North Archives - June 12, 2007
| Editorial | News & Views
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Conflict of Visions
By Robert Maynard
Ultimately, this clash of
visions comes down to a profound difference between the way we see the
relationship between God and Man and the role that freedom plays in that
relationship. In this battle, we will find allies among those Muslims who
see no conflict between Islam and freedom. The problem is that their voices
are being drowned out by those of the fatalists. While we spend a good
deal of resources and lives fighting the military aspect of this conflict,
Saudi oil money is funding Islamic schools and Mosques all around the world
that teach the Fascist version of Islam. We need to engage in an ideological
offensive and promote our version of freedom as a sacred gift of God, which
no man has a right to infringe upon. In fact, it is the infringement upon
God granted human freedom, which is heretical and sacrilegious, not the
exercise of freedom.
Owns the Environment?
by Bruce Shields
Where resources are actually
owned by government units, the conflicts over uses seem almost unresolvable.
In Vermont, we have had very bitter conflicts over camp leases on State
lands, over land swaps between the State and various private entities,
over the management plans on National Forest lands, over erection of communication
towers (since the visibility of these structures has been deemed part of
the public estate), and many other issues. When something is identified
as public in nature, grievious and frequently stalemated conflict erups.
When ownership is private, control is clear: whoever values (i.e. pays
for) a property gets to determine its use. The clearer and more defensible
title to property is, the more responsible and beneficial to society its
By Pete Behr
You may be tired of my harping
on the “global warming” bill, but I feel obligated to point out its shortcomings.
It is so full of wishful thinking that it is difficult to pick out its
worst feature, but I think that Section 3 is the most far-fetched.
It calls for Vermont to produce 25 percent of its energy requirements by
2025 from renewable sources, particularly from its farms and forests, and
requires that the Commissioner of Public Service present a plan to attain
this goal by January 15, 2008. The Legislature passed the bill,
and then asks that a study be made to prove its merits!
By Martin Harris
The school solution measures
lineal feet of chalkboard as a quality standard, while others --Caroline
Hoxby, Harvard education researcher, for example-- measure units of
achievement output against units of cost input, and how these have changed
over time. Ms. Hoxby’s conclusion is that “educational productivity fell
by approximately 42 percent between 1970-71 and 1998-99” when measured
by spending (input) vs NAEP reading test scores (output). You can read
her comments for yourself on the website of School
Reform News, a monthly publication of the Heartland Institute. Note
that such quantitative productivity measures aren’t based on the presence
or absence of electronic door locks, as in Boca Raton, or the presence
or absence of generous amounts of chalkboard, as I heard some Vermont educators
declaim, in the Middlebury Inn basement, many years ago, when test scores
were somewhat higher and annual per pupil costs a whole lot lower than
they are today.
# # #
"Dependence begets subservience
and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for
the designs of ambition." -- Thomas Jefferson
"The teachers must disabuse
their pupils' minds of any archaic ideas they might have about our history.
They must be told that the American Revolution was not a revolt of men
who wanted to be free against an all-powerful, tyrannical and tax-eating
government. It was just a brawl between American landlords and the British
nobility, and the men who led the Revolution were merely interested in
their own property. The students must be taught that our free-enterprise
system is a failure - it breeds poverty and inequality and the only fair
system is a planned one, run by the government." -- Dr. Harold O. Rugg
a colleague and disciple of John Dewey at Teachers College
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
will plead guilty to sex charges
By Mike Gleason, Bennington
Stephen A. Matteson Sr.,
50, of Webb Street, was charged in March with lewd and lascivious conduct
with a child, and in November with aggravated sexual assault and lewd and
lascivious conduct. He is scheduled to plead guilty the those charges today
in Bennington District Court. ... Matteson is facing possible life imprisonment
for the November charges. He has an extensive criminal record, including
two convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol, three violations
of probation convictions, a disorderly conduct conviction and a conviction
for prohibited sexual acts.
Is The Good News?
by Geoffrey Norman, Vermont
Tiger, June 09, 2007
Scores for 2005 show that
in eighth-grade math, about 38 percent of Vermont students were proficient
on the NAEP test while 60 percent passed Vermont's New England Common Assessment
Program (NECAP) -- a 22-point gap.
Really Important Things
Caledonian Record Editorial,
June 7, 2007
The realists over there worry
about the small things, like, how we can manage and reduce property taxes,
what we need to do about our schools that repeatedly just don't seem to
make the grade, how we can induce our youths to return to Vermont when
they finish college, how and when can we solve the affordable housing problem,
how to bring Vermont into the wireless electronic age, how we can create
and project an image of friendliness to business to replace the extraordinarily
poor one we have now. Things like that. Meanwhile, the liberal/romantics
worry about how we can lead the way for the whole United States and the
world in solving the global warming problem, why the biggest, cheapest
producer of electricity should smile and pay triple taxes to fund more
giveaway programs for our nanny state, and how we ought to search the demography
for even more tiny sub-groups, such as transgendered people, that Vermont
can protect from real or imagined slights.
