North Archives - January 6, 2009
| Editorial | News & Views
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to ''the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" is essential
in establishing both justice and reality. Now our information experts:
our media, educators, and politicians, are devoted to ''the spin, the undetectable
spin, and nothing but dodging the reality." There have always been masters
of selective information, which, however factual, is selected to manipulate:
to lie by telling some truth. A national government "of the people, by
the people, for the people" has largely become a national government of,
by, and for the spinners- the monied elites, the social engineers, the
special interests. It has become parasitical; it does not make prosperity,
but takes prosperity away. Soon it will cease to provide for the common
defense; it will no longer insure domestic tranquility; it will attack
New Deal Strikes Again
HOLC survey of New Haven housing used nationwide A, B, C, and D grades
to evaluate structural condition and neighborhood quality, and these letter
grades were color-coded green, blue, yellow, and red. "Not one inch of
working-class neighborhood in 1913 won high praise [an A or B] from HOLC
in 1937", he writes. In contrast, "Typical of the top suburban locations
would be a section of Spring Glen, in Hamden, just north of the city. The
HOLC report certifies the entire absence of Negroes, foreign-born, and
relief families in this neighborhood of business and professional residents".
Rae continues: "One inclusion in the C grade is the lower Livingston Street
neighborhood, then as now an important residential area for Yale staff,
including myself at this writing…HOLC reports absolutely no black families
living in any of the 11 C-grade neighborhoods…any acknowledgment of blacks
in a neighborhood almost automatically placed it in category D, which put
the red in redline". He goes on to describe the credit and lending implications,
describing HOLC’s area D-5 of frame tenements and multi-family homes (which
he idealizes in his "sidewalk republic" look-back) "this was a neighborhood
which bankers should avoid like a case of syphilis…we have the government
issuing a decisive signal to banks and their loan officer: this is beyond
the range of acceptable risk". With credit thus shut off by the New Deal,
these neighborhoods went into slow and inevitable social and structural
collapse and were bulldozed for low-income housing and urban renewal in
it turns out that the New Deal invented through HOLC exactly the red-lining
that the Carter administration sought to end with 1977 rules ordering banks
to lend to non-credit-worthy applicants under the Community Reinvestment
Act, which "cure" has just imploded. It’s a one-two-three-punch: first
create a problem, then a "cure" and now a "cure" for the cure, for which
consecutive goofs expansive government ought to be, but won’t be, blamed.
As for the original New Deal invention of red-lining: Who knew?
Panegyric to the President
Deborah T. Bucknam
should judge President George W. Bush as one of America’s great Presidents.
His record of accomplishment in foreign policy, his grace in the face of
unrivaled malevolence, his courage in the face of dreadful pressure, and
his vision of a world made free are the stuff of greatness. Here is an
abbreviated catalogue of his accomplishments and virtues...# # #
liberal world order will not let go of their global-warming assault on
free economies until hell freezes over -- by which point, obviously, the
global-warming theory will be visibly disproven." --Tony
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Philanthropy Is Far Better Than Public Entitlement
The Caledonia Record, January 3, 2009
continuous outpouring of charity comes from the hearts of the ordinary
people, and it is the right way to do it, as opposed to the entitlement
programs set up by public bureaucrats and paid for with public funds. Perhaps
the longest emotional distance between two points is that between anonymous
public tax dollars and the recipients of their lock-step benefactions.
The shortest emotional distance, on the other hand, is that between those
who give from compassion and those who gratefully receive gifts that answer
their needs, sometimes desperate needs.
our choice, we would abolish agencies like NEKCA and the entitlement programs
of the state and federal governments and promote private philanthropy.
The connection between givers and receivers should not be lost in the maze
of anonymities within the public agencies.
Vermont Tiger, January 3, 2009
multiple business trips a year to various places in Europe, and have been
doing so for many years (well over a decade). I've learned a lot
just by repeated exposure, including gaining some grasp of the difference
between reality and comfortable illusions.
everyone has probably noted, we are continually pelted with various forms
of goading on this matter - that somehow "Europe" is just a much better
place than the United States. This runs the gamut - from murky claims that
regardless of (whatever) there is more "social justice" in Europe, all
the way to flat-out claims (as noted above) that the standard of living
is higher over there.
how do these claims stack up when one looks at real numbers?
Unsustainable Cultural Dogma
Record Editorial, December 29, 2008
the most recent meeting of the St. Johnsbury School Board, Superintendent
Nicole Saginor, acknowledging the fact that these are tough financial times
for everyone, declined even a modest increase in her salary. That is most
admirable of her. It is prima facie evidence that her heart is in the right
Saginor's professional humility and sacrifice emphasize in stark contrast,
though, the 4 percent increase in their salary scale that the teachers
aren't turning down, and that emphasizes in even starker contrast the structure
of teacher contracts and contract negotiations that inevitably will break
the taxpayer, if they haven't already. Here's how that works.
