The Atlas Society Asks Alex Kozinski

December 23, 2021 01:00:31
The Atlas Society Asks Alex Kozinski
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The Atlas Society Asks Alex Kozinski
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Join The Atlas Society CEO Jennifer Grossman as she talks to former 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski on the 84th episode of The Atlas Society Asks. Listen as the two discuss Kozinski's childhood in Communist Romania, introduction to Ayn Rand, and the government-forced lockdown and vaccine mandates in America.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 And welcome to the 84th episode of the Atlas society asks. My name is Jennifer Anji Grossman. My friends call me Jack. I'm the CEO of the outlet society. We are the leading organization, introducing young people to the ideas of iron ran, fun, creative ways like animated videos and graphic novels. Today, we are joined by Alex Kozinski. Before I even start to introduce him, I wanted to remind those of you who are watching us on zoom on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, on YouTube to go ahead, use the comment sections type in any questions you have for, uh, Alex Kozinski. And we will get to as many of them as possible. So our guest today, Alex Kozinski is a Romanian born jurist and lawyer who presided as a judge on the us court of appeals for the ninth circuit from 1985 to 2017. He is the son of Romanian Holocaust survivors. He describes having become an instant and fervent capitalist. Once he stepped foot beyond Soviet iron curtain, he is a staunch defender of the first amendment. He shepherded many of his law clerks on two clerkships, uh, on the Supreme court over the years, he has made a name for himself with readable and colorful court opinions, Alex, welcome again, and thanks for joining us. Speaker 1 00:01:38 Our pleasure. Speaker 0 00:01:40 So Alex, uh, my great, great grandparents also came from Romania though. I haven't had the chance to ever visit. Um, I know you left with your parents when you were 12, so you may not have, uh, too many memories, but do you have any distinctive memories about what it was like to grow up there at that time? Speaker 1 00:02:01 Um, I was actually alone, uh, and I do remember very well. Uh, I remember Bucharest like the back of my hand. I spent a lot of time, uh, telling, uh, the city, um, my mother taught me how to cross a straight, um, when I was six. And after that, I had pretty much free reign to go anywhere. My parents weren't exactly, uh, Speaker 0 00:02:27 Helicopter parents. You were the original free range kid. Speaker 1 00:02:32 Uh, so, uh, I remember Romania very well. Um, I, um, you know, my, my father was a communist and, uh, he was a member of the party, uh, before the war. And then he spent most of the water concentration camps because he was a Jew and a communist and, um, survived. And then he, the misfortune of being a communist idealist to actually see communism, communist action. And he was, it didn't work out as he had thought it would. He saw the greed, he saw the corruption, he saw the self-dealing, he saw the, um, the restrictions on freedom. Uh, none of which he expected, none of which was advertised when he, or, um, talked about when he was joining the party before the war, but we actually had a pretty good life there. Um, uh, my father being a member of the party, the communist party, he had a very good job and my mother had a very good job. Speaker 1 00:03:41 And by Romanian standards, we were living, you know, reasonably well. Um, but my parents decided there was no future for me under that system. And, um, decided to do what was considered an act of treason, uh, which is to leave, um, asked to leave Romania. And they asked to leave in 1958. Uh, and, um, my, both my parents got kicked out of their jobs and there was posts of our sources. And, uh, but eventually it was, we will let go. Um, you know, that, and that's sad. Uh, we, my parents never talked or taught me anything against communism while we were there. Um, it was a dangerous thing to do. Uh, one could get into very serious trouble if, uh, and one time I said something, got my father into trouble, fortunately actually get out of it. Speaker 1 00:04:46 Oh yes. I remember very well. I, uh, I was in his office and he wasn't south. So meetings. So I was in the, uh, other rooms were a little more, his coworkers were. And, um, some of these said, how old are you? I said, well, I'm seven years old. He says, can you read? I said, of course I can read. And so they picked up a newspaper that says, well, we, this and the newspaper was called over money, a liver liver, which means free Romania. So I'm a little bit of a wise guy. And so I read it and I said, you know, what many of our labor, but why do they call it the whole money, a laborer pre Romania when there are all these people in prison. Speaker 1 00:05:32 And, you know, I didn't say anything about political prisoners or anything else. And I didn't really particularly mean anything by it, except I was trying to sort of be a wise guy. Well, my father got into some serious trouble for that. And, um, you know, eventually they were persuaded that this was just a kid talking. This was not didn't the flack for those being taught at home. And, um, he, um, um, we got out of it. But after that, he said, if I'm ever with you and there's somebody else present, and you are saying something, uh, I'll give you this signal. I do that. You stop talking you in the middle of the sentence, you don't end the sentence, you don't do anything. You just stop talking right then. And it happened a couple of times. And I thought, well, if I did that, you know, for us, you know, the other adult would say, well, what did you mean? Speaker 1 00:06:30 Could, you know, continue or something like that, but no, nobody wanted to hear. So, you know, whenever I finally gave me the signal I shut up and, um, uh, nobody, nobody thought it