North Archives - February 03, 2009
| Editorial | News & Views
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By Martin Harris
month being February, and particularly because it’s the bicentennial counting
from an 1809 birth-year, it’s time for the annual worship of all things
Lincoln, the President who is a textbook hero for having ended chattel
slavery. There are hundreds of books on every aspect of Lincoln’s signature
achievement except one. There’s less than a dozen on the validity of his
preferred method –war—for ending it. There’s only one seriously discussing
his use of military tribunals, newspaper shutdowns, imprisonment and executions
of civilians, suspension of habeas corpus, deliberate collateral civilian
damage as war policy, and a host of similar activities far more frequently
than the recent Bush administration has been so extensively criticized
for. There’s almost no discussion of his mid-war objective-shift: from
union-saving to slave-freeing. And yet you never hear the gentry–left chanting
"Lincoln lied, people died".
By Curtis Hier
they're gonna send the terrorists to Vermont … Leahy and Sanders want to
give them Lazy Boys … Give 'em a daylong ski pass." Such was the derision
recently offered by Bill O'Reilly on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" that is
often reserved for Vermont on that show. In response, I'd like to offer
an open letter from this seventh-generation Vermonter. ...
"Unfortunately, Mr. O'Reilly,
you are largely right. Today, our leaders in Vermont lack courage. And
they don't see that it's not about revenge or blood thirst. It's not about
physical courage, although our brave Vermonters serving in Iraq and Afghanistan
possess that kind. It's about moral courage, intellectual courage, political
courage — courage of the pen, if not of the sword."
the Real Moderate Please Stand Up?
By Todd Fillmore
Muslims…" "Spiritual Islam..." "Political Islam…" "Militant…"
With its center-stage presence
in world affairs, barrels of ink are spent in public discussion about the
world of Islam, almost always employing such words in an attempt to label,
define and dissect the broad range of religiosity and political impact
of Islam’s one billion or so adherents. But within the West’s recent struggle
to understand how Islam’s growing presence dovetails into American ideals
of self-governance, national security, and love of liberty – especially
in the complex concretion of human interaction - what value do all of these
labels really have?
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"…it should not be surprising
to see hordes of former Reds, or of those who otherwise would have become
Reds, turning from Marxism and becoming the Greens of the ecology movement.
It is the same fundamental philosophy in a different guise, ready as ever
to wage war on the freedom and well-being of the individual."
-- Dr. George Reisman’s
magnum opus Capitalism
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
From Vermont Tiger, January
What is regrettably happening
Building Bright Futures program is another argument for
a tax cut and real incentives for businesses to grow in this state.
Tax revenues cannot be generated out of good will – they can only be generated
by businesses. Businesses that pay salaries to employees who pay
taxes on their income, who pay taxes on the homes they buy with their incomes,
who pay taxes on other consumables they buy with their incomes. Businesses
aren’t evil, vampire-esque beings – a business’s profitability ensures
that employees can afford to keep a roof over their head and live their
lives, and provide tax revenues to the state to provide those critical
services so much of our population desperately needs.
Bureaucratic Game Of Bullet Dodging
Caledonia Record Editorial,
Jan 31, 2009
Every office and agency in
Vermont is facing the very real demand to cut costs, even to the point
of eliminating jobs and services. And one of the skills that every bureaucrat
has, but none has ever listed it on his/her resumé, is a well-developed
ability to appear to cut costs/services while dodging the cost-cutting
mandates. We saw two of them in recent weeks.
gives VT, N.H. Failing Grade on Teacher Reviews
From The Associated Press,
January 29, 2009
A national study suggests
quality control is seriously lacking when it comes to keeping good teachers
and dumping bad ones.... Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and
Vermont earned F's, as did the District of Columbia.
From Vermont Tiger, January
The evidence is plain and
leads to a simple conclusion: IBM will keep inventing semiconductor technology
but is not planning to make chips much longer. Do you get the picture?
Our largest employer is in a losing, capital-intensive business and has
already feathered its nest in at least three other countries to assure
continued manufacturing of the chips it requires.
Oops…Time to look at Plan
Conversation With Governor Douglas
From The Caledonia Record,
January 28, 2009
In a freewheeling conversation
with this board, Gov. Douglas frequently returned to two pivotal positions
that he holds. The first is that Vermont and Vermont's legislators must
do what is necessary to make our government fiscally sustainable. The second
is that we must position ourselves for competitive success. He is right
on both counts.
The governor believes that,
given the annual expansion of our government and its concomitant expansion
of costs, our government is not fiscally sustainable.
Board Supports Budget Freeze
From WCAX-TV, January 28,
The State Board of Education
has endorsed an education spending freeze proposed by the Douglas Administration.
