The first letter of Dr. Moore’s was not addressed to me personally. Rather, it was sent out to a list utilized by Reason Foundation, in which I am included.
Below, I say some rather critical things about the Reason Foundation and Adrian’s efforts on this matter. Let me introduce this series of letters by saying something nice about him, and them. Reason is doing great work in spreading the libertarian message. True, it is a watered down version of libertarianism, but, still, it is libertarian. They started out as a mimeographed newsletter, and are now a large organization with dozens of employees, acquainting millions of people with the case for liberty. Even though I disagree with some of what they say, I regard him, and them as a huge plus for liberty. Were they to, horrors!, disappear, our movement would be much worse off. I am also very grateful to them for publishing no fewer than eight of my scholarly articles in their scholarly journal, Reason Papers, and one in their Reason Magazine (see below on this).
Ordinarily, I keep my correspondent in letters of this sort anonymous. But, I have his specific permission not to do so in this case. (Thanks to my friend Mike Rozeff’s suggestion, I have put this letters in date order; you can now read from the top).
The debate involves just how we libertarians should view the government. The best essay on this I have ever read is this one:
Rothbard, Murray N. 1977. “Do you hate the state?” The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 10, No. 7, July;https://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard75.html
I only wish that Adrian, and all the other Reason people would read this, and take it to heart.
One last point before I begin. I regard a person’s view of Ron Paul as a litmus test for libertarianism. Reason has not passed this test.
From: Adrian Moore [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2019 10:02 AM
Subject: Dealing with marijuana impaired driving as marijuana is legalized
Walter,4:03 pm on June 25, 2019 Email Walter E. Block
Sent: Friday, March 01, 2019 1:34 PM
Subject: how do you define IQ and tests thereof
When I was a troubled teen, I was sent to several therapists to address a diagnosis of not up to his abilities . I was given an IQ test. Then a month later, with a different therapist, they (unknowingly) gave me the same test a second time. Guess what, I got smarter!
I’m not sure of what these tests measure since they depend on experience quite a bit. Would you agree?
I think IQ tests are pretty accurate; but not perfect.
When I was in grade school, my IQ measurement was 141 (I remember this one exactly). Later on in life, in my 30s, I forget exactly when, I wanted to join Mensa, so I took their IQ test. I failed to join. My IQ tested out at something like 125, and you needed 130, I think, to be accepted. So, I retook the exam, this time, seeing it as a speed test, not an intelligence test. On this retest, I didn’t think, I just sped through the questions. I succeeded this time, with an IQ of about 190. What I got out of this, my surmise, is that the IQ test is pretty accurate for people whose intelligence level is below that of those who wrote the exam, but not for those who are smarter than them. This is just my speculation, based on my own experience, and might be wildly inaccurate.
One further thought. In the bad old days of IQ tests, they would ask questions about a “regatta.” But some people were simply unacquainted with that sort of thing: foreigners, inner city folk, poor people. They don’t do that sort of thing any more. Nowadays, they ask things like, this big circle is to that small circle, as this big square is to what? And then they offer you choices like triangle, parallelogram, circle, small square (the latter is correct). Or they pull this one on you: repeating from memory numbers forward, and numbers backward. The former does not much distinguish between smart and not so smart people, but the latter does. And no one can complain that repeating numbers backward is culturally or linguistically problematic, since the not so smart people just did almost as well as the smart folk in repeating numbers forward.
Here are some readings on this subject; I hope this disorganized material is of some help to you in your deliberations on this subject:12:39 pm on June 25, 2019 Email Walter E. Block
Thanks for sharing with me your fascinating views on this matter.
I found this point of yours most important:
“we don’t call a person with three feet two people sharing a common foot, so a person with two heads is a single individual with split coexisting personalities.”
But, each head can have a different preference, a different will. Feet can’t do that. So, I think of conjoined twins as two people, not one, just as I think of the mother and the fetus as not one but two different people.
You’ve seen this?
Dyke, Jeremiah and Walter E. Block. 2011. “Explorations in Property Rights: Conjoined Twins.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 38;
Walter1:47 am on June 25, 2019 Email Walter E. Block
Some of our home-grown socialists/communists (like Sanders and Warren) want taxpayers to assume the debts of students. Others want taxpayers to pay for 4 years of college for everyone else. Each Democrat has a different “plan”. Each plan is one step closer to a totalitarian society. The “argument” over plans among these thieves is over whom to pay off and whom to steal from. Also, how much to steal and by what means.
