North Archives - March 04, 2008
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AGW Editorial Goes Global in 48 Hours
By James A. Peden
Never underestimate the power
of the internet. Here's a truly amazing story:
I, too became suspicious
of the Global Warming Hype several months ago, and having a background
in Atmospheric Physics ( long retired ), I undertook a personal study spanning
many weeks of primarily internet research - including much valuable data
and analysis from contributors to ICECAP. (many thanks)
As the editor of a regional
community internet network (www.middlebury.net), I summarized my findings
in an editorial specifically designed to be read and hopefully understood
by the non-rocket-scientist, including, when necessary, short breaks of
teaching some elementary physics as I went along so regular folks could
follow the story without choking on 2nd order partial differential equations.
I next placed an isolated
page on the server for examination (peer review) by a select circle of
colleagues to whom I sent the URL.
Somehow it was leaked prematurely.
The web logs showed it started immediately spreading virally, virtually
all over the globe. The following morning, I received an email from
the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, indicating my
still-under-review essay had been excerpted and distributed further.
- An Occasional Newsletter from the Legislature
by Rep. Thomas F. Koch Barre
called LEAF (Local Education Affordability Formula). One might suspect
that the name was adopted to fit the acronym, rather than the other way
around, but that wouldn’t be the first time that happened, and it might
just be the most critical comment I have about this plan at the present
Developed with much hard
work over many months, Reps. Hube of Londonderry, Branagan of Georgia,
and McDonald of Berlin have brought forward a plan to replace Act 60/68.
The plan is based on the premise that any successful education funding
plan must conform to three principles.
Fee: The Tax That Dares Not Speak Its Name
By Martin Harris
there were (subjunctive contrary to all observable fact) a fully rational
political environment, impact fees would be popular. The Left would like
them because they’re yet another tax; what’s not to love? The Right would
like them because they’re a form of user fee, which conservatives typically
prefer over a broad-based tax-everybody-to-benefit-a-few formula wherein
government collects a lot of money, keeps some to reward itself, and disburses
the remainder to those it views favorably. The Center would like them,
not for any consistent philosophical position, but just because, as long
as they personally aren’t building a house, they won’t be affected. And
impact fees (IF’s) aren’t popular with the political class; unless cornered,
they won’t even speak the two words. Whether IF’s are popular with their
long-suffering taxpaying subjects, we don’t know; they almost never get
a chance to vote on one. We do know, in exhaustive detail, what the construction
industry, specifically the residential construction industry thinks of
IF’s: not much.
# # #
The most unresolved problem
of the day is precisely the problem that concerned the founders of this
nation: how to limit the scope and power of government. Tyranny, restrictions
on human freedom, come primarily from governmental restrictions that we
ourselves have set up." -- Milton Friedman
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Your Future: 20s
From WCAXTV, Burlington
Vermont, February 25, 2008
There's no shortage of people
in their 20s spending money at the mall. But those saving money are harder
to find.... Experts say it will take about $1 million to retire comfortably.
Caledonian Record Editorial,
February 25, 2008
The voters of Kirby are facing
a truly ironic dilemma. Their school board has produced a budget that is
the picture of responsibility. It is rising by 4 percent, and its average
cost per student is smack on the average across Vermont. It will require
only one vote because its spending is within the limitations of no more
than the inflation rate plus one percent. Yet, the tax rate in Kirby is
going up as much as 40 percent, thanks to the faulty assumptions that went
into the creation of the Common Level of Appraisal. So, Kirby voters are
in the position of rejecting a good budget because of an almost insane
Cave on "Think Twice" Cost Containment
From Vermont GOP, February
Last fall, VTNEA president
Angelo Dorta and National NEA president Reg Weaver demanded that the Vermont
Legislature repeal the "think twice" cost containment provision of Act
82. On October 19, 2007, the VTGOP asked in our newsletter, "VTNEA says
jump. Will D's say how high (do you want us to raise property taxes?)…
Vermonters, who are screaming for property tax relief, now have a crystal
clear opportunity to see if the Democrat super-majority in Montpelier is
capable of governing on behalf of the people, or if it is little more than
a tool of this powerful, left wing, special interest group…."
Today we got our answer.
Despite previous statements by Speaker Gaye Symington like, "I'mnot
interested in repealing the law that we passed last year. We do need to
contain the pace that school spending has increased and those decisions
happen at the local level," (VPR, October 30, 2007) the house did the
"This just goes to show
that if Vermonters want any kind of meaningful property tax reform to come
out of Montpelier, we should ‘think twice’ about who we vote for," said
Rob Roper, Chairman of the Vermont Republican Party.
Administration Opposes Effort to Repeal Property Tax Containment Provision
- Measure would be a step backwards for over-taxed Vermonters
Issue Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing
Caledonian Record Editorial,
February 27, 2008
The recommissioning of the
Vernon nuclear plant, Vermont Yankee, is one of these issues. There is
really nothing substantive, here. The conflict isn't really about Vermont
Yankee. The conflict is between those who are rabidly opposed to nuclear
power under any circumstances and those who recognize that nuclear power
is absolutely necessary in today's world. Vermont Yankee is simply the
current battleground in the zealots' secular religious war that has been
going on for decades.
From VermontTiger.com, March
Viewed as a fight between
the Act 250 regulatory regime and the robust and idealistic Intervale Center,
can there be any doubt that the bad guys won? As to the charge that
this was a politically motivated hit
job ... who knows? Certainly no Vermont grown-up can doubt that
the regulatory apparatus has, on occasion, been capriciously employed to
take out enterprises that someone just didn't like. Logging,
Return To First Principles
Caledonian Record Editorial,
March 03, 2008
The late Cola Hudson, the
long time Republican representative from Lyndon, was asked once, during
the last weeks of the 2007 legislative session, to predict how a particularly
controversial bill would fare in the end, after all the skirmishing was
done. He paused and said he really couldn't predict how a bill would end
up anymore, whether it would pass or not, and whether different members
would vote for it or against it. He said he once had a good feel for how
most of his fellow legislators felt about a bill and had some confidence
predicting the bill's success during a final vote. He explained that
today's Legislature was now so dominated by political maneuvering and "gotcha"
politics that very few legislators could be counted upon to vote in accordance
with their own long-established personal political principles.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
in Radical Revision of Islamic Texts
By Robert Pigott, Religious
affairs correspondent, BBC News
Turkey is preparing to publish
a document that represents a revolutionary reinterpretation of Islam -
and a controversial and radical modernisation of the religion.
The country's powerful Department
of Religious Affairs has commissioned a team of theologians at Ankara University
to carry out a fundamental revision of the Hadith, the second most sacred
text in Islam after the Koran.
ABCs of Radical Islam
By Steven Emerson, Family
Security Matters, February 29, 2008
On its website Tuesday, ABC
News posted a story titled, "Common
Misunderstandings About Muslims," which did its level best to carry
water for the radical Islamist, and Jihadist, movement in America,
going so far as to cite America's most notorious radical front group, the
Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as the source
to define the concept of "Jihad.
Prince Returns, a Hero and an Enemy
By Michael Evans, Sean O’Neill
and Zahid Hussain, The Times of London, March 1, 2008
As the Queen, the Prime Minister
and the Chief of the Defence Staff queued up to heap praise on the 23-year-old
second lieutenant, protection for the Prince is to be upgraded. Al-Qaeda
websites posted death threats against him yesterday after the worldwide
coverage of his ten weeks in Helmand province, Afghanistan. ...The Times
has seen messages posted on a password-protected al-Qaeda forum, al-Ekhlaas,
calling for Prince Harry to be beheaded and a video of his murder to be
sent to the Queen.
and Progressives: An Affair to Remember
By Miguel A. Guanipa, The
American Thinker, March 01, 2008
In fact, as depressing as
it may sound, the left is not merely devoid of the will to win the war
in Iraq; they are irrevocably committed
to the pursuit of a global exposé of their own country's moral,
political, and military failure, with a passion that is rivaled only by
our jihadist adversaries with whom we are presently engaged.
This rather unsettling ideological
partnership is not one that is necessarily shared in equal measure between
these two not so strange bedfellows. For the terrorists, who are eager
to capitalize on a media convinced its survival depends primarily on the
shock value of what it reports, this is only a marriage of convenience.
Government Employ Terrorist Sympathizers?
By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Jewish World Review, February 26, 2008
Yet, Stephen Coughlin, one
of the very few people working for the U.S. government who has rigorously
studied the current "threat doctrine" - the wellspring in the traditions,
practices and Shariah Law of today's totalitarian ideology known as Islamofascism
- is, as of this writing, still being cashiered at the end of next month.
