North Archives - January 9, 2007
| Editorial | News & Views
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A Success Story in the Fight Against AIDS
By Todd Fillmore
… While most of Sub-Saharan
Africa was looking to Western AIDS pundits and their purses, in 1986 Uganda
began crafting its own approach to AIDS, with little outside influence.
The result was their balanced "ABC" program – (A)bstinence, (B)e faithful,
and, if you must, (C)ondoms, with the primary emphasis on the first two….
Uganda, has achieved remarkable and unique success, wrestling its peak
infection rate from 21% in 1989 to a low of 6% in 2002. This radical reduction
remains unmatched in the world, least of all by its southern African neighbors,
many of whom still suffer double digit infection rates as high as 33%,
with only marginal improvements. – Todd Fillmore does research for Vermont
Governor's "Vermont's Way Forward"
By John McClaughry
…The Governor stood before
a chamber heavily dominated by his Democratic opponents. He knew that the
leading issue in the voters' minds is the rising burden of property taxes
to support public education. Curbing the steady rise of education costs
has been a major component of his Affordability Agenda…. – John McClaughry
is president of the Ethan Allen Institute (www.ethanallen.org)
By Robert Maynard
… The bureaucratic welfare
state creates a sense of entitlement and a victim mentality. All of one’s
problems are seen as someone else’s fault and the "victim" is entitled
to the fruits of someone else’s labor. This resulting attitude makes it
unlikely that the recipient of aid would feel any gratitude toward his
benefactor, since he has been conditioned to see such aid as an entitlement
rather than an act of human compassion. The impersonal nature of the state
acting as a mediator for such aid further alienates the recipient from
his benefactor. The end result is a society divided into groups of passive
recipients clamoring for more entitlements and productive workers trying
to find ways to avoid the heavy burden of taxes that are the result…. –
Maynard lives in Williston
Age or Global Warming?
By Frank Mazur
…The Media Research Center’s
Business & Media Institute researched the print media on climate change
back until the late 1800’s. Since 1895 the New York Times, Time magazine
and Newsweek, reported three or four different climate shifts. Most
recently, publications that warned global warming today predicted an ice
age in the 1970’s…. -- Frank Mazur is a small business owner and was
a member of the Vermont House from 1995-2004 (www.frankmazur.com)
# # #
Week's Mail Bag
Need School Choice Now
"I've been thinking about
comprehensive statewide vouchers and am coming around to the point of view
that in order to get it, we must go for the whole hog; incrementalism just
Weekly News Round-Up
House Republicans raise profile of escalating property tax issue
WCAX, January 5, 2007
Democratic legislative leaders
and the governor have played down the issue of escalating property taxes
in the opening days of the 2007 session, but House Republicans want to
move it back to center stage…. The Republicans stepped up because, they
said, they weren't hearing enough discussion. "We still believe there are
some here in this Statehouse who don't believe we have problems with the
property tax," said Rep. Steve Adams, R-Hartland, minority leader…. "I
think this biennium we will revisit that as a complete set of questions,"
[Speaker Gaye] Symington said. "How can we pay for these schools in a way
that's perceived as more fair."
Italics, and Underline added. Why doesn’t the Speaker intend to focus on
solutions that are ACTUALLY fair, and not just perceived (or misperceived)
to be fair. It looks like all we can expect out of the majority leadership
on the most pressing issue facing Vermonters in their daily lives is smoke-and-mirrors
manipulation of perceptions. Vermonters deserve better.
Welch sworn in as new senator, congressman
By Erin Kelly, Burlington
Free Press, January 5, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Bernie Sanders
was sworn in Thursday as the first lifelong independent ever to become
a U.S. senator. He immediately pledged not to let the staid Senate change
his maverick ways. "We can't let the tradition and decorum of the Senate
get in the way of the fundamental change we need to make in the way business
is done in the United States of America…."
supposedly cherish civility, decorum and a traditional approach to politics
dubbed "the Vermont Way." The Free Press editorialized on New Year’s Eve,
"We are blessed
with a capacity for reasonable political discussion because we know and
respect one another." Others in the press have warned those in Montpelier
not to criticize each other. One wonders if the editorial pages in Vermont’s
"mainstream" media will now blast Senator Sanders for being out of touch
with the feelings and priorities his constituents and will warn him not
to trample on the culture we prize so highly in the Green Mountain State.
