North Archives - March 02, 2010
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Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities of Members of Congress
By Mark Shepard
recently received a voice message where Congressman Peter Welch respectfully
responded to my emails pointing out many constitutional scholars who make
their case that the healthcare bills as passed the U.S. House or Senate
expands the role of the federal government beyond the limits prescribed
by the Constitution.…
Please take a few minutes
to read the letter below and then consider respectfully expressing your
thoughts to Rep. Welch at http://welch.house.gov.
Beck Takes on the Leviathan
By Robert Maynard
"blogs" and radio shows are still buzzing about the keynote speech that
radio and TV host Glenn Beck delivered at this year’s "Conservative Political
Action Conference", or CPAC. Mr. Beck is being simultaneously hailed and
denounced in conservative circles for his view that the Republicans have
not shown that they can be relied on to halt the expansion of statism.
His critics are not happy with him because they claim that he is putting
the GOP in the same category with the Democrats when it comes to culpability
for the expansion of the state. In one sense they do have a point. Beck
does often sounds like he sees no difference between the two parties. When
one pays more attention to the whole of what he is doing, I think that
his critics miss the bigger point that he is making. The question is not
whether there is a difference between the two parties, but whether that
difference is big enough to expect that the GOP will actually REVERSE the
course that the "progressive" movement has worked set us on for over a
By Martin Harris
on your next hegira to Montpelier, you elevate your deferential gaze to
the symbolic statue topping the Golden Dome, you’ll see the image of Ceres,
the Roman goddess of agriculture. Why it isn’t St. Benedict or St. Isidore,
both recognized as post-pagan patrons of agriculture, I know not, but I
might guess that if a male choice were acceptable (subjunctive contrary
to fact) today, it wouldn’t be St. Benedict, because his motto is "Pray
and Work", both somewhat unwelcome notions in a predominantly irreverent
Western culture in general and an increasingly passive-income-oriented
Vermont economy in particular.
# # #
Week’s Mail Bag
Sanders and Climate Deniers
At an EPA budget hearing
on February 24, Senator Bernie Sanders burst out with this attack on people
who disbelieve the phony science behind the Menace of Global Warming. Said
Sanders, "It reminds me in some ways of … the late 1930s. During that period
of Nazism and fascism’s growth … there were people in this country and
in the British parliament who said ‘Don’t worry! Hitler’s not real! It’ll
This outburst is of course
contemptible, but it’s even more contemptible when you look at Sanders’
checkered political past.
In the late 1930s the radical
Socialist Workers Party had been kicked out of the socialist movement for
staunchly favoring Leon Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution against
The Party opposed US entry
into World War II, on the side of freedom against Nazi fascism. They apparently
felt that "Hitler’s not real and will go away." Nice.
What has this got to do with
Bernie Sanders? In 1980 Sanders agreed to be one of the three Vermont Presidential
electors of that very same Socialist Workers Party.
So I say to Bernie, before
you link scientists and others who don’t believe the manipulated data and
phony computer programs behind the global warming scare with Nazi deniers,
maybe you ought to explain why you put your name on the ballot for a radical
communist party that had opposed America’s fighting a war to defeat Hitler
and the Nazis. I’ll be waiting for your explanation.
* * *
If You Don't Vote, Don't
Twinfield wants an 8% increase
from Plainfield and 13% from Marshfield on our school tax. With 26% state
of Vermont taxes going up in the next 3 years and the fed's 21%, our reps.
aren't thinking - they need to put a stop to this MADNESS!! Our house
was built in 1977, we have 7/8 of an Acre. We pay $900.00 for Municipal
taxes and the rest is School tax, out of an almost $4,000.00 tax bill.
This needs to stop and stop
now, everyone needs to vote and vote now, if you don't vote you ARE apart
of the problem. If you Don't Vote, Don't Bitch. When Vermonters have to
sell their houses because they can't afford to live in Vermont anymore,
we are truly losing the Footprint of Vermont. We need to vote; everyone
in the state of Vermont needs to vote down their school budget if their
school board didn't make big cuts from last year's budget already.
In the state house they seem
to think everyone is happy with them, unless you vote and tell them they
need to take cuts and stop the spending of money we don't have. They don't
seem to know that more and more people are out of work. What the hell are
they thinking? Not everyone in the state is a trust fund baby, at least
not yet. Maybe that is the government’s goal. Don't Vote? Don't Bitch!!!
