Lawrence M. Ludlow's blog

Factoids About Nazi Germany and the Final Solution

Nazi Germany Factoids
By Lawrence M. Ludlow
It’s common knowledge that most people living in Germany seem to have been indifferent to abuses suffered by Jews during the years of the Hitler regime, but to what degree? And what was really known about the Final Solution during those years? This isn’t an easy question to answer, and that answer might not be the same from year to year -- even for the same person. After reading several books on communism, Nazism, and prison camps over the years – including Whittaker Chamber’s Witness, Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Slavomir Rawicz’ Long Walk, John Toland’s Adolf Hitler, and John V. Fleming’s Anti-Communist Manifesto, among others – I wish I had taken notes on all of them. Since Toland’s and Fleming’s books are the most recently completed, they remain freshest in mind. Here are some of the highlights.
 
Hitler’s Antisemitism
Hitler’s own antisemitism was not a constant phenomenon; it became more virulent and certainly more destructive and monomaniacal once he was infused with political aspirations and power. Two incidents during his early life even seem to offer the possibility of redemption in this regard.
 
First, on Christmas Eve in 1907, when Hitler was in the middle of his 18th year and mourning the death of his mother the day before, he made a visit to Doctor Edward Block, a Jewish physician who had tried and failed to save his mother with an expensive procedure. At one point, Hitler reached out and clutched the hand of Dr. Bloch and told him, looking directly into his eyes, “I shall be grateful to you forever,” followed by a bow. This occurred even though the medical bills were significant: approximately 10% of his mother’s estate. So Hitler was not completely blinded by antisemitism. Many years later, during the early years of World War II, Dr. Block wrote that he believed Hitler did indeed recall that scene in granting him favors not given to other Jews in Germany or Austria. But Hitler seemed to view his positive experiences as highly personalized, exceptional cases that were somehow kept in hermetically sealed compartments – never allowed to become generalized and applied to other Jews.
 
A couple of years later, he was living in Vienna, where he remained for several years, and his circumstances became increasingly dismal until he became a homeless vagrant. During this period, he owned only the clothing on his back and found lodgings at charitable institutional dormitories and, later on, at slightly more private dormitories he found more to his taste. He was able to earn money by painting watercolor postcards and larger paintings and sketches that were peddled in the streets by a fellow vagrant. These sketches and paintings were typically of architectural settings and buildings, and they weren’t bad. Better still, there seemed to be a ready market for them in the streets of the polyglot Vienna of this period. Moreover, his best friend for a time was a Jew, and one of his most avid collectors was also Jewish – a man whose purchases made Hitler’s life more comfortable. But even then, Hitler was developing the antisemitism that drips from the pages of Mein Kampf. Once again, he seemed to view his positive experiences with Jews as somehow exceptions that he never was able to integrate in a more humanitarian world view.
 
Knowledge of the Final Solution
Despite Hitler’s many fulminations against Jews, knowledge of the Final Solution was not widespread in Germany – even in his hierarchy. When high officials (such as Hans Lammers) heard disturbing rumors, they were told any number of lies. They were even shown photographs of workers happily making shoes and clothing. The degree of compartmentalization of knowledge is a surprise to those of us who assume that everyone in the hierarchy knew what was going on. Others, however, found it convenient to lie to themselves or act as if they didn’t know the details. And within his family and circle of close friends, many could not imagine that Hitler (Uncle Adi, as je was called) had authorized the murder of Jews.
 
Some people even built in their minds a father-friendly image of the Fuhrer in which the Final Solution was an example of out-of-control, renegade officials whom Hitler would rein-in if only he knew what they were up to. It’s the kind of excuse you still hear expressed by many Americans when it comes to the nefarious activities sponsored by the U.S. government: “Surely no one I voted for would do something like that.”
 
Later on, one effective technique was to “medicalize” what was going on. The Final Solution was “keeping the “contagion” of Jewry from spreading. And this medicalization was tied up with language that portrayed the Nazis and Germans as victims in need of defense against the all-powerful Jewish conspiracy. Instructively, it resembles the habitual victimology routine of today’s antifa-socialists, who physically attack people whom they oppose. Likewise, after the events of 9/11 many people seemed to think that before 9/11, the U.S. government had been going along peacefully on its way and that America was attacked out of the blue. Here are a couple of quotations made to Martin Bormann (head of the Nazi Party Chancellery) that show both the habit of medicalization and victimization in language:
 

  • “For us, this has been an essential process of disinfection, which we have prosecuted to its ultimate limit and without which we should ourselves have been asphyxiated and destroyed.”
  • “…On the eve of the war, I gave them [Jews and their supporters] one final warning. I told them that, if they precipitated another war, they would not be spared and that I would exterminate the vermin throughout Europe, and this time once and for all. To this warning they retorted with a declaration of war and affirmed that wherever in the world there was a Jew, there, too, was an implacable enemy of National Socialist Germany. Well, we have lanced the Jewish abscess; and the world of the future will be eternally grateful to us.”

There are echoes of this today when psychologists with a political axe to grind hope to dismiss their opponents by referring to them in clinical ways. It makes it easier to de-humanize those with whom we disagree. And even if Hitler’s supporters knew what was going on in Germany, Hitler had reassured them that “it was their own fault,” meaning the Jews, of course. In his most heated moments, Hitler had told his many audiences that an international Jewish conspiracy was responsible for launching a war against Germany. In this reading of world events, it was the international socialists (the Bolsheviks) who were so heavily influenced by Jews and had schemed against the national socialists (the Nazis).
 
Among the general population, ignorance about the Final Solution was not surprising. It was illegal – and punishable by death – to listen to foreign broadcasts. Furthermore, the death camps were all in Poland, planted in empty swaths of land that were miles from inhabited areas and protected from curiosity by signs that warned against being shot on sight. And language itself – as with all government-speak – cloaked more than it revealed. Just as the U.S. Department of Defense is itself a euphemism for what was once more truthfully named the War Department, so the Nazis used political euphemisms such as “special treatment,” the “East,” and “concentration,” “transit,” “labor,” and “PW” camp. Even within these facilities, the crematoria and gas chambers were called “corpse cellars” and “bathhouses.”
 
Concentration Camps
For those who wish to compare conditions in the Soviet camps with those in the Nazi camps – both of which contain their own horrors and dismal realities – Margarete Buber-Neumann offers some insight. Ms. Buber-Neumann was a German communist turned anti-communist. As a German communist (she became one after she had divorced her first husband, Martin Buber), she fled Nazi Germany with her communist second husband, Heinz Neumann, who was also second in command of the German Communist Party. Her husband “disappeared” during Stalin’s Great Purge, and she herself became a resident of the Soviet Gulag and survived. But afterward, at the time of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, she was deported to a German prison.
 
After World War II, she wrote her memoirs as an anti-communist, Under Two Dictators. Then, during a libel trial in Paris (in 1949), she was called to testify as a witness against a French left-communist journal (Les lettres francaises) for making false claims to discredit former-communist-turned-anti-communist Victor Kravchenko. It is important for people to understand that in post-war Paris, communists wore a kind of heroic halo, and there was very little knowledge about or even willingness to believe that Stalin and the Soviet Union were swimming in atrocities such as concentration camps. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn had not yet published Gulag Archipelago or his other works, and survivors of the camps were few and far between – especially in the West, where they could publish their memoires. And as a result, leftists were able to pose as heroes (often members of the French Resistance) in contrast to Nazi collaborators. Any claims to the contrary were vehemently denied and ridiculed – or worse. But according to Ms. Buber-Neumann, not only did concentration camps exist in Soviet Russia, but Hitler’s camps were to be preferred to Stalin’s – at lease if barbarity counted for anything.
 
The Warsaw Ghetto and Today’s Anti-Gun Craze
Many have pointed out over the years that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (April 9 [Toland] through May 16, 1943) illustrates the value of widespread civilian gun ownership in resisting a tyrannical government. It also serves as a warning against the anti-second-amendment stance that appears to dominate the thinking in public schools and certainly among public-school students, who engaged in a fundamentally anti-second-amendment National Walkout Day protest in March 2018.
 
Of the 380,000 Jews originally crowded into the Warsaw ghetto, only 70,000 were left by April 1943. When a force of 2,000 Waffen SS infantrymen with tanks, flamethrowers, and dynamite descended on the ghetto, they were staggered by 1500 Jewish fighters who (after various groups within the ghetto community had resolved their differences over the issue of resistance) were armed with weapons that included several hundred pistols and revolvers, rifles, and Molotov cocktails. Heinrich Himmler expected his final mop-up operation to take only three days, but by nightfall of the first day, his troops had to withdraw! General Jurgen Stroop, the SS commander, couldn’t understand why “this trash and sub-humanity,” who are “cowards by nature,” had not surrendered. The rebels usually consisted of groups of 20 to 30 Jewish men accompanied by a corresponding number of women. In particular, the women were noted for tossing grenades hidden in their bloomers.
 
The Nazis realized they had to systematically approach the ghetto resistance, so they set fire to the area, block by block. The inhabitants preferred to burn alive than suffer capture. According to Toland, they would sometimes jump from windows in the upper stories at the last minute, breaking bones upon impact in the street. And even then, they would attempt to crawl across the street into buildings not yet set ablaze. Eventually, the resisting Jews took to the sewers, and the battle was over by May 16. Of the 56,000 Jews rounded up afterward, some 7000 were shot, and the rest were sent to various camps. There were only 16 German fatalities and 85 wounded reported. But this force of trained soldiers with superior armaments was held off for a month.
 
Unexpected Hero: Konrad Morgen, SS Lawyer
We’ve all heard about various German citizens hiding Jews or employing them in their factories to salvage their lives. But Toland’s biography of Hitler also relates the fascinating story of Konrad Morgen, who became an assistant SS judge and a real thorn in the side of the Final Solution. And irony of ironies, he worked for Heinrich Himmler himself! His faith in the concept of law was so annoying to his superiors that he was posted to the front lines as punishment. But his high reputation led to being transferred to an office that investigated financial corruption at Buchenwald concentration camp. Apparently, the commandant (Karl Koch) was profiteering off of the forced laborers by renting them out to civilian factories and by selling food supplies. Just to show how well kept was the secret of the Final Solution, even among Himmler’s group, Konrad Morgen’s investigation gradually led him to suspect that murders were taking place at the concentration camps. His persistence led him to uncover evidence of embezzlement and the murder of prisoners at time to cover-up the corruption. This infuriated Morgen.
 
As a result, Morgen, his briefcase bulging with evidence, went to Berlin to present his findings to his superior, the chief of the criminal police. The chief became pale upon viewing the records. He had not wanted or expected such diligence in the investigation! So he kicked the can to another superior, who did the same thing yet again, saying, “That’s not my business. Take it to your own boss in Munich.” The process was repeated again, and it eventually was kicked up to Himmler himself, now posted at the Reichsfuhrer’s field headquarters. Denied access to Himmler, Morgen sent a telegram (carefully worded, says Toland) that got through the bureaucratic maze for Himmler to read. Oddly, Himmler then gave him permission to proceed against the camp commandant!  
 
On one hand, this shows an amazing sense of courage and dedication to principle on the part of Morgen: How many people would take the risk of uncovering such a well-kept secret and make a fuss about it instead of just going along and getting along? This is so anal retentive, so “Prussian,” and so very socialistic in a dark-humor sort of way: In the middle of the Holocaust, the architect of the Final Solution, Himmler himself, is worried that somebody is making illegal profits! You can’t make this stuff up.
 
