LRC Blog
A First in History?
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
The NY Times, long a hater of the Catholic Church, attacks critics of the Pope. But, as usual, the NYT is an infallible guide. Just believe the opposite of what it decrees.
5:58 pm on June 17, 2015
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Can I Identify As the President?
Laurence M. Vance
If I, a white, cannot identify as black, but can, as a man, identify as a woman, how about if I choose to identify as the president? Is that allowed? Does this mean that I can get paid his salary and order people to be killed?
5:24 pm on June 17, 2015
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Are We Winning the Fight For Liberty?
Daniel McAdams
What a great treat to have the one and only Lew Rockwell on the Ron Paul Liberty Report! It was fun to talk about past events like how Lew felt when he got the call to come work for Dr. Paul on Capitol Hill. How did he start the Mises Institute? What is the future of the liberty movement? Listen to Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell give their assessment:
5:23 pm on June 17, 2015
Shark Bites vs. Terrorist Attacks?
Laurence M. Vance
Shark bites vs. terrorist attacks? Which one is more likely to happen to you? Well, if you live in Florida, where (according to a news report I heard today) there were 28 recorded shark bites last year and no reported terrorist attacks, I would say the former. Oh, I forgot. The military is fighting them “over there” so we don’t have to fight them “over here” and the cops here are protecting us.
5:08 pm on June 17, 2015
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What Does It Mean to Be Pro-Trade?
Laurence M. Vance
I heard on the news that Obama was meeting at the White House with pro-trade Democrats. What does it mean to be pro-trade? Evidently it means that you support secret trade deals that have very little to do with trade. I am pro-trade. Meet with me Mr. President. Please. I will make the case for real for free trade as I recently did so here.
5:04 pm on June 17, 2015
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‘Let Rachel Dolezal Be as Black as She Wants To Be’
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. She’s also given him the courage, he says, to reveal himself as a short man (5’8″)  trapped inside a tall man’s body (7′).
2:32 pm on June 17, 2015
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Re: Rachel Dolezal
Becky Akers
Lew, I’m trying to figure out why the loony bin that is Progressivism says it’s perfectly OK for a man to pretend he’s a woman but not for a Caucasian to pretend she’s black.
12:26 pm on June 17, 2015
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Senate Republicans for Torture
Laurence M. Vance
Twenty-one of them. Back in 2005, I wrote an article titled “Senate Republican Torture Masters.” It is time to write another one. The U.S. Senate just passed an amendment to permanently ban torture. Every Democrat and all but 21 Republicans voted in favor of it. Names of guilty can be seen here. The list includes the “constitutionalist” Mike Lee.
7:19 pm on June 16, 2015
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Trump Not As Deluded As Bush
Laurence M. Vance
“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” said Donald Trump after he announced that he was running for president. At least he didn’t say that God told him to run for president like George W. Bush did.
7:09 pm on June 16, 2015
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Are There Any Republican Candidates Who Deserve to Rule over Us?
Laurence M. Vance
I heard on a newscast that Donald Trump entering the presidential race will push a more deserving Republican candidate off the stage. Are there any Republican candidates who deserve to rule over us?
7:07 pm on June 16, 2015
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Terrorist vs. Terrorist
Laurence M. Vance
Mad magazine’s Spy vs. Spy was funny, but not as funny as terrorist vs. terrorist. The Taliban has written a letter to the Islamic State warning the group to stay out of Afghanistan.
7:03 pm on June 16, 2015
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Congress Blocks Nazi Training in Ukraine
Daniel McAdams
While the US makes plans to deploy thousands of troops and military equipment on the Russian border, any Russian move to redeploy its troops within its own border is called “aggressive.” Meanwhile, the US House voted to withhold training to Ukraine’s openly Nazi Azov Battalion. But of course the policy of backing Kiev has not changed. More on this today in the Liberty Report:
4:43 pm on June 16, 2015
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Coming Thursday: Mises Institute President Jeff Deist in Hawaii
Ryan McMaken
From the Big Island Libertarian Party:
Come hear a unique perspective, ask questions and learn more about what is happening within the Libertarian movement on our island.
