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Fourth Edition

September 5,  2010

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul. – George Bernard Shaw

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

JoeMiller At the time, the entire enterprise appeared to most people to be a waste, if not an embarrassment.

With one month to go before the election one poll of Alaskan Republicans showed Joe Miller mustering only 24% of the vote in his Senate challenge.  His campaign had one-tenth of the money the Lisa Murkowski campaign had.  Miller had no big time political experience, no polls, no future debates to rely on and little name-recognition beyond his home community of Fairbanks.  His opponent was the well-liked princess of a thirty year Alaska political dynasty.  Miller’s message of much smaller government seemed at odds with an electorate that has reveled in federal pork barrel spending for more than a generation.

But miracles do happen.  This one was no great surprise to those closely attuned to the message that was that was delivered by Alaska voters on Tuesday.  Full Story

…. Passing People and Events …..

A Shocking Number

Is Alaska a good place for free markets and free people?  Maybe the most telling statistic on this score indicates Alaska is on the opposite end of the scale.

The Tax Foundation, established in the heart of the last Great Depression, reports that in 2009 the number of full-time state and local government employees in Alaska stood at 766 per 10,000 residents.  This placed Alaska second among the fifty states, trailing only Wyoming at 918, another supposed place of rugged individualism.  Kansas is third at 677, far fewer than Alaska.  Arizona gets by with 473.  Bankrupt California employs only 505 government employees for 10,000 residents.  Alaska is about 40% over the national average of 546.

How does the Final Frontier become a hub of State collectivism?  Most Alaskans are opposed to big government.  Full Story


M.I.T. Calls Academia's Bluff

by Gary North

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has begun the most revolutionary experiment in the history of education, stretching all the way back to the pharaohs. It now gives away its curriculum to anyone smart enough to learn it. It has posted its curriculum on-line for free. These days, this means a staggering 1900 courses. This number will grow.

This is proof to the academic world that MIT regards its program as the best, and dares any other institution to prove otherwise, where everyone can see and compare. The free site validates the MIT T-shirt: HARVARD: Because not everyone can get into MIT."

MIT has publicly stiffed its main rival for the title of the best science university on earth. That rival is the California Institute of Technology. CalTech will forever play catch-up to MIT on-line. It will be "We, Too On-line University."   Full Story

Jul 22nd 2010
Reprinted from the “The Economist “of London


IN 2000 four Americans were charged with importing lobster tails in plastic bags rather than cardboard boxes, in violation of a Honduran regulation that Honduras no longer enforces. They had fallen foul of the Lacey Act, which bars Americans from breaking foreign rules when hunting or fishing. The original intent was to prevent Americans from, say, poaching elephants in Kenya. But it has been interpreted to mean that they must abide by every footling wildlife regulation on Earth. The lobstermen had no idea they were breaking the law. Yet three of them got eight years apiece. Two are still in jail.

America is different from the rest of the world in lots of ways, many of them good. One of the bad ones is its willingness to lock up its citizens. One American adult in 100 festers behind bars (with the rate rising to one in nine for young black men). Its imprisoned population, at 2.3m, exceeds that of 15 of its states. No other rich country is nearly as punitive as the Land of the Free. The rate of incarceration is a fifth of America’s level in Britain, a ninth in Germany and a twelfth in Japan.  Full Story

A False Prophet

In our 21st century dominated by the growth of government, one often hears Republicans invoking the words of Ronald Reagan railing in favor of smaller government.  Reagan most famously said “government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem”.  On policy issues Reagan is praised for “tax cuts” that ended a severe recession and a tough foreign policy that imploded the cold war threat from the Soviet

Yet, all three premises are belied by the actual impact of the Reagan Presidency.  Eight years of budget proposals from the Reagan White House increased federal spending by leaps and bounds while exploding the national debt during peacetime.  Those on military active-duty during the Reagan years (such as your editor) witnessed the greatest tide of wasteful government spending ever recorded (till now).  After tripling the national debt with Keynesian nonsense then called supply-side economics, Reagan’s America in 1988, his last year in office, was paying a greater percentage of personal income to fund government than ever before by far.  Full Story

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