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  1. American businessman Sheldon Adelson (CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, whom Bloomberg lists at the 14th richest person in the world), says the United States should drop a nuclear bomb in the Iranian desert—and then threaten to drop a second in the center of Tehran—in order to end Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons, reports the Jerusalem Post. Asked . . . whether the US should negotiate with Iran if it were to cease its uranium enrichment program, Adelson retorted, “What are we going to negotiate about?” Adelson then imagined what might happen if an American official were to call up
  2. The theocratic regime in Saudi Arabia is an enemy of reason and human life on multiple counts, not the least of which is its constant effort to spread Islam across the globe and to destroy America and Israel by funding mosques and schools that “educate” children about the evil of infidels and the need to kill them. And, of course, the regime’s assaults on all things civilized are not limited to westerners; the theocrats regularly assault people who are trying to live at least semi-human lives in Saudi Arabia as well. Fortunately, at least some of the assaulted are making an effort to resist a
  3. In response to a reporter’s questions during his October 8 news conference, Barack Obama offered the following argument in favor or raising the debt ceiling: magine, in your private life, if you decided that I’m not going to pay my mortgage for a month or two. First of all, you’re not saving money by not paying your mortgage. You’re just a deadbeat. And you can anticipate that will hurt your credit, which means that in addition to the debt collectors calling, you’re going to have trouble borrowing in the future. And if you are able to borrow in the future, you’re going to have to borrow at a
  4. I’ve already reported anecdotal accounts of insurance premiums going up under ObamaCare (see here and here). A recent study by the Heritage Foundation confirms that insurance hikes under ObamaCare are widespread, with average rates going up in at least 42 states. In a few states premiums are more than doubling. The only surprise in any of this is that anyone is surprised about it. A primary goal of ObamaCare is to force some people to subsidize the health care of others through increased insurance premiums. As examples, ObamaCare forces those who don’t use birth control to pay for the birth
  5. In his October 21 speech about ObamaCare, Barack Obama used the term “market” or “marketplace” nineteen times to refer to the government-run health-insurance “exchange.” For example, he said: About three weeks ago, as the federal government shut down, the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces opened for business across the country. Well, we’ve now gotten the government back open for the American people, and today I want to talk about how we’re going to get the marketplaces running at full steam, as well. But the government-run exchange is the opposite of a genuine marketplac
  6. A recent report by Denver’s ABC affiliate illustrates one of the many problems resulting from bureaucrats violating rights by throttling construction: Meanwhile, as Complete Colorado points out, Denver has fast-tracked permits for political popular projects such as solar installations. That article argues, “The city should take its thumb off the scale when it comes to zoning and permits.” Government has no moral right to require contractors or property owners to get permits to build on their property. In this sphere, the only role government should play is (a) to protect the rights of indivi
  7. Thirty years after Lithuania declared its independence from the Soviet Union, Russia maintains considerable influence over the nation by controlling much of its energy. OJSC Gazprom, of which the Russian government is majority shareholder, provides Lithuania’s natural gas—which amounts to half of the country’s energy consumption. In an effort to decrease its dependency on Russian gas, the Lithuanian government decided to sell the “rights” to explore Lithuania for shale gas—a project that would require the American-developed technologies of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (frackin
  8. Recently, a financially struggling elderly woman wrote to Pat Robertson explaining that she has been tithing (giving 10 percent of her income to charity) since childhood and that she and her husband are still tithing despite his medical expenses. She explained that they “barely have any money” and are both “retired and living on a small pension and Social Security income.” She then asked Robinson whether it would be okay for them to apply money they normally give to charity toward her husband’s medical expenses instead. Robertson replied that their medical and financial problems are the resul
