North Archives - March 10, 2009
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Audacity of Reality
By James Ehlers
We have come to this crisis
in our economy, not because we do not work enough, but because we spend
too much— or as the President puts it, "our collective failure to make
hard choices and prepare … for a new age." And now some, our state officials
and the President included, propose to further forestall those hard choices
by spending yet more. A crisis borne of spending solved through spending?
Purpose of Marriage Matters
By Mark Shepard
issue at stake is not so much that marriage will expand to all sorts of
relationships beyond one man and one woman, but that doing so will sever
the connection between marriage and children. Consider the costs to our
nation from the breakdown of the family. Those we elect to public office
should be actively pursuing ways to strengthen the bonds between the biological
mother and father and the raising of the children they together bring into
this world, not severing these ties. That is in everyone's best interest.
While that ideal is not always possible, and in some cases not best for
the child, it is still very important that that remains our goal as a society.
Public policy is an expression of our goals.
By Martin Harris
budget elephant is, of course, Vermont’s lowest-in-the-nation pupil-teacher
ratio or smallest average class size (technically different but from a
practical viewpoint, the same problem) which consumes about 60 percent
of overall public education spending. No other category even comes close.
Particularly not administration, which requires about 8 percent (capital
outlay and debt service for new construction are twice as large, at about
15 percent) but nevertheless it’s administration which is the preferred
target of the Commissioner’s editorial angst, because it consumes in Vermont
about $1100 per pupil annually, out of a total of $13,000. "The average
state cost was $697", he writes as a point-prover. What he doesn’t write
is that $697 is about 8 percent of about $9000, the average all-state
cost per pupil, so that Vermont spends, on administration, in typical proportion
to what all other states spend on administration. He doesn’t write on what
Vermont spends, in unique proportion, on small class size. That hasn’t
been a permitted subject in Montpelier, which explains why, when former
Education Commissioner Richard Cate spoke of per-pupil costs, he carefully
avoided the abnormally-small average class size question, except on a couple
of occasions when he actually defended the spending as productivity-justified.
(Of course, the prediction that test scores would go up as class sizes
have gone down over 30 years, has failed to materialize --as he well knew--
but that’s another statistical subject for another time.)
Responsibly with Same-Sex Marriage
By John McClaughry
a majority of opponents base their opposition on religious grounds, as
contrary to church teachings and natural law. There is also a secular argument
that deserves more attention than it has gotten.
Marriage, so this argument
goes, serves three important social functions: procreation and child rearing,
mutual care and assistance, and reining in horny young males by linking
approved sex to a serious and long-lasting social commitment.
True, the sexual liberalism
that began in the Sixties has undermined this third argument; nevertheless,
it's important for the laws and customs to give maximum support to the
traditional institution of marriage. At least that support will slow down
the slide into totally commitment-free sexual license, resulting in ever
more single mothers and fatherless children.
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"The more one considers
the matter, the clearer it becomes that redistribution is in effect far
less a redistribution of free income from the richer to the poorer, as
we imagined, than a redistribution of power from the individual to the
State." -- Bertrand de Jouvenel
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Weekly News Round-Up
Of Teachers: A Very Good Beginning
From the Caledonia Record,
March 9th 2009
The sad fact is that very
few superintendents observe and evaluate any teachers at all, citing their
busy lives pushing paper. That puts them in the unacknowledged position
of doing no quality control of the most important people in their districts,
the teachers. Ms Saginor doesn't appear to fit that mold, and that's a
very good thing.
top nation in claiming 'no relgion'
By Rachel Zoll, The Times
Argus, March 9, 2009
Northern New England surpassed
the Pacific Northwest as the least religious region, with Vermont reporting
the highest share of those claiming no religion, at 34 percent. Still,
the study found that the numbers of Americans with no religion rose in
From Vermont Tiger, March
The legislature will
not vote, this session, on whether or not it favors the
relicensing of Vermont Yankee. There is some question as to its authority
in this matter but none as to its importance. If the legislature
votes "no," then the odds are heavily against Yankee operating beyond 2012.