By Emerson Lynn, St. Albans
Messenger, June 07, 2007
Fair? Yes, absolutely fairness
is the key test here. It is not fair to forget the basis upon which all
agreements with Vermont Yankee have been based. It's not fair to forget
the hundreds of millions of dollars Vermonters have saved. It's not fair
to forget that Vermont Yankee is a key reason our carbon footprint is so
minimal. And it's bone dumb. The governor's promised veto should stand
more efficient energy solution
Jefferson Is Finally Indicted
Caledonia Record Editorial,
June 8, 2007
Rep. William Jefferson, the
Louisiana Democrat, has finally been indicted. After years of being privately
acknowledged by his colleagues as the most corrupt politician in the Congress,
the U.S. Department of Justice has indicted him on a basket full of charges
- 16 counts, including racketeering, soliciting bribes, wire fraud, money
laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. He faces a possible
325 years in jail. Jefferson is the one who was recorded soliciting a bribe
from an undercover agent and was later found to have $90,000 in bribe money
in his home freezer, yet he has remained in office for two years since
and even been re-elected before the indictments.
Going On Next Door
Caledonia Record Editorial,
June 9, 2007
In 1960, and for several
years thereafter, Canada's dollar was traded at parity with the American
dollar, even exceeding it in value for a time. That parity caused American
interests to build hundreds of shopping centers all along the border, and
Canadians descended in hordes to spend their shopping dollars down here.
With the sharp decline of the value of Canada's dollar in the last 15 years,
many if not most of those centers went belly up. Now, we may be witnessing
a reversal of that historic trend. Eighty percent of Canada's population
lives within 50 miles of the United States border. As their dollar continues
to increase in value against our dollar, Canada deserves watching.
Affordable housing gets more complex
Burlington Free Press, June
Tucked into the news about
the renovation of six Burlington buildings into affordable apartments were
two bits of information that should concern anyone who wants to see housing
in the city that remains within the reach of average Vermonters.
upset with Act 250 rule
By Nancy Remsen, Burlington
Free Press, June 7, 2007
A state senator complained
Wednesday that the Natural Resources Board had proposed a rule that was
far more lenient toward development outside "designated growth centers"
than the Legislature intended. The rule as written would "open Pandora's
box," said Senate Natural Resources Chairwoman Virginia Lyons, D-Chittenden.
"We are trying to close that particular door."
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
To Win War on Terror
by Donald Devine American
The obvious conclusion why
the U.S. has not had another 9/11 is that either the FBI cannot find the
serious terrorists after five years—but then why have they not committed
mayhem?—or, more likely, there are none to be found. Surely Al Qaeda itself
is destroyed as an international logistics or even training operation.
All it can do is produce videos and distribute them, mostly through public
media, which could be harassed into being less cooperative. It only survives
in remote mountains protected by the locals or where there is existing
opposition and turmoil as in Iraq and Afghanistan. As FBI Director Robert
Mueller told reporters recently, "We have seen an increase in the number
of self-radicalized groups that…are nor organized by overseas groups."
Few of these have the means or will to carry out serious operations. Several
of the plots taken to court actually were developed under the supervision
of an undercover FBI agent and it is not clear they would have gone so
far by themselves. There is no James Bond, 007-like evil Specter terrorist
organization masterminding American terror operations. The danger is not
a central Al Qaeda but the idea embedded in its ideology that in turn appeals
to many disaffected Muslims
Right Not to be a Muslim
In Malaysia, don’t
try to convert if you’re a Muslim
By Doug Bandow, National
Review Online, June 8, 2007
Much injustice once was wreaked
by Christians in the name of a loving God. Islam has yet to confront the
tragedy of coercion. The result is authoritarian political systems, oppressive
legal regimes, discriminatory social environments, and theologically-sanctioned
terrorism. There are liberal, tolerant Muslims, of course, who are horrified
by the injustices perpetrated in Allah’s name. But the refusal by so many
average Muslims to respect — personally or legally — freedom of conscience
encourages a political milieu in which dictatorship and terrorism naturally
flourish. So long as Islamic populations are willing to fine, imprison,
and even kill those within their own communities who worship a different
God, or the same God differently, they are likely to at least tolerate,
if not applaud and aid, the murder of such people in other societies.
Threat of Bioweapons
By Janet Ellen Levy, American
Thinker, June 08, 2007
Biological weapons are among
the most dangerous in the world today and can be engineered and disseminated
to achieve a more deadly result than a nuclear attack. Whereas the
explosion of a nuclear bomb would cause massive death in a specific location,
a biological attack with smallpox could infect multitudes of people across
the globe. With incubation periods of up to 17 days, human disseminators
could unwittingly cause widespread exposure before diagnosable symptoms
indicate an infection and appropriate quarantine procedures are in place.
... Due to their virulence, ease of dissemination and detection difficulties,
bioweapons experts and the Department of Homeland Security assert that
smallpox and anthrax are the most worrisome biothreats to national security.
Both have been weaponized which means they can be produced in a particle
size that is releasable in the air and can be easily inhaled into the respiratory
system. Both smallpox and anthrax are extremely deadly and present
unique forensic, environmental, logistical and public health care delivery
Reasons Why Al-Qaeda Wages War On Us
By Curt, Flopping
Aces, June 8, 2007
Ok, so we understand what
the goals of al-Qaeda was and is. The formation of an Islamic state.
