North Archives - May 06, 2008
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Growthers and their Perfect Little State
by John McClaughry
could have the housing its people need. But just building that housing
would reject the dreams of the smart growthers who have spent decades and
millions of advocacy dollars trying to get the legislature to make Vermont
into the Perfect Little State. Every time these interests gain ground,
the goal of an increased supply of housing for Vermonters slips further
out of reach.
Voice from Beyond the Grave
By Martin Harris
other prognostications in the future-economy-of-Vermont area, he predicted
(and was hooted at) that IBM would find Vermont a progressively (pun intended)
less attractive as a place for capital investment and job-creation, and
that Big Blue would therefore divert such future efforts elsewhere. Fishkill
subsequently proved him right. Whatever the attractions—labor force, business
climate, infra-structure—which drew IBM to the Winooski River urban corridor
in the late ‘50’s, they were overshadowed by diplomatically unstated "other
considerations" in the mid-90’s when Big Blue chose to make multi-billion-dollar
investments in New York’s Hudson River urban corridor instead. Similarly,
in the mid-00’s, when Del Computer was seeking a national headquarters
site, it was North Carolina’s Forsyth County which proved more attractive
than, among other venues, Vermont’s Chittenden County. St. John forecast
that IBM would not simply abandon its at-that-time-three-decade-long Vermont
investment, but would "use it up" by making no further substantive improvements
before finally selling out. I’d guess that the recent behavior of Montpelier’s
Golden Dome (GD for short) folks led by Senate President pro tem Peter
Shumlin calling IBM’s representative John O’Kane a liar, coupled with the
GD folks’ on-going (and successful) efforts to convey morally superior
levels of disdain towards Entergy Corporation’s Vermont Yankee nuclear
power plant, will help assure that St. John’s prediction comes fully true.
From St. Johnsbury, here’s some of the Caledonian-Record’s op-ed commentary
on the subject:
- An Occasional Newsletter from the Legislature
By Rep. Thomas F. Koch,
debate on the floor, it was said that present law affords parents no
right to obtain information on his or her child’s library records, so that
the bill is actually increasing a parent’s right. I think that view ignores,
however, the language of Vermont law that generally allows (with certain
exceptions, some of which have been noted above) parents to have access
to their minor child’s records "including but not limited to medical,
dental, law enforcement and school records." In my view, parents generally
have the right to control and supervise their children up to age 18, unless
the law makes an exception for certain purposes, and we have just created
one more exception.
It seems to me that we fault
parents for not supervising their children adequately, but then we turn
around and make it more difficult for them to do so.
# # #
"Earth has not been
warming for a decade, but a lot of IPCC scientists are starting to feel
the heat! " ---Anon.
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Weekly News Round-Up
Bureaucracy Giveth; The Bureaucracy Taketh Away
Caledonia Record Editorial,
April 30, 2008
Several months ago, an enterprising
couple built a hoop house farm on Burlington's Intervale, only to have
the Vermont Agency of Agriculture tell them to tear it down because it
is a farm on a floodway and that's contrary to regulations. Never mind
that a hoop house farm is an excellent way to use unusable land to produce
a May crop of vegetables long before other farms have even planted anything;
never mind that a hoop house in a floodway would be no obstacle to flooding
waters; never mind that the Agriculture Agency put this couple out of business;
by the bureaucratic god, rules are rules and they have to be obeyed.
Legislation Harmful, Unneeded
By John Dreyfuss, Rutland
Herald, May 1, 2008
Your recent editorial, "Risky
Business" (April 29) about the Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund is flawed
in its two major premises. First you lump Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee
in with the most despicable companies of the past few years, while making
no mention of how the company has conducted itself in the state since purchasing
the plant in 2002. This is an association fallacy — and just plain wrong.
You also incorrectly assert
that Entergy is saying "trust us" as the reason not to increase the decommissioning
fund. First, such an argument, especially to astute Vermonters, is ridiculous.
Second, it is unnecessary, as there are already numerous federal and state
safeguards in place to protect trust assets, make sure they are sufficient
for the future, and to closely monitor any changes in this regard.
