North Archives - July 07, 2009
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said: "The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves…"
We have lived beyond our means and difficult decisions must be made.
Old ways of doing business, political and otherwise, must end.
economic facts laid out here today are the equivalent of those hundred
ships spotted off New York’s coast on the night of July 1st, 1776.
John Adams said: "Now is the time, the facts are inescapable, the
people are for it, we are not so much declaring as acknowledging reality."
Dissonance (Not) Part I
defines CD in terms of the "anxiety" it causes the conflicting-concepts
believer, while Wikipedia prefers "uncomfortable feeling". By that
measure, the G-L's, such as the A-I's page 12A writers) who enthuse over
both grow-your-own and smart-growth aren't suffering from CD at all; they
seem to be quite happy in their dual (and conflicting) convictions, even
though they never mention both in the same sentence. I suspect the "root
cause" (a little borrowed G-L lingo, there) derives more from contemporary
politics and fashion than from ancestrally-inherited devotions to either
"the land" or "the city", and reflects simply a widely-used approval-seeking
tactic: telling various identity-groups what they want to hear, at the
time you're facing each of them. For a prime current example, consider
the new Ed Commissioner's "fire some teachers" declaration. Next week.
Modern Declaration Of Independence
nature of our sentiments regarding The United States is manifest in our
deeply held regard for the Ideals which she has but recently, so
proudly hailed– Personal Liberty, Justice and above all Freedom. It is
for the protection of these Ideals our Founders established the
government set forth in the Constitution of the United States, based on
the precepts of Liberty as recorded in our Declaration of Independence.
rights and freedoms stem from our nature as men, not from the governments
we choose to establish among ourselves. The legitimate and noble role
of government is the defense of those rights from violation or infringement-
be the perpetrator our fellow man or a tyrant.
Cat Pat Wants 42 Years: Running Again in 2010
that same spirit of reading the page before we turn it, the Vermont Republican
Party calls on Senator Patrick Leahy to demand that the sealed records
regarding the investigation of Leahy's leaking of classified material,
which reportedly caused the death of at least one undercover operative
and ultimately led to Leahy's forced resignation from the Senate Intelligence
Committee, be opened. Vermonters, after all, deserve the chance to acknowledge
what was done in our name.
# # #
U.S. Mint honored Abe Lincoln Friday with a new image of him on the penny.
It shows him sitting on a log as a young man, studying a textbook. The
teachers' union is angry at the mint for advertising that you can get a
better education without them." -- Humorist Argus Hamilton
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Party Protesters Call for Change
Candace Page, the Burlington Free Press, July 5, 2009
Tea Party was one of six rallies held around Vermont on Independence Day
and one of many held around the country. The national Tea Party movement
was launched earlier this year to protest what organizers called "out-of-control
spending at all levels of government."
St. Albans, at least, those who gathered had a much broader agenda, voicing
opposition not just to taxes and higher spending but to the climate
change bill before Congress, gay marriage and the erosion of traditional
there was a central sentiment in the room it was that participants feel
their ideas, their political convictions, their world view is ignored by
the people elected to represent them.
Funeral For The Messenger
the Caledonia Record, June 30, 2009
factual evidence that educational choice works has emerged from the education
world. A recent study by McKinsey & Co., a highly reputable management
consulting firm, revealed some startling facts about school choice. McKinsey
discovered that the achievement gaps in American public schools are not
limited to poor children in impoverished neighborhoods, but are common
to most students in most public schools.
Tax Rates Actually Matter!
Vermont Tiger, July 06, 2009
than a decade ago, I had lunch in Seattle with a veteran investment banker.
I got an incredible number of gems of wisdom out of that hour - but one
of the best was, "Make sure that you’re supporting a business - not a lifestyle."
That was stated as advice for investors when looking at potential business-building
investments; however, in reality that advice applies more widely.
disconnected mandarins in Washington DC and the various state capitols
think that they can ignore these inter-jurisdictional tax competition issues
because the numbers simply can’t possibly matter…. then they are basically
insisting that commerce exists to support lifestyles (especially theirs).
