Category Archives: Philosophy

The Growing Opposition To Factual Knowledge, by Paul Craig Roberts

How do people think if they don’t use facts? Short answer: they don’t. From Paul Craig Roberts and paulcraigroberts.com:

News From Information Clearing House

I just heard from Tom Feeley:

“I have been unable to determine why the website has been  suspended, I have sent lots of, emails, telephone calls and faxes and have not received any response.

“The really frustrating thing is that I am locked out of the C panel and am unable to access files I need in order to migrate to another company’s servers.

“It’s frustrating and infuriating that a company would treat a customer of 18 year  in such away, without warning.

“Thankfully, ICH supporters with tech abilities are assisting me and I hope that by Monday everything will be back to normal.”

It is curious that the host of Information Clearing House has not responded to Tom Feeley. Legally it would seem that the host of the website could tell the owner of the website that the host company had decided to cease hosting the website. But the host should not be able to effectively steal the ICH content by preventing Tom Feeley’s access to his website’s material.

Moreover, ethically, the host company should provide time for ICH to transfer to a new host.

If this is an action by the host, Tom should tell us who is the host so that everyone can protest and boycott that company. Indeed, the host might be subject to legal action.

It is possible that the host is not responsible and does not know the explanation. ICH’s disappearance could be the work of an immature and narcissist hacker amusing himself by causing trouble for others. It could be the work of the CIA, NSA, or Israel Lobby, or some Identity Politics freak. It could be a glitch of the digital world—just wait until there are self-driving cars. You can’t trust the digital world any more than you can trust CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington or London.

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The Reasons Behind The Relentless Ideological Onslaught Against Free Markets, by Brandon Smith

Free markets are the most defensible economic arrangement ever, but few defend them and the attacks are as unremmiting as they are fallacious. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

I sometimes think that the free market concept is treated like The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’s Quasimodo in the long novel of global economic history. It is considered ugly and undesirable by most people who judge it at a mere glance without bothering to understand it. It is a bogeyman; a scapegoat for numerous societal problems that it has nothing to do with. In reality, the only time free markets do cause trouble is when they are manipulated or misused by elitists seeking to turn them into something other than free markets. And, even when free markets display their great value and internal beauty, many still prefer other systems that are intrinsically corrupt but flashier on the surface.

There are many reasons behind this persistent attitude. However, they are not coincidental or natural. Human beings actually tend to gravitate toward free markets over and over again in history, and away from centralized government interference and dominance in economic trade. But whenever they do, they get hammered down by the-powers-that-be. In our modern era, establishment elites have chosen to be more subtle (for now) and dissuade people from free markets through disinformation and propaganda.

To break it all down to a simple observation – Whenever disaster strikes economically, free markets are blamed. Whenever something is fixed, even if that fix is a temporary band-aid on a sucking chest wound, government involvement and socialism are applauded. And so the cycle continues until free markets become a pariah with no place in our world and centralization becomes the prevailing answer to everything.

Free market trade is ever present at a local level and always has been. But, those who favor globalism are hell-bent on putting an end to any and all private unregulated commerce forever.

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The Cost of the Enlightenment, by Daniel Ajamian

Does libertarianism need more than the nonagression principle? From Daniel Ajamian at lewrockwell.com:

I would like to thank Joe for the introduction and invitation, Lew for his leadership of and vision for the Institute, the supporters and friends of the Mises Institute for helping to make it the premier source on economics and liberty in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, and I especially would like to thank The Lou Church Foundation for annually sponsoring this lecture.

It is broadly accepted that out of Enlightenment thinking came many of the “goods” of our society; goods economic, political, and social.  Goods ranging from the material wealth and the technology we enjoy to classical liberalism and libertarianism.  It is on the latter that I will focus.

An exhaustive discussion of the connection of Enlightenment thought to Classical liberalism and libertarianism is not necessary for this audience, so I will summarize: reason, the individual, equality, property rights, the separation of church and state, and science and politics freed from religious dogma.  These pillars underlie the classical liberalism that many point to and exclaim: here, we finally found freedom!  Instead, what if these have cost us our freedom?

What is Enlightenment?  Immanuel Kant gave his answer:

Enlightenment is man’s release from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another….”Have courage to use your own reason!” That is the motto of enlightenment.

There is Diderot’s Encyclopedia, considered one of the greatest cultural and intellectual achievements of the Enlightenment; a 20 million word man-made blueprint for the creation of a rational, improving and cultivated society.

