North Archives - June 15, 2010
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Federal Government Creates an Unnecessary Tension Between Port Supporters
and Property Rights Supporters
"Neither the Rainvilles
nor the general public were advocating for the closure of the port. What
they were objecting to was the seizure of private land to build a 5 million
dollar "Taj Mahal" on a port that gets 2 cars per hour through it. The
Feds stated that their architects reported that the old building could
not be refurbished, yet a representative from the Vermont Historical Society
reported that no one from the feds approached them about it and that it
could be done. This, my friends, is a violation of individual property
rights and a blatant abuse of Eminent Domain." ...
Instead of pursuing a sensible
solution they embark on a course of action that potentially pits the interest
of property rights supporters and their allies among the fiscally frugal
against those who wish to see the port remain open. ...
Why is there no interest
in finding a minimal impact/cost solution? Our government has grown so
used to having a blank checkbook to throw at real and perceived problems
that they seem to have lost the common sense that most people use when
assessing the most efficient way to deal with a problem.
Challenge for Change Dream World
By John McClaughry
June 3 Gov. Douglas signed H.789, the highly touted bill to implement the
"Challenge for Change" process so bravely launched back in February. A
trip through its 95 pages illustrates in appalling detail why a liberal
legislature cannot reform an overgrown state government that is not likely
to significantly reform itself.
To review: in February the
legislative leadership, with the Governor's support, decided that state
agencies could reduce FY2011 General Fund spending by $37.8 million without
reducing any services. How did the politicians know that that was realistic?
Because they paid an out of state consulting firm almost $100,000 to tell
6, Producers 0
By Martin Harris
I may play at the H.G. Wells role for a moment, here’s my prediction of
"Things to Come": the Vermont Legislature, now composed overwhelmingly
of politicians beholden to a new exurban-consumer-majority constituency,
will soon over-ride the Governor’s recent veto of a Golden Dome decision
to renege somewhat on its earlier promise of continuing a modest financial
incentive to farmers to keep on farming, via the Current Use program. Since
urbanites became the voting majority in the US, a demographic-political
fact first recorded in the 1920 Census, the general trend of governmental
farm policy has been to purchase consumer votes by making food ever cheaper,
in inflation-adjusted terms, primarily by offering a range of subsidies
to keep producers producing. Now the game is to see how much the subsidies
can be cut back without reducing supply. The existence of a "national cheap
food policy" has of course been denied by all the usual suspects in government
and advocacy (like Carol Tucker Foreman, a power in both the Consumer Federation
of America and the USDA) but the historical facts are there for those who
wish to read them, and the more recent events-in-evidence are still remembered
by many, mostly with a connection to farming today, like the massive Federal
legal retaliation against the National Farmers’ Organization ( after 20
years the government court case collapsed, but the intended financial damage
to NFO was permanent) for moving members’ milk among competing markets.
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in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no
law, no court can save it." --Justice Learned Hand
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Weekly News Round-Up
Fights Morses Line Port Of Entry Closure
Decision Affects Local Business
From WPTZ Channel 5, June
A decision to save a local
farm has turned into a battle and now some Vermonters want to take it up
with Washington. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security decided to close
the Morses Line Port of Entry last week. Some want the port reopened because
the move hurts local business.
Kick 'em When They're Down
By Chris Campion, Vermont
Tiger, June 4, 2010
In what might be a startling
revelation to the millions of actors in the market for petroleum-based
products, the answer to oil dependency is to increase the price of gasoline,
not increase supply, as a Senator who's never held a private-sector job
argues recently. Senator Sanders (I-VT, by way of Brooklyn) wants
to cut oil and gas tax "breaks", which is essentially an
industry-wide tax increase. Sanders wants a tax increase during a
recession, which I'm sure will also have the magical benefit of creating
more jobs and fluffy kittens for all of us. Letting no crisis go
unexploited, the Senator laughingly argues that national debt size is no
reason to let private industry remain profitable:
"And, with a $13 trillion
national debt, the last thing we need to be doing is giving tax breaks
to big oil and gas companies that have been making record-breaking profits
year after year after year."