was strange or unusual. They just went on. Um, but you know, I, um, I was, uh, you know, I had to play happy childhood. I have correlations with my parents and I believe the communism. I, uh, I thought it was a great system. I didn't know anything else. You know, it seemed pretty good to me. And I was told daily and hourly that this is a great system. We all, everything we have to the, to the party. And we thank the party from the depth of our heart, for all the things they give us. And this was a constant refrain. And, uh, you know, I was a pioneer, I wore a very red neckerchief proudly, and I used to give the pioneer salute. Speaker 1 00:07:30 Uh, and, uh, uh, and when I found out that I will be leaving and going behind the iron curtain into places where capitalism, the band, um, I, you know, I had seen pictures in, in, uh, in the newsreels, uh, and all the pictures of New York was shown as dark and people oppressed and lynchings and all sorts of horrible things. And I thought to myself, well, I, I am, uh, I am, I have an advantage. I grew up in lightened with communism and I would take all this teaching that I have with me. And once I, you know, get it to that prison, that's the west. I would teach the workers all about the joys of, of communism. And I would start the movement and help freedom of the yolk of capitalism. Um, and, um, we left when mania and, um, um, one up in Ghana and, um, uh, first day we were there, we went out and there was this, you know, we went to an outdoor market and, um, in Romania you couldn't get bananas. Speaker 1 00:08:51 Uh, it was very rare. And if you did, there were little so beat up once more brown than yellow. And I thought they were the best delicacy in the world. And first thing we see is a pile of bananas. It was sort of yellow and sort of brown, uh, but there was a big pile of them. So we felt we better grab these who knows it might not have any, by the time we get out. So we bought five kilograms of bananas and, um, and then we went a little further in, and it turns out these were the bad bananas, the stands further on had Vanessa complete yellow. Some of them were green and all sorts of food and all sorts of meat and all sorts of, well, I don't remember the transition. I don't remember the transition, but I became an instant capitalist. I, I, I, uh, it was, it was not a, it was not a, um, a conscious decision. It was, uh, we just happened. And, uh, after, you know, it just that and bubble gum and chocolate, all the things that we didn't have in Romania, uh, made me, um, uh, made me an innocent capitalist. Speaker 0 00:10:07 Maybe we should try that. We could package a chocolate bars with capital chocolate, brought to you by capitalism and, and ship them to, uh, to Cuba. Speaker 1 00:10:18 Well, it's a little different now, I think because of the internet. Um, I remember the only access we have to the west where newspapers and newsreels, uh, the, the, if you went to a movie and I saw a lot of American movies and really liked them, I still remember many of them, uh, very well. Uh, I mean, I have images of, you know, one piece and Marvi and five fingers and, you know, other American movies and thinking of those are great movies. Uh, I still think they're great movies. Uh, but, um, before the movie started, they'd have a newsreel and they always painted things in the Soviet union to Romania and other advanced communist countries as being rosy and wonderful. And the west was always painted as black. And, you know, we weren't told anything, but, um, uh, about, uh, about, uh, um, I'm sorry, photograph, uh, anyway, uh, so I think things are a little different now, I think with video, I mean, Romania was transformed by the VHS. Speaker 1 00:11:37 Uh, there's a movie, uh, uh, about, uh, Romania and how they will bootleg videos. And Chuck Norris was a big star. So really considered to be, uh, a big, uh, people were, um, uh, found that his movies and, uh, they would bootleg these VHS videos and have these sessions in people's homes where they would want Chuck Norris movies. And I think the movie is called Chuck Norris versus communism or something, something like that. So well was watching is it gives a very good idea of what life was like, but that was a window into the west. People got the idea then, uh, even with that load. So not low, low tech technology, that things were not in the west as portrayed by the party. Uh, I'm guessing, uh, you know, I don't know what the internet situation is in Cuba, but I think it's very much harder, um, in the press, uh, places now to, to lie about what's going on. Uh, Speaker 0 00:12:44 Yeah, I think Cuba right now, if they especially, you know, they've cracked down since these artistic, um, protests in San Ysidro and, um, they're not able to even access the internet, but, uh, what you're saying about being able to see some of these films and how these early, you know, bootlegged copies of movies, uh, young me park who escaped from North Korea, she, she talks about having seen the Titanic, you know, and how that was so pivotal in kind of giving her a sense that there was this world out there where romance and where beauty and, uh, where creativity was possible. And then of course, Iran who I know was also an influence on you, uh, when she was, uh, growing up after the Bolshevik revolution and that her family's business and home had been, um, appropriated that she would still go to the cinema. And even though they were kind of repurposed, uh, Soviet films, taking clips and trying to make, you know, the capitalists seem like the villains she could see though there was something out there, there was a place where there were skyscrapers and where there were people dressed beautifully and drinking champagne. Speaker 0 00:14:07 So Speaker 1 00:14:10 I am, I was smarter than I am. So, uh, she, she had, uh, she had, uh, a lot of vision. Uh, she also, I believe, uh, if I remember from, uh, from various et cetera, she actually lived in pre-revolutionary