Related Editorial: Risky
to Work = Freedom to Prosper
From VermontTiger.com, May
What’s better for Vermont,
having more people work for non-unionized companies or having fewer people
work for companies that are unionized? The folks behind the forced-union
policies in states like ours would ague this isn’t a fair question. In
their typically hopeless and ill-informed fashion, they will insist that
this is a false dichotomy – more unions doesn't mean fewer jobs. Well,
they're wrong. This
paper by the Mackinac Center clearly shows that states with forced-union
laws do create fewer jobs. In addition, right-to-works states out-perform
forced-union states in a number of other metrics including:
Sham Report That Was Predicted
2. Lower unemployment
3. Greater employment
4. Higher real GDP
5. Greater growth
in personal income,
6. Higher population
7. Greater home price
Caledonia Record Editorial,
May 5, 2008
Near the end of the first
session of this Legislature, House Speaker Gaye Symington, D-Jericho, and
Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, D-Windham, appointed an 11-member
commission to hold public forums to determine where Vermonters stand on
gay marriage. The commission was named the Vermont Commission on Family
Recognition and Protection. That's a very deceptive name. If anybody had
the idea that the commission had anything to do with recognizing families
or protecting them, the name served its purpose of deceiving Vermonters.
Its true purpose was to hold hearings that could then be twisted into a
consensus legalizing gay marriage. The commission is composed of 11 members,
many of them gay themselves, and all but one of them avid proponents of
legalizing gay marriage. The one seeming independent is window dressing.
He was added after the fact when the public realized that the deck was
stacked with the first 10.
From VermontTiger.com, May
Legislative leaders said
Thursday they hated the idea of a sales tax holiday, they doubted it would
provide much economic activity, and it would likely be of little help to
poor Vermonters. Then they approved it. -- Rutland
Perhaps these leaders should
ankle it on down to Brattleboro
watch how Vermonters (poor and otherwise) respond to the tax incentives
that are available to them by simply crossing the Connecticut River. Afterwards,
they might feel better about their votes. And possibly even find
themselves open to the possibility of more tax relief and, inevitably,
more "economic activity."
In And Pick Up
Caledonia Record Editorial,
May 1, 2008
Vermont's Green Up Day is
an excellent example of self-help that should be embraced by everyone who
believes members of a community can come together for a common purpose
and work for a common good in a spirit of volunteerism. In the early days
of Vermont, volunteerism and shared responsibility was the norm, and each
member of a community was expected to make a contribution to the community.
Necessity dictated shared responsibility in a time of rural isolation and
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Anatomy of Surrender
Motivated by fear
and multiculturalism, too many Westerners are acquiescing to creeping sharia.
By Bruce Bawer, City Journal
What has not been widely
recognized is that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa against Satanic
Verses author Salman Rushdie introduced a new kind of jihad. Instead
of assaulting Western ships or buildings, Khomeini took aim at a fundamental
Western freedom: freedom of speech. In recent years, other Islamists have
joined this crusade, seeking to undermine Western societies’ basic liberties
and extend sharia within those societies.
The cultural jihadists have
enjoyed disturbing success. Two events in particular—the 2004 assassination
in Amsterdam of Theo van Gogh in retaliation for his film about Islam’s
oppression of women, and the global wave of riots, murders, and vandalism
that followed a Danish newspaper’s 2005 publication of cartoons satirizing
Mohammed—have had a massive ripple effect throughout the West. Motivated
variously, and doubtless sometimes simultaneously, by fear, misguided sympathy,
and multicultural ideology—which teaches us to belittle our freedoms and
to genuflect to non-Western cultures, however repressive—people at every
level of Western society, but especially elites, have allowed concerns
about what fundamentalist Muslims will feel, think, or do to influence
their actions and expressions. These Westerners have begun, in other words,
to internalize the strictures of sharia, and thus implicitly to accept
the deferential status of dhimmis—infidels living in Muslim societies.
Let The War Games Begin
From Investor's Business
Daily, May 02, 2008
While the focus is on Iranian
and Syrian nuclear activities, China quietly builds an underground submarine
base on Hainan Island. Its purpose is to challenge U.S. naval supremacy
and to fight and win a nuclear war.
Decline of Leftism in Europe
Walker, American Thinker, May 04, 2008
The Berlusconi victory in
Italy, a few weeks before the two big mayoral victories, means that one
of the most pro-American major European leaders in modern history will
be running Italy with a clear majority, and that one of the major nations
of Europe will have a government as supportive of our efforts to win the
war of global terrorism than we could reasonably hope to have.
The battle on the
homefront has not yet begun in earnest
By Victor Davis Hanson,
National Review, May 1, 2008
First, the good news. For
all the talk of a recent Tet-like offensive in Basra, the Mahdi Army of
radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr suffered an ignominious setback when
his gunmen were routed from their enclaves. ... The despairing enemy seems
to sense this as well. The more al-Qaeda mouthpiece Ayman al-Zawahiri threatens
the West, the more he sounds like Hitler’s shrill propagandist Joseph Goebbels
in his bunker as the Third Reich was crumbling. ...
