North Archives - March 23, 2010
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Utopian visionaries cannot
tolerate the whole notion of divided sovereignty, which is not only the
basis of our separation of Church and State, but the idea of federalism
as well. Power is seen by utopians as a necessary tool to be used by the
best and the brightest to socially engineer the perfect society. Power
in general, and political power in particular, is seen by those who hold
to the constrained vision as a dangerous tool that must be divided up as
much as possible so that it not lead to tyranny. Such divisions of power
are between the State and Civil Society, between the various branches of
government and between the different levels of government. (Local, State
and Federal) Power within Civil Society is regulated by moral persuasion
and divided up by competition among the various groups for people’s voluntary
support. Because Civil Society is based on moral persuasion voluntary cooperation
rather than force, it is self-regulating.
School Choice Out of Existence
By John McClaughry
This proposal, voluntary
and democratic as it seems, may not have been designed to extinguish parental
choice in Vermont. Or maybe it was. Whatever the motivation, it will over
a decade or so almost certainly produce that baneful and reactionary result.
and Indiana, Redux
By Martin Harris
a majority of IN voters told their public servants they wanted property
taxes capped, they achieved the same house-by-house result as a majority
of VT voters signaling their approval for the concept behind Acts 60 and
68: keep my personal cost-of-governance down. The difference is that IN
voters thereby demanded overall spending management, while VT voters didn't.
Similarly with HSA's, which as established there will result in overall
spending management, while the community rating premium system in VT, just
like the income-sensitive school spending system, takes the alternative
path of approving the costs while insuring that "others" pay the bill for
the actual service-users. I'd guess that a modest amount of consistent
thinking can be seen in these patterns.
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importance of the news these days, one might expect ratings for cable news
channels to soar. That's true for one particular network, but not the other
two. Fox News was recently ranked number two in terms of primetime viewership
(just behind USA Network) and number four overall. Alas, the official channel
of the Angry Left, MSNBC, ranked 26th in primetime, while CNN didn't even
crack the top 30. The Cartoon Network, on the other hand, managed the number
13 slot in primetime, thus proving that Americans prefer animated cartoons
to live ones. With that in mind, perhaps CNN could change its name to Cartoon
News Network. It would increase viewership and provide truth in labeling
at the same time."
# # #
-- The Patriot Post,
March 19, 2010
Weekly News Round-Up
Burton Snowboards’ Decision Means
Politics by Emerson Lynn,
Vermont Tiger, March 18, 2010
In the end, costs matter
and Burton Snowboards announced Tuesday that it would no longer make snowboards
in Vermont – or anywhere else in the United States. Manufacturing is to
be moved to China and Austria. The iconic founder of the company, Jake
Burton Carpenter, put it succinctly: It costs more to make a snowboard
in Vermont than the company can get back in price. The decision will cost
43 Vermonters their jobs.
This is not a story new to
Vermont. But our leaders have routinely played them down as being the exception,
not the rule. And, in the past, they have pointed to companies like Burton
Snowboards as being proof that a company can not only survive here, but
thrive, parenthetically insinuating that others could too, if they just
would. This is the same game being played with the periodic example of
Vermont’s wealthy leaving the state for more favorable tax climes elsewhere.
It’s easier to pretend the issue doesn’t exist rather than to address the
core issues involved.
Unemployment Claims Increase
From Vermont Business Magazine,
March 17, 2010
Weekly unemployment claims
increased last week after a steep decline the previous week. For the week
of March 13, 2010, there were 1,074 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment
Insurance, an increase of 177 from the week before. Altogether 15,124 new
and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 339 from a week ago and
3,498 fewer than a year earlier. The Department also processed 4,588 First
Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008
(EUC08), 59 fewer than a week ago. In addition, there were 3,370 Second
Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is a
decrease of 19 from the week before. The Unemployment Weekly Report can
be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/.
Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can
be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc
Senate President Peter Shumlin Caught Lying to the American People on Fox
By Rod Adams, Atomic Insights,
March 15, 2010
Several weeks ago, Vermont
Senate President Peter Shumlin called a vote of the Vermont Senate
on whether or not to give the Public Service Commission permission to issue
a certificate of public good for the continued operation of Vermont Yankee
Nuclear Power Station. One of the premises underlying the decision that
the Senate made to refuse that permission was that there were other available
sources of power that could replace the plant's output. ...
