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April 07, 2009 is updated every Tuesday

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Featured Articles

The Nature of Rights
Robert Maynard

The problem we have today is that not only are we on the verge of redefining the institution of marriage, but we are also blurring the distinction between public and private interest and with it the basic premise upon which earlier rights were granted. This distinction was recognized by the earlier "Gay Rights" movement. In battling against sodomy laws and a whole host of other issues, the distinction between private and public interests was the premise upon which this battle was fought. The argument against sodomy laws was that their relationship was purely a matter of personal concern and not of public interest. Now, in pushing for "Gay Marriage", they are completely reversing the premise and saying that their relationship should be viewed as a matter of public concern.

Outside the Center Ring
John McClaughry

The legislative circus is now in its month-long countdown to adjournment, and the gay marriage issue has dominated the center ring. But there are also side rings, and what happens there can profoundly affect the future of Vermont.

Could Large-lot Zoning Become Socially Acceptable?
By Martin Harris

In my university years, no American architect was more admired, within the halls of academic ivy, than Frank Lloyd Wright. We learned all about Falling Water, Taliesin West, the Johnson Wax Building, the Bartlesville Tower, the Guggenheim Museum. What we didn’t learn about was FLlW’s dismissive opinion of the old urban centers in general, and his admiration for new low-density development –sprawl—in particular, because we were also being taught to despise sprawl and say so in the written portions of our exams. Not until many years later did I learn of his 1932 book "The Disappearing City" and the illustrative model of his proposal for a new Broadacre City –decentralized commercial development, no recognizeable urban core, all house lots an acre or more in size, lots of superhighways and greenbelts, and so on—built and displayed in the Depression years. In retrospect, it seems, ideological bias on campus isn’t new.

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This Week’s Mail Bag 

Doyle Poll

I 've just written to the Free Press and WCAX expressing my amazement that they continue to attempt to create news rather than report it. 

Both media told us that based on Sen. Bill Doyle's poll: "fifty one percent of  Vermonters favor gay marriage." That would equal over 300,000 citizens. They didn't tell readers that Sen. Doyle received about 12,000 responses to his poll which equated to 6000+  pro-homosexual folks.

This homosexual marriage issue demands a state-wide referendum to force the legislature to listen to more than the lobbyists on both sides!

Jim Daley

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Same Sex Hearings

I received this phone call from a security officer who worked the night at the Statehouse checking bags prior to the hearings on same-sex marriages. He knew that I was not re-elected and "out of the loop" but felt he had few others to come to with his concern. His elected Representatives and Senators supported "gay marriage."

He was upset at the number of out of state college students that were attending the hearing. As a native Vermonter he was very concerned that our policies and laws were being driven by nonresidents. "We are a small state and can take care of our own business."

He also was taking care of outside security.  He counted 8 buses - 5 full size buses and 3 commuter types.

The commuter buses were college buses -Burlington, Rutland, and Bennington. (How many Vermonters go to Bennington, (I pondered).

I get upset at this as well. You know how I feel about keeping the voting procedure pure. That all those that are eligible to vote must vote. That those that are eligible have all the rights to testify, give their opinions, and so forth. However, those that don't have residency in this state, those that don't have to live with the consequences of our Legislators votes, should not be testifying at the table.

It was the question of identification fraud, certifying residency, voting at the proper polling place and the purity of the voter checklists that I contested my election. It is that we have in reality, same day voting without calling it that.

Having said that, we share the frustration of the security guard who had to grit his teeth and allow non-residents to partake in our voting process.

In friendship,
Leo M. Valliere 

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Thanks for the Show

Dear Paul,

Thanks for giving me something to listen to besides the liberal local programing.  I listen on a radio that has poor reception while making truck deliveries in Chittenden and Addison counties. I miss alot but I like what I do hear. I especially like Bill Sayre. Some day I am going to get an Ipod so I can listen after work.  Maybe you don't do Ipod like Rush and some other big shows.  Consider it if you don't already. I know True North costs a bundle to produce, so no problem if it's not in the budget. I can't thank you enough for providing a show for those of us who are more conservative and believe in traditional American values.  I can't stand the all-liberal-all-the-time-media. Keep up the good work, Paul. I look forward to meeting you. I will try to make a regular contribution to keep you going. 

