North Archives - May 20, 2008
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the Political Debate Leftward
By Robert Maynard
At first glance, from a liberal’s
point of view, the candidacy of Progressive Anthony Polina would appear
to be little more than that of a spoiler. Surely his campaign will split
the liberal vote and ensure a victory for Douglas. Is Polina doing this
simply for the sake of his own ego, or does his campaign serve the purpose
of the left’s agenda in Vermont? I am inclined to take the position that
his campaign will serve the purpose of keeping the political debate here
in Vermont moving leftward. ... Without someone willing to establish an
opposing pole on the right, the left is really unopposed when it comes
to setting the direction of the political debate. The only opposition is
on how fast we want to move in the direction they propose. It is time to
propose a new direction.
Vermont Green: Send Money
By Martin Harris
of the many Vermont NGO’s which I hadn’t heard of until, somehow, one of
its press releases fell onto my (electronic) desk is VTCECH, an un-pronounceable
acronym which stands for Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger. Like
most such NGO’s, it’s partially taxpayer-funded-but-never-voted (who knew?)
to the tune of some 16% of its budget, but this column isn’t about "taxation
without representation" or "your-tax-dollars-at-work" arguments, it’s about
an assertion within the press release which states that "each Food Stamp
dollar that is allocated to a recipient generates $1.84 in economic activity".
That assertion assumes it’s actually spent for food, and not sold for cash,
as in, say, Chicago, but I digress; let me return to the "multiplier effect"
which, all you former Econ 101-attenders will recall, occurs when wealth
created and money earned in an economy, say from the conversion of sunlight
into wheat, is then spent and re-spent multiple times through the various
non-primary sectors. In agriculture, the green-eye-shade folks who analyze
such things now report, the multiplier for wealth created in that primary
sector is 7. For a government entitlement, we’re now told by VTCECH, it’s
for Vermonters to be Proud Of
By John McClaughry
majority came to Montpelier with a Grand Vision. Its liberal leaders vowed
to make Vermont #1 in the war against the Menace of Global Warming, determined
to convert Catamount Health into their beloved single payer system, licked
their lips at the prospect of new programs and new taxes, and advocated
more government regulations over the lives of Vermonters.
Most of those dreams died
in the legislature they controlled. Five important measures made it to
the Governor's desk to be vetoed. The House failed to override any of the
vetoes. For the Democratic leadership, this had to be a very disappointing
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found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education.
It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is
to commence tyranny in the nursery."
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-- Benjamin Disraeli
(1804-1881) Prime Minister of England, British statesman, novelist
Weekly News Round-Up
off the Rich to Get Help to the Poor
From The Burlington Free
Press, May 18, 2008
The legislative exercise
that finally produced the Farm Bill demonstrates how those serving big
agriculture in this country are holding hungry children hostage to get
Economist Calls Farm Subsidies Pork
From WCAX-TV, May 17,
Advocates of Vermont's dairy
farms call it a tradition worth paying for. But one critic calls it pure
pork. We're talking about one of the largest pieces of domestic legislation,
the Five-Year Farm Bill.
From VermontTiger.com, May
The state's newspapers are
acting more like cheerleaders than objective reporters of the news when
it comes to the farm bill just passed by Congress:
The biggest victory
for Vermont is a provision to renew and expand the federal milk subsidy
program to boost payments and help farmers cope with rising energy and
Has Some Questions
Farm bill will benefit
Vermont, lawmakers say
From VermontTiger.com, May
"Why do so many educators
complain about excessive government regulation (about which they are right)
but oppose any attempts to enact meaningful deregulation of the system?"
Collected Works of David Kirkpatrick
From WPTZ.com, May 14, 2008
What's happened to Peter
Shumlin? He recently accused an IBM representative of lying about Vermont
Yankee. He referred to the timing of Governor Douglas’ economic stimulus
plan as ‘morally wrong’. Now, his committee’s killed a bill that might
have saved lives.
185: The Failure to Move Forward is a Failure of Leadership
Vermont Republican Party
Chairman, Rob Roper, said today, "Gaye Symington’s failure to lead and
move forward in correcting glairing problems with Act 185 have left Vermont
property taxpayers’ privacy at risk and town officials in potential legal
jeopardy. For two years she has been "stuck in neutral," and, despite giving
her word, never showed leadership or took action to fix this legislative
mistake. Gaye Symington’s record shows that she is not part of the solution
in Vermont, but rather part of the problem."
