Issue CCCXIII

January 28 - February 12, 2012

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Literary Analysis
Sometimes a Great Notion: The Story of a Family Who Would Never Give an Inch
Edward W. Younkins

February 12, 2012

Ken Kesey’s novel, Sometimes a Great Notion (1964), is a complex and integrated historical background and relationship study of the Stamper family, a prideful logging clan living in Wakonda, Oregon. This big story involves a man, his family, a town, the country, a period of time, and the effects of time. All of the elements of the novel including its characters, events, settings, symbols, and so on, are integrated and oriented toward the themes of independence, individualism, and self-sufficiency. The novel teaches that a person should have the right to try to be as big as he believes it is in him to be. Sometimes a Great Notion was made into a 1971 film directed by and starring Paul Newman. In Britain this film about generations of loggers was called Never Give an Inch. Dr. Edward Younkins analyzes the book and film from a philosophical perspective.

Politics
An Open Letter to the Maine Republican Party
G. Stolyarov II

February 12, 2012

Mr. Stolyarov, in this open letter, urges the Maine Republican Party to steer clear of the dangerous course of disenfranchisement and to count the votes of the remaining 16.3% of the precincts in eastern Maine for the purposes of the Presidential Preference Straw Poll of the Maine Caucuses. At stake is the question of whether the United States continues to adhere to the principles of a representative republic, or degenerates into oligarchy. 

Ron Paul: For a More Peaceable Future
Bradley Doucet

February 12, 2012

In his latest book The Better Angels of Our Nature, which grew out of an article he wrote in 2007, celebrated evolutionary psychologist Stephen Pinker goes to great lengths to show the many ways in which violence has declined. For a number of reasons—“if it bleeds, it leads” headlines, a fashionable anti-modern strain in our culture, activists who need to raise funds, and our ever more squeamish sensibilities—many people resist the idea that the world is less violent than it used to be. Which is why Pinker spends 700 pages marshalling the facts he needs to build his case. Of course, writes Bradley Doucet, trends are not destiny. The coming years could see a return to greater violence, even the return of wars that kill in the tens of millions or worse. If we want to continue down the more peaceable path we are on, we need to choose to do so. With this in mind, it is important to point out that only one of the candidates in the Republican primaries south of the border is in sync with our more peaceful times: Congressman Ron Paul.

Failed Fed Policies Prolong the Agony
Ron Paul

February 12, 2012

The Federal Reserve's interest rate price-setting board, the FOMC, met in January 2012.  They will continue to set the federal funds rate at well below 1%, and plan to keep it low until the end of 2014.  That's a year and a half longer than they planned when they met just last month.  Chairman Bernanke says they are keeping interest rates so low for so long because the economic outlook warrants it.
Rep. Ron Paul writes that the fallacies in their reasoning would be amusing if they weren't so dangerous. 

Agenda-Driven "Science" at the EPA
Willie Soon and Paul Driessen

February 12, 2012

Despite growing concern about the high costs and minimal benefits of the Environmental Protection Agency’s mercury, particulate, MACT, cross-state, and other air pollution rules, the EPA has pushed forward with numerous rulemakings. Dr. Willie Soon and Paul Driessen have followed this situation closely and written a number of articles about it – based on careful analysis of EPA’s rulemakings; analyses, assumptions, and attempted medical and scientific justifications for the rules. Soon and Driessen vigorously disagree with EPA’s agenda-driven analysis and its claims that the expensive new “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants” will protect Americans’ health.

That Jobs Thing Sure Didn't Last Long
Paul Driessen

February 12, 2012

While a lot of articles have been published about the Keystone XL pipeline, it’s still a hot discussion item – and deservedly so. Trying to quantify or explain the President’s decision to deep-six the project and all the jobs, oil,  and national security interests is not an easy task – nor a lesson that voters should forget before November. Paul Driessen's commentary this week presents both some needed background and an additional perspective that is quite different from what has been covered in the media thus far. It addresses the question of what TransCanada should do now. It suggests that the Canadian company should take direct positive action at the local and state level, and also take the distinctly American action of suing the US government for improperly denying the permits.

Videos
Transhumanism and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
G. Stolyarov II

January 28, 2012

Mr. Stolyarov explains why, as an advocate of indefinite human life extension, he is not concerned about a posited "heat death of the universe" one googol years from now. Furthermore, he dispels a common misunderstanding about the Second Law of Thermodynamics - a misunderstanding which has led many to espouse the "heat death" hypothesis.

References
* "Laws of thermodynamics" - Wikipedia 
* "Heat death of the universe" (for a presentation of the hypothesis that Mr. Stolyarov disputes) - Wikipedia 

Warren Buffett Should Donate to Pay Off the National Debt
G. Stolyarov II

February 10, 2012

Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Sr., and other wealthy left-leaning businessmen should not agitate for higher taxes on the rich. Mr. Stolyarov recommends that instead, if they believe they currently get to keep to much of their own money, they should put their money where their mouths are and donate to the fund established by the US Treasury to help pay off the national debt. 

Maine GOP Disenfranchises Voters in 16.3% of Precincts
G. Stolyarov II

February 11, 2012

This is an outrage: The Maine Republican Party seeks to avoid a publicity victory by Ron Paul and has thus announced publicly that it would not count the votes from the remaining 98 of 600 precincts - or 16.3% of the total. The votes from those precincts could easily sway the popular vote in favor of Ron Paul.

According to USA Today ("Romney wins Maine caucuses by slim margin"), "state Republican Chairman Charlie Webster ... said any caucus results that come in after Saturday wouldn't be counted no matter how close the vote turned out to be." This attempt to conceal Ron Paul's success is blatant and bizarre, especially since Ron Paul will probably win a majority of the delegates from Maine in any case.

Resources:
- "MAINE CAUCUS -- WatchTheVote 2012 Results"
Among those precincts that self-reported, Ron Paul defeated Mitt Romney overwhelmingly: 43% to 33%. It is strange that the announced results did not reflect this...
- "Maine Republican Caucuses - Election Results" - New York Times -
- "Straw Polls vs. Collecting Delegates" - Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee

Iran and Why We Need Ron Paul
G. Stolyarov II

February 12, 2012

The recent disturbing and belligerent US Senate resolution on Iran, proposed by Bob Casey (D-PA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), threatens to take the United States further on the course toward a pointless, bloody, immoral war. Mr. Stolyarov emphasizes that this is exactly why we need Ron Paul in the White House - to prevent massive bloodshed and fiscal waste, to protect our liberties, and to pursue a foreign policy of peace, commerce, and non-interventionism: a policy that works.


Reference:
- "Senate resolution would rule out containing nuclear Iran" by Laura Rozen - The Envoy - Feburary 8, 2012

 "A system designed to protect individual liberty will have no punishments for any group and no privileges. Today, I think inner-city folks and minorities are punished unfairly in the war on drugs." 
~ Ron Paul