LRC Blog

The Endless Night: A Valentine to Film Noir

Over the years I have become a film noir, film gris, fanatic thanks to Turner Classic Movies (TCM) – especially viewing the TCM Noir Alley weekly feature hosted by the incomparable Eddie Muller (The Czar of Noir) and the Internet Archive noir collection. To me, the darker, more hard boiled, more morally ambivalent or subversive, the better. To newcomers of this genre, I recommend two excellent books on film noir. They are The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir, by Foster Hirsch; and Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir, by Eddie Muller. Many noirs were directed, produced, written by, or starred persons who were latter blacklisted by the major Hollywood studios. Along with the western, this is perhaps the most American of film genres. Here are my favorites, many of which can be viewed free online here and here.

11:57 pm on January 17, 2020

Rand Paul on Impeachment: Foreign Aid is the Real Problem, Not Delaying It

Foreign aid shouldn’t be given to Ukraine or any other nation.

2:34 pm on January 16, 2020

Tucker Carlson on the Angry Exchange Between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders

Elizabeth Warren being indignant over the telling of an alleged lie is stunning chutzpah.  She really is the most shameless political shyster to come along in quite a while.  And no Tucker, I wouldn’t be interested in going to dinner with either.

2:30 pm on January 16, 2020

Chris Plante on CNN’s New War on Bernie Sanders

Using dirty tricks including circular reporting (using sources of a story to confirm the story). CNN of course used dirty tricks on Ron Paul 2012. The establishment hates those it doesn’t control.

2:22 pm on January 16, 2020

Trump Trial Begins – Guilty As Charged?

12:26 pm on January 16, 2020

“Recovering” What Wasn’t Yours to Begin With

Police executed a search warrant on [a suspected murderer’s] apartment and recovered a weapon” in Detroit.

In Missouri, a “gun was recovered Monday at Belton Middle School after a student brought it to school and hid it in the gym area.”

Across the pond, “London Police Recovered …Scissors, Pliers, And Screwdrivers” “In A ‘Weapons Sweep’.” (If you haven’t already read this article from April 2018, I urge you to. It’s a telling illustration of Leviathan’s endless quest to render us totally incapable of defending ourselves against tyranny: “Now that Britain has largely disarmed their [sic] populace of firearms, conservatives reason that knives are the next target. But even knives are not the problem, according to the Regents Park Police, who recently boasted on their Twitter account of confiscating a pair of scissors, some pliers and a screwdriver during a so-called ‘weapons sweep.’” Hearteningly, Twitterers heaped delicious scorn on the thieves: “Thank goodness for your vigilance @MPSRegentsPark. Were it not for your noble efforts, someone might have reupholstered a chair; or worse, assembled an IKEA wardrobe,” scoffed one. Another snorted, “They stopped an electrician on his way to work.” )

Back home, cops in Illinois “recovered two firearms” from a vehicle they chased. One “firearm” “had been reported stolen…,” but the other apparently belonged to the driver.

And that’s my point. defines “recover” as “to get back or regain (something lost or taken away).” In the cases above, no owner had lost his gun or tools until the cops robbed him. 

Is the media’s consistent misuse of “recovered”—by which they mean “police stole this item, be it guns, drugs, money, or even a screwdriver, from its rightful owner”—mere carelessness from illiterate reporters and editors? Or is it a sinister Freudian slip, i.e., a reflection of the belief that all our goods and even we ourselves belong to the State?

10:31 am on January 16, 2020

A Horrible Day in History

Prohibition, the 18th Amendment, was ratified by the states on this day in 1919. But at least progressives realized that they needed to amend the Constitution. Modern-day drug prohibitionists are enemies of the Constitution, and especially conservatives who talk about how much they revere the Constitution.

7:02 am on January 16, 2020

First Man?

Pete Buttigieg, a Democrat running for president, is “married” to a man. His “husband” uses his surname, Buttigieg. If Pete is elected president, what will his partner be called? First Man, I guess.