The video above is a clear
demonstration that Vermont Senator Peter Shumlin, at the very least, did
not take the time to be reasonably well informed about energy before calling
the vote in his legislative body. Despite repeated opportunities to "take
a lookup" (that is the way that we answer in my profession if we are asked
a question where we are not sure of the answer) Shumlin repeated that Germany
gets 30% of its electricity from solar energy. When told that Wikipedia
has a statistic of 1% with an eventual goal of 25% by 2050, he dismissed
that as "that's Wikipedia" as if the answer was completely wrong.
letter to Sen. Shumlin
Utilities Chief Stresses Value of Yankee
Quebec Partner Up to Cleanup Lake Champlain
From WCAX-TV, March 15,
From the economy, to the
environment, to power, Vermont and the state's largest trading partner
Quebec are teaming up to make some big changes, including cleaning up Lake
Bunk Beds Next?
Caledonia Record Editorial,
March 22, 2010
The Vermont Education Department
has just announced to school officials and others that money is now available
to provide supper to school-age children. Vermont is one of only 13 states
and the District of Columbia to participate in the Area Eligible Afterschool
Supper Pilot program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Oh good! One more benefit
given to us from the Great Nanny State of Vermont at the generous hands
of the Great-Granny Nanny United States government.
By Chris Campion, Vermont
Tiger, March 21, 2010
This is simply another bailout
pitched to states that are overspending, and while none of our three Congressmen
were going to vote against any kind of health care bill, Vermont
is probably bought off a bit more easily than Utah, Nebraska, or Louisiana,
considering our population headcount. 100 million is about 8% of
the FY10 appropriation - which would be fantastic and all, if:
a) part of the 100 million
wasn't the result of Vermont paying federal income taxes, and b) the other
part of the 100 million wasn't dollars borrowed from foreign creditors.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
The Grassroots Paradox
By Scott Stewart, Strategic
Forecasters, March 18, 2010
This decentralization means
grassroots operatives will continue to be a concern. The problems posed
by such operatives are illustrated by recent cases involving American citizens
like Colleen LaRose (aka Jihad Jane), Jamie Paulin-Ramirez and Sharif Mobley,
who are all alleged to have been involved in recent jihadist plots. As
blonde Caucasian women, LaRose and Paulin-Ramirez, in particular, do not
fit the jihadist operative stereotype in most people’s minds and serve
to illustrate the difficulty
of creating a terrorist profile based on race, ethnicity
But decentralization can
also mean diminished capability. Counseling jihadists against traveling
to training camps in places like Pakistan or Yemen and advising them not
to coordinate their attacks with others will increase a group’s operational
security, but it can also have a serious
impact on its operational effectiveness. Traditionally,
one of the biggest problems for lone-wolf operators is acquiring the skills
necessary to conduct a successful terrorist attack. Even though many Web
sites and military manuals can provide instruction on such things as hand-to-hand
combat and marksmanship, there is no substitute for hands-on experience
in the real world. This is especially true when it comes to the more subtle
skills required to conduct a complex terrorist attack, such as planning,
surveillance and bomb making. This difficulty in translating intent into
effective action explains why so few lone-wolf militants have been able
to pull off spectacular, mass-casualty attacks.
Commanders Given Training in Iran: Report
From Yahoo News, March 21,
Hundreds of insurgents have
been trained in Iran to kill NATO forces in Afghanistan, two Taliban commanders
told a British Sunday newspaper. The unnamed commanders told The Sunday
Times that Iranian officials paid them to attend three-month courses in
desert training camps in southeast Iran.
on the Feast of Fire Celebration and the Iranian People’s Protests Against
From Family Security Matters,
March 17, 2010
As the Iranian people get
ready to celebrate the annual ritual of the Feast of Fire (background
information here), the regime is stepping up its efforts to
suppress dissent. Below are a number of examples of their ham-fisted attempts
to deny the people their voice.
Official: Al-Qaida leader Believed Killed
By Lolita C. Baldor and
Matt Apuzzo, Forbes Magazine, March 17, 2010
An al-Qaida leader believed
to have played a key role in the bombing of a CIA post in Afghanistan last
December was apparently killed by an American missile strike last week,
a senior U.S. official said Wednesday.
The counterterrorism official
said Hussein al-Yemeni was believed killed in a strike in Miram Shah, the
main town in North Waziristan. The official spoke on condition of anonymity
to discuss sensitive information.
By Rob Edwards, The Scotland
Herald, March 14, 2010
Hundreds of powerful US "bunker-buster"
bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego
Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.
The Sunday Herald can reveal
that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition
containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy,
this included 387 "Blu" bombs used for blasting hardened or underground
Experts say that they are
being put in place for an assault on Iran’s controversial nuclear facilities.
There has long been speculation that the US military is preparing for such
an attack, should diplomacy fail to persuade Iran not to make nuclear weapons.
Shiny New Palestinian Militia
By Daniel Pipes, Family
Security Matters, March 17, 2010
"The stupidest program the
U.S. government has ever undertaken" – last year that's what I called
American efforts to improve the Palestinian Authority (PA) military force.
