North Archives - January 30, 2007
| Editorial | News & Views
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overview of education in Vermont
By Rep. Duncan Kilmartin
…For those who are familiar
with the movie "The Perfect Storm", we are actually in the midst of "the
perfect storm of public education and its financing". The storm is so great
that public education as we know it may capsize and sink. Here is what
we know with relative certainty: There is no transparency to any part of
the educational system, no definition of public education, no definition
of an adequate education, no definition of what it means to have an equal
opportunity to obtain an adequate education…. -- Duncan Kilmartin is
a Representative from Newport
By Tom Trevor
… it is irrelevant how many
scientists believe humans caused global warming. Science is not advanced
by the most popular theories, but by the correct ones. Before Galileo,
almost all scientists said the earth was the center of the universe…. In
the 1940's many aerodynamicists thought that the "sound barrier" was a
real barrier that could not be "broken" (they thought that drag builds
up infinitely at supersonic speeds). Chuck Yeager proved them wrong…. –
Tom Trevor lives in Stowe
anybody taking Vermont This Week seriously?
By Rob Skinner
I watched Vermont This
Week (Jan. 20 broadcast) and heard Burlington Free Press reporter,
Candace Page, with a comical smirk on her face say, "Does anybody
take this man [Bill O'Reilly] seriously?"… I think most level headed rational,
law abiding citizens, especially with children take him seriously.
I'm sure all Vermonters with children are taking O'Reilly, and the ramifications
of allowing a child molester go free, very, very seriously. I'm sure
Candace Page and fellow panelists, NBC's Stewart Ledbetter and VPR’s Bob
Kinzel as well as far too many Vermont journalists do not take O'Reilly
seriously. But they should…. – Rob Skinner lives in South Hero
Virginia, Vermont taxes Really are that High
By Robert Maynard
In the Monday January 22nd
edition of the Free Press there was an article written by Free Press Staff
writer Nancy Remsen entitled: "Are Vermont taxes Really That High?" … The
problem with both Census Bureau Reports is that it only measures taxes
per capita, not taxes as a percent of per capita income…. Total state and
local taxes amounted to 12.2% of personal income in Vermont, the fifth
highest in the nation….
# # #
Week’s Mail Bag
Go, True North!
Saw the O'Reilly segment.
Keep up the good work. Thanks for staying the course. Don’t let the [illigitamus]
get you down!!
-- Doug Smith, Alabama
Support our President
President Bush's words in
the State of the Union speech proved that he understands our enemy, while
Sen. Jim Webb's response was an exercise in cowardice.
History will show that George
W. Bush was one of the most insightful presidents our nation has ever had,
while the cowardly would-be presidents in the U.S. Senate will do or say
whatever it takes to raise their poll numbers.
We are at war and have been
even before President Bush took office. Other presidents, including George
H.W. Bush, brought us to Sept. 11, 2001, by ignoring the threat and the
potential of our enemies. This president changed that.
The cowardly Democrats with
their Republican renegades have done and will do nothing to save our country.
The Democrat response was a glaring example of Democrat arrogance, weakness
and willingness to run rather than face our enemy. In fact, Sen. Webb's
politically expedient speech has emboldened our enemy and put his own son
in more danger.
America needs to wake up,
leave the malls, get off the iPods and back this president. Our very existence
depends on it.
-- Jerry Liverette, Brandon
Our children need protection
from our judicial system
Fellow Vermonters. Our children
need protection from our judicial system. Known child molesters are released
with conditions, with the hope that "treatment" will transform them from
good people who do bad things to good people that do good things.
The reasons that they are
released are two: the known registered molesters are too large a number
to be imprisoned, and imprisonment will not give them the help that they
need. Who will help the children? Where is the outrage against such a system?
Many of us do not believe "treatment" will work.
We have already stated our
Christian belief to the political activists in Vermont: that all of us
need an inward change of values and behavior including all child molesters
and not a few judges and lawmakers. Political activism is a positive force,
but 2Corinthians 5:17 tells us that we need to be a new creature (or a
new creation), and this is a work that only the Creator can do. Sadly,
many nominal Christians are not "in Christ" which accounts for the failures
within the organized bodies that we commonly identify as "The Church".
Is our statement "judgmental" or a "fact" of history? Read all of Romans
14:10 -12, and be aware that in the "we", we include ourselves. Our behavior
would be unacceptable apart from a [creative] work of God's grace some
40 years ago.
We hope you will keep the
need to protect our children before the public eye in your future broadcasts
-- Richard and Margaret Waite,
The left has not learned
the lessons of Vietnam
American Democrats have campaigned
on the issue of an exit strategy for ending US involvement in Iraq. Thanks
to these efforts, we now have an exit strategy which the United States
may bitterly regret. During the campaign, the Democrats’ theme was that
when things got unpleasant enough in Iraq, the US must simply withdraw
-- unilaterally, unconditionally.
Whatever some on the Left
believe the Lessons of Vietnam were, Americans should read the actual words
of the international Jihadist movement to understand what most of the Third
World took in as the lesson of Vietnam. Start with North Vietnamese
operations commander Gen. Giap, who stated that Americans were unable to
tolerate casualties incurred in pursuit of a strategic goal. Therefore,
Giap stated, an opponent of US policy could easily develop substantial
political clout inside the US by inflicting continuous though minor casualties
on US forces.
The Jihadi movement, who
see the modernizing and democratizing philosophy of the US as a threat
to their hegemony, very well understood the unwillingness of the American
public to endure military pain. Over the past 20 years, in the face
of violence we have therefore simply withdrawn from Beirut, from Mogadishu,
from Khobar Towers. We have endured Lockerbie, the Berlin nightclub bombing,
and 9/11. Withdrawal from Iraq guarantees that we will be hit again.
