North Archives - June 10, 2008
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Not Grab the Steering Wheel?
by Robert Maynard
My question is why are we
even engaged in a battle of hope vs. fear? Why does the Democratic message
of "hope" create anxiety which causes us to seek security? Could it be
because it is a message of false hope that is leading us off a financial
cliff? Instead of countering this message of false hope with fear and an
appeal to security, why not counter with an alternative message of genuine
hope? Not Reagan’s "Morning in America" theme as an incumbent in 1984,
but his 1980 campaign call to reverse course from the destructive direction
that Carter was taking. Or, the 1994 GOP "Contract With America" approach.
Forget about the brake, it’s
well past time that we grabbed the steering wheel and changed our direction,
not merely slowing the rate at which we are traveling in our current direction.
Republicans Bring Leadership to the House
By Steve Adams
Thankfully, the entire legislative
session was not entirely consumed by these issues. House Republicans were
able to push aside many of the boutique policy initiatives that dominated
this legislative biennium, and made our state’s economic situation a priority.
At the beginning of the year, we outlined several challenges that House
Republicans wanted to address during the session: Vermont’s economy, the
cost of home heating fuel, health care affordability, property tax reform,
and our state’s transportation infrastructure.
By Martin Harris
you want evidence of the mobility of the affluent, you need look no further
than the histories of class-based urban re-gentrification or suburban-migration
patterns or the various analyses of upper-income-quintile tax avoidance
behaviors. There seems to be quite a noticeable correlation between Wealth
and Mobility: folks with more W also display more M. Montpelier’s Golden
Dome folks, who have been making remarkable progress in moving the State’s
economic base away from the old earned-income triad of agriculture, manufacturing,
and tourism, towards a new unearned-income monad of passive cash flow in
forms ranging from the pension check to the trust-funder stipend, should
take careful note: their favored new constituencies of pensioner-retirees,
rich kids, and tax-loss "businesspersons" are a lot more potentially mobile,
should they become displeased, than the traditional Vermonter population
of relatively-low-liquid-wealth farmer, machine-shop operator, or bed-and-breakfast
owner ever was.
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"The purpose of the surge
was to provide a secure space, a time for the political change to occur
to accomplish the reconciliation. That didn't happen. Whatever the military
success, and progress that may have been made, the surge didn't accomplish
its goal. And some of the success of the surge is that the goodwill of
the Iranians--they decided in Basra when the fighting would end, they negotiated
that cessation of hostilities--the Iranians."
-- Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
in an interview
(audio only) with the San Francisco Chronicle, offers a curious explanation
for recent American success in Iraq.
"This is an inexcusable
slander," fumes Commentary's Abe Greenwald, who accuses Pelosi
of "discounting the success of the American military, denying the accomplishments
of U.S. allies, and giving the credit to our most dangerous enemies."
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Question Of Choice That Cries Out For An Answer
Caledonia Record Editorial,
June 6, 2008
Nicole Saginor, St. Johnsbury's
school superintendent, wrote an excellent column recently on the problem
of non-residents illegally claiming St. Johnsbury residence in order to
have the town pay their children's tuition to St. Johnsbury Academy. She
fairly stated the difficulties related to verifying residence or a lack
thereof. The school board has authorized hiring an investigator to flush
the non-residents out. Saginor's analysis, though, omits the question that
cries out for an answer. Why are so many people moving out of towns with
public or designated high schools into towns without them?
ALL a Conspiracy
From VermontTiger.com, June
But reining in "speculators"
won't reduce the price of oil. As last week's issue of The
Economist points out clearly, there are numerous commodities that are
not traded in futures markets whose prices have soared far more than oil..
Mr. Cameron is correct that no new refineries have been built in this country
in 30 years, which obviously restricts the supply of refined products like
gasoline and heating oil. No doubt, that's part of the conspiracy, too.
firm acquires Vermont Tubbs
By Bruce Edwards, Rutland
Herald, June 5, 2008
Financially strapped Vermont
Tubbs is being sold to a New Hampshire furniture company. But the future
of the high-end furniture maker in Brandon with its 87 employees remains
in question. BSF Transition LLC, an affiliate of Brownstreet Furniture
of Whitefield, N.H., announced Wednesday that it is buying "certain assets"
of Vermont Tubbs.
