Greatest Social Thinker of the 20th Century

“There is no such thing as a mixed economy midway between capitalism and socialism.” 
Greatest Social Thinker of the 20th Century
By: George Noga – September 29, 2019

           Today marks the 138th birthday of Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, who died in 1973 at age 92. I have read economics for over a half century and von Mises has influenced me more than anyone.  I consider him not only the best economist, but also the greatest social thinker of the last century. I honor his birthday by presenting a small sample of his writings, very lightly edited for modernity and length.

        Sovereign consumer:The common man is the sovereign consumer whose buying, or abstention from buying, determines the quality and quantity of what is produced, and who in preceding ages were serfs, slaves and paupers. They are the customers for whose favor businesses compete and who always are right. Wealth is only acquired by serving customers in a daily plebiscite in which every penny gives the right to vote.

       Anti-capitalist mentality:Laissez-faire capitalism has raised living standards to unprecedented levels. A nation is more prosperous the less it puts obstacles in the way of free enterprise. The US is more prosperous than all other countries because its government embarked later than others on policies that obstruct business. The bias and bigotry of public opinion manifests itself by attaching the epithet ‘capitalistic’ exclusively to things abominable but never to those of which all approve.

      Socialism: “The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent on abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office – every man a clerk in a bureau.”

       Foreign aid:Making underdeveloped nations more prosperous cannot be solved by material aid. It is a spiritual and intellectual problem. Prosperity is not simply a matter of capital investment. It is an ideological issue.”

     Von Mises Sampler:If history teaches anything, it is that private property is inextricably linked with civilization. . . . All rational action is in the first place individual action. . . . Every government intervention creates unintended consequences which lead to further interventions. . . . Every socialist is a disguised dictator. . . . Tyranny is the political corollary of socialism as representative government is the political corollary of a market economy. . . . . Worship of state is the worship of force. . . . . . Socialism is not what it pretends to be. It is not the pioneer of a better world, but the spoiler of thousands of years of civilization; it does not build, it destroys.

Following is the conclusion of von Mises’ magnum opus, Human Action

     “Economic knowledge is an essential element to human civilization; it is the foundation on which all moral, intellectual and technological achievements of the last centuries have been built. It rests with men whether they will use this rich treasure, or leave it unused. But if they disregard its teachings and warnings, they will not annul economics; they will stamp out society and the human race.”

Note: The Ludwig von Mises Institute is an outstanding source of information; it has a free daily email newsletter (available at articles@mises.org) to which you may subscribe. It is one of only a very few publications I read every day. Try it; you will be glad you did.


Next on October 6th is “Condor Cuisinart” or, liberalism is for the birds.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Principles for Peace in the Middle East

“Peace will come when Arabs love their children more than they hate us.” (Golda Meir)
Principles for Peace in the Middle East
By: George Noga – September 22, 2019

          The Trump Administration is poised to reveal its much ballyhooed peace plan for the Middle East now that the September 17th Israeli election is history. Not to be outdone, MLLG has its very own plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

          All prior wannabe peacemakers have gotten everything wrong, especially US presidents with visions of Nobels dancing in their heads. Israel has been pressured into ever more concessions despite it being incandescently obvious that the Palestinians would never take “yes” for an answer. The US and Israel wanted to make a deal (any deal) so badly that the Palestinians simply pocketed the cascade of concessions, justifiably believing they would only accrue interest and improve over time.

           Learning the lessons from the failure of all past peace efforts, MLLG identified five key principles that should form the basis of an enduring Mid East peace.

         Principle #1 – Benign neglect: Ignore Palestinian political leaders, who know they can have a reasonable peace deal anytime they want it. This means no more offers, negotiations, kow-towing, recognition, honors or state visits. Israel, with help from its friends including its Arab friends, should work to create conditions that cause the Palestinian people to choose peace. If their political leaders never opt for peace – it simply won’t matter. In the end, peace can be achieved with or without them.

