North Archives - May 04, 2010
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Truth and President Obama
President Obama is not alone
in his view that our experiment in ordered liberty rests in a rejection
of absolute, or "self-evident" truths. This is a fundamental assumption
of much of academia. It is also a major reason why many judicial theorists
have rejected the "original intent" interpretation of the constitution
in favor of their own pet theories. They see themselves as more "enlightened"
and thus have a better grasp of how to preserve our liberty. Of course
those of us who still see the notion of self-evident truths and the Natural
Law philosophy from which this notion sprang as a needed foundation for
freedom, will insist on sticking to original intent. This is a distinction
that should be kept in mind during the selection process for our next Supreme
Court Justice unfolds.
Looming Energy Sinkhole
By John McClaughry
sizable and vocal group of Vermonter activists can't wait to see the legislature
shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. Alas, they have no idea how
to replace its energy and economic contribution to the state.
Voting Yankee off the island
will not get rid of the need for the 285 megawatts of dependable base load
power that it delivers to Vermont utilities each year at bargain prices.
Despite over $30 million extracted each year from electric ratepayers to
finance Efficiency Vermont, energy savings from conservation are not likely
to cancel the growth in electricity consumption as the region emerges from
the recession. Tell us again, where will that energy come from?
Rights on Wheels
By Martin Harris
an (amateur) student of history, I must admit that being on the right side
of history (i.e., attuned to the long-term trends) seems to mean being
on the Left side, in the sense that the list of human-rights-guaranteed-by-government
has grown inexorably in modern times, and the growth of government has
historically been a Leftist objective. Sometimes they’ve arrived one at
a time –women’s suffrage, for example—and occasionally in bunches – three
of the Four Freedoms of FDR were new ones, for example—and sometimes they’re
just a more generous form of a previously recognized new right –housing,
for example. Medical services have Progressed (choice of verb has political
identification) from voluntary charity to mandatory entitlement in recent
decades. All have in common dependence on the broad-based tax; or, if you
prefer the original doctrine in translation from the Russian "from each
according to his ability, to each according to his need". Each new right
used to be pretty basic –the Second Amendment, for example, or the Seventh
(explain to your young civics student that the first guarantees the individual
right to own and use his own weapon, and the second guarantees the right
to a jury of his peers should he get into legal troubles) and some of them
used to be half entitlement and half user-fee based (public education in
Vermont, for example) but more recently some of them are getting, dare
I say, a bit frivolous. Like bike bridges.
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in its structure, in the very idea of ordered liberty, was a rejection
of absolute truth, the infallibility of any idea or ideology or theology
or "ism," any tyrannical consistency…"
# # #
Barack Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope
Weekly News Round-Up
High Cost Highlighted in New Report
From Denton Publications,
April 23, 2010
Vermonters who rent live
in the fifteenth least affordable state in the nation, according to a new
report jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a
Washington, D.C.-based housing advocacy group, and the Vermont Affordable
For Vermont's renters, the
news isn't good. Rural Vermont ranks in the top 10 most expensive rural
areas in the nation.
Yankee Refueling Refuels Vermont's Economy
From WCAX, April 26, 2010
Vermont Yankee began its
scheduled re-fueling shutdown. It happens about every 18 months at the
nuclear plant and gives local businesses a boost.
Downtown Brattleboro is hopping
for a Monday.
"First of all, just take
a look at what is going on Main Street right now. It is incredible," said
Jerry Goldberg of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce.
The influx of traffic is
partially due to the refueling outage at Vermont Yankee. Entergy brings
in upwards of 1,000 people for the month-long shutdown, which is a shot
in the arm for the region's economy.
Predict Sharp rise in Vermont Electric Rates
Nuke plant closing
means bad news for state economy
From Denton Publications,
April 26, 2010
Speaking at a Montpelier
energy forum April 22, several energy experts described in detail the electric
transmission challenges, job and economic losses, and electricity rate
increases that are likely to result if Vermont Yankee closes in 2012.
Rules ... Rule
By Jack Harding, Vermont
Tiger, April 27, 2010
But it may be changing.
The ice is thawing in CA where Democrat
Mickey Kaus takes his party to task for allowing the unions
to bankrupt the state in return for their powerful voting cartel.
NJ, where the governor has exceptionally broad powers, is
telling its unionized teachers to take a pay cut or a layoff.