  9. In this episode of Reason at Large, Craig Biddle answers a question from Nick: “Can there be objective morality without God? In other words, can morality be both secular and absolute?” In answering, Biddle zeros in on the basic reason people need morality, which is in order to live and prosper, and he explains that objective moral principles are identifications of factual requirements of human life. He discusses Ayn Rand’s discovery that man’s life is the standard of moral value; the principle that reason is man’s basic life-serving value; and several moral virtues—including honesty, producti
  10. When people think of 3D printing, they typically have in mind high-tech mechanical or medical devices, but this technology offers much broader potential than one might suppose. Fashion designer Michael Schmidt and architect Francis Bitonti have created what they describe as “the first fully articulated gown” using computer modeling and 3D printing. Articulated in this context means “jointed and moveable,” a feature of the gown enabled by the nature of its “fabric,” which is similar to a fine mesh with thousands of individual joints. The gown was printed in large sections by the 3D printing ex
  11. Although the government has not yet fully rolled out ObamaCare, the immensely rights-violating law has already caused severe problems. Consider just a few: ObamaCare has caused health insurance rates around the country to skyrocket, as evidenced by the many people—including leftists—who are complaining about the fact. For example, after seeing his and his wife’s health insurance premiums nearly double, a blogger at Daily Kos wrote, “I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any f**king penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?” Likewise, a supporter of ObamaCare said, “Of cours
  12. Molly Ball at the Atlantic reveals the sad truth about the now-lifted government “shutdown” (sad at least for advocates of rights-respecting government): Obamacare will not be repealed. Obamacare will not be defunded. Obamacare will not be delayed. The individual mandate will not be delayed. The medical-device tax will not be repealed. The health-insurance subsidies given to members of Congress and their staffs will not be taken away. Democrats will get the government funded at levels they (grudgingly) sought in the first place, for longer than they originally sought, and without the loomin
  13. My grandfather played a huge role in my life as a young child, and we remained close into my adulthood. Thus, watching him suffer with Alzheimer’s—slowly losing his memory, his ability to recognize his loved ones, and his ability to live independently—was agonizing. And, of course, I live with the prospect that I may share a similar fate. For these personal reasons, news reports about potential Alzheimer’s treatments tend to jump out at me. Thankfully, as Fox News reports, British scientists have made headway toward treating Alzheimer’s and other diseases involving abnormal proteins. The scie
  14. To the Founding Fathers, “equality” meant all citizens have equal rights and thus should have equal standing before the law. To today’s so-called liberals, “equality” means everyone should have equal opportunities in life. A recent illustration of this can be seen in an article John Cook wrote for Gawker, “There’s a Simple Solution to the Public Schools Crisis: Let’s Ban Private Schools.” “Public schools,” Cook notes, are beset with “stagnant or declining graduation rates, substandard educations, dilapidated schools, angry teachers, underserved students.” These problems could be fixed, Cook a
  15. When government systematically confiscates wealth from producers and gives it to “welfare” recipients who didn’t produce it, should we be surprised that many recipients of the loot acquire a looter mentality? Consider recent events involving a glitch with the computer system handling the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards for the food stamp program called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). USA Today reports: People in 17 states found themselves unable to buy groceries with their food stamp debit-style cards Saturday after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. result
  16. Christian Lunsford, a fifteen-year old-high school student living in Oklahoma, really wanted to go to band camp. His father—who has played a minimal role in his life—gave him $250 toward the expenses of the camp. Unfortunately, Lunsford learned, his father likely stole that money from elderly Tona Herndon as she visited her recently deceased husband’s grave. See the Blaze story for details. In a CBS interview, Lunsford said that, reflecting on his father’s life of crime, he sometimes feels “really low” and wonders, “Is that going to be me? Am I going to end up like that?” Clearly he isn’t. L
  17. First the federal government shut down the production of Buckyballs—small magnets that can be arranged in interesting patterns and that were sold as toys to adults. Now the government is aiming to hold Craig Zucker, the CEO of the company that produced Buckyballs, personally liable for $57 million, the cost of the government-mandated recall. But Zucker is not taking the government’s abuse lying down. He sees fit to fight this massive rights violation, and he has the balls to do it: Liberty Balls, magnets 33 millimeters in diameter (larger than Buckyballs), the sale of which will support his l
