North Archives - May 27, 2008
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Council of Vermont
Compiled by Jamie Zeppernick
The word Islam means "submission."
Toward those who are skeptical of the Muslim religion, radical Islam does
not and cannot adopt a live and let live attitude. It is more of the attitude:
you let us flourish in your midst and we will either convert you, subjugate
you, or kill you. That has been the history of militant Islam for 1400
years. To radical Islam, peaceful coexistence with us means that we submit
or die. So how soon will this kind of "submission" comes to America ? That
depends on us. The Defenders Council of Vermont is dedicated to helping
all of us do something, to alerting and educating the citizens of Vermont
about the clear and present danger of radical Islam, as well as honoring
those who serve to protect us, and reviving our understanding and commitment
to America’s founding principles. We will only succeed in this mission
if we stand up and embrace the responsibility we all have as free men in
a free nation. We owe it to the authors of freedom, we owe it to our children,
and we even owe it to those enslaved to a religion of submission. Freedom
is a rare and lovely thing in the world. Don't let it die in America. Please
contact Defenders Council of Vermont at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information on how you can get involved.
the Silent Politicians
By Martin Harris
the strange politician reluctance towards a clear articulation of their
long-term mission: re-invention of Vermont as a high-tax, high-governmental-service-level,
high-anti-build and anti-business level, high-income-requirement sort of
place for which, unless you’re part of the upper-income quintiles willing
to pay generously to get in and stay in, you’d be priced out, unless you’re
part of the new under-class, the subsidized lower-income quintiles who
keep the lawns mowed, the tables waited, and the plumbing fixed? Maybe
because it doesn’t sound quite so "American", this two-tier-economy-in-a-faux-bucolic-environment
objective, when too clearly stated.
By Defenders Council of
The move to bring Al-Jazeera
to Burlington met with immediate local opposition. According to a local
Burlington resident who is now spearheading the opposition: "The prior
general manager of BT (Burlington Telecom) brought AJ online unilaterally,
without formal approval from the Mayor or City Council Apparently he did
brief the council, but told them AJ is just like the BBC and CNN." Perhaps
it was this opposition, coupled with a bleak financial future, which led
to a decision by the current general manager to simply drop Al-Jazeera.
This was a move that should not have been much of a surprise since they
had no contract to begin with. When the local "Peace and Justice" groups
got wind of this, they started to scream about violations of free speech.
# # #
"War is an ugly thing,
but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral
and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much
worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon
or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a
master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings
against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas
of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest
purpose by their free choice, — is often the means of their regeneration.
A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he
cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable
creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the
exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice
have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs
of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for
the one against the other."
-- John Stuart Mill,
"The Contest in America," Fraser’s Magazine (February 1862)
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
record: Drive up the Gas Tax on Vermont families
As Vermonters begin the holiday
weekend, many by topping off the tank at around $4.00 a galon to drive
to the family barbeque, it is worth remembering that if Gaye Symington
had her way, Vermonters would be paying a 20% higher tax at the pump.
In 2006, Symington stated
that adding 4 cents to the gasoline tax and 6 cents to the diesel tax "makes
sense." (Burlington Free Press, 3/17/06). She remained steadfast in
her support of the gas tax increase despite understanding, "We recognize
that the gas tax is politically difficult when the price of gas is so high…"
(Burlington Free Press, 4/29/06).
In other words, high gas
prices squeezing Vermonters’ household budgets are not a reason enough
in Symington’s world to avoid adding to an already unbearable burden. (Just
as generally rising costs are not a good enough reason to help Vermonters
with a sales tax holiday.)
Despite the resounding defeat
of her gas tax proposal in 2006, Symington continued to support the concept
in 2007. The Valley News reported that Symington quoted David Wyss, chief
economist at Standard & Poor's, that "a higher gas tax is necessary,"
and said herself of a possible gas tax increase in Vermont, "We have
to have a number of issues back on the table." (Valley News, 8/9/07)
At her kick-off announcement
in Montpelier, Symington was asked if her budget proposal (if elected)
would contain broad based tax increases. After a long, awkward pause, she
answered, "I’m not prepared to answer that right now." She also asked that
people not pay too close attention to her 12 year legislative record. This
is probably one reason why – the past is a pretty good indicator of the
From VermontTiger.com, May
So while some of our leaders
continue to go around dismissing tax competion as an urban (rual) legend,
we are in fact the willing and happy beneficiaries of our competative captive
insurance tax regulation. However, strategic advantage is fleeting. Other
states have taken notice and are one the move. More than half of the states
now have captive insurance enabling statutes, and a half-dozen others now
aggressively cater to the domestic captive market - Arizona, Hawaii, Kentucky,
Montana, South Carolina, and Utah.
