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Freedom in the 50 States; An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom
Mercatus Center, George Mason University ^ | June 7, 2011 | Jason Sorens, William Ruger

Posted on 06/17/2011 5:27:30 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084

This study comprehensively ranks the American states on their public policies that affect individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres. It updates, expands, and improves upon our inaugural 2009 Freedom in the 50 States study. For this new edition, we have added more policy variables (such as bans on trans fats and the audio recording of police, Massachusetts’s individual health-insurance mandate, and mandated family leave), improved existing measures (such as those for fiscal policies, workers’ compensation regulations, and asset-forfeiture rules), and developed specific policy prescriptions for each of the 50 states based on our data and a survey of state policy experts. With a consistent time series, we are also able to discover for the first time which states have improved and worsened in regard to freedom recently.

This project develops an index of economic and personal freedom in the American states. Specifically, it examines state and local government intervention across a wide range of public policies, from income taxation to gun control, from homeschooling regulation to drug policy.

(Excerpt) Read more at mercatus.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Alabama; US: Alaska; US: Arizona; US: Arkansas; US: California; US: Colorado; US: Connecticut; US: Delaware; US: District of Columbia; US: Florida; US: Georgia; US: Hawaii; US: Idaho; US: Illinois; US: Indiana; US: Iowa; US: Kansas; US: Kentucky; US: Louisiana; US: Maine; US: Maryland; US: Massachusetts; US: Michigan; US: Minnesota; US: Mississippi; US: Missouri; US: Montana; US: Nebraska; US: Nevada; US: New Hampshire; US: New Jersey; US: New Mexico; US: New York; US: North Carolina; US: North Dakota; US: Ohio; US: Oklahoma; US: Oregon; US: Pennsylvania; US: Rhode Island; US: South Carolina; US: South Dakota; US: Tennessee; US: Texas; US: Utah; US: Vermont; US: Virginia; US: Washington; US: West Virginia; US: Wisconsin; US: Wyoming
KEYWORDS: freedom; fsp; lping
1. Keep in mind, this is a libertarian think tank. Some of the people who they want to give freedom to, like gay marriage may not sit well.

2. Not shockingly, the bluest states are the least free.

The Democratic Peoples Republic of NY, CA, NJ are dead last.

1 posted on 06/17/2011 5:27:34 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084
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To: SheLion; Gabz; Hank Kerchief; 383rr; libertarian27; traviskicks; bamahead; CSM; valkyrieanne; ...

Big Brother, Nanny State, Grant Junkie, Bogus Study, Junk Science, Social Engineering, Egalitarian, Central Planning, Sheeple Control, Food Cop, Smoke Nazi, Socialism, Collectivism

This is an extremely low volume ping list. 6 per week max. To be added to or deleted from this ping list, please click one of the following:

Eric, you are a genius add me to your ping list or Eric, you are a jackass, take me off this ping list

To request that I stop using these gay html colors and fonts, please send me a private message below.

____________________________________________________________________

Constitution of the Left Wing Nanny State of Liberals:

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Picture courtesy of unixfox. All rights reserved. Copyright MMVII. Any use of the pictures descriptions or accounts of this ping without the express written consent of unixfox, Eric Blair, or Major League Baseball is strictly prohibited. Some restrictions apply. Ping not available in all states. For erections lasting longer than four hours, call the Guiness Book of World Records. Use only as directed.

Preamble:

We the People Sheeple of the United States Nanny State, in Order to form a more perfect Union Socialist Utopia, establish Justice Socially engineer a country of non smoking, physically fit, seat belt and helmet wearing teetotalers, ensure domestic Tranquility Smoking bans in bars, limits on unhealthy food and social drinking, provide for the common defense Universal Healthcare, promote the general Welfare health of the population whether they like it or not, in order to save above mentioned Universal Healthcare entitlement program from bankruptcy, and secure the Blessings of Liberty Dependency to ourselves progressive liberals and our Posterity Hitler Youth who we brainwash through public school education, do ordain decree and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Nanny State of Liberals.

2 posted on 06/17/2011 5:31:31 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084 (Beware of the Socialist Government-Academia Grant Junkie-Rich "non-profit"-Liberal Media Complex)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

Yeah! Way to go California! “We’re not last...we’re not last..” yeesh...


3 posted on 06/17/2011 5:39:02 PM PDT by FightforFreedomCA (It starts here! It starts now! Mr. President, game on!)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

“keep in mind”
....that this attempt to quantify liberty is by...
“a LIBERTARIAN think tank”

Keep in mind Eric, what you just posted.


