Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dear New York Times, Can You Show One Previous Writing By Dr Block That Backs Up Your Fabrications?

By Jennifer "Hap" Werther

Dear New York Times Editor,

This is in reply to NYT article "Rand Paul's Mixed Inheritance" by Sam Tanenhaus and Jim Rutenberg, Jan 25, 2014.

I am a Retired Navy Chief, Advocate for Liberty, Tulane University Student (next door to Loyola in New Orleans), have heard Dr Walter Block speak about ten times, and have read a few of his books and essays. Beyond that, the Mises Institute and its various writers have been a great source for Austrian economics and libertarianism.

I just recently attended a Mises Circle in Houston, TX where Tom Woods and Lew Rockwell spoke. The topic was the growing police state. This is something that every liberty lover should be up in arms over from the martial law and illegal searches through Watertown, MA to NSA's widespread surveillance. These are attacks against the smallest minority, the individual. From African American majorities in prison in Louisiana, to gay marriage, to stop and frisk, to Constitutional rights, to TPP/SOPA/CISPA, to immigration, to bringing our troops home, to peaceful interaction vice policeman of the world, Mises and Libertarians are addressing these issues. Libertarians have become the advocates for civil rights and civil liberties. Democrats have been reluctant to address these issues as not to attack a Democrat President. This is exactly the time when they should advocate, while they have a Democrat President in office. Your attacks are without merit.

I am omitting discussion of your representation of Ron Paul and Rand Paul, because I am really not interested in their family RV trips and debates over politics. Two people, even family, especially family, are sure to have differing thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

Dr Block uses analogies of slavery going back to 1975 in his book Defending the Undefendable: The Pimp, Prostitute, Scab, Slumlord, Libeler, Moneylender, and Other Scapegoats in the Rogue's Gallery of American Society (which itself may have been a play on Louis Armstrong's "gamblers, hustlers, cheap pimps, thieves, prostitutes" from his autobiography Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans.) In New Orleans, even if you are not African American, Academia often uses local analogies. Dr Block has been writing since the 70s and what better example of aggression than to use slavery. African American studies in Louisiana are probably one of the top in US. Besides our great gumbo pot of First People of Poverty Point, Native Americans, Spanish/French/English Settlers, to Acadians/Cajuns, Creoles, Africans, Eslanoś, Italians, Irish, Germans, Filipinos, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexicans, Central Americans, we do not overlook many historic battles, deaths, slavery, attacks, and bigotry. We teach our current and future generations not to feed into those aggressions.

Dr Block has uses slavery a lot in his writings along with promoting self-ownership. Slavery is the great example of aggression, so he can easily use slavery as an example against the non-aggression principle (NAP). Dr Block has written on reparations: "Owning a slave is a crime under libertarian law. The Nuremberg Trials have established the validityof ex post facto law.

Those people who owned slaves in the pre civil war U.S. were guilty of the crime of kidnapping, even though such practices were legal at the time. A part of the value of their plantations was based on the forced labor of blacks. Were justice fully done in 1865, these people would have been incarcerated, and that part of the value of their holdings attributable to slave labor would have been turned over to the ex slaves. Instead, these slave masters kept their freedom, and bequeathed their property to their own children. Their (great) grandchildren now possess farms which, under a regime of justice, would have never been given to them. Instead, they would have been in the hands of the (great) grandchildren of slaves. To return these specific lands to those blacks in the present day who can prove their ancestors were forced to work on these plantations is thus to uphold private property rights, not to denigrate them." - On Reparations to Blacks for Slavery in 2000. Wow, yeah, that is really offensive to African Americans.

Understand that when Libertarians talk about aggression (opposite of the non-aggression principle) and forced to associate (opposite of free association), these terms are about war not for our defense, this is murder, this is assault, this is police brutality, this is holding someone against their will, this is government aggression against individuals, this is the our ridiculous prison system, this is stop and frisk, etc. These go against my freedom to go about my life without aggressing others and others freedom to go about their lives without aggressing me. As The Dude said in the Big Lewbowski, "This aggression will not stand, man." New Orleans culture very much follows the laissez-faire French liberty or as in Herbert Spencer's "every man has freedom to do as he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of every other man." Now we have context.

