North Archives - March 31, 2009
| Editorial | News & Views
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Purpose of Marriage
By Kelly Bartlett
The sexual union of a married
couple is procreative. By its very nature, the heterosexual act has the
potential to create a child; thus it is community-oriented. This is why
marriage is so important: marriage actually creates communities,
hence society’s interest in supporting it. In contrast, a homosexual union
never produces children because it is intrinsically sterile; gay sex is
not community-oriented. Vermont can never replenish her citizenry with
An Occasional Newsletter from the Legislature
By Rep. Thomas F. Koch,
Barre Town, March 22, 2009
year, the end of the legislative session is signaled by the adoption of
the "big bill," the budget for the ensuing year. As the legislature
adjourns in April (we hope!) or May, or June (God forbid!), we adopt a
state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending on the following
June 30. So in May 2008, we adopted the FY 2009 budget for the year
ending June 30, 2009.
By the time the legislature
returns in January, reality has set in. Revenue estimates have been
adjusted, anticipated expenses are more accurate, and circumstances have
changed. So the first order of business for the Appropriations Committee
is to prepare a mid-year budget adjustment act. This is an annual
and reasonable routine.
This year, of course, is
very different. General fund revenue estimates for the current year
are down by $55 million from last May, unemployment and social service
program enrollments are up; and all other state funds except the education
fund are showing sizeable reductions from previous estimates. In
July, and again in November, the joint fiscal committee, acting in the
absence of the full legislature, approved budget cuts of many millions
of dollars. Now it is up to the entire legislature to modify the
budget in light of facts that were not known last May.
Ground: Pro-Sprawl and Grow-It-Yourself Blocs
By Martin Harris
can, of course, find a study or two with any "finding" to match your pre-disposition
or ideology, but more indicative, I’d argue, are those intended for in-house
"expert" consumption only, such as the 2007 report entitled "Lot Size,
Zoning and Household Preferences: Impediments to Smart Growth?" published
by the Environmental Protection Agency in co-operation with the University
of Maryland. On page 2 it lists the potential obstacles to smart-growth
as including new homebuyer preference for larger lots, and on page 16 the
writers worry specifically that "the bigger issue [than minimum lot size]
may be household preference for larger lots". In short, they complain,
the average American is too dumb or stubborn to recognize what the experts
know is better for him, housing-wise.
# # #
"Forced to choose,
the poor, like the rich, love money more than political liberty; and the
only political freedom capable of enduring is one that is so pruned as
to keep the rich from denuding the poor by ability or subtlety and the
poor from robbing the rich by violence or votes." --Will
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
More -- Call Your Representative(s)
An update from "Take
it to the People" on the gay Marriage struggle
This is the time to make
a big push on our representatives. The same-sex marriage bill (S.115) is
set for a floor vote on Thursday or Friday of this week. The House Judiciary
Committee will vote the bill out on Tuesday. The House will then deal with
the Appropriations bill -- what we sent them to Montpelier to -- before
dealing with what we didn't send them to Montpelier to do.
Parents Act Like 2-Year-Olds
From the Caledonia Record,
March 26, 2009
These brawling men embarrassed
their kids, their spouses, and their neighbors. We can forgive 2-year-olds,
because they are toddlers in early stages of development. Every parent
knows the "terrible twos." But, it is nearly beyond forgiveness when their
fathers (or, in some cases, their mothers) throw fighting temper tantrums
at kids' events. There are too many times at youth sporting events when
supportive, cheerleading parents become enraged lunatics.
See That Five Million
...and raise you another
From Vermont Tiger – March
The leaders in the legislature
insist that they cannot possibly find $24 million in budget cuts without
hurting Vermont's most vulnerable citizens.
This was absolutely predictable.
When the people who run a government are faced with cutting a budget –
budget – they inevitably do it in a way to maximize public outrage.
This is known, among the congnescenti, as "the Washington
Monument Ploy." Faced with a public demand for budget
cuts, the political class decides to give the taxpayers what they want
... and give it to them good and hard, as Mencken would say.
Choice Program: R.I.P.
From the Caledonia Record,
March 24, 2009
One of the most successful
new school choice programs in America is the one in Washington, D.C. that
gives $7,000 vouchers to parents and students, almost all Afro-Americans,
who choose to escape the worst school system in the country and go to the
schools of their choice. This voucher program has been acclaimed and applauded
for the five years of its operation, not only by these parents and kids,
but by educational authorities all over the nation. Its success has become
its poison pill. It is a pointed stick in the eye of, and a constant embarrassment
to, the NEA.
Now, the Democratic majority
in Congress has killed the program by burying in President Obama's national
budget a provision that bans funding of the program after this year. So,
these kids will have to return to their utterly failing public schools
next year, because the Democratic party and the NEA are inseparable allies.
