North Archives - March 06, 2007
| Editorial | News & Views
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by Deborah T. Bucknam
The "peace" movement defines
peace as no overseas military operations by American troops. That is not
a definition of peace. Peace is the absence of political violence. Political
violence is defined by the Center for Systemic Peace as the number of deaths
resulting from wars, including government violence against citizens, civil
wars and insurgencies, as well as wars between nations. By that measure,
we are in an era of almost unprecedented peace. According to the Center
for Systemic Peace which has tracked world wide political violence since
1946, political violence has decreased dramatically since the end of the
Cold War in the late 1980’s. And in this decade, the world wide number
of deaths as a result of political violence is only one third what it was
in the "peaceful" 1990’s. --Deborah Bucknam has been practicing law
in Vermont since 1979, and was recently licensed to practice in New Hampshire.
and Secrecy Rule the Statehouse
By Robert Roper
It is a sign of arrogance
that the ruling majority thinks they can cut Vermonters out of the governing
process and cut themselves off from the accountability that comes from
open government. Vermonters deserve a view and a voice.
By Martin Harris
You get what you vote for.
Thus, if you vote for candidates who promise " better" government programs
(as in education), more "free" services (as in public transportation),
"fairer" distribution of costs (as in Acts 60-and-68’s gold-town/shark-pool
tax system, and "saving" the environment from most forms of construction,
you can reasonably expect an ever-larger school system, as measured in
both grade levels (pre-K is inevitably coming, a 2-grade increase) and
staffing (K-12 employment increases even as enrollments shrink); an expanding
subsidized bus and maybe even light-rail network; tax increases tilted
to hit the more lucrative targets so as to please those who out-vote them;
and, of course, a regulatory bias against most forms of non-governmental
development or construction.
By Steve Cable
We applaud Vermont’s emotional
desire to protect individuals from discrimination and undue burdens, but
urge that such emotion must be coupled with reason and thoughtful consideration.
Though perhaps well intended, there are major problems with this legislation.
... First, all of the behavior to be protected is associated with a treatable
mental disorder. According to every respected body of mental health experts
such as the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological
Association, the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association,
and both psychological diagnostic manuals DSM-IV and ICD-10, people with
a "strong and persistent cross-gender identification and a persistent discomfort
with their sex or a sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that
sex" suffer from Gender Identity Disorder, or Gender Dysphoria. ... If
Vermont truly wishes to equally protect those with disabilities, then the
only fair and legal approach would be to extend those same protections
to all with such disabilities – not merely to one group. --Steve Cable
is the President of Vermont Renewal
# # #
Week’s Mail Bag
and the Legislature
I want to thank everyone
who came out to Springfield and Brattleboro yesterday, especially David
Ayer and Phil Kiver who followed Sheehan every where she went. I want to
thank Al Kulas for his support on New Hampshire talk radio and attendance
at our counter-protest and all the other veterans and citizens who took
the time on Sunday evening to come out and show respect and support for
our soldiers and for the mission in Iraq. Thanks also to Paul Beaudry,
Lenore Broughton and Rob Skinner at True North Radio in Burlington for
spreading the word about Sheehan’s ‘barnstorming tour’.
I would especially like to
thank my mother-in-law, Jan Baldwin, for her courage to confront Sheehan
in the Brattleboro Union High School auditorium and call her what she is….a
traitor. If only our elected officials in Montpelier had the same courage….
While we were small in number
compared to Sheehan’s circus, we did line the auditorium with proud American
flags and signs, and clearly showed Sheehan, Dewalt and company that they
do not speak for all of us. While the police were called by Sheehan’s people
to ‘protect’ them from Phil Kiver, they ended up escorting my mother-in-law
out to protect HER from Sheehan’s people.
Some who were contacted to
stand against Sheehan’s message responded with statements such as: "This
isn’t important, we should focus on property tax reform and things that
‘matter’ to Vermonters" also stated by one of Vermont’s highest
elected officials on Friday before the Hearing.
As Vermonters, it should
matter to all of us that our Statehouse has just been used to advance the
interests of the enemies of the United States of America.
Last night Sheehan stated
that the Terrorist Insurgency that is blowing up civilian men, women and
children and American soldiers in the streets of Baghdad are "freedom fighters"
who are gallantly winning the war against the most powerful ‘occupying’
Army in the world, that she ‘dislikes’ what the American Flag stands for…
In reflecting on pictures
and statements of Sheehan in the embrace of Hugo Chavez, an enemy of the
United States and ally of Mamoud Ahmadinejhad of Iran, who is sending into
Iraq the terrorists and weapons that are killing our soldiers and Iraqi
civilians, who would blow America and Israel off the map…..Sheehan has
become a traitor.
