North Archives - July 13, 2010
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North Video Extra
Is this the year of the conservative
woman? Rob Roper interviews two first time candidates for the Vermont House,
Lorene Butler and Angela Chagnon.
and Community the Foundations of a Just Social Order
By Robert Maynard
As has already been discussed,
Americans are well known around the world for our sense of Individualism.
It is this characteristic that has led us to take very seriously the issue
of individual liberty and the cause of human rights. What is less well
known is that Americans have an equally strong sense of community. This
of course is the community associated with voluntary associations, rather
than the forced collective. Historian Clarence Carson dedicated a section
on this theme in his "A Basic History of the United States". The section
was called "The Voluntary Way".
By John McClaughry
Last Saturday Vermonters
re-enacted the adoption of Vermont's remarkable Constitution of 1777. Strongly
influenced by the Pennsylvania Constitution, the handiwork of the farmers
and woodsmen assembled at the Constitution House in Windsor is today the
oldest, shortest and arguably the most liberal (in 18th Century terms)
of the fifty state constitutions.
and All That (2)
By Martin Harris
an admittedly uninventive type, educated a long time ago, I once took "black-letter"
law at face value. In planning and zoning, we were trained to write land-use
rules equally comprehensible to the regulated and the regulators, light
on unpredictable "conditional use" and heavy on such specific measures
of performance as setbacks and site-utilization percentages. In construction,
math ruled: beam strengths and wind loads had to compute. One of my first
exposures to the real world of politics, not the theoretical world of academics,
came with the floods of the 70's, which, as I described last week, revealed
a whole 'nother and then-new-to-me reality: government choosing which of
its own rules it would follow (or not). More was to follow, eventually
compiling a State-wide pattern of zoning boards awarding and denying permits
without consistent reference to the actual written by-laws, and sometimes
under direct instruction from Montpelier -think Manchester, Colchester,
St. Albans, or Randolph-or of school districts Progressively (pun intended)
reducing class size and claiming that "the State reg's made us do it".
As I saw it, the concept of the flexible "living" law seemed to start with
a previously unknown (to me, anyway) statute: 10VSA 1098.
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experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism
does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it
a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." --Pope
John Paul II
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
By Tom Licata, Vermont Tiger,
July 8, 2010
Dorothy Canfield Fisher,
writing of Vermont’s 1778 motto of "Freedom and Unity" stated:
idea grapples energetically with the basic problem of human conduct – how
to reconcile the needs of the group, of which every man or woman is a member,
with the craving for individual freedom to be what he [or she] really is."
This - my fellow Vermonters
- is what Montpelier’s policies consistently deprive us of - - as it becomes
ever-more difficult to succeed and prosper in a culture that grows increasingly
hostile to business, land-rights and ultimately to individual freedom and
It Pays To Get Fired
From the Caledonia Record,
July 10, 2010
Marion Anastasia, former
principal of the St. Johnsbury School, was fired in compliance with a condition
of the "No Child Left Behind" school transformation scheme chosen for the
St. Johnsbury School by its board. She sure is leaving with a golden parachute
- full pay and benefits in excess of $130,000. For that, she has to do
nothing; she will not work for the district in any capacity
Ruling: Discriminatory and Misguided
By Emerson Lynn, Vermont
Tiger, July 8, 2010
The belief that today’s 60-year-old
is yesterday’s 40-year-old holds no sway with Vermont’s Supreme Court.
In a 4-1 decision this week, the justices ruled Vermont state troopers
over the age of 55 should be forced to retire because they did not have
the physical and mental capacities to get the job done.
A bit discriminatory and
backward looking for such a "progressive" court?
Contractors Feel Financial Pinch
From WCAX-TV, July 9, 2010
It's construction season
in Vermont and although you may see some activity, the number of projects
are down and general contractors are feeling financial pain. They met Friday
to hear from a national expert, Kenneth Simonson of the Associated General
Contractors of America.
"While overall employment
has been rising this year, construction has continued to lose jobs," Simonson
said. "Here in Vermont it's especially severe in the last 12 months construction
dropped 15 percent of its payroll even though the national rate was about
By Art Woolf, Vermont Tiger,
July 9, 2010
The U.S. Department of Education
reports, in its Common
Core of Data for school year 2008-09 that:
Across all regular
public schools ... the overall student/teacher ratio in 2008-09 was 15.8;
the ratio ranged from 11.0 in Vermont to 27.0 in Utah (table 4).
This is the number of students for each full-time equivalent (FTE) teacher.