So, what was slavery beyond aggression, murder, assault, against your will? What was slavery beyond the NAP? I just discussed aggression in the previous paragraph. What was slavery beyond forced association? You can't quit if you're a slave. That's forced association. So, when Dr Block says that free association is crucial and the slave's relationship to the master was compulsory, these are true statements. Slave owners did not have the Slave's best interest in mind. Slaves were forced to associate. Yes, this is true. Lets use what was written as Dr Block's verbage:

“Free association is a very important aspect of liberty. It is crucial. Indeed, its lack was the major problem with slavery. The slaves could not quit. They were forced to ‘associate’ with their masters when they would have vastly preferred not to do so. Otherwise, slavery wasn’t so bad. You could pick cotton, sing songs, be fed nice gruel, etc. The only real problem was that this relationship was compulsory. It violated the law of free association, and that of the slaves’ private property rights in their own persons. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, then, to a much smaller degree of course, made partial slaves of the owners of establishments like Woolworths.”

Picking cotton and other field work happens now without aggression, right? So, that's not offensive. Were slaves singing? Yes, what Sidney Bechet called the "field hollers" which developed into the blues and rock and roll of my time. Music is in our souls in Louisiana. Surely, that is not offensive. Be fed nice gruel? I'm sure this depended on whether you were starved by aggression or otherwise you had vegetables from the plantation, or slave gardens, and animals that slaves kept. Was it good food? Yes, Louisianians take pride in the food that came from the slaves (example: red beans and rice!). People come from all around for New Orleans food and music. Don't knock it! What is Etc? Everything that slaves did without being aggressed.

Dr Block says that this was a dramatization in the middle of several hours of talking about the non-aggression principal and free association. Did he say, "slavery was not so bad"? Dr Block contends that he did not say this, but after several hours discussing Libertarian principles, the NYT journalists have made this out to be fire for attacking Libertarians as NYT journalists have history of doing. Libertarianism is in mainstream media every day now. The risks of talking with Democrat or Republican partisan media is seen here as you can twist what anyone says to their own goals, attack Rand Paul, attack Dr Block, and attack Libertarianism.

New York Times, can you show one previous writing by Dr Block that backs up your fabrications? I have Dr Block's many writings that support his side? NYT does need to print a retraction for falsification and present an apology. Your falsification against Dr Walter Block has also caused problems with his job. Others at Loyola have asked the university to condemn and censure Dr Block because of your article. As these matters often go, what will probably happen is the NYT Editor will present a tiny statement somewhere with the retraction. Meanwhile, the damage was already done. NYT has something to learn from non-aggression principle. Its a shame that after a couple of hours with Dr Block, these journalists, instead of learning about non-aggression, made a decision to practice aggression.

The Academia of Loyola should understand the politics of media and not jump to conclusions. Writing the university over a NYT article is kneejerk at best. NYT has become a partisan media source without fair and reliable reporting.

The Libertarian Party is the fastest growing political party in the US next to "no party" affiliation. Dr Walter Block is a national and our local New Orleans expert in Austrian Economics. At Loyola University in New Orleans, he is the Economics Department Head and has built the largest group of Austrian Economics Professors in one university. His writings and speeches are certainly influencing a new generation of libertarians. His department hosted an outstanding Students For Liberty Regional Conference at Loyola with 200 attendees. Dr Walter Block has generously and freely spoken at Libertarian Party of Louisiana parish caucuses as new Parish Executive Committees (PECs) were developed across Louisiana.

Dr Block and Mises Institute writers are not politicians and therefore you can be held libel for your character assassinations. I hope they all show their legal rights against NYT. They are not politicians for this to be political mudslinging. These advocates of liberty have my strongest support through these attacks.


Jennifer "Hap" Werther


  1. I suggest everyone tweet this to the NYTimes and @loyola_nola and @loyolanolanews and ask them if they are going to stand up for Dr Block.

    1. No just cut them dead. They have proved themselves to be a pack of wankers. they approached Walter as being honestly interested in his opinion, took hours of his time then twisted his words. beyond recognition. You aren't going to change their minds so don't waste your time." I've had issue with your employer and colleagues before so no comment for you"

    2. Exactly Heath. These little yellow journalists don't deserve the time of day. We should all tell them to fuck off.

  2. If Dr. Block described the daily life of a slave as being, “not so bad — you pick cotton and sing songs” then he goofed, plain and simple. You cannot blame the journalist for simply reporting what Dr. Block said.