4 posted on 06/17/2011 5:49:28 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: FightforFreedomCA

Gee, maybe I ought to quit plotting to leave Oregon for Washington.


5 posted on 06/17/2011 5:52:36 PM PDT by Aria ( "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.")
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To: FightforFreedomCA

Gee, maybe I ought to quit plotting to leave Oregon for Washington.


6 posted on 06/17/2011 5:54:41 PM PDT by Aria ( "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.")
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To: Springman; sergeantdave; cyclotic; netmilsmom; RatsDawg; PGalt; FreedomHammer; queenkathy; ...
Photobucket

27

MIping

If you wish to be added to or removed from the Michigan ping list, please post or FReepmail me.

7 posted on 06/17/2011 5:59:59 PM PDT by magslinger (Zombies make up much of the Democrat's base.)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

Thank GOODNESS it’s a Libertarian group!


8 posted on 06/17/2011 6:01:06 PM PDT by arderkrag (Georgia is God's Country.----------In the same way Rush is balance, I am consensus.)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

This think tank with Jason Sorens also put Alaska at the bottom (44 out of 50). That’s the Jason Sorens of Free State Project infamy. I was a member of the FSP for a few years and thus know that Jason has even less grounding in the realities of state and local politics and economics than Obama.

Many of their individual criteria or ratings are graded from an idealistic anarcho-libertarian perspective. They ignore the reality facing which are relatively large, sparsely populated, resource dependent and military installation intensive.


9 posted on 06/17/2011 6:02:57 PM PDT by Solitar ("My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them." -- Barry Goldwater)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

State Freedom Rankings
1. New Hampshire
2. South Dakota
3. Indiana
4. Idaho
5. Missouri
6. Nevada
7. Colorado
8. Oregon
9. Virginia
10. North Dakota
11. Florida
12. Oklahoma
13. Iowa
14. Texas
15. Georgia
16. Tennessee
17. Kansas
18. North Carolina
19. Alabama
20. Utah
21. Wyoming
22. Arizona
23. Nebraska
24. Mississippi
25. Wisconsin
26. South Carolina
27. Michigan
28. Arkansas
29. Montana
30. Vermont
31. Pennsylvania
32. Kentucky
33. Maine
34. Minnesota
35. Louisiana
36. West Virginia
37. New Mexico
38. Connecticut
39. Delaware
40. Washington
41. Illinois
42. Ohio
43. Maryland
44. Alaska
45. Rhode Island
46. Massachusetts
47. Hawaii
48. California
49. New Jersey
50. New York


10 posted on 06/17/2011 6:03:47 PM PDT by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis (Want to make $$$? It's easy! Use FR as a platform to pimp your blog for hits!!!)
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To: nkycincinnatikid

Surprise, surprise, surprise
New Hampshire is #1 on Jason Sorens list.
There is a hidden agenda in that last.

This is a thinly veiled attempt to rig the list to attempt to boost the floundering Free State Project in New Hampshire.

To get the FSP members to pick New Hampshire in the election among ten candidate states for the FSP, Jason and the FSP boosters of New Hampshire not only cherry picked “statistics” to make New Hampshire look better, they outright lied in addition to using gross overstatments about New Hampshire.


11 posted on 06/17/2011 6:10:14 PM PDT by Solitar ("My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them." -- Barry Goldwater)
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To: nkycincinnatikid

Surprise, surprise, surprise
New Hampshire is #1 on Jason Sorens list.
There is a hidden agenda in that last.

This is a thinly veiled attempt to rig the list to attempt to boost the floundering Free State Project in New Hampshire.

To get the FSP members to pick New Hampshire in the election among ten candidate states for the FSP, Jason and the FSP boosters of New Hampshire not only cherry picked “statistics” to make New Hampshire look better, they outright lied in addition to using gross overstatments about New Hampshire.


12 posted on 06/17/2011 6:10:26 PM PDT by Solitar ("My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them." -- Barry Goldwater)
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To: Eric Blair 2084
I don't agree at all with the weighting of issues in this report.

The cross plots are interesting though.

13 posted on 06/17/2011 6:14:03 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Solitar

If it were up to me I would rank Michigan higher on the personal freedom scale because we do pretty much as we please outside the cities anyway.

Seems to be a somewhat subjective rating system.


14 posted on 06/17/2011 6:14:05 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: bamahead

LIBERTARIAN FOR LIFE PING!