In passing the Resolution
to withdraw our Troops from Iraq and condemn the mission our soldiers are
fighting for, and by inviting Sheehan to the Statehouse to legitimize her
fervor, our Vermont Legislature has sold out our Troops to the enemy and
nullified what our fallen soldiers have sacrificed for. Our elected leaders
are cowards who are being strong-armed by a radical minority and are pandering
to their treasonous pursuit….they are playing politics with the lives and
sacrifices of the United States Military for political preservation and
While many kept their distance
from this issue believing that withholding attention to it would make it
go away, the reality is that the Vermont Legislature has now been infected
with the disease that will turn Iraq into the next Vietnam. Sheehan’s people
stated proudly that Vermont is the first State to condemn the War on their
road into every State within the Union. Vermont should be ashamed to be
the first State to lead the conflagration. We are intentionally naïve
to believe it will never go that far in the political climate leading to
the next elections. We have learned nothing.
Vermont has turned her back
on the men and women who believe in their Mission to bring stability in
the Middle East, who will tell us all a different and more promising message
of hope and victory….if we will but listen to them. The Vermont Legislature
has abandoned our Troops to preserve their careers. I am appalled and disgusted
at the circus our Legislators have made of this war and the disrespect
and enmity they have displayed to the Mission our soldiers continue to
willingly sacrifice for.
The debate about how this
War started is irrelevant. We should stand together as Americans and see
to it that our men and women in the military do not sacrifice in vain.
I support the Resolution
that will be presented to the VT Legislature by David Ayer:
two million American military men and women (active guard and reserve),
are on duty around the world. Many of them are engaged in combat in Iraq
and Afghanistan fighting the "War on Terror"; and
Whereas, members of the United
States military are making considerable personal sacrifice including long
separations from their families; and
Whereas, United States military
continues to protect all Americans from those who are avowed enemies.
NOW THEREFORE, BE
IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE VERMONT LEGISLATURE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THAT the Vermont
State Legislature declares full support to our troops and their mission
in conducting the "War on Terror."
THAT the Vermont State Legislature
on behalf of the people of Vermont is on record that we will not abandon
our service men and women in this time of war and pledges full support
to them and their efforts to secure victory.
THAT the Vermont State Legislature
is proud of the sacrifices and bravery of our service men and women and
expresses gratitude for their heroic service to the United States of America.
It is my sincere hope
that all will contact their Senators and Representatives and urge them
to have the political courage to undo the damage they have done to the
spirit and moral of those fighting overseas.
The latest Iraq debate is
over the so-called "surge" that is being implemented by American forces
in the Baghdad area. Is this a path toward success in Iraq, or a senseless
escalation of a futile, failed war? . . The U.S. invaded Iraq based on
flawed intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s regime [Weapons of Mass Destruction].
That cannot be undone. And while the U.S. military succeeded quickly in
deposing Hussein and defeating his armed forces, the post-invasion effort
at counter-insurgency has been, at best, a mixed bag.
Again, we cannot travel back
in time and do it over. By introducing over 20,000 additional troops to
this embattled region, the goal of the surge is to better provide and maintain
a secure environment within which economic and political reform can occur
in Iraq . . . good can be achieved only in the environment of peace and
security that emerges after hostilities end and the political purpose for
war has been achieved. By failing to defeat our enemies expeditiously,
insecurity and chaos has been allowed to fester like an open wound in Iraq.
The new commander in Iraq [who was favored in vote by all Democratic Senators]
Gen. David Petraeus, appears to understand this point. ...
The concept of a surge is
not merely the latest concoction of far right neo-cons supposedly behind
the methods used to date. For instance, Sen. John McCain supports the troop
surge. In the past, he has been willing to question the tactics and strategies
employed in Iraq, while resolutely supporting the overall mission and the
troops committed to success. He, better than most, understands the repercussions
of a lingering, unsuccessful war. [And warned repeatedly of by the Iraq
Study Group]. For an in-depth discussion about the surge by Sens. McCain
and Joseph Lieberman, you can read their recent comments here
in this article.
War conjures up strong feelings,
as it should. Sacrificing the lives of our fellow citizens and soldiers
for the common good should never be a casual choice. War and peace should
always be the subject of meaningful debate. At this stage, though, it is
important to identify some issues that shouldn't be up for genuine debate.
First, we should all want
the U.S. to prevail. Unfortunately, the rhetoric employed by some suggests
that they think it would be a good "lesson" for the U.S. to learn if its
military mission in Iraq failed. To believe that is to believe that the
U.S. and its proud democratic heritage are not a force for good in the
Second, the primary national
security challenge facing our nation is how best to defeat jihadists and
terrorists around the globe - especially in the Middle East - so that we
do not experience the horror of another September 11. If one denies the
gravity of this threat, it is likely impossible to have a rational discussion
about successful military policy in Iraq.