Russia. So she did have some idea of what things Speaker 0 00:14:33 Yeah. She was actually about the age that you left Romania was the age where, uh, she, she witnessed the Bolshevik revolution. So, um, and then, and then she eventually got out when I think she was 21. So you, uh, arrived California, speaking of popular culture and you wasted no time kind of getting into the swing of things and even made your TV debut on the dating game, which I've seen a clip on. So, and you, would you one, so how did that happen? Speaker 1 00:15:09 Uh, well, um, actually when we came to the United States, we'll live the Baltimore, Baltimore, not Baltimore, Baltimore, if you're from Baltimore and, um, uh, for about five years, but the weather got to be too difficult for my mother. And so she, she, uh, we moved to a warmer climate with all of Florida first. And then, and then, um, we went to California. Um, but anyway, we, um, uh, my father got a grocery store, uh, next to, um, uh, across kitty corner from ABC studios. And at that time, um, um, the dating game was on there and the newlywed game and Lawrence Welk and, uh, people used to walk in all the time from the studio. So I started seeing these sort of pimply guys, uh, with, um, suits coming in to get a drink before they went to the studio. I finally asked one of them, what are you here for? Speaker 1 00:16:15 And he says one, whether it be on a dating game. And I looked at them, I said, well, what if that guy can be on that dating game? I can be on a dating game. So I called up, um, uh, the production company, uh, which had an office on vine street, not too far from where we were. And they said, come in for an interview. And, uh, we gathered there and there were a bunch of guys and then a bunch of girls on the other side of the partition. And they said, play the game. So the girls were supposed to come with questions and they ask the guys questions and the guys were supposed to answer them. So I got on. And, um, then, uh, when, um, when, um, my day came for the show, they, I went to the studio and they showed us around. Speaker 1 00:17:03 They said, here's a stage. And they cautioned us. You know, don't have anybody in the audience giving any signals. They're not supposed to give the signals. Uh, I guess to the woman who would pick us, you know, who's the handsomest guy or something. Um, uh, but anyway, they, they gave us all these cautions. And then the guy turns to us and says, look, this is not about winning the show. This is about being asked back. So what we'll do is you want to give answers that are scale as possible, step close to the lines closer. Like you can, but don't say anything really dirty, but the trick would be the more risque your answer is without stepping on the line the better. And then you will get asked back on the show. Uh, so I, uh, I must have bought, okay. Cause I got the best ass back a couple of times. And, uh, uh, the second time I actually won, um, I put the Guadalajara, Speaker 0 00:18:06 Um, so, uh, from sort of a low brow culture to highbrow culture, at some point you discovered iron Rand and, uh, you have read more Iran than, you know, even many people that are a part of the outlets aside. So how did that all come about? Speaker 1 00:18:26 Uh, well, I was always, um, skeptical of, of, um, sort of campus liberal was most of my classmates, almost my colleagues, uh, students, professors will put the logo and I was pretty skeptical. I had seen what all of that leads to, and I was always pretty skeptical. So I started a friend of mine, I remember. And, um, he said, you know, you really ought to eat on a ramp. And I said, who is that? He says, oh, it's this old lady, the quite sexy novels. Well, no, I, I, you know, that didn't sound particularly interesting to me. Uh, I, uh, but then I wasn't a bookstore one day, so we used bookstore and there was the Fountainhead. So, um, I opened it up and I read, and it said, Howard work laugh. And I said, wow, what a way to style an owl? So I bought the book and I got to gross in it. However, work left. That was it. That's what hooked me in. Um, Speaker 0 00:19:39 And then over the course, would you say the fiction or the nonfiction on? Speaker 1 00:19:45 I, I read the fiction. I read, uh, I think, uh, Adler slug was next and maybe a Anthem might have January 16. Uh, I don't know. I don't remember the exact sequence, but I, I started just acquiring, uh, stuff. And at that time, um, she was, first of all, she was appearing yearly on the Fort hall forum. So you could, you could, um, listen to her live, I guess she'd be in Boston. We'd listen on the radio in, you know, in Los Angeles where we were and my woman and I, and, um, I, she also has something called the Iran letter. Uh, and I subscribed to that. So I would get this in the mail. I would get this, um, essay by her, uh, once a month. I don't know. It, it came pretty regular for a long time. And then I found the various non-fiction books, uh, the virtue of selfishness, uh, capitalism ideal. Speaker 1 00:20:56 Uh, and I had my way through all of those. And, um, uh, then I later on when there was the internet, I was able to sort of dig up some other stuff like that. Uh, was it the NBN NBI newsletter? I haven't actually kept all of it. I read some of it, uh, but I don't have any mind. I wish I wish I had kept them, but, uh, I, I haven't, but I still have, um, my original copy of, uh, I have my copy of Atlas. Shrugged is the original 57, um, edition, which I also got used, uh, in a bookstore with, uh, veils and the locomotive on the cover. And, um, uh, it was pretty neat. Um, I'm still, uh, all things stolen. I still found him, I've seen the movie. Uh, I seen the movie of does in an Italian version of we delivered. Speaker 0 00:22:00 And you appeared in a outlet in the Atlas shrugged. Speaker 1 00:22:06 Oh, yes. I think I was the highlight. I was, I was one of the judges on the, on the, I forget what it's called the reconciliation court or, uh, uh, but