Being number one in this dimension
carries a high cost, as readers of Hugh Kemper's posts in Vermont Tiger
Downgrades Burlington's Credit Rating Again
From WCAX-TV, July 9, 2010
Burlington's finances took
another hit Friday. Moody's downgraded the Queen City's credit rating again.
A lower credit rating can make it more expensive for the city to finance
Moody's Investors Services
downgraded the city two notches from Aa3 to A2. Moody's is worried about
the city's finances because of Burlington Telecom and gave the city a negative
outlook, saying there is a high degree of uncertainty that Burlington will
be able to get BT on stable footing and repay $17 million to city taxpayers.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Number One in Command Captured, U.S. Marine Officer Confirms
From The Woodward Report,
July 8, 2010
The Taliban’s number one
in command, Mohammad Omar, has been apprehended in Pakistan, The Woodward
Report has learned. The information was confirmed by a Marine Officer operating
on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.
Rumors began to surface about
the arrest on Monday, when a U.S. blogger that goes under the screen name
Bred posted on his blog that the Taliban leader had been arrested sometime
in March. The authorities of the United States and Pakistan refused to
confirm the allegations.
Voice of Tehran
From Investor’s Business
Daily July 6, 2010
Axis Of Evil: Voice
of America's mission is to promote U.S. interests abroad, which includes
freedom in Iran. But VOA's Persian newscast has been hijacked by pro-Tehran
The Obama administration's
sole strategy for defanging the Ahmadinejad regime is talk and more talk.
Only, the propaganda that VOA is piping into Iran is helping the regime
— thanks to deep-seated bias in favor of Tehran by Persian editors and
producers whose salaries are paid by American taxpayers.
Anniversary of 7/7, Is America Repeating Britain’s Mistakes?
From Family Security Matters,
July 7, 2010
Today is the fifth anniversary
of the 7/7 London bombings, where four home-grown jihadists blew themselves
up on three London Transport underground trains and one double-decker bus.
The events of 7/7 were of a smaller scale
to 9/11, but they nonetheless traumatized a nation. …
The British government had
indulged Islamists without demanding that they conform to British values.
So enmeshed in their "socialist/progressive" experiment, the Labour government
under Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown appeared to downplay "Britishness",
attempting to subsume all of Britain’s inhabitants under an umbrella of
Now in America, the same
games are being played. A New York "Community Council" decides that it
would "multicultural" and "positive" to have a mosque at Ground Zero. The
US government has good relations with the Muslim Public Affairs Council
and apparently sees it as an advisory body, even though it has been linked
to the Muslim Brotherhood.
the Palestinian Authority?
By Daniel Pipes, July 6,
Arafat, the Palestine Liberation Organization notoriously
said one thing to Arab/Muslim audiences and the opposite to Israeli/Western
ones, speaking venomously to the former and in dulcet tones to the latter.
What about Arafat's mild-mannered successor, Mahmoud Abbas? Did he break
from this pattern of duplicity or continue it?
This question has renewed
relevance because reports suggest Abbas is ready to offer Israel various
compromises, plus, he took unprecedented steps in granting
an interview to Israeli journalists and meeting
with American Jewish leaders at the S. Daniel Abraham Center
for Middle East Peace.
National Security Strategy On The Right Track?
By Peter Huessy, Family
Security Matters, July 12, 2010
The Administration’s new
National Security Strategy attempts in part to rhetorically de-link diplomacy
from military power when in fact the
two are indispensably tied together. Every administration finds itself
trying to distinguish between diplomacy—good—and the use of military force—bad—as
the lexicon of our drive-by media and their political allies would have
But diplomacy without military
force is either prayer or without effect; and military force with diplomacy
is without direction. As Dr. Henry Kissinger explained in 2007, "A free
standing diplomacy is an ancient American illusion. History offers few
examples of it. The attempt to separate diplomacy and power results in
power lacking direction and diplomacy being deprived of incentives." Former
Senator Malcolm Wallop put it perhaps more succinctly: "Diplomacy without
the threat of force is but prayer", [former Senator Malcolm Wallop, farewell
Senate address, October 1994].
to Support the Struggle for Iran's Soul
Iranian Reform and
By Ilan Berman, Middle East
Does Washington care about
freedom in Iran? On the surface, it seems like a silly question. Ever since
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini swept to power in 1979, Washington policymakers
of all political stripes have been holding out hope that a kinder, gentler
regime would emerge in Tehran. Republican and Democratic administrations
alike have expressed their support for freedom within the Islamic Republic,
and both sides of the political aisle have condemned the regime's repressive
domestic practices. Yet, concrete proof of the U.S. commitment to pluralism
in Iran is hard to come by. The strategies by which the United States can
assist Iran's opposition remain poorly understood and even less effectively
implemented. This is unfortunate, since with the proper vision and political
will, the United States can harness economic, diplomatic, and informational
strategies to significantly affect the unfolding struggle for Iran's soul.