Running (From her record)
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Global War on Terrorism
Religious Myths Are Destroyed, Why Islamo Fascism Is On The Brink
From The Stata-Sphere, May
Want to get a taste of what
is happening in the Middle East when Sunnis broke with al-Qaeda, when Shiites
broke with Sadr and the Mahdi Army, when Afghans broke with the Taliban.
There is nothing more shattering than to have the belief system that underpins
your life and soul shattered. There is nothing like learning people you
supported and trusted would kill you without any thought to further themselves.
What the eiltes in this country cannot fathom is losing everything to heartless
killers and thugs you once thought were saviors and an army of angels.
If you want to see a snapshot of what is happening to al-Qaeda, the Mahdi
Army, the Taliban and other Islamo Fascists as the facade is ripped from
them and their evil core is exposed to the Muslim Street watch this clip
and how a believer became a fighter. How an image of the future of Islam
turned into the enemy of Islam:
By Michael J. Totten, Commentary
Still, Hezbollah is a guerrilla
army, not an occupation force. Counterinsurgency is not in its toolbox.
Hassan Nasrallah will have a rude awakening if he tries to emulate Hamas
in Gaza and seize the whole country. "No victor, no vanquished" is the
rule Lebanese live by in both politics and war, and every faction that
has ever tried to dominate Lebanon has learned it the hard way. Whether
Nasrallah has learned this near-iron law from the mistakes of others isn't
yet clear, but the stiff resistance his men faced in the Chouf, and the
recent ominous threats from radical Sunnis, should give him pause at the
least. Fifteen years of civil war (1975 to 1990) proved that no one in
Lebanon is strong enough to hold the country together or utterly defeat
Nasrallah can bully the Lebanese
government and render it effectively obsolete, at least on foreign policy
questions, but he cannot conquer and administer the entire country himself.
Unless the Syrian military returns in full force, Lebanon's future will
not be one of dictatorship. Its future most likely will resemble its past--a
grim stalemate of schism and internal war.
of Hope’ Graduates Ready to Rebuild in Iraq
By Army Sgt. David Turner,
Special to American Forces Press Service, May 15, 2008
A program aimed at teaching
Iraqi citizens valuable career skills, with the added benefit of rebuilding
their community, graduated its first class of students May 8 in a ceremony
at Patrol Base Stone in Hawr Rajab, south of Baghdad. The 42 graduates,
many of whom had been part of the "Sons of Iraq" group that helps in the
local security effort, spent the past three months learning plumbing, electrical
and construction skills at the "Village of Hope" training facility. They
will continue their training outside the classroom by renovating structures
in the area.
Al-Qaida in Iraq devastated
Hawr Rajab last year, said town council chairman Sheikh Ali Majid, who
attended the graduation ceremony. Terrorists burned houses, stole goods,
and used many structures for storing weapons and building bombs, he said.
Now that violence has subsided in the area, its residents can move on.
Air Force Supports Mosul, Other Operations
By Tech. Sgt. Amanda Callahan,
447th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs, May 16, 2008
Members of the Iraqi air
force integrated and synchronized with Iraqi special forces in an effort
to dissolve the al-Qaida in Iraq influence since early May in Mosul, Iraq.
In less than two weeks, the Iraqi air force members have moved more than
3 tons of cargo and 251 passengers into Mosul using both fixed-wing and
"It's a new thing for Iraq's
air force to back the forces in the Mosul's operations," said General Mohammed
al-Askari, a spokesman for Iraq's ministry of defense.
Explains How Military Can Modernize for the 21st Century
From The Heritage Foundation
The U.S. military will face
unprecedented challenges in the years ahead. Yet according to a new study
by The Heritage Foundation, with the proper leadership, America’s armed
forces will be well positioned to keep the country safe. Military analysts
James Carafano, Baker Spring and Mackenzie Eaglen say that it’s difficult
to predict how many people the United States will need to have under arms
ten years from now, or what equipment those forces will deploy with. But,
they say, if policymakers focus on getting the big things right, the details
should fall into place.
Jazeera reports Palestinians phonebanking for Obama
By Thomas Lifson, American
Thinker, May 14, 2008
It appears that some Palestinians
in Gaza share American Thinker's skepticism
over Barack Obama's devotion to the cause of Israel. Jim Geraghty of NRO's
The Campaign Spot draws
our attention to this video
news report broadcast on Al Jazeera television, showing Palestinians in
Gaza running a phone bank to call American voters before primary elections
and urge them to support Obama.
