North Archives - August 11, 2009
| Editorial | News & Views
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Diversity in Education
a corporate tax credit scholarship program be good for Vermont? It would
enable thousands more students to attend schools whose philosophy and values
are more in keeping with their parents’ wishes, or whose programs are tailored
to better serve the students’ needs. A scholarship of just $4,000 would
dramatically increase independent school attendance.
would provide a fiscal shot in the arm to faith-based schools – Catholic,
evangelical, and Jewish – and secular independent schools like the Waldorf
schools, Long Trail School, and Vermont Academy. David Bisson of Barre,
until recently the chair of the Vermont Catholic school board, says that
with modest scholarship assistance all of Vermont’s Catholic schools would
be completely full. As it is, many faith-based schools are struggling to
survive, and the weakest ones are consolidating or disappearing every year.
and Emanations III
nation-wide planning and zoning circles, Vermont’s predisposition against
all building permit applications identifiable as large, non-green, and/or
above all corporate, is quite well known. There are rules against (and
permit denials for) big-box stores deemed too big. Oil and gas exploration
in the Eastern Overthrust was prevented at State level in the early
80’s for the usual non-green reasons, and a motel-with-a-number-in-its-name
was prevented at the local level in the late 90’s because it was insufficiently
green, room-rate-wise. Corporate applicants ranging from Home Depot to
Staples to Starbuck’s have withdrawn after testing the p&z waters in
Give a Warm Welcome Home to Pat, Bernie & Peter...
congressional recess is upon us. Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders
and Congressman Peter Welch have returned to Vermont and are eager to hear
what you have to say about their work in Washington. How do you like the
$1.8 trillion deficit? (And the fact that it's projected to keep growing
and adding to an insurmountable debt over the next ten years?).# # #
popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring
it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge
will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors,
must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
James Madison, letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822, Ref: Letters and
other Writings of James Madison, vol. 3 (276).
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Policies That Work - And Won't Be Found In VT
Vermont Tiger, August 09, 2009
government is constitutionally prohibited from growing the state’s budget
faster than the growth of the state’s economy.
the VT legislature's efforts last year to raise spending during the recession,
with a constitutional prohibition.
sales taxes cannot exceed a total of 2 cents, property tax rates cannot
go beyond certain pre-set limits, and rollback elections counter any excessive
property tax levy increases.
a Vermont where this type of restriction against excessive taxation occurs,
across the variety of tax revenue sources. Imagine, if you can.
Here are some of Texas's last legislative session (2009) highlights:
4765 raised the tax exemption threshold for the margin tax from $300,000
to $1 million in 2010 and 2011, and to $600,000 thereafter. This reform
is expected to cut the tax bills of 40,000 small businesses, according
to the Governor’s office.
Court Overturns Extension of Act 250
side with CVPS against new process
Bruce Edwards, Times Argus, August 7, 2009
Vermont Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a lower court ruling that
Central Vermont Public Service Corp. and other utilities argued would have
created an expensive and time-consuming new permit process for line extensions
and routine construction work.
Vermont Tiger, August 7, 2009
is hated by many liberals because it has not invested in some of their
favorite, though not necessarily valid, "green" technologies. The
liberal establishment, as exemplified by its Vermont branch, hates any
scrutiny of its current causes, no matter how lacking they may be in practical
value. Exxon believes in transparency, which everyone endorses, but
few respect. Thus, Exxon has rejected ethanol as a substitute for
crude oil, because it takes as much energy to produce it as it supplies
as a fuel. Corn-based ethanol has taken millions of acres of land
out of food production, while increasing the cost of fertilizer, food and
meat, but has hardly made a dent in our importation of oil.
Vermont a Model for Health Care?
Record Editorial August 7, 2009
thing is for sure. Property taxes in Vermont are way too high. They were
in 1990 and they are today. Similar delinquency totals 20 years apart aren't
a simple coincidence. They are the result of tax and spend politicians
dominating Montpelier for the last 20 years.
In The Paper Today?
The Freeps ‘Jumped the Shark’?
Vermont Tiger, August 07, 2009
changes to the size and placement of content just months ago and with this
week’s announcement that there were further changes--with some, according
to the executive editor, to respond to public criticism about the first
changes--then one has to wonder if the Burlington Free Press has jumped
the shark. Ironically, the most pronounced change from a few months
ago—the one that got most people talking—was the new, puny-sized, Weekly
Reader-like Monday paper; and surprisingly, little has been done to rethink
Mail Glove Over A Fist Of Jello
Record Editorial, August 06, 2009
will Vermont get serious about repeat criminal offenders? In February,
a Shelburne police officer ended up shooting a drunken driver after the
driver had, in an unsuccessful attempt to escape, twice driven his car
into the police officer, then drove away at a high speed. As it turned
out, the DUI suspect has a criminal record dating from 1979, including
three convictions for assaults on police officers and four drunken driving
Vermonters Still Proud to be Americans?
Jim Goff, Burlington Free Press, August 9, 2009
many of them are, but the pervasive attitude here seems to be a grievance
mentality that indicts America at every opportunity. It's a mentality that
cheers President Obama as he travels the world apologizing for America.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Creeping Homegrown Threat
Steve Emerson, The Daily Beast, August, 2009
arrest of seven North Carolinians on conspiracy charges shows, says Steve
Emerson, how the U.S. is becoming like Europe, where homegrown terror plots
get stopped—or not—seemingly every week.
Yulia Latynina, Moscow Times, August 5, 2009
the backdrop of an economic crisis, a gas war with Ukraine and a milk war
with Belarus, a new war with Georgia would mean the same thing for Putin’s
regime that the war in Afghanistan meant for the Soviet Union — the beginning
of the end.
Jihad ‘Down Under’?
