If you’re the type to listen to what horrible Russian fake news terror hackers say, you may remember when Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee after concrete evidence of her complicity in rigging Our Perfectly Fair Elections came to light. In addition to that bit of comedy fallout — and in addition to the astonishingly coincidental murder of DNC staffer and alleged Wikileaker Seth Rich — Wasserman Schultz’s actions have also led to a lawsuit being filed against her and against the DNC.
Apparently, this lawsuit has attracted the attention of some Serious Hackers, as somebody using a robotic voice changer called the office of one of the attorneys handling the suit, attempting to extract the secrets!
Did I meet him? At the open house?
I don’t think I’ve ever been so jazzed to slap that foam finger on an image before.
No doubt you’re familiar with Easter. It’s the holiest day in the Christian liturgical year, celebrating, as it does, the resurrection of Christ — something of a momentous event. Indeed, the entire week leading up to Easter is quite significant — Holy Week, it’s called — and is one of the seasons in which Christian spirit is riding its highest; arguably only Christmas week is a more important, and more religious time for most Christians.
Which makes it all the funnier that the perpetually clueless Libertarian Party chose to celebrate Holy Week by running this great ad aligning itself with the Satanic Temple.
The God That Failed
Ever noticed what a complete fraud democracy is? Let’s go right on ahead and notwithstand that even on its own terms, it’s rubbish; rather, I’d prefer to focus on the utterly phony way "democracy" is leveraged as a scare tactic; it seems as though, whatever happens, it’s a "threat to democracy" or it will "undermine democracy" or perhaps it will even be "the end of democracy." By my count, all the democracy everywhere should have ended about eleven times over since election day, yet it apparently struggles onward, facing new existential threats every day.
The latest threat to democracy, of course, is the dreaded Fake News. As any fule kno, but as only the kind of fule who works for a government school will breathlessly explain to you, the entire reason for the evil Donald Hitler’s victory over St. Hillary of Clinton is that the internet was so infested with fake news that everybody forgot how great Hillary is. I am compelled to agree with this thesis, since your humble narrator seems to have forgotten that quite thoroughly.
Letter of the law
Breach of contract, n.: failing to perform any term of a contract, written or oral, without a legitimate legal excuse.
The contract is the cornerstone of civilization, and I would argue that the civil suit for breach of contract is the thing that separates free men from barbarians; in a free society, failure to live up to the terms of a contract is brought before an independent tribunal that judges the merits of the case and determines what punishment, if any, is appropriate. In a barbarous society, failure to live up to the terms of a contract is punished directly by the aggrieved party, who takes the law into his own hands.
Admit it. You’re expecting me to say that the modern United States is barbaric because of the government court monopoly. That’s where you think this is going. Well, your Christmas present is that I saved a spooky Holiday reverse from Halloween and I’m bringing it out now.
Dr. Walter Block made waves recently with his claim that stop-and-frisk policing is compatible with libertarianism. On the surface, the claim seems entirely lunatic; surely Judge Napolitano is correct when he labels it the act of "an authoritarian police state." One thing I’ve learned over the years, though, is that, while one may not always agree with Dr. Block, it is always and everywhere a mistake to disregard him. If Dr. Block thinks a thing, it should be regarded as a position reasonable people may hold, and this is no exception. So we can stipulate that it’s reasonable, but is it correct?
First, we should dispense with the case of private police. If the police are entirely private, operating on private property, then there is clearly no libertarian case to be made against stop-and-frisk. If it is my property, I can set whatever conditions I desire on its occupancy, and that includes submission to random pat-downs. If you don’t wish to submit to my stop-and-frisky police, then your solution is simple: leave (or do not enter) my property. Is this "authoritarian?" Perhaps, but it should be noted that a proper libertarian society would permit such pockets of authoritarianism as long as the authoritarians restrict themselves to being authoritarian over their own property.
