North Archives - March 17, 2009
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Marriage: Unintended Consequences
By Tom Wilson
The gay marriage issue is
not really about legal rights for gay people; it appears that no one can
specify just what legal rights might be gained by redefining marriage away
from its civilizational meaning, which has always been the heterosexual
union of potential parents. But gay "marriage" will turn out to be the
epitome, the poster boy of "unintended consequences."
No Longer Beckoning
Deborah T. Bucknam
During the 1960s, Vermont
launched a highly successful promotional campaign called "Vermont: The
Beckoning Country." It was, I confess, one reason we decided to investigate
Vermont as a place to live and bring up our family.
Vermont's welcoming gesture
has turned into a closed fist (to paraphrase President Obama) to many across
the country who dare to disagree with the political and cultural regime
that rules our state.
By Martin Harris
turning out, as a delicious historical irony, that the private sector in
education is now, increasingly, filling the niche the public schools used
to occupy: a relatively lower-cost higher-productivity basic literacy curriculum
without social engineering or political indoctrination. One stat Iíve seen
recently is that nearly 2/3 of parochial school enrollment is now non-Catholic.
The public-school loss-of-market-share to non-public alternatives is now
as it was at the height of the parochial-school-success curve, back in
the Ď40ís and Ď50ís, and typically they produce graduates with far better
achievement levels at about a third of the annual public-school per-pupil
cost, even though, in most urban areas, the pupils they take in arenít
exactly the cream of the public-school academic crop. Should the non-public
market share continue to rise out of the teens into the 20ís, percentagewise,
the political pressure for taxpayer education spending to follow the child
(and not go to a designated target school) will be irresistible, even in
a place like Vermont. That and related pressures are already evident,
as a recent Friedman Foundation study has shown.
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"The trouble with Socialism
is that you eventually run out of other people's money." --- Margaret
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Weekly News Round-Up
Are More Equal Than Others (Part Two)
From The Caledonia Record,
March 12th 2009
Now, the Legislature is looking
at a bill that would require Vermont taxpayers to buy each of its members
a laptop computer. Four representatives, Atkins, Keenan, Jerman, and Howrigan,
all Democrats, on March 9, introduced H.385, a bill assuring them a free
computer at taxpayer expense. Poor things, having spent all of their campaign
money getting elected, they can't now afford a laptop, so we must give
all of them one.
Vermonters Looking for Work
From WCAX-TV, March 11,
New numbers show Vermont's
unemployment rate grew from 5.9 percent in December to 6.8 percent in January.
That's more than 24,200 Vermonters out of work-- the highest number in
From Vermont Tiger, March
If we donít change the way
Vermont approaches business and economic growth, we will continue to see
an aging Vermont demographic that is less and less able to support state
spending through its tax receipts. If the business climate does not
change, we will continue to become more and more dependent on a federal
entity for our very existence. This may come as a shock, but Iím
not ready or willing to walk the planet for the rest of my days expecting
my rich Uncle (Sam) to bail me out when I canít pay my bills.
Hassle of Local Oversight
From The Caledonia Record,
March 11, 2009
Towle told residents that
RCT had already successfully gained clemency in a number of area communities.
He said that the petitioning process (getting signatures from 5 percent
of a town's voters) was too labor intensive and time consuming and that
RCT's time could be better spent in other endeavors. His request, essentially,
"give us our money and shut up."
RCT receives virtually all
of its money (approximately $3.5 million a year) from government handouts
so we weren't surprised by the audacity of the request.
Five Percent Solution
From Vermont Tiger, March
Layoffs would be the better
way to go. With permanent cuts, we might get some reorganization
and efficiencies which every bureaucracy needs from time to time, no matter
how much the bureaucrats insist otherwise. In their world, a larger
appropriation in next year's budget is always the prime mission.
We talked, a while back, to a man who had the unenviable job of managing
workforce reductions for Governor Richard Snelling when the state's economy
was in even worse trouble than it is now. He told us that some of
the strongest resistance that he encountered came from the department heads.
"The governor's own people," he said. "Can you believe that?"
Cashing In On The Rest Of Us
From The Caledonia Record,
March 10, 2009
It's interesting to learn
that Burlington has agreed to buy more than half of the power that the
Sheffield wind farm, if and when it is built, produces. Another way to
look at it is that, since the profit in a wind farm derives entirely from
the public subsidies that will fill the pockets of the owners, the rest
of us will be subsidizing with our tax dollars the citizens of Burlington.
