North Archives - May 25, 2010
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vu: Private Property and the Northern Forest
This week’s Vermont news
section of True North carries a Burlington Free Press article that gives
me a sense of déjà vu. You know, the experience of thinking
that a new situation had occurred before. The article in question is entitled
"New England scientists call for forest conservation" by Candice Page.
In reference to the Northern Forest that runs through the northern parts
of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, it covers a group of New
England scientists call for the "permanent conservation of 90 percent of
the region’s 33 million acres of forest." ...
It is clear that they see
private ownership where "each landowner makes separate decisions"
as a problem to be solved. Is it then unreasonable for property rights
activists to conclude that, by whatever means, the ultimate goal of these
"preservationists" is to ensure that private ownership and separate decision
making are no longer possible?
Public Likes Republicans (and Democrats) Who Act Like Republicans
By Rob Roper
In 2008, Barack Obama was
elected after campaigning on largely Republican economic themes, bashing
Bush relentlessly for profligate spending and turning surpluses into deficits.
However, since taking over, Obama has gone beyond a Democrat acting like
a Democrat. Some might argue he’s taken this dynamic to a whole new level:
a Democrat acting like a Socialist.
However you want to label
this radical leftward shift, Obama’s and his Democratic majorities’ gushing
of red ink, projected to double the debt in five years and triple it in
ten, taking over auto companies, pushing through an unpopular, trillion
dollar health care law, the list goes on… has led to the fastest decline
in poll numbers of any president in modern history. The Democrats’ majorities
in both chambers of Congress are in serious jeopardy.
Politics: VT vs. the FRS
By Martin Harris
its historical economics-performance record, it’s understandable that Congress
wouldn’t want to take another try at its Constitutionally-assigned job,
any time soon. The [Legislative Branch]’ers could never even agree on a
"Bank of the United States", eventually issuing temporary licenses for
a First and then a Second, both as private parties with a side-ticket to
do public business. Each license expired after 20 years. Thus, from 1789
to 1913 (124 years) private banks "coined money" (actually, issued paper
bank notes as well as specie coinage) and there were ups and downs in inflation
and deflation, but the overall record was one of 12% purchasing power decline
during their non-governmental efforts to "regulate the value" of American
money. It took $1.12 in 1913 to buy what a dollar bought in 1789, the Economic
History website says. And then, under Progressive –only experts should
run everything-- pretensions in 1913, Congress created a Fed to do their
job for them, and of course more skillfully than the private sector.
The [Economic History web]
site also reports on the dismal result: the decline in dollar value under
Federal Reserve management in the 95 years from 1913 to 2008: 95%. It took
$22.40 to equal the earlier $1.
North Extra (YouTube Video)
By Rob Roper and Bill Sayre
May 24, 2010 — Host
of True North Radio, Rob Roper, and Bill Sayre discuss the week in politics,
touching on subjects they didn't get to during the weekly radio show.
# # #
of the matter is this: we have been ruled by men who live by illusions,
the illusion that you can spend money you haven't earned without eventually
going bankrupt or falling into the hands of your creditors; the illusion
that real jobs can be conjured into existence by Government decree like
rabbits out of a hat; the illusion that there is some other way of creating
work and wealth than by hard work and satisfying your customers; the illusion
that you can have freedom and enterprise without believing in free enterprise;
the illusion that you can have an effective foreign policy without a strong
defense force and a peaceful and orderly society without absolute respect
for the law." – Margaret Thatcher
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
England Scientists Call for Forest Conservation
By Candace Page, The Burlington
Free Press, May 20, 2010
A group of scientists from
across New England called Wednesday for permanent conservation of 90 percent
of the region’s 33 million acres of forest, saying the economic, environmental
and cultural benefits of a forested landscape are threatened by subdivision
About 27 million acres should
be conserved as working woodlands, producing wood products and local jobs.
Another 3 million acres should be protected as "wildlands," largely free
of human management, the scientists said.
Does Vermont And Greece Have In Common?
Caledonia Record Editorial,
May 19, 2010
What does Vermont (and California,
New Jersey, Pennsylvania and about 12 other states) have in common with
Greece? Quite clearly, a ruling party that either has not learned or believes
itself to be exempt from some unalterably tough economic facts.
The People What They Want
By Art Woolf. Vermont
Tiger, May 21, 2010
To overturn the
Town Meeting Day decision, the no votes needed to win out and exceed two-thirds
of the 218 yes votes cast on Town Meeting Day. That meant more than 145
people needed to [vote no] ... With turnout reaching
686 people — about 48 percent of all registered voters, according to Town
Clerk Nanette Rogers — the number of "no" votes far exceeded that figure.
And what, one wonders, would
inspire such turnout among "no" voters. What, in Vermont, could drive
so many voters to the polls when they would not be voting for President
or Governor? What could make so many of them so eager to vote "no."
Was the issue texting while driving? Relicensing Vermont Yankee?
Taxation of capital gains or estates? Or any of the other items on
the agenda of the recently adjourned legislature?