15 posted on 06/17/2011 6:14:55 PM PDT by arderkrag (Georgia is God's Country.----------In the same way Rush is balance, I am consensus.)
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To: cripplecreek

Having Levin and Levin Jr. as ‘representatives” seems to have a certain freedom limiting feeling.


16 posted on 06/17/2011 6:16:37 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: cripplecreek
Seems to be a somewhat subjective rating system.

Not only subjective, but unfairly and even wrongly weighted too heavily on some economic factors.

Remember the authors are big "L" Libertarians who have little clue about life outside their anarchist utopian dreams.

17 posted on 06/17/2011 6:22:26 PM PDT by Aroostook25
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To: Aroostook25
Not only subjective, but unfairly and even wrongly weighted too heavily on some economic factors.

So what would be an example of an unfair or wrong weighting?

Or, put another way, what's wrong with New Hampshire that would be improved by taking on some of the characteristics of states at the other end of the ratings list?

Or, which state do you think should be #1 for freedom?

18 posted on 06/17/2011 6:26:56 PM PDT by freeandfreezing
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To: DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis

Wonder why Alaska is so far down?


19 posted on 06/17/2011 6:31:03 PM PDT by Cuttnhorse (Obama; a skid mark on the undershorts of American history.)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

Happy to be living in #4


20 posted on 06/17/2011 6:32:16 PM PDT by Cuttnhorse (Obama; a skid mark on the undershorts of American history.)
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To: Cuttnhorse
Happy to be living in #4

My man Mitch Daniels has me living in number three.....thanks Indiana Republicans!!!!!

21 posted on 06/17/2011 6:46:28 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: nkycincinnatikid

I just work here. Libertarians have been in favor of freedom before we were born.

I’m not sure what your point is.


22 posted on 06/17/2011 6:52:00 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084 (Beware of the Socialist Government-Academia Grant Junkie-Rich "non-profit"-Liberal Media Complex)
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To: Eric Blair 2084; Abundy; Albion Wilde; AlwaysFree; AnnaSASsyFR; bayliving; BFM; ...

Maryland’s ahead of Alaska? WTF???

Maryland “Freak State” PING!


23 posted on 06/17/2011 6:52:49 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Obamao thinks DWS is cute (!!))
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To: Aroostook25

"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path".

--Ronald Reagan

Inside Ronald Reagan: A Reason Interview from July 1975

24 posted on 06/17/2011 6:59:05 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084 (Beware of the Socialist Government-Academia Grant Junkie-Rich "non-profit"-Liberal Media Complex)
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To: freeandfreezing
So what would be an example of an unfair or wrong weighting? Or, put another way, what's wrong with New Hampshire that would be improved by taking on some of the characteristics of states at the other end of the ratings list?

Their weighting of local, state and federal government employment and spending. From the report is this quote

Analysis
Alaska’s big problem is fiscal policy. Over a quarter of the state’s workforce is employed by state or local government, and that figure does not include federal employees. Alaska has the highest debt and government spending to personal income ratios in the country. However, Alaska does extremely well on personal freedom, scoring fifth on our ranking. Reasons for its score include fully legalized possession of small amounts of marijuana (accomplished through a court ruling), the least-restrictive gun laws in the country, strong asset-forfeiture protections, recognition of same-sex domestic partnerships, and possibly the best homeschooling laws in the country. On economic regulation, Alaska does poorly on labor law, occupational licensing, and eminent-domain reform but relatively well on health-insurance regulation.

25 posted on 06/17/2011 6:59:25 PM PDT by Aroostook25
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To: Eric Blair 2084
Live Free or Die baby!

We have the best license plates in the country and apparently we mean what it says.

26 posted on 06/17/2011 7:03:43 PM PDT by CapnJack
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To: Eric Blair 2084

Hmmm... Alaska #44


27 posted on 06/17/2011 7:09:34 PM PDT by Lando Lincoln (But that's just me.)
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To: Lando Lincoln

Can’t blame you for critical thinking. Trust but verify. Some people have an agenda and will lie.

I don’t think that’s the case here.


28 posted on 06/17/2011 7:19:19 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084 (Beware of the Socialist Government-Academia Grant Junkie-Rich "non-profit"-Liberal Media Complex)
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To: terycarl

I and a whole lot of Hoosiers voted for the Libertarian candidate who was Dick Lugar’s only opposition last time;the Democrats know he is one of them so no need to risk a “safe” vote.


29 posted on 06/17/2011 7:37:23 PM PDT by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a credit card?)
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To: Cuttnhorse
I don't care about no stinkin lists.

