Grassroot Perspective – Jan. 22, 2003-Don’t Worry About Over-rated Hazards; Dixiecrats Triumphant; Forest Fights; Hit & Run; Freedom, Not Voting, Makes America Great; U.S. Government Continues to Stiff Montana

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”Shoots (News, Views and Quotes)”


– Don’t Worry About Over-rated Hazards

Despite living healthier and longer lives, and enjoying more pleasures and conveniences than ever before, Americans are often prey to unwarranted worries, observers note. Many of these worries spring from environmental warnings, say observers, and being scared affects their ability to think realistically and use good judgment.

Often all the worrying turns out to be for naught, researchers say.

It took an $8 million federal study to calm fears that breast cancer
could be linked to environmental causes among women in Long Island, N.Y. — and, indeed, no scientific study has ever actually confirmed such a link.

For a detailed discussion of how best to evaluate environmental threats, there is a new book: “How Much Risk? A Guide to Understanding Environmental Health Hazards,” by Inge F. Goldstein and Martin Goldstein, published by the Oxford University Press.

Source: Jane E. Brody, “Risks and Realities: In a world of Hazards,
Worries Are Often Misplaced,” New York Times, August 20, 2002

For text https://www/

For more on Human Health Risks

– Dixiecrats Triumphant

Woodrow Wilson’s historical reputation is that of a far-sighted
progressive. But Reason Senior Editor Charles Paul Freund explains that Wilson was a racist retrograde, one who attempted to engineer the diminution of both justice and democracy for American blacks — who were enjoying little of either to begin with. See:

– Forest Fights

Just before leaving office, Bill Clinton issued a rule prohibiting the
building of roads on untouched parcels of federal forest that applies to some 58.5 million acres of national forests. Reason Science
Correspondent Ronald Bailey points out that the national forests were
created as timber reserves, and says the courts should overturn that
rule. See:

– Hit & Run

Be sure to check out Hit & Run, Reason’s new group blog which officially launched last week, featuring continuously updated news, views and abuse by the Reason staff — and comments by visitors. Join the debate. See:

”Roots (Food for Thought)”

Freedom, Not Voting, Makes America Great

By Alex Epstein

Every Election Day politicians, intellectuals, and activists
propagate a seemingly patriotic but utterly un-American idea: the notion that our most important right-and the source of America’s greatness-is the right to vote. According to former President Bill Clinton, the right to vote is “the most fundamental right of citizenship”; it is “the heart and soul of our democracy,” says Senator John McCain.

Such statements are regarded as uncontroversial-but consider
their implications. If voting is truly our most fundamental right, then all other rights-including free speech, property, even life-are
contingent on and revocable by the whims of the voting public (or their elected officials). America, on this view, is a society based not on individual rights, but on unlimited majority rule-like Ancient Athens, where the populace, exercising “the most fundamental right of citizenship,” elected to kill Socrates for voicing unpopular ideas-or
modern-day Zimbabwe, where the democratically elected Robert Mugabe has seized the property of the nation’s white farmers and brought the nation to the verge of starvation-or Germany in 1932, when the people democratically elected the Nazi Party, including future Chancellor Adolph Hitler. Would anyone dare claim that America is thus fundamentally similar to these regimes, and that it is perfectly acceptable to kill controversial philosophers or to exterminate 6 million Jews, so long as it is done by popular vote?

Contrary to popular rhetoric, America was founded, not as a
“democracy,” but as a constitutional republic-a political structure
under which the government is bound by a written constitution to the task of protecting individual rights. “Democracy” does not mean a system that holds public elections for government officials; it means a system in which a majority vote rules everything and everyone, and in which the individual thus has no rights. In a democracy, observed James Madison in The Federalist Papers, “there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention [and] have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.”

The right to vote derives from the recognition of man as an
autonomous, rational being, who is responsible for his own life and who should therefore freely choose the people he authorizes to represent him in the government of his country. That autonomy is contradicted if a majority of voters is allowed to do whatever it wishes to the individual citizen. The right to vote is not a sanction for a gang to deprive other individuals of their freedom. Rather, because a free society requires a certain type of government, it is a means of installing the officials who will safeguard the individual rights of each citizen.

What makes America unique is not that it has elections-even
dictatorships hold elections-but that its elections take place in a
country limited by the absolute principle of individual freedom. From our Declaration of Independence, which upholds the “unalienable rights” of every individual, among which are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” to our Constitution, whose Bill of Rights protects freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the freedom of private property, respect for individual liberty is the essence of America-and the root of her greatness.

