Free Markets, Free People


Alaskan Observations

I‘ve put my full Alaska travelogue up at the other place, if you’re interested in the rather lengthy description and pictures of my trip.

But there is a bit of a political interest, in that one of our stops was in Ketchikan.

Ketchikan, Alaska is where the famous bridge to nowhere was supposed to be built. We saw the place where it was supposed to be constructed, crossing over the Inside Passage from Ketchikan to Gravina Island, where the airport–and about 50 inhabitants–is located. The bridge was supposed to cost $315 million, before the project was killed. Because that part of the inside passage is part of the Alaska Marine Highway, the plans were for it to be tall enough to allow cargo and cruise ships to pass under it safely.

The thing is, though, is that Ketchikan cannot be reached by land. It can only be reached by boat or airplane. So the whole point of the project was to build a bridge to connect one remote island that can only be reached by air or sea, to another remote island that can only be reached by air or sea. And spend a third of a billion dollars to do it.

They’ve already got a ferry service that runs every 15-30 minutes depending on the time of year. Practically everybody has a boat. So, now that I’ve been there and seen the place, I guess that cancelling the bridge was a good thing. Call me a selfish jerk, but you don’t get to choose to live on a remote island and then demand my tax money to build you a bridge, because living on a remote island is inconvenient.

Previously, I opposed the Bridge to Nowhere out of simple principle.  But now that I’ve gone there and personally seen the place, I realize how dumb an idea it actually was.

Anyway, here’s some more video that I shot.

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8 Responses to Alaskan Observations

  • Selfish jerk. Or, wait … maybe I did understand the directive.

  • –”Previously, I opposed the Bridge to Nowhere out of simple principle.”–

    How many years does your “simple principle” tell you Steven Rhett should be serving in jail?

  • As many years as Congress decides, pursuant to its Constitutionally mandated powers to regulate interstate and foreign commerce.

    A point which you rather stupidly still refuse to grasp.

  • Yours are the principles of the mob, then.

  • Yours are the principles of the mob, then.

    What is it about you guys that you skip from perfect Anarcho-Capitalism, straight to Socialism? Is it that you simply aren’t mentally equipped to understand constitutionalism and enumerated powers? Or is it that you’re just temperamentally ill-equipped to accept it?

  • A boot is a boot, whether it’s all nice and legal or not. The skirt you hide your alleged principles behind may be embroidered in approved reds, whites, and blues, but the cloth is off the rack of authoritarianism.

    Apologies for the mixed metaphors. I’m in awe of your avatar.

  • Let me ask you this, Franks, since you’re all about constitutionalism and its affiliates: Absent an authority to which to appeal, upon what do you base your avowed “simple principle”?

  • A boot is a boot, whether it’s all nice and legal or not. The skirt you hide your alleged principles behind may be embroidered in approved reds, whites, and blues, but the cloth is off the rack of authoritarianism.

    Yeah, well, I’m not an anarcho-capitalist, so I don’t automatically assume all government is a boot to the neck. Nor do I believe that the anarcho-capitalist ideal is in any way attainable. So, I’m not shooting for the unattainable paradise you are. I’d be happy simply going back to the Constitution as it was understood in 1787.

    Of course, to you, that Constitution is a betrayal of your principles, so we’ll never agree on that point.

    Apologies for the mixed metaphors. I’m in awe of your avatar.

    No. You’re not. You’re just being a petulant little asshole. But, that’s par for the course for you guys. It’s an inevitable result of your smug assumption of moral superiority.

    But perhaps I’m being uncharitable. After all, considering that your web site looks like it was designed by a high-schooler sometime in the late 90′s, maybe you are speechless at any demonstration of the technical competence or design talent that seems to have sadly eluded you.

    Let me ask you this, Franks, since you’re all about constitutionalism and its affiliates: Absent an authority to which to appeal, upon what do you base your avowed “simple principle”?

    See, this is where I get to pull one of the tricks you guys love to pull: It’s self-evident, if you take the trouble to think about it.

    And now…I’m done with you.

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