All their proposals are outrageous. All are undiluted communism. All are unfair in the extreme. All make a mockery of contracts. All subsidize the already-evident socialism and communism that infect colleges.
These proposals are completely antithetical to any sound idea of freedom or liberty. The soundest idea relating to education is to remove the federal government from anything even remotely connected with education.
A certain number of “moderate” Republican communists will sign on to the Democrat plans.
The battle lines should be clarified. On one side are the progressive-socialist-communist-democrats who favor as much big government total control as they can possibly inflict on everyone. On the other side are (or should be) reactionaries who favor strictly limited government (possibly none) and who would look upon dissolving the Constitution and going back to the Articles of Confederation as a great advance in our political system.5:14 pm on June 24, 2019 Email Michael S. Rozeff
The day after President Trump decided to ignore his advice to start a war with Iran. Bolton is quoted as saying that “threats to international peace” in the Middle East are “on the rise.” Well, duh, yeah, because of him, Pompeo, and the usual cast of neocon characters who plague America and the world.9:00 am on June 24, 2019 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
This query or its equivalent was asked of Walter Block. His reply, which was “Yes”, called for precision in how we use words. That caused me to look up the words hurt and harm using Google search. Much to my surprise, the definitions stressed the physical. Hurt is a term that seems exclusively to entail the physical:
verb: hurt; 3rd person present: hurts; past tense: hurt; past participle: hurt; gerund or present participle: hurting
1. cause physical pain or injury to.
“Ow! You’re hurting me!”
synonyms: injure, wound, damage, disable, incapacitate, impair, maim, mutilate, cause injury to, cause pain to
Harm is a concept that also prominently means the physical:
physical injury, especially that which is deliberately inflicted.
There is more wiggle room, but not much, in some of its secondary definition in the terms “ill effect” and “adverse effect”.
If we are precise or substantially so, to respect non-aggression and not initiate physical violence does mean not to initiate hurt and harm.
But should we be precise? If commoners are prone to think of hurt and harm as emotional pain and loss of income through competition, then it doesn’t pay to be faithful to the dictionary definitions of hurt and harm. It pays to stick to other concepts like rights violations.
“Hurt someone” is not the same as “hurt someone’s feelings”. The latter, again using a dictionary, means “unhappiness or sadness caused by someone’s words or actions”. This lets in the non-physical aspect.
To be precise enough to make our meanings clear, we need to know the object of hurt and harm. “I hurt him” has a different meaning than “I hurt his feelings”.
Do your feelings belong to your body? Precisely, i.e., via dictionaries, the answer seems to be “no”. Body refers to something physical: “the physical structure of a person or an animal, including the bones, flesh, and organs.” This excludes emotions and feelings, which are called “states”. A dualism seems to be embodied in our language and concepts of the human being. We separate our selves from our bodies.
If someone curses you or tells you she doesn’t love you, that doesn’t violate your rights. It may hurt your feelings. It’s easy to slip into saying “she hurt me.” Speaking precisely is costly and much of the time we don’t incur that cost. This reality favors not using hurt and harm as defining concepts for a libertarian law, even if they are precise and substantially refer only to the physical.8:13 am on June 24, 2019 Email Michael S. Rozeff
A coup d’état is the sudden, illegal, extra-constitutional overthrow of a government, usually by a small elite group of the existing state establishment, to replace the deposed government with another body; either civil or military.
There is an ever-growing scholarly consensus among presidential historians, distinguished political analysts, and JFK assassination researchers that on November 22, 1963, an insidious coup d’état by Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and the highest echelons of the National Security State was accomplished with the brutal murder of President John F. Kennedy.
JFK had read the bestselling novel, Seven Days in May, and eagerly wanted this movie made. He believed he was at war with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon and the whole national security establishment. Director John Frankenheimer said that White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger conveyed to him President Kennedy’s wish that the film be made, “these were the days of General Walker” (referenced in the movie) and, though the Pentagon did not want the film made, the president would conveniently arrange to visit Hyannis Port for a weekend when the film needed to shoot a staged riot outside the White House. Kirk Douglas recalled President Kennedy approving of the making of the film which unfortunately was released after his murder.
The official full 889-page report by the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, about the assassination of President John Kennedy on November 22, 1963, established the cover-up of this coup. Their landmark final report was presented to President Lyndon Johnson on September 24, 1964, and made public on September 27.
What happened on that fateful day in Dallas over fifty years ago led to perhaps the single most important series of events affecting the subsequent history of our nation. It lies at the inner most depth, the dark clotted heart, of what observers now describe as the deep state.
Andrew Gavin Marshall has written an exceptional online summary article, “The National Security State and the Assassination of JFK” which builds upon the path-breaking research of author James W. Douglass in his widely-acclaimed book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. These are the first analytical studies serious scholars should examine in depth, followed by the entire five volume series of Douglas P. Horne’s Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK.
Horne is the former Chief Analyst for Military Records for the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), established by the JFK Records Act of 1992, which was tasked with defining, locating, and ensuring the declassification (to the maximum extent possible under the JFK Act) of all Federal Records considered “reasonably related” to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Horne details the numerous anomalies and interrupted chain of custody and destruction of key evidence regarding the president’s body, in the autopsy report(s), the autopsy photo collection (particularly the JFK brain photographs), the deliberate alteration and forgery of the extant Zapruder film, and the supposed “magic bullet” found at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Watch Douglas P. Horne’s definitive five part video documentary series which summarizes his exceptional research, Altered History: Exposing Deceit and Deception in the JFK, Assassination Medical Evidence. Horne has also written the concise authoritative summary volume ,JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated.
Other highly recommended books on the Dallas coup d’état include David Talbot’s The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government; Peter Dale Scott’s Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House; John M. Newman, Where Angels Lightly Tread: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume 1; John M. Newman, Countdown to Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy, Volume 2; John M. Newman, Into the Storm: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume 3; Roger Stone’s The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ; Philip H. Nelson’s LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination; and Nelson’s follow-up volume, LBJ: From Mastermind to “The Colossus.”3:41 am on June 24, 2019 Email Charles Burris
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2019 9:20 PM
To: Walter Block <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Quintessential Libertarian Slogan
What do you think of the slogan below?
“Cause no harm to a peaceful person’s body or property.”
My friend, the party secretary, came up with it after the last XYZ Libertarian Party meeting. I think it is a very good encapsulation of the NAP. Do you see any problem with it? K
On Fri, Feb 22, 2019 at 9:20 PM Walter Block <email@example.com> wrote:
I oppose it. Under libertarianism, we are allowed to harm people, to hurt them. By competing against them for marriage partners, for business contracts, etc. I think this is a mis-specification of our libertarian philosophy. We are allowed to hurt and harm people in all sorts of ways: hurt our parents by becoming poets and not going to medical school as they wanted us to do; write bad book and movie reviews, hurting the feelings of the authors, producers, actors, etc., and harming their financial position. Instead, I prefer to couch libertarianism in terms of rights violations, and none of these violate rights. I think we should be more careful with our language, be more precise than that.
Walter1:30 am on June 24, 2019 Email Walter E. Block
Great speech from former NYPD underground narcotics officer (and former Ron Paul bodyguard!) John Baeza on his conversation from drug warrior to anti drug war warrior, from Ron Paul Institute’s Houston conference last month:1:26 pm on June 22, 2019 Email Daniel McAdams
On May 1, 2019, Trump requested $4.5 billion in emergency funds from the Democratic controlled House of Representatives, not for the wall, but to relieve the severe overcrowding and very poor conditions at migrant detention centers. This is called humanitarian relief. It hasn’t passed Congress yet. It’s now perhaps close to passage.
“In a statement, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said the Trump administration’s ‘callous immigration policies’ had ‘contributed to a humanitarian emergency on the border,’ adding that the funding request appeared to ‘double down on cruel and ill-conceived policies'”.
The latest evil statements come from the newly-elected, young, female, leftist Democrats. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has this to say: “That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps.” Ilhan Omar threw in with her with this mealy-mouthed and evil subterfuge: “And when you think about the definition, if we separate it from death camps, I would say these are camps and people are being concentrated in them. And so that’s the general definition.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Omar are young and new to political power, but they are old and experienced in avoiding truth, making up stories, twisting facts to fit their agenda, and outright lying.
Ocasio-Cortez got the meaning of concentration camp completely wrong. To refute her and Omar, I take as a first authority the Encyclopedia Britannica. Their definition reads as follows:
“Concentration camp, internment centre for political prisoners and members of national or minority groups who are confined for reasons of state security, exploitation, or punishment, usually by executive decree or military order. Persons are placed in such camps often on the basis of identification with a particular ethnic or political group rather than as individuals and without benefit either of indictment or fair trial. Concentration camps are to be distinguished from prisons interning persons lawfully convicted of civil crimes and from prisoner-of-war camps in which captured military personnel are held under the laws of war. They are also to be distinguished from refugee camps or detention and relocation centres for the temporary accommodation of large numbers of displaced persons.”
