Twitter, where you get banned but are given few clues as to exactly what you did and where “the neocon warmongers never get banned.” Mentions Dan McAdams and Scott Horton being banned for supporting him.
Twitter, where you get banned but are given few clues as to exactly what you did and where “the neocon warmongers never get banned.” Mentions Dan McAdams and Scott Horton being banned for supporting him.
As I begin writing this, my innocent 13 year old little girl is in tears sitting in the terminal at Reagan International Airport. Somewhere back at the TSA checkpoint there is a middle aged woman who has just, in clear view of law enforcement, committed a sexual crime against her, a minor child. I have it all on film.
I nearly went to jail. The TSA agent continues her crime spree.
Returning from the Ron Paul Institute’s Washington conference, where my family all pitched in to make the event possible, we found ourselves at the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint.
The 2007 edition of Nobel laureate F.A.Hayek’s monumental The Road to Serfdom, edited by Bruce Caldwell, includes an appendix entitled “Nazi Socialism.” The economic policies of the Nazis, wrote Hayek, are “full of ideas resembling those of the early socialists.” The dominant feature of Nazism was a fierce hatred of anything capitalistic — “individual profit seeking, large-scale enterprise, banks, joint stock companies, department stores, international fiance and loan capital, the system of ‘interest slavery,’ in general.” Nazi policy, wrote Hayek, was nothing less than “a violent anti-capitalistic attack.” “It is not even denied, wrote the Nobel Prize-winning economist, that “many of the young men who today  play a prominent part [in the Nazi Party] have previously been communists or socialists.”
The “common trend” of German journalists and others who supported the Nazis “was their anti-liberal and anti-capitalist” beliefs. The even adopted as their “accepted dogma” the phrase “the end of capitalism.”
The Jews were singled out for special hatred by the Nazis, who viewed them as symbols of capitalism. “The party . . . combats the Jewish-materialist spirit within and without us,” they wrote in their “25-Point Platform of the Nazi Party.” And as Nazi apologist Paul Lensch wrote in his book, Three Years of World Revolution (p. 176), the ideas of “freedom and civic right, of constitutionalism and parliamentarianism . . . derived from that individualistic conception of the world,” must be gotten “rid of to assist in the growth of a new conception of State and Society. In this sphere also Socialism must present a conscious and determined opposition to individualism” (emphasis added).11:58 am on August 20, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
I recently pointed out an example of degeneration that some would deem to be progress. Now I see that in the two new elementary schools built by a Kansas City-area school district, boys and girls will share gender-neutral restrooms. Some renovated restrooms in North Kansas City High School will also have gender-neural restrooms. “The bathrooms still have an open alcove area with a common trough sink, but the toilets are enclosed inside individual stalls with floor-to-ceiling walls and lockable doors. A single sign on the wall outside displays both the male and female symbols.”
Here is a quote about this from what has got to be the dumbest mother in America: “‘I think it is great,’ said Melanie Austin, whose daughter will be a first-grader at the district’s Crestview Elementary and in gifted classes once a week at the innovation center. ‘You just don’t know what gender a kid might identify as. This helps everyone to feel comfortable, accepted.'”
Some will see this as a solution to the school gender conundrum. Including some libertarians no doubt. Why do I say this? Because I remember when all of this “boys in girls restrooms” nonsense started a few years ago that a well-known libertarian organization with a website, a blog, and a magazine ridiculed those of us who questioned this nonsense.
Now, if a private business wants to have only gender-neutral restrooms, that is its business. Those who don’t like it can take their business elsewhere. But a government school is not a private business. This idea of having gender-neutral restrooms will certainly not stop with schools. See my review of When Harry Became Sally.9:46 am on August 19, 2018 Email Laurence M. Vance
Elizabeth Warren as presidential hopeful: Go away. Mark Warner, as another presidential hopeful: Go away, too.
It doesn’t take much observation of the thinking of these sitting senators who covet the Oval Office of the White House, to see that they are way out of step with libertarian thinking. This means that they do not value freedom and property rights. It means that if they ever become president, they’ll likely inflict needless pain on Americans and take the country down.
Warner a week ago “…led a charge threatening new regulation of social media companies who cannot stop bad actors from using their platforms.” His staff had produced a paper advocating regulation of the media companies. This would have to create government regulate of communications and their delivery. This is bound to involve government control of speech in some ways. This would set precedents for further control. Such regulations would chill speech. They’d surely lead to regulations of speech on platforms other than social media companies.