And Tim Horton’s sensible and responsible fiduciary decision will be just
Wind Fails in Vermont
Stanley Shapiro, Rutland Herald, July 5, 2009
big wind came to my town, I was caught by surprise. Tinmouth held a meeting
in April after someone stumbled on a Web site for a proposal called Vermont
Community Wind Farm (VCWF). ...
the discovery of the project, VCWF owner Per White-Hansen and his public
relations representative, Jeffrey Wennberg have presented their project
and answered questions to Select Boards in Tinmouth, Ira, Poultney, West
Rutland, Clarendon, Middletown Springs and the Regional Planning Commission.
more I learn, the more opposed I have become to the business of big wind.
Vermont Tiger, July 02, 2009
and being overweight, can lead to many costly medical complications and
that's one reason health care costs are rising. Health care reform
legislation is going to have a difficult time accomplishing the goal of
limiting the increase in health care costs if a lot of those costs are
due to choices we make.
Many Taxes to Make Move
Cort Jones, Mendon, Rutland Herald, July 5, 2009
the cost of permitting and the high tax burdens, why would anyone want
to move here? The risks are too great and the rewards too small.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Leaders Defy Ayatollah on Iran Election
By Michael Slackman and
Nazila Fathi, New York Times, July 4, 2009
An important group of religious
leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential
election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance
against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major
split in the country’s clerical establishment.
House Silent as North Korea Launches Missiles on U.S. Independence Day
From FOXNews.com July 04,
The Obama White House has
made clear in the past its impatience with North Korea for the communist
country's provocative rhetoric and displays of firepower, but so far Saturday,
the administration -- possibly by design -- has remained silent on Korea's
latest missile barrage.
North Korea launched seven
mid-range missiles off its eastern coast, presumably timed to coincide
with the United States' Independence Day. It was a show of firepower that
echoed a North Korea's missile launch three years ago that also fell on
the Fourth of July holiday.
can they do except kill people?': Poll shows Pakistanis have turned against
Taliban, Al Qaeda
From the Associated Press,
July 1st 2009
More than 80% of Pakistanis
view the Taliban and Al Qaeda as a critical
threat to the country, according to an opinion poll released Wednesday,
marking a turn in public opinion that stands to bolster the army's ongoing
offensive against militants close to the Afghan border.
War Fighting Became Law Enforcement
Obama Goes to Court,
Part III: 9/11 and the McCain Amendment.
By Andrew C. McCarthy, National
Review, June 17, 2009
I of this article, Andrew C. McCarthy showed how Miranda warnings
grew from a procedural safeguard into an inviolable constitutional right.
II, he explained how judges and the Justice Department expanded
this right to the point where it applied to terrorists captured abroad.
Here, in the final part, he describes how the odd couple of John McCain
and Barack Obama have put the nation in great danger by turning the War
on Terror into something resembling a police investigation.
Linked to International Terror; Media Snoozes
From Pajamas Media, July
Ever since the failure to
find WMDs in Iraq, the American public and the media have demanded a nearly
unreachable standard of proof before indicting a foreign government. When
someone calls Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, proof that they are "linked"
to al-Qaeda is demanded. Once al-Qaeda’s refuge
in Iran is offered as a counterpoint, proof that the regime knows of their
presence and that the group isn’t merely working with "rogue elements"
of the government, but the government as a whole, is required. Then, inevitably,
the topic is diverted to Afghanistan and Pakistan, arguing that whatever
base of support the group has in Iran pales in comparison to those theaters,
and besides, the Shiite Iranian government would never want to risk
Western retaliation by being so dumb as to support its Sunni arch-nemesis
In the world of intelligence,
it is extremely rare to come by the "smoking gun" now commonly requested.
Luckily, several such smoking guns have emerged, but now we encounter a
new problem — the fact that the media won’t report on them.
Kabul to Baghdad -- and Back
By Tony Blankley, Town Hall,
July 1 2009
This week, American troops
start leaving Iraqi cities in compliance with both former President George
W. Bush's negotiated start date for withdrawal and President Barack Obama's
campaign pledge. Given Bush's profound commitment to succeed in Iraq, if
he were still in office and if he judged such a scheduled removal of troops
to be dangerous, he doubtlessly would have postponed the action -- just
as he changed his strategy and ordered the surge against the advice of
most of his government and most of Washington in 2007.
