Articles

Puget Sound Chinook and the Endangered Species Act

On March 9, 1998, the National Marine Fisheries Service officially announced its intent to add the Chinook salmon of Puget Sound to the endangered species list. The Service has until next March to make a final decision, and all indications point to a listing of the Chinook. Should that happen, residents of the Puget Sound area will come face to Read More ›

Surprise, Surprise

On October 4, 1995, Hurricane Opal made landfall along the Gulf coast near Pensacola, Florida. With 125-mph winds and 20-foot storm surges, the hurricane smashed boats and buildings, cutting a swathe northward through Alabama. As it crossed the border into North Carolina, the storm finally dissipated. Twenty-seven people lost their lives, and the hurricane was responsible for nearly $2 billion Read More ›

Grown From Within

We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve, but to strive. The problem, then, is how to bring about a striving for harmony with land among a people many of whom have forgotten there is any such thing as Read More ›

Can Privatization Put Passenger Rail Back on Track?

America needs passenger rail service as an economical and ecological alternative to endless road and airport construction. Unfortunately, Amtrak cannot (and probably should not) survive as it is presently structured and funded. Perpetuating the status quo will burden America with a lame, government-run passenger operation, limping along on the nation's freight rail rights-of-way, operating under outdated federal rules from its 1970 authorization, and surviving on Congressional handouts. But, the solution is not to throw Amtrak on the market, accepting whatever happens. What would happen is, Amtrak would die. The proper course is to reorganize the system, privatizing whatever can be privatized, building new public-private alliances and compacts around the set of rail corridors that link cities 100-500 miles apart-which is the functional core of the national system-and then reconnecting this reorganized nation system to other forms of transportation to create a true intermodal passenger network. Read More ›

A Magna Carta for the Information Age

NETIZENS — the community of Internet users — bear a strong resemblance to Americans of theWild West. They are fiercely independent, value their privacy and have a strong distrust of lawsmade in Washington, D.C. Nonetheless, even the Wild West was tamed as the rule of law replaced frontier Justice. The Internet already is home to some 40 million users and Read More ›

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The Danger of Ethnic Nationalism is Not Unique to Quebec

What do you follow in politics, economics or your heart? The moral discipline of the market or the lure of memory? Your future as an individual or the passions of your group? When Quebec was asked such questions this week, it split almost neatly in two. And so might many of us. Indeed, what Canada faced, and will face, is Read More ›

For Canada, Breaking Up is A Hard – And Wrong – Thing To Do

Canada is a country where something terrible is always just about to happen, but never does. The terrible thing is usually the secession of Quebec. The mere possibility of a province seceding reminds a U.S. citizen of the relative stability bequeathed to our country by the Union victory in the Civil War. But hardly anything disturbs the political calm like breaking up one's country. And in Canada, that is a real possibility. Like Sisyphus, Canada seems condemned to roll the rock of Quebec up the hill of federalism, only to have it roll back down, over and over. Worse, federalist forces have to win every election that is held on the issue, while secessionists need only win once. Probably. You can't say for sure because, in Canada, referenda often settle even less than they do here. If Quebeckers next Monday vote for "sovereignty," it is still unclear what that will mean in practice. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien says it means separation, clear and simple. No more Canadian passports for Quebeckers. A division of the national debt, and no special favors thereafter. The federalists also are likely to back the Cree Indian Grand Chief, Matthew Coon Come, who wants his tribe's huge northern tracts in Quebec to remain in Canada. The chief argues that aboriginals (as native peoples are known) have the same right to secede from Quebec that Quebec demands from Canada. Read More ›
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Individuals, not Governments, Should Shape Internet’s Future

The Internet is no longer a government network tying computer users together, but a worldwide network of many networks, free and open to all, and increasingly easy to access. There is no monopoly potential to it, so government's excuse to regulate it is almost nil.  Read More ›
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bee Macro , Closeup of face fluffy head of bee, Flying insect
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The Birds and the Bees

If you're concerned about what kids are learning about evolution in the public schools these days, wait 'til you see what they're learning outside the classroom. Read More ›