North Archives - July 14, 2009
| Editorial | News & Views
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Scheme of the Century Passes U.S. House
closer you look at the enormous Waxman-Markey energy tax bill that passed
the U.S. House on June 26, the more you come to realize what it requires
you to believe, the more you realize what drastic changes it promises to
impose upon America, and the more you grasp what it will cost Americans
in higher prices, a crippled economy, and lost jobs, the more you - a normal
person - will conclude that this is crazy, costly, and dangerous.
Dissonance (Not) Part II
in the non-economic world, holding two conflicting ideas simultaneously
receives the shrink-speak label of "cognitive dissonance", and the dictionary
definitions typically mention the discomfort, anxiety, or mental
tension in the mind of the holder. But what about those who hold such conflicting
notions simultaneously with no apparent discomfort at all? Last week in
this space I took note of the gentry-left exurbanites who are "into" (a
little post-modern neologism, there) both smart-growth, an urban-development
pattern which looks upon traditional lawns and gardens as land-wasteful
sprawl-causes, and grow-it-yourself, which of course requires lot square
footage beyond the building footprint which is needed for veggies or poultry-grazing
or both. They see no conflict between the two notions and give no
indication of discomfort with them. And what about those in governance
who, equally glibly, espouse concepts they more frequently oppose?
of telephone surveys gauging voter's opinions about how some legislators
voted on key issues is causing Democrats to scramble. The great frustration
shared by Republicans and a majority of independents is the way Democrats
tend to campaign as moderate, center-right candidates who are pro-jobs
and anti-taxes. Then they get elected, and vote like far-left ideologues.
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do not need more laws, we need more liberty. We need to protect freedom
of choice. We need to protect the freedom of the farmer to sell and the
freedom of the consumer to purchase anything they jolly well want without
the encroachment of harassing, capricious, asinine government regulations.
If we don’t preserve that liberty today, the only thing our children and
our children’s children will be able to have and eat is irradiated, amalgamated,
extruded, reconstituted, chlorinated, genetically prostituted, ADM fecal
soup. I am convinced that the freedom to eat our choice of foods will be
one of the showdowns of tomorrow." — Joel Salatin
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Weekly News Round-Up
Economic Competitiveness Ranks 49th in Nation
VermontBiz.com, July 8, 2009
to a new study from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Vermont’s
economic outlook now ranks 49th out of 50 states. The second edition of
Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index
offers a roadmap for economic recovery based on state policies that have
a proven impact on growth. High personal income taxes, high property taxes,
along with some of the highest labor costs in America all hurt Vermont’s
economic outlook. On the positive side, the study gives good marks to Vermont
for a relatively low sales tax burden and a quality legal system.
Again, The Party Line Instead Of Common Sense
the Caledonia Record, July, 6 2009
lone congressman, Peter Welch, on June 26 voted the Democrat Party line
instead of his own common sense. He voted for the cap and trade bill that
will send electricity rates throughout the United States through the roof
over the next 10 years. Put simply, cap and trade is a law designed to
cut the United States' carbon dioxide emissions substantially by putting
a steep price on amounts of carbon emission pollutants that industry, primarily
coal-fired power plants, use above an allowed amount. That allowance will
be so low that no coal-fired anything will escape without a ruinous fee
for their fuel, and that fee will be passed on to ratepayers.
Vermont Tiger, July 10, 2009
how Angelo Dorta, on retiring as head of Vermont's teacher's union, crowed
about having "exposed" Vermont Tiger and the Ethan Allen Institute?
It was, of course, just the usual sort of posturing and hyperbole we have
all come to expect from public sector plutocrats who need to distract the
taxpayers while picking their pockets.
Leahy's Two Faces
the Caledonia Record Editorial, July 7, 2009
his first remarks about Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court,
U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee which
will pass on the nomination, caused even the most cynical politicos in
Washington to laugh in derision. Leahy rushed the schedule of hearings
in order for Sotomayor to respond to "unbelievable attacks" [Leahy's own
words] by Republican critics.
unbelievable is Senator Leahy keeping a straight face when he is, and has
been, one of the most ruthless, mad attack dog Democrats in Washington
with every federal court nominee of every Republican nominee for decades.
He savaged and spewed venom all over federal judge nominations and blocked
most of them from even being voted upon. He was at his best against Clarence
Thomas and Robert Bork. In fact, he and his liberal cohorts were so merciless
to Bork that Bork's name became a verb for character assassination. ("They
really Borked him.")
Sound of Silence: Why is the Press Ignoring what the Democratic Judiciary
Melanie Kirkpatrick, Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2003
let's review. The memos --from 2001-02 when the Democrats controlled Judiciary
under the chairmanship of Sen. Patrick Leahy-- show the senators took their
marching orders from People for the American Way, the Alliance for Justice,
NARAL Pro-Choice America and the NAACP. No surprise here, as anyone who's
been following the course of Mr. Bush's stalled nominees knows full well.
But the extent of the groups' micromanagement is eye-popping and exposes
the opposition to Mr. Bush's judicial picks for what it really is: political
maneuvering, not principled differences of opinion. Exerpts
from the memos here.