High fuel oil prices
strand dealers, consumers
By Josh O’Gorman, Rutland
Herald, May 24, 2008
Cota, president of the Vermont
Fuel Dealers Association, said there are two schools of thought right now:
either prices are rising because resources are rapidly diminishing or the
price is artificially inflated, and Cota is putting his money squarely
on the latter.
Politics, But A Smart Move
Caledonia Record Editorial,
May 24, 2008
No adjourned session for
dealing with a veto(s) also spares the Democrats another embarrassment
from failing to override the governor's veto. They have a dismal history
of such failures, and they were in line for another. There was nowhere
near the support they would have needed to overturn Douglas's veto of the
Vermont Yankee hijacking. Too many legislators have too much common sense
to approve that canard.
vs. the Brakes
From VermontTiger.com, May
And that is the argument
being posed by Democrat Gaye Symington and Progressive Anthony Pollina.
With either, Vermont doesn’t have a brake. With either, everyone in Montpelier
would be on the same page. Full steam ahead. No barriers. Good visual.
But Vermonters are naturally suspicious of clear sailing. If the governor
were to wax Reaganesque and proclaim it’s morning again in Vermont, we’d
ask for a medical review.
Things are not okay. And
it’s deceitful to argue otherwise. We have a workforce issue. We have an
affordability issue. We have a demographic issue. We are an expensive place
to do business. To poke around to find businesses that are still managing
to prosper is to play the public as fools. This isn’t about individual
businesses, or even individual sectors. It’s about the state as a whole,
something that is defined through categorical things as tax receipts, growth
rates, and census information. Not visionary, perhaps, but real.
Caledonia Record Editorial,
May 22, 2008
Vermont has its own little
old ant and silly old ram in Sen. Peter Shumlin. His rubber tree plant
and billion-kilowatt dam is nuclear power and Vermont Yankee. Over and
over, he has butted his head against both whenever and wherever he could.
Last year, it was his effort to blackmail Vermont Yankee with a grossly
unfair and broken-promise new tax. This year it was his attempt to force
Vermont Yankee to put an additional $400 million into its decommissioning
fund to join the $400 million that is already there. Both times, he was
able to gather enough environmental extremists and simply gullible Democrats
to get it through the legislature. Both times, Vermonters were saved by
the Governor's veto from this naïve effort to get rid of our cheapest
and environmentally safest and cleanest power source.
Memorial Day, Hope in Iraq
By Donna McKay, Burlington
Free Press, May 26, 2008
Jed replied from Baghdad:
"You need to remember that every one of us is here because we volunteered.
I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world. I feel like I am doing
a lot of good over here, and I don't want to leave.
in Iraq Fight to Give Rights to Iraqis
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Hero's Story on Memorial Day
Based on an article by James
Stewart in the Mudville Gazette
This post, originally
from September, 2003, is part of our Memorial Day weekend tribute to the
researchers find decline in global terrorism
By The Canadian Press, May
A group of researchers from
Simon Fraser University says global terrorism is on the decline, despite
previous data and public perceptions that suggest otherwise. The university's
Human Security Report Project says fatalities from terrorist attacks around
the world have, in fact, decreased by 40 per cent since 2001.
Laden Message: A Surrender In Iraq?
From The Yankee Sailor,
May 21, 2008
Then, just this week, two
new messages from Osama bin Laden were published in conjunction with Israel’s
60th birthday. The first was summarized by the superb new site, Jihadica,
In his address, Bin Laden
stated the "Palestine question" is the chief cause of conflict between
Western nations and the Muslim community. It is the ultimate reason why
AQ attacked the U.S. on 9/11.
Not only does this represent
a bit of historical revisionism on bin Laden’s part (his original struggle
was over the presence of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia) it was also a rebuke
of Zawahiri’s recent statements that Iraq would remain the focus of their
Million African Muslims Convert to Christianity Each Year
Orthodoxy Today (transcription
of an Al-Jazeerah television interview between Maher Abdallah and Shiekh
This translation of a televised
conversation reveals a rare glimpse into the outlook of Muslim scholars
who are concerned about Christianity’s growth. The invited guest is Sheikh
Ahmad Al Katani; the president of The Companions Lighthouse for the Science
of Islamic Law in Libya, which is an institution specializing in graduating
imams and Islamic preachers.