Tax Rate Debate
WCAX-TV, December 30, 2008
Tax Commissioner Thomas Pelham has issued his tax rate recommendations
for the year, but he's urging lawmakers to reject them. Pelham says his
proposal would result in a $31 million property tax increase despite a
reduction in the property tax rate.
Pelham's letter to the legislature (pdf)
Not Fears At Vermont Yankee
Record Editorial, December 29, 2008
week, a consulting firm, Nuclear Safety Associates, presented the Department
of Public Service a 415-page report that concludes that the Vermont Yankee
nuclear power plant is safe to operate for many years beyond its 2012 license
expiration date. Immediately, the environmental extremists and ideologues,
this time led by Sen. Mark McDonald, D-Orange, attacked the report as biased
and not significant. This is the bell for the next round of anti-nuclear
histrionics designed to close Vermont Yankee in three years.
on the Rise in Vermont
WCAX-TV, January 2, 2009
number of Vermonters filing for bankruptcy last year soared 43 percent,
according to the U.S. Bankruptcy court in Rutland. There were 1,256 bankruptcies
filed in the state in 2008, compared to 876 the year before. Chapter 7
cases led the way. Those are voluntary bankruptcies, people choosing to
reorganize their finances.
Business Startups at Historic Lows
Keagan Harsha, WCAX, January 2, 2009
Numbers for December aren't
yet in, but through November of 2008, 1,866 new businesses had opened in
Vermont. Even if December's numbers match last year's December figures,
that's a 12 percent decrease from 2007-- about a 27 percent decline from
5 years ago. ...In the meantime, more than 800 Vermont businesses closed
their doors in 2008, though state officials believe the number is actually
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
of Iran Looms Large Over Gaza
Walid Phares, Terror Expert/FOX News Contributor, December 31, 2008
it’s hardly the first time we’ve seen these images and tragically seven
years after 9/11 they seem to connect with similar bloodshed in Mosul,
Kabul and Mumbai. Even if both sides in the current Gaza conflict insist
that their confrontation is at the center of the world, in reality it isn’t
anymore. Car bombs and missiles in Beirut, Baghdad and Islamabad are all
horrifying. There is no "top horror" anymore, even in the never- ending
cycle of Gaza’s turmoil. It has all become part of the so-called "War on
Terror" even though the Palestinian-Israeli quarrel is a conflict all its
own. Still, why is this escalation so dramatic, why did it happen, who
triggered it at this particular moment and what can we expect going forward?
It’s too grandiose to claim that anyone has all the answers, but here is
and Its Lessons
Randall Hoven, American Thinker, December 28, 2008
are two major gripes about the Iraq war. The first is that it wasn't
justified. The second is that it was executed badly. I have
that military force against Saddam's Iraq was justified, based on the written
law of the land, passed by large and bipartisan majorities in both houses
of Congress and supported by both pre-war and post-war intelligence.
But all I wish to address here is the second issue: was there some way
to get to the same place of "non-threat" status with Iraq, but with fewer
US coalition and Iraqi civilian casualties?
Out Shariah Law
Investor's Business Daily, December 30, 2008
bailing out AIG, Uncle Sam may have taken on more than he bargained for,
including a constitutional fight over the promotion of religion.
WMD Strikes "Highly Likely" or "Less Likely" Over the Next Five Years?
Walid Phares, Family Security Matters, December 29, 2008
on some aspects of the report released by the AP, I made several points
in an interview to Fox News this past weekend.
the report's assertion that in the next five years America will be hit
by a bio (or other WMD) attack, I advanced another focus to the analysis:
that is, the intention and the identity of the perpetrators of such attacks.
Indeed, over the past five years, U.S. reports concentrated on the "weapons,"
not on the "users." Thus, I am arguing that in the next five years we need
to focus more on the "users" to project their capacity and their intentions.
For example, al Qaeda and other Jihadists most likely haven't yet (to this
hour) acquired such capacity inside the U.S. for the simple reason that
if they had, they would have used them already. While Iran's regime and
Hezbollah have access to WMDs, their decision to use them follows another
strain of logic. Thus, if we project the use of such weapons over the next
five years, the possibility is high.
over 60 per cent of Britain's Muslim schools have extremist links, says
Damian Thompson, Telegraph UK
Muslim schools have been sharply criticised in a controversial draft report
commissioned by a leading think tank which suggests that over 60 per cent
of them are linked to potentially dangerous Islamic fundamentalists. An
early version of the report, entitled When Worlds Collide, alleges
that of the 133 Muslim primary and secondary schools it surveyed, 82 (61.6
per cent) have connections or direct affiliations to fundamentalists. The
133 schools are in the private sector but supposedly subject to Ofsted
Squeegee Men of the New World Order
deviancy can be defined back up.
