North Archives - July 17, 2007
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Statehouse Polar Bear Pageant
by John McClaughry
Menace of Global Warming, like a bad B movie, isn't about science or truth.
It's about generating enough public hysteria to justify putting governments
in charge of taxing and rationing all human energy use and thus controlling
the world's economy.
Some gullible Vermonters
will fall for VPIRG's image of the cuddly polar bear, and keep on
clamoring for Sen. Shumlin's legislation. Hopefully, a majority will soon
come to recognize this scam for what it is.
Failure of Vermont Conservatism
By Nathan West
To indict "moderate" or "liberal"
Republicans or to cite the seemingly insurmountable success of progressive
Vermont elements ignores the central fact that the failure of conservatism
is, to put it plainly, the result of a lost opportunity stemming
from a lack of historical consciousness, a historical consciousness that
other conservative activists, thinkers, and leaders have tapped into.
The reason for this is that the conservative movement in Vermont has ignored
the historical model of the national conservative movement, an error that
has caused cultural and political failures, something most glaringly apparent
in the aftermath of the 2000 legislative election.
Stopped, For Now Anyway…
By Mark Shepard
if they really thought carbon emissions were the source of global warming,
they would not enact a new tax on energy that emits no carbon.
Levying more taxes, creating
more government, increasing the cost of energy generation from Vermont's
most stable source of carbon-free energy, and undermining the business
environment by reneging on previous agreements continues the trend toward
making Vermont too expensive for working people to live. Here was H.520
in a nutshell: Vermonters give up more earnings to taxes and energy, while
our better paying jobs go elsewhere, forcing people to work multiple jobs.
Terrorism vs. Global Warming
By Robert Skinner
Allison Graham has just written
a new book entitled "Nuclear Terrorism: the Ultimate Preventable
Catastrophe." In the book, Allison warns of
Bin Ladin's energetic efforts to acquire nuclear weapons and the likelihood
that he will order them detonated on US soil. He describes a nuclear terror
scenario where Al Qaeda ships in a nuclear weapon(s) into an American
port(s) - say Boston, New York, or Los Angeles - and the rest will be a
horrific history for America and mankind. Allison believes this is the
prime issue Americans need to be focused upon. One must ask if the Democrats
should be attempting to shift the American attention onto Global Warming.
Al Gore recently said in an NBC interview that his prime goal is to make
Global Warming the most important issue for the 2008 Presidential elections.
I'm certain, Graham Allison, the dean of the JFK school of Government,
# # #
"I can't vote for a tax on
one person that would surely be found unconstitutional in court," --Rep.
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
ranks Vermont 32nd for business
By David Gram, The Associated
Press, July 14, 2007
"Obviously, Forbes is a magazine
that business leaders read and follow closely. ... If they're dropping
our rating that's not a good thing for our economic future," said Kevin
Dorn, secretary of the state Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
Dorn said lawmakers needed to take to heart Gov. Jim Douglas' pleas that
they lower the state's taxes, look for ways to reduce energy costs, loosen
regulations and take other steps to make the state more business-friendly.
Sustain Governor's Veto on Energy Bill
By Terri Hallenbeck, Burlington
Free Press, July 12, 2007
Democrats came up 12 votes
short of overriding the governor's veto of an energy bill in the House
on Wednesday, then couldn't quite pull off an effort to resurrect the bulk
of the bill.
Energy Issues Remain
By Damon Brink, Burlington
Free Press, July 12, 2007
There is a bigger issue than
the funding source for H.520. There is a bigger issue than global warming.
It's called the loss of our integrity.... What a travesty. The funding
piece of this bill and the way it has been promoted is a shameless, over-reaching,
irresponsible, self-indulgent, inaccurate, harmful, neglectful, childish
move to try to force, by way of over-simplification and emotional dishonesty,
a "solution" that has nothing to do with the "problem."
Call for Government Planning
By Art Woolf, VermontTiger.com,
July 11, 2007
I'm not sure Rutland Northeast
Supervisory Union superintendent William Mathis is in the same league as
David Friedman, but he
argues that what Vermont needs is a long-term economic
plan to deal with the aging population and poor job prospects.
Year Plan, maybe? I sure hope not.
Xs, Ys and Zs of Act 60 spell: Y-O-U L-O-S-E
By Ed Shamy, Burlington
Free Press, July 8, 2007
The cash flowed, the tykes
were educated and everybody went on with the business of incurring debt
and shoveling snow. Life was simple for the working stiff. Some loose lips
leaked word of the arrangement to the Legislature, and lawmakers were predictably
outraged that Vermont citizens were being given unfettered access to their
The Forest For The Trees
Caledonia Record Editorial,
July 14, 2007
There is a lot of truth in
the old metaphor, "He/she can't see the forest for the trees," i.e. the
close-up view masks the greater reality farther away. That's exactly what
happened to Peter Shumlin and Gaye Symington and some other Democratic
leaders, in their futile effort to sell a personally favorite product to
a public whose sales resistance they did not (and do not) understand. They
mistook their enthusiasm and the support of the people who elected them
(trees) for the will of the people of Vermont (forest).