That aside, we turn to the more difficult question: can a libertarian support a stop-and-frisk policy among government police in a non-libertarian world? It seems difficult to see how, but Dr. Block provides the following argument, after "stipulating that the purpose is not to stop victimless crimes like drug selling, but, rather, crimes with victims such as rape, murder, theft, etc.:"
Government in microcosm
On Wednesday, CNN did one of its hilariously phony "Town Hall" bits, in which a carefully-screened group of people asks prearranged questions, and president Obama uses them as an excuse to talk about how great he art. This week, the widow of a soldier who committed suicide asked the president what could be done to reduce to rate of veteran suicides from its current level of twenty-two per day, and the president, in between two different anecdotes about how many lives he personally has saved through the awesome power of bureaucracy, dispensed this pearl of wisdom:
We are hiring more mental health professionals. But the fact that there’s still 20 a day who are feeling hopeless means that we’ve got to do more. And, you know, anybody who’s watching right now, if you call the, you know, veterans help line, there’s going to be somebody there to answer.
So, really, all those suicidal soldiers need to do is call up the government’s suicide help line, where the highly-trained professionals from the government will be there to help. I guess this story would have a happy ending, then, if it weren’t for one niggling little detail: quite often, when people call the suicide help line, there actually isn’t anybody there to answer.
Pretty soon you’re talking real money
If you’re anything like me — and you know you are — you stay up nights worrying that the United States just doesn’t spend enough money on its military. America is only just barely spending as much money as the entire rest of the world combined; how can we possibly expect to be kept safe in the face of the overwhelming existential threat of border skirmishes thousands of miles inland on the other side of the ocean? Clearly our wonderful armed forces require a major overhaul, and I’m pleased to report that it’s only projected to cost a trillion dollars to do so. What a relief!
The price tag to rehabilitate the military after about 15 years of war and relentless overseas operations would be about $1 trillion over a decade, according to the Republican-led House Armed Services Committee…
A $1 trillion increase would require obliterating spending limits passed by Congress and doling out an average of an additional $100 billion each year on the military through 2027.
Oh, a trillion dollars spent over ten years would average a hundred billion a year? I had no idea! Since I was educated in the government schools, this kind of complex mathematical operation vastly overwhelms my tiny peanut brain. Thanks for helping, Stars and Stripes!
A new low in identity politics
The big shocking news this past week was that Donald Trump, the most hateful man in America, running for president on the Hate Party ticket with the slogan "Make America Hateful Again," hatefully spoke hate speech about how much he hates the Jews. What horrible effluence of hatred emerged from the Donald’s Twitter feed this time? This hatefully anti-semitic hate picture of Hillary Clinton:
This morning, I opened my inbox to find a press release from the Libertarian Party bearing the headline "Libertarian Party Calls for an End to All Violence." This was promising; an end to all violence is more or less exactly what libertarianism seeks, founded as it is upon the rock of the non-aggression principle. The LP, however, has been at best an inconsistent advocate against violence throughout the years, and, indeed, this particular press release turns out to be entirely about killings of and by police officers, and addresses nothing else whatsoever; certainly a more limited scope than one could expect from a call "for an end to all violence."
The killing needs to stop. All of it. None of these shootings were justified — not the shootings by the police, not the shootings of the police. The Libertarian Party denounces all killing.
That’s not a bad start. Surely, though, it can’t be too much of a stretch to suggest that the LP should consider mentioning the endless wars somewhere in its denunciation of all killing, no? Perhaps the issue here is that the LP’s own presidential ticket doesn’t call for ending the wars, preferring instead the weak-kneed and noncommittal stance of "mov[ing] quickly and decisively to refocus U.S. efforts and resources to attack the real threats we face in a strategic, thoughtful way." Apparently, the Libertarian Party only denounces all killing unless it’s sufficiently "thoughtful."
What an astonishing coincidence!
Sometimes strange things happen that may seem to have some sort of causal relationship with one’s actions, but are really just pure coincidence. The classic example would be "street light interference phenomenon" — people who believe that, when they approach street lights, those street lights are disproportionately more likely to turn off. While boring reality suggests that, actually, the mysterious phenomenon is primarily a product of confirmation bias, to one experiencing it, the effect can seem pretty profound. Similarly, while it’s no doubt purely coincidental, it can certainly seem suspicious that John Ashe, former president of the United Nations General Assembly, accidentally crushed his own throat two days before he was set to testify against Hillary Clinton. Man, what are the chances?
The New York Post’s Page Six reported that after Ashe was found dead Wednesday, the U.N. claimed that he had died from a heart attack. Local police officers in Dobbs Ferry, New York, later disputed that claim, saying instead that he died from a workout accident that crushed his throat. [Lack of italics original]