I didn't have a speaking role. Um, they just wanted to be Speaker 0 00:22:24 Clearly, apparently an oversight. Um, so we, we actually have quite a few very interesting questions coming in and I want to let all of you watching, uh, know that I'm not ignoring you. We're going to get to those, but I can't end up talking about Iran without asking about the review, uh, that you wrote in the wall street journal of Nathaniel Brandon's book judgment day. I thought it was a very interesting, um, it wasn't, you know, overly critical or overly, uh, I think I'm agreeing, but, um, you talked about Rams, fictional characters are fictional heroes, uh, as inspiring abstractions, but, uh, not necessarily, um, people that you'd want to try to emulate in, in real life. I don't know if you have any thoughts on, on that review or, or the reception? Speaker 1 00:23:20 Well, I, I, um, I had, uh, as I recall, um, Bob was book came out first, uh, both Barbara and Nathaniel Branden wrote books relating essentially the same story in a somewhat different way. And I liked marvelous book a lot. I saw a movie too with, um, uh, Helen as I ran and I thought the movie was about to, um, you know, I knew Nathaniel and respect and liked him quite a bit. Um, but I thought his book, I mean, just the name judgment day, it was, uh, it was not helpful and it sets the wrong tone for the book. So I had wanted to be more enthusiastic in my wall street journal where you, uh, I remember he called me and he was disappointed that once it came out, um, but, um, you know, the whole story has sort of also Greek tragedy. I mean, if one can believe what I told him, the two books and the stories I've heard from other people, uh, it had the makings of a great tragedy, uh, a paints are, and then not totally favorable light. Speaker 1 00:24:38 Um, and, uh, she had many, um, many virtues and she's clearly originally, or, you know, so all sorts of things coming up that nobody else did. Uh, and, um, I mean, like for example, in, in Anthem, I'm using the words. Yes. Now, now the problem is that you use they for, for a single individual, uh, because, uh, you don't want to say he or she, because it might not be a hero of a shield or be either, uh, but, uh, she saw a lot of stuff coming that, uh, that few had the vision to see no one really, if you think back to the fifties when she was writing in the forties, when she wasn't very, uh, once riding the Fountainhead, um, and willing to the sixties, uh, no, we had the vision to see, so she was a great genius and, and, and a great visionary. Speaker 1 00:25:40 Um, but you know, she was also authoritarian and, um, and unforgiving and, um, uh, she had this view about human nature that was not complete, um, uh, does a tape by Nathaniel bland. And, uh, I got on cassette one time called the virtues and, uh, perhaps that's commence of philosophy. Uh, I, I have the audio, I can send it to you after this. Uh, I recorded the, I had the video, I don't know where this is on my computer, but I w I will find it. Uh, and it's actually quite good. It's, it's not the, the audio itself is not, um, uh, in any way judgemental or, or, um, I think it gives her fully Gibbs van to do. Um, but the reality is, uh, aspects of the human psyche that I think are fully explored in the books. And that's fine, they're novels, uh, and, you know, you build your characters to make certain points, but, um, you know, I admire how it work. I think, uh, he's a Hawaiian character. I think what he did was a magnificent whether I want him as a friend, I don't know. I don't think so. I, uh, um, uh, he is cold. Uh, he is introverted. Uh, he is, um, unforgiving of human foibles. And, uh, I don't think those are, I think those are not, uh, you know, like generosity, charity. I mean, you know, uh, uh, Speaker 1 00:27:26 Those are, those are human, um, uh, drives. Uh, I don't know. I, I don't want to cut it if I help somebody, I, I don't want him to be thanked. It makes me feel good to help somebody. And when they then come back and say, oh, thank you, I'm too embarrassed to buy it. I didn't do it for them. I did it because I think that's a human thing to do because it feeds some value in myself and the rant for her, you know, many, many, many, uh, excellent ideas and many, um, very perceptive use of human nature just didn't see that part, or didn't portray it in her fiction. I still like it. Speaker 0 00:28:15 I know you do. And, and now we, uh, we've sent a care package and we're going to be, uh, helping to cultivate some, some future Rand fans. And perhaps even Objectivists in the Kaczynski household with our graphic novels, but, uh, just Speaker 0 00:28:32 What you say resonates with me. And with the view that we take at the Atlas society, we've been, you know, extremely emphatic about not conflating. Uh, the ideas originated by Iran with the person of iron Rand, and also, um, we promote open objectivism, which is a view that, um, uh, w we can continue to build on those ideas to develop those ideas that Iran lived at a certain time and for so many years, um, so that, uh, that, that we can continue to develop the philosophy. And also, um, David Kelly, the founder of the Atlas society has, uh, elevated benevolence, um, and done a lot of philosophical work on benevolence as they self-interested virtue, you know, in, in his book on rugged individualism. So, um, so I think we, we would be simpatico. You would say, Speaker 1 00:29:32 Let me give out a shout out to Linda April. So just, uh, just send me a, um, we met in law school when she was desperate, they looking for another person to justify a libertarian, both board. Uh, and then that was actually responsible for introducing me to my wife on directly when she graduated a couple years before I did, she passed the Baton onto my wife, Marcy, Tiffany, who, and then said, well, who am I going to find? You, you actually need three actual people to, to, um, to, um, justify having a bulletin board. We actually physically have to