         Principle #2 – Make time an ally: There is a pervasive sense that time is on the side of the Palestinians due to external pressure on Israel to make a deal. This must be reversed so that time works toward peace. Peace terms should be less favorable going forward, increasing pressure on Palestinian leaders. There must be adverse consequences to doing nothing and the status quo should be the enemy of peace.

        Principle #3 – Business and not charity or government: Peace ultimately has economic and political dimensions. Trump’s $50 billion Peace to Prosperity plan is a good start on the economic part. The Marshall Plan succeeded spectacularly because it was focused on private business – not charity or government. The Trump plan provides Palestinians access to capital and infrastructure. Importantly, it seeks to make it easy to start a business, employ workers, enforce contracts and to protect investors.

           Principle #4 – One state solution: A Palestinian state and peace deal are not what Palestinians want. There is an economic principle, revealed preference, that posits you can know what people want by the choices they make. Palestinian leaders constantly choose the status quo over sovereignty; they prefer victimhood and martyrdom over statehood. A single state with reasonable autonomy for Palestinians should be the goal.

          Principle #5 – Achieve peace unilaterally: Make it clear that the 1967 borders are not sacrosanct; annexing the Golan Heights was a good start as was moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Continue annexing West Bank settlements while developing public facilities in the Palestinian areas. Focus on prosperity and good government.

        Implementation of these principles changes the calculus in the Middle East and puts time firmly on the side of peace. There already are signs Palestinians are beginning to see a brighter future with greater prosperity, freedom and security as an autonomous part of Israel and that they love their children more than they hate Israel.


Next on September 29th, we celebrate Ludwig von Mises’ 138th birthday.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Happy Constitution Day 2019

Over 50% of  constitutions fail within 20 years; ours is 232 years old Tuesday. 
Happy Constitution Day 2019
By: George Noga – September 15, 2019

          How well do you know our Constitution? Read on and you may be surprised. First off, it is the oldest charter of government in force; the next oldest is Norway’s, 38 years younger. Over 50% of constitutions fail within 20 years; ours is 232 years old Tuesday. It is pure genius because it embodies a fundamentally correct understanding of human nature and includes effectual checks and balances on the use of power. It is the best document ever created to define the relationship between man and the state.

          The Declaration of Independence established the moral foundation of our nation by asserting that governments are instituted to secure the rights of the people; the Constitution’s raison d’etre is to protect those rights. Since man first walked upright, fewer than 1% of the 115 billion humans who have trod this earth lived in liberty. Here are ten things you may not know or fully appreciate about the Constitution.

1. We the people: The most extraordinary words in the Constitution are the first three, which are the only ones in supersized script. In an era of monarchs and despots, nothing was more radical than the notion that all power flowed from we the people.

2. Coining money: Article I, (section 10) authorizes states to coin money provided it is in gold and/or silver. Private banks and even individuals can issue currency; hence, cryptocurrencies and private currencies like Libra pass constitutional muster.

3. Impeaching justices: Justice Kavanaugh cannot be impeached for conduct before his confirmation. Article III (section 1) states judges hold their office during good behavior. They can be impeached only for crimes committed in office. Moreover, Congress has no constitutional oversight over the judiciary except for impeachment.

4. Counting slaves: The Constitution always refers to slaves as “persons“, not 3/5 of a person. Southerners wanted to count 100% of slaves to achieve equal representation in the House. Northern abolitionists didn’t want to count any – hence, the three-fifths compromise; it had nothing to do with the putative human worth of a slave.

5. Firing government workers: Article II (section 2) implicitly gives the president power to remove executive branch employees. This does not conflict with civil service laws, none of which challenge a president’s powers. Madison said: “If any power whatsoever is in its nature executive, it is the power of controlling those who execute the laws“. Recall that President Reagan once fired nearly all air traffic controllers.

6. Trump and treason: Article III (section 3) specifically defines treason as “only in levying War against [the United States], or in adhering to their enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort“. This constitutional definition rules out treason by Trump.