It may be a direct hit on US forces, like the strike on the USS Cole, or
indirect like the Bali nightclub bombing or the Nairobi embassy. But we
may be sure, this exit strategy gives us no exit and no peace.
-- Bruce Shields
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Ready For A Tax Hike
Caledonian Record Editorial,
January 24, 2007
With an amazing disingenuousness,
Democratic Speaker of the House Gaye Symington, after she massaged the
friendly-to-income-redistribution report, said, "It's not as if I'm saying
Vermont is a low tax state. We just want to be truthful about what the
comparisons really are." Sure we do…. Ms. Symington will surely tell us
how the comparisons will prove that Vermont is really a low tax state that
can easily absorb a big tax increase….
& Leahy lead assault on free speech
Activists on the far left
are positively giddy over the Democrats' takeover of Congress, and they're
ready to do "whatever it takes" to set their gains in stone by passing
new laws to KILL CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO…. But the biggest rounds of applause
-- and the strongest support received -- came when Sen. Bernie Sanders
(I-VT), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) announced
their plans to bring back one of the most onerous anti-free speech rules
ever seen in America: the horribly misnamed "Fairness Doctrine…"
tax revolt builds in Mendon
By Gordon Dritschilo, Rutland
Herald, January 24, 2007
"Nine years ago, my property
taxes were $2,200," said Ed Fowler of Killington. "Today, on the same house,
my taxes are $12,000…."This is not fair and it's not equal," he said. "Yes,
my property taxes have gone up, but I don't want to sell and I don't want
Vt. broke law on ed fund
By BOB AUDETTE, Brattleboro
According to state Rep. Rick
Hube, R-South Londonderry, the state of Vermont broke its own law by failing
to transfer the required amount of money into its education fund from its
general fund…. "The money is being used for other state expenditures,"
said Hube…. [D]uring this session's budget reconciliation workshops, he
hopes his fellow lawmakers will make sure the education fund gets the $25.7
million he said it is owed for the past two years….
By Geoffrey Norman, Vermont
Tiger, January 29, 2007
Vermonters are still waiting
for Montpelier to engage in the promised full-contact debate over the statewide
property tax and the rising – not to say “out of control” – cost of education.
Nobody denies that the debate is necessary or that it will be exceedingly
tough. Politicians would rather drink cold cooking grease than either
raise taxes or cut spending and they may soon be obliged to do both.
VT Public Has Spoken
Valley News Editorial, Published
January 21, 2007
People in the rest of Vermont
are indebted to Bradford-area residents for registering enough displeasure
about a forum on school governance to induce state educational officials
to make major changes. We suppose credit is due to state officials for
being open-minded enough to change course, but only after they answer a
question about the original arrangement: What were they thinking?...
Burlington ballot lawsuit thrown out
By Sky Barsch, Burlington
Free Press, January 23, 2007
… Agnes Clift of South Burlington
argued that the city erred when it refused to put an item advocating parental
notification for minors seeking abortions up for vote on the city's annual
meeting day. "It's such a tough issue, because the state law clearly says
petitioned items shall be placed on the ballot. Then the courts rule, 'That's
not what the Legislature meant,'" she said. Clift was citing the law concerning
town meeting warnings, which states, "... The warning shall also contain
any article or articles requested by a petition signed by at least five
percent of the voters of the municipality and filed with the municipal
clerk not less than 40 days before the day of the meeting." Clift had the
required signatures and handed the petition in on time….
# # #
Group Calls for More Nuclear Power
James Hoare, Environment
News, February 1, 2007
Nuclear power offers a safe
and economical way to meet anticipated growth in American energy demand,
according to an October 2006 report by the Progressive Policy Institute,
a policy arm of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)…. The DLC's support
for nuclear power may undermine efforts by U.S. Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid (D-NV) to block completion of the Yucca Mountain storage facility
for spent nuclear fuel….
to Global Climate Change: The Potential Contribution of Nuclear Power
A position paper by the
… Nuclear power has the advantage
of not producing carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. As such, it
has the potential to play a vital role in meeting this challenge….
health plan as starting block
The Christian Science Monitor,
January 25, 2007
Democrats can't afford to
reject a veto-wielding president's ideas on healthcare reform until 2009….
[T]he basic Bush markers in this debate: 1. Individuals must retain the
freedom to choose their type of healthcare, and that requires a market-based
approach in which patients and their healthcare providers have maximum
say. 2. States such as California and Massachusetts are proving to be laboratories
for providing universal health insurance, and a grand federal solution
can wait for those models to show promise. 3. The current, limited federal
hand in healthcare is in need of reform, and any action there must be revenue
were the numbers like for D-Day?
By Mark Steyn, The Washington
Times, January 22, 2007
"That poll about Iraq...
posed various questions about whether folks thought the 'surge' was a good
idea or not. Including the following: 'Do you personally want
the Iraq plan President Bush announced last week to succeed?' And here's
how the American people answered: 63 percent said yes, 22 percent said
no, 15 percent said they didn't know. Let me see if I understand that.
For four years, regardless of this or that position on the merits of the
war, almost everybody has claimed to 'support our troops.' Some of us have
always thought that 'supporting the troops' while not supporting them in
their mission is not entirely credible. But here we have 37 percent of
the American people actually urging defeat on them. They 'support our troops'
by wanting them to lose. This isn't a question about whether you think
the plan will work, but whether you want it to work. And nearly 40 percent
of respondents either don't know or are actively rooting for failure...
What were the numbers like for D-Day?"