You may read this on your
show if you want to. You do good work; have a great day! Marshfield and
Plainfield need to Vote down Twinfield's budget, many of us found places
where they could cut that wouldn't take away from the students and by moving
things around could make things better.
Mary Lou Wells
experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism
does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it
a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." -- Pope
John Paul II
Weekly News Round-Up
Victory For The Vision
By Geoffrey Norman, Vermont
Tiger, February 25, 2010
To nobody's surprise, the
Vermont Senate voted yesterday to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.
The vote was not close. Not even close to close.
The final number was 26-4.
So the Senate is clearly ahead of the public which, according to a recent
poll, is slightly over 50% in favor of shutting down Yankee. This
is a first and comes, of course, at a time when all the news about Yankee
is bad. Tritium leaks. Misleading testimony. Rising rates.
The Senate vote is, then,
a better reflection of the political Zeitgeist in Vermont than of
the voters' feelings. Vermont's political culture is strongly influenced
by the Progressive sensibility and its inclination is, on almost every
issue, to make life in Vermont more expensive without necessarily improving
lawmakers moving too fast on Vt. Yankee?
Vermont - A Fat Parasite
Yankee Vote was 'Political Theater'
Douglas: Vt. Yankee Debate Far From Over
Caledonia Record Editorial,
February 24, 2010
We took a look at Efficiency
Vermont's finances and size recently, and it is hard not to conclude it
is a parasite fattening itself on the surcharge that Vermonters pay in
their electric bills to keep a lot of current and former politicians in
May Have Found Leak
By Susan Smallheer, Rutland
Herald, February 27, 2010
The source of the radioactive
leak at the Vermont Yankee reactor may have been located, traced back to
cracked underground pipes discovered early Friday morning in a drain system,
both the state Department of Health and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
The Conservation Law Foundation
and the New England Coalition have been pushing to close down Vermont Yankee
because of the tritium leak, which they say poses an immediate threat to
the Vermont environment.
Editor’s Note: Since
Jan. 7, the Vermont Department of Health has stepped up its environmental
surveillance of Vermont Yankee by testing water samples taken from drinking
water wells and ground water monitoring wells on site at the plant, and
in the surrounding area. Water is now being sampled at least weekly for
independent testing by our public health laboratory. Other samples, such
as soil, milk, river sediment, and vegetation (when available), are being
taken for testing as needed.
To date, none of these wells
have shown evidence of contamination with tritium or other radionuclides
that would be associated with a nuclear reactor.
here for the latest updates on the investigation from the Vermont Health
on Bill That Could Outlaw All Ammunition
From the National Rifle
Association Institute for Legal Action, February 26, 2010
The House Fish, Wildlife
& Water Resources Committee is currently considering H.
484, which could potentially ban the sale and use of virtually
all ammunition in Vermont.
The bill would require the
Secretary of Natural Resources to set up a program to identify and ban
the distribution of certain toxic chemicals. Even the Commissioner
of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation indicated recently
in testimony before the committee that the enactment of this legislation
could outlaw the ammunition you use for hunting, plinking, or self-defense.
In addition to the bill’s potential to ban ammunition, the sweeping nature
of H. 484 could easily implicate any number of products used by gun owners
and sportsmen, such as cleaning solvents and materials.
Due to an outpouring of opposition,
new language is being circulated that could eliminate the concerns of gun
owners and sportsmen. NRA-ILA is currently evaluating the language
and will let you know if the new version of the bill will affect gun owners.
Tackle Record-Breaking Storm, Forecasters Predict Additional Heavy Snow
in Southern Vermont
From Vermont Business Magazine,
February 26, 2010
Tired utility crews are making
steady progress today in the wake of a hard-hitting one-two-punch storm
system that caused 88,000 Central Vermont Public Service customer outages.
As of 5 p.m., 8,500 customer outages remained, but storm recovery is likely
to extend through the weekend into Monday. Across the Northeast,
nearly 750,000 customers lost service Thursday night and Friday morning
as high winds tore through the region.
Now Allowed on New Champlain Ferry
From Vermont Business Magazine,
February 26, 2010
Vermont Agency of Transportation
(VTrans) Secretary David Dill and New York State Department of Transportation
(NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee today announced that the second
ferry slips at the Lake Champlain Ferry between Crown Point, NY, and Addison,
VT, have been completed and are open for service. Additionally, the
states have lifted the temporary weight and axle vehicle restrictions imposed
when the new temporary ferry opened earlier this month.
