North Archives - March 24, 2009
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Murder of Federalism
By John McClaughry
the dependents of the general government, and looking to its treasury as
the source of all their emoluments, the state officers would, in effect,
be the mere stipendiaries and instruments of the central power."
Now, 176 years later, another
Democratic President, urged on by an enthusiastic Democratic Congress,
has revived Distribution in the guise of Stimulus. A major difference is
that in Jackson's day the national debt was reduced to zero, and the question
was what to do with surplus revenues. Today the national debt is astronomical,
and the question is how fast the government can borrow - or print - money
to increase it by yet more trillions.
Our Lips - NO NEW TAXES !
By Rob Skinner
And when you think there's
not a thing left to tax - along comes House Bill 399 proposed by
two Democrats - "An act [tax] relating to the establishment of a vehicle
miles traveled fee [tax]." This is yet another financial burden to be leveled
against all Vermonters that will again lessen their, and particularly middle
to low income citizens, quality of life.
By Martin Harris
Milton Friedman and spouse Rose set up the –what else?—Friedman Foundation
for the study of education, primarily the public system, and primarily
with a pro-school-choice focus, and it, together with local school-focussed
Vermonters for Better Education, commissioned a modest study (1200
respondents) by Atlanta-based polling outfit Strategic Vision.
A VBE press release neatly spans the thus-revealed opinion divide between
those who think Vermont’s K-12 system is remarkably superior to any parallel
efforts elsewhere in time or space, and those who think it isn’t:
"A plurality of Vermonters believe their public schools are "good or excellent",
but nearly nine out of ten would send their children to private, charter,
or virtual schools, or educate them in a home setting". But then here are
the actual numbers for citizen/parent/taxpayer responses to the "if you
could select any type of school, what type of school would you select in
order to obtain the best education for your child?" question:
44% (church or secular)
# # #
26% (public but with extra management discretion)
11% (public with the standard K-12 objectives)
2% (on-line to students at home or in classrooms)
Week’s Mail Bag
Open letter to Reps.
Sue Minter and Diane Lanpher & all the folks in the State House;
What are you thinking?
Taxing hard-working Vermonters on every mile they drive? Your proposed
bill, H.399, intends to tax us on our vehicle mileage every time we pull
in for our annual inspection. This inane bill is going to INCREASE,
not balance, the state budget, creating layer-upon-layer of bureaucracy.
Staff will be needed to maintain this database. Mounds of paperwork
will be needed for forms, record-keeping, notices, public announcements,
Oh, and lest I neglect to
mention, the burden for collecting this tax will fall upon mechanics.
What do you suppose is going to happen to their prices when they have to
take on more paperwork, using up more of their time and staff to jump through
your hoops? You probably didn't guess this, but they will likely
need to increase their prices, once again increasing the financial burden
on We, The People.
We, The People, are already
taxed when we buy or sell a vehicle, when we purchase gasoline for it,
and when we have it repaired or serviced. Why on earth do you need
to steal more of our hard-earned money? Are you trying to force us
to revert to horses and buggies? More burden on the folks just trying
to get to and from work to pay our already-ridiculous taxes is NOT the
way to balance the budget.
This bill may appear to be
small potatoes, increasing our tax burden by $30 for every 5,000 miles
driven per year (a modest number of miles) -- but consider that some families
have more than one car, some people commute many miles to work, and some
folks might even be trying to plan (*gasp!*) a small vacation once in a
while. This mileage cost will also affect car rental agencies and
transportation at all levels, such as the trucks that bring food to grocery
stores and tankers bringing fuel to gas stations. This is huge,
much larger than a single-family vehicle; it will have repercussions and
consequences far outside the individual voter's garage.
Please abandon this dangerous
and foolish bill and try very hard to remember who is paying your salary.
That would be We, The People. Perhaps you could attempt to balance
the budget the way We, The People, balance our checkbooks here at home:
by eliminating waste and spending less on non-essentials. Perhaps
you should've considered voting YEA on the modest 5% congressional pay
cut a while back. Try cutting yourselves back a little, like the
rest of us have to in order to make ends meet.
To the rest of you fine folks
in Montpelier, please reject this bill should it ever make it out of committee.
And to the voters out there, please look up H.399 to learn more about it
Trying to keep it simple
* * *
A Question that is Being
I find it remarkable that
what distinguishes homosexuals and heterosexuals is the way they have sex
and yet this topic is being diligently avoided by both sides. Because
I have children, I am very interested in the impact gay marriage would
have on health classes in schools. If Vermont says gay marriage is
equivalent to what we now call marriage, then we will need to teach children
about homosexual sex since we teach them about heterosexual sex (otherwise
that would be discrimination). I don't see this issue being addressed
by the legislature or the media and yet I'm sure most parents would want
to know about these consequences of legalizing gay marriage.
