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April 21, 2009 is updated every Tuesday

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Featured Articles
  • Robert Maynard

    I think that what is happening now is a replay of the successful 1990's attempt to strangle a limited government movement before it gets too powerful. (It is far more important to crucify the movement in the arena of public opinion than it is to actually lock people up and make martyrs out of them) This movement has to be stopped before 2010 becomes another 1994. That is the end game and we should not get distracted by speculation over being locked up.

  • By John McClaughry

    The legislature is heading at flank speed for an epic showdown with Gov. Jim Douglas. The issue is raising our taxes.

    Our overspending state government has had quite a few lucky years. With a rising economy, its legislatures could keep on adding to government benefits, and gaining the political benefits. And they did, until the economy started to sink.

  • By Martin Harris

    These tactics came relatively late to the op-ed pages of the Journal, but they’ve long been standard practice at Town Meetings and public hearings in Vermont, I can testify from personal experience, and at similar events in Massachusetts and Oregon, based on witness reports from those States. Recently (17 April) some L’s in Brattleboro shut down a federal NRC hearing by throwing compost, the L-method of addressing questions of nuclear physics and quantitative regulatory oversight. These tactics are used because they work: there’s nothing like the physical or verbal ad hominem attack to deter a non-supporter from attending future events, nothing like the phoney manufactured statistic or regulation to silence the opposition; hours later, when a bit of research has revealed the falsehood, it’s far too late for it to matter. Such tactics have become a part of the expected atmosphere primarily in school budget or bonding discussions, which explains why there’s such widespread non-L support for Australian ballot, but I’ve also seen them used at discussions of subjects ranging from farm-field disposal of municipal sludge to traffic burdens from proposed development projects. I haven’t seen them used in sprawl-vs-smarth-growth discussions, because I haven’t yet seen the subject presented in such venues; but I have seen them in speaker presentations, the stand-up verbal equivalent of the sit-to-read op-ed. Like Mr. Frank, the speakers could have done better had they so wished, because, just as with the Keynesian argument or school spending, there’s a vast body of historical fact and documented statistics with which they’re familiar and which might be used to support a rational argument for or against “sprawl”. Instead, speakers like former NJ Governor Christine Whitman equate suburban sprawl to global communism in level-of-threat terms.

  • By Jim Goff • April 12, 2009

    For decades, legislatures and courts have been undermining the institution of marriage, which is the primary means by which society tames young men and commits them to responsible family life. The nuclear family -- mom, dad and the kids -- formed by traditional marriage is the primary transmitter of civilization from one generation to the next.

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This Week’s Mail Bag

Follow the Money

Hi Paul:

So glad to listen to your show "follow the money" this morning. I hope that your guests will go a lot further than the Rutland Herald to make this information available to the public because if we can concentrate on some of the more important legislators and highlight the groups that are funding them, we've got a real chance of voting them out. On a larger scale if we could get a list of Companies like Hormel, Pepsi,etc. so that a grass root effort could be made to boycott these groups.

I'm not sure if you saw the letter below submitted by Carolyn Schwalbe in the R.H. but she seems to be involved in some of the Chittenden School Board Meetings.

I only wished we had a conservative radio talk show like yours here in So. Vt. so people would wake up because around here you might as well talk to your fence.!!!

Keep up the good work and I try and help whenever I can.

Jerry Coleman
Manchester Ctr. Vt.


The Third Jihad film showings

The Defenders Council of Vermont will host a showing of the film "The Third Jihad" on Sunday 4/30 at 6:30pm at Lyndon Bible Church in Lyndon.

For more information contact:
John McClaughry
802 695 1448

The Defenders Council of Vermont will also host a showing in the Fletcher Free Library's Community Room on College Street in Burlington on Sunday May 24th from 3PM to 6PM.

The Third Jihad was inspired by the translation of a document entitled "An Explanatory Memorandum: On the General Strategic Goal for the Group In North America". This document was written in 1991 and was the one that the Justice Department introduced into evidence at the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas. The FBI captured it in a raid on a Muslim suspect's home in Virginia. It is the blueprint for “Cultural Jihad” in America.

For more information contact:
Robert Maynard
Executive Director
Defenders Council of Vermont
P.O. Box 444 Burlington VT. 05402
V 802-343-2162

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"Thus, our national circulating medium is now at the mercy of loan transactions of banks, which lend, not money, but promises to supply money they do not possess."
-- Irving Fisher
(1867-1947) American economist

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State of Vermont Weekly Public Meetings Schedule

If you have an event you would like us to post, send details to:
Download & print out (pdf):
Jessica's Law Petition

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up
  • by STEPHANIE M. PETERS Rutland Herald April 16, 2009

    Outrage about government bailouts, taxing and stimulus spending on Wednesday cut across party lines, professional backgrounds and generations.