The question is ... when
this not so rare sentiment will show up in Vermont? Well, for starters,
you have read about it here for three years. We’re not fooled by
the, "If you love your kids you’ll give us more money, smaller workloads
and lots of helpers" line. Hugh Kemper has seen to it that the dirty, frayed
veil has been lifted from the wasteful, irresponsible education spending
and its perpetrators.
Wind Project put on Hold
From WCAX, April 27, 2010
Plans for a wind farm in
and around Ira have been put on hold.
Vermont Community Wind Farm
wanted to build what would have been the state's largest wind farm on Herrick
Mountain, Spruce Knob, Ames Hollow and the Bird Mountain Ridgeline. Ira
residents voted against the plan on Town Meeting Day, and the Vermont Fish
and Wildlife Department hopes to get the ridgelines designated as "rare
and irreplaceable natural areas."
Now VCWF says it's put the
plan on hold because these designations will significantly change the permitting
process for the project. Company officials say those changes don't appear
to be happening any time soon and the complications make it too risky to
move forward. However the owner will hold onto leases associated with the
From Vermont Tiger, April
"Many of our elected officials
continue to fight and oppose choice. So I ask - when will our representatives
make the obvious choice that truly represents Vermonters, saves taxpayers
money, improves achievement for all students, increases housing values
- AND is socially just?"
The question is put by Mr.
Daren M. Houck, Headmaster of The Mountain School at Winhall, in an excellent
letter-to-the-editor that appears in the Manchester
Rethinks School Choice
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Party's Over: China's Endgame
By Gordon Chang, World Affairs
The dominant narrative about
China today is that it will, within a few short decades, become the preeminent
power in the international system. Its economy, according to the conventional
wisdom, was the first to recover from the global downturn and will eventually
go on to become the world’s largest. Geopolitical dominance will inevitably
How did this notion of Chinese
supremacy gain hold? The answer is nothing more profound than statistical
extrapolation. China was destitute when Deng Xiaoping grabbed power in
December 1978. Since then, the country has averaged, according to official
statistics, a spectacular annual growth of 9.9 percent. This rate, if carried
forward, gives China the world’s largest economy in a few decades—2027,
to be exact, according to a now-famous Goldman Sachs estimate.
So will ours be the Chinese
century? Probably not. China has just about reached high tide, and will
soon begin a long painful process of falling back. The most recent period
of China’s fast growth began with Deng’s Southern Tour in early 1992, the
event that signaled the restarting of reforms after the 1989 Tiananmen
Square massacre. Fortunately for the Communist Party of China, this event
coincided with the beginning of an era wherein political barriers to trade
were falling and globalization was kicking into high gear, which set the
table for a period of tremendous wealth generation.
Related Article: With
a Growing Economy, China Becomes Increasingly Repressive
U.S. Gov't, Downplay Jihadist Threat in Failed NYC Bombing
By Anthony G. Martin,Conservative
Examiner, May 2, 2010
Once again, the Obama Administration
and the U.S. Government are downplaying the danger inherent in the Jihadist
threat encapsulated in the failed NYC bombing last night.
In this image taken from
video, A police officer approaches the vehicle containing a car bomb, which
stands with the door open and red canisters on the roadway at New York's
Times Square, NY, U.S.A., Sunday, May 2, 2010. Police cleared the streets
around Times Square when the vehicle was seen to be smoking late Saturday
evening, before recovering un-detonated bomb components including cans
of gasoline, tanks of propane, fireworks and other electrical equipment
from the sport utility vehicle.(AP Photo/APTV).
Although early indications
from NYC, FBI, and Homeland Security point
to the possibility of a terrorist attack by a Muslim in retaliation against
the TV show South Park's negative portrayal of 'the prophet' Muhammad,
so far the government and the media in general have all but dismissed this
key component of the failed attack and have even suggested that panic in
the wake of the bomb threat was 'overkill.'
in Iraq: Down for the Count?
By Scott Stewart, Strategic
Forecasters, April 29, 2010
On April 25, The Islamic
State of Iraq (ISI) posted a statement on the Internet confirming that
of its top leaders, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri, had been
killed April 18 in a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation in Salahuddin
province. Al-Baghdadi (an Iraqi also known as Hamid Dawud Muhammad Khalil
al-Zawi), was the head of the ISI, an al Qaeda-led jihadist alliance in
Iraq, and went by the title "Leader of the Faithful." Al-Masri (an Egyptian
national also known as Abu Hamzah al-Muhajir), was the military leader
of the ISI and head of the group’s military wing, al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)....
As STRATFOR has previously
is a critical factor in the operational success of a militant
group. Without skilled leadership, militant groups lose their ability to
conduct effective attacks, particularly ones of a sophisticated nature.
