“I got the blue one, which one did you get?” “I’m reading the red one first.” This is some of the chatter I hear as a group of about thirty high school students rush up to the front of a Santa Ana classroom to choose a free book from a cardboard box. These students have just listened to Yaron Brook, chairman of the board of the Ayn Rand Institute, speak to them about selfishness.
Each year, the Ayn Rand Institute distributes hundreds of thousands of copies of Ayn Rand’s novels and nonfiction books to schools through our Free Books to Teachers program. Putting a book directly into the hands of students is a powerful way to expose them personally to Ayn Rand’s ideas. Most of these books are sent by mail to middle schools, high schools and colleges across the United States and Canada. So it’s a rare treat when we can deliver the books face-to-face.
In the months since I released the first episode of my Rise & Fall podcast, focusing on Islamic totalitarianism, there have been several terrorist attacks around the world perpetrated by Islamic totalitarians.
AquAdvantage Salmon, the first genetically engineered fish intended for human consumption, were finally approved for sale this week by the FDA. These farm salmon have a tremendous advantage over conventional farm salmon — they mature in about half the time.
Just Label It, a group that pushes for mandatory labels on all foods containing ingredients grown from genetically engineered seeds, repeatedly tells us that American consumers overwhelmingly support such laws. Front and center and in bold text on their website, we are told: “Studies show that more than 90% of Americans support mandatory labeling of genetically modified (GMO) foods.”
On May 15th, 2013, a small lobster boat flying a banner that read “coal is stupid” dropped anchor in waters in front of the Brayton Point Power Station in Massachusetts. The two eco-activists aboard the boat, named the Henry David T., thereby blocked the path of the coal ship Energy Enterprise, which was carrying a load of 40,000 tons of energy-rich coal, from reaching the power plant.
Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, celebrated a birthday in August (if she was still alive, she would be over 200 years old). Since the most popular anti-GMO slur term, “Frankenfood,” is based on her iconic work of fiction, Mary Shelley’s birthday had me (and some other bloggers) thinking about how the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster relates to the biotech debate.
Climate protestors are busy preparing signs, floats and a “papier-mâché tree embedded with axes” for the People’s Climate March in New York City this Sunday. Thousands are expected to gather and march through the streets of Manhattan with the goal of convincing U.N. members to band together and drastically cut the use of fossil fuels across the globe. Marchers may believe they are taking to the streets in an effort to make lives better, but Alex Epstein, president and founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, writes in a recent Forbes.com article, that “[i]n fact they’re supporting policies that would cut billions of lives short. Literally.”
Mike “The Health Ranger” Adams, founder and director of the popular health news tabloid website Natural News, recently posted an article calling for the death of scientists, journalists anybody else who has written favorably about the technology of genetic engineering. Adams declared anybody working to improve foods to be the equivalent of Nazis perpetrating a holocaust on the world.
In July, the Heartland Institute sponsored the 9th International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas. The Ayn Rand Institute was a co-sponsor of the event and I was lucky enough to attend — and now you can too. Heartland has put up recorded videos of all of the keynote speeches and panel discussions on their website, so you can join the thousands of others who have already tuned in.