    Pointing to the words Democrat and Republican on a homemade sign she waved along West Street, Kate Thompson, a para-educator from Cambridge, said she made the two-hour drive to Rutland because she "was tired of nobody listening."

    "This is the first time I've ever felt like I had to do something like this to help my kids and my grandkids," she said.

  • Caledonia Record, April 17, 2009

    According to the AFL-CIO and the members of the Health Care is a Human Right organization, everyone should call up their employer on May 1 and tell them they are sick and won't be in.

    After lying to the employer, the employee should then head to a noon rally on the state house lawn promoting "Health Care is a Human Right."

  • Vermont Tiger – April 18, 2009

    So, an anti-nuke protester dumps a pile of 'compost' on a Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner...

    Sadly, this isn't the set up for a joke but what passes for political dialog in this state. Indeed, childish displays of ignorance and disrespect also pass for news these days.

  • Caledonia Record, April 16, 2009

    Legislatures and legislators frequently forget who put them into positions of power. Often, then, they develop an arrogance that escapes them in unguarded moments, when they say things that shock their constituents. That happened last week, when the House Democratic caucus met to hear the details of its Appropriations Committee's proposed $4.4 billion budget for the next fiscal year.

    In the middle of her explanation of a budget that contains unfunded expenses of at least $24 million, a member of the caucus asked Martha Heath, D-Westford, chair of the committee, if her committee had suggestions on how to raise the needed revenue. She said, "That's not our job. It's our job to spend the money. It's up to other committees to raise the money."

  • Vermont Tiger, April 17, 2009

    Montpelier has come up with a really slick way of balancing the state’s 2009 budget. It is going to stiff the towns.

    This is not a new tactic by higher forms of government. Anyone who has ever served on a local school board (and a more thankless task has never been devised by the hand of man) knows about “unfunded mandates.” This is where higher, more august levels of government decree that this or that shall be done throughout the land and then neglect to provide any money to pay for it. Towns, counties, school districts, and so forth are on the hook when it comes to that.

    So Montpelier is going to cut the money that it had said it would be sending to the towns to pay for transportation projects. Filling potholes, mostly, which is something that must be done, come Spring, in Vermont.

  • By Dan McLean • Free Press Staff Writer • April 16, 2009

    Vermont is the 15th most expensive state in the U.S. for renters, according to a report jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition.

    Vermont's housing wage has risen to $17.57 per hour, or $36,553 per year. The housing wage is the hourly wage a family must earn -- working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year -- to avoid spending more than 30 percent of income on rent and utilities for a two-bedroom apartment. The current wage is a 53 percent increase since 2000, according to the report, titled "Out of Reach 2008-2009."

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If you would like to share an article from your local paper, please forward the full article and the internet link to the article to:

Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism
  • by REUEL MARC GERECHT The Wall Street Journal April 16, 2009

    The abolition of slavery, rights for religious minorities and women, free speech, or the very idea of civil society -- all of these did not advance without Western pressure and the enormous seductive power that Western values have for Muslims. Although Muslims in the Middle East have been talking about political reform since they were first exposed to Western ideas (and modern military might) in the 18th century, the discussion of individual liberty and equality has been more effective when Westerners have been intimately involved. The Middle East's brief but impressive "Liberal Age" grew from European imperialism and the unsustainable contradiction between the progressive ideals taught by the British and French -- the Egyptian press has never been as free as when the British ruled over the Nile valley -- and the inevitably illiberal and demeaning practices that come with foreign occupation.

    Although it is now politically incorrect to say so, George W. Bush's democratic rhetoric energized the discussion of representative government and human rights abroad. Democracy advocates and the anti-authoritarian voices in Arab lands have never been so hopeful as they were between 2002, when democracy promotion began to germinate within the White House, and 2006, when the administration gave up on people power in the Middle East (except in Iraq).

  • by Tim Sumner 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, April 14 2009

    Perhaps purely motivated by profit, Somalian pirates are shuttling weapons and terrorists in and out of the country and sharing up to fifty-percent of the ransoms with al-Shabab, what it reaps from hijacking ships. Formed as the Islamic Courts Union’s (ICU) military wing, al-Shabab announced in March its affiliation with al Qaeda after regaining control of most of southern Somalia earlier this year when Ethiopia withdrew its forces.

  • M. Zuhdi Jasser Family Security Matters April 15, 2009

    As we try to understand where the Obama administration will fall with regards to the global threat of political Islam, the first few months have provided a number of hints, not least of which was the tenor of the recent visit to Turkey. It was painfully obvious after witnessing the length to which the Obama team went to avoid any substantive discussion on political Islam and the threat it poses to human rights abroad and domestically. Domestically, in the weeks preceding his trip, Islamists inside the Beltway began to more openly play their cards to what they obviously perceive to be a friendly administration. Groups like the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association (CMSA) are trying to establish themselves in a position of influence inside the White House, the House, and the Senate.