Warner’s assumption is that Americans cannot handle speech themselves, or that freedom doesn’t suffice, or that we need the wisdom of the Warrens and the Warners, the Pelosis and the Schumers, the McCains and the Grahams, to establish allowable speech. Yes, we need accomplished scoundrels and two-faced politicians to set up communication rules for us.
In another action that shows us his colors, Warner writes “I will be introducing an amendment next week to block the President from punishing and intimidating his critics by arbitrarily revoking security clearances. Stay tuned.”
Warner is aligning himself fully with Brennan’s story line. He claims Trump has acted to silence his critics and to divert attention from collusion investigation troubles. Warner and Brennan are both inventing these purported Trump motivations. They make no sense, however. There being no evidence that has been produced against him, we can say that Trump never colluded with Russians concerning his run for the White House and never accepted money from Russians. How stupid would he have to be to have done that? There is no evidence of any kind that shows he can be blackmailed by them.
If Trump wanted to silence Brennan, he surely has failed. Brennan has heightened his attacks. Silencing Brennan was not Trump’s objective either, as Warner and Brennan charge. The context of Trump’s action is Brennan’s abuse of power and role in the anti-Trump soft coup. It is Brennan’s being an impediment to Trump’s power to carry on the foreign policy he has been elected to carry out.
Warner really must know better. It seems that he, known as a centrist Democrat, has suddenly jumped in against Trump. He senses advantage or blood. He thinks he has found some issues to gain ground for himself in his presidential ambitions. His opportunism is on display. In joining with Brennan, Warner assumes the mantle of a vindictive hatred of Trump. Stirring the pot of hatred as a means of gaining power is not even in his own interest. It shows a weakness of moral character and judgment. Warner and his ilk should all go away. They do not represent what is best in us.8:35 pm on August 18, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Having shot his free speech arrow at Trump, John Brennan now shoots other arrows. He questions Trump’s motives in denying him security clearance. He accuses Trump of abusing his powers.
Brennan abused his powers as CIA chief. That’s reason enough for his loss of security clearance, and that’s a matter neither of free speech nor of Trump’s being drunk on power. What did Brennan do? Brennan had no evidence upon which to launch an investigation of collusion with Russia by people in the Trump camp, an investigation that has produced no collusion indictments to date. That didn’t stop him from instigating an FBI investigation anyway. Why? He wanted to stop Trump. He hated Trump’s position on Russia and he hated Trump’s style, which he deems irresponsible. That motive has been apparent for a long time from public statements of his going back to 2016.
How did Brennan do his dirty work? Brennan used flimsy suspicions such as public sightings of people close to Trump who were having trivial chit-chat with Russians at conferences and gatherings. British intelligence provided some of this, but it was so questionable that it didn’t find its way through official channels to members of Congress who have access to such communications. Brennan convened a meeting with the FBI to get an investigation going. He leaked information to supporters in Congress and to State Department supporters. In a classic CIA-type of disinformation campaign, he succeeded in creating the appearance of something there (concerning Trumpian collusion) when there was actually nothing there.
“Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump’s candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.
“John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. An official in the intelligence community tells TAS [The American Spectator] that Brennan’s retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with ‘Hillary for president cups’ and other campaign paraphernalia.”
It makes no difference whether 60 or 75 or 175 former intel operators or other people accuse Trump of misusing his power against Brennan or whoever else is about to lose their security clearances. The free speech arrow is more disinformation (fake news). It’s not going to make disappear the fact that Brennan perpetrated a big lie and disinformation campaign for which there was no support in 2016 and 2017 and for which there is no support in 2018. This was the idea that Trump was a Russian puppet or subject to Russian blackmail. Brennan interfered with the 2016 election, and that was a major abuse of power on his part. He should be going down the same way as the anti-Trump FBI cohort is going down.1:48 pm on August 18, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Senator Elizabeth Warren is her own weapon of mass destruction. Her aim is to destroy immense amounts of American private property. Her weapon of mass destruction is her “Accountable Capitalism Act”. This act destroys existing corporate ownership and control structures that have generated immense wealth for Americans. Warren seeks to replace them with employee ownership and diffuse responsibilities to “stakeholders”. Warren prefers a form of Yugoslavia’s failed worker management system.
Warren would have the federal government charter companies. The government would dictate corporate ownership structure, taking voting power away from the capital-suppliers and shifting it to workers and others. This sort of change spells utter disaster for American capitalism. Who will want to invest under such a scheme without demanding a far higher return to compensate for the loss of control and the risks that entails? Consequently, the stock market will crash if her plan advances in Congress and shows any signs of being passed. It’s a knife at the throat of the American corporate system.