  18. If you own a beer brewery in, say, New York, the federal government now forbids you to sell your new specialty beers to people living in Connecticut or New Jersey—or anywhere else in the country. That’s right, the federal government, via the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), currently forbids the sale of new specialty beers across state borders. Thomas Jefferson must be drinking in his grave. I recently mentioned the TTB as a random example of a government agency that obviously violates rather than protects rights and that therefore should be eliminated. A USA Today article off
  19. After shooting schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in the head last year but failing to kill her, Pakistan’s Taliban have sworn to assault her again—in case anyone needed another reminder of the evil of which Islamic terrorists are capable. Malala’s alleged crime? She advocates girls attending school—a practice that’s contrary to the Taliban’s religion of Islam. Malala—recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought—deserves respect and admiration for acting in defiance of the subhuman barbarians known as the Taliban. (Unfortunately, she calls for pacifism toward the Ta
  20. Yesterday Barack Obama nominated Janet Yellen as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, to replace Ben Bernanke next February. Yellen has been vice chair to Bernanke since 2010 and will likely win approval from the Senate. The first important thing to realize about Yellen is her ideology and monetary views. Now 67 years old, Yellen has for decades been a left-leaning academic economist, after earning degrees from Brown (BA, 1967) and Yale (PhD, 1971), an era when Keynesian-interventionist policies were held as sacrosanct. Later she taught at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business (198
  21. In the wake of the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese government shuttered the nation’s nuclear power plants (at the moment, all of them are closed), which had been generating 30 percent of the nation’s electricity. Consequently, electricity prices in the country have doubled, while electricity providers have scrambled to meet energy needs with the only viable alternatives: coal, oil, and natural gas. Fossil fuel consumption has skyrocketed in the country, already the world’s largest importer of liquefied natural gas. In July, Japanese paid nearly $16 per million British T
  22. Cindy Vinson is among the “big believers in the Affordable Care Act” (aka ObamaCare), and she is “proud to say [she] helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama,” reports the San Jose Mercury News (in an article publicized by Michelle Malkin and Instapundit). Unfortunately for Vinson, her health insurance policy now costs $1,800 more per year, a hike necessary to make the policy “conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.” Vinson was shocked(!) to learn this. She said, “Of course, I want people to have health care; I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going
  23. An October 6 email from the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) points out, “This week more than 1,000 privately operated parks were required to close during the government shutdown—even though they receive no federal funding.” A PERC report gives an example: [T]he U.S. Forest Service owns Crescent Moon Ranch [in Arizona]. . . . The fee revenue at this park . . . not only keeps the park fully maintained, it adds more than $60,000 to the local Forest Service recreation budget—all without requiring tax money to operate. Meanwhile, the federal government has kicked an elderly cou
  24. It’s bad enough that thousands of Colorado families were displaced by recent flooding; now they have to fear prosecution under rights-violating gun laws, too. Thankfully, Kenneth Buck, the district attorney for Weld County (northeast of Denver), has publicly declared that he will not prosecute rights-respecting flood victims under capricious gun laws. A September 30 press release from Buck’s office states: The Weld County District Attorney’s Office will not prosecute any cases associated with firearms transferred by evacuees of the recent floods. A number of residents who were forced to le
  25. Suppose a criminal brutally raped your daughter or friend and impregnated her, she got an abortion, and then the government subjected her to first-degree murder charges (for killing the fetus) and handed her life imprisonment or the death penalty. A proposal likely to appear on the Colorado ballot in 2014 carries this potential. The measure would—if interpreted by the courts as its sponsors intend—criminalize every intentional killing of an embryo or fetus, whatever the reason. It would outlaw not only all abortions—even in cases of rape, incest, fetal deformity, and risks to the woman’s heal
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