North Archives - January 04, 2011
| Editorial | News & Views
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What we are seeing is pattern
of attacking the motives of anyone who has the audacity to criticize the
BT project. The ideology that mandates support for a government owned entity
"during the absolute failure of our capitalist system" is beyond
any criticism as it appears to have been given a quasi-religious status
that makes it impervious to facts and logic. At least part of the problem
in the unwillingness to see the problems associated with this project seems
to be a certain degree of ideological blindness.
Matthew Effect in Sudbury?
By Martin Harris
normal times, the old Constitutional argument --Jeffersonians for more
governance powers to the States and less to the Federal center, Hamiltonians
for just the opposite-- had little grass-roots immediacy. It was once taught,
briefly, in high school (is it now? check with your present-day civics
student) but it was pretty much accepted that the Lincolnian gravitation
of power to DC was inevitable and maybe even desirable. But these are not
now normal times, and the J v. H debate has spawned not only a Tea Party
at the national level and, at last count, 21 health-care rebellions at
the State level, but even a parallel little school argument at the town
v. State level in Vermont. In Sudbury, the locals want to keep the school
open despite declining enrollments and rising costs, while the State Ed
Dep’t doesn’t. The Progressive SCOTUS justice, Louis Brandeis, made two
relevant comments more than a half-century before the passive-solar, earth-set,
solar-oriented, open-plan classroom-design, 60-pupil 6000SF $207K structure
was even built in 1980.
As a special service of True
North and the Defenders Council of Vermont for our Returning Veterans,
we have done some research and found an online employment and social networking
site to help those returning Patriots who are seeking employment and have
a desire to network with other returning Patriots. The first group is a
social network that is dedicated to providing a "fresh approach to transition
from military to civilian life". The group is called "My Vetwork"
and can be accessed here. There
is another group called "Hire Patriots" which is an employment network
for people looking to hire veterans and for veterans looking for work.
This site can be accessed here.
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is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall
be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty."
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Tale of Two Telecoms
By Chris Campion, Vermont
Tiger, January 3 2011
Tim Nulty, former general
manager of Burlington Telecom, is pedaling in a direction other than forward
regarding his tenure with BT. In fact, he's running away from it
as far and as fast as he can, in order to get anothertelecom enterprise
off the ground in Minnesota. Lake County, Minnesota, has held
hearings to find out what Nulty and others at National Public Broadband,
the organization Nulty now heads in Minnesota, knew about BT's troubles.
As kind of a bonus, Nulty is throwing the Kiss administration under the
bus in the process:
Nulty drove from
Vermont to be at Tuesday’s meeting and continued to defend his tenure at
the telecom, saying the trouble began after he left and blaming "hanky
panky" by Burlington’s mayor and financial officer as the root of the problems
Appoints BT Special Prosecutor
He assured board members
that nothing like Burlington could happen in Lake County, mainly because
of the levels of checks required for payments on invoices the broadband
would submit. In Burlington there was "one guy" responsible for finances
with "no oversight."
By John Briggs, Burlington
Free Press, December 29 2010
Chittenden County State’s
Attorney T.J. Donovan named former Chittenden County State’s Attorney Robert
Simpson as a special prosecutor Wednesday in the investigation of Burlington
Telecom financial issues.
Will Be Taxes
By John McClaughry, Vermont
Tiger, December 28 2010
In mid-January Vermont's
Blue Ribbon Tax Commission will issue its final report. Its three members
have agreed that their recommendations will be revenue neutral. Two of
the three members have reportedly agreed to propose a reduction in Vermont's
income and sales tax rates, paid for by terminating current deductions
and exemptions and by broadening the sales and use tax to services.
on Vt.'s Financial Future
From WCAX-TV, December 30
Montpelier is getting set
to welcome a new team-- Gov.-elect Peter Shumlin will be sworn in next
week. And that means Douglas administration officials are saying goodbye.
One of them is Administration Secretary Neale Lunderville.
Lunderville served as Gov.
Jim Douglas' campaign manager, was then promoted to transportation secretary,
and then landed the position of secretary of administration-- one of the
most powerful jobs in state government.