Talk about ironies. Burlington and Chittenden County are frequently and
derisively referred to as "The Socialistic Republic of Vermont," Now it
is coming true. Our tax dollars will heat and light them.
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Global War on Terrorism
Youth Paramilitary Drill Team - Mosque 7 Video
From RightBias.com, March
Farrakhan has a nation-wide,
grown-up military called the Fruit of Islam, a Brown Shirt-like paramilitary
group. Devils refer to white people. Killing refers to killing whites in
End Times, according to NOI theology white devils then to be exterminated
say Obama's call on Moderates "Illogical"
From Reuters, March 10,
Afghanistan's Taliban on
Tuesday turned down as illogical U.S. President Barack
Obama's bid to reach out to moderate elements of the insurgents,
saying the exit of foreign troops was the only solution for ending the
Community Rallies Behind Sudbury Man Charged by the FBI
By Milton J. Valencia, Globe
Staff, March 8, 2009
To friends and family, he
was a maturing leader in the Muslim community, a passionate writer who
was departing for Saudi Arabia for a career as a pharmacist. But the arrest
of Tariq Mehanna in November, as he was about to board a plane at Logan
International Airport for his new life in the Middle East, has cast the
26-year-old in darker terms, as a liar supporting and associating with
With an indictment in federal
court, the Sudbury man faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison
on charges of lying to investigators in a terrorism inquiry. But a community
of supporters has rallied around him, questioning how Mehanna could have
been ensnared in a federal case and whether he is being used a pawn in
the FBI's war on terrorism.
By Stephen F. Hayes &
Thomas Joscelyn, Weekly Standard
During the final months of
the Bush administration, top U.S. counterterrorism officials engaged in
an intense debate about the fate of the Yemenis detained at Guantánamo
Bay. There are a lot of them there--nearly 100 out of the total population
of 248--and most can be directly tied to al Qaeda's global terror network.
Barack Obama's Gitmo problem is, in many respects, a Yemen problem. And
it just got worse.
In an interview with a Saudi
newspaper last week, Yemen's foreign minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi was asked
about the jihadist rehabilitation program his government is setting up
to facilitate the return of Yemeni detainees. Saudi Arabia has made a comprehensive
attempt to deprogram jihadists and to secure their promise to end their
terrorist ways. U.S. counterterrorism officials like to point to the Saudi
program as a model of what should be done with captured jihadists, though
11 former Guantánamo detainees who passed through the Saudi program
just showed up on the kingdom's list of "most wanted" terrorists.
Dream That Was America
By Robert Hawes, Camapign
God forgive us. The men who
froze at Valley Forge, who crawled up the beaches of Normandy into the
murderous teeth of Nazi machine gun fire, who faced undreamed of horrors
in steamy jungles thousands of miles from the comforts of home, did not
fight so that we could let our country slip into the hands of those who
would re-make us in the image of our enemies. Whether you agree with every
cause that Americans have spilled their blood for or not, we can acknowledge
that most of them believed that they were fighting for freedom, to protect
the whisper-fragile American dream. They didn't sacrifice to give us Moscow
on the Potomac. We owe them, ourselves, and the future generations who
must live with the world we give them, more, much more, than to let this
happen with so little struggle.
There was once a dream that
was America. And friends, this is not it. This is not it.
at Sea in a Rudderless Polity Divided Against Itself
By Leo Rennert, American
Thinker, March 15, 2009
The real findings of the
poll show a deeply conflicted society moving in contradictory directions.
A plurality of Palestinians favors a Hamas-Fatah "unity" government, but
at the same time expects worse days to come if that allows Hamas to extend
its rule to the West Bank. To say nothing of what might befall Palestinians
if Israel were to free Barghouti, their No. 1 favorite.
The lesson from this survey
should be clear to President Obama and Secretary Clinton. Palestinians
are still very far from getting their political act together. Bereft
of any predictable or coherent agenda, alienated from their current leaders,
they are in no position to play the role of a reliable peace partner in
the kind of negotiations toward Palestinian statehood that the administration
is so blindly pursuing.
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Myth of Relativism and the Cult of Tolerance
By Larrey Anderson, American
Thinker, March 14 2009
The traditional moral relativist,
beginning at least as early as Thrasymachus in Platoís Republic,
was a proponent of the strongman or the dictator or, in Nietzscheís refined
phrase, "the will to power." The traditional argument was simple:
if there is no objective right and no objective wrong then might makes
right and weakness is wrong.