go down and, you know, show yourself that you're a real person. So Linda recommended me, but she says, watch out for him. He's a Wolf. Uh, And that's what my wife's what Marcy said, Linda seven. Speaker 0 00:30:35 So that was Linda, cause I've actually heard this story told before, but I, I didn't realize that our very own Linda Abrams, uh, was, was played such a central part in that, um, in that very important story. Speaker 1 00:30:49 Yeah. So anyway, she, um, so my Marcy came to me, um, and said, I need your body. And, um, I, we, I, I knew there was a catch. So I said, what voice is, what I need you to walk down with me to Murphy hall, where a minister Akamai or whatever the administration building to sign off a libertarian bulletin board. And I said, no, I'm a real libertarian, I don't join anything. And so she kicked me, uh, and that's how it all started A libertarian romance. Speaker 0 00:31:37 We are going to have to get, get Linda to, to drag you to our, uh, to our gala. Um, we've had it two years in a row. And now, Speaker 1 00:31:47 You know, um, seeing Linda reminds me, um, you know, libertarians, um, or people who sort of a libertarian objectivist, you know, they, they, many of them tend to follow him around his footsteps and being very doctrinaire. I remember that dragged me one time to something called a little bitter and supper club. And I think there was a meeting St. Piedro and at that time it was before the ninth circuit, I was chief judge of the court, the fellow claims. And one of the kinds of plans we used to hear were, um, takings claims plaintiffs by individuals that the government took the property sometimes by overregulation. So I talked about that and I said, you know, this is a way of keeping government in check by making them pay when they have excessive regulation. I got a very negative reaction, uh, from a lot of people there said, well, you are just in favor of taking taxpayers' money and giving it to, to, um, practice lawyers, um, uh, which I saw wasn't the same perspective. But, uh, um, I think, I think, I think a little bit of flexibility and, and realizing we live in this world and not some other world we don't live in the world of athletes, shrug, I think is, is, is, uh, is, is a good thing. Speaker 0 00:33:09 Yes. Well, I, as Linda will be able to attest, uh, that is the, the nature of the Atlas society. We do get, uh, attacked or criticized for being too, too open, too inclusive, um, and not sort of doctrinaire or now. So I think you've, Speaker 1 00:33:28 Yeah, I, I, I didn't mean to implicate Linda at all, except that she is the one that dragged me to the meeting or invited me and had me come to the meeting that she is not a law. I didn't mean to, I didn't mean to suggest that she was Speaker 0 00:33:43 No, no, we know that we know Linda well, okay. We've got a lot of questions here. Uh, we're probably not going to be able to get to all of them. So I'm going to ask some of those. I think he might have something to say about, but if you don't let us know and we'll move on to the next, okay. Scott shift has been a part of our community for a long time, is asking about, uh, whether objectivity in the legal field has been compromised by critical legal theory or critical race theory in, in recent years, or are you seeing influences of critical legal theory? Speaker 1 00:34:18 Uh, it's certainly has, but I think one has to put this in context. Um, uh, the move away from objective rules is 50 years in the making. Um, uh, it, it, it started at least 50 years ago and, uh, maybe longer with legal realism and, um, it, um, it, it morphed and got ever more doctrinaire. Um, but, um, when I was going to law school and when Linda was going to go to law school, uh, same art school, uh, in the mid seventies, uh, what was involved was legal realism. The idea that, um, there are really unknown rules, only judges. And, um, if you're a judge, you can decide the case anyway, you want to, and the rest of it is just scribblings. You, you explain you the search, but you can always, so in deciding what the law is, you don't read the rules or cases or precedents. Speaker 1 00:35:22 Uh, what you do is you try to predict, uh, what judges will do. And one of the ways, uh, you can predict this by figuring out who the judge is, um, um, uh, or, you know, and this is a little bit tongue in cheek, but they say you have to figure out what the judge had for breakfast. Uh, and depending on what mood the judges in, uh, may affect, whether they, you know, if you're, if you're there for sentencing and the judge had a good breakfast, a feeling, a jolly mood, you might get six months by the judge has an ingestion. You might wind up getting 10 years, and that's just one kind of decision judges make. But this, uh, is a proxy for the many kinds of, uh, discretionary decisions genders make, um, it's, it was surprising to me. It shouldn't be, but it was surprising to me just how many legal issues unresolved. Speaker 1 00:36:22 We don't know the answer because either the cases, the issue has never presented or the precedents are unclear, or because a statutory language is conflicting, or sometimes, you know, if you're looking at individual disputes, contracts are, uh, ambiguous or conflicting. Um, so there's an underlying layer of uncertainty and what most was, were pushing. And I think all of us who went to law school at that time, and since that time have, um, so been imbued with the idea that don't worry too much about the facts. Don't worry too much about the rules, uh, just assign what feels good at what, what, what do we do? What do you think is adjusted result? And, um, you know, then a law clerk or somebody will write a decision that make that sound plausible, um, that your job really is to determine justice as you, uh, as you understand it, you know, gut not as there's an applying the law, um, that can't be overstated a little bit, but not that much, uh, critical, um, uh, legal theory, critical race theory