It could not be more clear that migrant detention centers are not concentration camps. They are in no way comparable.
For a second authority, there is the prominent web definition:
“a place where large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor or to await mass execution. The term is most strongly associated with the several hundred camps established by the Nazis in Germany and occupied Europe in 1933–45, among the most infamous being Dachau, Belsen, and Auschwitz.”
Again, it’s clear that detention centers to deal with migrant flows are not for political prisoners, not for forced labor, not imprisonment, not awaiting mass execution, not for religious persecution, not for medical experiments, not for a racial reason, not for an ethnic reason, and not because of being a minority. They are there because they have to be processed according to U.S. laws controlling immigration and the flows have been very large.
The behavior of Democrat partisans has for years now crossed a line into undeniable evil. It was evident with Obama and evident before that in Bush 2 and his predecessors.
The evil is in the lying, the denial and obfuscation of truths.8:37 am on June 22, 2019 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Lucratively failing upward is just about the only career path in war advocacy. The case of warhawk Jeffrey Goldberg.
Here is part II, in this ongoing series:
Some very important new material just came in from a source who will not remain anonymous. I knew of this; I saw Bettina taking notes when I attended the Mises Seminar at NYU. I kick myself for not having included it before. Here it is now, thanks to my good friend Bob Wenzel:
From: Robert Wenzel [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, June 21, 2019 9:15 AM
To: Walter Block primary <email@example.com>
Subject: Mises Research Topics
When you originally referenced Mises discussing research topics and called for research ideas, I thought for sure someone would send a link to the Bettina-Bien Greaves list of Mises recommendations for research, but I see by your post today, apparently not, so here you go:
Robert Wenzel4:40 pm on June 21, 2019 Email Walter E. Block
Limited strikes are “sheer insanity” and will trigger an all-out war. The world will turn against the U.S.
I am on RT to offer some views…1:49 pm on June 21, 2019 Email Daniel McAdams
Previously, I wrote about this topic, here.
Since then, several suggestions have come in over the transom to me. I pass them along to this list just as they have been sent to me, anonymously, as is my practice, with no commentary attached. Some of them, hopefully, will be of use to at least some viewers of this LRC blog. I am very grateful to the several people who wrote to me on this topic.1:51 am on June 21, 2019 Email Walter E. Block
Or is it utter lunacy. I am speaking about U.S. foreign policy. People are debating about whether the U.S. drone that Iran shot down was closer or further than 21 miles from Iran’s coast. I am inclined to not believe the lying U.S. government and its military. But regardless, why are very few even questioning why the United States flies anything anywhere near Iran or the Middle East? If Iran flew anything within 500 miles of the East coast of the United States, the U.S. government would call it an act of aggression.6:18 pm on June 20, 2019 Email Laurence M. Vance
See this interview.
Burgess Owens, retired NFL safety and Super Bowl champion, attacks the Democrats as racists, elitists, hustlers, socialists: “Every bad thing that’s happened to my race over the years, you can go right back to the Democratic Party. Whether it be Chicago, whether it be Mississippi.”12:21 pm on June 20, 2019 Email Michael S. Rozeff
I am on RT America with Rick Sanchez…11:44 am on June 20, 2019 Email Daniel McAdams
Conservative Christians, of which I am one, have sold out when it comes to President Trump, or at least the majority of them have. After pointing out for years the negative things the Bible says about homosexuality and criticizing President Obama for his support of the LGBT agenda, they are strangely silent when it comes to President Trump.
When Trump was asked if he saw anything wrong with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg appearing at political rallies with his “husband,” he said: “I think it’s great. I think that’s something that perhaps some people will have a problem with. I have no problem with it whatsoever. I think it’s good.” He thinks it’s great and good? If Obama had said that, conservatives Christians would have had a screaming fit.
And that’s not all, June is “LGBT Pride Month.” This is something that conservative Christians neither celebrate nor recognize. Yet Trump recently tweeted:
As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation. My administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!
Where is the outrage from conservative Christians? If Trump were a Democrat, they would be castigating him day and night. Does Trump get a pass just because Democrats and liberals hate him? Does Trump get a pass just because he is a Republican?7:02 am on June 20, 2019 Email Laurence M. Vance
Who first hypothesized that General Patton was assassinated? And when? We have the detailed work of Robert K. Wilcox in his book Target Patton, published in 2008. How many years before that did rumors of his assassination appear?