More on Heroes and Villains
As a final note, many readers are already aware of the fate of the SS St. Louis, a luxury cruise liner that set out in 1939 from Hamburg, Germany, and was refused permission to dock at a U.S. port, despite direct appeals to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As a result, of the 900 Jews aboard the ship, 250 were condemned to death after the ship returned to Germany. Here are a few more facts about the plight of the Jews among the Allies:
 

  • Neither the British nor the American governments granted sanctuary to Jewish refugees in any meaningful numbers.
  • The Moscow Declarations of 1043 listed Hitler’s victims only by national group – Italian, French, Dutch, Belgian, Norwegian, Soviet, Cretan, and of course, Polish. The World Jewish Congress protested vehemently that the Jews, the main target of Hitler’s ethnic cleansing program, were simply counted as Poles.
  • But there was a stark and noble contrast offered by some nations, including allies of Germany. The Danes defied the Germans and transported every last one of their 6500 Jews to Sweden. The Finns, who were allies of Hitler, saved all but four of their 4000 Jews. And even the Japanese gave sanctuary to 5000 Jews in Manchuria. I’ve personally known some of these survivors from China.
  • The much-maligned Pope Pius XII also deserves recognition. Many still reproach him because of his careful silence, which is so very disappointing but in some contexts understandable. Unlike government spokesmen, he had no army, and unlike many governments, he was under direct threat during the war years since Mussolini was an ally of Hitler. Some of the hostility may even be a result of the Pope’s politics: He viewed the Bolsheviks as a far greater danger than the Nazis, which was a justifiable, but nonetheless minority viewpoint. The passage of time and opening of records, however, has proven his assessment to be correct. Lenin and Stalin (and the Chinese communists) killed civilian populations in far greater numbers than Hitler – by multiples. Nonetheless, despite his early failure to denounce antisemitism, under Pius XII (according to Toland), the lives of more Jews were saved than by all other churches, religious institutions, and rescue organizations combined. He enabled their concealment in monasteries, convents, and in Vatican City itself. Too often it is easier to attack a target for failing to do more even though more obvious targets surround you.

 
 

The Importance of Boundaries and How They Figure in the Sex-Obsessed Realm of Politics

Butler Shaffer is one of the most important libertarian theorists, and his many books and articles have clarified the meaning and vital importance of well-drawn and visible boundaries in creating peaceful human relationships. That's why I mentioned him so early in my new article, "Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Pussy Control." If you found Stephan Kinsella's writings on IP compelling, Butler offers a real learning experience!
 
Among Butler's books are the following:
Calculated Chaos
Wizards of Ozymandias
Boundaries of Order
In Restraint of Trade
 
"Calculated Chaos" explores the problems of poor boundary definition and the link to complexity and chaos theory, "Wizards of Ozymandia" explores the warfare state, "Boundaries of Order" is perhaps his most in-depth writing on boundary theory, and "In Restraint of Trade" is a history of business attempts to circumvent and undermine the free market. You can't do much better than these!

"3rd-Class Relic" from WTC Tours Detroit Suburb

On Memorial Day in St. Clair Shores, a parade of idolaters venerated a 3rd-class relic plucked from the debris of the World Trade Center. The 5-foot steel beam was adored as a 3rd-class relic by the faithful because tradition claims it touched the elbow of a first-responder on September 11.
 
The relic failed to achieve 2nd-class status because the State’s advocatus diaboli demonstrated that no first-responder actually used the I-beam on a daily basis, which is a requirement of 2nd-class status. Only the body of a saint (or part of it) can be a 1st-class relic. Rumor says the holy beam was smelted from Minnesota ore dug from an open pit next to a veteran’s cemetery. Tears were shed at the goading of hectors and costume-wearing acolytes.
 
In the wind-up to the parade, the holy I-beam was on solemn display at the St. Clair Shores Fire Department on Harper Road. No miracles reported. Here's the article from the Macomb Daily.