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A Response to Daniel McCarthy’s “Why Libertarians are Wrong”, by Jeff Deist

Libertarianism is a political philosophy that deals with the proper use of force in a society, by government and everyone else. It can’t be criticized for not dealing with issues outside that essential but not all encompassing question. From Jeff Deist at mises.org:

Daniel McCarthy, editor of Modern Age and editor at large for The American Conservative, recently published an essay on the Spectator USA site titled “Why Libertarians are Wrong.” It merits a response because Mr. McCarthy is friendly and sympathetic toward libertarianism, and despite the infirmities of his article ought to be seen as a fellow traveler.

The title misleads us a bit from the beginning, because McCarthy is sound on the single most important libertarian political issue: war and peace. He objected to George W. Bush’s foray into Iraq, he attacks the permanent-war complex and its funding, and he consistently advocates a reasonably non-interventionist US foreign policy far closer to Ron Paul than John Bolton. He also has read Mises and Hayek, and unlike many intellectual conservatives (a dwindling group) McCarthy is not mired in Burke or Buckley or Reagan. He even blogged for the 2008 Paul presidential campaign and has spoken at the Mises Institute on foreign policy. So unlike a Bill Kristol or Sean Hannity, his conservative critique comes without ignorance or malice.

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Well-Gotten Gains, by Robert Gore

Time for a change.

Albert Jay Nock wrote one of the best essays ever written, “Isaiah’s Job,” which first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1936. The Wikipedia biography of Nock is linked here, a Mises Institute reprint of the essay here. If you take the time to read the essay, I can almost guarantee that somewhere in the future, you will take the time to reread it. The essay is about the prophet Isaiah, and here in three paragraphs is its central premise.

The prophet’s career began at the end of King Uzziah’s reign, say about 740 B.C. This reign was uncommonly long, almost half a century, and apparently prosperous. It was one of those prosperous reigns, however — like the reign of Marcus Aurelius at Rome, or the administration of Eubulus at Athens, or of Mr. Coolidge at Washington — where at the end the prosperity suddenly peters out and things go by the board with a resounding crash.

In the year of Uzziah’s death, the Lord commissioned the prophet to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. “Tell them what a worthless lot they are.” He said, “Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don’t mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them. I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you,” He added, “that it won’t do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life.”

Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job — in fact, he had asked for it — but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so — if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start — was there any sense in starting it? “Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”

I suppose I knew, deep down, before I wrote the first word of my first novel, The Gordian Knot, that I would be writing for the Remnant. That’s not to say I’m in the same league as the prophet Isaiah. My sales, and the sales of my next two novels, The Golden Pinnacle and Prime Deceit, certainly confirm that I wasn’t writing for the masses. As a first novel The Gordian Knot had its flaws, and perhaps only merited its small, presumably indulgent, readership. I’m a quick study, though, and I try to be as rigorously self-critical and open to improvement as a fallible human with an ego can be. The next two novels were much better, and years after I’ve written them, I can’t see anything in either one that I’d change. They deserve a wider audience, and some day they may get it.

Not that I’ve ever wanted to be a bestseller machine. We Remnant writers know that’s never going to happen, and the whole routine seems quite distasteful. Keep writing books that are just like that first bestseller, only a little different. Resign yourself to whatever pigeonhole agents, publishers, and the bestseller lists consign you. Pull away from the tedious job of writing until you reach the next-to-highest level of the contemporary writing pyramid: your name on the cover selling books ghostwritten by the name in much smaller print below. Finally, that highest level, attained by only a few: hefty sales of new books with your name on the cover, written after you’re dead. I can’t begin to imagine the joy those elite authors must feel.

I suppose I also knew, deep down, when I started Straight Line Logic that I was blogging for the Remnant. The hit counter on my site indicates that here again, I’m not writing for the masses. However, by the standards of the alternative media I’ve done relatively well in a relatively short time. My articles are regularly reposted on sites with much greater readership than mine. Occasionally I’m invited by people who like what I write to give speeches to groups with which they are affiliated.

Unfortunately, we’ve reached Peak Insanity, and I’m tired of chronicling and commenting upon it. Regular readers know the insane litany, rehashing it here would be tedious. It’s become a struggle to find something new to write about, or even to write about something old in an interesting new way.