9:16 pm on January 15, 2020

Lapdog Europeans Join Trump To Kill Iran Deal

12:22 pm on January 15, 2020

17 Years After ‘Liberation,’ Iraq Again Designated US ‘Enemy’

12:28 pm on January 14, 2020

Greta Thunberg’s Puppetmasters Outed

No one should be at all surprised by this, but thanks to a “Facebook glitch” revealed by Wired recently, we learn that Greta Thunburg’s Facebook posts are written by her environmentalist lunatic father and an Indian bureaucrat named Adash Pratap who is a delegate to the United Nations “climate change” cabal.

8:53 am on January 14, 2020

Embarrassed on Embassies

Regarding my article on embassies, a reader reminded me of their raison d’etre: ambassadors “contribute HUGE amounts to presidential reelection campaigns in order to get their posts. When I worked for a financial services company during the Clinton years, the company contributed a considerable amount of money to his reelection campaign and was rewarded by having our ‘lobbyist’ appointed to be ambassador to Sweden.”  

I bow to the master and apologize for overlooking this most crucial of functions.

Another reader informed me, “In reference to your comments about The Food Court and Retail Facilities within The Embassy…if those are not being run by the State Department…and instead are managed by the military’s retailer AAFES…(Army & Air Force Exchange Service)…zero tax money has been spent in the set up and management of those facilities.”

I’m not sure how much that improves the situation, but at least we’re now factually correct.

7:52 pm on January 13, 2020

Assassination-gate! Trump Officials Say No ‘Imminent Threat.’ With Phil Giraldi

12:24 pm on January 13, 2020

“The Most Woke, Over-Sensitive, Woe-is-Me Couple in the World”

That would be the “weak whiner” Prince Harry and his wife the compulsive “social climber” Megyn Markle according to Piers Morgan.  They are also apparently now part of the Clintons’ inner circle which, by definition, makes them look sleazy, corrupt, and reprehensible.  (Was Harry, like his Uncle Prince Andrew and his new pal Bill Clinton, also a friend of Epstein’s?)  Leaving the royal family for an American woman he wanted to marry, as one of Harry’s ancestors did, is one thing, but leaving it to become part of the Clinton/Obama/Hollywood Leftist crowd is, well, deplorable.  (Not that anyone in the world cares, but Megyn has announced that she would never leave Canada for the U.S. as long as Trump is president.  Whining Harry has apparently obeyed her orders).

12:24 pm on January 13, 2020

The Kid was Just Practicing “Monetary Policy”

That he probably had just learned about in school, and got in trouble for it.

Background: We sometimes meet friends of ours for good, cheap Italian food at a place in our town called the “Silverball Pinball Museum.”  (The owner is a New Jersey Italian, so his grandmother would spin in her grave if his restaurant’s Italian cooking was sub-par).  Our friends brought their 11-year-old grandson and one of his pals, who caused a bit of a stir with the management.  The boy had pockets full of fake $100 bills that had a little Chinese writing in one corner.  He went up to the second-floor balcony and began throwing the bills down into the crowded room of pinball players.  (Helicopter Ben Bernanke probably did the same thing as a lad, and may be still doing it in “retirement”).  The manager was all in a huff over it, talking about “breaking the law,” etc.  I just said to him the kid was just practicing monetary policy, everyone laughed, and the cops were not called.

7:53 am on January 13, 2020

Butler Shaffer’s Birthday is Today. My Fondest Memories.

Two weeks ago today, on December 29, 2019, Butler Shaffer passed away. Butler was a dear friend and mentor of mine. He would be 85 today, on January 12th, 2020.

Butler has been a legend in libertarian circles. He began writing articles and blogs for nearly twenty years ago, in addition to authoring his numerous books. Accordingly, he gained numerous devotees from within the libertarian and voluntaryist movements due to the overall success and impact of Butler had recently retired as a Professor of Law Emeritus from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles after nearly forty years of teaching, and this followed a successful career in private law practice in labor relations and antitrust.

