Issue CCXLIX

June 4-5, 2010

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Economics
Spain's Dropout Generation:
Jaime Levy Moreno
June 4, 2010

In the last two decades in Mediterranean Europe, and especially in Spain, a new social group has emerged, called jovenes (youngsters). Members of this group exhibit several specific characteristics. First, jovenes are usually male, aged 25–35, although some members are in their 40s. Second, they are in a perpetual state between graduation and their first job. Third, they usually live with their parents to save money, allowing them to go out at least three times a week. Fourth, they occasionally work a part-time job — if only due to the pressure imposed by their parents. Last, and most important, they receive unemployment benefit credits and renew their membership on the "unemployment list" from time to time, so that the state subsidies don't run out during their "temporary" hibernation. Jaime Levy Moreno writes that it is important to analyze the reasons why this social group has appeared, what the situation is like today, and what the consequences will be of this phenomenon in the future.

Music

Nightfall Music:
Rodney Rawlings
June 4, 2010

The title of Rodney Rawlings's new composition, "Nightfall Music," for piano, is inspired by Isaac Asimov's famous science fiction short story "Nightfall". In this tale, the inhabitants of a planet surrounded by six suns, who have never seen the darkness of night, acquire their first terrifying experience of it due to an extremely rare (occurring once every 2049 years) eclipse of the primary sun.

Politics
Why on Earth Did Rand Paul Waffle on Civil Rights?:
Bradley Doucet
June 4, 2010

It sure didn’t take long for Rand Paul’s political opponents to sharpen their daggers. Less than 24 hours after winning the Kentucky Senate Republican primary nomination on Tuesday, May 18, Dr. Paul, son of U.S. Representative Ron Paul, appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show. Maddow asked him about his stance on the Civil Rights Act. Then, when he didn’t give her a straight enough answer, she asked him again. And again. And again. Bradley Doucet argues that racism is stupid, wrong, and disgusting. There is, however, a good, principled reason not to outlaw private racism. There are also good, practical reasons not to reopen the Civil Rights Act right now. Dr. Paul’s position, in other words, is perfectly defensible. But he could have deflected criticism and defused some of the current media circus by being clear and forthright about it from the start.

Israel vs. Palestinian Moral Smuggling:
Edward Hudgins
June 4, 2010

Israel is involved in another public relations mess. But, writes Dr. Edward Hudgins, even a superficial look at the incident at sea off Gaza shows that the real mess is in the morality of the public and world leaders who can’t keep straight the difference between the savage and the civilized.

Put Patients and Doctors Back in Control of Health Care:
Ron Paul
June 4, 2010

Rep. Ron Paul introduced the Private Option Health Care Act last week. This bill places individuals back in control of health care by replacing the recently passed tax-spend-and-regulate health care law with reforms designed to restore a free-market health care system.

More Blank Checks to the Military-Industrial Complex:
Ron Paul
June 4, 2010

Congress, with its insatiable appetite for spending, is set to pass yet another “supplemental” appropriations bill in the next two weeks.  So-called supplemental bills allow Congress to spend beyond even the 13 annual appropriations bills that fund the federal government.  These are akin to a family that consistently outspends its budget, and therefore needs to use a credit card to make it through the end of the month. If the American people want Congress to spend less, putting an end to supplemental appropriations bills would be a start, according to Rep. Ron Paul.

Al and Tipper Gore in Splitsville:
Alan Caruba
June 4, 2010

For anyone who has followed Al Gore’s Green Brick Road to the land of Global Warming, there has to be more than a bit of schadenfreude – taking pleasure in other’s misfortunes – on hearing the news that he and his wife of forty years, Tipper, have separated. However, writes Alan Caruba, that feeling is fleeting for reasons that have to do with lots and lots and lots of money.

The Chasm Between Apollo and the Gulf:
H. Harrison Schmitt
June 4, 2010

President Obama’s Administration and its supportive media repeatedly say our 1970 Apollo 13 experience is analogous to the effort to contain and cap the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Not hardly! H. Harrison Schmitt writes that the rescue of Astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert, after an oxygen tank explosion on their spacecraft, illustrates how complex technical accidents should be handled, in contrast to the Gulf fiasco. Nothing in the government’s response to the blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon and its aftermath bears any resemblance to the response to the Apollo 13 situation by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration and its Mission Control team at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.

Ken Cuccinelli v. 810 Academics:
Paul Driessen
June 4, 2010

Paul Driessen addresses Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation of former University of Virginia professor Michael Mann.
The American Association of University Professors and a substantial number of Virginia scientists and academics oppose Cuccinelli’s investigation. However, Mr. Driessen recaps some of the misconduct that Mann is accused of, argues that the investigation is essential and that Cuccinelli, and states that law-abiding citizens should insist on transparency, integrity, credibility, and accountability in the climate change arena.

Obama's Drilling Announcement Hurts More Than It Helps:
Marita Noon
June 5, 2010

President Obama's recent announcement ordering the suspension of work on 33 exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico was no surprise. Even the revocation of a proposed  lease sale off the coast of Virginia and the halt to planned exploration off the coast of Alaska might have been foreseen. But, writes, Marita Noon, Obama's political posturing hurts more than it helps. 

"We all look for happiness, but without knowing where to find it: like drunkards who look for their house, knowing dimly that they have one. " 
~ Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire