North Archives - April 17, 2007
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schooling worth not proven
By Jerry Oppenheimer
Taxpayers should not be saddled
with an unproven (and the recent NICHHD study suggests counterproductive)
program that would expand a school system already facing a funding crisis
and widespread taxpayer dissatisfaction.
By Peter Behr
We thought the universal
pre-kindergarten movement was over for this legislative session, considering
its enormous added cost to an already bloated education budget. But the
educrats keep pushing. The timely publication of a 15-year $200 million
dollar study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
has found "No improvement in math and reading beyond the first grade
for high quality day care," and "keeping a child in pre-school day
care increased the likelihood of disruptive behavior through the sixth
Legislators Strategizing to Lose
By Martin Harris
Golden Dome folk and their supporters have created three situations where
they wanted to be seen supposedly striving for outcomes which, in actuality,
they didn't and don't want to see actually happen. Two were actually the
subjects of supposedly serious legislation, and the third is only in street-theatre
format so far. In that order, they are: the facile promises to control
school spending and taxes; the proposal to emancipate all laying hens;
and the on-going campaign to shut down Vermont Yankee in five years.
Warming In Schools
By Linus Leavens
I went to a South Burlington
School Board meeting last fall to ask what recourse a parent has when they
perceive that teachers have failed to park their personal & political
agendas at the door; instead choosing to use their teaching position as
a bully-pulpit. And what is the Board’s responsibility?
# # #
Week’s Mail Bag
Dear True North Editor:
If no one has yet brought
this to your attention the lyric [quoted by Frank Mazur in the last issue]
went as follows; "If you drive a car I'll tax the street", which would
then rhyme with the rest of the end words.
Keep up the good work, as
you give me much material to write my local representitivess about.
Samuel Shultis, West Rutland
Frank Mazur replied: I
found the error when I looked up the song. However, I elected to stay with
gas since that’s a hot topic in the legislature.
"I spent 8 hours with him
[McCain] on Wednesday [4-11-07] . .
. He is just an impressive man. I think he’s doing this for the highest
of reasons. He still believes there is a chance of success. How high I
don’t know. I don’t think he knows. But he thinks the surge is
to avoid a really cataclysmic future. And his attitude is if I ruin my
political chances - ‘hey, I’ve had a wonderful life, so be it.’ .... So
I admire him for this. And I think politically it may not kill him because
in 10 months when we are voting the surge will either work or not but we
will be in a dangerous world ... But for him [Senator
Edwards] to declare the surge a failure already is like you
are looking for failure - that you want failure." --- New York Timespolitical
analyst and journalist David Brooks on the
News Hour with Jim Lehrer on Friday, April 13, 2007.
"I don’t believe it
is in anybody’s interest for members of the Senate to be impugning the
other side’s patriotism or, by the way, hiding behind the troops
as political justification for what we are doing [advancing the surge]
.... I think that John McCain has been impugning people’s patriotism."
elected US Senator James
Webb of Virginia on Bloomberg’s Political Capital show this
past week. Senator Webb voted to withhold funds for military supplies that
help protect US forces in Iraq but gave a loaded pistol to one of his aids,
Phillip Thompson, for his apparent protection. Thompson was arrested
for trying to bring the pistol into the Russell Senate Office building.
Webb’s explanation was "tortured" is how AC reporter Mark Whittington
described it on April 7 adding Webb "gave a spirited defense of the
Second Amendment and his right to protect himself in the post 9-11 world."
In fact, all members of Congress are permitted to carry side arms on Capitol
here for more info.
"Before I left for Iraq,
I watched with regret as the House of Representatives voted to deny our
troops the support necessary to carry out their new mission. Democratic
leaders smiled and cheered as the last votes were counted. What were they
celebrating? Defeat? Surrender? In Iraq, only our enemies were cheering.
A defeat for the United States is a cause for mourning not celebrating.
And determining how the United States can avert such a disaster should
encourage the most sober, public-spirited reasoning among our elected leaders
not the giddy anticipation of the next election. Democrats who voted to
authorize this war, and criticized the failed strategy that has led us
to this perilous moment, have the same responsibility I do, to offer support
when that failure is recognized and the right strategy is proposed and
the right commanders take the field to implement it or, at the least, to
offer an alternative strategy that has some relationship to reality." --John
McCain in his speech
given on April 11, 2007.