Fairness Equals Suppression Of Free Speech
Caledonia Record Editorial,
July 10, 2007
Since then, talk radio has
sprung up. It is commercial and market sensitive. It lives or dies on its
strength in attracting money-paying sponsors. And that strength comes from
the army of people who want to hear it. It has been a huge success, then
and now, for the conservative point of view, which people clearly want
to hear, not being able to hear it from the rest of the media. It has been
a huge failure, then and now, for the liberal point of view, which people
clearly are tired of. Witness the crashing and burning of Air America in
little more than one year. It was a liberal network designed to smother
Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and conservative talk radio
in general. Nobody wanted to hear it. Nobody listened to it, and its sponsors
deserted it one by one.
from the Shadows
By Oliver Olson, Vermont
Tiger, July 16th
The more interesting question
concerns the supporters of H.520 (I'm speaking of the moneyed interests,
not the grassroots supporters). Who are they, what has been their role
in the process, and what do they hope to achieve?
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
By Charles Krauthammer,
The Washington Post, July 13, 2007
Finally, after four terribly
long years, we know what works. Or what can work. A year ago, a confidential
Marine intelligence report declared Anbar
province (which comprises about a third of Iraq's
territory) lost to al-Qaeda. Now, in what the Times's John
Burns calls an "astonishing
success," the tribal sheiks have joined our side and committed large
numbers of fighters that, in concert with American and Iraqi forces, have
driven out al-Qaeda and turned its former stronghold of Ramadi
into one of most secure cities in Iraq. It began with a
U.S.-led offensive that killed or wounded more than 200 enemy fighters
and captured 600. Most important was the follow-up. Not a retreat back
to American bases but the setting up of small posts within the population
that, together with the Iraqi national and tribal forces, have brought
relative stability to Anbar.
the Iranian Opposition
by Daniel Pipes, Human
Events, July 11, 2007
These factors, combined with
the mullah's near-phobic reaction toward the MEK, suggest that the organization
presents a formidable tool for intimidating Tehran. Alas, Westerners presently
cannot work with the MEK, due to a 1997 decision by the Clinton administration,
followed five years later by the European Union, to offer a sop to the
mullahs and declare it a terrorist group, putting it officially on a par
with the likes of Al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hizbullah. A Portuguese member of
the European parliament, Paulo
Casaca, notes that "Officials on both sides of the Atlantic are on
the record as saying that the only reason why the group was put on the
U.S. terrorism list in the first place was to send a ‘goodwill gesture'
to the Iranian regime." But the MEK poses no danger to Americans or Europeans,
and has not for decades. It does pose a danger to the malign, bellicose
theocratic regime in Tehran.
Fahrad Al Amin: the Anbar Offensive & Iraq
Report: A Look at Iraq Operations»
Haditha Hero Cleared
David Allender, The
American Thinker, July 11, 2007
The Investigative Officer
in in the LCpl. Sharratt Article 32 hearing has recommended that murder
charges be dropped. This clears one of the defendants in the so-called
"Haditha massacre." One innocent man and brave soldier has been spared
further agony in this disgraceful prosecution.
Qaeda on the Run
Feasting on the movable
By Michael Yon, National
Review Online, July 11, 2007
In appearance, few might
suspect that Abu Ali would stand up to the American military. In talking
with the soft-spoken Abu Ali, his manner is similar to that of experienced
American combat leaders. He is direct and clear in his speech (through
an interpreter), and his intelligence is evident. An intelligent enemy
who knows the dangers — who is not part of an insane death-cult promising
72 virgins and eternity with God to martyrs — and yet stands his ground
against Americans over a long period, must possess great courage and annealed
strength. Even among enemies, those qualities command grudging respect.
I told one man in the back of the Stryker that after standing his ground
with the Americans and surviving this long; al Qaeda was hopeless when
Abu Ali and the 1920s shifted their martial attentions.
While we were driving in
the belly of the Stryker into Buhriz, I asked Abu Ali, "What did you do
to al Qaeda?"
