Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a phantasy. — Charles Darwin
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
If men had a choice between real women and female robots that were almost “virtually indistinguishable” from real women, which would they choose? Certainly many men would never be willing to totally give up on relationships with living, breathing women, but as robotic technology continues to advance at an exponential rate there will be men (and women) that will be tempted to abandon real relationships entirely. And that day is approaching a lot faster than you may think. As you will read about below, incredibly life-life female robots are being introduced in Japan right now. The creators of these robots are not designing them for sexual intercourse at the moment, but experts say that it is only a matter of time before this technology is adapted for such purposes. The potential market for female sex androids is absolutely massive, and there are no laws against such a thing in most countries. But as men all over the globe begin acquiring these sex droids, what will that do to real relationships between men and women and what will that say about our society?
With each passing year, robots are becoming much more like humans. And for some reason, many of these robot designers purposely choose to have their robots resemble very attractive young women. Read more »(1167 words + 1 image, estimated 4:40 mins reading time)
New polling data shows that, for the third consecutive year, a majority of Americans agree that government should not be responsible for providing Americans with healthcare coverage. That’s particularly bad news for the president’s healthcare law, as it has come under renewed fire for comments made by Obamacare architect Johnathon Gruber.
In Gallup’s annual health and healthcare poll, 52 percent of American likely voters said that government has no business in providing universal healthcare. That’s compared to 42 percent who said the government is responsible for providing healthcare coverage for Americans.
As recently as 2006, a strong majority (62 percent) of Americans believed government should provide healthcare.
Gallup reports that age, race and party affiliation all affect opinions on healthcare:
Two-thirds of nonwhites and 60% of 18- to 34-year-olds, both significantly Democratic constituencies, believe it is the government’s responsibility. This sentiment drops well below the majority level among whites and those aged 35 and older, who tend to be more Republican. Even among the group of Americans aged 55 and older, many of whom have government-provided Medicare but who lean Republican politically, 58% say it is not the government’s responsibility to provide healthcare. Read more »(241 words, estimated 58 secs reading time)
A Massachusetts city’s attempt to become the nation’s first to enact a blanket ban on the sale of all tobacco products came to an abrupt end Wednesday, following passionate opposition from all corners of the community. Public outcry over the proposed nanny-state move brought both smokers and nonsmokers together in a united stand against statist efforts to protect individuals from themselves.
The Westminster Board of Health, which last week caused a national stir by threatening to outlaw the sale of tobacco throughout the city, dropped the proposal following a week of sometime-raucous protest from residents — even those who plainly indicated their strong antipathy for smoking, chewing and dipping.
“I find smoking to be one of the most disgusting habits anybody could possibly do,” resident Kevin West told the board at a public hearing last week. “On top of that, I find this proposal to be even more of a disgusting thing that anybody could ever give any town in the United States of America.”
The three-member board had a hard time making it through last week’s heavily attended hearing, cutting that meeting short after it became clear that the gathered crowd was too emotional and too adamant to preserve the decorum the board had prescribed. Read more »(317 words, estimated 1:16 mins reading time)
Republicans in Congress have spent much of this week warning that the consequences of President Barack Obama’s unilateral immigration reform will be dire. One lawmaker went as far as saying the president’s plans could result in violence in the nation’s streets, while another said that the executive actions could get Obama impeached — or even jailed.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), in an interview with USA Today’s “Capital Download,” predicted that the president’s actions may anger Americans who believe the task of immigration reform should have been left up to Congress.
“The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very dangerous situation,” Coburn said. “You’re going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy.”
When asked what he meant, Coburn replied, “You could see violence.”
Coburn, who announced that he will retire when his term is up, has had a good relationship with the president inside and outside the Capitol, despite his conservative leaning. But the senator pulled no punches in announcing that Obama’s immigration plan is bad for the country. Read more »(722 words, estimated 2:53 mins reading time)
When the Obama administration announced it had met its targeted number of 7 million enrollments for its first year, it didn’t announce that nearly half a million of those sign-ups weren’t for health insurance — they were only for dental plans.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that roughly 400,000 policies among the 7.3 million touted by the Obama administration in September were dental policies only. Lumping the stats for dental coverage in with the health insurance numbers was a first for the administration, which didn’t bother to inform anyone at the time that it was including both types of coverage in order to demonstrate success in hitting its target.