Slightly hyperbolic, yes, but the description fits because those efforts
enhance the fighting power of enemies of the United States and its Israeli
# # #
Care Debate Or Proxy Fight Over Government's Rightful Role?
By Raghavan Mayur, Investor’s
Business Daily, March 16, 2010
What's driving passions right
now," President Obama said last fall on CBS' "Face the Nation," "is that
health care has become a proxy for a broader set of issues about how much
government should be involved in the economy."
The president was indeed
accurate in his description of the debate. It is a proxy fight between
statists and a government-weary public.
AG Again Promises to Challenge Health Care Bill
the Tea Party Leaves
ObamaCare Would Rocket Tax Rates to 50-60%
Duped by Phony Savings Estimate
The tea partiers aren’t
radicals; they’re one side of an old debate that is far from over.
By Jonah Goldberg, National
Review, March 17, 2010
The Boston Tea Party would
make a strange lodestar for an anti-American movement. The tea partiers
certainly aren’t "dropping out" of the system; if they were, we wouldn’t
be talking about them. And they aren’t reading Marxist tracts in a desire
to "tear down the system" either. They’re reading Thomas Paine, the founders,
and Friedrich Hayek in the perhaps naïve hope that they’ll be able
to restore the principles that are supposed to be guiding the system. (To
the extent they’re reading radicals such as Saul Alinsky, it’s because
they’ve been told that’s the best way to understand his disciple in the
Restoration and destruction
are hardly synonymous terms or desires. And maybe that’s a better label
for the tea parties: a political restoration movement, one that reflects
our Constitution and the precepts of limited government.
The meltdown of the
By Steven F. Hayward,
The Weekly Standard, March 15, 2010
It is increasingly clear
that the leak of the internal emails and documents of the Climate Research
Unit at the University of East Anglia in November has done for the climate
change debate what the Pentagon Papers did for the Vietnam war debate 40
years ago—changed the narrative decisively. Additional revelations of unethical
behavior, errors, and serial exaggeration in climate science are rolling
out on an almost daily basis, and there is good reason to expect more.
Will Show Them in November What Liberty Means
By Bill Bennett, National
Review, March 9, 2010
Abraham Lincoln said that
among free men, there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the
bullet. I have that in mind this morning as I think of its corollary: When
our elected leaders so flout the will of the people and play games in order
to do so, nothing can prove as powerful
as the use of the ballot — and in eight months we will show our elected
leaders just that.
Climb after Fed Pledges to Hold Rates Low
By Tim Paradis, Forbes Magazine,
March 17, 2010
The stock market has a new
formula for success: a slow and steady trek higher. The Dow
Jones industrial average rose 48 points Wednesday in its seventh
straight advance to close at a new high for 2010. The gain means the Dow
has joined the Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite index
in reaching the best levels since 2008.
Backlash Beyond ObamaCare
By Rosslyn Smith, American
Thinker, March 22, 2010
Voter anger is building on
issues beyond ObamaCare. The large group of people already angry over runaway
spending and ObamaCare are now being joined by those angry at the EPA for
moving forward with controls on greenhouse
gases without congressional action -- and without considering
the economic impact on the economy. Like the Tea Party movement, this group
cuts across geographical and political lines.
A bipartisan mix of eighteen
governors signed a letter
to congressional leaders last week. This move is supported by
Washington Democrats such as Senator Jay Rockefeller and the Democrat congressmen
from the eastern coal mining region. Rockefeller is calling for a two-year
suspension of EPA greenhouse gas regulations. The co-sponsors
in the House include Nick Rahall and Alan B. Mollohan, also
of West Virginia, and Rick Boucher of Virginia. Several Republican congressmen
and senators are in favor of similar legislation.
Doctors of the House
landmark of liberal governance whose price will be very steep.
Street Journal Editorial, March 22, 2010
ramming the vote through Congress on a narrow partisan majority, and against
so much popular opposition, Democrats have taken responsibility for what
comes next -- to insurance premiums, government spending, doctor shortages
and the quality of care.
Thoughts on Watching the Dems Stab the Constitution on the Congressional
Ben Stein, American Spectator, March 22, 2010
is a "bill" that is clearly not really a Constitutionally allowable legislative
entity, eligible for signature into law. For it to be that, it would need
to be identically passed in both houses. It was not.
Stacy Cline, American Spectator, March 22, 2010
Constitution was elegantly designed to protect individuals from too much
concentration of power in any one source, but the Supreme Court has evolved
into a body that has protected and even facilitated the modern regulatory
state at the expense of our founding principles.
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