TOS Blog Update: Assault on Apple, NSA, Nudge Squad, and More

Here I link to my recent blog entries for The Objective Standard. See my TOS category for a complete listing of my work for TOS.

July 31, 2013
America Doesn’t Need a “Nudge Squad”; it Needs a Rights Squad

August 2, 2013
Alex Epstein Exposes Josh Fox’s Gasland II as Anti-All Technology

August 4, 2013
The Government’s Obscene Assault on Apple

August 7, 2013
Judge Preposterously Seeks to Forbid Uber Car Service from Using iPhones

August 9, 2013
Europa Report Offers Fine Cinematic Sci-Fi but Vile Moral Premises

August 15, 2013
Harry Reid Confesses Truth About ObamaCare

August 16, 2013
NSA Domestic Spy Program Clearly Violates Citizens’ Rights

My Wife’s Experiences with Uterine Fibroid Embolization

I never heard of fibroids until I learned early last year that my wife Jennifer had them. (Her mother had them as well, as did an aunt and a grandmother, so I think they’re at least partly genetic.) Fibroids of the uterus are what they sound like: Fibrous masses—noncancerous tumors—growing in the uterus. My wife had a lot of them, some of them quite large (up to six centimeters across).

Fibroids can do a variety of nasty things, such as interfere with pregnancy and cause heavy bleeding. My wife had severe anemia (for which she took iron pills), and she ended up in the emergency room once due to bleeding, which prompted us to get more serious about solving the problem.

The first OBGYN we visited (before the ER visit) wanted to cut out my wife’s uterus—do a hysterectomy—which struck me as an absurdly disproportionate “solution” relative to the problem. A hysterectomy would have required a six-week recovery, and obviously it would have made pregnancy impossible.

The second doctor my wife visited is an endocrinologist. He wanted to cut out the fibroids laparoscopically, through small slits in the abdomen. This was a considerably less-horrible alternative, but the problems were two-fold: a long recovery time and a high probability of regrown fibroids within a few years.

There is a lesson here: Don’t necessarily act on the first “expert” advice you hear from a doctor (or anyone else). The first doctor my wife saw gave her terrible advice. I chalk this up to the “hammer and nail” phenomenon: The first doctor happened to do hysterectomies, so that’s what she thought my wife needed. The second doctor happened to do laparoscopic surgery, so that’s what he thought my wife needed. In fact, she needed neither of those procedures.

Thankfully, we kept digging, and we learned about embolization. The idea is that a doctor runs a tube up through the main artery in your leg up to the uterus. Then the doctor strategically releases silicon particles to block or restrict the blood flow to the fibroids. Assuming this goes well, the fibroids shrink and are absorbed by or discharged from the body.

Jennifer learned that RIA Endovascular performs uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) in Denver. Checking around, we heard that RIA’s Dr. Brooke Spencer was excellent in the field. And she is.

After a consultation and a preliminary MRI, Jennifer had the UFE procedure done by Spencer on September 6 of last year. At the six month mark she got a second MRI, and the results are very good, with some fibroids completely gone and most others significantly smaller. (The remaining fibroids are expected to continue to shrink.) Her monthly bleeding and cramping is radically less now than it was before, and her anemia is gone.

We were extremely happy with Spencer’s work and with her willingness to answer our questions in minute detail. Indeed, we were very happy with the service provided by everyone associated with RIA. Likewise, we were happy with the service provided at Littleton Medical Center, where the procedure and recovery took place.

We did have a slight hitch in the recovery. The hospital staff put Jennifer on a morphine-class drug (I believe synthetic) immediately after surgery, but the next day when they took her off of that drug and switched her nausea medication she experienced some abdominal pain and some violent vomiting. They put her back on the morphine-class drug, changed her nausea medication, and kept her a second night. So UFE is definitely not an out-patient procedure, but Jennifer was back to work five days later.

Obviously neither Jennifer nor I are doctors, so anyone reading this should consult with a qualified medical expert regarding any medical issue. That said, in our case, we’re extremely glad we pursued UFE, particularly through RIA. So thank you Dr. Spencer and team!

Leftist Media Critic Jason Salzman Declines My Offer to Pay for His Gun Safety Class

Leftist media critic Jason Salzman is “scared of guns” and ignorant about  them. Given he has taken to writing about gun safety—and given he routinely writes about gun policy—I offered him an opportunity to learn what he’s talking about by attending a gun-safety class at my expense. Unfortunately, he has declined.

