a service of NPRI

August 9, 2006 
Vol. 2, No. 12

Also in this issue:

Appeasing unions
at McCarran airport

NTU: Only taxpayer hero
from Nevada: John Ensign

Vegas condo
conversions cooling

Union officials revert
to form, focus on politics

Northeastern governors
worry over nuke deal

NEA financing foes of
No Child Left Behind law


Sudden jihad
syndrome in Seattle

Despite the Fed pause,
the trend is down

The freedom to reject the best

Apocalyptic August 22



Sudden jihad syndrome in Seattle

By Daniel Pipes
New York Sun

At about 4 p.m. on July 28, on the eve of the Jewish sabbath, a Muslim terrorist of Pakistani origins named Naveed Afzal Haq forced a 14-year-old girl to get him into the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building by holding a gun to her back. He then pulled out the two large-caliber semi-automatic pistols he had just purchased and went on a murderous rampage. Mr. Haq killed one woman, Pam Waechter, 58, an assistant director at the federation, and injured five others, one of whom was 17 weeks pregnant.


Despite the
Fed pause, the
trend is down

Our big economic problems are getting worse

By Bill Fleckenstein
MSM Money

For the last week or so, I've vacillated between which of my two opposing views was right. Here is how I described the first one, in my daily column of July 19:

"I have been reducing my short exposure in the last couple days, due to my fears of a combined Fed-is-done and no-news-period rally. The fact that so many people have been terrified by the only thing they should not fear, i.e., the Fed, made me very uncomfortable being short."

Then, I changed my mind a few days later, thinking that the tape was so weak that my former view wasn't going to matter. To quote last week's Contrarian: "In my opinion, the recent action suggests an inflection point, whereby economic weakness and disappointments are getting the upper hand."


The freedom to reject the best

By Jim Fedayko
Ludwig von
Mises Institute

A new study suggests that private schools are not inherently better than public schools. Surprised? Enough people were such that the study, funded by the US Department of Education, has created a stir in the education arena, as well as in the national news. But I want to argue that the results are meaningless, and for reasons not having to do with the methodology employed in the study.


August 22

By Bernard Lewis
Wall Street Journal

During the Cold War, both sides possessed weapons of mass destruction, but neither side used them, deterred by what was known as MAD, mutual assured destruction. Similar constraints have no doubt prevented their use in the confrontation between India and Pakistan. In our own day a new such confrontation seems to be looming between a nuclear-armed Iran and its favorite enemies, named by the late Ayatollah Khomeini as the Great Satan and the Little Satan, i.e., the United States and Israel. Against the U.S. the bombs might be delivered by terrorists, a method having the advantage of bearing no return address. Against Israel, the target is small enough to attempt obliteration by direct bombardment.

[continued] This article will be available to non-subscribers of the Online Journal for up to seven days after it is e-mailed.

WHY BusinessNevada

The ‘best’ route
to school failure

Talk of 'best practices' suggests education reform in Nevada is again being hijacked

By Steven Miller

Often when people talk past each other, it’s because both parties to the conversation are so passionate about their beliefs that they don’t really hear what the other is saying.

If nothing else, however, at least both sides know that somewhere they don’t agree.

What may be worse is when only one side is talking past the other — in other words, when parties on one side state their beliefs while parties on the other side disagree but nevertheless respond with language they know will be misinterpreted as agreement.

At best, it’s a white lie. At worst, depending on the nature of the relationship — contractual or fiduciary, for example — it may constitute outright fraud.

Which brings us to the constant use of the phrase “best practices” by Nevada’s education establishment.


Government waste
Appeasing unions at McCarran airport

PLAs double costs, don't
bring promised efficiencies

By Warren Hardy
Associated Builders & Contractors

Several years ago the Clark County Commissioners forced McCarran International Airport to enter into what is known as a union-only Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for several of their upcoming construction projects. PLAs mandate that all workers (including non-union workers) pay union dues, pay into union benefit packages and that owners become signatory to union work rules while forcing all apprentices to come through union apprenticeship programs.


Spending your money
NTU: Only taxpayer hero from Nevada: John Ensign

Fewer than one member of Congress in 10 last year sponsored legislation that, overall, would reduce federal spending, according to the National Taxpayers Union.

For each bill to lower spending introduced in the House, there were 17 bills to raise spending, says a new NTU report on the first session of the 109th Congress.

For each bill to reduce spending introduced in the Senate, 31 would increase spending, says the report.

[NTU's BillTally report]

Who has the spending itch?

(109th Congress, 1st session)

Sen. John Ensign: $1.2 billion

Rep. Jim Gibbons: $20.5 billion

Sen. Harry Reid: $38.8 billion

Rep. Jon Porter: $48.3 billion

Rep. Shelley Berkley: $67.6 billion

Real estate
Vegas condo
conversions cooling

By Brian Wargo
InBusiness Las Vegas

Renters worried about losing their apartment to a condominium conversion or looking for an apartment in a tight market with rising rents might be able to breathe a little easier in the coming months.


Union officials revert to
form, focus on politics

After much talk about emphasizing organizing

By Ron Nehring
Alliance for Worker Freedom

Labor is revving up its political machine for the upcoming elections – again.

Unions rake in record cash for campaigns

by Jill Lawrence
USA Today

State and federal laws skewed in favor of coercive union fundraising practices have combined with increasing union reliance on political action to affect the labor markets to produce what USA Today reports as “record campaign cash” for political campaigns.


Northeastern governors worry over nuke deal

See Yucca Mountain
scheme slipping away

By Louis Porter
Vermont Times-Argus

Northeastern governors fear that a bill making its way through Congress would move the problems of dealing with the storage of spent nuclear fuel away from the federal government’s Yucca Mountain project and back to the states creating the nuclear waste.

NPRI Study

A 2001 NPRI report on solutions to the Yucca Mountain issue looks full of insight today as ideas it broached are being incarnated in newly proposed federal legislation (See adjoining story):

Spare the Rods: The Free-Market Alternative to the Yucca Mountain Repository

Vermont Gov. James Douglas and other members of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors have written to key lawmakers voicing their objection over the plan, which has passed the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and is expected to come before the full Senate in September at the earliest.


NEA financing foes of
No Child Left Behind law

By Greg Toppo
USA Today

The nation's largest teachers union has spent more than $8 million in a stealth campaign against President Bush's education reform law, paying for research and political opposition in an effort to derail it, according to a Washington think tank that supports the law.


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