The secretary of administration
is the numbers guy. And right now, the numbers don't look good. Vermont
is facing a $150 million budget shortfall.
of the Light Brigade?
By Art Woolf, Vermont Tiger,
December 30 2010
Green Mountain Power is anticipating
there will be at least a few Vermonters who will be buying electric cars
and will need to charge them up while not at home. The company
says it plans to install
three solar-powered charging stations for hybrid-electric cars in Chittenden,
Washington and Addison counties in 2011.
One simple question I
have is, what happens if someone wants to charge their electric car from
one of these stations at night? That's not a snide question, but
rather it gets to the heart of why solar (and wind, for that matter) are
problematic as sources of electricity.
on Economic Development in Vermont
From WCAX-TV, December 23
Asked what the biggest challenge
the new administration faces when it comes to creating jobs, Dorn said,
"The challenge will be to maintain or improve the economic development
climate in Vermont. There'll be a lot of people who want to spend more
money, raise taxes, create more regulation, and push that burden on to
the backs of business-- the people who actually create jobs in Vermont.
What the administration needs to do is what the Douglas administration
has done over these years, which is try to hold and build a solid economic
development climate so that business feels confident that they can expand
here in Vermont and employ more Vermonters."
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Global War on Terrorism
American 21st Century
Victor Davis Hanson, The Heritage Foundation, December 30 2010
we enter this new decade, we are currently being lectured that China is
soon to be the global colossus. Its economy is now second only to America's,
but with a far faster rate of growth and budget surpluses rather than debt.
Few seem to mention that China's mounting social tensions, mercantilism,
environmental degradation and state bosses belong more to a 19th than 21st
symptoms of all this doom and gloom are constant over the decades. First,
America typically goes through periodic bouts of neurotic self-doubt, only
to wake up and snap out of it. Indeed, indebted Americans are already bracing
for fiscal restraint and parsimony as an antidote to past profligacy.
decline is relative and does not occur in a vacuum. As Western economic
and scientific values ripple out from Europe and the United
States, it is understandable that developing countries like China,
can catapult right into the 21st century. But that said, national strength
is still found in the underlying hardiness of the patient -- its demography,
culture and institutions -- rather than occasional symptoms of ill health.
that regard, America integrates immigrants and assimilates races and ethnicities
in a way Europe cannot. Russia,
China and Japan are simply not culturally equipped to deal with millions
who do not look Slavic, Chinese or Japanese. The Islamic world cannot ensure
religious parity to Christians, Jews or Hindus -- or political equality
Navy Gets Bigger -- But Why?
Dr. Austin Bay, Real Clear Politics, December 15 2010
Chinese Navy's expansion program began in the 1990s, as China's
fleet began to venture away from China's coast and develop blue water (open
ocean) capabilities. Now Chinese submarines encounter U.S. Navy task forces,
and Chinese warships turn up in the Indian Ocean. China may launch its
first aircraft carrier in 2011. It will take years to produce carrier pilots
and crew comparable to those in the Navy, but acquiring the technology
is a huge step.
does China intend to do with its carrier? The rest of Asia, from India
wants to know. For example, Chinese maritime claims in the South China
Sea conflict sharply with those of Vietnam
and the Philippines.
A carrier extends China's offensive reach in this contested sea zone.
New Missile: A Game Changer?
Wounds' Points to al-Qaeda's Defeat
James Carafano, PhD, Family Security Matters, December 28 2010
center combats terrorist threats to the U.S. through education,
research and policy analyses. Center staff work with cadets, as well as
the Pentagon and law enforcement agencies at all levels of government.
They produce some of the world's best work on transnational terrorism
center's latest product, "Self-Inflicted
Wounds: Debates and divisions with al Qa'ida and its periphery," (pdf
document, downloadable, 251 pages in length) is a must read. No
better "state of the enemy" assessment exists. It concludes that the Islamist
terrorist movement has not weathered the global war well.
pressures and internal divisions have taken their toll. "Self-Inflicted
wounds" describes the jihadi movement, helmed by al Qaeda, as "one that
lacks coherence and unity, despite its claims to the contrary."
world will be worse without a liberal hegemon.
