News Roundup for 9/13/14

Here are some of the important news stories and opinions from recent days.

Atlas Shrugged: Read my take on the latest Atlas Shrugged film, in my article for the Objective Standard (I give the film a C-minus).

Child Abuse: Minnesota Vikings football player Adrian Peterson is accused of beating his four-year-old son with a branch, causing cutting and bruising, ESPN reports. Such child abuse should be condemned, obviously. It is worth noting that such violence used to be common throughout the world, and it remains common throughout much of the world.

School Propaganda: A government school teacher in Washington, D.C., asked her students to complete an assignment comparing George W. Bush to Adolph Hitler, UPI reports.

Western Jihadists: Ellie Hall has a report for BuzzFeed about European women who moved to the Middle East to join up with Islamic State.

More on Western Jihadists:¬†Shikha Dalmia argues for the Week, “[I]f all that ISIS and its ilk can dredge up are a handful of malcontents, despite all the sophisticated communication tools at its disposal, Western liberalism must be in pretty good shape.”

Bad Medicine: For some shocking examples of flaws and bias in the “medical literature,” see Dr. Paul Hsieh’s post for Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine.

Venezuelan Squatters: PRI has an interesting report about a 45-story skyscraper taken over by squatters in downtown Caracas. Now the government wants the squatters to leave and go live in government housing.

Scottish Independence: A vote for independence may spell trouble for the region’s business climate; see the International Business Times report.

Udall: The notion that the White House somehow fears Senator Mark Udall is “hilariously wrong”; see the Colorado Peak Politics report.

Read My Lips: Computerized lip reading could be a marvelous advance for communications, and it could be a dreadful tool for the surveillance state. See the MIT Technology Review report.

Islam: Bill Maher makes some good points about the violent nature of Islam in his interview with Charlie Rose.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Some Muslim students feel “disrespected” when Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks on their campuses, reports Ben Shapiro. But I suspect that gays, infidels, and women also feel “disrespected” when they are brutalized or murdered by Islamic regimes or Islamic jihadists.

Boko Haram: Nigerian forces have “killed scores of Islamic” jihadists in Boko Haram, the Associated Press reports. That’s a good start.

Infantile Adults: Vincent Carroll writes an important op-ed about the efforts, both left and right, to impose government controls on young adults on the grounds that they aren’t mature enough to handle freedom.

China Concrete: “China used more cement in the last three years than the U.S. used in the entire 20th century”; see Bill Gates’s report (hat tip to Conrad Hackett).

Two Jews Walk into a Bar: While 42 percent of Jews report that “having a sense of humor” is “essential to being Jewish,” only 19 percent say “following Jewish law” is. See Conrad Hackett’s tweet.