Abu Ali said that on April
1, 2007, he and his people attacked al Qaeda in Buhriz for their crimes
against Islam. He also said something that many Muslims have said to me:
Al Qaeda are not Muslims. (Both Sunni and Shia have said nearly the exact
same words, at times on video.) Abu Ali said they fought hard against Al
Qaeda, and on April 10, they asked the Americans to join the attack. It
Forward in Iraq
By Kimberly Kagan, Opinion
Journal, July 11, 2007
In Washington perception
is often mistaken for reality. And as Congress prepares for a fresh debate
on Iraq, the perception many members have is that the new strategy has
already failed. This isn't an accurate reflection of what is happening
on the ground, as I saw during my visit to Iraq in May. Reports from the
field show that remarkable progress is being made. Violence in Baghdad
and Anbar Province is down dramatically, grassroots political movements
have begun in the Sunni Arab community, and American and Iraqi forces are
clearing al Qaeda fighters and Shiite militias out of long-established
bases around the country.
Qaeda Entrenched in Pakistan, U.S. Officials Say
By David Morgan, Reuters,
July 11, 2007
Al Qaeda has become entrenched
in a remote corner of Pakistan, and the United States fears a military
strike could spawn new militant activity in the country, U.S. officials
said on Wednesday.
Half of Foreign Jihadis in Iraq are Saudi
by Allahpundit, Hot
Air, July 15, 2007
They’re paying for the jihad;
they might as well help staff it too. No one in the Saudi government knows
anything about it, of course, notwithstanding the sophistication of their
security apparatus and the fact that mass-casualty attacks inside Iraq
coincidentally serve the Saudi end of delegitimizing the Iranian-friendly
# # #
Term Fiscal Burdens Continue to Pile Up
by Mike Franc, Human Events
Online, July 13, 2007
"The most serious threat
to the United States," U.S. Comptroller General David Walker has warned,
"is not someone hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan but our own
fiscal irresponsibility." Walker, the federal government's chief auditor,
has been traveling across the country like a modern Paul Revere encouraging
ordinary Americans to focus on the long-term fiscal threat we face.
Liquor's Economic Hangover Just Beginning
By Dr. Henry I. Miller,
TCS Daily, July 11, 2007
From pre-school to planning
funerals, green is in. Very in. But green policies and decisions need to
be based on more than a vague desire to save the planet. The principles
of the natural sciences and economics must play an essential role -- a
part of policy-making that often eludes politicians. The latest examples
are the federal government's efforts to reduce the United States' dependence
on imported oil (now more than 60 percent) by shifting a big share of the
nation's largest crop, corn, to the production of ethanol for fueling automobiles.
Good goal, bad policy. In fact, in the short- and medium-term, ethanol
can do little to reduce the vast amount of oil that is imported, and the
ethanol policy will have widespread and profound ripple effects on other
commodity markets. Corn farmers and ethanol refiners are ecstatic about
the ethanol boom, of course, and are enjoying the windfall of artificially
enhanced demand. But it is already proving to be an expensive and dangerous
experiment for the rest of us.
the US No Place to Do Business?
The American Thinker, July
Samizdata makes the
not unreasonable case
that the penchant for criminalizing business decisions is making the US
an unfavorable venue for publicly held companies:
Culture War of Words
By Michael Reagan, Human
Events Online, July 13, 2007
America is facing an army
of foul-mouthed, tattooed guttersnipes who have the gall to proclaim they
want to save the planet by putting on performances laced with some of the
foulest language ever heard from a stage.
Global Flat tax Revolution
Cato Institute Policy Report
In the early 1990s, Rep.
Dick Armey (RTX) proposed a flat tax. He would have junked the Internal
Revenue Code and replaced it with a system designed to raise revenue in
a much less destructive fashion. The core principles were to tax income
at one low rate, to eliminate double taxation of saving and investment,
and to wipe out the special preferences, credits, exemptions, deductions,
and other loopholes that caused complexity, distortions, and corruption.
The flat tax never made it through Congress, but it's been adopted by more
than a dozen other countries since 1994. It's unfortunate that the United
States is missing out on the tax reform revolution. Instead of the hundreds
of forms demanded by the current tax system, the Armey flat tax would have
required just two postcards. Households would have used the individual
postcard to pay a 17 percent tax on wages, salary, and pensions, though
a generous family-based allowance (more than $30,000 for a family of four)
meant that there was no tax on the income needed to cover basic expenses.
the Oil Habit
By Richard Miniter, Hudson
Institute, July 12, 2007
For too long, we have been
paralyzed with fear that the Arabs would turn off the oil spigot. We feel
that the oil barons have an Achilles' heel: terrorists rely on rulers who
only have one source of wealth and power—oil. Minus oil, the total value
of the non-petroleum exports of the 22 members of the Arab League plus
Iran is less than the exports of Finland. Without oil, the main exports
of the Near East would be carpets, dates and honey. How can we get there?
Let's start with transportation. The U.S. Air Force gulps down 70% of all
oil consumed by the American government, mostly jet fuel. (Those who argue
that Iraq is a war for oil have it backwards: we use more oil fighting
in Iraq than we could ever hope to import from it.)
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