Warren’s plan is socialist, and her introduction of it makes it crystal clear that she’s a social democrat. Her plan reveals that she is a Bolshevik. The Bolsheviks were social democrats too. In power after the Russian revolution of 1917, they became the Communist party. “The Bolsheviks, founded by Vladimir Lenin and Alexander Bogdanov, were by 1905 a major organization consisting primarily of workers under a democratic internal hierarchy governed by the principle of democratic centralism, who considered themselves the leaders of the revolutionary working class of Russia.”
As in the Russian case, it always takes a small central group to seize power and “lead” a large mass of workers. The “democratic” role is a fiction for social democrats. There is no way that “people’s democracy” can be implemented in a government system utilizing power. All calls for such democracy, except perhaps on a very small scale, actually presage a socialist-communist takeover. Centralized control by a small faction is the result.
If ever she attains greater power, Warren will further socialism and communism as much as she can, while insisting, as she has, that she completely supports capitalism and wants to save it. Warren wants the support of anti-capitalist groups.
Given the opportunity to condemn Antifa by name, Warren refused. She has allied herself with Black Lives Matter. Once we go below the surface of Antifa and Black Lives Matter and look at what they espouse or what influential and articulate people within them espouse, we find that they are often Marxist and anti-capitalist in orientation. (See Alyxandra Goodwin as an example.)8:03 pm on August 17, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Another bot programmed by the multi-million dollar university “diversity” bureaucrazies funded directly and indirectly by tax dollars, says Heather.
The “F— the police” tweets are the most interesting aspect of the Sarah Jeong story. (The one trashing white women is also discordant, as the ruling-class divide et impera usually wants to maximize the number of sisters attacking The Patriarchy and not unnecessarily alienate a potentially useful group.)
The progressive establishment, while generally suspicious of police, does think they have a role in keeping the hoi polloi deplorables in line. Thus shows like LivePD, which exist to sell the public (especially the black community), on the idea that state policing–regardless of its “rare” mistakes–is your frequently misunderstood but reliable friend. However, it seems that Donald Trump has pushed the progs so far over the edge that they’ve overstepped again. Embracing Jeong, like defending Bill Clinton, is a huge long-run tactical mistake.5:07 pm on August 17, 2018
Justin Raimondo tweets: “Naturally the coordinated journalistic jihad against Trump comes out of New England, the geographical nexus of every authoritarian/elitist/virtue-signalling trend in American history. The Puritans, Federalists, Teddy Roosevelt, banned in Boston. Their hatred is a badge of honor.”
Justin has apparently discovered The Yankee Problem in American History.1:48 pm on August 17, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
On leading the effort to pull Brennan’s security clearance and meeting with 87-year-old Mikhail Gorbachev in Russia. From The Ingraham Angle (August 16, 2018).12:25 pm on August 17, 2018
Yesterday, a dozen top-level ex-intel officers accused Trump of suppressing John Brennan’s free speech.
Their true motive, in my opinion, is to preserve the old imperial and unipolar order that Trump is intent on destroying. That’s what MAGA means. The 12 are first and foremost deep-staters, and they show this by supporting Brennan.
“The dozen stressed that while they don’t necessarily agree with comments made by Brennan, who’s become a frequent guest on liberal news channels, they believe he has the right to voice them.”
This is a phony appeal to gain support for Brennan. They act as if Trump has shut Brennan’s mouth through a court order or done something wrong and against Brennan’s rights. Trump hasn’t in the least done anything of the sort. Brennan’s right to voice his opinions is entirely unimpaired by his loss of security clearance. In fact, Brennan counter-attacked Trump immediately, saying that Trump’s denial of Russian collusion is “hogwash”. Brennan also said that he would not relent in his criticisms of Trump.
I’d like to know several things about these 12. I’d like to know what support to free speech these 12 have displayed in the past. I’d like to know how they benefited from their former government positions by maintaining their security clearances. I’d like to know the extent they have made this statement in order to support, not free speech, but the power and prestige of the deep state positions they once occupied.
The 12 accuse Trump of making a decision based upon Brennan’s political views. This charge is imprecise and unworthy of the supposed analytical capabilities of intel officials. Trump didn’t refer per se to Brennan’s political orientation, left, right, or middle, or Brennan’s political philosophy or ideals. He referred to partisan attacks in the context of being validated by “real or perceived access to sensitive information”.
In other words, the charges by a Brennan who has security clearance are likely to be accorded great weight. Brennan wants Trump removed from office. Brennan’s words: “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”
Since Brennan is leading the attack on Trump’s policies and presidency itself, his clearance accords him undue weight in impeding those policies, including most importantly Trump’s peace overtures. Is Trump supposed to supply the rope for his own hanging? Is that what the 12 want?