Yesterday I Tweeted to Salzman, “I offer to pay for your gun safety class we both agree to.” He replied, “You’re very kind, but I don’t own a gun and I dont want to spend the time on a class right now. Already too busy” (capitalization corrected).

I reiterated my offer to Salzman by telephone and mentioned that his lack of a gun wouldn’t be a problem, as he can use a loaner.

In short, although Salzman has the time to work toward the violation of the rights of gun owners, he does not have the time to learn about how guns operate or about gun safety.

My offer remains open, and Salzman knows how to reach me should he change his mind and accept it.

* * *

This morning I appeared on Peter Boyles’s radio program to discuss my Complete Colorado article, “Will Senator Morse Clarify His Remarks on Gun Owners Having ‘Sickness’ in Their ‘Souls’?” (You can find the audio file on the KNUS web page or on Podbean, July 30, third hour.) I discuss Salzman in that article, and Boyles discussed him extensively on his show; thus, I wanted to add a few additional notes about Salzman here.

Boyles spend much of the hour discussing a “fraudulent” contest in which Salzman played a role. I didn’t know anything about this (or I had forgotten whatever I’d heard about it), so I was not prepared to discuss the topic. After the show I did a bit of digging.

Westword‘s Michael Roberts confirms that Michael Huttner and ProgressNow “promised to give away a trip to Hawaii to the person with the best idea to improve America,” and Salzman was involved with this project. That prize was never awarded. Roberts writes that Salzman “was a contractor to ProgressNow’s national organization and had no role in the Hawaii contest beyond helping to publicize it.”

I asked Salzman if he wished to comment about the Hawaii prize or about his work now. He replied:

On the record, the Westword article is accurate about my role. Mike Huttner was my client, and I’m not authorized to talk about the project beyond what I’ve said.

I regularly post my work on ColoradoPols and Huffington Post. I used to post on Squarestate.net, which seems to have folded. Sometimes I post on other progressive outlets, and I try to get op-eds published in real-life newspapers.

As for the debate about Morse’s comments, I’ll have more to say about that at a later time.

The photo shows Jason Salzman, and I hereby release the photo under a “Creative Commons” license, with attribution and a link to this web page. —Ari Armstrong

Did Colorado Senator John Morse Claim that Gun Owners Have a “Sickness” In Their “Souls” that Needs to Be “Cleansed”?

In my latest Complete Colorado op-ed, I argue:

In context, [State Senator John] Morse does seem to imply that gun owners—at least those who robustly campaign for gun rights—have sick souls. If he meant something different from that—if he is prepared to say that rights-respecting people who own their guns of choice and who campaign for gun rights are perfectly moral to do so—now would be a great time for Morse to clarify his remarks.

I quote extensively from his March 8 comments in that article. If you still wonder about the complete context or the tone of his remarks, I have now put his entire speech on YouTube.

August 1 Update: Complete Colorado has published my follow-up article about Morse’s remarks. Morse did offer additional comments about his March 8 “sickness” speech with a March 13 release of the video of that speech. I summarize: “Although these additional remarks clarify that Morse was not claiming that all gun owners have a sickness in their souls, they do not retract Morse’s insinuation that many gun owners—namely, those who own the types of guns and gun magazines of which Morse disapproves and who campaigned against the Democrats’ anti-gun legislation—do have a sickness in their souls, in Morse’s view.” Read the complete follow-up for details.

Related:

Image: Wikimedia Commons

TOS Blog Update: Zimmerman, Texas Abortion Law, Capitalist Pig Ads

Here I link to my recent blog entries for The Objective Standard. See my TOS category for a complete listing of my work for TOS.

July 17, 2013
Jonathan Hoenig and The Objective Standard—Lawbreakers No More

July 18, 2013
Texas Anti-Abortion Bill Abnegates Rights

July 24, 2013
Why the Obama Administration is Persecuting George Zimmerman

History of Colorado’s Gun Magazine Ban

Today Complete Colorado published my article reviewing the history of Colorado’s gun magazine ban, “Dems Leave Making Sense of Gun Magazine Ban to Attorney General.”

See also the web page of John Suthers (Colorado’s AG) for his media release and related documentation regarding his “technical guidance” for enforcing the legislation.