diminishes open-meeting laws
Burlington Free Press, Editorial,
When you break the rules,
there will be consequences…. So when an elected body decides to flout the
law, it's disturbing. It's even more so when a court recognizes the violation,
but decides nothing needs to be done about it. That's what happened in
the closing days of 2006 when Chittenden Superior Court Judge Matthew Katz
ruled that the South Burlington School Board violated the state's open-meeting
laws…. [in which] the School Board held an illegal meeting Feb. 5 with
then-schools Superintendent Gail Durckel to negotiate a separation agreement
under which she agreed to never again apply for a position with the school
district and received a $104,000 payoff…. Judge Katz's ruling opens the
door for the School Board, or any other public body, to hold illegal closed
meetings without fear of punishment as long as it goes through the motions
of affirming in public those decisions made in secret….
is as frightening as it is outrageous. When the law does not apply to the
lawmakers, it is nothing short of tyranny.
bill being redrafted
By Lauren Ober, Burlington
Free Press, January 2
After Gov. Jim Douglas' veto
last year of a bill that would have protected the state's transgender population
from discrimination, proponents of the measure began work to reintroduce
similar legislation this legislative term…. Transgender advocates vowed
to reintroduce the bill in 2007 and have been working with the governor's
office to address his concerns, said Kara DeLeonardis, executive director
of R.U.1.2? Queer Community Center…. Once the ambiguity is removed from
the bill's language, [Press Secreatary, Jason] Gibbs said the governor
is looking forward to working with the Human Rights Commission and the
Legislature to pass the measure….
plant employing 170 closes
Associated Press, January
Specialty Filaments Inc.,
a manufacturer employing 170 people, has closed….
Take Vermont forward
By Shay Totten, Vermont
Guardian, January 4, 2007
Gov. Jim Douglas kicked off
his third term in office Thursday, calling on lawmakers to embrace his
four-point plan to make environmental engineering the state’s new job growth
industry and make Vermont the first "e-state" in the nation. Outlining
what he calls the "Vermont Way Forward," Douglas called on the Legislature
to put in place his four-point strategy of environmental leadership, job
creation, technological advancement, and innovative education….
# # #
can do lots of damage in 100 hours
The Detroit News, January
Democrats took over Congress
Thursday promising to march through their populist agenda like Sherman
through Georgia…. what Democrats are likely to deliver is a package of
shallow bills that don't accomplish their goals, are filled with unintended
consequences and beg for a presidential veto….
Retreat on Rationing Free Speech?
By George Will
A three-judge federal court
recently tugged a thread that may begin the unraveling of the fabric of
murky laws and regulations that traduce the First Amendment by suppressing
political speech. Divided 2 to 1, the court held -- unremarkably, you might
think -- that issue advocacy ads can run during an election campaign, when
they matter most…. Imagine: Judges scouring the political landscape, searching
for evidence (people's past opinions or associations; e-mails and other
communications) that would empower them to rule that grass-roots lobbying
about an issue is "really" the functional equivalent of electioneering
(express advocacy)…. Bob Bauer, a Democratic campaign lawyer, rightly warns
that the prospect of such inquiries should "make a sensible citizen's blood
Wait Longer for Medical Care
By Devon Herrick, Health
Care News, January 2007
In recent years, patients
treated by the Canadian health care system have increasingly experienced
lengthy waits to see providers. According a new study on medical care in
Canada, released in October 2006 by the Fraser Institute, "waiting times
are the legacy of a medical system offering low expectations cloaked in
lofty rhetoric"…. "Despite all of the promises made by Canada's provincial
and federal governments, and despite the fact that Canadians are spending
more on health care than ever before…."
Is Not For Actuaries
By George Gilder, January
… As Peter Drucker once wrote
in these pages, "Don't solve problems, pursue opportunities." When Republicans
solve "problems," they feed their failures, starve their strengths, and
fritter away their remaining power in political imbroglios and special
interest pork-fests…. Instead we should take the offensive. Lower tax rates
will yield the additional revenues and borrowing power we need to sustain
social programs for the aged for decades to come….
How to avoid a repeat,
and why it's crucial to do so.
BY Brendan Miniter, January
… When President Bush moved
to topple Saddam Hussein, comparisons to Vietnam never seemed far from
the surface. The media were looking for the first sign that the war had
become a quagmire; and antiwar activists, this time with graying ponytails
and faded peace signs, gathered in public squares to protest the "pre-emptive"
war. But now, just as the conflict is in danger of becoming another Vietnam,
few are willing to sound notes of caution of how to avoid it. And it's
becoming increasingly clear that some policy makers in Washington would
lead us down a similar road to defeat….