And that brings us to the
bad news. We still censor ourselves in fears of terrorist threats, mortgaging
the Enlightenment tradition of free and unfettered speech. In Europe, cartoonists,
novelists, opera producers, filmmakers, and even the pope are choosing
their words very carefully about Islam — in fear they will become the targets
of riots and death threats. Here at home, our State Department is advising
its officials to avoid perfectly descriptive terms for our enemies like
"jihadist" and "Islamo-fascist" in favor of vague terms like "violent extremist"
or "terrorist" — as if we could just as easily be fighting Basque separatists.
Islamic Manual in Falls Church, Virginia Calls on Muslims to Attack Olympians,
Kill Priests and Nuns, Wage War on All Christians
From The Nein Blog, April
Dave Gaubatz has posted a
very disturbing discovery regarding a Jihad manual being sold at the Halalco
Supermarket in Falls Church, Virginia. As Dave explains it on his Kids
& Terrorism Blog: "On 29 April 2008, I shopped at Halalco to verify
the book is still available. It is located in the "Jihad" section of the
bookstore. The manager 'Tariq' can show you the book and it is available
Iraq May Have 350 Billion Barrels of Oil - Deputy PM
By Dean Yates, Forbes, April
Iraq may have oil reserves
of 350 billion barrels, Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih said on Monday,
a massive figure that is triple the country's proven reserves and which
even exceeds the oil in Saudi Arabia.
# # #
Fourth Pillar of the 'New' Economy: 'Spend all you can.'
Jordan Ballor, The Acton Institute, April 30, 2008
early February President Bush signed into law a $150 billion dollar package
of tax rebates touted as a "stimulus" for the flagging national economy.
The purpose of the plan, which President Bush has called "a booster shot
for our economy," is to quickly inject some money into the economy and
spur consumer spending.
eighteenth-century theologian and pastor John Wesley once preached that
we should "earn all you can, save all you can, and give all you can." Productivity,
frugality, and generosity are the core moral virtues that have animated
prosperous and free economies in the West for centuries. But now the federal
government seemingly wants to add a fourth and conflicting principle to
these traditional values: "Spend all you can."
Environmentalists' Real Agenda
From Investor's Business
Daily, Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Ideologies: Once in a while
the truth accidentally tumbles out on global warming activists' real agenda.
That's exactly what happened at the U.N., when Bolivia's leader called
for ending capitalism to save the planet.
Warns that Oil Boom will Deflate
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard,
Energy Investment Strategies, April 24, 2008
Lehman Brothers said the
price of oil had been pushed to inflated levels by a $40 bn inflow into
commodity index funds this year, much of it coming from Mid-East sovereign
wealth funds. The petro-investors may have second thoughts about gaining
"double exposure" to commodity prices. "Financial flows have been the marginal
driver of prices since the onset of the credit crunch. Investors are using
oil as a hedge against inflation and a falling dollar," said Mr Widmer.
The index effect has lifted prices by $20 to $30 a barrel. This could reverse
sharply once the dollar starts to stabilize against the euro, since the
euro/dollar exchange has become the proxy watched by oil traders for signals.
From Investor's Business
Daily, April 25, 2008
With the discovery of vast
troves of oil south of our border, it's probable that U.S. strategic interests
will shift to our hemisphere. For the Middle East, that's a warning. For
the Americas, it's an opportunity.
By J. Patrick Rooney &
Dan Perrin, National Review, May 1 2008
Senator McCain’s emphasis
on patient choice and control is another winning message. It means he trusts
you to make better health-care decisions about your health with your doctor
than can a government or corporate bureaucrat. The current unfair tax breaks
for health-care reinforce the trend among employers to not provide health
insurance, and punish the uninsured with no tax break when they try to
buy it. Sen.McCain will solve the uninsured problem in the United States,
and do it without a massive new government program that denies you health-care
freedom in the name of providing care at a price tag we cannot afford.
McCain's Health Plan Is Better from WebMD
Gloomy, But Spending Outlook Improves
By Scott Stoddard, Investor's
Business Daily, April 29, 2008
The housing correction is
weighing on consumers, according to reports out Tuesday as the Federal
Reserve began its two-day policy meeting. But there were glimmers of hope.
Against Voter Fraud
John Fund, The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2008
ruling on the constitutionality of Indiana's voter ID law – the toughest
in the nation – the Supreme Court had to deal with the claim that such
laws demanded the strictest of scrutiny by courts, because they could disenfranchise
voters. All nine Justices rejected that argument.
L. Brent Bozell, Creator's Syndicate, May 2, 2008
Yes, young lads, you can
visit strip clubs and get lap dances, pick up prostitutes, go on assassination
missions and conduct gangland-style executions. The New York Times applauded
the game's "winsome procession of grifters, hustlers, drug peddlers and
other gloriously unrepentant lowlifes."
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