Walid Phares, Family Security Matters, August 7, 2009
the Australian report, as with its Western cousins, fell into the trap
of the Jihadi war of ideas aiming at confusing and mitigating democracies
by taking out their main weapon against the Jihadists: to expose their
ideology and rally the counter Jihadist Muslims.
evidence to such failure in identifying the threat came few weeks later
as agencies were arresting people in their early 20s. As we saw in Georgia
in the U.S., and in Birmingham in the UK, a lexicon banning clear words
only contributes to the defeat of democracies. For such wrong analysis
is responsible for legitimizing Jihadism in the eyes of indoctrinated youth.
Naturally, if Jihadism is not exposed, Jihadi ideologues and cadrescan
operate freely and in full legitimacy to further recruit.
by banning the use of extremely important terms, these medieval-like lexicons
terminate the ability of analysts, let alone the public, to detect the
"threat." The West in general, and Australia in particular, will unfortunately
continue to experience the catastrophic effects of blurring their own vision,
as most seasoned experts in Jihadism believe the plots we have already
uncovered are only the beginning.
Shariah Must Be Opposed
Daniel Pipes, National Post, August 5, 2009
of us who argue against Shariah are sometimes asked why Islamic law poses
a problem when modern Western societies long ago accommodated Halakha,
or Jewish law. In fact, this was one of the main talking points of those
who argued that Shariah should become an accepted part of dispute
resolution in Ontario in 2005.
answer is easy: a fundamental difference separates the two. Islam is a
missionizing religion, Judaism is not. Islamists aspire to apply Islamic
law to everyone, while observant Jews seek only to live by Jewish law themselves.
David P. Goldman, First Things, August 7, 2009
Times Online today has a guest
column by one Raja Karthikeya arguing in full seriousness that war
between Iran and Pakistan is possible. He writes,
from the headlines of the mainstream media, the border between Iran and
Pakistan is heating up to epic proportions. In recent months, cross-border
raids by a Balochistan-based terrorist group, Jundullah, targeting Iranian
security personnel and civilians, has plunged bilateral relations to unprecedented
depths…Further, a repeat of the Zahedan attack inside Iran would almost
certainly bring Iran and Pakistan to the brink of war. For the Iranian
regime, which is still reeling from the post-election protests, such a
causus belli (with all its sectarian connotations) would also help consolidate
its control on the country.
I am not
an expert on the region, but Karthikeya’s argument seems very credible.
chaos is a likely outcome of the across-the-board policy failure of the
Bush as well as the Obama administration. The power
vacuum left by this administration’s incompetence has worried me for
Sign – Russian Subs ‘No Threat’
Peter Brookes, Family Security Matters, August 8, 2009
Pentagon says it's not worried about a couple of Russian Akula-class attack
submarines patrolling some 200 miles off the U.S. Eastern coast – that
it raises no "red" flags at the moment.
enough – but the boats should still prompt long-term concern.
# # #
Samuel Gregg D.Phil., Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, August
someone who has labored ceaselessly for the priority of truth over ideology,
Benedict knows that neither international organizations nor public opinion
determine the truth about climate change and its causes. That’s a question
for science, and many reputable scientists dispute aspects of the prevailing
tenets of climate change to which some environmentalists seem religiously
most recent such example to surface is the internationally renowned Australian
geologist Professor Ian Plimer (who, incidentally, is also a fierce critic
of creationism). His Heaven
and Earth (2009) argues that climate change has little if anything
to do with man-made greenhouse gases. The book is making intellectual waves
across the globe, selling 30,000 copies in its first month.
We In America Or Amerika?
Investor's Business Daily, August 07, 2009
Debate: Democrats, bloodied over their attempt to force health care "reform"
on Americans, are looking more unreasonable and hysterical by the day.
This isn't healthy for the republic.
of Handicapped Son Shouts Down Congressman.
2008/09 Housing Crisis and Lessons Learned Forgotten
American Thinker, August 06, 2009
there are many variables that led to the economic crisis that we are still
mired in, had the government not acted to artificially increase housing
demand through the Community Reinvestment Act, the crisis would not have
been nearly as deep.
all things, and especially government intervention into the free market,
we must remember the law of unintended consequences. There
can be no doubt that the "Cash for Clunkers" program is artificially increasing
demand, which will in turn cause the auto manufactures to increase output.
Certainly these manufacturers are not good at predicting consumer demand
(as we've seen this year) and will stall. As before, the government
will ignore the lessons of the past and plant the seeds for another future
The Stimulus Have To Do With It?
Investor's Business Daily, August 07, 2009
July's drop in the jobless rate sent a flutter of optimism through the
financial markets that the economy is starting to recover. But don't let
the politicians fool you into thinking they had a role in the improvement.
Great American Debt
are committing national suicide by debt addiction, as the Chinese rake
in our IOUs.
Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, August 5, 2009
our national debt at $11 trillion and climbing at a projected rate of $1
to $2 trillion a year, examine the brilliant manner in which Americans
justify borrowing much of this money from abroad, particularly from the
price and the $700B bailout
Obama Resistance Grows
Lee Cary, American Thinker, August 5 2009
uncoordinated, passionate -- citizen resistance to Obama socialism grows
by the day.
is no stranger to resistance. The nation was born from citizen resistance
that had mixed support among the colonists. About one in five was loyal
to the King. Some of the bitterest fighting in the American Revolution
was between Loyalists and Patriots. And all of it was between Americans
in the Civil War. We know how to resist.
alternative to California’s tax and spend model.
Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2009
the legislature in Arizona will vote on a tax reform designed to entice
more employers and high-income taxpayers to the state. Sponsored by Republican
Governor Jan Brewer, the plan would cut state property taxes, the corporate
tax and personal income taxes, in exchange for a temporary rise in the
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