Are More Equal Than Others
Caledonia Record, March
Our legislators refused to
participate with the rest of us in these sacrificial times. They collectively
refused to take a proposed 5 percent pay cut. It is inescapable that the
Legislature concluded that all citizens are created equal, but some, them,
are more equal than others. Will their pay, which includes an automatic
cost of living increase, make them more efficient in dealing quickly with
our pressing financial problems? We doubt it. It will simply drive up the
cost of a day's business in Montpelier higher than the $60,000 it costs
now. It will engender more post-session study committees. That summertime
pay just went up.
Worse The Better?
From Vermont Times, March
But it is true that there
are people who prefer the state to markets and who want the entire free-market
enterprise to crash and, in Vermont, they have been saying so for a while
now. We've been saying, on this site, that Vermont needs economic
growth and that there are powerful forces in the state opposed to the policies
that would promote it. At the extreme, there are people who desire
economic destruction. They are getting their way and we are seeing
what no-growth and a shrinking economy looks like.
Meeting Called for Rejected School Budgets
By Katie Beth Ryan, Eagle
Times, March 08, 2009
Rejected school budgets have
become somewhat of a tradition in Springfield, and 2009 has been no different.
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Global War on Terrorism
United Nations: Our Children's New Parents?
By Dana Gabriel, OpEd News,
March 7, 2009
It has been almost 15 years
since President Clinton signed on to the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The U.S. remains one of the last holdouts
as the treaty lies dormant, yet to be ratified. The UNCRC grants
children new civil, social, cultural and economic rights that could override
parental decisions. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), is pushing for
a vote as there is a real sense that under an Obama presidency, the UNCRC
could finally be ratified.
Flawed Strategy for Afghanistan
By Alexander Benard, American
Thinker, March 03, 2009
In interviews and speeches,
several high-ranking administration officials have signaled that the United
States will begin to focus its efforts in Afghanistan more narrowly on
eliminating threats to U.S. national security, not on establishing a functioning
democracy -- as if the two are not inextricably linked. First it
was Secretary Gates, who declared that nobody in the world has the time,
patience and money to set up a "central Asian Valhalla over there."
Then Obama himself stated that the goal in Afghanistan has to be to prevent
the country from becoming a safe haven for al Qaeda, not to "rebuild Afghanistan
into a Jeffersonian democracy."
From Investor's Business
Daily, March 02, 2009
Nuclear Weapons: Our Joint
Chiefs chairman says Iran has enough material to make a nuclear bomb.
Didn't our spy agencies less than a year and a half ago tell us all not
From Investor's Business
Daily, March 06, 2009
Deadly Rationing: The gatekeeper
for Great Britain's national health care system is denying cancer patients
drugs that would extend their lives. Why? Because the medication is considered
Mexico's War A Higher Priority
From Investor's Business
Daily, March 02, 2009
Border: Now that Phoenix
has become a kidnap capital, it's official: Mexico's drug war is spilling
over into the U.S. The administration vows a strong response, but so far
seems to be putting special interests first.
"Reboot" or Roll Over?
By Peter Brookes, Family
Security Matters, March 7, 2009
But while better relations
with Russia, a resurging major power, are a laudable goal and can support
US interests, we have to make sure that this notion of a "reboot" in relations
doesn't equate to a "rollover" on our part.
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Benedict’s Economic Realism
By Kishore Jayabalan, Acton
Institute for Religion and Liberty
He gave a lengthy response
(Italian text here)
to a question from a priest who complained about the poverty and uncertainty
affecting his suburban parish and who concluded that "we must have the
courage to denounce an economic and financial system unjust to its roots."
The priest gave the Pope an opportunity to denounce free-market economics
in his own words.
Benedict didn't bite. Echoing
of his few writings on the Church and the economy as Joseph
Ratzinger, he warned against cheap, easy moralism without technical --
in this case, economic -- understanding. In many ways his answer was a
more theological version of Pope John Paul II's observation in the 1991
social encyclical Centesimus
Annus that what really ails the free society is not the
economic system as such, but the cultural-ethical framework that absolutizes
economics. By implicitly admitting he has no technical economic competence,
Benedict also reveals his remarkable intellectual honesty and integrity.
Hate Socialism Except When They Love It
By Tim Kern, Mises Daily,
March 3, 2009
Just because the majority
wants something does not mean that the greater good is really served; just
because the majority wants something doesn't mean that anyone has the right
to expropriate it from the owner; and just because the majority wants something
doesn't mean that the process itself is "sustainable" — the new catchword
used to limit all innovation and progress.
