North Archives - June 19, 2007
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Lyceum Society of Vermont -- A forum for the discussion of ordered liberty
By N.P. West
The mission of the Lyceum
Society of Vermont is to promote the intellectual discussion of principles
and ideas essential to the preservation of traditional culture and human
liberty, the creation of abundance, and achieving a good and just society.
To that end the Lyceum Society seeks to educate its members and the public
about the purpose of ordered liberty and the value of what Russell Kirk
referred to as the "permanent things."
Coming Veto Battle
by John McClaughry
Service Commissioner David O'Brien calculates that the energy savings "could
easily repay the loans, making retrofitting the home or business free.
All of the savings after that is money back in the pocket of the program
participants." Here's a better idea. Use "all of the savings after that"
not to give a windfall bonus to homeowners and businesses, but to repay
the taxpayers who shelled out the initial $2.5 million. And here's an even
better idea that would give both sides a victory: the legislature should
uphold the governor's veto of the Shumlin tax, scrap the governor's $2.5
million in subsidized loans, and go home. That would be a good day's work
on behalf of taxpayers and common sense.
By Pete Behr
A prominent local citizen
recently provided me with an example of the progression of complexity in
Vermont. He gave me a copy of his tax return for 1975- not that long ago.
But it seems like eons must have passed to go from a one page return, which
anyone could complete and file without fear of a call from Montpelier,
to the monstrosity which is our State tax return today. The Federal income
tax return has increased in complexity too, but why did Vermont have to
follow suit? As we know, the bureaucrats in Montpelier love complexity-
they live off it. But we’re their bosses, right? We elect our legislators,
and they pass laws and empower the bureaucrats, so we have only ourselves
to blame. I guess we’re a state of masochists. It’s depressing.
Productivity Down (II)
By Martin Harris
think that educators as a class (pun intended) would have high regard for
the work of Caroline
Hoxby, Harvard University economics professor who has built quite a
reputation for her meticulous research into education issues, such as class
size and vouchers. They don’t, because her findings have run counter to
their preferences. Along with former University of Rochester economics
professor Eric Hanushek, she has concluded from actual analyses of student
achievement compared to class size, that the now-usual sorts of class size
reductions have had no positive impact on student achievement. Likewise,
she has offended the educational establishment by showing statistically
that public school districts faced with competition from non-public or
charter schools, to which students might have access via vouchers, respond
to the competitive pressure by making internal improvements in instruction
better than public schools not faced with such student choice.
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contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there
shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty."
Weekly News Round-Up
Politically Correct Denial Of Reality
Caledonian Record Editorial,
June 13, 2007
Burlington High School, in
a bow to the prevailing liberalism of what is often called the Democratic,
Socialist Republic of Chittenden County, has decided not to name a valedictorian
or salutatorian of its high school graduating classes from now on. The
Burlington School Board ended the more than 100-year tradition of acknowledging
the top two students in the class and the class ranking that goes with
it. The board did it, they say, to end the competition and the false comparison
between the averages of the students in the class.
on Their Side? For the Browns, Probably Not
Valley News, 6/14/07
In any case,
one problem with sending dozens of heavily armed agents into a small, rural
town along with all the sophisticated equipment needed to support them
is that some residents are bound to be frightened, intimidated or angered.
This might inadvertently create sympathy for the Browns where none previously
existed or even, perversely enough, serve as a link in a chain of circumstance
that creates other disaffected Ed Browns -- perennial protesters with nothing
much to protest. Moreover, the presence in the streets of large numbers
of armed agents of the government, even when necessary, is unsettling in
a free society. To whatever extent it can possibly be avoided, it should
Energy Alternative Makes Sense
Caledonian Record Editorial,
June 16, 2007
Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas
has proposed an energy alternative to the Peter Shumlin plan, which he
vetoed and which the Democrats will try to override in July. Douglas has
appointed a politically balanced task force of eight citizens to implement
scheme trips up climate bill
Prison System a Growth Industry
By Louis Porter, Vermont
Press Bureau, Rutland Herald, June 11, 2007
The Department of Corrections
is fast becoming one of the largest employers among the agencies and branches
of state government.
Small Victories In Montpelier
Caledonia Record Editorial,
June 14, 2007
Vermonters have reason to
celebrate two small victories in Montpelier at this penultimate end to
the legislative session.
Serious Political Miscalculation
Caledonia Record Editorial,
Tuesday June 12, 2007
The no-brainer here is not
about the issues. Conceivably, the issues can be debated. The no-brainer
is Shumlin's and Symington's total blank in understanding that Vermonters
get their dander up when "flatlanders" come up and patronize us hicks with
their superior knowledge. That they should kiss up to Al Gore as a strategy
to persuade thoughtfully opposed legislators to get on Gore's questionable
band wagon is an error in judgment of proportions obviously beyond their
ability to understand (see the definition above).
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Frank Salvato, Managing
Editor, New Media Journal, June 15, 2007
In almost every declaration
and action of the Islamofascist, from Osama bin Laden to Hassan Nasrallah,
Ayman al Zawahri to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the goal is the same: the successful
establishment of a global Islamic state – or Caliphate – ruled under Sharia
Law. This notion is not a supposition on my part. Rather, it is an accurate
observation, based on understanding and acknowledging the actions taken
and the words used by each of these fascist leaders (note the correct usage
of the word fascist).