Young People Adopt the Liberty Message, But Disdain Its Roots

 
Those of us who have been in the liberty movement for 30 or more years have always worried that the movement would die a slow death as the state rolled over us. Like many others, I rejoice that young people are finally embracing it and even making money on it in some cases. This is so typical. The founders of the movement—people like Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, Ludwig von Mises (not an anarchist, but on the trail), and Murray Rothbard, who literally gave birth to the heart of the movement in the 20th century—all lived in virtual ignominy or simply unknown and  uncelebrated by society at large. Those who come when the popularity-phase curve takes off are there to reap the rewards, often without giving a nod to those who carved the path.
 
…And Sometimes Forget the Basics
Parents, however, are often horrified by the behavior of their children, and those of us who came to libertarianism as a result of a deep concern for ethics and devoted many years educating ourselves by reading about and studying the idea of liberty before writing articles about in the pre-Web world (and later) can justifiably be terrified by the disdain for serious study—or even basic understanding—shown by many of the young people who have come into the movement and are now mass-merchandising it. I wish them luck. Their approach, however, is often sloppy, and this causes concern in many of us who were so careful about understanding the meaning, history, and significance of liberty. We had to live with constant dismissal by government-lovers “who knew better and could safely ignore us.” When I attended university, Ayn Rand was on the level of pornography in an academic institution. While some of the new generation—like Scott Horton and the wonderful crew at Antiwar.com do amazing work that really has an impact, some of the newer crew seem actually hostile to knowledge about the roots of the very words they use. Some of them cannot even be bothered to look a word up in a dictionary—even though they are arguing about its meaning.
 
Earlier today, I was listening to a podcast of the FreedomFeens, and while I liked their no-holds-barred style, it was clear upon listening to this undated podcast that Neema Vedadi and Michael Dean had never even so much as looked up the word "anarchy." They were actually talking about looking it up during the broadcast after they had been using it in this podcast and in many previous ones. These, sadly, are sometimes an example of the new proponents of liberty.
 
…And Show a Preference for Remaining Unstained by Knowledge
To help them out, I sent the following letter to Michael so that he would understand the word “anarchy” and in particular understand why Professor Murray Rothbard selected it in an attempt to rehabilitate it—by focusing on its etymological meaning—in order to combat the historical takeover of the term by leftist-socialists and bomb-throwers in Europe. How was my letter handled?
 
First read the letter (below). Then listen to how Michael Dean, Bill Buppert, and Ben Stone (Bad Quaker) proceeded to make up words and stuff them into my mouth while neglecting the entire context of the letter, without reading it in full, or attempting to understand its purpose. It’s the equivalent of lying. All this despite the fact that I attempted to show my appreciation of his work thus far and my attempt at humor (at the close of the letter) by referring to my now-ancient graduate degree and fellowship and coupling it with a self-deprecating set of titles to show I have a sense of humor.
 
------------------TEXT OF THE LETTER----------------
Hi, Michael
The world is a better place because of your podcasts, and when I speak to Randy England next time, I’ll mention this letter to him (he’s a personal acquaintance of mine). You are also a perfectionist about audio quality—which is why, when I buy a microphone, it will be an Audiotechnica USV 2005 as you recommend. Because of this perfectionist/purity streak, you should want to know the precise meaning of the word anarchy in an etymological sense. It is the root of your life philosophy, and you should know it front and back. The topic pervades every show, and on one of them, you devoted the entire podcast to its definition after having had an argument with some lefty snot called “cupcake” or something like that (can’t remember).
 
“Anarchy” Means “No Dictator” – Period!
Cupcake wanted to put his preferred spin on the word by freezing it in its 19th-century meaning as semi-socialist-backdoor-government-licking bomb-thrower-wanna-be- badass. That is indeed one meaning, and it applies to those who follow the 19th-century European history of the word and want to perpetuate that flawed meaning here in America. But Murray Rothbard helped to restore its original meaning by going back to its authentic roots in the Greek language. You should know these roots, too. It’s easier to remember and more powerful than you realize. If a word is the heart and soul of your life philosophy, it pays to look it up in a good dictionary (the OED is best) and doing a bit of digging—not from guys like Ben Stone and Jeffrey Tucker or others who inject their own spin and ignorance. You should KNOW. Since you reach a decent-sized audience, its meaning will propagate. Hail the Feens!
 