By Dennis Avery, American
Conservative Union, March 4, 2009
That vast cloud of brown
pollution hanging over Asia comes from wood and cattle dung being burned
in millions of Third World home-fires, according to Orjan Gustafsson, a
bio-geochemist from Stockholm University. Gustaffsson recently tested the
smoke of the Asian brown cloud with a newly developed radiocarbon technique—and
found that two-thirds of the brown cloud’s particles are organic matter,
mostly wood, straw and dung.
These are the "renewable
fuels" that Greenpeace and the Sierra Club do not want publicized. They’d
rather not focus on the harsh reality that these open cooking and heating
fires are dreadful for the health of Asian women and children. The lung
diseases caused by the indoor smoke are equal to a two-pack-a-day cigarette
habit, says Barun Mitra of India’s Liberty Institute.
the Great Depression brought Adolf Hitler to Power
By James Lewis, American
Thinker, March 08, 2009
Adolf Hitler started out
as just another Bohemian intellectual, a sort of fire-breathing hippie,
hanging around the coffee houses of Vienna after the big defeat of World
War I. Just like Lenin, Mussolini and all the other psychopaths who rose
to power around the same time. (Look it up, kids). His ilk can still be
found in all the big city cafes of Europe, along with Berkeley, California,
Madison, Wisconsin, and other college towns. They all profess peace. But
in the right conditions, they are all happy to set off sociological or
real dynamite. (Viz., Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn; the Rev. J. Wright
and all the rest.)
Today the cafe intellectuals
are more likely to be Islamic fascists, but what's the big diff? They all
follow Hitler's big maxim, "Alles muss anders sein!" ("everything
must change") or, in Obamalingo, "Change you can believe in."
They all hate whatever is; it doesn't matter where they want to
By Alan Caruba, American
Conservative Union, March 4, 2009
Americans who have passed
through our schools for nearly fifty years know what the problem is. There
is a union called the National Education Association that has control of
the U.S. Department of Education and most state departments and has planned
it this way. Meanwhile , in Congress, every manner of legislation is under
consideration to deepen and worsen the problem. Many attempt to reach into
the pre-school years of childhood development to seize control of the very
One called "No Child Left
Inside Act" (HR 3036) would inject all manner of environmental propaganda
into the curriculum, further eroding the time today’s children have for
the fundamentals, and scaring the hell out of them with more apocalyptic
nonsense about global warming, It is the work of Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD).The
Greens have invented "a nature-deficit disorder" to hide the fact that
they intend to continue indoctrinating children with the dubious science
they use to advance their agendas.
By Mark Steyn, National
Review, March 7 2009
And that was before Obama
made clear that for him the economy takes a very distant back seat to the
massive expansion of government for which it provides cover. That’s why
he’s indifferent to the plummeting Dow. The president has made a strategic
calculation that, to advance his plans for socialized health care, "green
energy," and a big-government state, it’s to his advantage for things to
get worse. And, if things go from bad to worse in America, overseas they’ll
go from worse to total societal collapse. We’ve already seen changes of
government in Iceland and Latvia, rioting in Greece and Bulgaria. The great
destabilization is starting on the fringes of Europe and working its way
to the Continent’s center.
Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis
a Needless Stem-Cell War
Obama's decision is
bad ethics, bad science, and bad politics.
By Ryan T. Anderson, The
Weekly Standard, March 9th, 2009
Obama announced that by signing
this executive order "we will lift the ban on federal funding for promising
embryonic stem cell research." Of course there never was a ban on federal
funding for embryonic stem-cell research. President Bush was, in fact,
the first president in history to fund embryonic stem cell research. The
compromise Bush reached, however, put restrictions in place that prevented
the further destruction of human embryos. It is these restrictions protecting
human life that Obama has lifted.
and the Schools
It's time to stand
up to the teachers' unions.
From The Wall Street Journal,
March 9th, 2009
Education Secretary Arne
Duncan said last week that poor children receiving federally financed vouchers
to attend private schools in Washington, D.C., shouldn't be forced out
of those schools. Bully for Mr. Duncan. But the voice that matters most
is President Obama's, and so far he's been shouting at zero decibels.
Tell the Senate to Pass Education Funding Bill Without Private School Vouchers!
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