Issue CCIV

August 23-28, 2009

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The Rational Argumentator's Seventh Anniversary Manifesto:
G. Stolyarov II
August 23, 2009
In another excellent year for The Rational Argumentator, considerable progress in visitation, amplification of TRA’s content, and preserving the permanence of TRA has been made. TRA’s seventh birthday will be on August 31, 2009, and, in preparation for this occasion, Mr. Stolyarov would like to offer a glimpse into major accomplishments and developments during the most successful year in this magazine’s history to date.

Economics
Why on Earth Should We Cash in Our Clunkers?:
Bradley Doucet
August 28, 2009
Bradley Doucet writes that although the recent CARS ("cash for clunkers") program was certainly popular, how successful it was is open to debate. The benefits to the environment will be meager at best—and expensive, too, with a $3-billion price tag. As for the economy, the only way one can call this program beneficial is to ignore the substantial costs associated with it. Unfortunately, for many politicians and pundits, ignoring costs is as natural as driving to work in the morning.

History
What Soviet Medicine Teaches Us:
Yuri N. Maltsev
August 24, 2009
In 1918, the Soviet Union became the first country to promise universal "cradle-to-grave" healthcare coverage, to be accomplished through the complete socialization of medicine. The "right to health" became a "constitutional right" of Soviet citizens. The proclaimed advantages of this system were that it would "reduce costs" and eliminate the "waste" that stemmed from "unnecessary duplication and parallelism" — i.e., competition. These goals were similar to the ones declared by Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi — attractive and humane goals of universal coverage and low costs. What's not to like? Yuri Maltsev, who has seen the Soviet system first-hand, gives the answer.

Happy 400th Birthday, Modern Astronomy!:
Edward Hudgins
August 28, 2009
On August 25, 1609, Galileo first demonstrated the telescope to Venetian officials and then proceeded to point it at the night skies in order to study rather than speculate about what the heavens hold. Galileo's invention and work set the stage for modern scientific astronomy, as Dr. Edward Hudgins explains.

Politics
Taxpayer Cash for Clunker Ideas:
Paul Driessen
August 24, 2009
It has supposedly finally been deep-sixed, as the chorus of objections grew ever louder. But the cash-for-clunkers program wasted billions of dollars America doesn’t have – and offers some valuable lessons for what public policies should not attempt to do.
Paul Driessen believes that cash-for-clunkers died just in time, too – because the next cash-for-clunkers program may be just around the corner, courtesy of T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner, who want to prevent "global warming catastrophe" by junking “clunker” power plants, while padding their bank accounts with more consumer and taxpayer dollars.

We Will Survive:
Marita Noon
August 24, 2009
Just like the prognosticators are warning that we will run out of fuel, many are shouting at tea parties and town hall meetings out of fear that freedom is in short supply. While Marita Noon shares their concerns, a look at history tells her that Americans will not allow freedom to be killed. We will fight for it.

We Need Sunlight to Disinfect the Legislative Process!:
Ron Paul
August 24, 2009
In February, the House of Representatives was forced to vote on an over 1,000-page “stimulus” bill that had first been posted on the Internet just after midnight the morning of the vote.  It passed.  Then, in June, House leaders rushed a vote on the cap-and-trade bill, even though an over 300-page “manager’s amendment,” making substantive changes to the bill, was introduced shortly after 3:00 a.m. the morning of the vote. Rep. Ron Paul believes that this practice of rushing bills through and creating an atmosphere of emergency is highly deleterious to freedom. Dr. Paul discusses his proposed remedy to this problem.

Remove ICLEI - Restore the Republic:
Tom DeWeese
August 24, 2009
Many Americans ask how dangerous international policies can suddenly turn up in state and local government, all seemingly uniform to those in communities across the nation and around the globe. The answer – meet ICLEI, a non-profit, private foundation, dedicated to helping your mayor implement all of his promises. Originally known as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), today the group simply calls itself "ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability." Tom DeWeese discusses the dangers of ICLEI's policy recommendations.

D. C. Mayor in School of Self-Interest?:
Edward Hudgins
August 28, 2009
Mayor Adrian Fenty seemed silent and secretive about acting in the self-interest of his own children. Asked at a press conference about where his kids were attending school this academic year, he answered, in essence, “None of your business.” Why this sensitivity? Dr. Edward Hudgins writes that Fenty would not be in this awkward position if he’d embrace a morality of rational self-interest.

Why I Must Defend Barbara Boxer:
Selwyn Duke
August 28, 2009
Selwyn Duke comments on the little dust-up between Black Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Harry Alford and Democrat senator Barbara Boxer during an Environment & Public Works (EPW) hearing on “green” jobs. In this situation, he finds himself defending aspects of the behavior of Barbara Boxer against accusations of bigotry, despite his intense disagreement with many of her views and methods. 

"Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice." 
~ Ayn Rand