Worse yet, the individual
who seems to be most responsible for shutting down Mr. Coughlin's essential
doctrinal analysis and training by driving him out of the Pentagon - one
Hesham Islam - seems to be staying in a sensitive position working for
the Defense Department's Deputy Secretary, Gordon England. This notwithstanding
serious questions raised about Mr. Islam's public biography, conduct in
relation to Muslim outreach, the Coughlin affair and his top secret security
3 in 4 U.S. Mosques Preach Anti-West Extremism
From WorldNet Daily, February
The Mapping Sharia in America
Project, sponsored by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy,
has trained former counterintelligence and counterterrorism agents from
the FBI, CIA and U.S. military,
who are skilled in Arabic and Urdu, to conduct undercover reconnaissance
at some 2,300 mosques and Islamic centers and schools across the country.
"So far of 100 mapped, 75
should be on a watchlist," an official familiar with the project said.
Want Unis to Fit Prayer Time
Richard Kerbaj and Milanda
Rout The Australian February 25, 2008
MUSLIM university students
want lectures to be rescheduled to fit in with prayer timetables and separate
male and female eating and recreational areas established on Australian
campuses. International Muslim students, predominantly from Saudi Arabia,
have asked universities in Melbourne to change class times so they can
attend congregational prayers. They also want a female-only area for Muslim
students to eat and relax.
# # #
Profoundly Consequential Life
By Mona Charen, The Washington
Post, February 28, 2008
The word "journalist" does
not begin to encompass Bill
Buckley's profoundly consequential life. In 1949, six years
before the founding of National
Review, critic Lionel Trilling spoke for the establishment
when he wrote in "The Liberal Imagination": "In the United States at this
time liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual
tradition. For it is the plain fact that nowadays there are no conservative
or reactionary ideas in general circulation." Conservatives, Trilling continued,
didn't so much have ideas as "irritable mental gestures."
And then came Bill Buckley,
an intellectual starburst. Gathering a few refugees from the left to the
masthead of National Review, Buckley famously announced in the 1955 maiden
issue that his mandate was to stand "athwart history, yelling Stop." That's
not precisely what happened -- not even the talents of Bill Buckley and
his thousands of acolytes could hold back the tide of liberalism that swept
the nation during the 1960s and 1970s. But the magazine did plant a flag
-- and it did it with such style!
Water On 'Global Warming'
By Thomas Sowell, GOPUSA,
February 28, 2008
It has almost become something
of a joke when some "global warming" conference has to be cancelled because
of a snowstorm or bitterly cold weather. But stampedes and hysteria are
no joke -- and creating stampedes and hysteria has become a major activity
of those hyping a global warming "crisis."
They mobilize like-minded
people from a variety of occupations, call them all "scientists" and then
claim that "all" the experts agree on a global warming crisis.
take heart: Phil Gramm is influencing the candidate's platform.
By Shawn Tully, Editor-at-large,
CNN Money.com, February 18, 2008
But economic conservatives
should take heart. McCain's chief economic adviser - and perhaps his closest
political friend - is the ultimate pure play in free market faith, former
Texas Senator Phil Gramm. If McCain follows Gramm's counsel, and most of
his current positions are vintage Gramm indeed, his policies as president
would represent not just a sharp departure from the Bush years, but an
assault on government growth that Republicans have boasted about, but failed
to achieve, for decades.
Become Pro-War Candidates
Associated Press, February
"Despite the war's unpopularity,
Americans still support their troops, and facing a veteran on the campaign
trail can be difficult, said Michael Dejak, campaign manager for Summers'
challenger in the Republican primary, Dean Scontras."
Washington Times Editorial,
February 27, 2008
Senate Democrats yesterday
provided yet another sorry illustration of the fact that they are thoroughly
invested in the defeat of U.S. military forces in Iraq. This happened despite
the growing evidence that the troop surge is damaging al Qaeda, and that
the Iraqis are making remarkable progress on the political front as well.
Sees Start of Housing Recovery in the Spring
From CNBC.com, February
The US economy will avoid
recession as the housing market begins to recover this spring, according
to billionaire investor Sam Zell.
By Kimberley A. Strassel,
Wall Street Journal, February 29, 2008
...[I]t's hard to make nicey-nice
with the global community when you are stiffing it on trade. Ask Canadian
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who clearly tuned into the Ohio Democratic
debate long enough to catch Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton threatening to withdraw
from Nafta unless his country rolled over for their new demands.
Charade: Clinton and Obama are peddling false hope with their proposed
# # #