Author Archive | David Holcberg

To Save Lives, Legalize Trade in Organs

If you were sick and needed a kidney transplant, you would soon find out that there is a waiting line–and that there are 70,000 people ahead of you, 4,000 of whom will die within a year. If you couldn’t find a willing and compatible donor among your friends and family, you could try to find […]

Who Is Gouging Whom?

Last Wednesday the House of Representatives passed legislation instituting penalties of up to $150 million for companies and up to $2 million and 10 years’ imprisonment for individuals found guilty of gasoline “price gouging.” But the real gouger driving up gasoline prices is not the private sector, it is our government. To “gouge” means to […]

To Save Lives, Legalize Trade in Organs

If you were sick and needed a kidney transplant, you would soon find out that there is a waiting line–and that there are 70,000 people ahead of you, 4,000 of whom will die within a year. If you couldn’t find a willing and compatible donor among your friends and family, you could try to find […]

Who Is Gouging Whom?

Last Wednesday 79 members of the House of Representatives introduced a bill instituting criminal and civil penalties on any corporation or individual found guilty of gasoline “price gouging.” But the real gouger driving up gasoline prices is not the private sector, it is our government. To “gouge” means to extort, to take by force–something that […]

“Price Gouging” Laws

The House has approved a bill that imposes criminal and civil penalties (up to $150 million for refiners and $2 million for retailers) on any energy company found guilty of “price gouging.” But selling at prices some people feel is too high violates no one’s rights–there is no such thing as a right to cheap […]

Human Organs for Sale?

The organ-transplant tragedy at UC Irvine Medical Center, where according to the Los Angeles Times “more than 30 people died awaiting liver transplants . . . as the hospital turned down scores of organs that might have saved them,” illustrates the terrible situation faced by those awaiting transplants. These patients are at the mercy of […]

U.S. Must Stop Iran from Developing Nuclear Weapons

Gerhard Schroder’s suggestion to “take the military option off the table” in dealing with Iran’s advancing nuclear program should be dismissed. No amount of “negotiations” and “incentives” will persuade the Iranian mullahs to give up their quest for nuclear weapons. Iran’s claim that their reactors will be used for civilian purposes is absurd. Iran has […]

Human Organs for Sale?

As athletes from around the world gathered for the 2005 World Transplant Games in the city of London, Canada, a record 87,000 individuals who did not share the athletes’ good fortune stand on the U.S. national waiting list for organs. Of the 82,000 waiting for kidneys or livers, about 6,000 will die in the next […]

The Terrorists’ Motivation: From the Camel’s Mouth

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, President Bush declared: “These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.” But the Muslim murderer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh knows better than our president, and recently explained in court: “I acted purely in the name of my religion.” So did […]

Senators Were Right To Reject Limits on Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The sixty Senators who voted to reject a measure calling for mandatory limits on carbon dioxide emissions did the right thing. Such mandatory limits would impose huge costs on energy producers and consumers. Despite environmentalists’ propaganda, there is plenty of evidence to refute their claims that the globe is warming and that human industrial activity […]

“Public” Use vs. Property Rights

In another heavy blow to property rights, the Supreme Court has ruled against the homeowners in the New London, Connecticut, eminent domain case, and further entrenched the legal principle that government can seize an individual’s property for “public use” whenever it deems appropriate. The justification the Court offered for violating the property rights of New […]

U.S. Government Should Not Help Tsunami Victims (Updated)

As the death toll mounts in the areas hit by Sunday’s tsunami in southern Asia, private organizations and individuals are scrambling to send out money and goods to help the victims. Such help may be entirely proper, especially considering that most of those affected by this tragedy are suffering through no fault of their own. […]

Preventing 9/11: “A Failure of Imagination”?

Contrary to the claim by the 9/11 commission chairman, the failure to prevent 9/11 was not “a failure of imagination.” It was a failure of cognition. For decades prior to 9/11, terrorist attacks against Americans were perpetrated without any noticeable response from the U.S. government. The first attack on the World Trade Center, for example, […]

The Moral Bankruptcy of the U.N. Human Rights Commission

The re-election of Sudan to the U.N. Human Rights Commission–chaired by terrorist-sponsoring Libya in 2003–demonstrates once again the total moral bankruptcy of the United Nations. The list of atrocities and violations of human rights in Sudan is endless. As Human Rights Watch reported this week, “The Sudanese government is complicit in crimes…” including the “killing, […]

Are the Media Giving You the Whole Story on Global Warming?

Reports on global warming fill our screens and newspapers. Time magazine’s April issue, for example, carried a sixteen-page special report on global warming, featuring a frying earth on its cover. “Global Warming Is Real and Not Going Away,” declared a recent front page of USA Today. “Global Warming Is Getting Worse,” announced a recent headline […]

The Morality of Genetic Engineering

Next week in Toronto, the annual meeting of the Biotechnology Industry Organization will take place, amid protests by environmentalists who want to prohibit genetic engineering. This is a conflict between the creators of a technology that has saved countless lives and improved countless more–and the movement that is opposed to this new technology on principle. […]

Should Genes Be Patented?

On October 2000, I argued in “Who Owns Your Genes?” that naturally occurring genes should not be patented because they are not inventions, but discoveries of what already exists in nature. On January 2001, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued its guidelines for patents on genes and proved me wrong. The PTO argued […]

Therapeutic Cloning is Pro-Life

On November 25 Advanced Cell Technologies announced the creation of the first cloned human embryo. The company described its achievement as a crucial step in therapeutic cloning research, which aims at cloning new organs to replace damaged ones. Like healthy new skin for fire victims; or strong new bones for osteoporosis patients; or new retinas […]

Free Dr. Kevorkian

The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed last week the murder conviction of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who was sentenced in 1999 to 10 to 25 years in prison. He was convicted on charges of second-degree murder in a clear-cut case of assisted suicide. Was justice done-or betrayed? Suppose you had a devastating terminal disease, such as […]

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