# # #
Greenhouse Protection Racket
in our nation’s capital is best explained in the lingo of Hollywood mobsters
By Marlo Lewis, Pajamas
Media, July 9, 2010
"Are you gonna come along
quietly, or do I have to let the California Air Resources Board (CARB)
muss ya up?" That was pretty much the line White House energy and environment
czar Carol Browner took to obtain the auto industry’s support for first-time-ever
greenhouse gas emission standards and new fuel economy standards, which
the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
issued in a joint
rule on April Fools’ Day.
We Don’t Need No Stinking
Through the joint rule, the
EPA now wields the power to determine
the stringency of fuel economy standards for the auto industry.
Previously — for the past three decades and more — the EPA’s role was limited
to testing automakers’ compliance with fuel economy standards. How did
the EPA go from second banana to top dog?
Founders' Vision Versus Ours
By Walter E. Williams, Human
Events, July 7, 2010
The celebration of our founders'
1776 revolt against King George III and the English Parliament is over.
Let's reflect how the founders might judge today's Americans and how today's
Americans might judge them.
Fifth Wave Of Computing
Why the next decade
of journalism will depend on engineers for survival.
By Trevor Butterworth,Forbes
If fortune in business does
not always favor the bold, misfortune seems a far more certain fate for
those in the media who fail to respond to the fifth wave of computing--the
massive ramping up of the mobile Internet and the evolution of mobile phones
into "life devices" through 3G, cloud computing, GPS and second generation
As last December's Mobile
Internet Report from Morgan
Stanley ( MS
made clear, this global, systematic transformation spurred by Apple's
game-changing iPhone in 2007 is set to create greater wealth than the previous
desktop Internet computer cycle. It will also, inevitably, destroy some
of those companies that were at the forefront of yesterday's revolution.
Kagan’s Revealing Commerce Clause Evasion
By Kevin E. Schmiesing Ph.D.,
The Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, July 7, 2010
Many Americans have a vague
sense that the United States has drifted far from its constitutional origins.
Every once in a while, something happens that prods us to recognize just
how far we’ve gone.
Such was the case last week,
during the Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. One of
the most widely circulated C-Span
video clips was Senator Tom Coburn’s insistent question as to
whether the Constitution’s commerce clause permitted Congress to pass a
hypothetical law dictating that all Americans must eat a prescribed number
of fruits and vegetables every day.
Kagan was clever enough to
understand that what Coburn was really asking was, "Is it possible to justify
the continued expansion of congressional powers—in particular recent health
care reform legislation—on the basis of the authority granted by the commerce
clause?" Kagan replied that the fruits and vegetables measure would be
"dumb" law. She didn’t dare suggest that it would be unconstitutional,
however, for she rightly recognized that she would be backing herself into
a judicial corner. How many laws might she have to strike down as Supreme
Court justice if she followed a "strict" interpretation of the Constitution?
Real: This Is Not 1932
The pouting pundits
of pessimism are misreading and overreacting to economic data once again.
By Brian S. Wesbury &
Robert Stein, Forbes Magazine, July 7, 2010
None of this is to say that
the government is not making it more difficult for business. Clearly the
uncertainty of new laws, spending, taxes and regulations is throwing a
wet blanket over the entrepreneurial side of the American economy.
But two things are true.
First, productivity is so strong that the economy is growing despite massive
increases in the size of government. The U.S. is creating jobs, even if
the rate of growth is less than previous recoveries. Profits are still
rising. In fact, analysts are still raising earnings estimates.
Second, the market has so
much negativity priced in that it is cheap on just about any basis. Based
on forward earnings, the PE ratio for the S&P
500 is under 12. And our capitalized profits model shows that
stocks are severely undervalued. Based on very conservative inputs, we
continue to believe the fair value for the Dow
Jones industrial average is 14,500.
Crisis Exposes Failures of Centralized Power
By Brian Roberts, The Tenth
Amendment Center, July 1, 2010
Obama, the great centralizer,
recently stated that he was looking for the right ass to kick. With this
now famous statement he hoped to divert public attention from the failures
of centralized power and begin to set a public mood against the oil industry
and for expanded regulation and taxation. Other recent federal actions
and statements make it painfully obvious that the federal government has
zero interest in backing any plan to clean up the gulf in a timely manner.
Climategate Whitewash Continues
By Patrick Michaels, The
Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2010
Global warming alarmists
claim vindication after last year's data manipulation scandal. Don't believe
the 'independent' reviews.
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