Here’s the meaning in its simplest form from the Greek origins, and although I am a medievalist and a Latin expert, I am familiar with some Greek usage.
 

  • Anarchy derives from the Greek word “archon” plus the prefix “a.”
    • Archon simply means “ruler.” That’s it. You may want to go further and say “dictator,” which is defensible—and very powerful when you want to dig a knife deeper into your opponent to make room for the brain worm.
    • The prefix “a/an” in Greek means “no” or “not.” It signifies negation.
       
  • Put it together for yourself:
    • Anarchon = No ruler or no dictator (the negation of the idea of a ruler)
    • Anarchy = No ruler

 
This is the powerful, deep-digging brain worm you seek. As you can see, it is very simple and clear and memorable! You can expound on it in any way you wish after you know this fundamental fact, but this always should be the basis of your definition. That’s why Professor Murray Rothbard was so devoted to it and re-defined “anarchy” and restored it to its oldest meaning, its original meaning, its true historical meaning—a meaning that is older than the pseudo anarchists of the left can ever claim. And you should know it because they and others will continue to badger you on the issue in the future. This will shut them the fuck up. It will also shut up those right-wing squares that want the word to mean “chaos,” which is something that governments create, not something that the spontaneous order creates.
 
Here’s some more historical poop on the word and its meaning in its most ancient form. This, too, will shut down those lefties who want to define it as if it were their personal property. It’s not.
 
The word archon (ruler/dictator) came about in ancient Greek social development when the Greek form of government transitioned from a monarchy (rule/dictatorship of one) to an oligarchy (rule/dictatorship of a few). Traditional ancient Greek history tells us (an anthropologist may disagree with tradition) that the Greek kingship had grown weak, and the upper-crust aristocracy took over.
 
An aristocracy (which means rule of the “best” because aristos is the Greek word for best) gradually took over the powers of the king (basileios)—introducing aristocratic rule. They took on the “ruling” role and used terms such as these as they acted like the dictators they were:

  • Polemarchos (ruler of war, like a commander-in-chief); this is where the founders get that crap as they were all students of Latin and Greek and their related history.
  • Archon eponymos (something “named after the ruler” because in Greek records, the year of the event was recorded under the name of the archon ruling that year, like “in the year of Jimmy’s reign” just as in the Bible and in Roman records people say “in the first year of the consulship of XXX or in the first year of Justinian’s reign.

 
Anyway, the word “archon” is, as you can see, always connected with the idea of dictatorship and war and violence and brutality and bossing people around—a failure to negotiate and convince people to cooperate with you on a peaceful basis, which is what we are all about. So many stupid lefties get a contact-high by pimping off of this violent meaning. They are bad-ass wanna-bes, just like middle class white kids all wanna be badass and take upon themselves the behavior and speech of ghetto rappers and gangstas. But that’s because they feel guilty about being raised by responsible adults who provided for their children instead of moronic neglectful welfare parents. Anyone who grew up in that atmosphere doesn’t really want to go back to that.
 
So next time some lefty wants to retain the relatively recent newbie 19th-century meaning of European anarchism by injecting their worship of statism and socialism and bomb-throwing and nanny-statism, you can tell them they are simply preserving the OPPOSITE MEANING OF “ANARCHY,” WHICH MEANS “NO DICTATOR.”
 
Just as you go to legal experts like Randy to discuss law, you should go to real historians and linguists for the meaning of words. Guys like Jeffrey Tucker and Ben Stone are good at what they do, but they also will talk out of their asses (and not admit it) because their vanity trips them up. Get the knowledge straight from a reliable source, not a lightweight.
 