I got to know Butler after meeting him at a west coast conference approximately 16 years ago. We had previously corresponded by email as writing colleagues. Prior to that, I had met his daughter, Bretigne, at a Ludwig von Mises Institute (Mises University) event in 1999, where we were only two of a handful of females amongst nearly 130 attendees eager to take on a week of deep study in Austrian economics. Bretigne is also an author and writer. Butler is survived by his amazing wife, Jane, and two other gifted daughters in addition to Bretigne, as well as the five grandchildren that he so adored. Butler was an academic, and brilliant, yet he became known for his hundreds of articles written in publications and websites intended for the intellectually curious layman.

In spite of his station of celebrity, he was just a regular kinda guy. He was a true pun master, too, with endless varieties of delivery. Only fellow Misesian David Gordon could rival him in that sort of banter. A graduate of the University of Nebraska, Butler was an avid fan of Nebraska football and basketball. Once, about ten years ago, I was staying at his home in Burbank with him and Jane in September. It was a Saturday, and Butler was discussing with me at great length his views on social history and philosophy, and the evils of government and institutions. But all was immediately hushed – silence! – once we approached the moment of kickoff for Nebraska football. Nothing, and no one, interfered with a Nebraska game. Since then, I’ve always remembered his affinity for Nebraska games.

About 7-8 years ago, I had the fortune of attending a trip with the Mises Institute to FDR’s Little White House State Historic Site in Warm Springs, GA. Can one person be so lucky to have toured that place in tow with Butler Shaffer and Lew Rockwell, watching their banter fly in the face of a tour guide spouting tediously conventional wisdom regarding Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Those two men had me in stitches and laughter-tears the entire time. I have two other memories of Butler – among the many – that seem to stand out for me. In 2009, Butler and I attended a small-scale libertarian seminar in Minneapolis. Butler has a daughter in the area, and I have family there. So it was an ideal place to meet up. Following the seminar that was in the back room of some warehouse-sorta-thing in the Uptown area of Minneapolis, we headed over to a bar for eats and a nightcap. Butler and I sat at a table of many folks from the seminar, and while we waited for our order, we heard this man over a loudspeaker asking what appeared to be trivia questions. One after another – Butler and I were immediately shouting out the answers. Yelling them out, in fact. He knew some, and I knew some. Half-and-half. But no one else sitting near the announcer seemed to know the answers. Finally, after yelling out multiple consecutive answers, we got shouted down, yelled at, and then scolded by onlookers. Then the announcer walked over and chastised us for disrupting their trivia game. I had no idea what that was about until 2014, when I met my current husband. My husband had been, for years, a trivia competitor and champ, and when I told him this story, he told me it was a “Live Trivia” event where the participants are competing and answers to the trivia are not “yelled out.” We were screwing up their entire game.

The next day, I picked up Butler and we drove to nearby Stillwater, Minnesota, which was, at the time, known as “America’s Book Town.” Bookstores galore! We planned the day out so that we could hit every bookstore in Stillwater. We were in St. Croix Antiquarian Booksellers when Butler’s wife (Jane) called him. They talked for a bit and Butler handed me his phone, saying, “Jane wants to talk to you.” Jane, knowing we were canvassing the greatest booktown in America, told me, “Please don’t let Butler buy any more books. We have no more room for books. He has so many books.” “Whoops,” I said … “he already has some sitting on the counter.” And so, I told Jane I might be powerless in this battle to add to his collection of books. He bought more books and took them home to California. I bought books, too, on the recommendation of Butler. We had such a grand time in that town. His home in Burbank is a pleasant, small space populated with bookshelves that surround the main living areas. And Jane has always been his most ardent supporter. Jane’s tribute to her husband can be read here.