7. Electoral College: The founders established an Electoral College to: (1) reduce fraud by containing it within small jurisdictions; (2) reduce federal power over elections; and (3) discourage regionalism. They created it to achieve stable government that protects our liberty. They well understood that a popular vote can better actualize the people’s will – just like in the French Revolution. How did that work out for the French?

8. No debt default: The 14th amendment (section 4) forbids any default on federal debt. In the recent past, a president and treasury secretary (neither of whom I will name) threatened to default – disregarding their oaths to uphold the Constitution.

9. Constitutional republic: The United States is a constitutional republic. The word “democracy” appears nowhere in either the Declaration or the Constitution. We don’t pledge allegiance to the USA and to the democracy for which it stands; we don’t sing the Battle Hymn of the Democracy; and we don’t have a Statue of Democracy. Article IV (section 4) guarantees every American “a republican form of government”.

10. Unamendable: There is only one part of the Constitution that cannot be amended. Article V states: “No state without its consent, may be deprived of its equal suffrage in the senate.” This means there is no way to change the structure of the senate – despite the babbling of certain young congresswomen and other know-nothings.

      After signing the Constitution, Franklin was asked what form of government had been established; he famously quipped, “A republic, if you can keep it.” And so it remains today. The Constitution is 232 years old but it will survive only if it remains in the hearts and minds of the American people. Happy Constitution Day!


Next week, we present our first ever plan for peace in the Middle East.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

MLLG Back-to-School Special Shattering the Myth About Teacher Pay

We debunk one of the most vacuous myths of all time, i.e. that teachers are underpaid.
MLLG Back-to-School Special
Shattering the Myth About Teacher Pay
By: George Noga – September 8, 2019

           We are fortunate to have many readers who teach or have family members who teach; hence, we derive no pleasure whatsoever from any negativity about teachers. Unionized teachers are paid primarily on longevity, not merit; therefore, truly good teachers are underpaid while poor teachers are vastly overpaid. Nonetheless, when taken in the aggregate, teachers are not underpaid for the following reasons.

1. Logic: Underpaid teachers is a canard promoted by the liberal media. No other job in America has been so consistently asserted to be either overpaid or underpaid. Such a systemic imbalance simply cannot persist for long in a market economy.

2. Apples-to-apples: Those claiming underpayment use false comparisons. They disingenuously assume STEM degrees, earned by students in top deciles of their class, are worth the same as education degrees earned by those mostly in lower deciles.

3. Not results oriented: Teacher pay is based on seniority, not merit. All teachers from best to worst are equal – as is the case in most unionized jobs. In the real world, pay is tied to results. Union rules severely penalize the best teachers and reward the worst. Moreover, what value do unions add if its members truly are vastly underpaid?

4. Private school salaries: If unionized public school teachers truly were underpaid, we should expect to see private school teachers earning more. Instead, nonreligious private school teachers earn 15% to 20% less than their public school counterparts.

5. Objective surveys: Studies document teachers are not underpaid. The BLS National Compensation Survey showed no underpayment. Forbes listed the 25 most underpaid jobs in America; teachers were not among them – same with most other surveys.

6. Post teaching pay: When teachers quit to accept non-teaching jobs, their pay does not increase; this seems to make a prima facie case that they were not underpaid.

7. Lifetime employment: Teachers have guaranteed lifetime employment, a perquisite no one in the private sector enjoys. They can’t be fired for incompetence or even if they are a danger; instead, they are put in rubber rooms with full salary and benefits.

8. Overpaid government workers: Study upon study shows public sector workers are paid about 25% more for the same work than those in the private sector. Since teachers are government workers, it stands to reason they also are overpaid by that amount.

9.  Benefits: Teachers receive lifetime health care for their entire family, uber-generous government guaranteed pensions paid early, and lots of vacation and holidays.

10. Public sector unions: Teacher pay is set by public sector unions based on highly coercive bargaining, is paid with tax dollars and is not driven by markets. As is the case with public sector unions, the pay is higher than comparable private sector jobs.

             Stories about low teacher pay are mostly promulgated by the liberal media that are allied with public unions and government. All objective data and logic point to the opposite conclusion, i.e. teachers actually are somewhat overpaid. To repeat, the pay of good teachers is dragged down by the larger cohort of not so good teachers.

         In an ideal world, all parents would receive vouchers to choose any school. Teachers’ compensation would be determined solely by markets – not tenure. Teachers would be paid according to individual merit, with truly outstanding teachers richly compensated. Poor teachers would be fired and all rubber rooms abolished.


Our next post honors Constitution Day, which is September 17th.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us   

Labor and Capital Day 2019

Capitalism is an economic democracy in which every penny has the right to vote.
Labor and Capital Day 2019
By: George Noga – September 1, 2019

          Tomorrow, as we properly honor labor, we should equally celebrate capital, which enhances labor by making it more productive and hence more remunerative. Throughout history, mankind’s labors have resulted only in poverty for the masses. But when capital alloys with labor, it puts labor on steroids and eliminates poverty. Despite capitalism’s astounding achievements, it gets no respect from the media, the public or the academy and only derision from progressives; following are ten reasons why.

1. Capitalism is an economic system; as such, it is without equal. Most (if not all) shortcomings attributed to it by liberals are really political. The role of capitalism is to maximize the economic pie; the role of politics is to divide the pie as, and if, needed.

2. Progressives make false comparisons. They compare ideal socialism (never achieved anywhere) to capitalism as practised.  As demonstrated in our March 24, 2019 post (go to www.mllg.us), capitalism beats socialism in theory, practice and morality.

3. The media are ignorant and biased. Capitalism has stamped out poverty and vastly improved the human condition, but is widely condemned – even by the Pope. Surveys show 95% of Americans are ignorant of capitalism’s stunning accomplishments. The only plausible explanation is ignorance and bias in academia and the media.

4. Capitalism evolved organically. No intellectual wrote a capitalist manifesto. Adam Smith didn’t invent capitalism, he merely explained what occurs naturally, no eggheads required. No one controls capitalism, whereas socialism requires controllers, i.e. progressive panjandrums, who believe they know what is best for everyone.

5. Self interest (greed) is the basis of capitalism. Greed is an inseparable part of the human condition. The genius of capitalism lies in channeling greed into incentives to serve your fellow man, whereas socialism channels it toward destructive ends.

6. Consumers are sovereign. Intellectuals and progressives enjoy no special status; the common man holds all the power. Sovereign consumers’ decisions about what to buy (or not) makes suppliers rich or poor. Wealth is achieved only by serving consumers.

7. Capitalism doesn’t need intellectuals. Professors are not highly esteemed by markets to which their exalted education and lofty intentions are superfluous. Academics prefer regulation to the chaos of markets and believe their pet theories should override the free decisions of consumers – if necessary, by using the police power of the state.

8. Capitalism is egalitarian. Uneducated blokes can make fortunes by say recognizing markets for cheaper used parts and stripping equipment to harvest them. They repulse elites by both their success and the obscene manner they spend their fortunes. They got rich because they took risks and provided services consumers valued. Meanwhile, poor overeducated pointy-headed progressives go unrewarded and unrecognized.

9. Capitalism brooks no excuses for failure. Success is based solely on one’s ability to provide value to his fellow man. Capitalism is an economic democracy in which every penny confers the right to vote. Its credo is: to each according to his accomplishments, not to his ideas or intentions. Those who fail are found wanting by their fellow man.

10. Progressives covet control over others. They don’t grasp why the poor, unwashed, ignorant rubes in flyover land believe they know what’s best for them. Progressives fancy themselves as heroic emancipators, crushing greedy capitalists, saving helpless victims and then rollicking in the just approbation and adulation of all mankind.

          Capitalism has created a cornucopia of wealth unprecedented in human history, virtually eliminating extreme poverty. Nearly every metric of human well-being is the best ever and continues to improve. Average folks live better than monarchs a few decades ago. Luxuries a short time ago are now affordable at Walmart and Costco. These miracles were created not by, but in spite of, government and progressivism.

         Let’s continue to honor labor on the first Monday in September. As the world’s greatest capitalist nation, let’s also celebrate capitalism and the capitalists who had an impossible dream, took great risks and had the determination to see it through.


Next on September 8th is MLLG’s back-to-school special about teacher pay.

More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

MLLG Fall Preview – Microtopics – Joe Biden

MLLG Fall Preview – Net Neutrality – Campus Crackpots – Robocalls – Biden
MLLG Fall Preview – Microtopics – Joe Biden
By: George Noga – July 28, 2019

         We are taking a short summer break in August; hence, this is our last scheduled posting until our Labor/Capital Day special on September first; however, we may decide to write some impromptu postings during August if the force so moves us.

         Our September 1st post will be followed by a back-to-school blog September 8th and a Constitution Day posting September 15th. We also plan a September posting honoring Ludwig von Mises’ 138th birthday and an ultra special Columbus Day issue in October that is gloriously and triumphantly politically incorrect.

          This fall we tackle, for the first time in 12 years of blogging, the Mideast conflict by presenting our very own MLLG peace plan. Other likely topics include: (1) modern monetary theory or MMT; (2) condor cuisinart, i.e. liberalism and the birds; (3) electoral college/popular vote; (4) laboratories of democracy; and (5) universal basic income or UBI. Also look for updates about the 2020 election and the spending crisis.

        However, the highlight this fall undoubtedly will be our multi-part series on climate change slated to begin in mid to late October. This will be like nothing we have written before on this topic and features a fresh, new look and analysis of this divisive topic. It will be non-political and as factual and objective as humanly possible.

Net Neutrality – Campus Crackpots – Robocalls – Biden

             Net Neutrality: It’s been a full year since Trump abolished net neutrality amidst opposition claims it would usher in poor service, higher cost and a corporate feeding frenzy. The opposite has happened; chalk up another victory for markets.

           Campus Crackpots: Amherst College Office of Diversity and Inclusion emailed students a 36-page common language guide. Capitalism was defined as “An economic arrangement leading to exploitative labor practices, which affect marginalized groups disproportionately”.   But the piece de resistance is homonationalism defined as: “Why cis-gay and lesbian Iraq War veterans were celebrated for American exceptionalism in contrast to racist/orientalist Iraqi combatants in Central Asia racialized outside of U.S. understandings of whiteness“. Can you imagine 36 pages of this drivel?

          Robocalls: The biggest complaint Americans have is robocalls, of which there are nearly 100 billion each year. This scourge can be ended quickly with a penny tax on outgoing calls above 10 per day. No ordinary American would ever pay this tax but it would cost robocallers $1 billion/year. If a penny tax is insufficient, keep raising it until robocalls are in history’s rear view mirror. This is a simple and elegant solution.

          It’s Just Joe Being Joe: Throughout his 47-year government career, Biden has  been touchy-feely, gaffe prone and susceptible to outrageous, awkward and, at times, bizarre behavior. But he always skated by with people shaking their heads saying, “It’s just Joe being Joe“. Yet, that also was his greatest appeal; people knew and felt comfortable with Biden. Now, the far left crowd has Biden making 180-degree changes to life long positions. Suddenly, it’s no longer “Joe being Joe“. There is only one thing worse politically than “just Joe being Joe” and that is: Joe not being Joe.


Our next post is scheduled for September 1st – to honor Labor and Capital Day.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Best All Time Montana Moments

The best of Montana Moments: our top six attractions of life in Montana. 
Best All Time Montana Moments
By: George Noga – July 21, 2019

         We reviewed all our Montana Moments blogs, selected the twelve best and ranked them in ascending order. Last week we presented numbers twelve to seven (on our website: www.mllg.us); this week we conclude with numbers six to one.