Without the dental plans, the federal government would have had 6.97 million people with medical insurance under the law known as Obamacare, investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform committee calculated, using data they obtained from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Federal officials…didn’t distinguish between medical and dental plans, breaking from previous practice without notice.
Blending dental and medical plans let the administration assert that enrollment remained greater than 7 million, the original projection of the Congressional Budget Office. The move also partly obscured the attrition of more than 1 million in the number of people enrolled in medical insurance. Read more »(415 words, estimated 1:40 mins reading time)
A group of former Waldo, Florida, police officers have filed a lawsuit that, if successful, would blow the lid off a case of small-town corruption at its worst. The officers allege that they were fired after blowing the whistle on a ticket-writing scheme designed to increase city revenue.
The lawsuit resulted from a long-running scandal that broke after five of the town’s seven officers made public that they were being forced to meet an illegal 12-ticket-per-day quota. Because of the scheme, the north Florida town had become a notorious speed trap.
Waldo’s seven police officers wrote nearly 12,000 speeding tickets last year, collecting more than $400,000 in fines — a third of the town’s revenue.
The problem is there are six different speed limits in just a couple of miles. Drivers enter the city at 65 miles per hour. It then drops to 55, 45 and then 35.
Officers Brandon Roberts, Jeffrey Pedrick, Roy Steadman and Brian Shoaf, plaintiffs in the Alachua County case, say that they tried to bring the ticketing scheme and other misconduct occurring in the police department to local officials’ attention only to be stonewalled and threatened. Read more »(646 words, estimated 2:35 mins reading time)
You can almost feel a little bit sorry for Mary Landrieu, who has been fighting an uphill battle to retain her Senate seat in Louisiana. In the election earlier this month, voters refused to give the three-term incumbent a majority, forcing a runoff on Dec. 6. The oddsmakers don’t think much of her chances of winning.
Landrieu became convinced that her best chance to get the voters to return her to office was to win passage of the bill approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Doing that would have been quite a trick. Barack Obama, playing up to leftist environmentalists in his party, had stalled the measure for the past six years by ordering study after study. Majority Leader Harry Reid had refused to allow the Senate to vote on any of the eight previous bills approving the measure that had been passed by the House.
Ah, but now things were different, or so Landrieu hoped. With her Senate seat on the line, Reid finally agreed to allow a vote to be taken on the measure, after the ninth iteration was approved overwhelmingly in the House last week. The vote there was 252-161. Read more »(672 words, estimated 2:41 mins reading time)
Hi. I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. We all know Barack Obama is a hater. It’s crystal clear from his comments about “fundamentally changing America” and, of course, his policies that have caused chaos and crisis in our economy and foreign policy that Obama hates America.
We know from his actions and policies — including his statement, “You didn’t build that” — that he hates business owners.
We know from his statement about Middle America — that they “cling to their guns and Bibles” — that he has disdain for middle-class Americans.
Yet the facts I’m about to report indicate that Obama is out to hurt African-Americans and Jews. This guy really is a world-class hater. He appears to hate everyone — at least everyone inside America. The question is why don’t African-Americans and Jews see the truth that’s staring them right in the face? Why are African-Americans and Jews voting against their own self-interest? Why are they voting for a guy committed to hurting them? Read more »(1171 words, estimated 4:41 mins reading time)
On Nov. 19, 1863, at the dedication of the military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln spoke these words:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. Read more »(898 words, estimated 3:36 mins reading time)
As the nation awaits President Barack Obama’s unilateral immigration reform announcement, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says that the U.S. should brace for another surge in illegal immigration.
Speaking before the National Press Club on Wednesday, the Washington Times reports that Johnson said the surge will likely result “as the U.S. economy picks up and as seasonal patterns change…”
“We’re determined that we need to do more ourselves for border security,” Johnson said. “I’m concerned about the possibility of another rise in illegal migration.”
The DHS secretary said that provisions to strengthen border security will likely be included in the immigration-related executive actions President Obama is set to reveal Thursday evening.
Johnson’s focus on border security at DHS has been more pronounced than that of his predecessor, Janet Napolitano.
The president touched on the issue of border security in remarks he made Sunday.
“We’ve got severe resource constraints right now at the border not in apprehending people, but in processing and having enough immigration judges and so forth,” Obama said, according to ABC. “And so what’s within our authority to do is reallocating resources and re-prioritizing since we can’t do everything.” Read more »(283 words, estimated 1:08 mins reading time)
A new study conducted by the Institute for Economics and Peace reveals that nearly 18,000 terror-related deaths occurred throughout the world last year; 82 percent of those were relegated to just five countries.