Apparently the Senator has
no problem with his Congress approving budgets resulting in record-breaking
deficits during a time of record-breaking
unemployment and record-breaking
lows in job growth and record-breaking
low approval ratings for Congress.
What's eternally lost on
Sanders is that profits are a good thing; profits create jobs
where none existed before, and ensure that people can pay their mortgages
without having to ask for a handout from politicians. Sanders' justification
for his stance (as if he needs one) is that since the deficits are so high,
oil companies should become less profitable, to help Sanders sustain the
unsustainable budget he has so helpfully created. In other words,
Sanders is a teenager who's maxed out Mommy's credit card and simply wants
her to throw more money at it for him, so he can most effectively spend
someone else's money for them.
to Kick Off Campaign for Vt. Governor
Caledonia Record, June 11,
The lone Republican in Vermont's
crowded gubernatorial race kicks off his campaign Saturday, promising a
pro-business approach and an emphasis on job development if he's elected.
Brian Dubie, who's served
seven years as lieutenant governor under Gov. Jim Douglas, is hoping to
move up now that Douglas has decided not to seek a fifth term. Five Democrats,
Progressive Party candidate Martha Abbott and independent Dennis Steele
are also running.
Break Ground for New Champlain Bridge, Ferry to Keep Running
From Vermont Business Magazine,
June 11, 2010
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas
and New York State Governor David A. Paterson today broke ground on a new
Lake Champlain Bridge spanning the lake between Crown Point, New York,
and Addison, Vermont. The governors were joined at the site of the approach
to the former bridge by state and local elected officials, local business
leaders and community members to officially kick-off the start of construction
of the new bridge.
Consolidation: Proceed With Caution
Caledonia Record Editorial,
June 9, 2010
The six CNSU school districts
have approved a study of consolidating the six into one district. Much
of the board conversation about such a consolidation was in anticipation
of a consolidation dictated by the state. Our strong advice: proceed with
caution. Any consolidation, but especially one engineered by the state,
will be done in an educational mine field. Here are some of the issues
that could easily do mortal damage to current districts, both municipal
From Vermont Tiger, June
The city of Burlington appears
to be enhancing its reputation for creative accounting. As
an investigation proceeds into the almost certainly improper and illegal
diversion of $17 million from the city's pooled cash to pay operating expenses
of the cash-strapped Burlington Telecom, attorneys are also looking into
another piece of financial sleight of hand.
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Global War on Terrorism
Left’s Strange Hostility to Hirsi Ali
Nicholas Kristof is
just the latest great thinker to talk himself into a rosy view of Islam.
By Mark Steyn McCleans,
June 10, 2010
Ayaan Hirsi Ali can’t lead
that life. She lives under armed guard and was forced to abandon the Netherlands
because quite a lot of people want to kill her. And not in the desultory
behead-the-enemies-of-Islam you-will-die-infidel pro forma death-threats-R-us
way that many of us have perforce gotten used to in recent years: her great
friend and professional collaborator was murdered in the streets of Amsterdam
by a man who shot him eight times, attempted to decapitate him, and then
drove into his chest two knives, pinning to what was left of him a five-page
note pledging to do the same to her....
Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s great cause
is women’s liberation. Unfortunately for her, the women she wants to liberate
are Muslim, so she gets minimal support and indeed a ton of hostility from
Western feminists who have reconciled themselves, consciously or otherwise,
to the two-tier sisterhood: when it comes to clitoridectomies, forced marriages,
honour killings, etc., multiculturalism trumps feminism. Liberal men are,
if anything, even more opposed. She long ago got used to the hectoring
TV interviewer, from Avi Lewis on the CBC a while back to Tavis Smiley
on PBS just the other day, insisting that say what you like about Islam
but everyone knows that Christians are just as backward and violent, if
not more so. The media left spends endless hours and most of its interminable
awards ceremonies congratulating itself on its courage, on "speaking truth
to power," the bravery of dissent and all the rest, but faced with a pro-gay
secular black feminist who actually lives it they frost up in nothing flat.