State's Property Tax Riddle
By Neale Lunderville, Times
Argus, February 27, 2010
Since 2005, Douglas has offered
annual proposals to the Legislature to lower property taxes by controlling
spending. He proposed that school budget increases greater than inflation
require 60 percent voter approval. He twice proposed to cap school spending
growth at 3.5 percent per pupil and last year he proposed to level fund
per pupil spending. Each of these proposals was either rejected or passed
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
By Herbert London, Family
Security Matters, February 24, 2010
There is a shift occurring
in the United States, a tectonic shift that is imposing statism in a land
predicated on limited government.
In the past, the not very
distant past, mediating structures served as a barrier against managerial
despotism. But these structures have been under assault for decades and
are showing signs of weakness and decay.
The family has been undermined
by divorce and illegitimacy. Schools have eroded rigor and standards. Churches
resemble social institutions more than religious centers. And associations
like Rotary and Lions are suffering from insufficient enrollment and a
lack of interest.
a Robust National Defense
By The Honorable Howard
P. "Buck" McKeon, The Heritage Foundation, February 24, 2010
The power of American values
is even greater than its military or economic might. However, says Rep.
"Buck" McKeon of California, time and again we've seen the Administration
reject notions of American exceptionalism and only reluctantly assume the
role of the world's lone democratic superpower. Drawing on his experience
as the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. McKeon
describes what this means for winning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,
detaining and prosecuting terrorists, engaging both allies and adversaries,
and investing in a robust national defense. He calls for a National Defense
Education and Investment Act to increase funding for basic defense research
and ensure we maintain America's technological edge.
Zazi: Genome of the Homegrown Jihadist
By Walid Phares, American
Thinker, February 24, 2010
Najibullah Zazi is not just
an "isolated extremist" caught in September 2009 while crossing a New York
bridge with plans to bomb few tunnels -- end of the story. Zazi's "jihad"
story is way more than the impressive facts the Justice Department has
already revealed. If we focus more on the journey of this determined jihadist,
we would discover that one of the "genomes" of homegrown terror. In this
essay, I'll only follow the government's release:
The Justice Department announced
that Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty in a "conspiracy to use weapons of
mass destruction in the United States" in connection with al-Qaeda. His
main attack targeted the New York subway system.
Killers Have Blown Themselves Up Laying Booby-Trap Bombs
By David Willitts, The Sun
(UK), February 26, 2010
Up to 20 are thought to have
died planting Improvised Explosive Devices. They were racing to plant the
IEDs before the Allied offensive Operation Moshtarak. The triggers on the
IEDs have become so sensitive the terrorists are accidentally detonating
them as they hide them.
Politically Correct War Strategy?
By Jim Kouri, CPP, Family
Security Matters, February 24, 2010
U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal
has ordered U.S. troops to limit night operations and raids in Afghanistan.
According to a report, the Pentagon is worried about rising civilian deaths
in its assaults within the southern Taliban stronghold of Marjah.
McChrystal issued the classified
directive – which isn't very classified – to garner the support of the
Afghan people. Night raids of Afghan homes has created anger against the
coalition forces especially the United States. This latest directive was
issued amid outrage over recent civilian deaths caused by coalition forces.
This latest directive comes
on the heels of the release of the U.S. military's revised rules of engagement.
U.S. troops involved in President
Barack Obama's much-heralded military surge in Afghanistan are complaining
about these new rules of engagement to which they must adhere. As a result
of alleged killings of innocent civilians by Afghan and NATO troops, the
Pentagon has promulgated strict rules that force soldiers and Marines to
hold their fire until they are certain the individuals they face are armed.
Brief Taxonomy of Campus Free Speech Foes
By David J. Rusin, Islamist
Watch, February 16, 2010
Efforts to suppress politically
incorrect speech on campus continue apace, as seen in the hostility
directed toward Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the
U.S., during a lecture on February 8 at the University of California, Irvine.
Based on this and other recent events, one may identify four general villains
in the struggle to uphold the rights of speakers:
To quote Richard
L. Cravatts, these are people with "no interest in listening
to, or letting others listen to, ideas that contradict their own worldview."
Mostly Muslim versions were out
in full force at UCI, shouting invective at Oren on ten
separate occasions and aiming to silence him. At one point, he took a twenty-minute
break as school officials expressed their embarrassment and disgust. Eleven
ruffians were escorted from the venue and arrested.