What is good is what the
strongest proclaims to be the good -- what he wills to be the good.
What is good is an "overman," a dictator who knows how to use his will
to and for power. Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were all "supermen"
who attempted to impose their "will to power" on the masses.
will fight order against home schooling
By T. Keung, The News and
Observer, March 13, 2009
Home-school groups and conservatives
across the country are infuriated by a Wake County judge's declaration
that he will make a North Raleigh mother stop teaching her children at
home and send them to public schools. As part of a continuing divorce case,
Wake District Court Judge Ned Mangum said last Friday that it would be
in the "best interests" of Venessa Mills' three children to go to public
school this fall. Mangum said at the hearing that while the children are
"thriving," they need to be exposed to the "real world."
Problem with Government Mortgage Relief
By Samuel Gregg, D.Phil.,
Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, March 11, 2009
Homeownership has long been
part of the American Dream, but current government plans to keep more people
in their homes reflect the influence of failed economic policies from the
past and may encourage more risky decision making in the future. These
days, one could be forgiven for thinking there is a direct correlation
between the public utterances of government leaders and declines in the
value of stocks and investor confidence around the world. This may owe
something to an unspoken awareness that the more-or-less Keynesian interventionist
approaches being applied by most governments to the global economic crisis
are unlikely to work. Indeed, there is considerable evidence to suggest
that such policies actually tend to prolong recessions.
Clear and Cohesive Message of the International Conference on Climate Change
By Marc Sheppard, American
Thinker, March 15, 2009
United by that conviction,
over 800 scientists, economists, and policy makers arrived in New York
City last Sunday to attend the Heartland Instituteís 2nd Annual International
Conference on Climate Change. They came to talk a wide range of subjects,
from climatology to energy policy, from computer climate models to cap-and-trade,
from greenhouse gas (GHG) effects to solar irradiation. But most
of all they came to help spread the word that the answer to the question
posed by this yearís theme -- Global warming: Was it ever really a crisis?
-- is a resounding NO.
Shows Obama Is Losing Focus
By Michael Barone, March
We've been hearing a lot
of criticism of Barack Obama in recent days from pro-Obama corners -- from
celebrity investor Warren Buffett, from moderate conservative columnist
David Brooks, from one of the Democratic Party's deepest thinkers, William
Galston -- all along the same lines. Put aside your plans, announced in
your budget, for national health insurance, for a cap-and-trade system
to reduce greenhouse gases, for effectively abolishing the secret ballot
in unionization elections. And, they might have added, for higher taxes
on, and a reduction in, their charitable deductions to channel money away
from charities and nonprofits and toward the government. Pay attention
to the first thing on your platter and the nation's, Buffett and Brooks
and Galston say: the financial crisis.
The answer Obama has given,
in advance, is that we can only solve our economic problems by advancing
these other programs. But the real answer came from White House Chief of
Staff Rahm Emanuel in November: "Never let a serious crisis go to waste."
By L. Brent Bozell III,
Media Research Center, March 4, 2009
It should be laughable for
the White House to promote a "fiscal responsibility summit" days after
they shoved through a $787 billion "stimulus" bill through Congress. But
the gooey flood of positive adjectives from the press demonstrates that
they are not government watchdogs. They're "breathtakingly bold" Obama
enablers. The honesty deficit in our press just grows, and grows.
Shame of the Senate
Fifty-eight pols to
inner-city kids: Drop dead.
by Mary Katharine Ham, The
Weekly Standard, March 23, 2009
Walden-Ford wishes another
recipient of a private scholarship would help her save the D.C. program:
Barack Obama, who attended the prestigious Punahou School in Hawaii on
scholarship. But Walden-Ford is skeptical that he'll make a stand for the
"This has got nothing to
do with children. It's about teachers' unions and special-interest groups,"
she says. "I'm concerned that he won't say it because he's controlled by
the same people other Democrats are controlled by. I think it's difficult
for him to say it. I hope and pray he does."
says "YOU DID IT": Congress Rejects Funding for DC Voucher Program
Locate 'God Spot' in Human Brain
From Fox News, March 10,
Brain scans showed that participants
fell back on higher thought patterns when reacting to religious statements,
whether trying to figure
out God's thoughts and emotions or thinking about metaphorical
meaning behind religious teachings.
"That suggests that religion
is not a special case of a belief system, but evolved along with other
belief and social cognitive abilities," said Jordan Grafman, a cognitive
neuroscientist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland.
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