Turkey of a Policy
Obama makes the Middle
East an even more dangerous place.
By Elliot Abrams, The Weekly
Standard, June 21, 2010
The Gaza flotilla incident
is not over. American demands for some "international role" in investigating
Israel’s conduct (but not, it seems, Turkey’s) and for a new system of
getting humanitarian aid to Gaza will be imposed on Israel one way or another
before the episode will be behind us. But however they play out, this incident
clarified several major trends in the region—all of which are dangerous
for the United States and for our allies in the Middle East.
U.N.’s Iran Dead End
The National Review, June
The latest round of U.N.
sanctions against Iran will not stop that nation’s rulers from acquiring
a nuclear arsenal. It could in fact help them acquire one. That is the
likely outcome if President Obama does not revise his Iran policy.
The resolution, approved
yesterday, achieved the following. Forty persons associated with the Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps, the fanatical entity that oversees Iran’s nuclear
and is a power base for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei,
had been targeted by previous sanctions; they, and a new 41st, will now
face a travel ban and asset freeze. U.N. member states will be required
to inspect planes and ships going to or coming from Iran if they suspect
that these vessels contain banned cargo (yet the resolution provides no
authorization for the forcible boarding of such vessels). Iran will not
be allowed to invest — in any country — in uranium mines, enrichment plants,
or similar facilities. And there will be a ban on the sale of many types
of weapons systems, including any ballistic missiles capable of delivering
a nuclear payload, to Iran.
Future of America’s Nuclear Defense
By Peter Huessy, Family
Security Matters, June 10, 2010
Will the US
have a nuclear deterrent capable of defending America in 20 years? True,
we may not purposely give it up as reaching global zero is certainly not
yet on the horizon. But what if we fail to make the needed investments
to sustain and modernize what is at heart central to America’s security?
That is the very question now facing Congress. What kind of nuclear
deterrent will we have as we seek a safer world?
By Daniel Pipes, June 8,
As typical Islamist-leftist
theater to delegitimize
Israel, late May's Turkish-sponsored "Free Gaza" flotilla
was tediously repetitious. As an illustration that Israelis don't understand
of war they now must fight, the outcome was drearily predictable.
But as a statement of Turkey's policies and an augur of the Islamist movement's
future, it bristled with novelty and significance.
Are American Doctors Mutilating Girls?
Hirsi Ali, The Daily Beast, June 2, 2010
After only a month of criticism—including
author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, below—the American Academy of Pediatrics has reversed
a policy that advised American doctors to give a ceremonial pinprick
to girls of immigrant families so that they would avoid seeking a full
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The Unjust Continent
By Samuel Gregg D.Phil.,
The Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, June 1, 2010
In recent months, the European
social model has been under the spotlight following Greece's economic meltdown
and the fumbling efforts of European politicians to prop up other tottering
European economies. To an unprecedented extent, the post-war European model's
sustainability is being questioned. Even the New York Times has
is fundamentally wrong with the model they and the American Left have been
urging upon America for decades. ...
But while such mythologies
dominate European discourse, it's also true that Western Europe's economic
culture is characterized by a deeply unjust fracture. Modern
Europe is a continent increasingly divided between what Alberto Alesina
and Francesco Giavazzi called in The
Future of Europe (2006) "insiders" and "outsiders".
The "insiders" are establishment
politicians of left and right, trade unions, public sector workers, politically-connected
businesses, pensioners, and those (such as farmers) receiving subsidies.
The "outsiders" include, among others, entrepreneurs, immigrants, and the
young. Naturally the insiders do everything they can to maintain their
position and marginalize outsiders' opportunities for advancement.
The Real Reason America Refused International Help On The Oil Spill
By Dian L. Chu Walker, Business
Insider, June 2, 2010
A Belgian group--DEME-- contends
it can clean up the oil in three to four months with specialty vessel and
equipment, rather than an estimated nine months if done only by the U.S.