Butler was the nicest, kindest, most approachable guy you could ever meet, in addition to being an intellectual force for freedom and critical thought. He was mellow and thoughtful. I loved Butler dearly, and he will be missed.

His books are as follows:

  • A Libertarian Critique of Intellectual Property (Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2013)
  • The Wizards of Ozymandias: Reflections on the Decline and Fall (Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2012)
  • Boundaries of Order: Private Property of a Social System (Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2009)
  • Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival (originally published by Alchemy Books 1985; reprinted by Llumina Press, 2004)
  • In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918-1938 (Bucknell University Press, 1997)


10:17 pm on January 12, 2020

RIP Sir Roger Scruton

The great conservative intellectual loses his fight to cancer.

My favorite from him:

2:16 pm on January 12, 2020

I got slandered by a bunch of PhDs! Haha!

I love this! Some people just can not take the facts and just begin to resort to pejoratives. A bunch of elitist PhDs decided to “tear me apart” on Twitter recently. More fundamentally, however, this underscores the lunacy of the decaying liberal mind. For example, Terry McGlynn says that to even engage with me is wrong “because he is so entirely full of sexist bullshit that any form of engagement with him gives it the legitimacy that it does not merit. It’s the equivalent of an evolutionary biologist choosing to debate a creationist. Nothing to be gained when the other party isn’t in good faith.” To this, I laugh! Get a load of this mental masturbation!

9:09 am on January 10, 2020

Too Little Too Late? House Vote Today On Iran ‘War Powers’

12:36 pm on January 9, 2020

American Dystopia (Part 3): The Rise of Private Government in San Francisco

The Castro district creates a “community benefit district” to clean up trash, remove graffiti, and keep addicts, vandals, and the homeless in check (without coercion) because San Francisco’s city government will not.

11:13 pm on January 8, 2020

Tulsi Gabbard: Hillary Clinton Would NOT Have Been Less of a Warmonger Than Trump

Tulsi and Tucker on one laughable implication of #ivotedforHillaryClinton.

11:01 pm on January 8, 2020

Another Criminal Congressman Resigns

Six-term Republican congressman and Marine veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, Duncan Hunter (the son of former congressman and presidential candidate Duncan Hunter), has finally resigned his House seat weeks after pleading guilty to a felony charge for stealing campaign funds for his personal use.

8:11 pm on January 8, 2020

Conservative Vets Group: ‘Bring Our Troops Home!’ With Dan McKnight

12:50 pm on January 8, 2020

McAdams on Iran Attacks on US Bases in Iraq – Trump’s Big War?

8:31 pm on January 7, 2020

The Military’s Terrible Secret

Male on male sexual assault. Yet another reason to avoid military service at all costs.

8:15 pm on January 7, 2020

Iraq ‘Pull-Out’ Letter: Mistake…Or More Deception?

12:30 pm on January 7, 2020

Andrew Bacevich on Decades of Trying to Remake the Middle East with U.S. Military Force

Nice outline of perennial failure following a great implicit swipe at Hannity, Limbaugh, Ingraham (deep state awful, oh, never mind) in the setup from Tucker.

1:35 am on January 7, 2020

Judge Napolitano: Bolton Testimony Could Blow Up in Democrats’ Faces

Backstabber Bolton could help the Democrats in impeachment…or maybe not at all as they expect.

1:28 am on January 7, 2020

Tulsi Gabbard on Trump’s Steady Escalation Against Iran

War with Iran will make the Iraq quagmire look like a cakewalk, with winning and victory once again undefinable.

1:22 am on January 7, 2020

Douglas Macgregor: If Trump Is Smart, He’ll Pull U.S. Troops From Iraq ASAP

…and not fight the Iraqi parliament’s order to leave. However, when you surround yourself with the likes of Rubio, Graham, Pompeo, O’Brien, Esper, and Kushner, dumb and dangerous policy predictably follows.

4:20 pm on January 6, 2020