71 Banyan St., Room MO2
June 18th, 2015, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Hilo Hawaiian
Hilo, HI 96720
RSVP: 808-747-9264
Open to the Public
Opening Remarks By:
Keli‘i Akina, Ph.D.
President CEO
Grassroots Institute
More information here.
3:45 pm on June 16, 2015
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Marxist Ideologue Calls for Worldwide Central Planning
Thomas DiLorenzo
Am I referring to the ghosts of Lenin and Stalin?  Well, maybe.  The Jesuit/Marxist ideologue (sorry for the redundancy) hiding behind a priest’s collar known as “the pope” is calling for a super Soviet-style “super U.N.” that will centrally plan the entire world economy in the name of “ecology.”
Will the pope follow the lead of his ideological bloodbrother Al Gore and call for the imprisonment of those of us who are a bit skeptical of worldwide central economic planning schemes concocted by washed up old Marxists-turned-“environmentalists”?
The good news for Catholics is that the pope has no moral authority whatsoever on climate science, economics, or anything else other than Catholic theology.
12:09 pm on June 16, 2015
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Abolition vs. Optionality
Michael S. Rozeff
Abolishing someone else’s chosen and willingly-tolerated government is coercive. Abolishing someone else’s chosen and willingly-tolerated sub-government or program is coercive. If some other people agree to be coerced or to stay with some government, who are you or I to say otherwise?
Your proper sphere of decision-making is your own participation. Only you know whether you are being coerced or not. Optionality allows you to exercise that right. This is like saying you are free when you are free to decide yourself. It’s virtually a definition of freedom. Optionality is freedom. But this implies that some people may choose differently than you and give up freedom in certain respects.
10:47 am on June 16, 2015
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You Know You Live in a Totalitarian Society . . .
Thomas DiLorenzo
. . . when even the richest man in the world is pestered and fined by petty local government bureaucrats over government paperwork “mistakes.”
Bill Gates has a daughter who is a competitive horse rider/jumper, so he owns a home in Wellington, Florida, an epicenter of that sport.  He was recently informed by the local government bureaucracy (the “Village of Wellington”) that his horse manure bin was too close to a canal.  (City and County government golf courses are among the biggest polluters of South Florida canals, but that’s another story).
Being an environmentalist who has given away millions to environmental organizations, Gates immediately built a new horse manure bin in the spot designated for him by government.  He was nevertheless fined $148,000 for not filling out the appropriate government form before having his horse manure bin built.  His lawyers talked the fine down to $30,000, which is still a good piece  of extortion work for the local pesteaucracy.
So many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of government regulations have accumulated over the past several generations that we are all now at the mercy of any nitwit/moron/jerk/sufferer of small-man syndrome who weasels his (or her) way into the lowliest of jobs in the smallest of government bureaucracies. Once implanted there, they make full use of all the levers of bureaucracy that have been built up over more than 200 years to push the rest of us around and make us jump through their financial hoops in order to stroke their own phony self importance.
8:06 am on June 16, 2015
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Rand Paul As Albatross: Coercive vs. Optional Libertarianism
Michael S. Rozeff
Jim Ostrowski explains why libertarians should not support Rand Paul. One reason “is that Rand will become an albatross around the neck of the Liberty Movement.” I completely agree.
Freedom cannot be gained or held by imposing it officially through a coercive system of government on everyone in a given territorial area whether they agree to it or not. Freedom can’t be won by abolishing government programs, taxes and associated laws. That’s coercive libertarianism. Freedom can only be achieved by making such programs, taxes and associated laws optional. That’s optional libertarianism. Let people live under specific government activities who want to and let others opt out of them who do not want to.
If Rand Paul actually succeeded in getting Congress to abolish some program, say farm subsidies, the majority vote would suppress the minority who believe in that program. Consequently, since nothing systematic had changed, the divisive bickering and fighting over what government should or should not do would continue. The result would be a new political battleground, new coalitions, new programs and new forms of coercion.
As long as the current system under this Constitution continues, there can be no other result but continual political fighting and continual coercion. Majority voting builds these right into the system.