Trump sees Brennan as impeding national interests, of which peace with Russia is one and reshaping trade relations with China is another. The question here is “Who is the elected official in charge of foreign policy, Brennan or Trump?” Brennan acts as if he’s still heading the CIA while also having the room to accuse a president of treason openly in the media. This is not a situation that Trump can tolerate and preserve his powers.
In revoking Brennan’s clearance, Trump has done nothing beyond the scope of his job and sworn oath.
An advisory bulletin written in 2014 states bluntly “A security clearance may be revoked at any time.”
Earlier this year, Trump wrote “As the Supreme Court has acknowledged, however, the Constitution vests in the president the authority to classify information relating to the national security and to control access to such information.”
All well and good legalese, but the conflict between Trump and Brennan goes back to the early days of Trump’s candidacy. It’s a power struggle. Brennan, using his prestige and previous position, has been openly anti-Trump for years. He has helped engineer a soft coup against Trump and he continues to impede Trump’s peace agenda. Trump has now taken Brennan down a peg. That’s enough to bring out the deep-state 12 punching.
In my judgment, free speech is not their real concern. Not in the least. That’s a sweet-smelling mist to cover their real motives. They stand for the deep-state “order” or “establishment” and its global policies. They stand against Trump’s movements away from the old order.9:16 am on August 17, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Yesterday, Trump revoked the security clearance of ex-CIA chief, John Brennan. Trump’s statement laid out his reasons masterfully and persuasively. Trump is totally correct on this one.
Brennan has lied to Congress and others. He has made irresponsible charges against Trump. He has aired extreme suspicions of Trump. He has moved into a major media platform that supports an audience for his charges. Brennan has been a key leader and participant in the anti-Trump movement for several years now.
Trump as president cannot carry on delicate foreign policy maneuvers while an extreme antagonist has access to his every move who can undermine them by his own public criticism and statements and/or by leaks to the media. He needs to revoke security clearances of many other deep state foes.
Brennan’s response has been to renew his attacks on Trump. That’s old hat by now. He has come up with a charge that his First Amendment right of free speech is being impaired. This is ridiculous!
Brennan’s statement: “This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics.” What of the broad effort to drive Trump from office, of which Brennan has been in the forefront? Isn’t Trump allowed to fight back and defend his office and its powers? Is he supposed to just sit there and allow his freedom of action to be decimated? Is he supposed to allow Brennan’s antipathy to Russia and Putin replace his own overtures for peaceful relations? Trump has actually been very lenient and patient because he is surrounded by antagonists who are anxious to undermine his every good move that doesn’t fit their agenda.
In the ongoing anti-Trump movement, which ranges from Antifa to Republican senators to figures from the entertainment world to deep state foes like Brennan, with daily and near-continuous frequency, we are treated to extraordinarily senseless and malicious arguments and accusations. Add Brennan’s to the pile.
Brennan can still say whatever he pleases. His right to attack Trump has in no way been infringed by losing his clearance. His right to speak doesn’t depend on such a clearance anymore than does the right of any American who lacks security clearance. That’s first. In fact, a security clearance actually hampers one’s right to speak one’s mind or voice theories. Second, Brennan is not entitled to a security clearance. That’s a prerogative of the administration. It can be given; it can not be given. Third, being a power of the government that can be bestowed or not, Trump has the power to discriminate among recipients for reasons of state. Fourth, the First Amendment orders Congress not to make a law abridging the right of free speech; and it has not done so in the case of Brennan. Fifth, because he is known to have a security clearance, this adds weight to Brennan’s public statements. Because they are so antagonistic to Trump’s aims and policies, Trump has a strong reason to revoke that clearance so that he can get on with his program. The custom of allowing such clearances after leaving the government is predicated on comity and a sense of cooperation and tolerance, not on enmity.
Trump is trying to do many good things. He is right to criticize the media, because they’ve conducted a smear campaign against him from day one. He is right to look for peace with Russia. He is right to control the border. He is right to get China to behave.
The anti-Trump forces pose the most serious threat to this country imaginable. They insist on subverting his peace overtures to Russia, as by the latest sanctions. Trump is opposed by Democrats, most Republicans, and all sorts of leftists.
I have never in all my life seen such uncalled for attacks on a president as are coming from entertainers, from the media and from Washington bureaucrats. The critics seem unhinged, but they have an agenda to drive him from office and to reinstate their own very bad agenda.
There is a huge gap between what Trump is really trying to get done and what his critics say about him.
