifully executed my duties. I’m no hero and just because you wear a uniform does not automatically grant you hero status. Nor do I expect any special favors or discounts for simply doing my duty. I respect and admire all Americans, veterans and non veterans, that have worked hard in their occupations to protect and provide for their families, communities and country.
Posted with permission.9:21 pm on November 12, 2018 Email Laurence M. Vance
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 8:31 PM
Subject: Indentured servitude
Is income taxation involuntary servitude?
I ask because the first section of the 13th Amendment reads “Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The 16th Amendment reads, simply “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” Are not these two concepts diametric opposites? Isn’t taxation of my labor a form of involuntary servitude? Does the latter Amendment supersede the former? Respectfully, C3:05 pm on November 12, 2018 Email Walter E. Block
America voted Bush out and Obama in, a vote against the Iraq War and a vote to retrench the empire. Obama badly disappointed America’s hopes, so she refused to vote in his heir and proxy, Hillary Clinton.
Will Democrats win the presidency in 2020 by 4 years of opposition to Trump? Is resistance a program that captures the hopes of voters? Or is resistance a ruinous strategy because it is a nothing-burger?
Democrats promise wall-to-wall investigations of Trump. Can endless charges, each more laughable and superficial, each more fake and false, than its predecessor, inspire voters to vote in a Democrat, be she a tired representative of the Clinton cabal or an empty-headed progressive socialist?
The 2020 election is Trump’s to lose as Democrats ruin themselves with silly investigations that put on display their own empty heads. Trump can win by positive moves, such as well-defined actions toward peace across a global map dotted with U.S. meddling and belligerence. He can’t win by taking Democratic bait. He should not descend to the level of the House Democrats. He shouldn’t become preoccupied with their charges. They are so senseless, vicious and phony that even Trump can look statesmanlike and turn them to his advantage. Humor will help.
Trump is off to a bad start in saying of House investigations of him: “If that happens then we’re going to do the same thing and government comes to a halt and I would blame them”. Retaliation is petty and lacks voter appeal. He should reveal Democratic machinations and corruption because it’s the right thing to do. He shouldn’t be reactive to Democrats by promising “the same thing”. He should rise above them, articulate his program and press for its passage. (The more libertarian, the better.) The House can be blamed for its obstruction, its delay, and its useless focus on his style.
Trump has been seduced by Washington rhetoric. It’s far from being populist to say of the House: “There are many things we can get along on without a lot of trouble, that we agree very much with them and they agree with us. I would like to see bipartisanship. I’d like to see unity.” This emphasizes personalities, politics and deals, the endless Washington machinery.
Trump shouldn’t be speaking about agreement between them and us. He shouldn’t be speaking about bipartisanship or unity, which are Democratic ploys. These were not what he ran on. He needs to stay on point. He should say “The American people elected me to enact a program. My budgets call for making that program happen. I will call upon the House and Senate, whatever their party compositions, to do their part by writing the appropriate legislation and passing the funding bills. There is one guiding and meaningful goal that the 2016 election approved, and that is to ‘Make America Great Again’.”3:03 pm on November 12, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Subject: Measure of gov manipulation in markets
Hello Dr. Block,
We spoke after your talk to LPMC today.
I was asking how to get a measure of how the government interferes in the markets in ways not generally recognized- the size of the ESF and how it is used, agreements between central banks to purchase stocks etc., and how much this invalidates mainstream financial analysis.
Thanks for your attention! W1:57 pm on November 11, 2018 Email Walter E. Block
To: walter block
A dead brothel owner won a seat in the Nevada state assembly, defeating his Democratic challenger by a margin of 68 to 32 percent. Too bad more dead people don’t appear on election ballots. They would be my first choice against either a Democratic or Republican candidate.6:30 pm on November 10, 2018 Email Laurence M. Vance
Many celebrity, political and media figures accuse Trump of being racist. A new example: CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said “…there is also a huge racial dimension to this. The fact that the president is always attacking black people.”
Jeff Sessions, James Comey, and Hillary Clinton are not black. Elizabeth Warren isn’t black and neither is CNN’s Jim Acosta, two recent instances of Trump attacks. These counter-examples don’t prove that Toobin’s accusation is wrong. They suggest that more serious inquiry is needed to shed light on the hypothesis that Trump is racist. For one thing, Trump’s insults are legion. In mid-2017, the New York Times wrote of 650 such insults. They form a population to be examined. If 38 percent of Americans are not white, are Trump’s insults directed to non-white people significantly higher than 38 percent of this population? That’s only a start at analysis because racism is only one of many motivations to attack people. Complicating the analysis is the fact that race, religion and ethnicity are correlated with political positions and ideologies. Hence, one must do a multivariate analysis to see if race survives as an independent variable in competition with other variables that measure other motivations.
Let those who are relentlessly attacking Trump on grounds like racism do their homework by referring us to well-constructed studies. If they existed, wouldn’t they be citing them?9:40 am on November 10, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Obama the murderer has been replaced by Trump the murderer. Whom has Donald Trump murdered? One example only: He could have ended American bombing raids in Syria. Instead, he made more: “The US-led anti-IS coalition acknowledged carrying out over 100 air strikes in Syria between October 28 and November 3.” These killed numerous Syrian civilians. The latest report says at least 80.
Obama’s robberies have given way to Trump’s. One example only: Trump has robbed Maine lobstermen. Tariffs on Maine lobster exports to China have directly robbed hard-working fishermen. Maine Senator Susan Collins should have extracted a tariff exemption for her vote on Kavanaugh. After all, he can be replaced easily with better candidates. He didn’t own the position, but Maine lobstermen do own their capital and goodwill built up painstakingly over years. Trump robbed them for no good end.9:06 am on November 10, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff