As regular visitors to our Web site know, we post a new Current Comment — a "CC" — every business day. Current Comments provide the Mackinac Center with a unique forum for addressing breaking issues, such as state-mandated graduation requirements, or for reflecting on important topics, such as the regulatory erosion of property rights.

During this holiday week, we are offering a year-end retrospective. The following is a list of the 25 Current Comments that generated the highest rates of traffic at our Web site among the articles posted in 2005.[1] Please note that these are opinion pieces; we have excluded Current Comments that were primarily news-driven — for example, Michigan Education Digest, or the Center’s news releases.

One final note: In looking back at the successes of 2005, we would be remiss not to mention two Mackinac Center staff who don’t normally get bylines, but help make our Current Comments a truly dynamic forum. LeAnn K. Hadley, the Mackinac Center administrative assistant who serves as our "Web secretary," deftly manages a constant flow of text, while helping maintain an error-free format and graciously accommodating last-minute requests. Daniel E. Montgomery, our graphic arts manager, routinely surprises us with the freshness and vigor of the visuals he creates to enhance our Current Comments and bring them to our readers’ attention. Kudos!

The Top 25 Current Comments of 2005

1. "How American Students Stack up Against the Competition," by Andrew J. Coulson

2. "Scotland: Seven Centuries After William Wallace," by Lawrence W. Reed

3. "Government, Poverty and Self-Reliance: Wisdom From 19th Century Presidents," by Lawrence W. Reed

4. "Pain Threshold," by David L. Littmann

5. "Michigan: The France of North America," by Michael D. LaFaive

6. "Transforming Michigan," by Lawrence W. Reed

7. "Is the NEA Really a NUT?" by Andrew J. Coulson

8. "The Good Old Days of Cheap Gas Are Here Now!" by Dr. Mark J. Perry

9. "No Cop-Out Left Behind," by Andrew J. Coulson

10. "The Principled Case for Grilling Judge Roberts," by Patrick J. Wright

11. "The Northwest Strike and the Twilight of Organized Labor," by Dr. Paul D. Moreno

12. "An Ethical Business Climate, or a Business Climate of ‘Ethics’?" by Christopher F. Bachelder

13. "Flashy Projects Have Not Helped Detroit," by Michael D. LaFaive

14. "The Inspiring Story of Thomas Clarkson: A Student's Essay that Changed the World," by Lawrence W. Reed

15. "Insurance Demagoguery Drives Rates Higher, Not Lower," by Jack McHugh

16. "New Economic Development Program Risky, Unnecessary," by Michael D. LaFaive

17. "Where’s the Beef?" by Lawrence W. Reed

18. "Proposed Water Legacy Act: A Bad Idea for Michigan," by Russ Harding

19. "The Michigan Legislature Should Finish Deregulating Telecom," by Diane S. Katz

20. "Hope in State Graduation Standards Misplaced," by Ryan S. Olson

21. "Trying Too Hard to Be Cool," by John R. LaPlante

22. "The Organ Shortage and Public Policy," by David J. Undis

23. "Thou Shalt Have No Other School System Before Me," by Andrew J. Coulson

24. "A Governor Cries ‘Treason,’" by Dr. Theodore Bolema

25. "My 10 Years," by LeAnn K. Hadley

[1] Weighing Web traffic invariably requires some rough assumptions, since articles that were posted at different times of the year must be compared to each other on an equal footing. Most of the pieces listed here, however, would appear on a list of our top Current Comments under any set of reasonable assumptions.