Issue CLXXXIV

January 13-20, 2009

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Culture
Scientology, Seizures, and Science:
Edward Hudgins

January 15, 2009
Edward Hudgins writes that we can all have sympathy for John Travolta and Kelly Preston regarding the tragic death of their son Jett and hope that progress in medical science can reduce the number of such tragedies so that other parents can be spared terrible grief and suffering. But there’s a sad irony here: Scientology, the religion to which Travolta and Preston belong, and other irrational belief systems have, in principle and practice, always stood in the way of such progress.

Thoughts on Racial Thinking:
Edward Hudgins

January 17, 2009
January 2009 finds the issue of race front-and-center with the celebration of black civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s birthday followed by the inauguration of Barack Obama as America’s first black president, in Washington, D.C., a majority black city with a black mayor. But Edward Hudgins believes the issue of race should be framed in a more fundamental way, in terms of the individual versus the collective, in this case membership in the black racial group.

Economics
A Book That Changes Everything:
Jeffrey Tucker

January 17, 2009
Jeffrey Tucker praises Against Intellectual Monopoly (Cambridge University Press, 2008) by Michele Boldrin and David Levine, two daring professors of economics at Washington University in St. Louis. They have written a book that is likely to rock your world, as it has Mr. Tucker's, by offering a new perspective on the way in which intellectual "property" enforcement by governments hinders innovation in every field to which it is applied.

Mathematics
A Systematic Approach to Filling m-by-n Numerical Arrays:
G. Stolyarov II

January 14, 2009
Mr. Stolyarov offers an original mathematical work of his, which arrives at a general formula for filling any m-by-n numerical array subject to the following conditions:
(1) The entries in each cell of the array must be nonnegative integers.
(2) The sum of the entries in each row and column must be some amount which is specified for that row or column.
(3) The sum of the row constraints is equal to the sum of the column constraints.

Politics
Killing Malarial Mosquitoes Now!:
Paul Driessen

January 13, 2009
Paul Driessen describes the progress recently made by the the Kill Malarial Mosquitoes Now coalition in getting DDT reinstituted as a primary weapon in the fight against malaria in Africa. While many gains have been made, considerable opposition to these life-saving measures remains.

Green-Collar Jobs -- or Con Jobs?:
Paul Driessen

January 13, 2009
The quest to be “green” has spawned countless proposals, programs, laws, and advertising campaigns. In Washington, DC, a “Green Jobs Advisory Council” is promoting policies for green buildings, energy efficiency, renewable energy, city infrastructure, and lower carbon emissions. But will these endeavors truly be effective and economically sound? Paul Driessen has some doubts.

Obama the Justifier:
Selwyn Duke

January 13, 2009
Selwyn Duke was alarmed when Barack Obama spoke of how legal “justifications” could be found allowing the courts to order redistributive policies.  This single, solitary statement transcends any one policy and reveals Obama's philosophy with regard to the Constitution.

Oratory Versus Reality: The Obama Years Begin:
Alan Caruba

January 20, 2009
Not since Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy has the United States had a President so blessed with the gift of oratory. There is no doubt that, if words alone could lift this nation out of its current financial crisis, its wars, and other problems, President Barack Obama could make that happen. We need, therefore, to cast our eyes backwards to those earlier presidents to remind us that, for all his eloquence, his power to encourage and inspire Americans, Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not resolve the Great Depression and, indeed, prolonged it with a misguided New Deal. Alan Caruba fears that Obama will simply repeat the mistakes of FDR and will exacerbate the present economic situation rather than fixing it.

Infrastructure: Let's Spend Money on It!:
Alan Caruba

January 20, 2009
There is one aspect of President Obama’s proposed agenda that Alan Caruba likes very much, and it has to do with investing in the nation’s infrastructure of highways, bridges, ports, and airfields.

"Just Say No" to Oil Revenues?:
Paul Driessen

January 20, 2009
Paul Driessen writes that we need the energy, jobs, and revenues that offshore (and onshore) oil and gas development can provide. We can no longer afford to “just say no” to domestic petroleum, during the long transition to future energy technologies that we cannot begin to envision – any more than even Jules Verne could have foreseen the wondrous energy and other technologies that creative minds have made a reality today.
That’s the kind of change we can believe in – the kind America needs.

"A fact never went into partnership with a miracle. Truth scorns the assistance of wonders. A fact will fit every other fact in the universe, and that is how you can tell whether it is or is not a fact. A lie will not fit anything except another lie." 
~ Robert Ingersoll

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