Katani starts off describing
the overall problem:
Islam used to represent,
as you previously mentioned, Africa’s main religion and there were 30 African
languages that used to be written in Arabic script. The number of Muslims
in Africa has diminished to 316 million, half of whom are Arabs in North
Africa. So in the section of Africa that we are talking about, the non
Arab section, the number of Muslims does not exceed 150 million people.
When we realize that the entire population of Africa is one billion people,
we see that the number of Muslims has diminished greatly from what it was
in the beginning of the last century. On the other hand, the number of
Catholics has increased from one million in 1902 to 329 million 882 thousand
(329,882,000). Let us round off that number to 330 million in the year
As to how that happened,
well there are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for
46 million people. In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity.
Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million
Muslims convert to Christianity. These numbers are very large indeed.
From what I have heard from
reliable sources, six million may be too low. Reliable accounts say that
one hundred thousand Africans convert to Christianity per day, though not
all of them come from Islam. Then Katani says Muslims should build schools
before mosques, in order to build the worshipper (Muslim) before the building.
Why? To stop the the dangerous "Christian missionary octopus"
Troops Enter Sadr City
By Rick Moran, American
Thinker, May 20, 2008
Iraqi soldiers, without American
assistance, are about to take on the worst of the worst in Iraq; the Mahdi
Army in their Sadr
Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers
entered the volatile Sadr City district of eastern Baghdad on Tuesday,
meeting virtually no resistance from the Shiite militia fighters who in
recent weeks have clashed heavily with U.S. and Iraqi troops, Iraqi officials
said. The deployment of hundreds of government troops to the area began
before dawn. It was the start of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's long-awaited
effort to restore order in the vast Shiite slum, home to scores of militiamen
loyal to radical anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
The push, dubbed "Operation
Peace," was "totally Iraqi planned, led and executed," the U.S. military
said in a statement.
There were no reports of
clashes during the first day of the operation, which began just over a
week after political leaders influential in Sadr City reached a cease-fire
agreement with lawmakers of Maliki's party. As you can see, this is a very
significant development. If the Iraqi Army can prove itself in that hellhole,
it would show that they have made significant strides toward being able
to stand on their own against a well armed enemy.
Turkey's gov't starting a Muslim Reformation?
By Daniel Pipes, The Jerusalem
Post, May 21, 2008
Accounts from Turkey suggest
that the government is attempting a bold reinterpretation of Islam. Its
unusually named ministry of religion, the Presidency of Religious Affairs
and the Religious Charitable Foundation, has undertaken a three-year Hadith
Project to systematically review 162,000 hadith reports and winnow
them down to some 10,000, with the goal of separating original Islam from
the accretions of 14 centuries. ...
Mehmet Görmez, a senior
lecturer in hadith at Ankara University and the vice-president of religious
affairs, heads the "Hadith Project." Its director, Mehmet Görmez,
adds that the purpose is a scholarly one, to understand the hadith better:
"We will make a new compilation of the hadith and reinterpret them if necessary."
More broadly, Görmez explains, "The project takes its inspiration
from the interpretations of the modernist vein of Islam... We want to bring
out the positive side of Islam that promotes personal honor, human rights,
justice, morality, women's rights, respect for the other."
This means, for example,
reinterpreting hadiths that "present women as inferior beings," such as
those that encourage female genital mutilation, honor killings and the
prohibition of women traveling without their husbands.
takes the Hill
From the New York Daily
News, May 24, 2008
Upon the return of Gen. David
Petraeus to Capitol Hill, here is some of what he could report to his inquisitors:
Yes, last year's troop surge
has been measurably a success. The assorted insurgencies are rearing up
far less frequently now. "Security incidents" last week were at their lowest
level in four years. Indeed, the bad guys themselves moan that their numbers
are fewer and their operational capabilities are diminished.
Even Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi
Army militiamen aren't much protesting as Iraqi troops move into Baghdad's
Sadr City to restore order to that lawless tinderbox. ("The forces have
a right to enter," peaceably concedes one Sadr spokesman, speaking in the
absence of Sadr himself, who remains holed up in Iran.)