The institute’s 2014 Global Terrorism Index relays that global deaths at the hands of terrorists increased 61 percent in a year. The figure, while high, is unsurprising given a recent resurgence of Islamic extremism in the Middle East and elsewhere.
From the index: “In 2013, 66% of all fatalities from claimed terrorist attacks were caused by four terrorist groups: the Taliban, Boko Haram , ISIL and al-Qa’ida. The primary targets of terrorist attacks are citizens and private property.”
Eighty-two percent of terror-related deaths occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.
Iraq, where ISIS extremists are currently gaining ground, was the country most affected by terrorism last year, with 2,492 attacks killing 6,362 people within its borders in 2013.
According to Institute Chairman Steve Killelea, the religious ideology associated with a majority of the terror attacks limits global actors’ ability to quell the bloodshed. Read more »(335 words, estimated 1:20 mins reading time)
There’s been plenty of right-minded anger over progressive feminism’s co-opting of last week’s unmanned comet landing — an Internet sanctimony spasm that detracted from the significance of the achievement in order to target one man for his choice of clothing.
A Hawaiian-style button-up festooned with cartoonish, Betty Page-style bombshell models became the very mundane star of an otherwise momentous day. And its wearer, Dr. Matt Taylor, offered a shame-filled, tearful apology for unwittingly sending the world an (apparently) bad message about gender bias in the scientific community.
London Mayor Boris Johnson came to Taylor’s defense this week, penning a column for The Telegraph that excoriated the progressives’ obsession with off-the-shelf moral outrage.
After viewing Taylor’s apology on television, Johnson had a lot on his mind.
“Everyone in this country should be proud of Dr Taylor and his colleagues, and he has every right to let his feelings show,” Johnson wrote. “Except, of course, that he wasn’t crying with relief. He wasn’t weeping with sheer excitement at this interstellar rendezvous. I am afraid he was crying because he felt he had sinned. He was overcome with guilt and shame for wearing what some people decided was an ‘inappropriate’ shirt on television.” Read more »(480 words, estimated 1:55 mins reading time)
In an overdue sense-maker, a small group of Protestant pastors is uniting in an initiative to cease performing marriages that legally bind couples on behalf of the state. Instead, they will continue to marry couples in their ministerial capacity, but are advising future partners to “seek civil marriage separately from their church-related vows and blessings.”
The Revs. Ephraim Radner and Christopher Seitz — the former an Anglican minister; the latter an Episcopalian — explained their “Marriage Pledge” initiative at the website of First Things magazine:
The new definition of marriage no longer coincides with the Christian understanding of marriage between a man and woman. Our biblical faith is committed to upholding, celebrating, and furthering this understanding, which is stated many times within the Scriptures and has been repeatedly restated in our wedding ceremonies, church laws, and doctrinal standards for centuries. To continue with church practices that intertwine government marriage with Christian marriage will implicate the Church in a false definition of marriage. Read more »(388 words, estimated 1:33 mins reading time)
President Barack Obama’s fiat immigration overhaul will be revealed to the American public Thursday at 8 p.m. EST, according to sources close to the White House.
According to reports, the president will address the nation to provide details for his plan to enact executive orders which, with no input from Congress, could potentially grant as many as 5 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. respite from deportation.
Some details of the president’s planned address were inadvertently leaked to the press by a spokesman for the AFLCIO Wednesday, according to the Washington Times. The White House confirmed the information.
“We hear there will be a prime time Thursday evening announcement [to preview] and full unveiling in Vegas on Friday,” AFL-CIO spokesman Jeff Hauser wrote, according to the newspaper. “Can folks begin to work and plan watch parties for Thursday and/or Friday? Unclear whether Thursday night content will be what is ‘celebratory,’ but Friday will be where we need a lot of energy guaranteed.”
Obama is expected to travel to Nevada, home to the nation’s heaviest concentration of illegal immigrants, to rally support for his unilateral actions alongside Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) following the announcement. Read more »(637 words, estimated 2:33 mins reading time)
The United States ranked 10th in the British Legatum Institute’s annual assessment of citizen prosperity throughout the world.
Unlike similar polls, the institute’s assessment takes into account more than just a country’s GDP or government policies to determine the well-being of citizens. Instead, Legatum seeks to gauge how citizens actually feel about their respective nations.