To stop the support of Israel by the West. Not because we are in
Iraq, not because we were in Saudi Arabia. If none of these things
had happened they would still wage jihad against us. They hate what
we stand for, they hate we are "unbelievers", and they hate that we support
Israel. But lets look at the central argument in the al-Qaeda/Iraq connection.
The left will constantly state that bin Laden would never support secular
Saddam, or Shiites. But wait a minute, when he moved to Sudan he
formed a relationship with Hasan al-Turabi, who also envisioned a international
Muslim community with Sudan as it's headquarters:
Right Lessons To Learn From Viet Nam
By Rick Moran, American
Thinker, June 08, 2007
Many years ago, the two of
us clashed sharply over the wisdom and morality of American policy in Indochina,
especially in Cambodia. One of us (Mr. Shawcross) published a book, "Sideshow,"
that bitterly criticized Nixon administration policy. The other (Mr. Rodman),
a longtime associate of Henry Kissinger, issued a rebuttal in The American
Spectator, defending American policy. Decades later, we have not changed
our views. But we agreed even then that the outcome in Indochina was indeed
disastrous, both in human and geopolitical terms, for the United States
and the region. Today we agree equally strongly that the consequences of
defeat in Iraq would be even more serious and lasting."
forces take lead in operations
Operation Iraqi Freedom,
June 08, 2007
The Iraqi Security Force
is currently continuing to progress in taking the lead in operations while
under Coalition observation.
* * *
Frank Meyer, The American
Conservative Union, Reprinted from Modern Age
The men who settled these
shores and established an extension of Western civilization here carried
with them the heritage of the centuries of Western development. With it
they carried the contradiction between the driving demands of the Western
ethos and the political system inconsonant with that ethos. In the open
lands of this continent, removed from the overhanging presence of cosmological
remains, they established a constitution that the first time in human history
was constructed to guarantee the sanctity of the person and his freedom.
But they brought with them also the condition, which is tempted always
by the false visions of Utopianism.
we ever learn Mr. Buckley’s lesson?
by Katie O'Malley, Human
Events, June 05, /2007
"That the so-called conservative,
uncomfortably disdainful of controversy, seldom has the energy to fight
his battles, while the radical, so often a member of the minority, exerts
disproportionate influence because of his dedication to his cause." I might
not be so disquieted if those words had been spoken last month, last year
or even last decade. Tragically, these wise words were written by
William F. Buckley, Jr. almost 60 years ago in his brilliant tome, "God
and Man at Yale."
Was On the Global Warming Gravy Train
By David Evans Ludwig Von
So the idea that carbon emissions
were causing global warming passed from the scientific community into the
political realm. Research increased, bureaucracies were formed, international
committees met, and eventually the Kyoto protocol was signed in 1997 to
curb carbon emissions. The political realm in turn fed money back into
the scientific community. By the late 1990s, lots of jobs depended on the
idea that carbon emissions caused global warming. Many of them were bureaucratic,
but there were a lot of science jobs created too. I was on that gravy train,
making a high wage in a science job that would not have existed if we didn't
believe carbon emissions caused global warming. And so were lots of people
around me; there were international conferences full of such people. We
had political support, the ear of government, big budgets. We felt fairly
important and useful (I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save
Donald J. Devine, The Hill,
June 5, 2007
It’s like "déjà
vu all over again," as Yogi would have said. The Democratic presidential
candidates are headed down the very same slippery slope their predecessors
slid down in the ’70s, with little or no regard for the consequences. The
debate over whether the United States should have chosen Iraq to make a
stand against international terrorism is perfectly legitimate, as is the
argument about the Bush administration’s conduct of the war and its aftermath,
but Democrats today find themselves making the very same mistakes that
destroyed their party’s national security credentials decades ago.
Clinton’s Backwards "Progressive Vision"
Her economic platform
would only hurt those she intends to help.
By John Tammy, National
Review Online, June 8 2007
In a speech last week in
New Hampshire, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton outlined an economic
vision of "shared prosperity" that centered on raising the incomes of American
workers who were allegedly left behind in the prosperous economic era that
began in the early 1980s. Remarkably, the majority of her proposals would
be detrimental to the financial health of the very Americans she claims
to want to help.
Support For Amnesty Fades
by Mike Franc, Human Events,
June 8 2007
Conservative senators took
to the Senate floor to correct various shortcomings in the massive bill.
In most cases, they failed, sometimes by lopsided margins. But, even in
defeat, they forced the bipartisan coalition of senators behind the agreement
to confront some "inconvenient truths" about their bargain.
Property Tax Plan with Specifics
rollbacks and expanded exemptions
By Alex Leary & Jennifer
Liberto, St. Petersburg Times, June 9, 2007
Top lawmakers proposed the
largest tax cut in Florida history Friday, a sprawling $31.6-billion plan
that would trim the average property tax bill by seven percent this year
and give homeowners significantly lower taxes in future years.