Yet it was that surge and
the changed strategy designed and led by Gen. David Petraeus that left
Iraq at noon Jan. 20 largely peaceful and on a steady march to a stable,
friendly, representative government.
# # #
Paradox of Liberty
Kevin E. Schmiesing Ph.D., Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, July
is a paradox at the heart of liberty, a tension between our desiring what
is good and our willingness to sacrifice true happiness for fleeting satisfaction.
"Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom," abolitionist Wendell Phillips
said. Lord Acton echoed the idea, calling liberty, "the delicate fruit
of a mature civilization." ...
the temptation to trade liberty for other apparent goods is ever-present.
Radical equality appears as a desirable goal; lurking behind the veil is
power for a few and lowered status for the rest. Financial security without
personal cost similarly appeals; but it too will be revealed in time to
be illusory, material prosperity finally failing along with the freedom
Inhofe Calls for Inquiry Into 'Suppressed' Climate Change Report
Judson Berger, FOXNews.com, June 29, 2009
are raising questions about why the EPA apparently dismissed an analyst's
report questioning the science behind global warming.
Jack O'Connor, Open Market, July 01, 2009
ink has been spilled over the claim that the US is "falling behind" in
broadband. Most of that rhetoric centers around a single statistic: the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranks the
US 15th in the world in broadband connections per capita. The accuracy
of that ranking has been criticized
(as have other
measures of our alleged lag), but today we’re going to play ball.
Suppose the United States is 15th. So what?
Do People Trust The Internet More?
John Zogby, Forbes.com, June 16, 2009
results come from two Zogby Interactive surveys taken in the past month,
one in conjunction with 463 Communications and the other a Zogby project.
One question produced a particularly curious result. We asked which of
the four primary information sources was most reliable. The Internet was
way out front with 37%, with the others closely bunched as follows: television
17%, newspapers 16% and radio 13%. ...
may be the answer as to why people see the Internet as a more reliable
source. The Internet allows people to seek information from thousands of
blogs, aggregators and social networks, and to migrate to those that share
their point of view. The information received may originate from the same
old media, but it is wrapped in designer packaging that matches personal
tastes and ideologies.
Bruce Walker, American Thinker, July 01, 2009
is not the soft, fluffy feelings about Obama that really matter.
It is the intense feelings about him. Obama began his presidency
with a lot of very enthusiastic support. About forty-five percent
of Americans "strongly approved" of the job he was doing, while an anemic
fifteen percent of Americans "strongly disapproved" of the job he was doing.
In a couple of months, that gap between the "strongly approve" and "strongly
disapprove" closed to a gap of between eight and ten points. The
number who strongly approved glided down into the high thirties, while
the number who strongly disapproved just about doubled, into the low thirties.
Thomas: Not Even Nixon Tried to Control the Media Like Obama
Penny Starr and Fred Lucas, CNS News, July 01, 2009
a testy exchange during Wednesday’s briefing with White House Press Secretary
Robert Gibbs, veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas told CNSNews.com
that not even Richard Nixon tried to control the press the way President
Obama is trying to control the press.
Union Promotion: An Enemy of Education Reform gets Kicked Upstairs
the Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2009
Weingarten has been elevated to president of the national American Federation
of Teachers from head of its New York City affiliate, and she had some
notable parting words: "One of the most rewarding (and exhausting) things
about working in public education in New York City is that it is the best
laboratory in the world for trying new things." Well, it could be,
if it weren't for Ms. Weingarten's union. Since taking over in 1998, she
has done everything she could to block significant reforms to New York's
the Times: There’s Nothing Cool About Obama
Mark Steyn, National Review Online, July 4, 2009
week, the donut chain Tim Hortons, which operates on both sides of the
border but is incorporated in the state of Delaware, announced that it
was reorganizing itself as a Canadian corporation to take advantage of
Canadian tax rates. “To take advantage of Canadian tax rates”? What kind
of cockamamie phrase is that? And who’d have thought any columnist south
of the border would ever have cause to type it?
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