The points I make in the article include the following:

  • Suthers offered the narrowest possible interpretation of the ambiguous phrases “continuous possession” and “readily convertible.” This means that gun owners can temporarily lend their 16-plus round magazines to others, and they can possess and transfer 15-minus round magazines that have removable baseplates.
  • The fact that the legislation was poorly written comes as no surprise given its intent: to “spearhead a national gun control campaign orchestrated by the Obama administration and by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”
  • Suthers’s reading of the legislation runs contrary to the interpretation of the measure by its own sponsor, State Representative Rhonda Fields.
  • The magazine legislation is still bad, in that it “violates the rights of peaceable gun owners to self-defense, to peaceable trade, and to private property.”

Read the whole article.

Image: John Suthers

TOS Blog Update: Antitrust, Miracles, Energy, ObamaCare, Beer

Here I link to my recent blog entries for The Objective Standard. See my TOS category for a complete listing of my work for TOS.

June 22, 2013
We Already Have a “Media Shield”: The First Amendment

June 23, 2013
A Miraculous Pope?

June 26, 2013
Obama’s War on Energy Producers and Consumers

June 26, 2013
With DOMA Decision, Supreme Court Correctly Recognizes Legal Equality of Gay Couples

July 3, 2013
Don’t Delay ObamaCare—End It

July 6, 2013
Toast the Re-Legalization of Homebrewing

July 10, 2013
Justice Department and Congress Commit Massive Act of Injustice against Apple, Et Al.

In Which I Defend My Right to Use “Free Colorado”

I have been using the trademark “Free Colorado” for many years, and I here assert my right to keep on using it.

Unfortunately, another group has called itself “Free Colorado,” and that group claims to be “a non-profit organization registered in the State of Colorado.” (I was not able to find a record of the group on the Secretary of State’s web page.)

This group could not possibly have failed to notice that I have registered “FreeColorado.com” or that I call my site “Free Colorado.”

Unfortunately, this other group lists no contact information on its web page, FreeColorado.net. And a “whois” search of that domain lists only Proxy, LLC of Arizona as the contact information.

I have nothing against this other group (other than it using my name), but I wish it had picked some other name, or at least asked me first if I’d sell them or give them the rights to call their group “Free Colorado.” At this point, I request that the group select some other name.

At this point, I want to clarify that I have nothing to do with this organization, and it has nothing to do with me (besides using my name without my permission).

My Summer TOS Contributions: DIM, Guns, Welfare, Lincoln, Django Unchained

The Objective Standard published several of my book and film reviews in the Summer 2013 issue:

Books

The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out, by Leonard Peikoff

The Truth about Gun Control, by David B. Kopel

After the Welfare State, edited by Tom G. Palmer

Films

Lincoln

Django Unchained (free)

The Intouchables (free)

The Sessions (free)

TOS Blog Update: Free Speech, Organ Transplants, Google, Superman, SNAP

Here I link to my recent blog entries for The Objective Standard. See my TOS category for a complete listing of my work for TOS.

June 3, 2013
Will TN U.S. Attorney William Killian Clarify that Individuals Have a Right to Criticize Islam?

June 5, 2012
Government Involvement in Organ Donation Constitutes Death Panels

June 6, 2013
“A Born Free American Woman” Tells Government “You’ve Forgotten Your Place”

June 7, 2013
Greedy Google’s Blimps to Bring Wireless Internet to a Billion Africans and Asians

June 8, 2013
Our Spectacularly Improving World

June 9, 2013
Quent Cordair Offers a Philosophical Detection Story in “The Match”

June 11, 2013
Cambridge Scientists Dramatically Advance Battle Against Infectious Disease

June 13, 2013
Celebrate Sarah Murnaghan’s Life; Demand an End to Government Death Panels

June 16, 2013
Superman’s Moral Ambitiousness

June 21, 2013
Members of Congress Misrepresent Food Stamp Program and Ignore Its Injustice

Complete Colorado Posts: Ignorance among Anti-Gun Legislators, Tax Discrimination

Complete Colorado‘s Page Two recently published two of my articles.

Gun-restriction legislators displayed profound ignorance on subject
“Many of the Democrats supporting gun restrictions displayed profound ignorance about firearms, self-defense, and even their own bills.”

Bipartisan support for tax discrimination in Colorado legislature
“If the legislature wishes to create a business-friendly tax environment, it should establish lower taxes for every business, and make the effective tax rate the same for everyone.”

