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Trackside's last article offers tips for good places of information and research

by John D’Aloia Jr.

January 10, 2007

With the new year, dear readers, came decision time. It is the end of the line. It is time to drop the fire, clean out the firebox, and retire Trackside. While the volume of material about what government does to you and for you slackens not, and the desire to apprise you of what is transpiring in our world is still present, my willingness to sit in front of this machine for the time needed to create Trackside has disappeared. There are other tasks and responsibilities in life that transcend being glued and mesmerized by a screen and the wondrous images and words that flash across it from around the globe.

In this final column, I would like to commend to you for your consideration several information sources that might be considered off the beaten path but which I have found informative.

At the top of my list is a small journal of social thought, The St. Croix Review, published bi-monthly by Religion and Society, Inc., P.O. Box 244, Stillwater, Minnesota, 55082. (stcroixreview.com) The Review contains articles on a variety of topics - the December 2006 issue had articles discussing immigration, Islam, education, and feminism, to mention a few. (The Review has a place in my heart for it has published several Tracksides over the years.)

The Claremont Review of Books is published quarterly by the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, 937 West Foothill Boulevard, Suite E, Claremont, California, 91711. (claremont.org) While I find that I can read cover-to-cover each issue of The St. Croix Review, The Claremont Review of Books takes much longer to digest, and I must admit that not every article gets read, either because the topic holds no interest or because there is just too much material in each issue. As an example of the topics covered, the titles of articles in the Fall 2006 edition included: “Wanted: Liberal Ideas”, “Foreign Aid Follies”, “Remembering Lincoln”, and “The GOP & Higher Education.”

A gem, and it is free, is Imprimis, published by Hillsdale College, 33 East College Street, Hillsdale, Michigan, 49242. (hillsdale.edu) Each month, Imprimis (Latin - in the first place) presents a speech made by a nationally-recognized personality at a Hillsdale College sponsored event. Several recent titles: “Freedom and Justice in Islam”, “The Crisis and Politics of Higher Education”, and “Origins and Dangers of the ‘Wall of Separation’ Between Church and State”.

Mentioned in several Tracksides has been the Acton Institute, properly the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, 161 Ottawa Avenue, NW, Suite 301, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503. Besides a quarterly Religion & Liberty, A Journal of Religion, Economics, and Culture, the Institute has a web site, acton.org, with extensive material on the interplay of religion, economics, and culture. The Institute’s tag line is that it “promotes a free society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.”

Web sources of information abound. A starting point for many a Trackside was at heartland.org, the web site for the Heartland Institute. Heartland is a “nonprofit organization devoted to discovering and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems.”

The PolicyBot section of the web site provides access to over 17,000
documents on a wide range of topics, from “Agriculture” to “Welfare”, with just about every issue of the day covered in between. Looking for information on free-market solutions to environmental problems? The

Property and Environmental Research Center in Bozeman, Montana, (perc.org) may have what you are looking for. The December “PERC Reports” focuses on "Enviropreneurs," individuals who conceive new green business opportunities and take the risks to convert those ideas into reality.

There is much available on property rights. A daily web-sited property rights newsletter is “Eco-logic Powerhouse” at freedom.org, the web site for the Environmental Conservation Organization, Henry Lamb, Executive VP. (Henry has been so kind to publish several Tracksides.) Principal concerns of the Institute for Justice (ij.org) are eminent domain abuse and the right to earn a living. The Pacific Legal Foundation (pacificlegal.org) is a public interest legal organization dedicated to limited government, property rights, and individual liberty. It has been in the thick of the property rights battle for over three decades. And I have to note and give credit to Julie Kay Smithson for her untiring research on matters dealing with property rights and freedom. Her devotion to the cause is evident by the volume of material she has assembled for web researchers use on her web site, propertyrightsrearch.org. (Julie has published several Tracksides.)

Thank you my readers for the comments and encouragement over the years and special thanks to Anita Janssen, who as owner of the St. Marys Star, gave me the chance to get the column up and running way back in 1993, to editors Mark Portel of the Wamego Times, Everett Daves of the Kansas Christian, and Steve Tetlow, who recently acquired the St. Marys Star, all of whom also carried Trackside.

May you all have a Blessed New Year.

John D’Aloia Jr.
St. Marys, Kansas


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