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From Investor's Business
Daily, May 15, 2008
Climate Change: Legislation
pending in the Senate might warm environmentalists' hearts, but not because
of potential cuts in carbon emissions. Their interest is in the heavy economic
costs the plans would inflict.
Cult of the Presidency
By Gene Healy, Reason Magazine,
"I ain't running for preacher,"
Republican presidential candidate Phil Gramm snarled to religious right
activists in 1995 when they urged him to run a campaign stressing moral
themes. Several months later, despite Gramm's fund raising prowess, the
Texas conservative finished a desultory fifth place in the Iowa caucuses
and quickly dropped out of the race. Since then, few candidates have made
Gramm's mistake. Serious contenders for the office recognize that the role
and scope of the modern presidency cannot be so narrowly confined. Today's
candidates are running enthusiastically for national preacher — and much
The GOP Wants To Govern Like Democrats, Why Have a Separate Party?
J. Casey, American Thinker, May 16 2008
What we're watching is the
culmination of the decade-plus deterioration of the conservative Republican
brand. Put simply, no one, including base conservatives, trusts the Republicans
to govern effectively while following anything even faintly resembling
a conservative platform.
That's unfortunate, since
the only time that the Republicans really took the country by storm was
in 1994, when they all ran on a set of firm, well established conservative
values and issues. When the GOP strayed from that, falling back on the
Democratic Party tradition of retaining power through excessive pork barrel
spending and questionable ethical practices, they first lost seats - then
lost their majorities. To regain what they have thrown away they must return
to those conservative principles. If successful, they then must reject
the compromising allure of power and promise to govern in the future as
conservatives, not as the Democratic Party Lite.
The Polar Bear isn't
Threatened, But Big Oil Should Be.
By Roy Spencer, National
Review, May 15, 2008
So how is it that the eventual
extinction of the polar bear has been forecast in the face of record-high
numbers? Well, as in the case of global-warming projections, experts relied
on computer models that predict continued global warming and continued
melting of summer Arctic sea ice. And the scientists had some help. Hollywood
did their part by producing the heartwarming movie Arctic
Tale, which followed a polar bear family struggling to survive on a
fixed budget and without a father around to help out. Queen Latifah did
her part by channeling the polar bears’ thoughts for us, since the last
person who tried to interview a polar bear was eaten.
Marriage Ruling: A Few Comments
By Ed Whelan, National Review,
May 15, 2008
The majority itself concedes
that "from the beginning of California statehood, the legal institution
of marriage has been understood to refer to a relationship between a man
and a woman." But it fails to recognize that that is an essential
characteristic of the very "right to marry" that it is construing—and that
no one, until recent years, would have pretended otherwise.
Cooling to Global Warming
By Lawrence Solomon, Financial
Post, May 15, 2008
All three U.S. presidential
hopefuls have made global warming a high-profile issue in their campaigns.
In this they are out of step with the broad electorate, which ranks global
warming well down the scale of important issues. The public's increasing
skepticism is particularly surprising given the overwhelming air time that
the press has given to the notion that global warming spells doom.
Doctors Are Heading for Texas
By Joseph Nixon, The Wall
Street Journal, May 17, 2008
Over the past three years,
some 7,000 M.D.s have flooded into Texas, many from Tennessee. Why? Two
words: Tort reform. In 2003 and in 2005, Texas enacted a series of reforms
to the state's civil justice system. They are stunning in their success.
for School Choice
The Wall Street Journal,
May 19, 2008
When Florida passed a law
in 2001 creating the Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program for underprivileged
students, all but one Democrat in the state legislature voted against it.
Earlier this month, lawmakers extended the program – this time with the
help of a full third of Democrats in the Legislature.
Happened to Al Gore?
Joe Lieberman's answer
may surprise you
By James Taranto, The Wall
Street Journal, May 19, 2008
Last night found us at the
annual dinner of the Commentary Fund, publisher of Commentary magazine,
where Sen. Joe Lieberman delivered the Norman Podhoretz Lecture. Truth
be told, it was more campaign speech than lecture. It was dramatic because
Lieberman, a senior Democrat, was speaking on behalf of John McCain, the
Republican presidential nominee.
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