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Walter E. Block

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How will human life on earth end, and what to do about this?

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How will human life on the third rock from the sun end? A comet, or a bug, or nuclear war, or alien creatures might come and kick us all in the posterior.

Actually, probably, well, possibly, one of these millions of years, all life will cease on our planet, except for very hardy micro-organisms. What are the candidates to do the evil deed?

First up in the batter’s box is some sort of super-duper bug that will make Covid look like a walk in the park. Second in the batting order will be a nuclear war between human beings. In third place? A gigantic comet will come crashing down upon us, obliterating the entire planet. That one will challenge even our fellow micro-organism creatures. In the clean-up position? Who knows. Maybe advanced powerful alien creatures from the planet Zorgon who want to eat us all.

But whatever is this threat, the danger will be enhanced by human error. What kind of mistake are we making? We are fighting each other. Mary Tyler Moore used to say that “love is all around us.” We can now opine, more accurately, unfortunately, that “hostility is all around us.” Wars abound; there are more of them than you can shake a stick at. Violent crime is seemingly ever erupting.
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Nuclear War?

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The Russians are a weird people. For some reason, known only to their bizarre selves, they object to German invasions of their country. And not only that: they have the inexplicable habit of strenuously opposing another such eventuality.
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Russia and Ukraine

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Suppose that Brazil had invaded a relatively peaceful United States several times in the last century. The foreign policy of the latter country would surely be to arrange for a cordon sanitaire south of its border. That would pretty much be the be all and end all of its international endeavors.
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Why Calling Your Intellectual Opponents 'Deniers' Is Bad for Scientific Progress

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For a time, astronomers debated whether Pluto should be considered a planet or not. I have no views on this matter. None whatsoever. My knowledge of astronomy is rather limited. I know that the moon is up there somewhere. I still think that the Earth is flat; except for a few mountains and valleys it sure looks that way to my naked eye. But I’m willing to take everyone’s word on this issue. I don’t want to appear too stupid. This pretty much exhausts my knowledge of astronomy.

So, how will I decide the planetary status of Pluto? I’ll sit back and wait for the experts to come to a decision on this matter. Then, I’ll follow along, sheep-like. Why? That’s because I’m a strong believer in specialization and the division of labor. I know my limits.

But wait. Suppose the pro-Pluto is a planet (PPP) forces conducted themselves unfairly in their debate with their opponents. They called those on the other side “deniers.” They appealed to Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and the others of that ilk to cancel the anti-PPPers. The PPP people were in a position to get their opponents fired from their jobs as astronomers. They even sued them for providing “misinformation.”
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Police Should Sometimes Avert Their Eyes

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Many policemen have been kicked under the bus. It is now more difficult to attract people to this profession; numerous retirements have occurred, and the quit rate is high. But we need police officers to protect the most vulnerable in society. How can we solve the hemorrhaging of this sector of the labor force?

How, then, can policemen, white and black, but particularly the former, save themselves from injustice? Well, at least reduce the risks thereof while remaining in their present jobs? It is simple: embrace avert their eyes from victimless crimes; become libertarians. This is the philosophy predicated upon the non-aggression principle, private property rights and free association. In literary terms, it would be: “That government is best which governs least.” Here, the law would only prohibit “uninvited border crossings,” such as murder, rape, theft, kidnapping, car-jacking, fraud, and the threats thereof. Full bodied libertarianism would allow for private, not public, police, but we are not now discussing that truly radical step.

How, then, can members of the thin blue line better protect themselves? By ignoring all crimes other than those prohibited under libertarian law.

For example, Breanna Taylor was shot subsequent to a drug bust. But under libertarianism, all drugs, without exception, would be legal. If the cops operated under the libertarian legal code, they would have refused to honor orders to arrest anyone for such a “crime.”
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Bless you, Bernie Sanders!

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Extra! Extra! Bernie Sanders channels two toxic white males: François-Marie Arouet (better known as Voltaire) and John Stuart Mill.

According to a magnificent statement widely attributed to the former: “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

John Stuart Mill in his “On Liberty” made a powerful utilitarian case for free speech. It is the best, perhaps the only way, to get to the truth. As well, if you are not aware of what the other side of a debate is saying, then you don’t even fully comprehend your own position, since the two are inextricably tied together.

In what way does the Independent Senator from Vermont make common cause with these two giants of western civilization? Responded my boyhood chum (we overlapped for four years in Brooklyn’s James Madison High School and were on the track team together), when asked if liberals had become "too censorious":
You have a former president in Trump, who is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a pathological liar, an authoritarian, somebody who doesn’t believe in the rule of law. This is a bad news guy … But if you’re asking me, do I feel particularly comfortable that the president, the then-president of the United States could not express his views on Twitter? I don’t feel comfortable about it.
Bernie quite properly warned that “tomorrow it could be somebody else (with) a very different point of view” who might well be banned.
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Whose Lives Matter?

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To say that “Black Lives Matter” has been in the news of late would be the understatement of the year, if not the decade. Maybe, even the century. This phrase is on everyone’s lips, on front yard signs, placards, billboards and even, in very large letters, on the streets of not just a few cities. It is the rare newspaper that appears without commenting upon this phrase each and every day.

In order to make sense of this phenomenon, let us consider a few distinctions.

First, there is the plain old ordinary declarative phrase “black lives matter.” Of course they do. Only the most hateful, despicable people would deny this; would say instead that black lives do not matter. Had this phrase been prevalent before the July 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in February 2012 when it became popularized, it would have been met by all men of good will with the ho hum response of, “Of course black lives matter. All lives matter, and black lives are part of all lives.” End of story. No problem here.
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Trump Is Right: The US Does Indeed Need a Space Force

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Right now, America has only a pathetic five divisions of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. We desperately need a sixth. And what could be more fitting for our President than fulfilling this need with a brand new spanking Space Force. Thank goodness Mr. Trump has now called this new initiative into being.

The case for the Space Force is overwhelming. Consider the following.

The Martians may attack at any moment. Do we have to wait for an actual invasion of the creatures from the fourth planet to protect ourselves? No. The threat thereof is imminent. If we wait, it might be too late. Do you want your kids to have to speak Martian? Thought not.

Then there is the fact that we simply do not have enough wars on the surface of the planet. The US is engaged, currently, only in some half dozen such conflagrations. We need more! How better to promote this than with a Space Force?
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Donald Trump: Peace Candidate, Presidential Warmonger

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Mr. Trump ran in 2016 almost on a peace platform in terms of foreign policy. He said things such as this:

“I share the American people’s frustration… I also share their frustration over a foreign policy that has spent too much time, energy, money — and, most importantly, lives — trying to rebuild countries in our own image instead of pursuing our security interests above all other

I supported him vis a vis Mrs. Hillary Clinton mainly because she seemed, at least in comparison, to be a pro-war belligerent. From her support for the US invasion of Iraq, in Afghanistan and Western Sahara, she has long established herself as a foreign policy hawk. For example, as emblematic of her deeply held views, she favored a: “tough-minded, muscular foreign and defense policy…”

I along with Ralph Raico and Donald Miller started up the group called “Libertarians for Trump.” Some 5000 people signed on. It was widely bruited about that no one but hicks, red-necks, morons in flyover country could support this ignoramus. To counter this, Paul Gottfried, Boyd Cathy and I initiated a separate support group for our present president called “Scholars for Trump.” Signatories were limited to people with advanced degrees such as the Ph.D. We attracted signatures from about 150 people.
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