All I know is I live along the Yukon and don't have any prop taxes and live in a big log cabin that I heat with wood I get for free. Where we don't have any state taxes like income or sales. Where I don't have any law enforcement hiding in the weeds collecting revenue. Where we don't have any organized local govt, means no comp planning, or regulations, or ordinances, or services to grow govt. And most importantly live 200 miles from nearest paved road and our dirt road is only open a few months every summer to get supplies.

When I ride the 4 wheeler in on our summit and look for 100 miles in all directions and see wilderness and no human impact whatsoever; I realize what freedom really is and how much my freedom means to me; why I call this country home. List or no list.

30 posted on 06/17/2011 8:04:54 PM PDT by Eska
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To: Eric Blair 2084

Thanks for the ping!


31 posted on 06/17/2011 8:06:04 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Aroostook25
OK, that sounds like you think Alaska should rank higher than it does since there is too much emphasis in the ratings on the percentage of people employed by the government. I presume you don't think other states should emulate that, but that the measure unfairly downgrades Alaska due to its small population and unique circumstances.

All rankings suffer from trying to map a multidimensional set of characteristics into a single ordered list, it would be interesting to see how the Freepers would rate the states.

32 posted on 06/17/2011 8:35:17 PM PDT by freeandfreezing
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To: freeandfreezing

It would be interesting. That’s why I post it every year.

Studies can easily be bogus. Garbage in, garbage out. Like the one that found that Cuba’s healthcare system is better than the US.


33 posted on 06/17/2011 8:43:56 PM PDT by Eric Blair 2084 (Beware of the Socialist Government-Academia Grant Junkie-Rich "non-profit"-Liberal Media Complex)
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To: Eric Blair 2084

Too bad that the states at the top of the Freedom Index are cold.

I’d like to see a list like this from the Cato Institute.


34 posted on 06/17/2011 9:52:28 PM PDT by UnwashedPeasant (Don't nuke me, bro)
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To: freeandfreezing

Well, for starters, New Hampshire has dividend/interest income taxation, business income taxation, and property taxes that, in some towns, are out of sight. Holy crap, are some of their real estate taxes high in some places.

They make conspicuous use of zoning.

How NH makes it to the top of the list when states like Wyoming have no business income taxation, no passive or dividend taxation, no interest taxation, low real estate taxes and many counties have no zoning... I have no idea.

Idaho is ranked high, but their personal and business income taxes are high too, and when one drives on Idaho roads, one is left wondering “where the heck does all that tax money go?!”

There are other examples, but I could say with high certainty that I would not have ranked Idaho higher than Wyoming or Nevada. Idaho will also tax you if you’re a part-time resident; they will want a pro-rated portion of your income to be taxed according to how much time you spend in Idaho. Neither WY or NV required this.

They think that Wyoming has a high rate of personal taxation, but that’s because they have their heads up their posteriors. Wyoming has no personal or business income taxes. It *looks* like we have a high rate of taxation vs. personal income, because we have mineral severance taxes. Local counties don’t levy any income taxes, and fuel, real estate and sales taxes are generally low.

This is the danger of listening to liberal arts majors from back east or Ivy League schools about any of this stuff. They wouldn’t recognize a fact if it lept up and bit them in their pompous buttocks.


35 posted on 06/17/2011 10:01:28 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: freeandfreezing

I wouldn’t rank any state east of the Mississippi in the top 10, that’s for certain.

What these dweebs from back east don’t realize is that the percentage of government employees in many western states is mostly out of our hands where we have large BLM, USFS, BIA, NPS, etc employee numbers.

We didn’t ask for Yellowstone to employ so many federal employees. We didn’t ask for all the BIA employees, or the US Forest Service employees. Nevada didn’t ask for all the military employees located within their borders, and so on.

These idiots think that we western states have some say in this. We don’t. None, zippo, nada. We just have to put up with it.


36 posted on 06/17/2011 10:06:25 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: NVDave
How NH makes it to the top of the list when states like Wyoming have no business income taxation, no passive or dividend taxation, no interest taxation, low real estate taxes and many counties have no zoning... I have no idea.

That alone does seem like it should push Wyoming up to the top of the list.

37 posted on 06/18/2011 4:13:10 AM PDT by freeandfreezing
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To: Eric Blair 2084

Don’t forget that many here believe that “conservatism” is “instituting big government when my guys are in, and then whining about it when they’re not.”


38 posted on 06/18/2011 7:22:29 AM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: NVDave
There are other examples, but I could say with high certainty that I would not have ranked Idaho higher than Wyoming or Nevada. Idaho will also tax you if you’re a part-time resident; they will want a pro-rated portion of your income to be taxed according to how much time you spend in Idaho. Neither WY or NV required this.