have pushed that, uh, to a further extreme. Speaker 1 00:37:43 And that is to say, uh, you not only can do that, but you must do that. You should, uh, because, uh, law is really not so objective rules that does a set of power relationships. And if you're in a position of power, it is your responsibility to push, uh, for, uh, interpretations that, that, uh, support, uh, one side of this period that is a very anthesis of, uh, of, of, uh, objectives traditional, uh, decision-making objective law of impartiality. It is, uh, it is really a question of now I've got life tenure. Um, what can I do to help achieve the ends, uh, that, that, you know, I think society should go to, um, and there's no one, um, no one or very few people in the federal judiciary who, or the state judiciary for that matter that he, uh, don't buy into that, into that, uh, you know, justice Thomas doesn't, um, justice Scalia mostly, um, mostly than, and he was, uh, but it's, it's, um, it's objective decision-making is something that, um, there's little practice anymore. It still happens, but it's it's Speaker 0 00:39:21 Yeah, on the way. Okay. We got another question coming in, uh, on Instagram from Camden, Camden, GTR, uh, asking about your thoughts on, um, media companies, trying to find out the identities of jurists in big cases, he was pointing to the Kyle Rittenhouse case as an example, Speaker 1 00:39:43 Well, you don't need to be a big media company, you know, it's, uh, court, uh, we have a long condition that courtrooms are open and that, you know, your agendas are, uh, I would go there, the system where the judges were secret as they are in the Pfizer court, uh, uh, federal intelligence, we know who they are, but they keep, they keep a pretty low profile. Um, so I don't think there's any, uh, great art to finding out who the judge, the particular cases you go to the clerk's office, you look at the case number, the initials of the judge followed the case number. So if you don't otherwise know, you can, you can find out pretty easily. Um, what is, uh, what is far more troubling is that tends to put pressure on judges, uh, by, um, uh, disclosing their home addresses, uh, by disclosing their telephone numbers, uh, uh, uh, names of their family members and so on. And that is a very troubling trend. Uh, I don't know if that comes from, from big tech companies. I think that comes from a lot of, uh, people, Instagram, Which, which is one of the reasons I had no social media accounts whatsoever. Speaker 0 00:41:09 Uh, all right. On YouTube, Joe Klemow is, um, asking, do you remember the Debra Speaker 1 00:41:17 Milk? Speaker 0 00:41:20 And if anything came of the federal investigation into it, I don't know. And maybe our, our viewers don't. So maybe you could tell us what that one, Speaker 1 00:41:28 You know, I don't know that anything came up with, um, I mean, that will lucky was a convicted, um, uh, of a very serious kind of killing her son, uh, participated in the killing of a son. And, um, the only evidence, um, presented was, uh, was an all confession. So this wasn't a not even a or sign, she went to the room with a detective, um, and wasn't there. I don't forget what it was 20 minutes or 40 minutes. And they came out and she said, I didn't tell him anything. And he said, she confessed. And based on that, she was sentenced. I forget what it was, life and personal death. Uh, and, um, uh, it turns out the cop was a dirty cop. That was a cop was, uh, was somebody who would fake confessions request confessions. That was his specialty. They would call him in to get a confession. Speaker 1 00:42:27 Um, so I remember the case very well, uh, and, uh, she was in fact released, uh, you know, I don't know, I mean, I I've said this before. I don't know whether she's guilty or innocent. Um, uh, as a matter of fact, um, but we have a legal system and you're presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law of following, um, ordinary, um, due process procedures. Uh, and including that is that witnesses don't lie and that you don't have, um, uh, confessions, uh, either extracted by force or by, by, um, by coercion or lied about. And, uh, w w we can't have a system where people get with the person because they have the bad luck of deploying a cop, uh, who, whose specialty is to fake confessions. Uh, and so to me that is still injustice, uh, whether in some cosmic sense, or if you sort of look from about there's a deity looking down, um, he would think this is justice. Uh, I don't know, but we can't apply the kind of justice. We can only apply justice, uh, uh, that is available using human tools, which don't include magic or reading, or, uh, although we're getting closer to migraine in these days, uh, certainly with all the surveillance it's, it's, uh, it's, uh, it's getting mighty close, but whatever these tools are, we have to follow human rules by human standards, uh, to reach a result. And when you reach that, cause using correctly, applying the tools, uh, impartially, the result you get is justice. My, my definition. Speaker 0 00:44:31 All right, well, we've got many other interesting questions here, but we also have just about 15 minutes, um, Hank lay some on Instagram, asked about why objectivism should be an open system. So, Hey, I'm going to recommend that you join me tomorrow on clubhouse. I'm going to be talking with the founder of the outlet society, philosopher, David Kelly, and who would be the source to be the best one to answer those questions. But, um, Alex, so you and I both live in California, um, which there's a state that despite having some of the strictest lockdowns school closures, mass mandates has not had significantly, um, better outcomes with COVID than states like Florida with more minimal interventions. Um, now I know you're a legal rather than a health expert, uh, and I'm going to get to your views on, um, the constitutionality of some of the administration's mandates and policies, but I'd like to just see as a