And, Petraeus adds, he is
reasonably confident that by September he will be able to order still more
# # #
Next American Frontier
By Michael S. Malone, The
Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2008
For three centuries the frontier
had defined us, tantalized us with the perpetual chance to "light out for
the territories" and start our lives over. It was the foundation of those
very American notions of "federalism" and "rugged individualism." But Americans
had crossed an invisible line in history, entering a new world with a new
set of rules.
What Turner couldn't guess
was that the unexplored prairie would become the uninvented new product,
the unexploited new market and the untried new business plan. The great
new American frontiers proved to be those of business, science and technology.
In the course of the 20th century, Americans invented more milestone technologies
and inventions, created more wealth and leisure time, and reorganized their
institutions more times than any country had ever done before – despite
a massive economic depression and two world wars. It all reached a crescendo
in the magical year of 1969, with the creation of the Internet, the invention
of the microprocessor and, most of all, a man walking on the moon.
Conservative Future in the House
By Patrick Casey, American
Thinker, May 20, 2008
While blame is being slung
around for the anticipated GOP slaughter in November, there is one group
within the Republican minority in the House that has been espousing a return
to the last way of governing that delivered a majority to the GOP: conservatism.
That group would be the Republican
Study Committee, a caucus that many hoped would take over after the
2006 election debacle.
Carl Hulse has an interesting
article in this morning's New York Times that describes the group's
latest prescription for GOP recovery, House
Conservatives to Offer Ideas for G.O.P. Message. The RSC is poised
to release a seven-point proposal that it wants Republicans in the House
to embrace as their message to retake the majority.
Scientists Rejecting Global Warming Theory to be Named Monday
By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters,
May 18, 2008
The names of over 31,000
American scientists that reject the theory of anthropogenic global warming
are to be revealed on Monday. Although this will occur at the National
Press Club in Washington, DC., it seems a metaphysical certitude media
will completely ignore the event.
Will Sue to Block U.S. Listing of Polar Bears as 'Threatened'
From Fox News, May 22, 2008
The state of Alaska will
sue to challenge the recent listing of polar bears as a threatened species,
Gov. Sarah Palin announced Wednesday. She and other Alaska
elected officials fear a listing will cripple oil and gas development in
prime polar bear habitat off the state's northern and northwestern coasts.
Palin argued that there is not enough evidence to support a listing. Polar
bears are well managed and their population has dramatically increased
over 30 years as a result of conservation, she said.
Finds His Crisis in Global Warming
By John Stossel, TownHall.com,
May 21, 2008
"Instead of idly debating
the precise extent of global warming, ... we need to deal with the central
facts of rising temperatures, rising waters, and all the endless troubles
that global warming will bring. We stand warned by serious and credible
scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great.
The most relevant question now is whether our own government is equal to
the challenge" (Full
With that, the presumptive
Republican presidential nominee John McCain threw his support -- again
-- to a complex government program to reduce carbon emissions. He claims
he can do this, without causing economic hardship, by using the power of
the free market. As The
Wall Street Journal commented, "His plan is 'market based' insofar
as it requires an expensive, invasive government bureaucracy to interfere
with the market".
Social Insecurity Plan
From Investor's Business
Daily, May 20, 2008
We suspected that the No.
1 liberal in the U.S. Senate would get around to playing the granny card
as he shook Hillary off and focused on John McCain. That moment came in
Gresham, Ore., on Sunday when he promised to protect "the promise that
FDR made" and "preserve the Social Security Trust Fund." He warned that
McCain would raise the retirement age and privatize Social Security a la
How does he demagogue the
issue? Let us count the myths. Fact is, Social Security is all trust and
no fund. There's no stash of your cash in an account with your name on
it that nobody can touch. The money beneficiaries get comes from the paychecks
of their children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors. But with private
accounts there would be cash in an account.
the Antiwar Protestors
By Kevin Ferris, The Wall
Street Journal, May 24, 2008
Memorial Day isn't until
Monday. But for Rich Davis, a 20-year veteran of the Navy, it seems to
come every Saturday. That's when he pulls out a handmade sign and heads
for a street corner near the Chester County Court House in this suburban
Philadelphia community. Mr. Davis, 54, is a pro-military protester who
makes a public stand each week in support of the troops and their mission.
# # #