One highly visible scholar in the media debate is economist and social scientist, John Lott, Jr., the John M. Olin Visiting Law and Economics Fellow at the University of Chicago. The title of his 1998 book, MORE GUNS, LESS CRIME, may at first strike the reader as provocatively counterintuitive. Lott argues that states’ issuance of permits allowing private citizens to carry concealed handguns has NOT caused crime to rise, but has in fact dramatically REDUCED violent crimes. That’s one fact you won’t here on Rosie O’Donell.
Dr. C. Bradley Thompson explains why Neocons want to use the power of the state to force their view of morality on others in order to “craft souls.”
The last major ebook publisher, Kobo Inc. of Canada, has refused to remove its MP Publishing (Isle of Man, Great Britain) editions of my Sparrowhawk series from its online catalogue, citing a contract between Kobo and MP Publishing. See the Wikipedia entries on Kobo Inc. of Canada here:
This overlooks and evades the fact that MP Publishing, with whom I did not sign a publishing contract, was sold the publication rights to the series by a now defunct publishing firm, MacAdam/Cage of San Francisco, which has not paid me royalties earned by the series for the second half of 2012, per the now inoperative contract between MacAdam/Cage and me, and as of today’s date. This is clearly a breach of contract, to which MP Publishing is party, because it, too, has not bothered to pay me earned royalties, nor sent me a statement of earnings, and has remained silent on the matter. Culpability in this piracy is clearly extended to Kobo of Canada, because it now has knowledge of the facts in the case.
Writes Alex Epstein at Forbes:
[...] It is commonplace to contrast gas-powered cars with “electric cars,” but the electricity in an “electric car” must come from somewhere–and that somewhere is usually fossil fuels: coal, oil, and natural gas, which produce a combined 67% of electricity around the globe, because they are so cheap, plentiful, and reliable. And the role of fossil fuels is increasing, not decreasing; in the developing world, 80% of new power plants use low-cost coal.
To his credit, the salesperson at Tesla knew that the electricity had to come from somewhere–but not to his credit, he didn’t want to acknowledge how often that means fossil fuels. He awkwardly responded that, well, theoretically the Tesla can run on fossil fuels, but actually it’s designed to run on “something else”–namely, solar and wind. Here, he is repeating the gospel of Tesla founder Elon Musk, a vocal supporter of fossil fuels restrictions who says the Tesla will ”help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy.”
Unlikely. How much of the world’s electricity do solar and wind produce? After decades of subsidies, less than 1%. The reasons for this have been well understood for decades. Because sunlight and wind are low-density energy, they require vast land and material resources to capture. And worse, because sunlight and wind are unreliable energy, they always need a backup, which is almost always fossil fuels.
If Teslas take over the world, they will do so as mostly coal cars–or natural gas cars. And not just because of the energy it takes to run them, but because of the massive amount of energy it takes to manufacture them. The Tesla’s state-of-the-art materials, particularly that $30,000 battery, take a massive amount of energy to build–and that energy comes from fossil fuels, particularly coal. In fact, some studies argue that the Tesla battery takes so much fossil fuel energy to make that the car over its lifetime emits more CO2 than a gasoline-powered car.
Does that mean the Tesla is no good? Absolutely not. The fact that the Tesla uses a lot of fossil fuel electricity should not be used to damn the Tesla–it should be used to celebrate fossil fuel electricity.
The New Romanticist has a sneak peak of Edward Cline’s forthcoming novel, A Crimson Overture. Writes Cline about the novel:
I was asked by The New Romanticist to provide a sneak preview of my new Cyrus Skeen novel, set in January 1930, A Crimson Overture. Those of you familiar with this series of novels set in late 1920′s San Francisco will know that Skeen is a private detective and the son of East Coast wealth. He is a successful and well-liked short story writer under a pen name, and collects material for his stories from his cases. Dilys Jones is his wife, his former secretary, and is an accomplished painter. This series begins with China Basin, and moves chronologically to The Head of Athena, The Chameleon, The Daedâlus Conspiracy, and now to A Crimson Overture. I expect to finish the latter in the Fall.
Nineteen-Thirty was the end of the Roaring Twenties and the beginning of the Red Decade, thus the title. Fiona Nesbitt, whom readers will meet in these first two chapters, turns out to be a British spy carrying crucial information about the Soviet penetration of and influence in the American and British governments. Skeen, who in The Chameleon has already tangled with nascent American Nazis, becomes embroiled in his first, and, he hopes, last adventure in espionage. So, please enjoy this preview. I know I enjoyed writing it.
ANTHEM is a futuristic story of a young man who asserts his individuality in a world of total conformity. Based on Ayn Rand’s best-selling novel, ANTHEM will be staged this fall in a major professional, Off-Broadway production to run at the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.