It’s of interest that a star-studded movie appeared in 1978 named Brass Target, and it portrayed a full-blown fictional account of Patton’s assassination built around gold thefts that never were solved. The movie was based upon a novel written by Frederick Nolan in 1974 titled The Oshawa Project and published in America as The Algonquin Project.
Robert Vaughn, an army officer in Germany immediately after the war, engineers a train robbery in which 59 soldiers are ruthlessly gassed to death. He has conspired with Edward Herrmann, his bed buddy, and Patrick McGoohan, among others. They’ve made off with $250 million of gold, never found. General Patton (George Kennedy) was in charge of it. After being chastised by a Russian general for losing the gold, Kennedy vows to recover it. Vaughn, fearing the General’s tenacity, arranges to have him assassinated by an unknown but top-notch hit-man, Max von Sydow. The idea is to make it look like an accident. Meanwhile, Bruce Davison has brought John Cassavetes into the case to locate the gold and robbers, he having been quite the OSS operative earlier in the war and having himself led a similar attack on a train in a tunnel. Cassavetes knows both McGoohan and von Sydow, but the latter has always maintained cover stories. He is known for some shady dealings but not as an assassin certainly, and he carefully covers all his tracks. All three have in common that they have been lovers of Sophia Loren, who has managed by this means to avoid becoming a penniless and driven refugee. Her role in the plot is critical to Cassavetes’ success or failure in two places that relate to him in his hunt for the unknown assassin, von Sydow.
Supporting the official story, critic Vincent Canby of The New York Times dismissed the film as dubious conspiracy theory. Yea or nay, Brass Target is actually very enjoyable entertainment. It’s very much like a spy story, featuring machinations and conspiracy. In view of Wilcox’s work, author Nolan seems to have had some sense of something fishy in how Patton died.
The cast does a great job. In his rather small part, Herrmann is a nervous Nellie. Vaughn is excellent. I cannot possibly analyze what, in his case, goes into a lifetime of acting and immersion into acting and directing from age 4. I can only report that the result is his top-notch ability to capture the screen and hold our interest without any obvious gimmickry.
George Kennedy clearly decided to play Patton his own way, very differently from George C. Scott’s version. He lets his New York accent come through. He’s loud and confrontational, not what we expect. Von Sydow is a great, great actor. Anything he’s in is worth taking in. His role here is quite substantial. Cassavetes is strong, and has the Italian capacity to use his eyes very expressively. McGoohan goes out of his way to create a novel character, with an affected American accent that underscores my typical refrain that British actors have enormous difficulty doing American.* Sophia Loren floats through the story, finally making a commitment.
The script is terse, not explaining quite a bit of the action. One must stay on one’s toes to follow what’s going on. It’s sometimes preceded by only a sentence or two. The challenge here is that Vaughn is trying to cover his tracks and get rid of Cassavetes too, and von Sydow is also engaged in covering his tracks as an assassin.
The criticism heaped upon this movie surprises me. Part of it is a vain search for historical truth. Movies like this don’t so that. They’re made up stories. History is often simply a jumping off point.
But in this instance, we wonder if perhaps the story really did capture
the elusive truth about Patton’s untimely demise in such an improbable way.
Patton was extremely well-educated and experienced in command, points discussed in More Than a Tank General. This article is especially interesting in discussing Ike’s real personality, his failings, and his treatment with Bradley of Patton. In particular, they treated Patton’s intense loyalty as a commodity to be traded upon by them personally. The discussion helps form a context in which Patton’s frustration with the strategic impulses and personal limitations of his superiors may have stoked the fires of OSS antagonism.
*McGoohan was born in America but shortly thereafter his family went to Ireland and later England.1:39 pm on June 19, 2019 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Update (6/19/19): Interesting! The go-pick-cotton statement isn’t recorded so we have to trust Jones that it was actually said. The “go back to Kenya” statement is actually, “He’ll tell you to go back to Kenya next,” with the “He’ll” referring to Trump. Hannity spreading fake news while accusing others of doing the same. Who can be surprised at that?
“Enlightened” progressives tell Jones (who is black) to go back to picking cotton and go back to Africa (i.e., they have no use for minorities who don’t further their power grabs). Only dumbo Hannity is surprised.