"We could, however, support
a short-term redeployment, or surge, of American combat forces to stabilize
Baghdad, or to speed up the training and equipping mission, if the US commander
in Iraq determine if such steps would be effective . We also reject the
immediate withdrawal of troops because we believe so much is at stake."
73 of the Iraqi Study Group’s final report.
The ISG was made up of a 10 member bipartisan panel of some of America’s
brightest Republicans and Democrats. The ISG was co-chaired by Democrat
Hamilton and Republican James Baker.
December 17, 2006 on Face
the Nation before the Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats celebrated
the passing of a date certain for withdrawal in Iraq:
"Will you insist on a timetable for the beginning of the drawing down of
the forces there? Response : Senate Majority LeaderHarry
Reid: "We’re - there’s - We need to redeploy. Whose going to
make that decision of redeployment? Officers on the ground." Sheiffer:
"But you are not going to insist on a specific date to begin drawing
Reid: No I’m not - absolutely
"A lie can travel halfway
around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Taxes Deter Weidmann Plant Expansion in Vermont
BY Jeanne Miles, Caledonian
Record, April 14, 2007
Business at Weidmann Electrical
Technology in St. Johnsbury is booming. So much, the company is looking
to expand its operations. But that expansion will not take place in Vermont
to high taxes and a strong impression by investors that Vermont is unfriendly
to business, according to a letter sent April 2 by John Goodrich,
vice president and general manager of Weidmann Technology.
week for VT's taxpayers
by Rep. Rick W. Hube Jr.,
Rutland Herald, April 12, 2007
In spite of a public outcry
for relief, the House passed several bills that will in fact increase —
yes, increase — the cost of property taxes...
Business owners speak, hope VT's policy makers will listen
By Rachel Feldman, Vermont
Times Argus, April 12, 2007
"But why are there so many
small and micro businesses in Vermont?" asked Harold Ryan. "Because there's
nothing else. There are barely any large industries who settle here." Some
audience members said large businesses decide not to come to Vermont because
the state isn't "business friendly." Corporate taxes are among the highest
in the nation, and "everyone wants to levy a financial penalty for everything,"
said Dennis Carman, owner of Vermont Custom Canvas in Georgia.
ranking may be off, but burden is real
By Nancy Remsen, Burlington
Free Press, April 12, 2007
McClaughry says the state's
high tax ranking is a deterrent to economic development. "If you have a
state with the No. 1 tax burden, the people investing money will look elsewhere."
says it cannot meet Vt. emissions limits
By Candace Page, Burlington
Free Press, April 13, 2007
An executive of DaimlerChrysler
Corp. on Thursday echoed claims made this week by General Motors in U.S.
District Court in Burlington, saying his company also doesn't have the
technological capacity to produce a fleet of cars that complies with Vermont's
greenhouse gas emissions standards. Instead, DaimlerChrysler would begin
limiting the models of cars and trucks it ships to Vermont auto dealers
in 2012, Reginald Modlin, director of environmental affairs, testified.
House abandoning gas guzzler tax to pay for public transit
WCAX, April 12, 2007
The efficiency incentive
was dropped because lawmakers could no longer afford it. "Money in has
to equal money out," said House Transportation Committee Chairman Richard
Westman, R-Cambridge. "If you don't raise it, you can't spend it."
said, he said: Shumlin, Pillsbury at odds over key veto vote
By Paul H. Heintz, Brattleboro
Reformer, April 14, 2007
"I knew what Shumlin was
gonna do. I told you it's going to be my word against his," Pillsbury said.
"But one of us is probably going to be going for higher office and one
of us is not. You tell me who's telling the truth." Pillsbury added, "He
makes me want to throw up."