Caledonia Record Editorial,
May 18, 2010
With the Vermont Legislature's
close late Wednesday night, it is worth looking at what they haven't done
that will set the stage for the new Legislature to be elected in November.
The wise old saying is that
if you sew dragons' teeth, you will reap a dragons' harvest. If what the
Legislature hasn't done this session is the equivalent of sewing dragons'
teeth, we can look for the dragons' harvest next year.
By Hugh Kemper, Vermont
Tiger, May 19, 2010
Don’t be fooled – at least
with respect to property taxes and education reform – by the self-congratulatory
vibes emanating from Montpelier. School districts – by keeping education
spending flat – largely rescued property taxes for FY2011. For FY2012
– a.k.a. crunch time – no, i.e. zilch/nada, substantive education spending
reforms were adopted to mitigate the prospect of significant property tax
increases. Proactively addressing tough, structural spending issues has
not been in this Legislature’s DNA. Acting true to form, the 2010
legislative session was an opportunity lost.
Democrats Push a Bad
From the Valley News, May
The federal government sent
an unprecedented $100 billion to schools last year as part of the stimulus
package. The aim was to avert draconian cuts in school personnel and programs
while fostering reform. Whether the government got its money's worth is
debated, but it seems one result is an unfortunate expectation of yet more
federal dollars to bail out the states.
the Teachers Unions Could Help School Budgets
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Fakih and the Fragility of Islam
By David P. Goldman, Spengler
Blog, May 18, 2010
The strictures of traditional
society are a flimsy defense against modernity. The moment that members
of traditional society cease to live under a regime of compulsion, they
tend to adopt the habits of the ambient culture. The most dramatic expression
of this trend is the collapse of Muslim birth rates, especially among Muslims
who have emigrated to the West. As Martin Walker wrote in the Woodrow Wilson
Center Quarterly in 1999, "the birthrates of Muslim women in Europe—and
around the world—have been falling significantly for some time. Data on
birthrates among different religious groups in Europe are scarce, but they
point in a clear direction. Between 1990 and 2005, for example, the fertility
rate in the Netherlands for Moroccan-born women fell from 4.9 to 2.9, and
for Turkish- born women from 3.2 to 1.9. In 1970, Turkish- born women in
Germany had on average two children more than German- born women. By 1996,
the difference had fallen to one child, and it has now dropped to half
to America's China Station
Beijing is poised
to project ever greater power in the Pacific. The U.S. doesn't appear up
to the challenge.
By Mark Helprin,The Wall
Street Journal, May 17, 2010
The United States and China
are on a collision course in the Western Pacific. Far sooner than once
anticipated, China will achieve effective military parity in Asia, general
conventional parity, and nuclear parity. Then the short road to superiority
will be impossible for it to ignore, as it is already on its way thanks
to a brilliant policy borrowed from Japan and Israel.
Related Article: Thanks
To 3 Senators, China Entrenched In Iraqi Oil For 20 Years
Prepared to Block Gulf Oil and Wreck Western Economies
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,Israel
National News, May 17, 2010
games concentrated on preparations to block the Persian Gulf and
wreck Western economies in the event that the United Nations Security Council
tries to place harsh sanctions against it.
Forty percent of the world’s
oil and gas sails through the Persian Gulf, and an Iranian blockade would
cause an inflationary spike in energy prices and a fuel shortage that could
cause catastrophe for the West, which is dependent on Iranian crude to
fuel their gas-hungry economies.
and Iran: Going to the Next Level
By Douglas Farah,Family
Security Matters, May18, 2010
The recent unclassified Pentagon
of Iran's military power released last month to Congress shows
official reporting is finally catching up to reality on the ground in regard
to Iran's Latin American activities. The increase comes at a time of deep
economic troubles for the Chávez government in Venezuela, as noted
by the Hudson
Institute's Jaime Daremblum.
It is also only the most
public look at how Venezuela and Iran are enhancing their military partnerships,
particularly in field of asymmetrical warfare where both states are hoping
to use their non-state proxies to take on the "Empire," meaning the United
States. For a range of views on this, see my chapter and others in Woodrow
Wilson Center publication Iran
in Latin America: Threat or Axis of Annoyance?
NYC Bomb Suspect Got Taliban Support
By Tom Hays, Associated
Press, May 21, 2010
The Times Square bomb suspect
claimed during his lengthy interrogation that he received financial support
from the Pakistani Taliban for his failed one-man operation, two U.S. law
enforcement officials close to the probe said Friday.
Investigators believe funding
for Faisal Shahzad in the United States was channeled through an underground
money transfer network known as "hawala," the officials said. But, one
official told The Associated Press, "there's a belief that no one in the
U.S. who got him the funds was aware of what they were for."
Fruits of Weakness
By Charles Krauthammer,
Real Clear Politics, May 21, 2010
It is perfectly obvious that
latest uranium maneuver, brokered by Brazil
is a ruse. Iran retains more than enough enriched uranium to make a bomb.