California resident, as somebody who has, uh, been around thought deeply about, um, civil liberties, uh, about the way our society should function and, and the way, um, how any thoughts on the way our government and, uh, the American people have responded to the pandemic in general. Speaker 1 00:45:59 No, this is another area where Rand was, um, was pressuring Cher. Uh, if you read her books, uh, she, um, full told or connected that fear, fear is a one factor that will cause populations to do things that otherwise unthinkable. And, um, that's what happened to us, uh, when the target of a few months when campaign I've lived through a reopen Nanak, I lived through the 1957, uh, Asian flu and, uh, in Bucharest kill a lot of people, a lot of small children, I used to walk Bucharest and they were coughing stacked up in plain tiny conference with babies. Uh, there were so many that they, they, they couldn't handle it, um, and you know, life didn't didn't stop. Uh, so evening communist Romanian, nobody's thought we're gonna lock everybody, uh, in their homes or prevent, uh, gatherings. Uh, it's just unthinkable. What's been going on for the last two years. Speaker 1 00:47:07 It's unthinkable that in America, the land of the brave and the home of the free, or maybe it's the home of the way of the land of the free, um, that we would show as much cowardice and as much Serbians, uh, to government dictates have absolutely no rationality. Um, uh, the idea that the government could force you to inject something into yourself, um, uh, that is now pretty clear, has no lasting effect. And the last thing, you know, it's just thinkable. Um, and the idea that the government can tell me to where I'm asked, you know, I used to wear the red negative of the party. My parents were the yellow star, and I don't let the government tell me once again, what, where public, this is, this is all private for that matter. I will not wear a mask. I have not worn a mask. Speaker 1 00:48:06 I simply won't do it. Um, and, uh, I think it is, um, just astonishing to me that we have come as far as we have. Um, uh, and people have submitted basically out of fear, uh, misplaced fear, I think, um, uh, I'm not assigned this, but I have, I put it up on COVID pretty carefully like Omnicom now. I mean, it's, it's, it should be a godsend. It should be, people should be, uh, doing cartwheels in the street. It's highly infectious and not very dangerous. Look at the data from South Africa, look at the data from Denmark. Uh, people should say, now's the time for me to get infected. Uh, while we, we got a strain that is not very dangerous and highly contagious, get that natural immunity and that'll move us closer to having the single away, uh, instead we're being pushed in, uh, in the opposite direction. It is unthinkable Speaker 0 00:49:09 For the mandates, uh, and front of closures. Yeah, I think the, the contrast is pretty, pretty stark. Uh, when you look at the, um, the mediums and, and the acquiescence here in the United States and over in Europe, you know, many of these countries that we think are far more socialist or more to the left are seeing huge, you know, rallies and protests. Speaker 1 00:49:41 Oh, another way in which van was, uh, was professioned every time I look at Fowchee, I think KIPP Chalmers or Wesley March, it's just exactly the guy should predict Speaker 0 00:49:53 Stadler. Speaker 1 00:49:55 Dr. Stella. I forgot about him, but, uh, you know, a government bureaucrat, somebody was credentials that established that's right. Uh, characters out of Atlas shrug. These folks that you see now, uh, in the government, uh, uh, it is, uh, it's quite amazing, quite, quite astonishing. I never thought I'd live to see that they are America when, when athletes will be coming through, but we're getting there Speaker 0 00:50:27 Front though. Um, so far the courts have not been responding very favorably to, uh, the Bible administration's various mandates to make private companies, uh, and hospitals require vaccinations for employees and healthcare workers. Next week, the Supreme court, um, is set to rule on his mandates through OSHA, the occupational safety and health agency. Any thoughts on how, uh, you know, these various mandates of confidentiality and what will happen? Speaker 1 00:51:02 The case raises some very complex issues involving administrative law. I think the first I could have got it exactly right. I think it was six seconds out to lunch. Um, but that is very different from, uh, from, um, the majority in the sixth circuit. I started the center, the sexual act. It was quite good. Uh, but, um, the issue is based on the miscarriage, which is far I from common sense, as you can possibly imagine. And the ruling the Supreme court has been to make is not on the merits of the claim, but on whether a state should be issued. There's a huge difference, uh, uh, stay as a prediction of the future and a way of the harms from staying the policy versus not staying with policy. So I would not take whatever they do in this case where they will rule on the stay as being the ultimate words on how they decided. Speaker 1 00:52:03 Um, I do think when they look at it, when they look at it in the mirrors, they will find that the policy, um, uh, violates, uh, basic principles, uh, administrative law, um, uh, but generally, um, uh, it seems to me as, uh, putting the misread war issue aside, uh, it seems to me, I mean, there's one precedent on vaccines and that goes back to 1902, I believe, uh, Jacob's in case, in a very different situation, very different body of law, very different, uh, legal standard. But aside from anything else, that's vaccine, the small facts vaccine actually stop infection, actually stop people from being infectious to each other. So there was at least some justification. I mean, we now have a CDC and who have admitted that it doesn't stop infection. It may make you symptoms mild or not. I don't know. I had no symptoms at all and I'm not vaccinated. Speaker 