Unfortunately, with each passing Election Day, too many
Americans view elections less as a means to protect freedom, and more as a means to win some government favor or handout at the expense of the liberty and property of other Americans. Our politicians promise, not to protect the basic rights spelled out in the Declaration and the Constitution, but to violate the rights of some people in order to benefit others. Today’s politicians want subsidies for farmers — by forcing non-farmers to pay for them; prescription drugs for the elderly — by forcing the non-elderly to pay for them; housing for the homeless — by forcing the non-homeless to pay for it. The more “democratic” our government becomes, the more we cannibalize our liberty, ultimately to the detriment of all.

This Election Day, therefore, we should reject those who wish to
reduce our republic to mob rule. Instead, we should vote for those, to whatever extent they can be found, who are defenders of the essence of America: individual freedom.

Alex Epstein is a writer for the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, Calif. The Institute promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

Above article is from

”Roots (Food for Thought)”

U.S. Government Continues to Stiff Montana

By William Perry Pendley

Published: The Heartland Institute 04/01/2002

In the summer of 1996, President Bill Clinton traveled to Yellowstone
National Park to announce that his administration, in concert with
environmental groups, had killed hundreds of jobs in southern Montana and northern Wyoming.

The New World Mine, a world-class ($650 million) deposit of gold,
silver, and copper in an area heavily mined since Europeans came west, would never open. Crown Butte Mines agreed to ensure the reclamation of the land, which had experienced decades of mining activity by other companies. In exchange, Crown Butte was promised $65 million worth of federal property.

But federal officials could not identify any such property, so Congress appropriated the funds to pay Crown Butte instead. Recognizing that Montana, the nation’s poorest state, had been dealt a severe economic blow by the mine’s failure to open, Congress mandated some recompense. The Secretary of the Interior was to give Montana either $10 million in federal mineral rights as agreed to by the Secretary and Montana’s Governor, or all rights in 533 million tons of federal coal in the “Otter Creek tracts.”

Then-Governor Marc Racicot told then-Secretary Bruce Babbitt that
Montana wanted the Otter Creek tracts within Powder River County, one of the nation’s most productive coal mining regions. Babbitt refused, saying the congressional mandate created a “windfall” for Montana. Undeterred, Racicot pressed for transfer of the Otter Creek tracts.

Attorneys Promise He’ll Comply

In 1998, landowners near Ashland, in Montana’s poorest region, sued to force Babbitt to comply with federal law by transferring the Otter Creek tracts. They argued that Babbitt’s well-publicized characterization of the coal transfer (Babbitt told a U.S. Senate committee what he told Racicot) proved Babbitt had no intention of complying with the law.

Federal attorneys asserted that negotiations had begun, that
negotiations were continuing, and that Babbitt would comply with federal law on or before New Year’s Day 2001. Given these assertions, a Washington, DC federal district court, in September 1999, dismissed the case as not ripe; that is, Babbitt had not yet violated the law and had indicated he would comply.

On Dec. 22, 2000, Secretary Babbitt wrote to Gov. Racicot
advising him, once again, that Babbitt had no intention of transferring the Otter Creek tracts to Montana and would not, under any circumstances, do so. The letter did not arrive in Montana until after Inauguration Day 2001. By then, Montana had a new governor, Judy Martz, who went to Washington, DC for President George W. Bush’s swearing in.

While there, Gov. Martz met with Gale Norton, Secretary of the
Department of Interior, to whom she communicated Montana’s request for immediate transfer of the Otter Creek tracts. Governor Martz repeated that request in a letter dated Feb. 1, 2001. A year after that letter was signed, Secretary Norton has yet to transfer the Otter Creek tracts to Montana, a year and a month after the transfer was to have taken place.

Blackmail in the Courts

Meanwhile, on Jan. 25, 2002, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe filed a
lawsuit in Washington, DC to prevent Norton from doing what Babbitt
should have done in 1998, or 1999, or 2000, and what Norton should have done days after being sworn-in, given as how the deadline was Jan. 1, 2001.

Although the tribe is seeking an order compelling Norton to conduct a lengthy environmental review before transferring the coal, the tribe’s attorney stated the real reason for the lawsuit is to force Montana to meet the tribe’s demands for employment and contracting guarantees. If the attorney’s statement is accurate, and for a host of other reasons, the lawsuit should be dismissed. Whether federal lawyers will file a motion to dismiss is unknown.

In 1996, when Clinton stood before the media and smiling
environmentalists to announce the death of hundreds of high-paying jobs, he enthused, “What a happy day.” It has not been a happy day
economically in southeastern Montana for many years. Worse yet, the happy day envisioned by Congress when it mandated the coal transfer appears far away.

William Perry Pendley is president and chief legal officer of the
Mountain States Legal Foundation.

Above article is from Environment & Climate News April 2002.

GRIH Comment: If they are big & strong enough to successfully tax you, they are all too able to hand you an empty sack full of promises. What they can do to Montana, they can do to Hawaii, or New Hampshire etc.

”Evergreen (Today’s Quote)”

There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both will save us from thinking.

– Alfred Korsybski

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