North Archives - June 23, 2009
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to Pay is as Important as "Ability"
The recent and powerful op-ed
by Glen Wright, CPA, Why we have abandoned Vermont (Click
Here for the article), has brought some much needed attention to Vermont's
tax code. We better figure out how we're going to generate revenue and
from whom, and recognize the fact that whomever this turns out to be needs
to be a willing as well as able participant.
Zoning Part 1
By Martin Harris
than a century ago, French author Anatole France (fake name) wrote "Le
Lys Rouge", 1894, which contains this well-known quote: "The law, in its
majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor from sleeping under
bridges…" sarcastically illustrating through his Communist world-view,
the Leftist support for the idea that members of different groups are entitled
to different treatment under law and regulation. Lady Justice now peeks
around her blindfold to determine who, appearing before her, should be
treated more gently or more harshly, depending on their group identity,
for the same crime. Or, in modern Vermont planning and zoning situations,
the same permit application. So the new logical sequence is 1. identity
politics, 2. identity jurisprudence, and 3. identity zoning. Just
as, under the Anatole France view of things, the rich are to be judged
more rigorously for stealing than the poor, so, under contemporary P&Z
doctrine in many Vermont towns, corporate permit applicants are to be treated
more rigorously than equally-for-profit mom-n-pop applicants, and both
such identity groups are to be treated more rigorously than government
or non-profit applicants, which explains why Middlebury has granted multiple
variances for various non-profit housing applicants, and why the Addison
County Shire Town raised no environmental objection to the construction
of its own exemplary county-courthouse-in-a-swamp, a bit of regulatory
empathy which, I’d guess, wouldn’t have been accorded a for-profit private
is Going On Here?
By Karen Kerin
Via the 14th Amendment’s
Due process clause, the entire Bill of Rights applies to the states as
well as the federal government. We know that to be true operatively
because freedom of religion, speech, and assembly are protected in all
states under the 1st Amendment. Similarly, the 3rd through the 9th
Amendments are protected from the states running amuck. Obviously
then, the 2nd Amendment is also protected from state action as well and
the 10th Amendment merely gives precedence to the states for any other
rights not set forth in the Bill of Rights.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor ruled
in U.S. v. Sanchez-Villar (2004), "the right to possess a
gun is clearly not a fundamental right".
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"By a continuing process
of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important
part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means
of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.
The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of
destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is
able to diagnose."
Maynard Keynes Source: "The Economic Consequences Of The Peace"
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Work is Just Beginning
Editorial, Rutland Herald,
June 14, 2009
Be careful what you ask for
or you might just get it. Somebody probably whispered those words to Shap
Smith and Peter Shumlin in the waning days of the legislative session,
before the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate engineered
the budget veto override.
If no one did, they should
have. Responsibility for making the budget work now lies squarely before
the Democratic-controlled Legislature; it's their document, their vision,
and their looming deficit, estimated at some $67 million for next year
and well over $100 million the year after that.
From Vermont Tiger, June
The political class will
have to face up to the problem. Brooks says, "First, they have to persuade
a country to postpone gratification for the sake of rebuilding the country.
This country hasn’t accepted sacrifice in 50 years." Vermont is an
example, of course. Our Democrats and Progressives love giving money
away but are ill-prepared to trim expenses – maybe because most of them
have never run a business. When times are good, it’s fun to spend
money – why worry about tomorrow? Not like the Vermonters of yore,
who were thrifty, and knew the virtues of saving.
Tax Takes Its Toll
From the Caledonian Record,
June 17, 2009
There wasn't much resistance
to the tax, not really because people are fervent about the bridge and
road schedule, but because it is such a small tax, and everybody can afford
five cents more a gallon, or $1 a tank full.
Not everyone, though. People
who use heavy over the road vehicles are seeing a very significant increase
in the fuel bills. We talked to one such person, and his pain is real.
His total from the new tax on his gallons bought for use in June is $163.