Michael Auslin, The National Review, December 28 2010
the clinical view that Kennedy takes, the United States (and before it,
Great Britain) is, in the end, simply interchangeable with all previous
and future great powers, and its unique domestic society and global behavior
are but epiphenomenal. The best that Kennedy can do is a grudging acknowledgment
that "we should all be careful to wish away a reasonably benign American
hegemony; we might regret its going." Such are the wages paid to nearly
two centuries of liberal growth and international stewardship.
in Kennedy’s ruminations do the words "liberty"
or "freedom" appear, and he mentions democracy only once, when recounting
Harvard political scientist Joseph Nye’s analysis of the global effects
of American power. The indivisible links among a given society’s domestic
structure, its national strength, and its international position are thus
is no recognition either that national greatness over the long term must
come from the character of a given society or that the nature of the hegemonic
country will determine to a great degree the nature of the international
system. It is no accident that Great Britain and the United States became
so powerful and stable. Surely, the unique combination of ever-more-efficient
and production along with slowly expanding democracy should be accounted
the prime source of Anglo-American greatness.
Meddlers Turned Back in Iraq
Amir Taheri, Family Security Matters, December 28 2010
Dec. 21, the National Assembly, Iraq's parliament, approved the 42 members
of the proposed Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki -- a long
but exciting process as the parliament members discussed and then voted,
one by one, on each ministerial candidate.
good news is that the government was formed without foreign intervention.
America, which still has more than 50,000 troops in Iraq, decided from
the start to stay on the sidelines. The regional powers saw that as an
opportunity for meddling.
Islamic Republic in Iran reportedly spent almost $1 billion to help its
Iraqi Shiite allies win seats in the general election. The result
was a meager 45 out of 320 seats, divided among several groups.
Supremacists Envision a Takeover of the Internet
Pamela Geller, The American Thinker, December 28 2010
was hardly noticed at the time, but its consequences could be catastrophic.
Late last September, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN), which assigns internet domain names, approved
a huge change in the way it operates. Europe and North America
will now have five seats on its Board of Directors, instead of ten, and
a new "Arab States" region will have five seats as well.
big a deal is this? ICANN at the same time took a reference to "terrorism"
out of its Draft Applicant Guidebook. Why? Because Arab groups
complained. And so now jihad terror websites can grow and prosper,
as ICANN has removed its own ability to police them.
# # #
Poverty of Ambition: Why the West is Losing to China and India
By Joel Kotkin, Forbes Magazine,
December 30 2010
The last 10 years have been
the worst for Western civilization since the 1930s. At the onset of the
new millennium North America, Europe and Oceania stood at the cutting edge
of the future, with new technologies and a lion’s share of the world’s
GDP. At its end, most of these economies limped, while economic power
– and all the influence it can buy politically – had shifted to China,
India and other developing countries.
Altogether, 35 percent of
the nation’s total population growth occurred in these nine non-taxing
states, which accounted for just 19 percent of total population at the
beginning of the decade.
This past decade China’s
economic growth rate, at 10% per annum, grew to five times that U.S.; the
gap was even more disparate between China and the slower-growing
E.U., Yet periods of slow economic growth occur throughout history
— recall the 1970s — and economies recover. The bigger problem facing Western
countries, then, is a metaphysical one — a malady that the British
writer Austin Williams has dubbed "the poverty of ambition."
This lack of ambition plagues
virtually every Western country. The ability to act has become shackled
by a profound pessimism that according
to a recent Gallup survey contrasts with the optimism found
not only in rising states like China, India and Brazil, but also deeply
impoverished places like Bangladesh.
Tithe for Uncle Sam
By John Addison Teevan,
The Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, December 29 2010
Political leaders talk as
if the money Americans keep (not paid in taxes) belongs to the government
and that our keeping money they could tax is an actual cost to them. This
kind of distorted thinking has led us into the fiscal irresponsibility
that threatens to destroy our country. ...