6. Wild West: Echos of the frontier reverberate at Packer’s Roost, an outre biker bar in Hungry Horse, near Whitefish. It is named after convicted cannibal, Alfred Packer, and was Ted (Unabomber) Kaczynski’s haunt while hiding out from the FBI. Vestiges of the old west survive at the Blue Moon Nite Club, just outside Whitefish. A long bar populated two deep by working cowboys, many of whom are wasted, greets those undaunted enough to enter. There is a casino with jangling slots, pool tables, the de rigueur live poker game and rest rooms festooned with avant garde art, if you get my drift. Of course, there is a live country band with dancers attired in full western regalia. The gestalt of all this unfolding at once is an authentic Montana moment.

5. Great Outdoors: It’s hard to imagine a place on our planet better endowed by nature.  There are mountains, rivers and six-mile long Whitefish Lake. Every conceivable outdoor activity for all four seasons is present in spades. The Whitefish ski area is ranked eleventh best in the world (yes – in the world) by Ski Magazine. Each year there are magical days when you can ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon.

4. Rodeo: Every Thursday in summer there is a rodeo featuring locals; it begins with a moving, not-to-be-missed ceremony honoring US, Canadian and Montana flags. One event is youth bull riding for kids as young as eight. There are precautions: the bulls are young, their horns trimmed and the kids wear helmets. Nonetheless, a 50-pound eight-year old is riding a cantankerous wild 500-pound bull. Teenagers with serious hunting knives strapped to their waists freely mingle with the 2,000 spectators. If that happened at a big city high school football game, there would be panic, SWAT teams would fast rope in, the stadium would be evacuated and all knives confiscated.

3. Derby: I belong to a club with a 60-year tradition called Derby. Every Thursday at noon up to 30 golfers (in 3-man scramble teams) play simultaneously and finish in regulation time. Derby participants are ages 15 to 85, low wage to millionaires, scratch to high handicap, uneducated to Ph.Ds and Americans, Canadians, Native Americans and summer residents like me. Some openly smoke dope while others, who are deputy sheriffs, pretend not to notice. Some players have derby nicknames too ribald to print. The repartee is incessant and priceless. Derby is a bona fide Montana moment.

2. Whitefish: For a town of 6,500, Whitefish offers more than many cities 50 times its size. It is picturesque; many commercials you see are filmed there. It sits at 3,000 feet altitude in a valley, resulting in perfect summer weather and mild winters given its 48 degree latitude. It has a year-round full symphony orchestra, fine dining, live entertainment, non-stop festivals and several top-notch golf courses. It is the western gateway to Glacier National Park and only seven miles from world class skiing.

1. Glacier National Park: GNP is the crown jewel of NW Montana. It is (by far) the best national park of the many we have visited. It is so remote and with so little lodging, it remains relatively uncrowded – although that is changing. Its major artery, Going-to-the-Sun Road, is as spectacular as it is iconic. The only tricontinental divide in the USA, where water flows to 3 oceans (Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic), is in GNP.

More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Twelve Best Montana Moments – Part I

The best of Montana Moments: our top twelve stories about life in Montana. 
Twelve Best Montana Moments – Part I
By: George Noga – July 14, 2019

         We have posted many Montana Moments over the years. Now, we have identified the twelve best, ranking them in ascending order. Herein we present Montana Moments numbers twelve to seven; we conclude next week with numbers six to one.

12. USA Today: During our first summer in Montana 15 years ago, we were unable to find national newspapers like The Wall Street Journal or USA Today. One day we drove by a large general store and my wife went in to see if they carried any of those papers. She asked the perky 16-year old girl who waited on her if they carried USA Today. The teenage girl pondered the question for a few moments and replied: “We don’t consider ourselves part of the USA.” It is easier to find national newspapers in Whitefish these days, but the attitude of the sprightly, high-spirited girl persists.

11. Bulldog Saloon: On Whitefish’s main street sits Bulldog’s, a retro bar, restaurant and poker room. It is packed with locals and Canadians because it accepts Canadian dollars at par for booze – a 30% discount. In the back is a poker table straight from a western movie set where a nightly game of Texas Hold’em takes place. Families with young children patronize Bulldog’s, despite restrooms festooned with “art” that would make a porn star blush. Last year I saw a 12-year old boy taking photos in the restroom with his cell phone. Check out Bulldog’s website: www.fart-slobber.com.

10. No crying in Montana: I was about to play golf with 3 Montana friends when the starter permitted a group of women to go ahead of us. When challenged by one of our group, the starter replied that one of the women had cried and he felt sorry for her. One of my Montana friends immediately said, “There is no crying in golf.” A split second later, the other two Montanans exclaimed in unison, “There is no crying in Montana.

9. Central Avenue at 2:00 AM: Whitefish’s main street is lined with saloons, many with live music and live poker. In summer, especially on weekends, they are packed. By law, they must close at 2:00 AM. At precisely that time something inenarrable unfolds. Hundreds of well-lubricated young people (along with a certain septuagenarian poker player) simultaneously flood onto Central Avenue. The ensuing fifteen minutes is reminiscent of the Star Wars cafe scene and is an unforgettable Montana Moment.

8. Bear Bell: The club where I golf has a “blind” approach to the 18th green. To signal the group behind that it is safe to hit, upon completing the hole departing players ring a loud bell. When the bell inevitably rings, I act surprised and concerned and tell my out-of-town guests that was the “bear bell”, warning that a grizzly bear is nearby. It works every time and the reactions from my unsuspecting guests are priceless.

7. Gun Culture: When police pull over cars, they expect to find firearms; it is normal. When alarms go off in stores, the explanation is always the same, i.e. the customers are packing and simply forgot to leave their guns in the car. Preteen kids own real guns and get hunting licenses at age eleven. Youth deer hunting season is so popular all Montana schools close. Until a few years ago, it was okay for kids to bring their guns to school. A local PTA raffled an AK-47 “assault” rifle to raise funds. The local community college offers a course in gunsmithing. Despite the ubiquity of guns, the Flathead Valley gun homicide rate is incredibly low – one homicide every four years.


Next week, we present our top six all time Montana Moments.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

The Last Best Place in America

“For some states I have admiration, even affection, but with Montana it is love.” (Steinbeck)
The Last Best Place in America
By: George Noga – July 7, 2019

           Our first Montana Moments posting was in 2013. We were taken aback by its sudden popularity and we reprised it each summer. After 6 years, we are running out of new material about our summer home in Whitefish, in the Flathead Valley of NW Montana. This post champions Montana as America’s last best place. The next two posts, perhaps the final ones in this series, rank our top twelve Montana Moments.

         Americans have become disconnected from the natural world and the human world and poisoned by political correctness, environmental wackiness and obsessed with safety at all cost. Montana reconnects such people to the real world and to a vanishing civilization where everyone has a different attitude about life and risk. Montana, like a time capsule, whisks visitors back into this mostly forgotten world. In that magical land, where giants once roamed, people live at a pace driven by the beating of their hearts rather then by the pulsation of personal electronic devices.

        In the Treasure State, the cycles of nature are omnipresent. June ushers in a cornucopia of vegetables; in July the Flathead cherries are ripe, followed in August by huckleberries and melons and by peaches in September. The outdoor activities are without equal. In summer there is hiking, fly fishing, golf, rafting, floating, kayaking, mountain biking and every possible water activity. In fall and winter there is hunting, skiing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and even the Aurora Borealis.

“Like a time capsule, Montana whisks you back to a half-lost world.”

         The human world also is magical. There is a weekly summer rodeo, which includes youth bull riding – beginning at age eight. Guns are a normal part of everyday life; the local PTA once auctioned off an AK-47 for its fundraiser. Youth deer hunting season (starts at age 11) is so popular that all Montana schools close for its two days. Whitefish, with a population of 6,500, has a full time symphony orchestra, live theater, fine dining, cabaret and nonstop festivals. Vestiges of the wild west persist and still continue to exert a powerful influence on Montanans’ culture and attitudes.

            Montana is 750 miles across from North Dakota to Idaho and larger than Japan. There are fewer than 7 people per square mile, making its population density 48th in the US; only Alaska and Wyoming are less dense; it is the same density as America in 1790 and only 8 percent as dense as the USA is today. Montanans are so accustomed to its vastness that anything not on a grand scale seems trivial to them. Even today, most residents think nothing of driving 100 miles to attend a dinner or a dance.

         There are few developed places in our fourth largest state; Billings, its largest city, has but 110,000 people. Everywhere in Montana, within a few minutes drive, one can find a peaceful prairie, quiet meadow, majestic mountaintop or a rippling stream flush with trout, where you can be alone with nature and replenish your soul.

          This is the simple majesty and grandeur – both natural and human – of Montana and what makes it the last best place in America. And even for those who have shuffled off this mortal coil, Montana is the best last place in America.


Next week: MLLG’s top twelve Montana Moments – numbers 12 to 7.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Democratic Party Debates: 2016 Deja Vu

America, as described by the Democratic Party candidates, is unrecognizable.
Democratic Party Debates: 2016 Deja Vu
By: George Noga – July 5, 2019

           This impromptu posting offers our impressions of the Democratic Party debates. The candidates inhabit an America that is unrecognizable. The country they describe is straight from The Grapes of Wrath or from a Dickens’ novel, such as Hard Times, which details the soul-crushing conditions in Coketown, a fictional English town.

      The Democrats’ America is racist, homophobic, xenophobic and inhumane; everyone is drowning in student loan debt. Corporations are rapacious monopolists bent on polluting our air and water. We are wallowing in historic financial inequality; all but the top 1% are failing. Systemic corruption infects healthcare, guns and climate change. America is riven by class, race, and income; women live The Handmaid’s Taleand blacks Jim Crow. President Trump is a devil and Mitch McConnell is a fiend.

        How do the Dems square their Dickensian vision of America with the fact that 71% of Americans (60% of Dems) say the economy is doing well and where every metric of environmental and human well-being is the best it has been and is getting better? Who are voters going to believe, the Democrats or their own lyin’ eyes?

         They want to take private health insurance from 177 million Americans who are happy with theirs. They advocate open borders, eliminating checks at points of entry, including airports. They want to increase taxes and to eliminate fossil fuels. Their solution to everything is more government, even to the point of socialism.

         The candidates preached to Americans as though they were unrepentant sinners, who must be instructed about what is morally right and wrong. They relentlessly tarred Americans as heartless bigots. The elites, the left and the media all are oblivious to how this endless sermonizing disgusts the irredeemable deplorables in flyover land.

       When Democrats weren’t sermonizing or patronizing us with their high-school Spanish, they were busy virtue signalling. They fatuously reminded us of their mixed-race families, homes in diverse neighborhoods, military service and immigrant roots. They reveled in their desperanto quasi-victimhood, medical problems and student loan debt and reminded us about just how compassionate and caring they really are.

        The biggest contretemps occurred between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden when Harris excoriated Biden for his stance on forced busing in the 1970s. This is telling for several reasons. Harris tarred Biden as racist for opposing busing; but busing was wildly unpopular, opposed by 96% of whites and 91% of blacks. Biden was right to oppose busing and Harris wrong to attack him for it. Nonetheless, Harris was credited with claiming Biden’s scalp and Biden was so clueless, he couldn’t defend himself.

          The Democrats are making all the same mistakes (and then some) that they made in 2016 and, if they continue, they will reap the same outcome. A sane voter looking for an alternative to Trump did not find one in the debates. And if the Democrats keep on denigrating ordinary Americans, it will be as Yogi said, deja vu all over again.


Next on July 7th, we begin our popular summer series, Montana Moments.  
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us