Using Gallup World Poll Service data from 2013, the think tank registered citizen satisfaction with the economic, government, education, healthcare, security, personal freedom and social records of 142 countries throughout the world.
“Prosperity is more than just the accumulation of material wealth, it is also the joy of everyday life and the prospect of an even better life in the future,” the Legatum Institute says on its website. “This is true for individuals as well as nations.”
The United States’ overall ranking of 10th is one place higher than the nation’s overall score in the same assessment last year. Still, the U.S. ranks behind (in order from ninth to first) the Netherlands, Finland, Australia, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Switzerland and Norway. Read more »(511 words, estimated 2:03 mins reading time)
“‘Canadian oil’ offers little to nothing for average Americans.” — TheStar.com’s summation of President Barack Obama’s statement last Friday
The House approved legislation for the Keystone XL Pipeline Friday, and the Senate is expected to follow suit this week. But even if both houses in Congress pass the legislation, President Obama has indicated that he will veto the pipeline.
Obama spoke on the subject last Friday: “Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”
Interesting in that Obama said “their” oil pumped through “our” land. He made it sound like an oil invasion by a Canadian vanguard. Yet Obama is leaving out a few things.
The U.S. and Canada already have pipelines measuring tens of thousands of miles that date back decades and crisscross the continent. Those pipelines have allowed Canada to be the No. 1 petroleum supplier to the United States, delivering 3 million barrels of crude per day, or three times more oil than the U.S imports from Saudi Arabia. Canadian pipelines have made petroleum more affordable, safer and easier to transport to American industry and consumers. Read more »(1048 words, estimated 4:12 mins reading time)
In late September, Pine Creek High School (Colorado) student Chase Windebank was called to the assistant principal’s office and ordered to stop praying at school because of “separation of church and state.”
Windebank, a senior, had been part of a group that met regularly for three years in a choir room to sing Christian songs, pray and discuss issues of the day from a religious perspective during free time granted them by the school. During the free time granted Pine Creek High’s high achievers, students are free to play on their phones, eat snacks, wander around outside the building or conduct business for whatever school club or group they belonged to. Windebank’s group members voluntarily cloistered themselves in a room away from everyone else so as not to disturb anyone. And suddenly their activities were verboten because a bureaucrat, ignorant of the law and history of America but somehow charged with running a government indoctrination center called public education, decided discrimination against Christians was OK.
The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit against Pine Creek, citing violation of the Windebank’s 1st Amendment rights. Read more »(653 words, estimated 2:37 mins reading time)
If you could stay home and watch television, play video games and hang out with your friends all day at government expense, would you do it? Of course most Americans that collect money from the government each month are not abusing the system. Many truly are incapable of taking care of themselves, and others are just receiving government benefits (such as Social Security) that they feel that they have earned by a lifetime of hard work. But with each passing year the number of Americans jumping on board “the safety net” continues to grow rapidly, and a lot of these people should be able to take care of themselves. Today, the American people collectively receive more money from the government than they pay in taxes. And remember, the federal government uses our money to build roads, inspect our food and fund the military as well. So what does this say about our economy? Could it survive without all of these debt-fueled transfer payments? And what does this say about our society? At one time, our nation was known for our Protestant work ethic. What would our forefathers say about us today? The following are 21 facts that prove that dependence on the government is out of control in America… Read more »(1169 words + 2 images, estimated 4:41 mins reading time)
Are you waiting for the next major wave of the global economic collapse to strike? Well, you might want to start paying attention again. Three of the ten largest economies on the planet have already fallen into recession, and there are very serious warning signs coming from several other global economic powerhouses. Things are already so bad that British Prime Minister David Cameron is comparing the current state of affairs to the horrific financial crisis of 2008. In an article for the Guardian that was published on Monday, he delivered the following sobering warning: “Six years on from the financial crash that brought the world to its knees, red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy.” For the leader of the nation with the 6th largest economy in the world to make such a statement is more than a little bit concerning.
So why is Cameron freaking out?
Well, just consider what is going on in Japan. The economy of Japan is the 3rd largest on the entire planet, and it is a total basket case at this point. Many believe that the Japanese will be on the leading edge of the next great global economic crisis, and that is why it is so alarming that Japan has just dipped into recession again for the fourth time in six years… Read more »(1298 words + 1 image, estimated 5:12 mins reading time)