Energy Can’t Fly On Its Own
Caledonia Record Editorial,
June 5, 2008
When it came to wind and
solar power, sadly, niether generated (literally or figuratively) enough
power to sustain itself. Wind energy only blew by the grace of a $23.37
per megawatt hour subsidy from taxpayers while solar proved the most burning
fleece at $24.34 per megawatt hour. According to the EIA, capital-intensive,
base load generating technologies (like nuclear power and coal-fired steam
generators) together produce about 68 percent of the total net electrical
generation in the U.S. Solar power and wind power together generate less
than 1 percent of U.S. electrical production.
to Demolish 80-year-old Bridge if No One Wants It
By Louis Porter, Rutland
Herald, June 5, 2008
Due to the bridge's historic
nature, the Federal Highway Administration has instructed the AOT that
it must advertise the bridge for sale for 30 days before beginning demolition,
John Zicconi, spokesman for the AOT, said in a press release Tuesday. Anyone
interested in saving the bridge has the opportunity to do so; if no interested
parties step forward, demolition can proceed as planned at the beginning
Bartlett And The Danger Of Political Schizophrenia
Caledonia Record Editorial,
June 2, 2008
Sen. Susan Bartlett, D-Lamoille,
chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has one of the most challenging
jobs in the Democratic leadership of the Vermont Legislature. She has to
find the money to finance her Democratic compatriots' big government, high
tax schemes, while her native sense, and she has one, of fiscal responsibility
cries out, "No! No! No!" It is with a touch of sympathy that we watch her
perched on the edge of political schizophrenia, her common sense self holding
back the money that she knows we don't have, and her political and philosophical
self continuing to preach the Gospel of Tax and Spend.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Terrorism, But Not Jihad
By Robert Spencer, Front
Page Magazine, June 06, 2008
Much is being made of "The
Rebellion Within: An Al Qaeda mastermind questions terrorism," by Lawrence
Wright, in the June 2 issue of the New
Yorker. In it, one of Al-Qaeda’s chief theorists rejects terrorism
– leading to a cascade of both liberal and conservative voices rejoicing
that the end of the war on terror is at hand.
Unfortunately, reality --
as is usually the case -- is not quite so comforting. Sayyid Imam al-Sharif,
Dr. Fadl, the subject of Wright’s piece, is not rejecting the idea that
Muslims must strive to subjugate unbelievers under the rule of Islamic
law. All he is doing is advocating a change in strategy: less terrorism,
jihad. This news shouldn’t make Americans go back to sleep; it should
spur them to become aware of the ways in which the jihadist agenda of Islamic
supremacism is advancing without guns and bombs.
Islamists Persecute the Baha’is
By Amil Imani, Amilimani.com
It is imperative for the
free people of the world to defend freedom of conscience, including freedom
of religion, irrespective of one’s own personal belief. It is for this
reason that as a person who is not a Baha’i, I find it my solemn duty to
speak up on behalf of a peaceful people, severely-persecuted by the savage
and the Problem of Evil
By Michael Ledeen, The Wall
Street Journal, June 7, 2008
Then, as now, the initiative
lies with the enemies of the West. Even today, when we are engaged on the
battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, there is little apparent recognition
that we are under attack by a familiar sort of enemy, and great reluctance
to act accordingly. This time, ignorance cannot be claimed as an excuse.
If we are defeated, it will be because of failure of will, not lack of
understanding. As, indeed, was almost the case with our near-defeat in
a Jihadi by Any Other Name Smell as Foul?
By Raymond Ibrahim, American
Thinker, June 04, 2008
As someone well acquainted
with al-Qaeda's writings and communiqués (see The
Al Qaeda Reader), I can confidently state that their messages to
the West are markedly different from their messages to fellow Muslims.
To Americans, al-Qaeda, just as the U.S. memo recommends, rarely evokes
Islamic theology; instead, the discourse is entirely about the Muslim world's
political grievances at the hands of the West. Their more clandestine
writings to Muslims, conversely, rarely revolve around political grievances,
but instead are grounded in Islamic theology and law, and stress how Muslims
are commanded to have antipathy for infidels and to constantly be in a
state of war with them. Even the 9/11 strikes are justified through
the strict rules of Islamic jurisprudence.
The NYT article suggests
"If we want to say
what we mean, what terms better describe [al] Qaeda members and other violent
extremists? ‘Muharib' or the more colloquial ‘hirabi' or ‘hirabist' would
be good places to start. ‘Hirabah,' the base word, is a term for barbarism
or piracy. Unlike ‘jihad,' which grants honor, ‘hirabah' brings condemnation;
it involves unlawful violence and disorder."