The most extreme example
of the fallacious notion that government has a right to its citizens’ money
is the idea is that the cost to the government of not taxing the disposable
income of all Americans at 100 percent is $11.5 trillion (as if we’d bother
working if we faced a 100 percent tax rate). Economist Arthur Laffer noted
that the government might collect little in taxes if the tax rates were
either very low or very high, because in the latter case Americans
would adjust their income according to tax incentives. Government officials
unfortunately tend not to think in terms of incentives but of rules and
therefore assume, contrary to Laffer’s findings, that higher tax rates
always bring in more revenue.
Taken to its conclusion,
this thinking leads tragically to socialism. If we think the government
is the best source of compassion for the needy and the engine of economic
growth, then it makes sense to set taxes at high rates so the government
can do all good things for the people. One small faction that I read about
in an Ohio paper wants Uncle Sam to hire all unemployed people and then
print the money to pay them. This childish scheme is really a variation
of the more respectable idea that tax cuts "cost" the government in the
same way that spending on defense or health care does.
Clintonian Comeback for Obama
By Tony Blankley, Real Clear
Politics, December 29 2010
Don't believe all the Washington
talk that President Obama had a great lame duck session and goes into the
new year and the new 112th congress with the whip hand. Utter nonsense.
Let's review the lame duck
session as it happened -- not as it has been instantly revised by the ever-obliging
Washington press corps.
In the first week or so,
the president capitulated to Ronald Reagan's supply side theory that tax
cuts expand the economy, and tax increases contract it. The central policy
was to not let expire the Bush tax cuts, not only because it would be tough
on middle-class taxpayers, but also, the White House argued, because keeping
tax rates down would be good for the economy.
Even the great triangulator,
Bill Clinton, never conceded this point. In 1993, he raised taxes by about
$400 billion to manage the deficit. And, while the economy slowed down
briefly to a mere 1.9 percent GDP growth, the new dot-com technology business
brought us the great economic expansion of the later 1990s -- so Clinton
never conceded to supply side theory.
Sets Up Death Panels By Fiat
By Jeffrey Lord, The American
Spectator, December 28 2010
While Americans were busy
celebrating with family and friends and presumably not paying attention
to the news, the New York Times, in a story ironically dated Christmas
Day -- a holiday celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace -- reported
Obama Returns to End-of-Life
Plan That Caused Stir
When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political
storm over "death panels," Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul
the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same
goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.
In other words, the 2009 charge
leveled by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the then-House Minority
Leader Boehner that Obama fully intended to set up what Palin termed government
"death panels" -- panels that Boehner said would set the government on
the road to euthanasia -- is no longer a charge. It's reality. By executive
fiat -- in this case a new Medicare rule issued by Obama Medicare chief
Dr. Donald Berwick.
Immortal Tyranny of Climate Change.
Regulation takes over
when legislation is defeated
By John Hayward, Human Events,
December 29 2010
Thomas Sowell wrote yesterday
of the effort to secretly re-introduce the ObamaCare "death panels" through
regulation as an "end
run around the Constitution." Here’s another one,
and it’s even bigger: a year after the Climagate scandal decisively exposed
the fraud of global warming, and acting in the face of a new Republican
House that does not look kindly on climate change flim-flams, the Obama
Administration is preparing to enforce their ideology through EPA greenhouse
So much for the latest "hard
pivot to jobs," announced only five days ago by President Obama. These
EPA regulations are guaranteed job-killers, dropping a huge new tax on
every affected business… which will, ultimately, be every business that
Yes, cap-and-trade is back
again. It crawled out of the House of Representatives chewing on
a couple billion dollars of fried pork, then collapsed and died of a coronary
on the Senate floor… but it’s simply been retooled and forced on America
as a set of regulations, due to take effect on January 2nd.
An NRO Symposium
From the National Review,
December 22 2010
What might happen in the
upcoming year? We asked a few of National Review Online’s sages to prophesy
the events of 2011.
Attempts to Link Teacher Tenure to Results
By Stephanie Banchero, The
Wall Street Journal, January 4 2011
Most controversial, the measure
would severely curb teachers' power to strike by giving local school boards
the final say in contract disputes. Illinois is among only 13 states that
allow teachers to walk the picket line.
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