I Saw in Iraq
Iran remains a problem,
but Anbar has joined the fight against terror
By Joseph Lieberman, WSJ
Opinion Journal, June 15, 2007
The question of course is--is
it working? Here in Washington, advocates of retreat insist with absolute
certainty that it is not, seizing upon every suicide bombing and American
casualty as proof positive that the U.S. has failed in Iraq, and that it
is time to get out. In Baghdad, however, discussions with the talented
Americans responsible for leading this fight are more balanced, more hopeful
and, above all, more strategic in their focus--fixated not just on the
headline or loss of the day, but on the larger stakes in this struggle,
beginning with who our enemies are in Iraq. The officials I met in Baghdad
said that 90% of suicide bombings in Iraq today are the work of non-Iraqi,
al Qaeda terrorists. In fact, al Qaeda's leaders have repeatedly said that
Iraq is the central front of their global war against us. That is why it
is nonsensical for anyone to claim that the war in Iraq can be separated
from the war against al Qaeda--and why a U.S. pullout, under fire, would
represent an epic victory for al Qaeda, as significant as their attacks
Study: Political Islam Correlated to Support for Terrorism
Poole, American Thinker, June 15, 2007
A new study by the US Institute
for Peace (USIP) of polling data from fourteen different Muslim countries
finds that support for a role for Islam in politics strongly correlates
with more likely support for terrorism.
Fails Sexual Politics
Human Events, 06/13/2007
The "Anbar Awakening," as
the split between the Anbar's Sunni tribes and al-Qaida is called, may
prove to be a case study in aligning political and cultural considerations
with combat security operations. It is certainly an object lesson in al-Qaida's
cultural and religious imperialism, as well as outright social clumsiness
-- in other words, an example of how al-Qaida does make critical mistakes
and how we capitalize on its errors.
In Our Time?
by Chuck Freilich, Human
Does anyone seriously think
that by withdrawing from Iraq the clash with extremist Islam will end?
That it won’t follow the U.S. home thereafter? The President’s repeated
efforts to make this case go unheard, drowned out by the opposing clamor
of the anti-war movement for immediate gratification, bring the troops
home and the future be damned!
America had its civil
war. Why expect freedom to come easy to Iraq? By NourI Al-Maliki, WSJ
Opinion Journal, June 13, 2007
War being what it is, the
images of Iraq that come America's way are of car bombs and daily explosions.
Missing from the coverage are the great, subtle changes our country is
undergoing, the birth of new national ideas and values which will in the
end impose themselves despite the death and destruction that the terrorists
have been hell-bent on inflicting on us. Those who endured the brutality
of the former regime, those who saw the outside world avert its gaze from
their troubles, know the magnitude of the change that has come to Iraq.
A fundamental struggle is being fought on Iraqi soil between those who
believe that Iraqis, after a long nightmare, can retrieve their dignity
and freedom, and others who think that oppression is the order of things
and that Iraqis are doomed to a political culture of terror, prisons and
mass graves. Some of our neighbors have made this struggle more lethal
still, they have placed their bets on the forces of terror in pursuit of
their own interests.
# # #
the Rich: A Surcharge on Success
NH Union Leader Editorial,
June 10, 2007
Unfortunately, the current
Congress wants that revenue and believes that taking it from the "rich"
and redistributing it to favored constituencies is moral. If you want to
keep your money, you'd better hope you don't get defined as "rich."
Marginal Tax Rate (subscribers
only. For others, the article is reprinted
in part here)
It's payback time for
another left-leaning lobby
BY Kimberly A. Strassel,
WSJ Opinion Journal, June 15, 2007
First came Big Labor. Then
the tort lawyers. What special interest lobby remains for the Democratic
majority to reward for services rendered this past election? The answer
rests in the ecstatic press releases tumbling out of the nation's largest
environmental groups, as they oversee the House's pending energy legislation.
That is, if "energy" is the right word for West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall's
green-payoff of a bill. Ostensibly the legislation is a rollback of any
energy production advances of recent years. But also tucked deep in its
heart is an extraordinary new tool to allow environmentalists to lock up
private property across the country. Bill presented; bill paid.
By George F. Will, The Washington
Post, June 10, 2007
In the 102 quarters since
Ronald Reagan's tax cuts went into effect more than 25 years ago, there
have been 96 quarters of growth. Since the Bush tax cuts and the current
expansion began, the economy's growth has averaged 3 percent per quarter,
and more than 8 million jobs have been created. The deficit as a percentage
of gross domestic product is below the post-World War II average. Democrats,
economic hypochondriacs all, see economic sickness. They should get on
with legislating their cure. Twenty-three months after the next president
is inaugurated, the Bush tax cuts expire. The winner of the 2008 election
and her or his congressional allies will determine what is done about the
fact that, unless action is taken, in 2011 the economy will be walloped:
Ray of Hope in Detroit
American Thinker, June 16,
This is amazing. The Detroit
Press reports: A new co-ed Catholic high school in Detroit will use
innovative partnerships to put students to work at local businesses, with
their salaries going to the school to shave thousands of dollars off the
cost of each student's tuition.
Games Reid & Pelosi Should Not Play
NH Union Leader Editorial,
Jun. 15, 2007
Majority Leader Harry Reid
said earlier this year that the Iraq war was "lost," the political fallout
was swift and hard, and Reid and his apologists spent days backtracking
and trying to claim that he did not mean what he clearly had meant. Now,
emboldened by the radical left, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has joined Reid's
defeatism. Both declared this week that the troop surge has "failed."
Thompson and Plain Speaking
Robison, American Thinker, June 16, 2007
Faced with a media establishment
that has heightened its opposition to presenting news that makes Republicans
look good, Fred Thompson has that rare and invaluable quality of speaking
directly to ordinary Americans, saying what needs to be said.
Inconvenient Truth about the Carbon Offset Industry
The Guardian, June 16, 2007
In the concluding part of
a major investigation, Nick Davies shows how greenhouse gas credits do
little or nothing to combat global warming.