Now, as a native Arabic speaker,
I regret to say that usage of these terms -- that is, Americans trying
to be at once politically-correct and descriptive, in, of all languages,
Arabic -- is, alas, somewhat comedic. I further suspect that Arabs,
especially al-Qaeda types, would find it hilarious and consistent with
their interpretations of wishy-washy Americans, who go to great lengths
to learn a language only to censor themselves and compromise their precision
in that same language, all so they can appear the "nice guy."
Muslim Hate Crime is in Your Future
By Michael Reagan, Front
Page Magazine, June 06, 2008
Two Christian preachers were
stopped from handing out Bible tracts by police officers because they were
in a Muslim neighborhood in England. According to British news reports,
the preachers were told by a Muslim community support police officer in
Birmingham that attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity is a hate
By Thomas Sowell, TownHall.com,
June 05, 2008
Senator John McCain has been
criticized in this column many times. But, when all is said and done, Senator
McCain has not spent decades aiding and abetting people who hate America.
On the contrary, he has paid a huge price for resisting our enemies, even
when they held him prisoner and tortured him. The choice between him and
Barack Obama should be a no-brainer.
# # #
Climate Bill Blocked
By H. Josef Hebert, Associated
Press, June 6, 2008
Republicans have blocked
efforts to bring a global warming bill up for a final Senate vote after
a bitter debate over its economic costs and whether it would push gasoline
Baby It’s a Cold World
By Peter Ferrara, National
Review, June 2, 2008
Lord Christopher Monckton,
a policy adviser to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, was
recently referenced by senior climate-science authority Fred Singer as
saying: "Global warming stopped ten years ago; it hasn't gotten warmer
since 1998. . . . . And in fact in the last seven years, there has been
a downturn in global temperatures equivalent on average to about [or] very
close to one degree Fahrenheit per decade. We're actually in a period .
. . of global cooling."
This is what the temperature
data shows. Indeed, even global-warming advocates are now saying there
won’t be any actual global warming for the next ten years or so. You can
interpret that to mean the budding cooling trend will continue.
On Obama's Collective Farm
From Investor's Business
Daily, June 02, 2008
President Kennedy once spoke
of a rising tide that would lift all boats. Obama wants us to pull into
shore and tie them to a dock. Worse than that, a disturbing pattern of
rhetoric indicates he will not only counsel a draconian lifestyle, but
also mandate it.
The man who made over $4
million last year, who lives in a $1.65 million house and who probably
doesn't get his great suits off the rack, advised graduates: "You can take
your diploma, walk off this stage and chase only after the big house and
the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you
should. But I hope you don't." I got mine.
By Stephen Moore, The Wall
Street Journal, June 6, 2008
Environmentalists are stunned
that their global warming agenda is in collapse. Senator Harry Reid has
all but conceded he lacks the vote for passage in the Senate and that it's
time to move on. Backers of the Warner-Lieberman cap-and-trade bill always
they would face a veto from President Bush, but they wanted to flex their
political muscle and build momentum for 2009. That strategy backfired.
The green groups now look as politically intimidating as the skinny kid
on the beach who gets sand kicked in his face.
Eats Our Trade Lunch
From Investor's Business
Daily, June 05, 2008
As Congress gloats over its
denial of free trade to Colombia, Canada has moved on a free-trade pact
of its own that will take U.S. markets.
Conservatives Dead or Resting?
Christopher Chantrill American Thinker, June 08, 2008
If you look back over the
last 30 years, back over the record of conservative reform, there is one
thing that stands out. Conservative reform never had a chance unless
there was a crisis. The Reaganomics of hard money and low tax rates
only got done in the crisis of Carter inflation/recession. The Bush
tax cuts only got passed in the tech meltdown. Welfare reform only
got passed when Newt Gingrich put a gun to President Clinton's reelection
prospects in 1996.
The problem that today's
conservatives face is that things aren't bad enough on the Social Security
front, on the education front, or on the health-care front for the American
people to be ready for "change." So Republican primary voters sensibly
nominated John McCain, a man to fight the war on Islamic extremism while
holding the line on domestic issues.
Percent of Mass. Taxpayers Uninsured, Some Fined
By Steve LeBlanc,
Associated Press, June 03, 2008
100,000 Massachusetts taxpayers have been fined for failing to obtain health
insurance....In 2006, a legislative committee estimated the law would cost
about $725 million in the fiscal year starting in July. In his budget,
[Gov. Deval] Patrick set aside $869 million, but those overseeing the law
have already acknowledged costs will rise even higher. Lawmakers are hoping
to close the gap in part with a new dollar-per-pack cigarette tax. "Our
success has created a very big challenge for us," Senate President Therese
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