It comes at a time when districts across the state are preparing spending
plans for Town Meeting Day. The Governor says the freeze would save $40
million in education funds that could be used to spare other programs from
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Beats A Global Retreat
By Claudia Rosett, Forbes,
January 29, 2009
Just four or five years ago,
the headlines were full of democratic movements, notably the yellow, rose
and cedar "revolutions" in the Ukraine, Georgia and Lebanon. The Taliban
had been toppled, Saddam Hussein overthrown.
Democratic stirrings were heralded from the streets of Iran and China to
promises of reform in Saudi Arabia and Libya. Freedom was continuing a
roll begun way back in the Reagan era. Tyrants were on the outs with polite
These days, dictators are
on a roll. Among the many signs was last week's op-ed in TheNew York
Times by none other than Muammar Qaddafi, unrepentant and brutal tyrant
in Tripoli for the past 40 years--though, for the purposes of this piece,
the Times identifies him politely as "the leader of Libya." I am
still pondering that article, and not solely because this is the same New
York Times that last fall rejected an op-ed by John
McCain when he was running for president. Qaddafi used his patch
of American editorial space to float a plan that would demographically
blitz democratic Israel out of existence by setting up a single combined
Palestinian-Israeli state, which he suggests we call "Isratine."
Laden: Gaza is one of the many fronts of ‘World Jihad’
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family
Security Matters January 23, 2009
To Osama Bin Laden, the confrontation
in Gaza is not a local national issue but it is part of what he coins as
"world Jihad" against the Kuffars (infidels), or more precisely the "Crusader-Zionist
enemy." This stark ideological reminder came through a new audio message
by the leader of al Qaeda at a time Israeli forces and Hamas’ Jihadists
were still fighting in the enclave. The bin Laden address was titled "Call
to Jihad to stop the aggression against Gaza" and was addressed to the
"Umma" (Islamic Nation). The following is my analysis of this latest tape.
Hits (Vol. II)
From Investor's Business
Daily, January 26, 2009
War On Terror: Another
missile strike in Pakistan kills five more terrorist leaders. If al-Qaida
thought it might get a breather with the election of President Obama, it
was sadly mistaken.
Officials: Al-Qaida Leadership Cadre 'Decimated'
India Strategic Partnership on Laser-Based Missile Defense
By James Carafano, PhD,
Family Security Matters, January 29, 2009
Last week, the Press Trust
of India reported that defense officials intend to produce a laser capable
of shooting down enemy ballistic missiles. The United States is a global
leader in directed-energy defenses, including both low and high-powered
lasers. American military research is also highly advanced in the technologies
of acquiring targets as well as the command, control, and battle management
necessary to identify and direct weapons to destroy missiles and other
In recent years, the United
States and India have increased bilateral cooperation in a range of defense,
counterterrorism, and homeland security areas. This cooperation is helping
increase trust and confidence between the two nations while fostering security,
stability, and prosperity in Asia. Working together on directed-energy
developments offers a significant opportunity to strengthen the U.S.-India
Nukes With Bibi
From Investor's Business
Daily, January 26, 2009
Middle East: Choosing
Barack Obama as president is supposed to change the world, but it may be
another election that averts Islamist nuclear terror. Bibi Netanyahu as
Israeli leader might just neutralize Iran.
Ahmed Threatens Parliament into Submission
From Cranmer Blogspot, January
It appears that a member
of the House of Lords had invited the Dutch politician, Geert
Wilders, to a private meeting in the Palace of Westminster.
She had intended to invite her colleagues in the Lords to a private viewing
of his ‘documentary’ Fitna,
followed by discussion and debate in true parliamentary fashion. This is,
after all, a liberal democracy, and their lordships enjoy the rights of
freedom of expression and freedom of association, not to mention certain
parliamentary privileges for the protection of their function in the legislature.
But no sooner had the unsuspecting
baroness sent out her invitations, Lord Ahmed raised hell. It is reported
that he ‘threatened to mobilise 10,000 Muslims to prevent Mr Wilders from
entering the House and threatened to take the colleague who was organising
the event to court’.
# # #
Christian Prescription for Health-Care Reform
By Dr. Donald P. Condit,
The Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, January 28 2009
If patients participated
more directly in paying for their care, medical resource consumption would
diminish. Patients paying at the point of service are more prudent purchasers
of health care than those perceiving health-care benefits as an entitlement.
They seek to be more informed. They ask more questions about quality, outcomes,
and cost. Patients directly paying insurance premiums would lead to stronger
demand for better service. The affluent elderly could bear more financial
The Second Vatican Council
defined the common good as, "the sum total of social conditions which allow
people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment
more fully and more easily." This precept contemplates the allocation of
scarce resources. The common good would be better served with market-oriented
reforms rather than expanding government or employer based health-care.