It's worth it to the NEA to diminish the futures of a bunch of kids; it
must maintain its monopoly on public schools, teachers, and kids.
From Vermont Tiger, March
If this bill becomes law
– it needs to pass the senate and the governor must sign it, or the legislature
must override his veto – then the Vermont Yankee plant will be shut down
in 2012, at the latest. This will be bad for Vermont, though supporters
of the bill will argue that renewables will take up the slack, providing
both the necessary jobs and the essential electricity. Maybe. But what
about the reputation of Vermont as a place to do business?
Douglas rebuffs gay-marriage backers
BY Terri Hallenbeck, Burlington
Free Press, March 28, 2009
"No minds were changed,"
Douglas said, noting that supporters were also unswayed by his argument.
He said despite the size of Friday’s crowd, many other Vermonters agree
"I think many Vermonters
who agree with me don’t have the time to come to the Statehouse to rally."
Douglas announced Wednesday
he would veto the same-sex marriage bill making its way through the Legislature,
saying marriage should remain between a man and a woman. The bill passed
the Senate, 26-4, this week. The full House is expected to vote Thursday
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Terrorism is only
one expression of jihad — there are others as dangerous.
By Andrew C. McCarthy, National
Review, March 24, 2009
That threat is not, essentially,
about terrorism. Given the life-and-death stakes involved, it is understandable
that government is preoccupied by terrorism (or what Obama’s homeland-security
secretary, Janet Napolitano, absurdly calls "man-caused
disasters"). But jihadist terror is merely the means to a specific
end: the installation of sharia, the Islamic legal code, which Muslim fundamentalists
regard as the necessary precondition for the achievement of Islam’s universalist
Sharia should be of grave
concern to us because it is antithetical to the U.S. Constitution and to
our way of life. It rejects several core American propositions: that liberty
cannot co-exist with an established state religion, that free people have
a right to govern themselves irrespective of any religious code’s dictates,
that there should be freedom of conscience (sharia holds that apostasy
from Islam is not merely a crime but a capital offense), sexual liberty
(homosexuality is also a death-penalty offense), and equal protection under
the law (sharia privileges Muslims over non-Muslims and men over women).
Sharia, furthermore, is the rationale commonly trotted out by militants
to justify the use of force (whether we call it "terrorism" or employ such
sophistries as "resistance" or "man-caused disasters") for resolving policy
disputes — under the rationale that policies that do not privilege Islam
constitute an attack on Islam and therefore justify jihadist violence.
Amil Iman, American Thinker, March 27, 2009
During the U.S. presidential
election, President Obama boasted that he would embark on personal diplomacy
to solve our foreign policy problems with terrorist countries such as Syria
and the Islamic Republic. He said that he would meet their leaders without
any preconditions to settle our disputes. Doesn't that sound like a change
of heart, a real change and a great relief to us all? Never mind the fact
that this president has about zero experience in foreign policy matters,
he is foolish enough to aim to negotiate with the ever-conniving Assad
of Syria and masters of deceptions such as the mullahs of Iran.
Issues Order to 'Destroy' N. Korea Rocket
From the AP, March 27, 2009
The Japanese government is
urging people to remain calm as Japan's defense minister ordered the military
to prepare to shoot down any debris that could fall on Japanese territory
if a North Korean rocket launch fails, mobilizing interceptor missiles
and sending two warships to the Sea of Japan.
Muslims Changing Small Tennessee Town
From Family Security Matters,
March 27, 2009
It has been nearly 20 years
last had a functioning government. Islamic Jihadists now control most of
the country – and sharia is the law of the land. Tens of thousands of Somali
refugees have resettled in America in recent years to escape the chaos
of their homeland, which is located in the Horn of Africa.
But the transition isn't going smoothly in one small
Intelligence Official about Israel: "This is just the beginning"
From the Northeast Intelligence
Northeast Intelligence Network
director Doug Hagmann interviewed a highly-placed U.S. intelligence official
late yesterday who not only confirmed rumors about escalated and more intensive
Israeli military operations against the Muslim terrorists in Gaza,
warned of the increasing probability of abandonment of Israel by the U.S.
and other Western countries based on what he termed "malicious intelligence."
"Remember that term," advised
this well-placed intelligence official, "you’ll be hearing it again."
"This is just the beginning,"
stated this intelligence official, who wished to remain anonymous. This
official stated that the possibility for a much more protracted ground
war is more likely today than at any other time in the past, adding that
Israel is exercising her right to protect herself from her enemies in Gaza.
But there is a catch, noted this official, and a big one at that: Israel
could be about to lose the support of the United
Double Vision of Hezbollah?
