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Articles of Interest

Socialism is Evil (Walter E. Williams) A reminder from Professor Williams of George Mason University as to why taxation is wrong, and it’s both political parties that are guilty. “The essence of socialism is the attenuation and ultimate abolition of private property rights. Attacks on private property include, but are not limited to, confiscating the rightful property of one person and giving it to another to whom it doesn’t belong. When this is done privately we call it theft. When it’s done collectively we use the euphemisms: income transfers or redistribution. It’s not just left-wingers and Democrats who call for and admire socialism but right-wingers and Republicans as well.”

Luck has played a key role in Sebelius’ political ascent (Steve Kraske, Kansas City Star). From 1994 to the present, how events shaped the political career of Kathleen Sebelius. This reminded me of Fletcher Bell, whose story is reported in At the Bar; Lifting a briefcase can be a terrific strain. But a little cash can ease the pain.

Exploring a ‘Deep Web’ That Google Can’t Grasp (New York Times) Naive Internet users often think that using a search engine like Google returns all available information about the topic. But that’s far from true. For example, the Sedgwick County website lets you search for property tax information by entering an address or range of addresses. But entering a Wichita street address into Google won’t find this data — you have to do that at the Sedgwick County website itself. This information is part of the “deep web” that search engines can’t access. Even though Google now has over one trillion web addresses in its database, it’s thought this is just a fraction of all information on the web.

Educational patchwork: States should cooperate on ending the glaring inconsistencies among academic standards (Las Vegas Sun). “A new study has confirmed what many critics of the No Child Left Behind federal education law have said all along, that many school districts judged as failures would be judged as successes if only they were located in a different state.” This article calls attention to the difference in standards among states.

Governors v. Congress: The stimulus sets a long-term budget trap for the states (Wall Street Journal). “Mr. Perry [Texas Governor] sent a letter to President Obama last week warning that Texas may refuse certain stimulus funds. ‘If this money expands entitlements, we will not accept it. This is exactly how addicts get hooked on drugs,’ he says.” The danger, of course, being that just as states get used to higher levels of spending, the federal stimulus finds stop flowing. Some Kansas legislators have expressed concern. Governor Sebelius? Her recent column says the stimulus is “the action we need to put America back to work.” She’s already put together a task force for planning how to spend the stimulus funds, and was quoted in the Lawrence Journal-World thusly ““Though the timeline for enactment of this stimulus package is unclear, it is crucial that we begin planning for implementation of the Act now, to ensure funds directed to Kansas are used most effectively within the framework of the legislation.”

States put spending details online (USA Today). Highlights that Kansas was “the first state to pass a law requiring creation of a website detailing state expenditures in 2007.” Legislators responsible for this breakthrough in Kansas are Kasha Kelly and Tim Huelskamp. Also, video at Rep. Kasha Kelly discusses transparency in government.

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