Leadership, skill and professionalism are the factors that make the difference
between a militant group wanting to attack something — i.e., its intent
— and the group’s ability to successfully carry out its intended attack
— i.e., its capability. The bottom line is that new recruits simply cannot
replace seasoned operational commanders, as the ISI suggested in its statement....
Like operational leaders,
competent bombmakers are not easy to replace. They also need to possess
a broad set of skills and require a great deal of training and practical
experience to hone their skills. A master bombmaker is a rare and precious
commodity in the militant world. Therefore, the bombmakers recently arrested
in Iraq could prove to be almost as big a loss to AQI as the operational
Terrorism: Our Foes Eying ‘A View to a Kill’ (Part 6 of 10)
By Peter Huessy,Family Security
Matters, March 31, 2010
The most serious threat America
faces is nuclear terrorism from Iran, either a nuclear EMP attack launched
by missile or a warhead smuggled into a city by an Iranian sponsored terrorist
group. Russian-United States arms control deals, however beneficial, do
not get at the network of nuclear suppliers that is helping Tehran secure
nuclear weapons nor maintain its status as the world's premier state-sponsor
of terror. To stop Iran's march toward such weapons either requires crippling
economic measures or regime
North Korean War Plan: Grab Seoul, Negotiate
By Joshua Stanton, One Free
Korea, April 27, 2010
the Joongang Ilbo, North Korea’s on-the-shelf invasion oplan
no longer calls for invading all of South Korea, but in recognition of
stronger U.S. and South Korean military capabilities, now calls for quickly
occupying Seoul and then negotiating favorable terms.
With the new plan, the North
would concentrate its early fire on Seoul and neighboring areas, where
most of South Korea’s social and economic infrastructure is located.
"North Korea would try
to occupy Seoul early," the source said. "And from there, it could either
try to go farther south, or try to negotiate [for a cease-fire] from an
Grows that Israel will Go Alone to Take out Iranian Nukes
By Sara A. Carter, Conservative
Examiner, April 27, 2010
The growing rift between
the Obama administration and Israel, coupled with the administration’s
failure to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program, has increased the chances
that the Israelis will eventually launch an attack on Iran, experts said.
"U.S.-Israeli relations are
at their lowest point since ... the early ’80s," said Ilan Berman, vice
president of the American Foreign Policy Council. "It has a lot to do with
the fact that Israel thinks this administration is not serious about preventing
a nuclear Iran. What is Israel going to do? I’m not certain one way or
another. But from the rhetoric, there will come a determining point."
Carter and Sudan’s Genocidal Regime
By Dr. Walid Phares, Khairi
Abaza Family Security Matters, April 29, 2010
Former U.S. President Jimmy
Carter is often lauded by the Arab world for championing the Palestinian
cause. However, after stumbling into the world of Sudanese politics,
Carter has lost all credibility. Inexplicably, Carter gave his blessing
(with perfunctory caveats) to a rigged election
that has handed victory to a genocidal war criminal who granted safe haven
to Osama bin Laden in the 1990s.
Sudan held polls earlier
this month (April 11-16) to elect a president and a legislature. These
were the country’s first elections there since Omar El-Bashir’s Islamist
junta overthrew the government in 1989. While some Arab observers described
the vote as a new possible beginning for Sudan, many parties decided to
boycott them. And for good reason. The elections were neither free nor
# # #
Is Criticized Over Oil Spill, but U.S. Missed Chances to Act
By Campbell Robertson &
Eric Lipton, The New York Times, April 30,
BP officials said they did
everything possible, and a review of the response suggests it may be too
simplistic to place all the blame on the oil company. The federal government
also had opportunities to move more quickly, but did not do so while it
waited for a resolution to the spreading spill from BP, which was leasing
the drilling rig that exploded in flames on April 20 and sank two days
later. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead.
of Homeland Security waited until Thursday to declare that
the incident was "a spill of national significance," and then set up a
second command center in Mobile. The actions came only after the estimate
of the size of the spill was increased fivefold to 5,000 barrels a day.
The delay meant that the
Homeland Security Department waited until late this week to formally request
a more robust response from the Department of Defense, with Ms. Napolitano
acknowledging even as late as Thursday afternoon that she did not know
if the Defense Department even had equipment that might be helpful.
