A Journal for Western Man :  Issue LVII

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Culture

Critical Thinking-- or-- Making Me the Straw Man:
May 11, 2006:
A recent Canadian school textbook on "critical thinking" offered to list one of Tom DeWeese's statements as an example of an undesirable argument-- simply because Mr. DeWeese criticized the growing importation of environmentalist dogma into Sunday school curricula. Mr. DeWeese refused the offer from those promoting the very ideas he detests and wishes to combat. He reveals that the modern leftist catch-word, "critical thinking," is nothing more than the suppression of students' fixed moral values or dissenting views against the leftist agenda.

Evidence for Optimism:
May 15, 2006:
Michael Miller demolishes the common impulse of the rational man toward cynicism and pessimism; he shows how significantly the world has improved in the past years, if one just looks in the right places. The actions of good men are what matters, and they compound on themselves to produce positive change. 

Economics

Micro-Managing the European Union: Mobile Roaming Charges:
May 10, 2006:
Many in the European Union have complained that telecommunications companies charge extremely high rates on mobile calls between different countries; politicians are considering imposing price controls on these companies. This, argues Cécile Philippe, would be a disaster; it would merely create shortages of products for willing consumers. The market should be allowed to operate on its own to give entrepreneurs incentives to enter the industry and push down the prices naturally.

The Real Abuse:
May 12, 2006:
Microsoft is a target of European Commission fines and prohibitions which destroy true market competition in the name of saving competition, writes Xavier Méra. By prohibiting Microsoft from selling its Media Player along with its Windows operating system, the European Commission is denying consumer sovereignty and forcing Microsoft to issue a product few people want to buy.

Aren't Deficits Another Name for Saving? Nope:
May 14, 2006:
Dr. Robert P. Murphy refutes Keynesian Tom Nugent's argument that government-run deficits are a form of saving that the government facilitates in the private sector-- an argument that leads to the absurd conclusion that savings are impossible at all in the absence of government deficits.

Filosofy

Undaunted Adherence to Personal Conviction in the Spreading of Ideas:
May 9, 2006:
G. Stolyarov II refutes a critic's challenges to his approach toward communicating his ideas and presenting them on The Rational Argumentator. Mr. Stolyarov argues in favor of The Rational Argumentator’s commitment to an undaunted, uncompromising presentation of the right ideas, while allowing their discussion, evaluation, and criticism. He rejects the claim that one must conform to the ideas and expectations of others in order to persuade them.

Michael Novak and Edward Younkins: Economic Personalism and Flourishing Individualism:
May 12, 2006:
Retta Jane Rico compares the economic, political, and ethical thought of two contemporary thinkers, Michael Novak and Edward Younkins. Younkins advocates a secular free-market order, while Novak seeks to establish a theological basis for capitalism. Both promote a vision of individual flourishing in an environment of liberty.

Music

Lullaby, Op. 47:
May 12, 2006:
This is a peaceful, gentle, innocent lullaby composed by G. Stolyarov II. It was written as a gift for a very dear friend.

Politics

The War on Illegal Immigration Will Fail:
May 11, 2006:
Wade A. Mitchell warns against falling prey to the popular urge for government to do more to restrict immigration; immigration occurs because there is a market of willing consumers of immigrants' services, and any government attempts to interfere with this market are bound to fail. Increased restrictions on immigration will further grow and strain the government, exacerbating the problems caused by immigrants to depend on government for handouts and benefits. The solution to this problem is not to restrain the immigrants, but rather to end the welfare state which created the problem in the first place.

Ocean of Profits:
May 12, 2006:
Regulators and politicians should not interfere with unbridled private exploration and development of such new frontiers as the deep sea and outer space, writes Dr. Edward Hudgins. Such regulatory attempts have always been disastrous protection rackets foisted on the creators who produce by parasites who do not. Instead, we should allow the developers to reap their just rewards by keeping any profits they earn.

The Harms of Drugs versus the Harms of the War on Drugs:
May 13, 2006:
G. Stolyarov II personally disapproves of drug-taking as unhealthy and morally harmful; however, in a free market, drug addicts would only harm themselves and willing associates. Under a government-waged War on Drugs, however, good, innocent, productive people--who would even think about taking drugs-- are harmed. Mr. Stolyarov describes the damage the War on Drugs deals to such individuals. 

"It is unfortunate that, in our era, the epithet, 'a man of his time' is seen as a compliment. The true man of greatness, however, conforms to no majoritarian whims of his contemporaries and instead endeavors to create a future that belongs to him. Indeed, once he has undertaken such a path, his is not any mere narrow era, but eternity itself."

~ G. Stolyarov II