For those opposed to a troop
surge in Baghdad, I would ask what alternative plan for victory they would
espouse. Certainly, no good option for achieving the goal of a democratic
Iraq that is a stabilizing force in the Middle East should be ignored or
overlooked. But having no plan is not an option. Instead, complaining about
the course being followed without offering an alternative solution offers
little if nothing . . We must all demand more from our leaders than that.
Chris Roy, Williston
Dear True North Editor:
Finally, the Vermont Legislature
is poised to do something good for the common hoards. After wasting so
much time and money on global warming, tax increases, repeal of personal
freedoms, etc.,etc.,etc., they are about to grant us the solution to our
problem's. We will soon be able to go to the doctor for a pill when we
just can't tolerate living here anymore.
And I just want to let those
scoundrels in Montpelier know that my 17-year- old son just enlisted in
the Marine Corps, and he is not doing it for them, he is doing it in spite
And one more thing, the reason
the WWII generation was the last great generation is because there the
last ones that had the guts to finish the job!!
Gary Murdock, Shoreham
"Let every nation know, whether
it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden,
meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure
the survival and the success of liberty." John
F. Kennedy in his Inaugural Address on January 21, 1961.
"One ought never to turn's
one back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do
that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without
flinching, you will reduce the danger . . Never yield to force. Never yield
to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." Winston
"I would have voted for the
resolution, knowing what I know today, because it was the right thing to
do to give the president the authority to confront Saddam Hussein. I think
Saddam Hussein was a very serious threat. I stand by that, and that's why
we stand behind our vote on the resolution." Oct 4, 2004 - John
Edwards while running for Vice President but now calling
for all Democrats to denounce their 2002 vote for the resolution to war
against Saddam Hussein.
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Caledonian Record Editorial,
February 26, 2007
Gov. Jim Douglas is showing
more and more impatience with the Legislature's slow pace in moving on
the top issues in Vermont voters' minds, the rising cost of education and
the soaring property taxes that it drives. Calling it a "slow pace" is
a euphemism. There has been no pace at all. Town Meeting Day is a week
away and school budgets will go up or down without any input from the Legislature.
It has been too busy dealing with important issues, like global warming.
must shed do-nothing label
Definitive Reason For Saying No To Assisted Suicide
Caledonian Record Editorial,
February 27, 2007
In the two most often cited
places where assisted suicide is legally approved, both have seen the best
intentions of naive legislators defeated in the actual circumstances of
the law. Safeguards in Oregon, like required psychiatric evaluations, have
been ignored and the requirement that two doctors agree on the death prognosis
has been vacated by pro-suicide groups publishing directories of pro-assisted-suicide
lists of doctors who will certify anybody who comes to them. Suicidal people
doctor-shop from these lists. In the Netherlands, doctors are already euthanizing
children who are damaged when they are born and adults who are incapacitated,
but who have not requested assisted suicide. In serious legislative discussion,
now, is a move to allow parents to ask for euthanization of children up
to 12 years old.
Should Look at Vermont's Sensible Budget
By Charles M. Arlinghaus,
New Hampshire Union Leader, February 28,2007
THIS YEAR, the governor's
budget address included a most sensible proposal to put the state's budget
on a path to fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, that budget address
was given by Jim Douglas, the prudent governor of Vermont. Douglas' proposals
represent perhaps the first time in history Vermont even considered being
more fiscally sensible than New Hampshire.
Choice - An Old Story With A New Ending?
Caledonian Record Editorial,
Feb. 28, 2007
The one thing that has reversed
the fortunes of kids stuck in inferior schools all over the country has
been the institution of parental choice of schools for their kids, with
public funds paying the freight. That idea is absolutely intolerable to
the NEA and the rest of the public school establishment. But none of them
can deny that school choice has been successful in the last places that
one would think it could be, in the inner cities where non-performing minority
groups have been essentially jailed in lousy schools for generations. Freed
to choose, students and parents have thrived
Offender Bill Would Stop Short of Civil Commitment
WCAX TV News, March 1st,
Public Safety Commissioner
Kerry Sleeper says he'd rather see civil commitments -- under which offenders
could be locked up indefinitely.
