More Guns, Less Crime?

More Guns, Less Crime? – Capitalism Magazine

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.

Tesla Model S: A Fossil Fuel Car

model-s-blue-coast2_960x640

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.

Read the rest at With The Tesla Model S, Elon Musk Has Created A Nice Fossil Fuel Car.

Sneak Peak of Edward Cline’s New Novel: A Crimson Overture

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.  

Read the preview.

ANTHEM Spread the Word Campaign

From Anthem the play: Spread the Word:

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!

Link: Indiegogo

 

The Beauty of America.

Writes Om Malik:

In the first episode of the second season of British television show, The Hour its protagonist, Freddie Lyon upon returning from America explains why he was intoxicated by the new world:

“Being nobody in a country where everybody thinks they can be somebody…”

That one utterance by a fictional character sums up why every immigrant wants to come to America and that does include me. This is the country where Albert Einstein and Nicola Tesla were somebody. This is the place where Kim Kardashian and Alex Rodriguez are somebody. Kanye West and Steve Jobs, they are somebody. At one point they were nobodies. This quirky, burger munching, frappuccino swigging, football loving, gas-guzzling cross between utopia and Disney Land is a nation of nobodies who are on their way to be somebody.

And that is the beauty of America.

On a globe, America is a landmass, a country. In an immigrant’s heart it is a belief that future is almost always better. It may not be perfect and it is certainly not equal, but it still is one of a kind — the only place where an absolute stranger with a funny name and a funny accent with no friends or contacts can show up, work hard and actually get to do what he was destined to do.

That America is the place, I can now officially call home.[iAMerican]

The Rule of Thug

Quoting Obama Presidency A Lengthening Legacy Of Lawlessness:

[…] 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 […]

Obama’s Banana Republic

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.”

What is racism?

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]

Ayn Rand on Racism

Forbes has the entirety of Ayn Rand’s essay “Racism.” Definitely worth a read.

Racism by Ayn Rand

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.

The respectable family that supports worthless relatives or covers up their crimes in order to “protect the family name” (as if the moral stature of one man could be damaged by the actions of another)—the bum who boasts that his great-grandfather was an empire-builder, or the small-town spinster who boasts that her maternal great-uncle was a state senator and her third cousin gave a concert at Carnegie Hall (as if the achievements of one man could rub off on the mediocrity of another)—the parents who search genealogical trees in order to evaluate their prospective sons-in-law—the celebrity who starts his autobiography with a detailed account of his family history—all these are samples of racism, the atavistic manifestations of a doctrine whose full expression is the tribal warfare of prehistorical savages, the wholesale slaughter of Nazi Germany, the atrocities of today’s so-called “newly emerging nations.”

The theory that holds “good blood” or “bad blood” as a moral-intellectual criterion, can lead to nothing but torrents of blood in practice. Brute force is the only avenue of action open to men who regard themselves as mindless aggregates of chemicals.

Read the rest.

Radicals for Capitalism

Subscribe to our free email newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!