  • While President Obama was speaking in Prague about nuclear disarmament, North Korea delivered the most tellingly timed comment on The Trip. The Pyongyang rogue regime -- proprietor of a nuclear arsenal -- defiantly launched an intercontinental multi-stage rocket in violation of an explicit U.N. Security Council resolution. The President used strong words about the rocket launch:

    "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something."

    Obama flunked his first 3 A.M. test.

  • By Simon Roughneen The Washington Times April 13, 2009

    "Islamic bankers should do some missionary work in the Western world to promote the concept of Shariah banking, for which many in the West are more than ready now," Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said at the World Islamic Economic Forum last month in Jakarta.

    Such statements have given rise to fears that Shariah finance is a stalking horse for hidden political or religious aims. Shariah finance is an extension of Islamic law, pushing a faith-based alternative to Western banking.

  • by Harsh V. Pant, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2009

    In April 2008, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Pakistan as part of a whistle-stop tour of South Asia. The meeting was cordial but tense. While the two neighbors were once staunch Cold War allies, the Islamic Revolution, Afghanistan's civil war, and Pakistan's nuclear development have transformed the relationship into one of tense rivalry. As Afghanistan's stability has become a U.S. strategic concern, preventing Pakistan-Iran tensions from again transforming Afghanistan into a proxy battlefield should be a U.S. interest. Unfortunately, so long as the Iranian and Pakistani governments remain concerned with the defense of Shi'i and Sunni sectarian interests respectively, U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan may not be able to bring stability but at best may remain referees in a struggle that extends far beyond that country's borders.

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From Elsewhere

  • Dan Miller Environment & Climate News > May 2009

    Environmental activists are less concerned about any crisis posed by global warming than they are eager to command human behavior and restrict economic activity, the president of the Czech Republic told the opening session of the second International Conference on Climate Change.

    Vaclav Klaus, who also is serving a rotating term as president of the European Union, triggered the approving applause of about 700 attendees when he said, “Their true plans and ambitions: to stop economic development and return mankind centuries back.”

  • By Judge Andrew Napolitano, FOX News Senior Judicial Analyst

    My guess is that the sentiments revealed in the report I read are the tip of an iceberg that the DHS would prefer to keep submerged until it needs to reveal it. This iceberg is the heavy-hand of government; a government with large and awful eyes, in whose heart there is no love for freedom, and on whose face there is no smile.

  • Spanish Study Sparks Skepticism About Green Jobs
    A new report out of Spain suggests Americans shouldn't be depending on green jobs to help the U.S. economy.
    By Shannon Brea April 14, 2009

    Gabriel Calzada Alvarez, a professor, has released a study with startling claims about what's happened in Spain and what he predicts will play out in America.

    Calzada says for every green job that's created with government funding, 2.2 regular jobs are lost and that only one in 10 green jobs wind up being permanent.


    Politics: The hundreds of tea parties thrown Wednesday were part of one of the most extraordinary grass-roots uprisings in our history. And they spell a golden opportunity for freedom-loving politicians.

  • By Kevin E. Schmiesing Ph.D. The Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty April 15 2009

    The rights of conscience, Pope John Paul II once wrote, are the "primary foundation of every authentically free political order." If that is so, then we better redouble our vigilance. Here in the United States, where we fancy ourselves religiously tolerant, recent high-profile cases suggest that First Amendment rights are widely misunderstood.

    In an ongoing imbroglio, Catholics around the country have lodged objections to the University of Notre Dame's decision to grant an honorary degree to President Barack Obama. They are upset that the university's honor comes in the wake of a series of decisions that flout Catholic teaching on abortion and they judge that Notre Dame's action contradicts a directive issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2004. Some of these objecting Catholics happen to be bishops, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago among them. In response, William M. Daley, in an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, reacted with dismay. The former co-chairman of Obama's presidential campaign called the cardinal's remarks part of "a worrisome pattern in which the Catholic hierarchy in America is mixing religion with politics." Faith, he implied, is a private matter, and religious figures violate the separation of church and state by offering their opinions in a way that might affect the public discourse.

  • The Ethanol Bubble Pops in Iowa More evidence the fuel makes little economic sense.
    By MAX SCHULZ The Wall Street Journal April 18 2009

    A town of 4,000, Dyersville is best known as the location of the 1989 film "Field of Dreams." In the film, a voice urges Kevin Costner to create a baseball diamond in a cornfield and the ghosts of baseball past emerge from the ether to play ball. Audiences suspended disbelief as they were charmed by a story that blurred the lines between fantasy and reality.

    That's pretty much the story of ethanol. Consumers were asked to suspend disbelief as policy makers blurred the lines between economic reality and a business model built on fantasies of a better environment and energy independence through ethanol. Notwithstanding federal subsidies and mandates that force-feed the biofuel to the driving public, ethanol is proving to be a bust.

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