What needs to be done within this existing coercive system that is short of revolution is to subdivide government’s activities into separate programs, each with its own laws and especially its own financing, so that people can see exactly what’s being imposed on them. Each such program should then be made OPTIONAL. It SHOULD NOT be voted up or down by a single overall vote or referendum. That’s what majority rule does and it’s coercive. Instead, each person should be able either to affirm or reject participation in each given program INDIVIDUALLY and VOLUNTARILY. Affirmation then provides an agreement to pay one’s share of the financing costs of that program. Taxes become specific to each program and they become voluntary. Opting out relieves one of both the program and the payments that support it.
Individual optionality enlarges freedom without coercion. It allows the continuation of certain government programs among those who want them to continue, and it allows discontinuation among those who do not want them.
If optionality is not increased in this way, there are other ways within the existing system to enhance it and bring about a peaceful transformation that amounts to a virtual revolution, even under the existing Constitution.
6:07 am on June 16, 2015
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Magna Carta and the Fantasy of Legal Constraints on States
Ryan McMaken
Magna Carta turns 800 years old today. The Great Charter is often hailed as the first event in a series of limitations on the power of government. For Americans, Marga Carta seems even more important because it is a document that was written and signed for the purpose of limiting the power of a monarch. Americans love grandiose gestures in the form of written documents such as Magna Carta and the Mayflower Compact and the Constitution of 1787, and the document is today taught to school children as a sort of proto-Bill of Rights.
And to a certain extent it is. It does, after all, state that a political ruler cannot just do whatever he wants. There are rules.
The problem, of course, is that rulers don’t have to follow those rules if they have all the guns. In other words, if the state truly enjoys a monopoly on the means of coercion, then it doesn’t really matter what the rules are. The state can simply rewrite the rules.
Fortunately, however, states rarely enjoy a total monopoly of force. As Etienne de la Boetie knew, even an unarmed populace can bring down a government by withholding consent. Few governments have the ability to kill or jail the entire population, and even fewer are willing to try.
But, the fact remains that a government that has the ability to kill all the “bad guys” also has the ability to kill all the “good guys.” And even worse, governments often cannot tell the difference.
So how about those rules we mentioned? Well, Magna Carta was an excellent first example of how the rules don’t mean much to a motivated politician such as King John.
James Bovard notes today, for example, that the ink was barely dry on Magna Carta before King John used his wealth and influence in an attempt to butcher the nobles who forced him to sign Magna Carta: (more…)
11:37 pm on June 15, 2015
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Hilaire Belloc: “Europe will return to the Faith, or she will perish. The Faith is Europe. And Europe is the Faith.”
Charles Burris
Today, in headlines that shout and scream from newspapers, television, the Internet, the Roman Catholic Church is besieged and under attack once again. It is part of a more generalized assault on the remaining civilizational remnants of what once was recognized as the West. The Church was once at the center of Western Civilization. That is why such disparate elements such as the secular elite media, the “New Atheists,” Radical Islam, and the US Leviathan State continue their belligerency toward her. In order to begin to understand the fundamental historical backstory of the nature and sustained longevity of these attacks, I urge LRC readers read a nearly forgotten novel. It is one of the first examples of dystopian fiction, with later works such as We, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Brave New World to follow in its wake. It was consciously written in 1907 to portray the actual horrific consequences of the totalitarian humanism of the secular one-world government advocated by collectivists such as H. G. Welles and his Fabian socialist colleagues. It is called The Lord of the World, by Robert Hugh Benson. It has been championed by Pope Benedict XVI and several times lately by the present Pope, Francis, for its prophetic and chilling message.
To place this work in historical context I also urge you become familiar with the works of Hilaire Belloc – essayist, historian, novelist, poet, and polemicist, an ardent defender of the Roman Catholic faith, and an early critic of the welfare-warfare state. Begin with three counter-posed biographies of Belloc: Hilaire Belloc: Edwardian Radical, by John P. McCarthy; Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc, by Joseph Pearce; and Hilaire Belloc: No Alienated Man – A Study in Christian Integration, by Frederick Wihelmsen. Belloc was the author of over one hundred books. The specific seven Belloc books which detail and elucidate the subject at hand are: Europe and the Faith; The Great Heresies; Survivals and New Arrivals; How the Reformation Happened; Characters of the Reformation; The Crisis of Civilization; and The Servile State. (You may also wish to consult the authoritative The Church Confronts Modernity: Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era, by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., which deals with this specific time period of Belloc. Woods demolishes Belloc’s fallacious notions of Distributism here.)