Jonah Goldberg, National Review, January 1, 2009
9/11, the gloves were off. The far left beseeched the government to retaliate
with, at most, a proportionate response, but no one cared. We toppled the
Taliban as a warm-up act. Terrorists weren’t criminals anymore, they were
enemy combatants, ineligible for the Geneva Conventions. But the war in
Iraq and reports of American zeal in the war on terror have left a sour
taste in our mouths. That there have been no terrorist attacks on our soil
only bolsters the sense that terrorism is manageable, even banal. Barack
Obama leads a counteroffensive from a legal establishment that wants to
treat terrorists like any other criminals. Terrorists in Mumbai or Jeddah
are little more than the squeegee men of the New World Order.
vain legalism will run its course for a good long while, I suspect. And
we will hear and then forget a lot of names before we relearn some hard
# # #
Joseph Ashby, American Thinker, January 03, 2009
Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly
inadequate to the government of any other."
understand this statement we must remember that the Founders based their
philosophies on human nature. So what Adams was saying was not theological
or religious but pragmatic. George Washington's words
clarify Adams' belief:
us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained
without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national
morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
debate over whether this concept is anti-atheist ignores Washington's point.
Which is that "reason" (the atheist's guiding light) and "experience" tell
us that religion is necessary to maintain national morality; not that it's
some mystic force that favors believers over non-believers.
Investor's Business Daily, January 02, 2009
The global warming alarmist in chief has unveiled the environmentalists'
real objective. And no, protecting the planet is not their top concern.
Huntington’s True Vision
fruits of tolerance need roots in the soil of culture and identity.
Jonah Goldberg, National Review, December 31, 2008
book was deeply, and often willfully, misunderstood and mischaracterized
by those who didn’t want it to be true. But after 9/11, it largely set
the terms for how we look at the world. In it, he argued that culture,
religion, and tradition are not background noise, as materialists of the
left and the right often argue. Rather, they constitute the drumbeat to
which whole civilizations march.
view ran counter to important constituencies. The idea that man can be
reduced to homo economicus has adherents among some free-market
economists, most Marxists, and others. But it’s nonsense on stilts. Most
of the globe’s intractable conflicts are more clearly viewed through the
prisms of culture and history than that of the green eyeshade. Tensions
between India and Pakistan or Israel and the Arab world have little to
do with GDP.
to Unwrap the Gift of the Governor
John Kass, The Chicago Tribune, January 2, 2009
Kass, what are you paying Gov.
Rod Blagojevich to give you material for your columns? Or is he
the gift that keeps on giving?" —Sue S.??
Sue: As our esteemed governor has famously said, this thing is "bleeping
golden." But the Illinois political freak show is not a gift to me. I offer
it nobly and without charge, as a gift to America. Because, finally, despite
all the willful cheerleading of national media types who prattled cherubically
about the new Camelot, Americans are finally realizing that Chicago politics
is no fairy tale.
Obama was not found as an infant, floating in a reed basket along
the banks of the Chicago
River. He is not the gentle faun, the Mr. Tumnus, of the Daley
machine. Obama could have forcefully and publicly demanded that Illinois
House Speaker Michael
Madigan and fellow Illinois Democrats support legislation for a
special election to fill his vacated Senate seat. Obama had a responsibility
to the people of Illinois to do so. But he kept his mouth shut. As always,
he avoided conflict with machine political bosses, a consistent character
trait stubbornly ignored by his media cheerleaders.
Business in Minnesota
which every dubious ruling seems to help Al Franken
Street Journal Editorial, January 5, 2009
things keep happening in Minnesota, where the disputed recount in the Senate
race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken may be nearing a dubious outcome.
Thanks to the machinations of Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie
and a meek state Canvassing Board, Mr. Franken may emerge as an illegitimate
Year Of The Bailout
Timothy P. Carney, Examiner Columnist, January 02, 2009
too long ago, in fact, at the beginning of 2008, the U.S. had a reputation
as a free-market economy in which businesses rose and fell of their own
strengths or flaws and to their own profit or loss. But 2008 changed all
that. Too be more precise, the administration of President George W. Bush
changed all that in 2008.
Investor's Business Daily, January 02, 2009
Congress is ready to ram through a half-baked stimulus package costing
as much as $1 trillion. But if it's stimulus we need, why not make it effective
stimulus — tax cuts, say, instead of wasteful spending?
to Make Sure the Stimulus Works
# # #