The dirt has been especially thick because elections are nearing.10:16 am on August 16, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
After all, like former CIA director John Brennan he no longer works for the federal government. Or how about Tucker Carlson? Like John Brennan, he works for a television network but has no employment connection to the federal government. What fun Tucker would have selectively leaking “top secret” information to FOX News in a way that would help his side and harm the other side in his political debates. The most fun part would be to watch those extremely serious and constipated-looking “reporters” claim that their information came from a “reliable source” so that we should all shut up and obey.6:33 am on August 16, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
Again. This time Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips is in trouble for refusing to make cake “celebrating a gender transition.” He has sued the state of Colorado because of a June 28 finding “by Colorado’s Civil Rights Division that Phillips discriminated against a Denver-area attorney who requested a birthday cake in 2017 to celebrate the attorney’s gender transition from male to female.”
Google’s market power traces back to patents. Google has allegedly levered this economic power into politics by slanting its algorithms of search toward Hillary Clinton and away from Donald Trump. Google influences the presentation of political information. Among social media platforms, shadowbanning is another way to influence political discourse. A third way is the outright banning of platforms such as that of Alex Jones.
Reporter Allum Bokhari writes “Facebook claims to have boosted voter turnout by 3 percent in 2016 by making small tweaks to their algorithm. And studies have shown that if search engines like Google manipulated their results to favor particular candidates, they could sway up to 40 percent of undecided voters. The author of the same studies estimates that biased search results shifted between 2 and 3 million votes towards Hillary Clinton in 2016. How much more could they shift in 2020?”
Although this quote from Bokhari is convenient for me to cite, I do not accept most of what he says in understanding the problem or as solutions.
Bokhari favors government regulation of social media giants. I strongly oppose it, because it means the government will control political speech, a horrible totalitarian outcome.
Bokhari uses the common carrier rationale, for one rationale. This certainly does not apply, because entry is in many ways open (within the patent limitations noted below). He suggests that “alternative distribution channels” do not “help people who are just starting now, at a time when exclusion from social media is increasingly tantamount to exclusion from the public square.” I think Bokhari vastly under-estimates the capacity of start-ups to gain acceptance, and he implicitly fails entirely to grasp the vitality of the venture capital market to finance such start-ups. He also doesn’t realize that if a media giant, such as Facebook, exhibits enough bias such that it loses customers and loses market value, shareholder efforts will arise to alter the company’s leadership and take it over. Boards of Directors and outside holders of the voting shares are not passive.
I do not accept the Supreme Court’s idea that social media are the “modern public square”, which Bokhari also accepts. That notion confuses private and public. That concept treats discourse as a static entity produced by existing institutions. We need not accept that assumption. There are all sorts of dynamics to make political discourse wide open. New social media companies can enter the market. Voters can learn what platforms are biased and act accordingly to adjust what they think and how they vote. Platforms are open to criticism by candidates and others. Furthermore, votes are influenced in ways beyond calculation.
Bokhari makes a big thing out of the fact that Facebook is not a Christian bakery: “Most will find it obvious that the vast concentration of power in Silicon Valley is a little different from a small-town baker.” That power, he tells us, has caused a number of businesses to fail when Facebook “tweaked its algorithm” in January. What of these failures? Most unfortunate for the people involved, but that’s business. Those companies took a risk by relying on Facebook’s older algorithm and by working within a world in which Facebook and others have secure patent positions. This is a profit-and-loss economy, and there are bound to be losses when expectations fail to pan out. Would Bokhari force Facebook not to make changes that it deems in its own interest if they damage the business of others? That kind of policy is deadly to free markets and partially-free markets such as we have.
It’s true that Facebook is not a bakery. It’s also true that an elephant is not a flea. The latter two animals are both alive and share the essentials that give life. The bakery and Facebook share the essential that the initiation of violence is wrong. This is where the analysis needs to focus. By what means do the business decisions of the social media and tech giants initiate violence? One key area is that of patents. Patents make entry more difficult, sometimes impossible. Instead of regulating the giants, as Bokhari suggests, what we need is to de-regulate them, by removing patent protection. It’s wrong to grant government-enforced monopolies that prevent others from using their property as they see fit.