7:59 pm on June 15, 2015
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Why Would Any Pastor with Half a Brain Even Think of Doing Such a Thing?
Laurence M. Vance
The pastor of a church in St. Paul, Minn., is having a “Love the Police” event on June 27 “to show our gratitude.” Says the church about the police: “Every day they put their lives on the line to protect ours, even at a time when being a police officer may be the hardest job in America.” Said the pastor: “Anytime we love someone tasked with serving and protecting us, I think that’s a good thing.”
Serving and protecting or ticketing and tasering? Protecting us or taking our money and property? It seems that some churches have replaced the true Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) with another trinity: Military, police, and firemen.
Thanks to T.K.
6:23 pm on June 15, 2015
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The Magna Carta at 800 Years: Is it Still Alive?
Daniel McAdams
Today’s Liberty Report takes a look at the famed magna carta as an early rebellion against unchecked executive power. At 800 years old today, can we take courage from this earlier rebellion?
4:05 pm on June 15, 2015
Jeb Bush Will . . .
Thomas DiLorenzo
. . . “rebuild our military” and “stand with Israel,” he just said as he announced that he wants to be president.  Of which country, it is not at all clear to me.
Huh?  When did we dis-assemble the military?  How did I miss that news?  Will Jeb also announce that he will “stand with Americans” as well?  One can only wonder.
These guys — “Jeb” and “Dub-Yuh” sound like two characters from “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
3:51 pm on June 15, 2015
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Thanks to Dr. DiLorenzo
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
A Texas physicians in his 90s writes to say that “Thanks to Dr. DiLorenzo, after so many, many years, I can now comprehend why my Great Auntie would never accept a five dollar bill.”
1:40 pm on June 15, 2015
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Re: Rachel Dolezal
Butler Shaffer
The Rachel Dolezal incident is another example of how easily human beings can be herded into distinct categories in order to facilitate the creation and management of social conflict that is the raison d’etre of all political systems. Whether one is considered “black” or “white” in our world is largely a function of the amount of melanin (the substance of pigmentation) one has in his/her body. While “black” and “white” have absolute, mutually-exclusive qualities to them, the reality is that almost no one fits clearly into either definition. I have asked students in my classes “are there any blacks here?,” to which I will get some hands raised. I then walk over to them and, looking closely, observe “no, you are not black; you are dark brown.” I then ask if there are any “whites in the class?” By this time, my students tend to figure out that I am up to something, and generally prefer to remain silent, and so I raise my arm and ask “is this ‘white’? It looks more yellowish/pink to me.”
I then inform my students that I have known only one person with white skin, a young man I met in college. He was an albino (i.e., a person with no melanin in his system). He had milk-white skin, whiter than any Ku Klux Klan adherent or white-supremacist could dream of having. He was also a Negro, with the rest of his family having melanin in their bodies!
Vector analysis can inform us of the dangers of insisting upon our mutually-exclusive categories with which we have been conditioned to identify ourselves in order to energize the conflicts upon which the state depends. Is Rachel Dolezal “black” or “white?” Who cares? If you and she were the only humans left on our planet, would such a question matter?
12:15 pm on June 15, 2015
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re: Am I Now Or Have I Ever Been . . .
Thomas DiLorenzo
Mike, I think it’s time we called a spade a spade and labeled people like neocon David Horowitz what he really is: an Israelofascist.  How else would you describe such an extreme militarist who supports the military invasion, conquest, and occupation of a large chunk of the planet that in no way protects or defends ANYONE  in the U.S. but is the agenda only of the Likud party — the crazy wing of Israeli politics?
10:45 am on June 15, 2015
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re: The Non-Mystery of Rachel Dolezal
Thomas DiLorenzo
Lew, I think your comment also goes a long way toward explaining why the Left is so apoplectic over poor Rachel:  If a woman would abandon “white privilege” to become one of “the oppressed,” why, then the thought might enter some peoples’ minds that maybe not every single black person on the planet (Tiger Woods? Oprah?  Michael Jordan?  Obama?) is a helpless victim of the White Devils who needs constant protecting and coddling by Big Brother.