Add that to the already instituted tax of $1,034, and his gas tax for one
month of over-the-road use is $1,197. That's for one month. If his price
and use over 12 months is constant, his yearly gas tax is $14,364.
From Vermont Tiger, June
Texas is lowering
taxes to attract business and stimulate growth. Insert
"gasp!" sound here.?
"Our research indicates
that low taxes are vital to a vibrant private sector," Heflin said. "Texas’
economy is the envy of the nation because our state leaders have kept taxes
and spending low, which has enabled businesses to use more of their resources
for job creation."
Speculators Driving Up the Price of Oil?
By Dan McClean, Burlington
Free Press, June 21, 2009
To argue that government
micro regulation can improve the situation is the equivalent of arguing
that since a trained surgeon, using the latest technology, might help reduce
your pain, a med student with a cleaver could do so as well. Given that
choice, I will put up with my pain.
Then and Now
From Vermont Tiger, June
It's somewhat ironic that
an anthropologist studying Native Americans in Vermont has a better handle
on the benefits of trade than a U.S. Senator. The Freeps
reports on Johnson State College students, under the supervision
of Professor Corbett Torrence, doing an archeological dig on the banks
of the Lamoille River:
The students have uncovered
evidence of trade. The rocks for spearheads came from New York, New Hampshire,
the Lake Champlain shoreline and the Otter Creek area. Trade was
not simply an economic exchange, Torrence said. "We need to think about
it in a social context. Trade is friendship," he said. "Vermont has a long
history of barter, exchange and cooperation. We see that in the original
ATV Riders Flex Political Muscle
Enthusiasts turn out
to lobby for access
By Candace Page, Burlington
Free Press, June 17, 2009
A roaring chain saw provided
the most startling moment at this week’s hearing on all-terrain vehicle
access to state lands, but the most lasting impression was left by ATV
riders themselves.??About 250 avid ATVers packed a Montpelier auditorium
in as clear a case of effective political organizing as Vermont has seen.
They urged the Agency of
Natural Resources to adopt a proposed rule that would allow ATV connector
trails in state forests and other state lands for the first time.??About
15 people spoke in opposition the rule, including the man who wielded a
chain saw to help make his point, but their testimony was buried under
an avalanche of pleas from ATV clubs.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Fiddles While Iran Burns
From Pajamas Media, June
Iran is on fire. And as I
watch a potentially revolutionary, internet-driven uprising unfold over
vote-counting, (vote-counting!) and not over the torture, unlawful imprisonment,
and mass murder of Iranian citizens by its own leaders, I only now begin
to appreciate the possible psychological impact of that first free, public
election held in Iraq, courtesy of brave American blood.
and China Sign 100-Billion-Dollar Deal of the Century
From Pravda (Russia),June
A new deal between Russia
and China in the sum of about $100 billion became the largest deal that
has ever been signed between the two countries, Russian President Dmitry
Medvedev said as a result of the meeting with his Chinese counterpart Hu
Hamas and Hezbollah Uniting to Crush Iranian Dissidents?
By Paul L. Williams, Family
Security Matters, June 19, 2009
Encountering Hamas in Teheran
is tantamount to meeting an African American at a KKK gathering. And yet,
the Sunni terrorist group from the Palestinian Authority is now joining
hands with the Shi’ite mullahs of Iran to crush street protests in favor
of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi and to solidify the re-election
of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Forces Move in for Pakistan Offensive
By Rohan Sullivan and Asif
Shahzad, Associated Press, June 19, 2009
Pakistani ground troops moved
into Taliban-controlled areas Friday and engaged in the first gunbattle
of a new offensive in the volatile northwest, as an aerial and artillery
bombardment pounded other targets....
The coming operation in South
Waziristan, along with one winding down in the Swat Valley further north,
could be a turning point in Pakistan's years long and sometimes halfhearted
fight against militancy.