Many companies are now giants and many rely on patent protections. Many lobby Congress. Many make political contributions. They are levering their patent protections into undue political influence on top of their undue economic influence. To help mitigate these influences, ending patent protection will help. This is an argument in addition to other arguments about intellectual property. The suggestion here is that certain costs have been under-recognized or left out of consideration. First are the costs of further government regulation that limit speech. Second are the costs of political corruption.2:04 pm on August 15, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
All we heard from Republicans when Obama was president was how Obamacare should be repealed and that they would do it if they ever regained total control of the government. But as we know, Republicans failed to repeal Obamacare after Trump was elected. In this election year, I never hear anything about Obamacare. Republicans seem to have accepted it as a done deal. Republicans are worse than useless. They deserve to lose control of the Congress in November. Bring on the gridlock.9:20 pm on August 14, 2018 Email Laurence M. Vance
In the midst of the deep state/Big Tech cartel digital war on political opinion that they arbitrarily and capriciously deem impermissible, I want to alert LRC readers to another disturbing facet of this censorial endeavor. A significant portion of revenues to support LewRockwell.com comes from purchasing items on Amazon. Amazon is one of the most remarkable entrepreneurial success stories of the modern age, lauded for its incredible range of available products and exemplary customer relations. I love Amazon! Over the past dozen years I have purchased thousands of dollars of products from them. During that time I have also created 126 Listmania! product lists, primarily of books and DVDs. On these lists I provided critical comments or mini-reviews of the products, favorable or unfavorable. These lists have been viewed by hundreds of thousands of Amazon customers. Accordingly I have received emails from around the world commenting favorably on how helpful these lists have been.
Amazon has completely eliminated this Listmania! feature for customers. It no longer posts Listmania on products or publishes this kind of statistical information. Instead it has created something called Idea Lists, which are completely void of customer commentary on the products listed. Where I had 126 Listmania!, I now have only 100 sterilized Idea Lists, with 26 lists “disappeared” down the Orwellian Memory Hole. In my numerous articles and blogs at LRC I have always made a conscious effort to include reference and linkage to these older Listmania! for readers seeking more information on the topics which I discussed. From examining internal discussion on Amazon customer forums and rather vague statements from Amazon representatives it appears that Amazon was in the purging process of totally phasing out this long-standing Listmania! feature of product lists created by Amazon customers for the benefit of other Amazon customers. I believe that this detrimental course of action is a very serious mistake for enhancing increased future product sales and unnecessarily poisoning good customer relationships with both potential and long established customers. It amounts to foolishly cutting your own nose off to spite your face.
If you are like me and a long-standing Amazon customer please contact them and express how you feel concerning the discontinuation and death of Listmania!
(NOTE: For the intellectually curious, some of the “disappeared” Listmania! include Socialism As Mass Psychosis; The Red Decade; Southern Secession and Revolutionary Self-Determination; Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War; A Researcher’s Guide to Resources Concerning the JFK Assassination; The Enlightenment, Freemasonry, Illuminism, & the Religion of Humanity; Court Historians — Servile Scribes of State Power; several lists of revisionist books and documentaries on WWII; Pearl Harbor; and Walter Karp.)4:57 am on August 14, 2018 Email Charles Burris
Napalm caused more destruction in Japan than the atomic bombs—and it was much cheaper. And what country is the greatest user of napalm? Why, of course, it is the exceptional nation, the city on a hill, the land of the free, God blessed America. But it is not the U.S. government who used the napalm. It was always used by individual U.S. soldiers willing to terrorize, burn, and kill for the state. And people wonder why I constantly harp on the responsibility of individual soldiers.9:01 pm on August 13, 2018 Email Laurence M. Vance
Sent: Sunday, August 12, 2018 11:59 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Mises U Picture
Walter, Here is the picture we took together at Mises U 2018. I also wanted to follow up about something we talked about last July. I was looking for PhD programs that would be Austro-Libertarian friendly. The main programs I’m looking for is Philosophy (especially Political Philosophy), Economics, and Political Theory. Do you have any leads on universities I should consider? Sincerely and for Liberty, T11:51 am on August 13, 2018 Email Walter E. Block
A defender of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan writes: “The choice Mr. Truman made is the correct one.” He says that it is easy for me “to be a Monday-morning quarterback.”(He must be referring to this recent post of mine.) And then he proceeds to be … a Monday-morning quarterback, maintaining: The Japanese government did not want peace, the Japanese army wanted one final battle on Japanese soil, hundreds of thousands of Japanese and tens of thousands of Americans would did in a U.S. invasion of Japan, and the Japanese planned to massacre all allied POW and civilian internees they held in the event of an invasion of Japan (over 300,000).
But as was pointed out recently:
Maj. Gen. Curtis LeMay, “The war would have been over in two weeks without the Russians entering and without the atomic bomb. The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.”
Dwight Eisenhower, “I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary.”