I’m not closing Straight Line Logic down, but I’m scaling it way back. Once in a while I’ll put up an article when I think I’ve got something interesting to say, but with nowhere near the frequency I have been. And once in a while I’ll put up other writers’ articles that I feel have singular merit. However, there will be days, perhaps weeks, when I put up nothing at all. If you receive regular emails about the site you’ll know when something new goes up. If you don’t, just check the Home page every so often. I hope that Western Rifle Shooters Association, NCRenegade, The Burning Platform, Zero Hedge, Lew Rockwell, and the many other fine websites that have featured my work will continue to do so, intermittent though it may be. I thank all of them and the people who make them go, particularly Peter White, David DeGerolamo, Jim Quinn, and the Tyler Durdens.

Straight Line Logic has been invaluable to me. While the commentary has been on current events, I believe the best of my essays will endure, embraced by the Remnant of this and future generations. Just as important, I have met some wonderful people and made friends for life through Straight Line Logic. As I get older those friendships age like fine wine, and I cherish them as perhaps only an older connoisseur can.

Which brings up the fact that I’m not getting any younger. I’m sixty now and as I ponder the remainder of my days, it’s become an imperative to spend that time wisely and happily. I am involved with a startup, 4Ry Inc., whose technology has the potential to upend several multi-billion industries. One example: our nozzle at the end of a diesel fuel injector could potentially increase diesel engine efficiency by 10 to 15 percent and cut particulates and other noxious emissions by a like percentage. We are working now with a leading fuel injector research firm to develop that product.

If 4Ry is successful, we will vindicate and enrich a genius—and our majority shareholder—Dr. Arnold Kelly, who has been innovating (he has over 30 patents) and consequently fighting the system all his life, as most innovators must. He deserves much more that he has so far received. This, to me, is a challenge worth undertaking, exponentially more worthwhile and interesting than excoriating insane idiots for their insanity, about which I can do nothing but make people aware, and which I know in my bones is leading inevitably to cataclysmic disaster. I want to devote as much time as I can to 4Ry. For those who want more information about 4Ry, see 4rysprays.com, and three articles on SLL I wrote about it, “The Choice,” Parts One, Two and Three.

I have at least two more novels in me, probably more. I also have plays, screenplays, and short stories. Use a good part of the time I’ve been spending every day on Straight Line Logic and all those prospective works have a chance of getting written. Keep doing what I’m doing and only if I live far beyond the years the actuarial tables indicate I’ll live—and stay healthy—will I accomplish what I want to accomplish. Writing is in my bones, chromosomes, genes, and every vital organ. I can no more not write than a fish cannot swim or Arnold Kelly cannot invent. However, it’s time to concentrate on writing what I enjoy writing most. Writing, as I recently told a dear friend, for the ages, not the reviews or the sales.

I once proposed an alternative news agency, dedicated to truth and fighting the mainstream media and fake news (see “Breaking the Alternative Media’s Dependence on the Mainstream Media,” SLL). To me, that idea now seems like more chronicling of the insane and their insanity, but anyone who sincerely wants to run with it is welcome to it. If you’d like, contact me and after I vet you and your plans, I’ll try to help with funding. However, I will assume no operational role under any circumstance.

Rest assured, I’m not dropping off the planet. Someday the Remnant “will come back and build up a new society.” In the interim, they know where to find me and my works. As for the rest, they have never been my concern.

h/t Holly O for the title of this piece.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Lethal Moral Code–and Why Conservatives are Defenseless, by Anders Ingemarson

AOC, as she’s now known, realizes it’s all about morality. No amount of economic efficiency and look how much the rich pay in taxes is going to dent her “righteous” screeching. For that, you need a better morality, which conservatives don’t have. From Anders Ingemarson at separatestateandtheeconomy.com:

According to most accounts, from YouTube college-to-Congress dancing performances to tweets to media appearances, Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a fun-loving, intelligent, passionate young woman with strong beliefs.

What contributes to her appeal is that she gets what most of her more seasoned opponents don’t understand or choose to evade: that morality trumps both politics and economics. When asked by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes about her misrepresentation of certain facts she stated:

“If people want to really blow up one figure here or one word there, I would argue that they’re missing the forest for the trees. I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” (emphasis added)

This insight puts her ahead of most politicians and pundits with decades of experience.

What’s more, her moral and political compasses are aligned; unlike most of those who oppose her, her political and economic goals are logical extensions of her moral code. Combined with her charisma she could be a tremendous force for good. It is therefore regrettable that she subscribes to the same old, reactionary, lethal moral code that repeatedly has brought, and continues to bring, misery on mankind: altruism.

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He Said That? 1/30/19

From W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1965), British playwright, novelist and short story writer, The Painted Veil (1925):

I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.