Television for Dhimmis
By David J. Rusin, slamist
Watch, June 17, 2009
Downplaying the threat of
Islamism while simultaneously disparaging Western culture is the stock
in trade of countless media outlets, but few have pursued this task with
such vigor as the BBC. Though its well-documented
bias in covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict serves
as Exhibit A, the same worldview is expressed in the BBC's broad deference
Goes to Court
Part I: Locking in Miranda.
By Andrew C. McCarthy, National
Review, June 15, 2009
Last Wednesday, Stephen F.
Hayes of The Weekly Standard reported
that the Obama administration has directed the FBI "to read Miranda
rights to high value detainees captured and held at U.S. detention facilities
in Afghanistan." Rest assured this directive will not be limited to Afghanistan,
for President Obama has unleashed the FBI on a "Global
Justice" initiative. He is strategically erasing the line separating
our domestic body politic — our governing arrangements and the legal privileges
of citizenship afforded by sovereignty — from the international arena —
the realm of politics, diplomacy, intelligence, covert operations, and
military force, where the United States pursues its interests among other
sovereigns and factions, many of which are hostile to America. In the Age
of Obama, all the world’s a crime scene.
# # #
New Financial Regs - Worse Than We Imagined
By Rick Moran, American
Thinker, June 17 2009
Hey kids! Let's create a
brand, spanking, new federal bureaucracy to protect consumers of mortgages,
credit cards, and other financial instruments from their own stupidity!
That's just one of the nanny
state goodie being proposed by the Obama administration to address what
they say were the causes of the financial meltdown.
Another Religion of Peace?
By Ben-Peter Terpstra, American
Thinker, June 17, 2009
Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano is soft on the other "religion of peace," global-warming.
June 16, 2009: The Age Newspaper, Melbourne, Australia reports:
Victoria is considering
tougher laws to crack down on eco-terrorist attacks on power stations after
a threat to a Melbourne power company executive by an extremist US group.
Democrat Says Obama's Czars Unconstitutional
By Ken Klukows, AM 560 WIND,
TownHall, June 15, 2009
Last week President Obama
appointed yet another "czar" with massive government power, answering only
to him. Even before this latest appointment, the top-ranking Democrat in
the Senate wrote President Obama a letter saying that these czars are unconstitutional.
President Obama’s "czar strategy" is an unprecedented power grab centralizing
authority in the White House, outside congressional oversight and in violation
of the Constitution.
Government Health Care Constitutional?
NEA's Latest Trick
Trying to Deny Military
From The Wall Street Journal,
June 19, 2009
Public school teachers are
supposed to teach kids to read, so it would be nice if their unions could
master the same skill. In a recent letter to Senators, the National Education
Association claims Washington, D.C.'s Opportunity Scholarships aren't working,
ignoring a recent evaluation showing the opposite....
The NEA's letter was a pre-emptive
strike against the possibility that 750,000 students in military families
would benefit from vouchers. That idea was raised in a Senate hearing this
month, when military families explained that frequent moves and inconsistent
schooling was harmful to their children. "The creation of a school voucher
program should be considered," Air Force wife Patricia Davis dared to say.
Private Schools No One Sees: In the world’s slums, the poor have taken
to educating themselves.
Balk As Administration Tries to Redefine Central Bank's Role
Irwin and Binyamin Appelbaum, Washington Post, June 19, 2009
The Federal Reserve, which
has been at the center of the government rescue of the financial system,
is now on the hot seat, with a debate on Capitol Hill emerging over its
responsibility for the crisis and its proper role in preventing such events
in the future.
Lawmakers are simultaneously
annoyed that the Fed did not do more to rein in the bad lending and other
financial excesses that led to the financial crisis and recession, and
wary of the Fed's aggressive steps over the past two years to combat them.
The criticism of the Fed is increasingly loud, bipartisan and from both
chambers of Congress.
From Investor's Business
Daily, June 19, 2009
A pattern is emerging for
this new presidency. The more radical and far-reaching the plan, the less
time the public gets to debate it. Is this due to ambition or fear of push-back?
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