TOS Blog Update: Gosnell, IRS, Property Rights, Apple, 3D Printing, Sobiech

Here I link to my recent blog entries for The Objective Standard. See my TOS category for a complete listing of my work for TOS.

May 14, 2013
Gosnell Justly Convicted for Grisly Murders

May 15, 2013
IRS Violates Americans’ Rights Every Day

May 20, 2013
Committee for Justice Fights for Free Speech via Property Rights

May 21, 2013
Apple’s Tax Avoidance Justifies Moral Outrage—Toward those Harassing and Smearing Apple

May 26, 2013
Innovative Doctors Save Infant’s Life with 3D Printing

May 28, 2013
Zach Sobiech, Victim of Cancer, Lover of Life

May 29, 2013
Designers Use 3D Printing for Beautiful Prosthetics and Space Food

TOS Blog Update: Self-Defense, Health Insurance, Profits, Enlightenment, Space

Here I link to my recent blog entries for The Objective Standard. See my TOS category for a complete listing of my work for TOS.

April 28, 2013
“Attack Countermeasures” Video Shows How Not to Be a Victim

May 1, 2013
Think You Have Health Insurance? Think Again, Explains Beth Haynes

May 2, 2013
Pope Absurdly Blames Unemployment on Profit

May 5, 2013
Penny Nance’s Strange Bedfellows
(No, the Enlightenment did not cause the Holocaust.)

May 6, 2013
Good News Abounds: Space Tourism, Medical Marvels, and More

Colorado School Arms Administrators

The school board of Dove Creek, Colorado, has taken the safety of its students seriously by allowing school administrators to carry defensive guns.

Nancy Lofholm reports for today’s Denver Post:

In a first-of-its-kind move in Colorado, a rural school board has given two of its top administrators new job titles—security officer. The new titles make it possible to bypass state gun laws and carry guns in schools. . . . Their security officer contracts were approved by the board at a February meeting. Each will be paid $1 a year for their officer duties to make the deal legitimate.

I wrote about this possibility late last year:

Colorado law already allows schools to invite those with lawfully permitted concealed handguns into their halls—if schools do it the right way. . . .

Colorado law allows “public” schools to bring in “security officers” “retained by contract” by the district. The law is non-specific as to how much a security officer must be paid. So my plan is simply for a school to hire 40 (or so) concealed-carry permit holders—parents, retired police officers, military veterans, etc.—at a dollar each per year, to take shifts patrolling the school. . . .

[O]bviously willing and trained teachers and administrators could be declared “security officers” as well.

Hopefully other school districts will follow the same sensible policy—and hopefully those officials carrying guns will get top-notch training in using a firearm in emergency situations.

TOS Blog Update: 3D Printing, Harris-Perry, Boston

Here I link to my recent blog entries for The Objective Standard. See my TOS category for a complete listing of my work for TOS.

April 14, 2013
3D Metal Printing Revolution Makes Possible the “Impossible”

April 21, 2013
Harris-Perry Doubles Down, Promoting “Collective Responsibility”

April 24, 2013
“There Are no Values” through Islam

TOS Blog Update: Thatcher, Immigration, Melissa Harris-Perry, and More

Here I link to my recent blog entries for The Objective Standard. See my TOS category for a complete listing of my work for TOS.

March 31, 2013
Rand Paul Inches Toward a Rights-Respecting Immigration Policy but Lacks the Means to Get There

April 1, 2013
Bionic Eye—Not a Miracle

April 4, 2013
Stockton Ain’t All that’s Bankrupt

April 7, 2013
Melissa Harris-Perry Says Your Kids “Belong to Whole Communities”

April 9, 2013
Margaret Thatcher: Warrior for Liberty

April 11, 2013
States Pass Rights-Violating Abortion Restrictions

My Spring TOS Contributions: Natelson Interview, Beyond Politics Review

The Objective Standard published two of my pieces in the Spring 2013 issue (not counting my blog posts).

The first in an interview: “Robert G. Natelson on State-Driven Amendments to Restrain Federal Spending.” (Elsewhere I published a series of videos of Natelson speaking on the same subject.)

Natelson summarizes the issue at hand:

Essentially, though, there are two ways to propose amendments for ratification or rejection by the states. One is for Congress to propose; the other is for two-thirds of the state legislatures to require Congress, through resolutions called “applications,” to call a “convention for proposing amendments.” A convention for proposing amendments is essentially a meeting of delegations sent by the state legislatures themselves, organized on a one-state, one-vote basis. In lieu of Congress, the convention decides whether to propose one or more amendments for ratification or rejection.

