Issue CXCVI

May 27-29, 2009

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Atheism
The Telos Drive: A Neurobiological Basis for Religious Belief:
Jonathan T. Pararajasingham
May 29, 2009
The telos drive is a hypothetical  neuropsychological construct that Dr. Jonathan Pararajasingham proposes exists as a primitive instinct which, like all biological drives, may be modulated by higher cognitive function or environmental influences, and often forms the core of religious faith. This concept seems to provide a logical framework and more coherent perspective when considering the origins of this universal phenomenon known as faith. In order to study the question of why religion is so universal, we must, says Dr. Pararajasingham, step back and examine the phenomenon of assigning meaning and purpose (i.e. teleology) to the universe and indeed human beings.

Economics

Correcting Quiggin on Austrian Business Cycle Theory:
Robert P. Murphy
May 27, 2009
The Mises-Hayek theory of the business cycle — and of our recent housing bubble in particular — is gaining more and more adherents in the "real world." It has also drawn more criticism from "mainstream" economists. In this article, Dr. Robert Murphy focuses on the recent critique penned by Australian economist John Quiggin.

History

The First Leftist (1951):
Dean Russell
May 29, 2009
In this classic essay from 1951, Dean Russell writes that the first leftist would not be popular in America today. That is true because the original leftists wanted to abolish government controls over industry, trade, and the professions. They wanted wages, prices, and profits to be determined by competition in a free market, and not by government decree. They were pledged to free their economy from government planning, and to remove the government-guaranteed special privileges of guilds, unions, and associations whose members were banded together to use the law to set the price of their labor or capital or product above what it would be in a free market.

Music
Theme and Variations #1, Op. 61:
G. Stolyarov II
May 27, 2009
This composition by Mr. Stolyarov was written in a theme-and-variations format, with the main theme being presented, then varied five times, then repeated in its original form. The melody is played by a harpsichord with piano accompaniment, and a second harpsichord provides additional accompaniment in the first variation. Length: 2:50.

Politics
Climate Change "Morality":
Paul Driessen
May 27, 2009
Republicans recently invited Lord Christopher Monckton, former science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, to counter Al Gore’s testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. But Gore froze like a terrified deer in headlights, and Chairman Henry Waxman told the UK climate expert he was uninvited.
Paul Driessen believes that their hypocritical cowardice simply reflects a recognition that their entire energy rationing crusade would collapse if they ever allowed real debate on the science and morality of global warming alarmism.

Die, Global Warming, Die!:

Alan Caruba
May 27, 2009
Ever since the “global warming” lie began, for at least two decades or more, Alan Caruba has been writing about what a huge hoax it was and is. For all that time he believed that if the truth got out and reached enough people, they would conclude it was a lie. Mr. Caruba believes that if this greatest hoax does not die, the United States will be forced to commit economic suicide.

Israel in the Crosshairs:
Alan Caruba
May 27, 2009
Alan Caruba fears that Israel’s future may disappear in a nuclear cloud. There has been one Holocaust in his lifetime, and Mr. Caruba does not want to witness another. At stake is more than Israel’s right to exist. According to Mr. Caruba, the failure to support and protect Israel puts the entire basis and future of Western civilization at risk.

When the Federal Government Goes Insane:
Alan Caruba
May 27, 2009
Alan Caruba believes that much of what the federal government is doing and proposing to do is patently insane -- including enormous corporate bailouts, draconian "climate change" legislation, and a myriad of unprecedented regulations over individuals' private lives and choices. This kind of intervention and usurpation of the powers of individuals and state and local governments is most surely unconstitutional.

The Coming Communist American Auto Industry:
Tom DeWeese
May 29, 2009
Americans should all remember the Yugo- the pride of communist Yugoslavia – the first communist car to endanger American highways back in the 1980’s. Small, affordable and easy on gas- the perfect modern car for our current economic and environmental crisis that the Obama Administration is, according to Tom DeWeese, seeking to bring back through its extensive mandates and controls over the automobile industry.

Stopping Truth at the Border: Banning Michael Savage from Britain:

Selwyn Duke
May 29, 2009
When Selwyn Duke awoke Tuesday morning, he ambled over to the computer, as is his wont, and made his usual cyber rounds.  He logged on to the Drudge Report and, lo and behold, saw the following headline, “RADIO HOST MICHAEL SAVAGE BANNED FROM UK FOR 'EXTREME VIEWS'....”  “Wow,” he thought, “Britain strikes again.” In this article, Mr. Duke defends the right of Michael Savage to publicly express even highly inflammatory ideas. In this principle, The Rational Argumentator steadfastly concurs with Mr. Duke. While many of TRA's writers often profoundly disagree with what Mr. Savage says, there is no question that his right to say what he does ought to be treated as sacred and inviolable.

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." 
~ Benjamin Franklin