The last I looked neither WY or NV had a state income tax.

Idaho has a state income tax and will tax non-residents on income earned while in Idaho (it's called "source income" and most states with state income tax do something similar unless they have a reciprocity agreement with another state (mostly Eastern U.S. states)). Part-year residents are taxed based on Idaho source income and/or a ratio of total income.

Anyway, Idaho does have a ridiculously steeply graded progressive income tax rate which leaves most people paying more state income tax to Idaho than they would in another state.

And, yes, the roads in Idaho are crummy. Planning is crummy. Maintenance is crummy. Road construction goes on FOREVER. No road in Idaho must be free of orange construction barrels! EVER! I hate the latest fad for roundabouts.

39 posted on 06/18/2011 7:33:13 AM PDT by Victoria_R (Believers in VERY small government: Count Mountjoy/Benter in 2012!!!)
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To: UnwashedPeasant

Missouri’s 5th; our summers are humid scorchers but our winters are comparatively mild , at least compared to NH and SD. We also flunked the Brady Bunch’s “sensible gun laws” test a few weeks back , with a score of only +4 .:-) Worst (ie best) possible score is -4, so we have a bit of work, but at least we didn’t pass.


40 posted on 06/18/2011 7:55:17 AM PDT by kaylar (It's MARTIAL law. Not marshal(l) or marital! This has been a spelling PSA. PS Secede not succeed)
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To: Eska

You must be living near Circle?

I’m over the line in Dawson


41 posted on 06/18/2011 10:43:04 AM PDT by Cuttnhorse (Obama; a skid mark on the undershorts of American history.)
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To: FightforFreedomCA
Yeah! Way to go California! “We’re not last...we’re not last..” yeesh...

Thanks. Nothing like some gallows humor to brighten my morning.

42 posted on 06/18/2011 10:47:36 AM PDT by giotto
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To: nkycincinnatikid
....that this attempt to quantify liberty is by... “a LIBERTARIAN think tank”

And...?

43 posted on 06/18/2011 10:50:17 AM PDT by giotto
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To: giotto
Libertarian think tank? Yes. See the report where they cite one of their favorite books
Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick


44 posted on 06/18/2011 1:31:58 PM PDT by Aroostook25
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To: Cuttnhorse
WE're in Eagle, downriver from you all.

Actually, I know a few people up in Dawson and the boy is working for queen over summer, home from UAF; he likes Dawson. I mostly know Indians from up there who have relatives down here. Big Mike, often stays over our place, and I know Chris Janus, and bunch of other ones from Mayo to Old Crow. One time Sarah Lee stopped at our house, I talked hockey with that girl for hours, ha.

I actually send up 500 lbs tatoes every sept with Big Mike and he gets them around.

You been in Dawson a long time?

45 posted on 06/18/2011 2:41:45 PM PDT by Eska
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To: giotto

Wellllll,,,,,
Libertarians
are not
liberians,
not lesbians,
not lactose interants,
in point of fact they are
libertarians
they propose that legalising freedom might actually work.
They accept the Scriptures to my knowledge, which is of course intolerable to “freedom lovers” today .
And they seem to to think that beyond that abusers of liberty,freedom will fail in a free society.
I can’t say if it will work,
I don’t think that it has ever been triedin fact.
MY freekin point was the poster posted a constuct of the opinion of libertarians and felt OBLIGATED to postscipt a caveat that they might actually believe what they profess to believe in.
IT WAS just NUTS.


46 posted on 06/18/2011 6:07:34 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: nkycincinnatikid

Just because it has liberty in the name doesn’t mean its aims lead to the most liberty. For example, the majority of libertarians are pro-aborts and that’s the official position of their party, but turning little kids into medical waste is murder, not liberty.


47 posted on 06/18/2011 8:06:40 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Anyone who says we need illegals to do the jobs Americans won't do has never watched "Dirty Jobs.")
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To: Eric Blair 2084

Bookmarking.

Thanks for the ping! This country is far down the slippery slope to losing our freedom.


48 posted on 06/19/2011 6:47:18 PM PDT by callisto (Who is John Galt?)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

This is absurd - MD was the WORST last year (or the year before; it may’ve been that long).

Harumph! What do you mean, WE’RE not worst?

BTW - how about the Enviro-mental fascist indoctrination in MD schools today? Maybe that doesn’t count as “freedom-sapping”; I just see it as indoctrination typical of fascio-commie states.


49 posted on 06/22/2011 5:48:17 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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