The article noted there are no more than 5 or 6 of those ships in the world
and the top specialist players are the two Belgian companies- DEME and
De Nul - and their Dutch competitors.
The U.S. does not have the
similar technology and vessel to accomplish the cleanup task because those
ships would cost twice as much to build in the U.S. than in the Far East.
The article further criticizes this "great technological delay" is a direct
consequence of the Jones Act.
The Merchant Marine Act of
1920 is a United States Federal statute that regulates maritime commerce
in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. Section 27, also known as the Jones
Act, deals with coastal shipping; and requires that all goods transported
by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed
in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens
and U.S. permanent residents. ...
On the other hand, waivers
of the Jones may be granted by the Administration in cases of national
emergencies or in cases of strategic interest. It would appear the
U.S. government's initial refusal to foreign help most likely stemmed
from a mis-calculation of the scale and deepwater technological barriers
for this unprecedented disaster, and/or perhaps .... pride.
(Editor’s Note: The
Jones Act was waived by President Bush during the Katrina Disaster)
Burning Biomass for Electricity Creates More Greenhouse Gas than Coal
By John Appleton, MassLive.com,
June 10, 2010
study released Thursday that showed burning locally harvested
trees for electricity creates more greenhouse gas than coal-fired plants
is dampening the state’s enthusiasm for some biomass
facilities such as those proposed for Russell and Greenfield.
The six-month study conducted
by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences shows that, by 2050, burning
trees and other "biomass" for heating would lead to a 25 percent reduction
in greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change compared to using
oil, according to Ian A. Bowles, the state energy secretary.
the Hangover: Conservatives on the Road to Recovery?
By Bernard Chapin, Pajamas
Media, June 10, 2010
Republicans eagerly anticipate
this fall’s congressional elections as, in the words of a character from
Lord of the Rings: "It is long since we had any hope."
How well the GOP does is unknown
but taking back the House is certainly a possibility.
Emmett Tyrrell, the editor-in-chief of the
American Spectator, and the author of his newly released
the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery. Tyrrell
ten books before this one and published last year a compendium
of his monthly columns named after its title ("The
As his narrative in After
the Hangover clarifies, he was present during the rise of conservatism
and remains present during phony and fabricated news of its demise.
Tyrrell coined the term "Kultursmog" to describe the nefarious way in which
the counter-culturalists of the 1960s now direct our society.
the Federal Spending Spree
By Tad DeHaven, Cato Institute,
June 7, 2010
Runaway federal spending
has emerged as the chief issue on the minds of voters heading into the
fall election season — and for good reason.
In 2000, the federal government
spent $1.8 trillion while debt held by the public stood at $3.4 trillion.
A mere decade later, the federal government is on pace to spend $3.7 trillion
while publicly held debt is approaching $10 trillion.
Damn Lies, and Politicians: High Crimes and Misdemeanors at 1600 Pennsylvania
Ave. (Part 3: The Crimes)
By Liz Blaine, News Real,
June 1, 2010
Part 3 of this series serves
up the extensive list of potential crimes commited by the Obama
that establish their pattern of bribery, corruption, obstruction of justice,
and conspiracy to corrupt the American electoral process while reigning
from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
1 I discussed the administration’s latest scandal, Sestak-gate,
a classic quid pro quo for political advantage and its subsequent cover-up.
2 covers the inconsistencies created by the White Houses’s
"coordinated" effort to obfuscate the truth and maintain hold on their
reins of power.
the Enemy in the War on Terror?
By Joseph Lieberman, The
Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2010
In the new National
Security Strategy released by the White House last month, the Obama administration
rightly reaffirms that America remains a nation at war. Unfortunately,
it refuses to identify our enemy in this war as what it is: violent Islamist
This is more than semantics.
As military strategists since Sun Tzu have appreciated, the first rule
in war is to know your enemy so you can defeat it. The 2006 National Security
Strategy did this: It correctly identified our enemy as "the transnational
terrorists [who] exploit the proud religion of Islam to serve a violent
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