By Friday afternoon, she
said, the Defense Department had agreed to send two large military transport
planes to spray chemicals that can disperse the oil while it is still in
Related Article: David
Kotok: $12.5 Billion Is Just the Start of the Oil Cleanup Costs, and a
Double-Dip Is Now Way More Likely
Arizona Must Live With
Gordon Brown called
Gillian Duffy a "bigot," then got into his limo and drove away. Remind
you of anybody?
By Mark Steyn, National
Review, May 1, 2010
That’s Arizona. To the coastal
commentariat, "undocumented immigrants" are the people who mow your lawn
while you’re at work and clean your office while you’re at home. (That,
for the benefit of Linda Greenhouse, is the real apartheid: the acceptance
of a permanent "undocumented" servant class by far too many "documented"
Americans who assuage their guilt by pathetic sentimentalization of immigration.)
But in border states, illegal immigration is life and death. I spoke this
week to a lady who has a camp of illegals on the edge of her land: She
lies awake at night, fearful for her children and alert to strange noises
in the yard. President Obama, shooting from his lip, attacked the new law
as an offense against "fairness." Where’s the fairness for this woman’s
family? Because her home is in Arizona rather than Hyde Park, Chicago,
she’s just supposed to get used to living under siege? Like Gillian Duffy
in northern England, this lady has to live there, while the political class
that created this situation climbs back into the limo and gets driven far
10 Reasons to Rely on Private Sector Markets
By John Pisciotta, The Acton
Institute for Religion and Liberty, April 27, 2010
Americans have less confidence
and trust in government today than at any time since the 1950s. This is
the conclusion of the Pew Research Center survey released in mid-April.
percent expressed trust in government to deliver effective policies
almost always or most of the time. With the robust expansion of the economic
role of the federal government under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the
Pew poll is evidence of an opportunity for advocates of freer markets.
That Americans distrust their
government is not unadulterated good news. An effective rule of law, one
aspect of which is a government that can be trusted to act justly and equitably,
is a necessary precondition of the free and virtuous society. Still, in
the context of the extraordinary extension of government control in areas
such as finance and health care, news of political skepticism offers an
opportunity for those who recognize that both the moral and economic wellbeing
of our nation depends more on the health of individuals, families, and
other institutions than on the engineering of bureaucrats. The apostle
Peter advised Christians to "always be ready to give an answer" to those
who ask for "a reason of the hope that is in you" (I Pt 3:15). This advice
is relevant for defenders of private sector reliance. We must not merely
repeat slogans regarding private enterprise. We must express the reasons
why we defend decentralized, voluntary organization of our economy over
centralized control. Here are my top 10 reasons, in reverse order, for
the hope that is within me.
Stimulus Didn't Help
From UPI, April 23, 2010
Although there are some who
say that the economy is showing some signs of improving there are others
that say that nothing that the president has done had anything to do with
an slightly improved economy. (see
But that won’t stop the president
from saying that he brought the country from the brink when he knows that
the only things that will restore the nation’s economy are jobs-jobs that
have not been produced nor will they be.
The $787 billion dollar stimulus
was supposed to keep unemployment under 8%. Unemployment reached over 10%
and is presently at 9.7% and now economist say that the stimulus did next
to nothing to help the economy.
"The recovery is picking
up steam as employers boost payrolls, but economists think the government's
stimulus package and jobs bill had little to do with the rebound, according
to a survey released Monday." -- Hibah Yousuf
See Tax Cuts As Better Way To Create Jobs Than More Government Spending
From Rasmussen Reports,
April 30, 2010
Most U.S. voters favor a
new government program designed to create jobs but still think ultimately
tax cuts and decisions by private business leaders will do more good in
terms of job creation.
A new Rasmussen Reports national
telephone survey of Likely Voters finds that 66% believe cutting taxes
is a better way to create new jobs than increasing government spending.
seven points from January.
Show November Elections Could Yield Landslide for Pro-Life Movement
By Steven Ertelt,LifeNews.com
Editor, April 28, 2010
Two new polls show the November
mid-term congressional elections could yield a landslide for the pro-life
movement. As pro-life groups look to replace the aggressively pro-abortion
Democratic leadership that gave Americans the health care bill and its
taxpayer funding of abortions, polls show change is coming.
With the leadership of the
Republican Party in the House and Senate strongly pro-life and with most
GOP candidates taking a pro-life stance and most Democrats backing abortion,
a party change in Congress benefits pro-life interests.
Pensions are a Tcking Tme Bomb
Josh Barro, The Washington
Examiner, April 28, 2010
What could be worse news
than that public school teacher pensions across the country report an unfunded
liability of over $330 billion? How about the fact that these reports understate
the size of the liability by a factor of three?
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