My second piece is a book review of Beyond Politics. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good book about “public choice” economics, but it has some serious problems. I conclude:

Despite its serious theoretical problems—problems shared by most economic texts today—Beyond Politics offers a powerful critique of many types of government economic controls. Those who read it carefully will better understand the common rationale for government intervention in the economy—and the “public choice” criticisms of such intervention. Although Simmons does not offer anything like a complete case for capitalism that integrates morality and economics, he offers some important economic tools useful in building or fortifying such a case.

You can read the complete articles—and all the other great content in the Spring issue—over at The Objective Standard.

Roerig Explains Hydraulic Fracturing

Speaking at last month’s Snowcon, Howard Roerig explained the process of hydraulic fracturing. The point I found most interesting was how drillers found a way to drill horizontally, slowly bending away from a vertical hole.

The sources for Roerig’s slides may be found on the YouTube page.

Run, Hide, Fight: Even the New York Times Gets It

The gun laws recently proposed (or passed) in Colorado and at the national level will not reduce violent crime. Something that will reduce the number and destructiveness of mass murders is citizens preparing for such attacks and responding appropriately.

Of course, your chances of ever finding yourself in the middle of a situation like that at the Aurora theater or the school in Newtown are extremely low. A tiny fraction of homicides are mass murders, and a tiny fraction of mass murders are the random and large-scale events that generate international headlines for months on end. You’re far more likely to die in a car crash than to die at the hands of a mass murderer.

Still, there is some chance, however slight, that you will find yourself confronted by a mass murderer, so it is worth some time thinking and planning how to respond. Perhaps surprisingly, even the New York Times picked up on this theme in an April 6 story written by Erica Goode. Following are some of the highlights from that article:

The speed and deadliness of recent high-profile shootings have prompted police departments to recommend fleeing, hiding or fighting in the event of a mass attack, instead of remaining passive and waiting for help. . . .

Research on mass shootings over the last decade has bolstered the idea that people at the scene of an attack have a better chance of survival if they take an active stance rather than waiting to be rescued by the police, who in many cases cannot get there fast enough to prevent the loss of life. . . .

In the absence of a police presence, how victims responded often made the difference between life and death, Dr. Blair said.

In 16 of the attacks studied by the researchers [at Texas State University], civilians were able to stop the perpetrator, subduing him in 13 cases and shooting him in 3 cases. In other attacks, civilians have obstructed or delayed the gunman until the police arrived. . . .

“The take-home message is that you’re not helpless and the actions you take matter,” Dr. [J. Pete] Blair [of the university] said. “You can help yourself and certainly buy time for the police to get there.”

Here is the video from the Houston’s Office of Public Safety mentioned in the article:

I’ve produced two videos and an interview on the matter.

The interview (with my father), available at TOS Blog, is “Linn Armstrong on Self-Defense and Guns.”

I also conducted another interview on video with my dad:

And I conducted an interview with Alon Stivi (with whom my father has worked), who developed a program for Attack Countermeasures Training.

So don’t be paranoid, but do be prepared.

Image: ACTCert.com

TOS Blog Update: Jesus, Capitalism, Political Controls

Here I link to my recent blog entries for The Objective Standard. See my TOS category for a complete listing of my work for TOS.

March 3, 2013
The Fruits of Capitalism Are All Around Us

March 7, 2013
Minimum Wage Laws: Economically Harmful Because Immoral

March 8, 2013
More Evidence of the Failure of Government Schools (and the Solution)

March 11, 2013
Judge Properly Tosses New York City Soda Ban

March 12, 2013
Guns: Legislation Should be Based on Individual Rights, not Group Averages

March 16, 2013
Thomas Friedman Embraces Keystone Extortion

March 20, 2013
Cyprus Rejects One Form of Theft, Leaves Others Intact

March 22, 2013
The Real Purpose of Central Banks

March 22, 2013
With Abortion Ban Proposal, Rand Paul Assaults Rights and Aids Democrats

March 23, 2013
With Budget Plan, Senate Would Increase Rights Violations, Economic Destruction

March 25, 2013
Contra Michael Tanner, Government’s Size is Not the Proper Focus for Advocates of Liberty

March 28, 2013
What’s Wrong with Stomping on “Jesus”?

March 30, 2013
As Some Filipinos Try to Die, One Tries to Live