I’m taking this time because I’ve spent about 30  years writing about this (pre-Internet and Internet), and it’s important to me that you and Neema get it right. I think I came to the right person in you because I know you like to get it “right,” too.
 
Sincerely,
Lawrence M. Ludlow
M.A., Duke of Connaught Fellow
University of Toronto
Centre for Medieval Studies and Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies
Medievalist, Anarchist, Parakeet-Lover, Feen
-------------------END OF LETTER TEXT---------------------------
 
 
 
 
Now here’s the link to the October 18 broadcast:
http://podcast.gcnlive.com/podcast/freedomFeens/1018142.mp3
 
 
Sometimes We Throw Up Our Hands
In carrying on like this, those three creatures proved my point. Ben Stone’s pulled-out-of-the-ass definitions of anarchy at the beginning of the show say it all—and completely validate my point—even though they deny that they ever said such a thing because I didn’t bother to quote them. This was unnecessary since they spout this kind of thing with regularity and, indeed, did so again on this broadcast. Ben Stone thinks anarchy is whatever he thinks it feels like to him at this moment with no roots at all. And Buppert, rather than confront the text, chose to go down a side-trail and discuss the inutility of the word “anarchy”—which, like “libertarian,” and “capitalism,” is freighted with bad press. This is why people like me fear for the movement at times. I thought I had extended a hand, and it is bitten off. And lies are substituted afterward. To top it off, the humorous signoff, meant to get a laugh, did not even register as a joke with these troglodytes. They actually thought I still was an academic because I used the word "fellowship" toward the end. But knowing something would require knowing what a fellowship is--a type of scholarship and nothing more. Oy vey! We have met the enemy, and it is us. What is particularly saddening is that neither Michael Dean, Bill Buppert, or Bad Quaker has yet apologized--even though their deliberate lies have been brought up to them by others. This kind of moral cowardice is disgusting--especially since Michael can be such a crybaby and demand "equal time" to retort when others criticize him justifiably. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, eh?
 

Libertarian Themes in the Seven Deadly Sins of Dante's Divine Comedy

As some readers are aware, I often try to identify historical events and documents that show a libertarian streak in them. In May 2013, I wrote an essay for STR entitled Dante’s Divine Comedy and the Divine Origins of the Free Market. In the blog comments that followed, I suggested that Dante’s ranking of the seven deadly sins—in particular, the sequence by which he distinguished less serious from more serious sins—reflected insights that we share as libertarians, regardless of our status as atheists, agnostics, or Christians.
 
In an essay entitled “Libertarian Themes in the Seven Deadly Sins of Dante’s Divine Comedy” and published at fff.org, I fleshed out that suggestion; I showed how Dante and aspects of medieval Catholic theology had more in common with libertarian beliefs than the beliefs of many modern-day Christians, who have been infused with a puritanical—and even Manichaean—attitude about the natural world and its bounty and beauty. Indeed, the perceptions about the natural world shared by the theologian Thomas Aquinas and some of today’s libertarians may help explain why libertarianism resonates so deeply with Catholics, Jews, and other minorities—including Native Americans and members of the gay community.

Marc Stein Spells Out Chickenhawk Family Values

Today, military-socialist Marc Steyn sat in for Rush Blablaugh (remember, he's the guy who forced his maid to score drugs for him while castigating drugs and cheering the drug war) and criticized Bowe Bergdahl's father for doing all he could to save his son's life--and possibly his son's mind. His mind? Remember, his son has been a captive for years, and when US-government employees keep you captive as at Guantanamo, they wreck your mind with sensory deprivation and isolation. This happens to people in captivity for long periods. Anyway, the senior Berglahl studied Islam and grew a terrorist beard. Yes. That alone should get the TSA on him according to Steyn.
 