"The mistake most people
make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money,
a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing
downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian
terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the
federal government into a kind of Giant ENRON - a Huge, impenetrable black
box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual
profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders,
previously known as taxpayers."
-- Matt Taibbi,
Rolling Stones Magazine
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Weekly News Round-Up
Vermonters Speak Out at the Statehouse
Written by one of our
readers who is a former journalist and wanted to record what pro-family
people said on March 18th.
The following is a synopsis
of Vermonters who spoke Wednesday, March 18 before legislators in the well
of the Vermont Statehouse in support of traditional marriage and in opposition
to S-115, the gay marriage bill. They spoke before what several veteran
statehouse journalists and lobbyists believe to be the largest crowd that
has ever gathered for one issue at the Vermont Statehouse. The pro-gay
marriage crowd was larger than our side and apparently well-funded and
organized, as demonstrated by the field team of "crowd marshalls" with
headphones and mikes scattered throughout the Statehouse. The crowd filled
the House chamber, the cafeteria, several hallways, and two large meeting
By Aimee Lawton, The Critic:
Lyndon State College, March 13, 2009
Students at Lyndon State
now have the opportunity to show off their conservative side. Budgeting
planning for next semester is in full swing, and many new clubs are stepping
on to the scene, and making their debut on campus. One such club is the
Lyndon State College Republicans, affiliated with other College Republican
organizations throughout the state of Vermont.
Tough Sex Offender Law? Is That So?
Caledonia Record Editorial,
March 23, 2009
One more time, the court
has let a child sex offender off the hook for jail time and settled for
a plea agreement with no incarceration. Yet, the offender, a bus driver,
pleaded guilty to fondling the genitals of children throughout a school
year. He actually had them sitting in his lap while he was driving.
Bills Are Coming Due
From Vermont Tiger – March
Rising mandatory expenditures
in the state of Vermont mean that there are fewer discretionary dollars
to support important programs to serve needy Vermonters. And in these difficult
economic times, that is unfortunate news indeed. Yet, these "promises"
made to certain constituencies must be kept. At issue, however, between
debt service, retirement plans for state employees and teachers, and other
post-employment benefits, is that those promises have become unsustainable.
It is time to recognize the nature and severity of the problem and begin
talking about how to change from the path we’re on.
Runoff Voting Is Anti-Democratic
Caledonia Record Editorial,
March 20, 2009
If you need convincing evidence
that Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is undemocratic, pay attention to what
happened in Burlington, which embraces IRV, at their last city elections.
IRV is the practice of counting into the totals, second and third choice
candidates if the first winner of the contest doesn't get a majority (50
percent plus one of those voting).
Warming Team Stranded by Cold Weather"
From Vermont Tiger, March
Umm…. one really does
have to wonder about the sanity of these people, particularly in this day
and age of the Interweb Tubes - anyone can quickly look at the temperatures
in the cold regions - e.g., with just a few mouse clicks, I can see that
right now the temperature at Resolute, the Canadian outpost high in the
Arctic Archipelago, is -36F. Thus... why was any of this a big surprise
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
this the end of America?
U.S. law-making is
riddled with slapdash, incompetence and gamesmanship
Terence Corcora, Financial Post, March 19, 2009
Helicopter Ben Bernanke’s
Federal Reserve is dropping trillions of fresh paper dollars on the world
economy, the President of the United States is cracking jokes on late night
comedy shows, his energy minister is threatening a trade war over carbon
emissions, his treasury secretary is dithering over a banking reform program
amid rising concerns over his competence and a monumentally dysfunctional
U.S. Congress is launching another public jihad against corporations and
bankers.??As an aghast world — from China to Chicago and Chihuahua — watches,
the circus-like U.S. political system seems to be declining into near chaos.
Through it all, stock and financial markets are paralyzed. The more the
policy regime does, the worse the outlook gets. The multi-ringed spectacle
raises a disturbing question in many minds: Is this the end of America?
Leaders Offer to Guard Scottish Shul
From Crown Heights, March
Muslim leaders have offered
to stand guard outside a Scottish synagogue after it was vandalised in
an alleged anti-Semitic attack.
Islamism vs Nationalism?