Bill Adamson

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"Liberals have a new wish every time their latest wish is granted. Conservatives should make them spell out their principles and ideals. Instead of doing this, conservatives allow liberals to pursue incremental goals without revealing their ultimate destination. So, thanks to the negligence of their opponents, liberals control the terms of every debate by always demanding 'more' while never defining 'enough.' The predictable result is that they always get more, and it's never enough."  --Joseph Sobran

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Notes & Events

April 9th (Thursday): Pro-Life Lobby Day at the Vermont State House. Schedule:
   8:30am to 9:00am: Greeters will be available to meet you at the State House doors and they will provide you with a "Life Is Precious." button. Greeters will then direct those unfamiliar with the State House to the cafeteria for signing in. Each participant will be provided with a ticket to take to the cafeteria for coffee and doughnuts.
   10:00am: Attend either the House of Representatives or the Senate session.
   12:00pm: Plan to buy lunch (or bring your own) and join other pro-life Vermonters in the cafeteria.

Other activities:

  • Take a tour of the State House.
  • Write a letter in support of Life to your legislators.
  • Speak with your legislators.
  • Sit in on committee meetings.
  • Pick up pro-life material at the VRLC display table
PARKING: Free parking is available behind the Vermont Dept. of Labor building (Rte. 2, near I-89 Exit 8) The Capital Shuttle departs for the State House every 23 minutes. Capital Region Bus Schedule

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April 15th (Wednesday): Vermont Tea Parties

Tax Day
For Times and Locations see:
State of Vermont Weekly Public Meetings Schedule

If you have an event you would like us to post, send details to:

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Veto Override Passes the House
From the Burlington Free Press, April 7, 2009

The House voted 100 to 49 to override the veto of Republican Gov. Jim Douglas on same-sex marriage in Vermont.

Tuesday Showdown at the State St. Corral

An update from "Take it to the People" on the gay Marriage struggle.

Gov. Jim Douglas' Statement on the Veto

The text of the communication from His Excellency, the Governor, whereby he vetoed and returned unsigned Senate Bill No. 115 to the Senate is as follows:

April 6, 2009

The Honorable David A. Gibson
Secretary of the Senate
State House
115 State Street, Drawer 33
Montpelier, VT 05633

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Pursuant to Chapter II, Section 11 of the Vermont Constitution, I am returning S.115, An Act Relating to Civil Marriage, without my signature 651 MONDAY, APRIL 06, 2009 because of my objections described herein. I do so recognizing that this is an issue that is intensely personal, with strongly held beliefs and convictions on both sides. But I am charged by our Constitution to act on this legislation and by its return, I have fulfilled that responsibility.

The question of same sex marriage is an issue that does not break cleanly as Republican or Democrat, rural or urban, religious or atheist. The decision to support or oppose is informed by an amalgam of experience, conviction and faith. These beliefs are deeply held, passionately expressed and, for many legislators, infinitely more complex than the ultimate ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ required to fulfill the duty of their office.

On such an intensely personal issue as this, all members must do as their individual conscience dictates, with the best interest of their districts in mind.

It is for those reasons that I have not sought to lobby members of my own party, or asked opponents to sustain my veto.

This legislation does not address the inequalities espoused by proponents.

Regardless of whether the term marriage is applied, federal benefits will still be denied to same sex couples in Vermont. And states that do not recognize same sex marriage or civil unions will also deny state rights and responsibilities to same sex couples married in Vermont. This bill will not change that fact.

Vermont’s civil union law has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same sex couples. Our civil union law serves Vermont well and I would support congressional action to extend those benefits at the federal level to states that recognize same sex unions. But I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman.