# # #
Meets the Law: Senator Inhofe to Ask for DOJ Investigation
By Charlie Martin, Pajamas
Media, February 23, 2010
BREAKING: See Charlie Martin’s
Barbara Boxer and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Throw IPCC Under the Bus".
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)
today asked the Obama administration to investigate what he called "the
greatest scientific scandal of our generation" — the actions of climate
scientists revealed by the Climategate files, and the subsequent admissions
by the editors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).
Senator Inhofe also called
for former Vice President Al Gore to be called back to the Senate to testify.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Minority Report: "Consensus’
Exposed: The CRU Controversy"
perfect storm is brewing for the IPCC
Summit, Obama Mostly Hears Obama
By Joseph Curl,The Washington
Times, February 26, 2010
President Obama pledged to
"listen" at the outset of his much-ballyhooed bipartisan health care summit
on Thursday. Turns out he meant he'd be listening to his own voice.
By the end of the televised
event, Mr. Obama had spoken for 119 minutes - nine minutes more than the
110 minutes consumed by 17 Republicans. The 21 Democratic lawmakers used
114 minutes, giving the president and his supporters a whopping 233 minutes,
according to a "talk clock" kept by GOP aides.
SC Ruling Could Limit Forum Shopping by Trial Lawyers
By Chris Rizo, Legal Newsline,
February 24, 2010
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling
this week could put a damper on the trial lawyer practice of filing lawsuits,
particularly class actions, in vaguely related jurisdictions where judges
are seen as plaintiff-friendly.
The controversial practice
is called "forum shopping," and legal reformers often bemoan plaintiffs'
lawyers scurrying to counties and states where they feel they can get a
better settlement rather than filing in the jurisdiction where there is
an actual nexus to the case.
Nuclear Promise: Too Little, But Not Too Late
By Jordan Ballor, The Acton
Institute for Religion and Liberty, February 23, 2010
One relatively overlooked
aspect of President Obama’s State of the Union address in January was the
promise of "building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants
in this country." In pursuit of this vision, the president announced last
week that he was tripling to more than $54 billion the amount of guaranteed
loan money made available by the government for the development of new
nuclear plants. What’s needed more than increased funds from the government,
however, is the streamlined approval of license applications already pending
at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Addressing what’s been called
a licensing "bottleneck" and loosening up the nuclear power market in the
United States needs to be the top priority for a federal government focused
on addressing the paired challenges of economic development and environmental
stewardship. Letting nuclear power compete on a level playing field, without
either direct government subsidy or delay, would position the American
economy for future success. Over the last decade the federal government
has run up record-setting deficits, fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
and more recently pushing stimulus money to pull the American economy out
of a crippling recession. This dire economic situation makes quick action
to move toward this "new generation" of nuclear power vitally important.
The promise of nuclear energy is a key way to balance the responsibility
entrusted to us by God to be good stewards of our economic as well as natural
The Democrats’ money-and-muscle
operation is rebranding, not disbanding.
By Kevin Williamson, National
Review, February 9, 2010
ACORN is not dissolving.
But some of its local affiliates, in an effort to suggest they’re cutting
ties with the organization, are giving themselves new names. The reason
ACORN cites a string of "vicious right-wing attacks" — and here I doff
the purple pimp hat to James O’Keefe — that have made it hard for them
to shake down their usual banker benefactors and nonprofit patrons.
This is nothing new. The
national organization itself was considering a name change back in November,
according to this
internal memo, in which ACORN’s leaders cite one single overriding
concern: money. "Raising
money is much harder now, if we do it under the name ACORN,"
the memo says. "Some foundations are still will [sic] to fund us, more
for Fannie and Freddie
The Obama administration
resists putting two federal agencies on the books.
By Stephen Spruiell, National
Review, February 24, 2010
Back in December, while the
holidays had everyone distracted, the Obama administration released a little-noticed
announcement that it would be lifting
the caps on federal assistance to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the troubled
mortgage giants that collapsed in the summer of 2008. With this surprise
Christmas gift, the agencies were given unfettered access to the taxpayers’
wallet, and their absorption by the federal government became complete.
But the White House still
is not accounting for Fannie and Freddie the way it accounts for other
federal entities. A group of House Republicans has introduced a measure
that would change that. The Accurate Accounting of Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac Act would compel the Office of Management and Budget to account for
the losses sustained by the agencies since they were taken over by their
# # #