This May Make You Want to Cry
By Ed Shamy, Burlington
Free Press, March 1, 2007
Vermonters are paying each
member of our General Assembly $589 per week -- though the leader of each
house gets more -- to consider the following absolutely true proposals
for new laws. The Agency of Transportation would be required to study what
steps should be taken to make lawn mowing safer, particularly for youngsters,
and to recommend to the Legislature how children might be properly trained
to operate mowers (H. 378). Note that this is the same Agency of Transportation
that already has its hands full trying to keep our bridges propped up and
our culverts from caving in. …
# # #
By Michael A. Ledeen, The
Wall Street Journal
Iran is the keystone of the
terrorist edifice. Should there be free elections, no one wearing a turban
would be elected to anything, and there is good reason to believe the country
is ripe for a pro-Western democratic revolution. (By Subscription only.
here to search for copies posted elsewhere on the web)
Islam Against Itself
by Herbert London, Insight
Magazine - February 26, 2007
But since the American intervention
in Afghanistan and Iraq a fundamental change has occurred, so fundamental
that it may shift the lot of 1.3 billion Muslims across the globe. If as
Churchill implied and imams now infer, Islam is a religion based on frenzied
fanaticism, a strategy must be adopted to transform Islam—i.e. to alter
its focus and neutralize its violent impulses. That strategy—largely ignored
by myrmidons in the media world—is to turn Islam against itself. The saber
rattling by Ahmadinejad and his desire for a Shia Crescent have mobilized
Sunnis from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.
for a Bold Conservative Future
by Richard Viguerie, Conservative
Political Action Conference, March 1, 2007
My strong recommendation
is for conservatives to stop being an arm of the Republican Party and become
a 3rd Force, but not a 3rd Party. The left has had enormous success by
building strong 3rd force groups and coalitions. The left has hundreds
of environmental groups, consumer groups, civil rights groups, feminist
groups, and homosexual groups, etc., etc. And these groups have their own
agenda, their own members, their own money, and most importantly they operate
independent of the Democratic Party. Conservatives must do the same. No
longer think of yourself as a Republican, but as a Reagan conservative.
Let’s re-launch the conservative movement.
of the American Dream
By Ayn Rand Institute, February
"Anyone who claims that in
America today it is nearly impossible to improve your economic situation
is lying to you. Indeed, the biggest obstacle many Americans face is that
very lie--the determinist philosophy that your
success or failure is pre-ordained by economic circumstances.
Those who accept this philosophy
of failure will not be willing to exert the effort, self-discipline, and
commitment to self-improvement
that success requires. They will be ripe targets for anti-capitalist politicians
who sell them on the latest welfare scheme by telling them that their problems
are not of their own making, but rather of an overly capitalist system
that permits such income inequality.
Business in Congressional Clash
By William L. Watts, MarketWatch,
February 28, 2007
The right of all Americans
to cast their vote by private ballot is deeply rooted in the democratic
tradition of our nation... Today, House Democrats moved to destroy this
principle and it now falls to the U.S. Senate to ensure this basic right
Philip Klein, The American
Spectator, February 26, 2007
The fact that the "card check"
legislation would be such a high priority for Democrats should come as
no surprise. In the 2006 elections, organized labor gave 87 percent of
its political contributions to Democrats, representing $56.8 million....
If unions can reverse their decline as a result of this legislation, it
would help cement Democratic control of Congress.
By George F. Will, Newsweek,
February 12, 2007
We do not know how much we
must change our economic activity to produce a particular reduction of
warming. And we do not know whether warming is necessarily dangerous. Over
the millennia, the planet has warmed and cooled for reasons that are unclear
but clearly were unrelated to SUVs. Was life better when ice a mile thick
covered Chicago? Was it worse when Greenland was so warm that Vikings farmed
there? Are we sure the climate at this particular moment is exactly right,
and that it must be preserved, no matter the cost?
and Charade: The
political and business self-interest behind carbon limits
Most Sweeping Gun Ban Ever Introduced in Congress
Organization, February 27, 2007
With the nation's murder
rate 43 percent lower than in 1991, and the re-legalized guns still used
in only a small percentage of crime, reauthorizing the Clinton Gun Ban
would be objectionable enough. But McCarthy's "other purposes" would make
matters even worse. H.R. 1022 would ban every gun banned by the Clinton
ban, plus millions more guns …
By Clint Bolick, The Wall
Street Journal, March 2, 2007
There's something about our
nation's capital that converts many leading Democrats to school choice.
Perhaps it's the glimpse that Washington, D.C. affords into inner-city
public schools. But in most cases this appreciation of school choice extends
only to their own children -- and not to the millions of children in failing
public schools. Indeed, a nearly perfect correlation exists among Democratic
presidential candidates who have exercised school choice for their own
children and those who would deny such choices to the parents of other
children. (By Subscription only. May
still be available here without subscribing)