I hope that when the legislature makes its final decision, we can move our state forward, toward a bright future for our children and grandchildren. We still have a great deal of work ahead of us to balance our budget and get our economy going again and Vermonters are counting on us to work together to get the job done.


James H. Douglas

Janice Peaslee May Be Lonely, But She's Right
From the Caledonia Record, April 6, 2009

Rep. Janice Peaslee, R-Guildhall, is the only member of the 11-member House Transportation Committee who voted against the transportation budget developed by her committee. She voted against it because it includes a 5-cent per gallon increase in the fuel tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, especially when transportation funds are already pulled out of the transportation budget and sent elsewhere.

Energy Legislation Threatens Ratepayers
From Vermont Tiger, April 7, 2009

It would not seem the time to ask Vermont employers and their employees to pay more for the power they use, but that doesn’t seem to bother the supporters of the Vermont Energy Act of 2009, legislation before the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee.

Put It To A Referendum
From the Caledonia Record, April 3, 2009

By the publication date of this issue, the House will have voted and probably passed the gay marriage bill. It will land on the governor's desk where he will veto it. It is still an open question whether the Democrat controlled House and Senate will override the veto. Pass or fail, it will do so without the most important voice in Vermont, the people, having been heard in the din of partisan/special interest band playing at top volume.

Lynch Mob?
From Vermont Tiger, April 5, 2009

Well, this sort of emotion is clearly cathartic.  Just ask Bernie Sanders for whom a day without some fresh new outrage is a day hardly worth living. So, for readers experiencing outrage-deficit, we offer the following items. 

  • Congress grants bonuses to staffers.  Hard to say that Congress had a big year and that its employees deserve a bonus when, for most of 2008, it polled lower – in terms of "favorability" – than President George W. Bush. 

  • Bonuses for employees at Fannie and Freddie.  So what, exactly, did the execs at these two Government Sponsored Behemoths do to deserve bonuses?  Seems the taxpayers had to bail them out after they came close go going down under the weight of all the sub-prime mortgages they had insouciantly bought during boom times and the extravagant bonuses they had paid out to politically connected people, like Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick, who passed through long enough to pick up a few million in easy money.
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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

A Global Islamo-Socialist Stimulus Plan
By Joseph Klein,, April 03, 2009

Islamists and socialists have a common agenda – to bring down Western capitalism.  They are exploiting the perfect storm that has arisen from the current economic crisis, which they blame on the United States.  Their revenge is to position the United Nations as the only global membership institution that can ensure the legitimacy of decisions to govern a global economy and push free market economics aside.

Avigdor Lieberman's Brilliant Debut
By Daniel Pipes,, April 2, 2009

Avigdor Lieberman became foreign minister of Israel yesterday. He celebrated his inauguration with a maiden speech that news reports indicate left his listeners grimacing, squirming, and aghast. The BBC, for example, informs us that his words prompted "his predecessor Tzipi Livni to interrupt and diplomats to shift uncomfortably."

Pyongyang, Tehran: Axis Of Missiles
From Investor's Business Daily, March 30, 2009

National Security: Iranian missile experts are helping North Korea with the imminent launch of an ICBM that can hit Alaska and Hawaii. Imagine a Taepodong-2 with a nuke. This is no time to gut missile defense.

UN body OKs Call to Curb Religious Criticism
By Frank Jordans, Associated Press, March 26, 2009

The U.N.'s top human-rights body approved a proposal backed by Muslims nations Thursday urging the passage of laws around the world protecting religion from criticism.

The proposal by Pakistan had drawn strong criticism from free-speech campaigners and liberal democracies.

Newt Gingrich: A Single Nuke Could Destroy America
By Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen, NewsMax, March 29, 2009

On Feb. 3, Iran launched a "communications satellite" into orbit. At this very moment, North Korea is threatening to do the same. The ability to launch an alleged communications satellite belies a far more frightening truth. A rocket that can carry a satellite into orbit also can drop a nuclear warhead over any location on the planet in less than 45 minutes.