# # #
McCain's April 11 Speech on Iraq
By Senator John McCain,
April 11, 2007
Many in Washington have called
for an end to our involvement in Iraq. Yet they offer no opinion about
the consequences of this course of action .... my friends, no political
solution has a chance to succeed when al Qaeda is free to foment civil
war and Iraqis remain dependent on sectarian militias to protect their
children from being murdered. America has a vital interest in preventing
the emergence of Iraq as a Wild West for terrorists, similar to Afghanistan
War You're Not Reading About
Results are Visible
Krauthammer, Real Clear Politics, April 13, 2007
The Democrats in Congress
are so consumed with negotiating among their factions the most clever linguistic
device to legislatively ensure the failure of the administration's current
military strategy -- while not appearing to do so -- that they speak almost
not at all about the first visible results of that strategy. And preliminary
results are visible. The landscape is shifting in the two fronts of the
current troop surge: Anbar province and Baghdad. The news from Anbar is
the most promising. Only last fall, the Marines' leading intelligence officer
there concluded that the U.S. had essentially lost the fight to al-Qaeda.
is what the clash of civilizations is really about
Julian Baggini, The Guardian,
April 14, 2007
I don't usually consider
either the Ministry of Defense or the Vatican to be prescient founts of
wisdom. But when two such different oracles issue remarkably similar warnings,
you have to take notice. Earlier this week it was revealed in this newspaper
how the MoD believes that "the trend towards moral relativism and increasingly
pragmatic values" was causing more and more people to seek "more rigid
belief systems, including religious orthodoxy and doctrinaire political
ideologies, such as popularism and Marxism".
Gingrich's Refashioned Conservatism
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I attended Newt Gingrich's
global warming "dialogue" with John Kerry this morning and what ended up
striking me most was not the debate over the climate change issue itself,
but the fact that it provided a window into Gingrich's refashioned brand
of conservatism. Because Gingrich is one of the most thoughtful Republicans
around, often ahead of his time, it's worthwhile to reflect on what some
of his statements suggest about the direction of the Republican Party.
What became clear to me very early on in the discussion between two prominent
figures from both sides of the political spectrum was that I was not watching
a debate about small government vs. big government, but a squabble over
how to effectively wield the power of government to prod private enterprise
into behaving the way politicians and other experts deem appropriate.
the Culture, Stupid
By Dinesh D'Souza, Townhall.com,
, April 9, 2007
There seems to be a growing
belief in traditional cultures that America is materially prosperous but
culturally decadent. It is technologically sophisticated but morally depraved.
As former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto puts it, "Within the
Muslim world, there is a reaction against the sexual overtones that come
across in American mass culture. America is viewed through this prism as
an immoral society." In his book The Crisis of Islam, Bernard Lewis
rehearses what he calls the "standard litany of American offenses recited
in the lands of Islam" and ends with this one: "Yet the most powerful accusation
of all is the degeneracy and debauchery of the American way of life."
B.S. (Bad Science) in the Public Schools
By Orlean Koehle, State
Forum of California, April 13, 2007
I was glad to hear that Al
Gore received a little harassment from crowds in San Francisco, April 5,
who do not believe his b.s (bad science) about global warming. However,
the place where no one dares question this b.s. is in the public schools,
where his movie, An Inconvenient Truth is being shown everywhere,
even in elementary school. His movie and many other green myths and fear
tactics are being taught from Kindergarten through high school, causing
students to come out of the public schools totally converted to the green
philosophy. If they go on to college they receive 4-5 more years of green
indoctrination, so they are even more brainwashed, and do not question
the truthfulness of what they hear.
real climate change catastrophe
Misguided energy policies
are harming the world’s poor
by Paul K. Driessen, Townhall.com
Over 2 billion of the Earth’s
citizens – including 95% of Africans – still do not have electricity. That
means no lights, refrigerators, stoves, radios, televisions or computers;
no modern homes, hospitals, schools, offices or factories. Instead, people
breathe polluted smoke from wood and dung fires, and die by the millions
from lung diseases.
The world should be rushing
to their aid. Instead, in the name of preventing hypothetical climate change,
environmentalists and rich countries oppose fossil fuel power plants in
poor countries. To "protect wild rivers," they obstruct hydroelectric projects.
They resist nuclear power, on the ground that it is "inherently dangerous."
In short, they are telling a third of the world’s people:
"You cannot have modern,
healthy, industrialized societies. Your only option is piddling amounts
of expensive, unreliable electricity from wind and solar. To safeguard
the world from speculative risks that we are concerned about, you must
endure life-threatening dangers that perpetuate poverty, disease and childhood
death in your destitute nations."
Closed: Tax cuts mean growth
BY Fred Thompson, Wall Street
Journal, April 14, 2007
Those who say they want a
"more progressive" tax system should be asked one question: Are you really
interested in tax rates that benefit the economy and raise revenue--or
are you interested in redistributing income for political reasons?
and the AMT