Apparently that beard-growing and studying, and the audacity of Bowe's father to try to understand those who held his son captive for coming to their country to kill them, was far too evil for his saintliness, Mark Steyn. And besides, Bowe's father was learning to speak Arabic--you know, the language designed for terrorists! How dare any American step outside of the English sandbox! Treason! Treason to language! He had no business trying to learn anything about the people who controlled the destiny of his son. Apparently, Steyn would have preferred that this father act like so many real American patriot hero chickenhawk dads. He should encourage his son to abandon his career, go on the socialist government payroll, eat tax dollars, take orders from people who obey politicians, and, if possible, go off to kill people far away and maybe face death if they dare to fight back with weapons that are no match for the arsenal brought by the hero Americans. Doesn't Bowe's father realize that even though the vast majority of casualties in the war are innocent bystanders, his son should be forgotten? Surely his son should never have evolved after witnessing the many lies unravel in that war as innocent civilians were killed by drones operated by pimply-faced teenagers in a trailer park in the California desert. That's the American Way.
 
So Bowe's father should just sit home and wait for a flag to wrap around his conscience to protect it from reality. Don't you just love conservative family values in Steyn's America?

Edward Snowden's Christmas Message and Its Antithesis

On this Christmas day, when Edward Snowden releases his Christmas message, it is appropriate to also provide an example of the antithesis of the Snowden message. And by antithesis, I do not mean opposite. I mean a countering thesis in the dialectic process that is meant to undermine and de-fang and deflect and derail the impact of the vital message of Edward Snowden about the cancerous rot that lies at the center of the military-industrial-congressional-surveillance complex that now rules the United States and—through it—seeks to dominate the rest of this planet.
 
Any barroom brawler with a knee-jerk “patriotic” opinion can be immediately recognized as a Boobus americanus of H.L. Mencken vintage. We can count on such beings to spit out the latest propaganda. But it takes a particularly chameleon-like “creature of the state” (see chapter 7 of Rothbard’s For a New Liberty)—one such as University of Chicago Professor of Law Geoffrey Stone—to understand how the dictators of our time will attempt to sideline the growing movement against government totalitarianism. In my recent article about Professor Stone, you’ll note his tiresome fear of anything that could “damage national security,” which he holds so much closer to heart than liberty. Benjamin Franklin already rendered an apt judgment of creatures such as Professor Stone.
 
Let us hope that by tomorrow, on the Feast of Saint Stephen, we have fully digested the meaning and significance of Edward Snowden’s message about privacy, freedom, and what it means to be a human being.

Detroit and Chicago Are Sister Cities

I can't wait to find out what happens in Chicago and Detroit. In Detroit the bottom has already been reached as government has been proven incompetent. In Chicago they still have that lesson to learn. Furthermore Illinois is just as much a basket case as Michigan was 20 years ago. They are headed in the same direction. I only hope that they don't try to restore the situation that pertained earlier in Detroit. Let the government there die as it should.

Finally, A News Organization That's Not a Government Agency Pretending to Be One?

This is great news that Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras are joining forces with multimillionaire Pierre Omidyar to resurrect journalism with their new venture. I wonder if the various PR arms of the government -- like the Washington Post and New York Times -- will have to compete for eyes in the future. Or will they be driven offshore as GovCo increases its lockdown on information? Is the market working in spite of having its legs broken?
 

D.C. Police Execute Unarmed Dental Hygienist for Traffic Mishap -- to Congressional Applause

Am I the only one who finds it barbaric that a uniformed donut-grazer (thanks, Becky Akers for the technical term) automatically shot to death a woman who was guilty of nothing more than reckless driving when nobody had been seriously injured as a result? The victim, Miriam Carey, was unarmed, completely surrounded by police, was never capable of harming the Sanctified One in the heavily barricaded White House, and apparently she was suffering from post-partum depression. Is an automatic death sentence without trial the new treatment protocol for this sad condition under ObamaCare? Now her one-year-old daughter has no mother. And will Obama now claim that the death was the result of the so-called government shutdown?
 
 

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