Vermont Tiger, July 08, 2009
sometimes seems that the only growth industry in Vermont is the production
of studies. We have studied everything and then, we study the studies
and conclude that what is needed is more study. The most recent
these undertakings is an unprecedented statewide conversation on the
values, visions and practical priorities of Vermonters as they look to
the challenges ahead.
And what have we learned from this "conversation?'
Need For Grant Transparency
the Caledonia Record Editorial, July 8, 2009
day there are news reports about half a dozen grants being given to companies
and agencies, some from the feds and some from the state. They come from
dozens of different agencies and interests with obscure names. How the
heck are we to keep score when the grants are all masked by source names
that are no help.
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Global War on Terrorism
U.S. Military Advantages Disappearing
Defense adviser says
new threats challenge dominance that the U.S. has taken for granted.
By Geoff Ziezulewicz, Stars
and Stripes, July 13, 2009
American military dominance
is eroding in the face of an ascendant Chinese power, hostile states like
Iran and the spread of sophisticated weapons and technology to militant
groups, and the Pentagon must reassess its long-term strategy, according
to a top defense analyst recently appointed to review Defense Department
for Attack on Iran Almost Complete
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D., Global
Politician, July 10, 2009
On January 20, 2009, I appeared
as a guest in the most popular political affairs program in Macedonia ("Glasot
na Narodot", or The Voice of the People). I warned that Israel is willing
to wait 6 to 8 months for Obama's "diplomacy" with regards to Iran's nuclear
capability to show some progress. If Iran remains recalcitrant, Israel
plans to bomb two facilities in Iran as it did in Iraq in 1981, I said.
Refueling won't be a problem, I assured the program's host, Slobodan Tomic:
both Egypt and Saudi-Arabia offered to help.??
Israel has decided to go
ahead. Taking into account political, geopolitical, military preparedness,
and climatic conditions, there are two windows: between July 21 and 24
and between August 6 and 8. Advance teams comprised of Mossad agents and
military personnel are already on the ground in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and
Iraq (including in the Kurdish lands, adjacent to Turkey).
Success Will Depend on Next U.S. Strategy
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family
Security Matters, July 10 2009
Today, we see the first phase
of withdrawal beginning to take place. It is in this redeployment stage,
where Iraqi forces will be taking over from Americans and allies in all
cities and most towns. Two crucial questions arise immediately: Will Iraqi
forces be able to control their own urban zones? And as a corollary, what
should be the next phase for U.S. and Coalition forces on Iraqi soil?
According to the plan I have
suggested, the answer to the second question can determine the success
or failure of the first. Indeed, for Iraqi forces to win the battle against
their security challenges, it will depend on what kind of strategic mission
U.S. armed forces will be tasked with in the next stage of their new deployment.
Here is why:
Could Build Bomb within a Year'
Keinon, Jerusalem Post, July 9, 2009
Both the US and Israel believe
Iran has the technical capacity to build one nuclear bomb within a year
if it decides to do so, but both countries also believe the chances that
Teheran will indeed make that decision are slim, according to assessments
made known to The Jerusalem Post.
U.S. Climate Bill Will Help Bring About 'Global Governance'
By Marc Morano, Climate
Depot, July 10, 2009
Former Vice President Al
Gore declared that the Congressional climate bill will help bring about
"I bring you good news from
the U.S., "Gore said on July 7, 2009 in Oxford at the Smith School World
Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, sponsored by UK Times.
Fog Is Not Lifting: New DVD Whitewashes Islamism
By Sid Shahid, Pajamas Media,
July 5, 2009
Last year, Islamist anger
over the mass
distribution of the DVD Obsession:
Radical Islam's War Against the West was quite predictable.
As is their modus operandi, the Islamist cry focused on victimology and
attacking the messenger, while avoiding any real debate over the message
of the DVD itself. ...
But that wasn't enough for
Islamists. Some are now fighting back with their own DVD, entitled The
Fog Is Lifting (Part 1): Islam in Brief, produced by
an Egyptian nonprofit group, the Bridges
Foundation. Some 20,000 copies of the DVD were
distributed to three zip codes within Wake County, North
Carolina. Bundled in an issue of the News and Observer, the DVD
aims to "repair the image of Islam" and is allegedly designed to counteract
the Obsession DVD distributed in the same paper in September of
last year. While marketed to "explain" Islamic precepts and theology, it
does so from only a single point of view. Islamist apologist Omid
Safi, a professor of religion at UNC-Chapel Hill, described
the DVD as follows:
It's a full-throated defense
of the tradition in which Islam is presented as the perfect egalitarian,
scientific, pluralistic, modern religion that doesn't have the flaws of
all the other religions. … It remains to be seen if it will be seen as
preaching to the choir, or if it will succeed in persuading people outside
the Muslim community.
intelligence report shows how effective drone attacks are.
the Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2009
each of the strikes in 2009 that are described by the intelligence summary,
the report says no women or children were killed.... And an April 19 strike
on a compound in South Waziristan did destroy a truck loaded with what
the report estimates were more explosives than the truck that took out
Islamabad's Marriott Hotel last September. That Islamabad attack killed
54 people and injured more than 260 others, mostly Pakistan civilians but
Sunday Morning Airs Indictment of Media from Aunt of Soldier Killed in
Brent Baker, Media Research Center, July 13, 2009
little boy, all grown up, died today. Someone's little girl found out today
that Daddy is never coming home. That news is hard to bear. When the nation
they died for barely notices, it's crushing.