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family
Security Matters, March 25, 2009
government’s announcement to open a dialogue with "the political
wing of Hezbollah" is most troubling. In a statement to a parliamentary
committee, Bill Rammell, the British foreign office’s minister for Middle
East affairs, rationalized the decision on the grounds of what his office
perceives to be "more positive developments within Lebanon."
# # #
Leader Condemns US ‘road to hell’
By Tony Barber in Brussels
and Edward Luce in Washington, Financial Times, March 25, 2009
European Union hopes for
a new era in relations with the US were thrown into chaos on Wednesday
when the holder of the EU presidency condemned American remedies for the
global recession as "the road to hell". ...
"The US Treasury secretary
talks about permanent action and we, at our spring council, were quite
alarmed at that . . . The US is repeating mistakes from the 1930s, such
as wide-ranging stimuluses, protectionist tendencies and appeals, the Buy
American campaign, and so on," he told a European parliament
session in Strasbourg. "All these steps, their combination and their permanency,
are the road to hell."
Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality
By Dennis Prager, Catholic
Education Resource Center
(Editor’s note: this is
an article that we ran with over a year ago but thought that it was relevant
to our current political discussion)
Societies that did not place
boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent
dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexual
revolution initiated by Judaism and later carried forward by Christianity.
This revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital
bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female
love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of
love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevating
the status of women.
By Andrew Klavin, American
Conservative Union, March 25, 2009
For the last forty years,
we conservatives have allowed the left to monopolize the culture. Partly,
sure, that’s because the left excludes and blacklists conservative artists.
But it’s also due to our own neglect, philistinism and old-fogey-ositude.
Whatever the causes, though, movies, television, literature, music, mainstream
news, liberal arts courses in universities—all the bastions of cultural
power are in the hands of leftist rascals, fools and clowns.
By Donald Devine, American
Conservative Union, March 25, 2009
"The nine most terrifying
words in the English language: I’m from the government and I’m here to
help" will be multiplied by at least 100,000 additional bureaucratic voices
if President Barack Obama’s first budget has its way; and it probably will
considering that Congress cannot wait to "help" even more.
Now we know why Mr. Obama
admired Ronald Reagan for being a "transformational" figure. He wants to
transform Reagan’s transformation. During President Reagan’s first term,
inspired by his quotation that leads this editorial and an existing economic
downturn that was in many ways worse than today’s (certainly so far in
terms of unemployment and interest rates), he decreased non-defense employment
by 100,000, cut (discretionary) domestic spending rather than increased
it, and (with the help of tax cuts) let the economy hit bottom so that
it could bounce back—which it did—rather than prop up failing firms. Facing
a worse stock drop in 1987, he again let the market fall—and it came right
back, in weeks rather than months or years.
Seeks Expanded Power to Seize Firms
Goal Is to Limit Risk
to Broader Economy
From the Washington Post,
March 23, 2009
The Obama administration
is considering asking Congress to give the Treasury secretary unprecedented
powers to initiate the seizure of non-bank financial companies, such as
large insurers, investment firms and hedge funds, whose collapse would
damage the broader economy, according to an administration document.
The government at present
has the authority to seize only banks.
Giving the Treasury secretary
authority over a broader range of companies would mark a significant shift
from the existing model of financial regulation, which relies on independent
agencies that are shielded from the political process. The Treasury secretary,
a member of the president's Cabinet, would exercise the new powers in consultation
with the White House, the Federal Reserve and other regulators, according
to the document.
Real Meaning of Earth Hour
Lockitch, Ayn Rand Center for Individual Liberty, March 23,
Those who claim that we must
cut off our carbon emissions to prevent an alleged global catastrophe need
to learn the indisputable fact that cutting off our carbon emissions would
be a global catastrophe. What we really need is greater awareness of just
how indispensable carbon-based energy is to human life (including, of course,
to our ability to cope with any changes in the climate).
It is true that the importance
of Earth Hour is its symbolic meaning. But that meaning is the opposite
of the one intended. The lights of our cities and monuments are a symbol
of human achievement, of what mankind has accomplished in rising from the
cave to the skyscraper. Earth Hour presents the disturbing spectacle of
people celebrating those lights being extinguished. Its call for
people to renounce energy and to rejoice at darkened skyscrapers makes
its real meaning unmistakably clear: Earth Hour symbolizes the renunciation
of industrial civilization.
Card Check Is Unconstitutional
By David B. Rivkin Jr. and
Lee A. Casey, The Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2009
...so far the debate has
not focused on the other compelling interest at stake: the constitutionally
protected right of employees to keep their opinions on controversial issues
like unionization to themselves.
# # #