By Manda Zand-Ervin, Family
Security Matters, March 19, 2009
Ayatollah Roohollah Khomeini
said: "Those who say that we want nationalism, they are standing against
Islam. . . . We have no use for the nationalists. Muslims are only useful
for us. Islam is against nationality. . . ."
The facts are that the large
majority of Iranians are opposed to the nuclear bomb. In their demonstrations
the Iranian labors who had not been paid for months chanted, "Yes to jobs,
no to bombs." The placards held by the women and student movements are
proof of their opposition to the nuclear program of the regime.
Knock on the Door
Lona Manning, American Thinker, March 18, 2009
So we have a Movement --
this is their term, not mine -- organized by, and loyal to, a sitting President.
Pledge canvassers, armed with your name, will ask you to pledge loyalty
to the President too. A president whose term has already become a permanent
campaign, is signing up ground forces in a mass organization
pledged to personal loyalty to their Leader. Does anyone know of any historical
precedents for this in the United States? Did Mitch Stewart, youthful director
of OFA, who asks Obama's acolytes to organize "neighborhood
by neighborhood" study anything at school about Mao's
in the Name of Global Warming Regulations
From the Heritage Foundation,
March 19th, 2009
Protectionism is always bad
policy. But protectionism during an economic downturn, after taxes have
already risen, and in addition to a massive $2 trillion tax on energy consumption
is, well, not good. Yet that is exactly what Energy Secretary David Chu
seems to be edging towards. In response to the notion that American companies
will move overseas when CO2 is capped, Secretary Chu suggested that the
U.S. simply levy a carbon tariff on imports.
Jihadist Speaks Bluntly in This Revealing Video
Anyone (like Barack Obama)
entertaining ideas of western democracies establishing friendly relations
with the radicals of the Islamic world should watch this video.While watching
the inflammatory rhetoric of the speaker, remember that this is not a Jihadists
from Iran but a professor from Kuwait - a country with every reason to
be grateful to the USA for liberating it from the tyranny of Saddam Husseins
New Year, Mullahs: Obama's Message of Weakness
# # #
the Pros Say: US Is Now 'Bankrupt'
From CNBC, March 19, 2009
the U.S. is already "bankrupt" because it has a debt that is almost four
times the size of its economy, says Puru Saxena, CEO of
Puru Saxena Wealth Management. He tells CNBC that the U.S. is at risk of
Received a $101,332 Bonus from AIG
From The Examiner, March
Senator Barack Obama received
a $101,332 bonus from American International Group in the form of political
contributions according to Opensecrets.org.
The two biggest Congressional recipients of bonuses from the A.I.G. are
Chris Dodd and Senator Barack Obama.
Of Earmarks In Latest Spending Bill
By John McCain, RightBias.com,
Obama's latest Omnibus bill,
signed into law on March 11, 2009, contained app. 9,000 earmarks. Here
is a floor statement made by Sen. McCain on H.R. 1105, The Omnibus Appropriations
for Steele to go as RNC chair
By Star Parker, TownHall,
March 16, 2009
From what I see, the Republican
National Committee representatives who picked Michael Steele as their new
chairman made a mistake. I think Steele ought to step aside.
State of the Fourth Estate
Jordan Ballor, The Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, March 18 2009
like so much else today, is in crisis. Declining ad revenues and subscriptions,
the popularity of Internet news, as well as lowered public trust in the
mainstream press, have created the perfect storm for the demise of old
media. The 2009 State
of the News Media report from the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism
shows that newspaper ad revenues have fallen 23 percent in the last two
years. Some papers are in bankruptcy, and others have lost three-quarters
of their value. By Pew's calculations, "nearly one out of every five journalists
working for newspapers in 2001 is now gone, and 2009 may be the worst year
Budget Builds on Bush Precedents (pdf)
Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy, Cato Institute, March 2009
Barack Obama has introduced his federal budget plan for the coming years,
and it includes large increases in spending, taxes, and debt.1 The Obama
plan includes the costs of recent financial bailouts and the stimulus package,
but it also foresees a long-term increase in regular domestic spending.
The plan builds on spending precedents set by President Bush, and would
boost nondefense outlays to a record share of the economy.
Funding Doesn't Add Up
Winters, The Washington Times, March 20, 2009
unfortunate that any teachers at all are losing their jobs for no other
reason than the financial situation, but it's outrageous that the cuts
will come without any thought given to which teachers would be least missed.
powerful collective-bargaining agreements that govern teacher employment
in just about every public school system in the United States leave little
to no discretion to these systems in deciding which teachers should get
the axe when times are tough. Public school layoffs occur by seniority.
Teacher classroom success plays no role in determining who stays or who
of Charter Schools
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