# # #
in Veritate: Why Truth Matters
Samuel Gregg, D.Phil., Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, July 8,
beware. Whether you like it or not, truth matters – even in the economy.
That’s the core message of Pope Benedict XVI’s new social encyclical Caritas
2000 years, the Catholic Church has hammered home a trio of presently-unpopular
ideas into the humus of human civilization: that there is truth; that it
is not simply of the scientific variety; that it is knowable through faith
and reason; and that it is not whatever you want or "feel" it to be. Throughout
his entire life, Benedict XVI has underscored these themes, precisely because
much of the world, including many Christians, has lost sight of their importance.
Palin on why she resigned and what it means for her future.
Matthew Continetti, Weekly Standard, July 20, 2009
her career, Palin has seemed most "appropriate" at moments when she senses
that the populace is diverging from the political class that rules over
it. Palin exploits the split and wins office as the tribune of the people.
That is what happened when she saw that Wasillans were tired of the nonideological,
nonpartisan, unexciting mayoralty of John Stein; when she saw self-dealing
among Republican insiders in Anchorage and Juneau; when she saw that Alaskans
were tired of Frank Murkowski and the lobbyist culture he nursed and protected.
That is what she and John McCain tried to do last year, when Americans
had grown tired of George W. Bush and Republican misrule (things didn't
work out the way they'd hoped). The next time Palin sees a gap separating
the people and their government, she may try to jump in and fill it.
now, though, Palin will focus on writing her book, on the midterm elections,
and on giving speeches. One certainty is that neither she nor the people
who love and hate her are going away. "It's not retreat," Palin said. "It's
moving more aggressively than ever to fight for what's right." Today the
Palinistas and Palinphobes are as much a part of the national scene as
they have been part of Alaska's. Since her debut, Palin has sparked curiosity
and revulsion, devotion and illwill, admiration and scorn in equal measure.
For whatever reason, the press cannot take its unblinking eye off of her.
To the media and her detractors, she is a force of nature. She cannot be
Releases Global Warming Study Censored by EPA
Public Shouldn’t Be Kept in the Dark by an Agency Supposedly Committed
Richard Morrison, Competitive Enterprise Institute, June 25, 2009
Competitive Enterprise Institute is today making public an internal study
on climate science which was suppressed by the Environmental Protection
Agency. Internal EPA email messages, released by CEI earlier in the week,
indicate that the report was kept under wraps and its author silenced because
of pressure to support the Administration’s agenda of regulating carbon
is the actual EPA Climate Report that was censored: Censored
Challenges "News" Media to Report the Truth:
Conservatives Surging; Public Support for Obama Dropping Like a Rock.
the Media Research Center, July 6, 2009
media are obsessed with polling and public opinion data – unless, of course,
it goes against their narrative. The cause and effect is clear: the more
America learns about Obama’s radical agenda, the more they are galloping
in the other direction.
do we really expect the left-wing media to report this? This is the same
media who just last week failed to ask what happened to Obama’s billion-dollar
‘stimulus’ bill in reporting the highest unemployment rate since 1983.
memo to the GOP: Set a torch to that big tent of yours. People are flocking
from liberals’ failing policy and ideals."
Case for Doing Nothing
Jeffrey Miron, Real Clear Politics, July 10, 2009
fundamental problem underlying the financial crisis was government policy.
Instead of undertaking enormous new policies, we should try to fix or eliminate
bad policies and focus on efficiency rather than redistribution. Doing
nothing new and simply working with pre-existing procedures would have
been much better than anything we've done so far.
Road to Economic Demoralization
is going the wrong way.
Larry Kudlow National Review, July 10, 2009
no question that current government policies for taxes, spending, and regulation
are causing the U.S. to lose competitiveness in the global race for capital,
prosperity, and growth.
Council Wants Vouchers
would rather help poor children than unions.
the Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2009
D.C. Council's letter shows that support for these vouchers is real at
the local level and that the opposition exists mainly at the level of the
national Democratic Party. Mr. [Illinois Senator Dick] Durbin has suggested
that he included the D.C. Council provision [that phases out the D.C. Opportunity
Scholarship Program] in deference to local control. "The government of
Washington, D.C., should decide whether they want it in their school district,"
he said in March. Well now we know where D.C. stands. We will now see if
the national party stands for putting union power and money above the future
of poor children.
Union Official Admits Promoting Union Is More Important Than Improving
is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement
gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality, and the like are
unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary, these are the goals that
guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the
expense of due process, employee rights, and collective bargaining. That
simply is too high a price to pay. When all is said and done, NEA and its
affiliates must never lose sight of the fact that they are unions, and
what unions do first and foremost is represent their members." --NEA General
Counsel Bob Chanin, Farewell Address to the National Education Association's
annual Representative Assembly, 7/6/09.
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