And it continues enriching at an accelerated pace and to a greater purity
(20 percent). Which is why the French foreign ministry immediately declared
that the trumpeted temporary shipping of some Iranian uranium to Turkey
will do nothing to halt Iran's nuclear program.
It will, however, make meaningful
sanctions more difficult. America's proposed Security Council resolution
is already laughably weak -- no blacklisting of Iran's central bank, no
sanctions against Iran's oil and gas industry, no nonconsensual inspections
on the high seas. Yet Turkey and Brazil -- both current members of the
Security Council -- are so opposed to sanctions that they will not even
discuss the resolution. And China
will now have a new excuse to weaken it further.
# # #
Technocrats’ New Clothes
Climategate, the Icelandic
volcano, the Greek meltdown — suddenly the bureaucratic Masters of the
Universe don’t look so omnipotent.
By Victor Davis Hanson, National
Review, May 19, 2010
In the last year, many of
the dreams of an emerging international elite have imploded — and this,
in a new century that was to usher in a regime of global liberal ecumenism.
Is Worth the Risk
By Lawrence M. Cathles,
Forbes Magazine, May 18, 2010
Yes, it's dangerous. But
so is doing without the oil.
That huge black plume of
oil gushing from the broken well in the Gulf
of Mexico at a rate of 210,000 gallons a day is threatening
the ocean and the coastline, and has earned BP, Transocean and Halliburton
the sort of invective previously reserved for Goldman Sachs.
Let's put this risk of drilling
in the gulf into perspective: Accidents, although rare, do occur in the
gulf, and everywhere oil is produced. What makes risks and the damage they
incur acceptable are the benefits to the economy and the U.S. way of life,
which also are very great. A society that cannot manage risk wisely and
accept some risk has no future.
Related Article: Oil
Rig Update, Day 26: Still Waiting
By W. James Antle, III,
The American Spectator, May 19, 2010
On Tuesday, the Tea Party
movement scored its first major statewide victory over the Republican establishment.
Bowling Green ophthalmologist Rand Paul trounced Kentucky Secretary of
State Trey Grayson by 59 percent to 35 percent, winning the GOP nomination
to succeed retiring Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY).
Grayson was the handpicked
candidate of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the National Republican
Senatorial Committee. In a normal year, that might have assured him the
nomination. Instead such ties became a liability, one Grayson exacerbated
by demonstrating a sense of entitlement to a Senate seat last seen when
Martha Coakley turned up her nose at shaking hands with voters outside
Rand Paul tapped into the
primary electorate's anger at Barack Obama, bipartisan bailouts of private
industry, and the steady growth of the federal government. But the son
of 11-term libertarian Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) won in large part because
he knew when to follow in his father's footsteps and when to chart his
War Turns to Texas Textbooks
By William La Jeunesse,
Fox News, May 19, 2010
What do liberal lawmakers
in California share with their conservative counterparts in Texas? Very
little. But this week both are watching the 15 member Texas State Board
of Education, which will choose the next generation of history textbooks
for most American children.
The left-right culture war
will play out over the choice of words, photos, who to honor and what events
in American and world history should receive a few lines of text. It may
sound innocent, when it is anything but.
Politicizing Of Bankruptcy
By Sam Zamarripa, Forbes
Magazine, May 17, 2010
Sen. Dodd's financial reform
bill could change the whole process.
Is America moving away from
being a nation ruled by law to one ruled by men? That's the question senators
should consider this week as they move to vote on Sen. Chris Dodd's financial
reform legislation. How the legislation is finalized could have long-term
adverse consequences on America's bankruptcy process.
PA-12 Results Are Bad For the GOP. Just How Bad?
By Jim Geraghty, National
Review, May 18, 2010
A point: Tim Burns’s task
was complicated by the fact that he was running against a pro-life, pro-gun
Democrat who ran against the health-care bill and the cap-and-trade legislation.
The Burns campaign did everything they could to tie Critz to Democratic
figures and laws that polled badly in the district — Pelosi, the health-care
bill — and it appears that in the end, voters in the district weren’t buying
But I am wondering about
the Burns campaign’s get-out-the-vote operation at this hour. Also, another
conservative blogger mentioned to me a few days ago that some supporters
of Bill Russell, the Republican who ran against John Murtha in 2008, wouldn’t
be supporting Burns in the special election.
(Russell is competing against Burns in the primary election for the November
this moment, Burns leads Russell, 56 percent to 43 percent.) I
was skeptical that enough Russell supporters would do this to effect the
race, but now I’m wondering. Did the Russell folks keep their ballots blank?
By Jonah Goldberg, Jewish
World Review, May 21, 2010
on Fox News recently and was asked to debate the proposition that Obama's
candidate endorsements are the "kiss of death." My response: No, they aren't
the kiss of death, but they certainly aren't the kiss of life either. They're
more like a kiss from your sister. They add little to no excitement while
inviting many unwanted questions.
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