1 00:53:08 And I had zero symptoms, but, you know, I'm, I am agnostic on that issue, but it seems to me, if the only thing it does is make the individual taking the vaccine, uh, or so-called vaccine feel, uh, uh, safer or be safer. It seems to me it's not a vaccine at all. It's a medicine. And the question is, do you think that the risk to you as an individual outweigh of taking the vaccine out way, uh, there is from COVID and, you know, I made my decision one way other people can make the decision differently. I don't think people will take the box. You're not crazy. I think that the news, but not crazy. Uh, but, uh, I made my decision and, um, you know, I'm doing fine, but it's, my decision has nothing to do with infecting anybody else. So I don't see how they could possibly require people to be vaccinated, uh, unless it can show that this actually stops transmission. Uh, that's the only possible justification for having, uh, somebody they call them vaccine, uh, administered, uh, in voluntarily. Um, uh, I wish I were confident the outcome of that. Uh, I I've seen arguments and I'm not sure that there are so many arguments that this argument has been given enough weight, but it seems to me that's a key, it's not a vaccine. It's not stopping transmission in the case. Speaker 0 00:54:46 Yeah. Well, it's also been when you were talking about Anthem earlier and the changing of terms and languages to control, not just the debate, but the way that people think. Uh, there's, there's been a lot of that with regards to, Speaker 1 00:55:04 Well, there's only way to, with the learning, uh, which is the governments of our grants now. And for that reason, probably my least favorite, that reminds me too much of my, Speaker 0 00:55:22 Well, you know, it was the most autobiographical of, of her novels. Um, and yes, it's, without being a spoiler, it does have, uh, less of a heroic, um, resolution, but, um, but it having been such an early novel, I think as well, that there was a naive, a attempt, not in the sense of, you know, not knowing things, but the way that she expressed herself, it wasn't as stylistic as, uh, a shoot further developed it in her material, Speaker 1 00:55:55 You know, find his was published first. Uh, um, we, the living was written before farmhand and they got published after the Fountainhead, but again had, but there was something about the characters in, in, uh, with the living that is more human. Uh, uh, and maybe that's, maybe that's Speaker 0 00:56:22 What I'm saying, that, that the, you know, when you think of, uh, naive artists, you know, that they are, um, that, that there is less of a filter it's less developed, it's less stylized. And I think as, as a younger writer, you know, for example, there are Nietzschean, um, elements or reflections in some of the language Speaker 1 00:56:41 That she is there. And as she developed as a thinker and a philosopher, she issued a Nietzsche. So, um, so I think maybe there's something in the way that it's written. It just comes across more naturalistically. So it could be time to read time, to reread time, Speaker 0 00:57:02 Time, time to wrap it up. Uh, so we are getting close to the top of the hour. Uh, Alex, what is next for you? I know you are a man of many hobbies. I mean, attending to your chickens, and Speaker 1 00:57:17 I should have chickens. I've gone, had a couple of foxes move in next door and they cleaned us out. We used to lock them up at night Speaker 0 00:57:26 With the chickens Speaker 1 00:57:29 Now Speaker 0 00:57:31 Bees. Speaker 1 00:57:34 Yeah. That'll teach us Fox as a lesson, my bees, uh, but yeah, we, uh, we had chickens for many, many years. He used to run around the property all day and it might put themselves to bed. They do come home to us and, uh, we'd lock them up, uh, because at night cutters around Koons and the like, uh, but then foxes are too much. Uh, they, they clean us out. Uh, what I do is I consult, I am, uh, I work with lawyers, um, who have cases pending in various courts, my old court, but other courts as well. And I work with them in advising them how best to present their cases, what arguments to make, what arguments not to make, uh, how to put together, briefs, how to put together, uh, arguments, uh, what to leave out, what we include. Um, I, um, along the boys come to me and say, give us the inside, scoop on how judges think. And I did it for 35 years. So I guess I'm a position to give them that insight. Speaker 0 00:58:42 And where do people, if they are looking for those services, where do they find you? Speaker 1 00:58:51 They Speaker 0 00:58:51 Find you okay. Speaker 1 00:58:54 They managed to find me, I'm the California bar. They can look up my information on the California Bob page, but these days it's not hard to get found. Speaker 0 00:59:03 All right. Well, good. Well, we are very happy that we found you and that you found iron Rand and, uh, this has been absolutely delightful and we've gotten tremendous feedback already from our viewers, very inspired by your courage and your wisdom. And we're very grateful for your time. Thank you and everyone, um, look forward to seeing you next week. I'm going to be interviewing Cara Dansky on, uh, the end of sex. She is a self-described turf, a trans exclusionary radical feminist, uh, which is actually kind of the, the negative term that people, um, use for feminists who are raising questions about, um, the promotion of a, a transgender agenda and what it means for women's rights. Women's, um, private spaces, women's sports. So we're going to be talking about that next week. And again, um, if you're on clubhouse and you want to talk about objectivism, join me. And, um, our organization's founder, David Kelly tomorrow at 1:00 PM Pacific time, uh, he's going to be talking about objectivism and the arc of life and how the objectivist ethics apply at different stages as we develop from birth to old age. So.

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