Austin Shakespeare developed this successful, 2011 production of Ayn Rand’s ANTHEM, which was adapated by Jeff Britting. Playing to sold-out audiences in Austin, we added performances with people coming from around the U.S. and aboard. Austin Shakepseare, a professional theater entering its 30th year, is taking ANTHEM to New York, with previews beginning Sept. 25, and running through Dec. 1.
Get Ayn Rand’s ANTHEM into the center of culture — New York City — this fall in time for the novel’s 75th Anniversary. You can help us get people outside of New York City interested, too!
[...] the Constitution requires the president to “faithfully execute the law.” That’s no editorial opinion, but Article 2, Section 3, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “(The President) shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
Our founders conceived and established in that document three co-equal branches of government to preserve our individual liberty and restrain the unlimited power of government. But this president and his administration have routinely ignored the divisions of power between the presidency, the Congress and its legislation, and the Supreme Court and its rulings.
[...]Whether one agrees with [a] law or not, its legal authority lies within the constitutional powers of Congress, not the executive branch. And that’s the issue. It’s part of a growing litany of presidential lawlessness [...]
Charles Krauthammer identifies the lawlessness of the Obama Administration:
“The point is whether a president, charged with faithfully executing the laws that Congress enacts, may create, ignore, suspend and/or amend the law at will. Presidents are arguably permitted to refuse to enforce laws they consider unconstitutional (the basis for so many of George W. Bush’s so-called signing statements). But presidents are forbidden from doing so for reasons of mere policy — the reason for every Obama violation listed above.
Such gross executive usurpation disdains the Constitution. It mocks the separation of powers. And most consequentially, it introduces a fatal instability into law itself. If the law is not what is plainly written, but is whatever the president and his agents decide, what’s left of the law?…
The problem is not just uncertain enforcement but the undermining of the very creation of new law. What’s the point of the whole legislative process — of crafting various provisions through give-and-take negotiation — if you cannot rely on the fixity of the final product, on the assurance that the provisions bargained for by both sides will be carried out?
Consider immigration reform, now in gestation. The essence of any deal would be legalization in return for strict border enforcement. If some such legislative compromise is struck, what confidence can anyone have in it — if the president can unilaterally alter whatever (enforcement) provisions he never liked in the first place?
Yet this president is not only untroubled by what he’s doing, but open and rather proud. As he tells cheering crowds on his never-ending campaign-style tours: I am going to do X — and I’m not going to wait for Congress.
That’s caudillo talk. That’s banana republic stuff. In this country, the president is required to win the consent of Congress first.
At stake is not some constitutional curlicue. At stake is whether the laws are the law. And whether presidents get to write their own.”
Best-selling philosopher Ayn Rand on racism:
Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.
Racism claims that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control. This is the caveman’s version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.
Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man’s life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination. [“Racism,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 126]
Austin Shakespeare will present the New York premiere of the new stage adaptation of Ayn Rand‘s novel ANTHEM. The production directed by Artistic Director, Ann Ciccolella, originated in Austin at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in 2011, where Austin Shakespeare is a resident company. Previews are to begin September 25 at the Baryshnikov Arts Center’s Jerome Robbins Theater in New York City – opening October 4 and running for a ten week run through December 1, 2013
Gun-related violent crime in Virginia has dropped steadily over the past six years as the sale of firearms has soared to a new record, according to an analysis of state crime data with state records of gun sales. The total number of firearms purchased in Virginia increased 73 percent from 2006 to 2011. When state population increases are factored in, gun purchases per 100,000 Virginians rose 63 percent. But the total number of gun-related violent crimes fell 24 percent over that period, and when adjusted for population, gun-related offenses dropped more than 27 percent, from 79 crimes per 100,000 in 2006 to 57 crimes in 2011.
The numbers appear to contradict a long-running popular narrative that more guns cause more violent crime, said Virginia Commonwealth University professor Thomas R. Baker, who compared Virginia crime data for those years with gun-dealer sales estimates obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
[...] “My opponents are constantly saying, ‘If you got more guns on the street, there’s going to be more crime.’ It all depends on who has the handgun,” Van Cleave said. “As long as it’s going into the hands of people like you or me, there’s not going to be a problem. Criminals are going to continue to get their guns no matter what.”[...]
“From my personal point of view, I would say the data is pretty overwhelming,” said Baker, who is new to VCU and studied under Florida State University professors Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, whose nationally recognized research on guns and homicides in the District of Columbia was cited in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2008 that overturned the district’s handgun ban. “But we’re pretty cautious in the social sciences in talking about causality. We only talk in probabilities.”
The multiple years of data for gun purchases and gun-related crime help strengthen the premise that more gun sales are not leading to an increase in crime. Using what Baker calls the “lag model,” the data show that an increase in gun purchases for one year usually is followed by a decrease in crime the next year.