Third-party responsibility for health care promotes resource overconsumption.
The $250 billion federal tax subsidy for employer based health-care could
be more justly deployed. Increasing insurance industry competition would
improve affordability and quality, including allowing insurance purchase
from states without expensive mandates.
The principle of subsidiarity
places a duty on those closest to a need to provide care: "A community
of a higher order should not assume the task belonging to a community of
a lower order and deprive it of its authority. It should rather support
it in case of need" (Catechism of the Catholic Church). Subsidiarity encourages
assistance for those unable to access the health care market. It motivates
care by those closer to the sick than government or employer.
Devalued the American Dream?
By Dr. Arthur Robinson,
Human Events, January 27, 2009
A half century ago, the United
States was an industrial colossus -- a great monument to the productive
potential of a free people. Moreover, with the advent of safe, abundant,
and astonishingly inexpensive nuclear energy coupled with initial rapid
advances in micro science and engineering, America was poised for another,
even more spectacular era of advance. If this advance had been allowed
to take place, Americans could have led all of the world's people into
a wonderful period of progress and prosperity, orders of magnitude beyond
anything the world has ever known -- and, as things stand now, may ever
What happened? We allowed
government to take away too much of our freedom.
Education and Indoctrination Cannot Co-exist
By Gabriel Garnica, Esq.,
Family Security Matters, January 29, 2009
As liberals everywhere light
cigarettes in the afterglow of their inauguration paradise, sane Americans
with queasy stomachs can focus their attention on the many areas where
the left’s fingerprints look more like infantile graffiti than any sign
of constructive or rational achievement. Clearly, education is one of these
liberal crime scenes. As an educator for over 20 years who taught in an
school for three years, I have seen why liberals repeatedly
fumble the opportunity to properly educate our young people.
of Education’s Role
Liberals see education as
a means of indoctrination in their agenda, not necessarily as a means of
personal improvement leading to overall societal gain. Many of these people
will argue that they certainly want their students to improve and learn
in the best possible environment, but this is a large tub of hogwash as
evidenced by their own policies and track record.
Cooling Leaves the UN with Snow on its Face
By Todd Keister NY Examiner
January 27 2009
Yesterday, for only the second
in recorded history, it snowed
in the Arabian Peninsula. Last month, while the United Nations was conducting
its annual Chicken Little fright fest over the global warming menace, snow
was blanketing Houston and New Orleans. Did this year’s record-cold and
the growing body evidence that the Earth is actually cooling rather than
warming deter the UN from proclaiming man-made global warming an incontrovertible
fact? Of course not; because global warming has nothing to do with concern
over the environment. It is a backdoor way of attacking the capitalist
economic system in general and the United States in particular – what writer
Eric Englund has termed "socialism’s
slam Barack Obama's stimulus package
By Alex Singleton, Telegraph
UK, January 28, 2009
The line from Barack Obama
and Joe Biden is that all economists agree with a stimulus package to expand
government spending. So they won't have been happy to see a full page advertisement
in today's New
York Times disagreeing, signed by around 200 academic economists,
including three Nobel prize-winners.
Plan Is Really About Enlarging Gov't
By Thomas Sowell, Investors
Business Daily, January 26, 2009
If the Beltway politicians
aren't really trying to solve this crisis as quickly as they could, what
are they trying to do? One important clue may be a recent statement by
the president's chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, that "a crisis is a terrible
thing to waste."
This is the kind of cynical
revelation that sometimes slips out, despite all the political pieties
and spin. Crises have long been seen as great opportunities to expand the
federal government's power while the people are too scared to object and
before any opposition can get organized.
Hatred and Obama Euphoria Are Two Sides of the Same Coin
By Peter Berkowitz, The
Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2009
In fact, Bush hatred and
Obama euphoria -- which tend to reveal more about those who feel them than
the men at which they are directed -- are opposite sides of the same coin.
Both represent the triumph of passion over reason. Both are intolerant
of dissent. Those wallowing in Bush hatred and those reveling in Obama
euphoria frequently regard those who do not share their passion as contemptible
and beyond the reach of civilized discussion. Bush hatred and Obama euphoria
typically coexist in the same soul.
Intelligence Monitoring 3 Ailing Foreign Leaders
By Tom Gjelten, NPR, February
When a country's leader falls
seriously ill, attention turns to the likely successor. In democracies,
the succession process is usually straightforward. But in dictatorships
or monarchies, the death of a powerful leader may produce a political crisis.
U.S. intelligence analysts right now are following the medical conditions
of three ailing foreign leaders in particular. In each case, the United
States has a stake in the outcome. ...
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