President Truman’s Chief of Staff, Adm. William Leahy, “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.”9:23 am on August 12, 2018 Email Laurence M. Vance
Richard A. Epstein explains common carrier obligations not to discriminate in this article. The state-made and/or judge-made law on this goes back to 1810. I’ll quote two paragraphs that make this clear:
“Historically, the nondiscrimination rule was applied first to common carriers and then to public utilities because both were typically supplied by firms that had a monopoly position in the relevant market, which meant that a refusal of the operator of those facilities to supply the service to all comers left disappointed customers quite literally out in the cold. Nonetheless, the antidiscrimination principle was confined to those cases, so that in competitive markets any person could for any reason offer whatever goods and services he or she had on whatever terms and conditions that he or she saw fit to make.
“The basic rule was stated with commendable clarity by Lord Ellenborough in England as early as 1810. In Allnutt v. Inglis, he wrote that in general every person ‘may fix what price he pleases on his own property,’ but ‘if he will take the benefit of a monopoly, he must as an equivalent perform the duty attached to it on reasonable terms.’ That principle worked its way into American public utility regulation as a constitutional matter in the 1876 decision of Munn v. Illinois. Over time its full elaboration denied that any common carrier or public utility had the power to turn away customers who had no reasonable alternative for obtaining service.”
Those who are being censored by FB et al or those who have various grounds for being against such censorship can argue that these “giants” have a monopoly position as common carriers (of communications), such that they may not discriminate against users. The giants can contend in opposition to this allegation that they literally created the market for communications carried on via their intermediation, and that in order to maintain that market, they reserve the right to discriminate against speech that alienates customers and subverts the wholesome market that is their intended product.
It is definitely not an open and shut case that the giants are either monopolists or common carriers. As long as entry is possible and baby competing companies are vying to grow rapidly into adults, both of which are the case, there is no common carrier justification to regulate the giants.
If the common carrier notion should be attempted, the government will be in the position of determining what speech is allowable and what is not! The situation will be analogous to the horrors inflicted by the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, although much, much worse because they involve broad swathes of communications that are now being carried on at very low costs. The giants will rapidly capture any new regulatory body and proceed to implement regulations that destroy newcomers on any number of fanciful grounds that play well in the liberal media.
Communications are all-important to human beings. Lower costs of communicating are a huge net benefit to mankind, net of all the downsides enabled by communications. The last thing we want is communications being impeded by the powers of authorities on the grounds of filtering out bad speech, bad ideas, false ideas, false theories, mistaken speech, hate speech, heretical ideas, and so on. Do we want government to have the monopoly power to suppress a Galileo? Should government decide what’s in textbooks? Should government have the power to censor speech? One of the hallmarks of a totalitarian system is thought control through information and communications control.
The FB situation is uncomfortable, but government control is much worse. Government control thwarts our own personal control. At present, we are the masters, not the giants like Facebook. It may not seem that way when they ban Alex Jones and suspend Daniel McAdams. But we patronize these companies. We make them stand or fall. If government replaces our marketplace power with its political power, we will be facing a far worse situation than FB’s censorship. We will be at the mercy of government control of speech. We will be at the mercy of government regulations and bureaucrats.1:51 pm on August 10, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
As an instructor on government to today’s high school youth, I am always on the lookout for insightful explorations of this important topic. It was to my delight that I came upon the thoughts of a learned professor of jurisprudence and politics of Princeton University in his treatise, The State: Elements of Historical and Practical Politics. In this densely packed 656 page analysis he begins by noting:
For purposes of widest comparison in tracing the development of government it would of course be desirable to include in a study of early society not only those Aryan and Semitic races which have played the chief parts in the history of the European world, but also every primitive tribe, whether Hottentot or Iroquois, Finn or Turk, of whose institutions and development we know anything at all. Such a world-wide survey would be necessary to any induction which should claim to trace government in all its forms to a common archetype. But, practically, no such sweeping together of incongruous savage usage and tradition is needed to construct a safe text from which to study the governments that have grown and come to full flower in the political world to which we belong . . . The main stocks of modern European forms of government are Aryan. The institutional history of Semitic or Turanian peoples is hardly part of the history of European governments: it is only analogous to it in many of the earlier stages of development.
