Issue CLXVI

June 30 - July 6, 2008

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Culture
The Minimal Secular Agenda Regarding Religious Belief:
G. Stolyarov II

June 30, 2008
In order to achieve peaceful coexistence among all individuals, Mr. Stolyarov presents a list of understandings which he believes all religious people need to adopt and that any reasonable secularist should expect them to adopt. Adopting the Minimal Secular Agenda Regarding Religious Belief (MSARRB) will defuse tensions among the religious and non-religious and will enable more peaceful, mutually respectful, and productive interactions among them.

The Best Self-Help is Free: Chapter 23: The Myth of "No Pain, No Gain":
G. Stolyarov II

July 2, 2008
A curious fallacy pervades our society – the idea that the quality of a good obtained is directly proportional to the sacrifice of goods, comfort, and convenience required in order to obtain it. Mr. Stolyarov shows that t
he “no pain, no gain” philosophy inflicts tremendous pain on millions of people, while resulting in little or no gain.

The Best Self-Help is Free: Chapter 24: Dropping Bad Habits: Deprivation Versus Substitution:
G. Stolyarov II

July 3, 2008
If you have a habit you recognize as dangerous, destructive, or otherwise inconveniencing, how do you drop it? Mr. Stolyarov offers a much more convenient way of dropping bad habits than the common deprivation-based method. If a damaging habit brings you satisfaction, try to substitute a different habit for it that brings you a similar kind and level of satisfaction without also entailing nearly as much damage.

WALL-E: Economic Ignorance and the War on Modernity:

G. Stolyarov II

July 6, 2008
The Disney-Pixar film WALL-E has been adoringly received by the majority of the theatergoing public. This adoration, writes Mr. Stolyarov, is unjustified. The film blatantly conveys environmentalist, anticapitalist, and antitechnological propaganda — and aims it at an audience of children, who still lack the critical faculties and intellectual sophistication to evaluate all relevant aspects of the issues presented.

Politics
Wanting the World to Love America:
Jim Camp

June 30, 2008
Jim Camp writes that these are times when the fate of America and the lives of others around the world rest on our ability to say “no” even if it may cost us some momentary popularity or stiffen the resistance of those who openly seek to destroy us. Our ability to say “no” to bad economic policies, bad ideas, incorrect actions and all that threaten our well being will determine our future and the world’s.

Personal Freedoms and the Internet:
Ron Paul

July 3, 2008
The most basic principle to being a free American is the notion that we as individuals are responsible for our own lives and decisions.  We do not have the right to rob our neighbors to make up for our mistakes, neither does our neighbor have any right to tell us how to live, so long as we aren’t infringing on their rights.   Freedom to make bad decisions is inherent in the freedom to make good ones.  If we are only free to make good decisions, we are not really free. This is why Rep. Ron Paul staunchly opposes government regulation of the Internet in any way, including government prohibitions on online gambling.

Drill Here. Drill Now. Drill ANWR.:
Paul Driessen

July 4, 2008
We can’t drill our way out of our energy problem.” This daily mantra underscores an abysmal grasp of economics by the politicians, activists, bureaucrats and judges who are dictating US policies. If only their hot air could be converted into usable energy. Drilling is no silver bullet. But it is vital. It won’t generate overnight production. But just announcing that America is finally hunting oil again would send a powerful signal to energy markets. Paul Driessen explains why it is essential for the US government to permit drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. 

Dumbing Down America's Colleges:
Alan Caruba

July 6, 2008
In a nation where it now costs thousands of dollars to fire an incompetent 
teacher, we have the specter of university and college presidents eliminating
one of the most respected tools for measuring a prospective student’s ability to qualify for admission.  Alan Caruba expresses alarm that the venerable SAT, the gold standard for measuring readiness for college for nearly 80 years, is slowly being eviscerated by colleges and universities.

Responding to "None of the Above":
Tom DeWeese

July 6, 2008
A few weeks ago, Tom DeWeese wrote an article about an addition to the election system called "None of the Above" and asked readers if they would support it. The answers certainly told the tale of the frustration over our election process that produces candidates most of us do not care for. 

Remembering the American Vision?:
Edward Hudgins

July 6, 2008
Dr. Edward Hudgins writes that every July 4 we can remember back when our lives were less at the mercy of government. But we can also remind ourselves of the freedoms that we still have and just how we've used those freedoms to benefit our own lives. We are not simply remembering our past, bygone glories but are pausing to reflect on something of profound beauty right before our eyes. But remembering our lost liberties will impel us to seek to bring them back, to make them real, here and now, so that we can remind ourselves on future July 4ths of how good we have it.

"Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values." 
~ Ayn Rand

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