10:31 am on June 15, 2015
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The Non-Mystery of Rachel Dolezal
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Why would a young woman leave a life of “white privilege” to be “oppressed”? Because, of course, it’s a great career move.
9:18 am on June 15, 2015
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Buckley on Bach
Charles Burris
After reading the egregious article, “Teacher: I Don’t Teach Shakespeare Because He’s White,” I am reminded of William F. Buckley, Jr., writing in The Governor Listeth, in an essay (written in 1969) entitled, “Middle-Class Values”:
I thought I had seen everything–I hoped I had–in the student world of unreason. But the all-time champion effrontery was as yet uncommitted. It was left to a seventeen-year-old Negro boy called Rickey Ivie whose Black Student Union has touched off disorders in a Los Angeles high school in a demonstration against “raciest training.” An example of that training is the inclusion in the curriculum of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is described by Master Ivie as “that old, dead punk.” “In the world of music,” he explains, “the schools keep imposing middle-class values in teaching us about Bach.”
I sat next to a middle-class French countess the other day who announced to me that she did not like Bach. I felt like asking her, did she like color, or fresh air, or trees–when suddenly I realized that she figured that her dislike of Bach was Bach’s fault–such is the egomania of democratism. If one really doesn’t like Bach, why I suppose one shouldn’t listen to him. But one should then be disturbed about oneself, not about Bach.
The remarkable thing about young Ivie isn’t, one supposes, that he doesn’t like Bach–probably he had never let himself listen to Bach. It is that author of such a remark as he made about Bach, he hasn’t become the laughingstock of his fellow students. Eccentricity is one thing (the late publisher of the New York Times specified that no Mozart should be played at his funeral). To call the greatest genius who ever lived an “old, dead punk,” the least of whose cantatas will do more to elevate the human spirit than all the black student unions born and unborn, is not so much contemptible as pitiable: conducive of that kind of separation one feels from animals, rather than from other human beings.
1:16 am on June 15, 2015
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Libertarians and Obamacare
David Gordon
The Bionic Mosquito is puzzled. Isn’t it obvious that libertarians cannot support Obamacare? The program compels people to purchase health insurance, in direct violation of libertarian principles. What puzzles the Mosquito is that Rory McPeak, in a post on the Students for Liberty website, thinks a case can be made for libertarian support for Obamacare. McPeak opposes egalitarianism, but thinks that people should be guaranteed certain “securities.” We need “market solutions to social welfare programs.” Why Obamacare is a market program he does not tell us, but McPeak supports it and is glad that Obama won the 2012 election.  Further, he thinks that his view on social welfare programs is consistent with a “broadly defined” libertarianism. No wonder the Mosquito is puzzled.
9:30 pm on June 14, 2015
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Am I Now or Have I Ever Been…
Michael S. Rozeff
“…Lewrockwell.com and others like that. They are totally in bed with the Islamofascists…” says David Horowitz (about 6m 25s in).
What David wants to ask, if he hadn’t already made up his mind to go on the attack, is an updated version of the question that HUAC used to ask of people in the Hollywood film industry: “Am I now or have I ever been a member of the Islamofascist Party of the United States?”
David is a McCarthyite with Islamofascism replacing Communism and hot wars against Muslim nations and states replacing the cold war. Anyone who speaks ill of Israel is an Islamofascist sympathizer and either a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer. Anyone who speaks up for Palestinians is an enemy of the American people.
In David’s ideal America , J. Edgar Hoover would be resurrected and lead the FBI’s fight against such websites as LRC and antiwar.com who are clearly undermining the values that made America great! Ron Paul would have been in prison long ago. HUAC would be brought back. Loyalty oaths to Israel would be instituted. Permanent standing committees in Congress would be brought back to investigate the Islamofascist influence on American society. Blacklists would be brought back. Subversive Islamofascists would be rooted out from any and every rock they are hiding under.
In David’s ideal conduct of U.S. aggressions in foreign wars, atom bombs would be used against any and all Islamofascist threats and groups in order to turn them into pacifists.
6:12 pm on June 14, 2015
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