Ah ha! So there is the essential key to unlocking the essence and nature of government — the fundamental positive contributions of the Aryan race to European civilization, in contract to the marginalized or spurious Semitic notions. And who is the distinguished author of this decorous academic study — Woodrow Wilson — the same Woodrow Wilson who later as president, presided over the exhibition to his cabinet of the notorious pro-Ku Klux Klan film, The Birth of a Nation, in the White House. Based on the novel, The Clansman, by his Johns Hopkins classmate Thomas Dixon, the movie included a slide quoting Wilson’s History of the American People in defense of the Klan, and another citing how “The former enemies of North and South are united again in common defense of their Aryan birthright.” Here is Wilson’s earlier pro-segregation January 1901 Atlantic Monthly article, “The Reconstruction of the Southern States.” It leads one to ponder the impact Woodrow Wilson’s scholastic works had on Adolf Hitler in the drafting of his own Mein Kampf.11:02 pm on August 9, 2018 Email Charles Burris
Here are a select series of revealing articles that expose the hidden elephant in the room regarding the deep state war against alternative media crusader Alex Jones: Challenging the Lords of the Internet: A free market would defeat the would-be censors; Social Media Is a Tool of the CIA: “Facebook, Google and Other Social Media Used to Spy on People;” Google’s secret NSA alliance: The terrifying deals between Silicon Valley and the security state: Inside the high-level, complicated deals — and the rise of a virtually unchecked surveillance power; GOOGLE: Conceived, Funded and Directed By The CIA: How the CIA made Google; and Why Google Made the NSA: Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet.7:06 pm on August 9, 2018 Email Charles Burris
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2018 7:38 AM
Subject: Fake economic news follow up
Hello Professor Block, My name is N, I received my degree in (conventional) economics from xyz University a little over a year ago. I am currently working my way through the Virtual Mises University and last night I had the pleasure of viewing your lecture on fake economic news. It was unfortunate that you were not able to get into the monopsony argument, and I am reaching out to you for any resources on the subject.
Also, a note on the tariff discussion. Yesterday (8/8/18) lewrockwell.com featured this article by Pat Buchanan:
In the article, Mr. Buchanan makes the argument that free trade is a “political religion, a creed, a cult.” How would you respond to the anti free traders who claim that we are putting “economy before country”? Thank you, Nathan
Dear N: Here’s some intellectual ammunition on both issues:3:26 pm on August 9, 2018 Email Walter E. Block
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube et al who are censoring people and content have a right to do that. Calling them monopolies or public utilities is the wrong way to go. Stressing their “power” is the wrong way to go, by which I mean it contradicts libertarian thinking about products and free markets. Worrying about free speech in the context of their censorship is likewise a losing and flawed argument. Forcing companies to provide a forum of free and/or diverse speech is not compatible with freedom.
Talking about applying anti-trust to these companies is the wrong way to go, in a libertarian analysis. Why? Being a big company or being the main company at present in a market doesn’t give a company real and lasting power as long as the market is open to the entry of competition. As far as I know, the market for communications fora is open. This means there are not insuperable barriers that prevent competitors from arising with new products that siphon customers from the present companies.
I could be wrong about market openness if these companies have wrongly buttressed their positions by patents that never should have been granted, in which case the appropriate targets are the laws that allow monopolization by that means. However, the analysis below assumes that other tech companies are feasible and exist right now that can substitute for Facebook et al. Alternatively, it assumes that entrepreneurs can find ways of delivering internet content and communications without the intermediation of these companies by other pathways.
These censoring companies do not supply a public good. They are not in business chartered by society to uphold free speech. They are in business to sell a product of their own design. That product does not necessarily fit into what anyone may think of as supplying a marketplace for ideas. There is no social responsibility that they possess to supply a forum that matches up with an open and unbiased forum in which ideas compete. In the same way that a baker can decide what customers to serve or not, in a libertarian world, these kinds of companies can serve whomever they please. They can restrict content to pro-nationalists or to pro-communists or to anti-Trumpists or to neocons or to anti-war proponents or whatever group they please — in a libertarian world, because speech doesn’t involve aggression. These companies are not bound by any libertarian rules that say they must accommodate diverse views. Of course, they may be violating state-made rules or constitutional requirements; but that’s another story. However, libertarians should not be invoking flawed civil rights legislation to justify further flawed state control over these companies.
Is that clear? What you and I think of a car with tail fins or that supposedly guzzles gas, or what you and I think of a movie in which orgies are depicted or of a self-styled comic whose vocabulary consists of 7 swear words — it doesn’t matter in a free market, by which I mean you and I have no right to prevent these products from being made and sold. Similarly, we have no right to make Facebook et al serve some supposed social needs by making them not censor those whom they choose to censor. If we deviate from this libertarian position, we may as well go full-statist.
In a free market, you express your opinion by refusing their services or products. You can boycott them or participate in boycotts. You can criticize them in media. You can patronize competitors. There are competitors right this minute for these censoring companies. Their names are easy to find in comment sections discussing the suspensions of Daniel McAdams, Peter van Buren and Scott Horton or elsewhere.1:17 pm on August 9, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff