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The little train to Bellingham that could–and should

Working with the Legislature, state transportation department and Amtrak West officials, a second train was added last year to the Amtrak Cascades service between Seattle and Bellingham. People responded....(ridership increased and ) the Provincial government...was set to announce a $20 million investment in Amtrak's Cascades service ...(to)...allow the second train to join the first train continuing up the coast from Bellingham to Vancouver, B.C....Last week, buried in the details of the state House $3.2 billion transportation budget was a $3.5 million reduction that could eliminate the second train....The House cut is perplexing...for a savings of $3.5 million, the pending $20 million British Columbia contribution is put in jeopardy. And $30 million in previous investments by Washington state, Amtrak West and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad would be negated. ...As more people move to Skagit and Whatcom counties and commute to jobs in King and Snohomish counties, (the need increases for)...commuter rail from Everett to Blaine. Commuter rail would service the demands of companies such as The Boeing Co. in Everett. Without the two trains, however, these dreams would die. Beyond the damage to communities north of Seattle, this cut will add more congestion on I-5 into King County from the north. Train service is a real, if modest, opportunity to target spikes in rush-hour traffic. Read More ›

Time to Forget the Superpower Thing?

Ideas have consequences. Especially ideas that can get you killed. Take, for example, the cluster of notions expressed by the phrase, World’s Only Superpower. Everybody says it. Everybody says it because everybody says it. Perhaps, in some ways it’s still true. But today, the military Superpower idea is obsolete, misleading, and potentially fatal. Three big reasons why. First, with each Read More ›

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Electric power tower showing structural complexity
Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

Is There Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God?

Introduction What is implied by the concept of “an intelligently designed universe”? What does it mean on a grand scale to assert that the universe is the product of an intelligent designer? In a scientific age that exalts rationalism and chance, what empirical evidence could possibly support such a claim? As humans contemplating the immense complexity of the cosmos, might Read More ›

From Wires to Waves

U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska wants to know: With deregulation of telecommunications, who will bring connections to Unalakleet, to Aleknagik and to Sleetmute? Who will bring 500 channels up the Yukon with the salmon to the people in Beaver? What will happen to the Yupik, the Inupiat and the Inuit? Will we leave them stranded in the snow while Read More ›

Policy hackers threaten the economy

In a few weeks, a federal judge spurred by the Clinton-Gore administration will decide whether Microsoft should be broken up. If there is no settlement beforehand, the ruling could lead to appeals for years to come. But meanwhile, the message to the economy could be damaging: The government is willing to chance killing the golden goose of technology. George Gilder, Read More ›

Why Clinton Crime Bill Doesn’t Pay

President Clinton has vowed to veto Republican attempts to rewrite last year’s crime bill. The President says Republican “block grant” proposals could kill his plan to put 100,000 new police offers on the street. Republicans should welcome this challenge. Block grants will not only give states and communities more discretion about how to spend their money, as many Republicans have Read More ›

What Does a 21st Century Defense Require?

Americans favor a strong defense. But a nation can be strong in the wrong ways. Since the 1994 election, there has been a growing debate over the condition of the American military. Unfortunately, it is the wrong debate, leading to the wrong conclusion-that America's defense problems can be solved by money alone. In reality, the present defense establishment is an Industrial Age organization struggling to adapt to two new worlds: that of the post-Cold War disorder and that of the microchip. This year, the American people will devote well over a quarter-trillion dollars to this increasingly obsolescent military structure. Because of mistakes during the post-Cold War builddown, some small selective, short-term increases will be necessary. But in the long run, the proper course is not to spend more. The proper course is to spend smarter. This Discovery Inquiry offers a conceptual tool for thinking about such change. Read More ›

Mike Milken and the Two Trillion Dollar Opportunity

It’s time to deregulate America’s telecom infrastructure. And let the creative destroyers go to work. MICHAEL MILKEN IS BACK! Back, so the story goes, from the orgies of ’80s greed, back from the best-selling den of thieves, back from his preening at the predators’ ball, back from soft time at Pleasanton pen, back from prostate cancer and plagues of litigation, Read More ›

Don’t Tread On Me

Much hype and misinformation has been churned out about cyberspace and the information highway. While the mass media’s coverage of this new medium does not rival that of the O.J. trial, attention being paid to users and providers of computer networks and online services has grown intense during the past two years. Culminating this misinformation glut is legislation in Washington, Read More ›