[...] Gun-control lobbyist Goddard, whose son was wounded during the Virginia Tech massacre five years ago, doesn’t dispute the numbers but questioned their significance.”It’s quite possible that you can sell a whole lot more guns and crime is still going down,” Goddard said. “But is the crime going down because more people are buying guns, or is the crime going down because the crime is going down?“ [Gun-related violent crimes drop as sales soar in Va. -]
So is he saying that guns don’t cause crime, but criminals do?
There is no war on black men, at least not by white men. Last year, the Scripps-Howard News Service studied half a million homicide reports and found that killings of black victims by white attackers have actually dropped over the past 30 years, from 4,745 during the 1980s to 4,380 during the first decade of the 2000s. There were nearly twice as many white victims killed by black assailants: 8,503 in the 1980s, and 8,530 in the 2000s. [Zimmerman Trial: Trayvon Martin was not Emmett Till]
According to findings from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National CrimeVictimization Survey (NCVS) and the Federal Bureau ofInvestigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), Supplementary Homicide Reports:
Blacks were victims of an estimated 805,000 nonfatalviolent crimes and of about 8,000 homicides in 2005. While blacks accounted for 13% of the U.S. population in 2005, they were victims in 15% of all nonfatal violent crimes and nearly half of all homicides. [...]
In 2005 nearly half of all homicide victims were black Blacks accounted for 49% of all homicide victims in 2005, according to the FBI’s UCR.Black males accounted for about 52% (or 6,800) of the nearly 13,000 male homicide victims in 2005. Black females made up 35% (or 1,200) of the nearly 3,500 female homicide victims.[...] In 2005 most homicides involving one victim and one offender were intraracial. About 93% of black homicide victims and 85% of white victims in single victim and single offender homicides were murdered by someone of their race. [Black Victims of Violent Crime]
You got that? In the United States, 93% of the black people who were murdered in 2005 were murdered by other people in their beloved “Black community.”
Perhaps this is what prompted Jesse Jackson to say:
“There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved…. After all we have been through. Just to think we can’t walk down our own streets, how humiliating.” [Remarks at a meeting of Operation PUSH in Chicago (27 November 1993). Quoted in "Crime: New Frontier - Jesse Jackson Calls It Top Civil-Rights Issue" by Mary A. Johnson, 29 November 1993, Chicago Sun-Times (ellipsis in original).]
So much for “racial profiling.” From an editorial in the Baltimore Sun:
Jesse Jackson has been taking an unusual amount of heat from his fellow African-Americans recently because he has identified black-on-black crime as a major problem in poor communities. The reaction reminds us of the incredulity that greeted the little boy’s observations concerning the emperor’s new clothes. Isn’t it obvious that blacks are the primary victims of crime in poor neighborhoods, and that the brunt of the suffering inflicted by black criminals is borne by other blacks?
In a society with a less troubled racial history than ours, these would be self-evident statements. Because criminality has so often been used in the past to paint all blacks in a negative light, however, frank discussion of the problem has always been an extremely touchy subject. Mr. Jackson has been accused of fueling racist stereotypes.
Yet one of Mr. Jackson’s roles is that of iconoclast. And [Jackson] has performed valuable service by jettisoning the taboo against black leaders talking about black-on-black crime. He knows that the “root causes” of much crime are to be found in poverty, broken families, hopelessness. And his audiences, who are overwhelmingly black, know he is not talking about them when he speaks of the “bad black brothers” who deal drugs, rob and kill. They just want help getting criminals off their streets.
Critics have lambasted Mr. Jackson’s claim that black-on-black violence is the nation’s “number one civil rights problem.” They point out that black criminals don’t target their victims because of their color but because they are vulnerable and close at hand. So how can such crimes possibly be considered a “civil rights” matter? Yet when services — including police protection — in poor black neighborhoods are stretched to the breaking point, when good schools, businesses and jobs are virtually non-existent, when all the elements that make a community viable are lacking, surely that is a human rights issue.
Apparently it is OK to rob, rape and murder someone — just so long as you don’t do it because of their skin color? This is context-dropping “compartmentalization” on steroids. This the result of so-called “civil rights” advocates who deny individual rights.
Ironically, many of Mr. Jackson’s detractors are the same people who subscribe to various theories of a massive white conspiracy to keep blacks down. Perhaps they fear his ideas may deprive them of a convenient scapegoat. Mr. Jackson, however, speaks to the concerns of all decent people, black and white, when he suggests the same moral force that sustained the civil rights movement of the 1960s must now be applied to task of ridding poor communities of lawlessness and terror. If that seems like a revolutionary message in the 1990s, it is only because it has the ring of truth. [Jesse Jackson On Black Crime | Jesse Jackson on crime - Baltimore Sun]
The above was written in 1993. My how have things changed today under the Presidential “leadership” of the great divider.