Far too many timid or uninformed sources maintain that a single launch of a missile poses no true threat to the United States, given our retaliatory power. A reality check is in order and must be discussed in response to such an absurd claim: In fact, one small nuclear weapon, delivered by an ICBM can destroy the United States by maximizing the effect of the resultant electromagnetic pulse upon detonation.

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a byproduct of detonating an atomic bomb above the Earth’s atmosphere. When a nuclear weapon is detonated in space, the gamma rays emitted trigger a massive electrical disturbance in the upper atmosphere. Moving at the speed of light, this overload will short out all electrical equipment, power grids and delicate electronics on the Earth’s surface. In fact, it would take only one to three weapons exploding above the continental United States to wipe out our entire grid and transportation network. It might take years to recover from, if ever.

A Kinder, Gentler War on Terror?
By David Gayvert, American Thinker, April 03, 2009

Debate over the term, "Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT) has been going on in defense circles ever since the Bush Administration coined it in the wake of 9/11.  Heretofore, disagreement has focused largely on whether the GWOT moniker and the sometimes synonymously used "Long War" accurately describe the proper focus of the conflict.  Although with many variations, there have been two general criticisms.  The first is that a lack of precision in defining the enemy allows for a similar imprecision in determining how he must be fought and defeated; to wit, that a war on terrorism (a tactic) does not identify the real strategic enemy-e.g., violent Islamic extremism.[i] The second argues that the use of the term "war" is inappropriate and even illegitimate, used to justify a host of activities against individuals and groups who are not akin to soldiers, but instead are mere criminals, and thus must be dealt with within the structures and strictures of the criminal justice system.

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From Elsewhere

Nuclear Only Safe Option
By Alan Howe, Herald Sun, March 30, 2009

IT sounds simple enough, and very green. You dam a valley, wait until it fills with water then send that through a turbine generating electricity before piping it to the taps of the towns below.

Majestic dams set in pristine, forested water catchments become tourist attractions in their own right and their names are bywords in feats of engineering: Hoover, Aswan, Boulder, Three Gorges, Hume.

But they are the deadliest form of power generation known to man. ...

The fact is that the only safe alternative for the clean generation of power - here and anywhere else - is nuclear.

Meet The New Boss
From Investor's Business Daily, March 30, 2009

Industrial Policy: The U.S. government dictating a major corporation's merger partner and who its CEO should be was unimaginable a year ago. Has industry sold America's free-market soul for bailout money?

Social Security Surplus Already Gone?
By Marc Davis,, March 31, 2009

Another victim of the recession has cashed in its chips — the Social Security surplus. Expected to survive until 2017, according to many educated estimates, the stock decline has instead wiped the surplus out completely.

It happened in the blink of an accountant's eye, as we were all paying attention to other serious financial problems, says Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute, commenting on this unamusing disappearing act in a column for

Senate Legislation Would Federalize Cybersecurity
Rules for Private Networks Also Proposed
By Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus, Washington Post, April 1, 2009

Key lawmakers are pushing to dramatically escalate U.S. defenses against cyberattacks, crafting proposals that would empower the government to set and enforce security standards for private industry for the first time.

Lost In An Energy Wilderness
From Investor's Business Daily, March 30, 2009

Energy Policy: The House approves a Senate-passed omnibus bill that puts 2 million more acres of energy-rich land off-limits. We need a government that leads us out of the energy wilderness and not into it.

Davos Capitalism: Adam Smith's Nightmare
By Michael Miller, Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, March 25 2009

In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith warned, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." The shenanigans of business leaders over the last year, which led to a serious loss of faith in markets and a call for more government intervention, sadly proves Smith's point. Unfortunately, the problem runs deeper than Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Merrill Lynch, AIG or whatever company has grabbed the headlines of the day.

Smith, who published his landmark work in 1776, warned of corporate collusion, but we're experiencing something much more insidious -- not just businesses, but business and government and a host of others all meeting, and colluding, at the posh Swiss resort town of Davos. It is Adam Smith's nightmare.

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