North Archives - August 18, 2009
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"Road to Serfdom" Becomes a Super Highway
By Robert Maynard
The concern expressed by
the "tea baggers" is not merely over the health care bill, but the sudden
acceleration in a general move toward centralized and expansive government.
In raising this concern, they are echoing the concerns of Nobel Prize winning
economist Friedrich Von Hayek. Hayek expressed this concern in a 1944 book
entitled "The Road to Serfdom". The book points out that the road to serfdom
is paved by centralized planning, which dismantles the free market and
ends up with the destruction of personal and economic liberty. The central
theme of his book is that all forms of collectivism tend toward tyranny.
He used the examples of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany as nations that
have already traversed the road to serfdom and arrived at tyranny. His
concern was that the welfare state societies of the West were heading down
the same path of political centralization and economic central planning,
but at a slower pace.
and its End
By Martin Harris
recent conclave of urban-renaissance advocates in Dayton was convened to
brainstorm alternatives to the pervasive decline which Rae calls "the end
of urbanism" which is exemplified by such 50% population-loss basket cases
as Detroit and Youngstown. One recommendation: urge the media not to call
them basket cases. Another: bring in street theatre and puppet shows to
emphasize the "creative economy". A third: level the abandoned buildings,
sell the scrap lumber and brick, and plant subsidized gardens. And a fourth,
from Daytonís Mayor: "we are developing a boutique city".
In response to this and the
national grassroots opposition to a government takeover of the healthcare
system, Sanders is calling on his people to show up and counter the "right
wing activists will show up to disrupt the public discussion," carrying
signs that say "Single-Payer, the only way." Green Mountain Daily, the
progressive/democrat blog, reports, "Of the 3 alerts I received on the
meetings, two (VPIRG, VT Workers Center/Jobs With Justice,) raised the
of possible confrontation and sounded the call for activists to show up
en masse to counter potential unruly teabagging hordes..."
This, of course, begs the
question which side is ginning up fake, "Astroturf" demonstrations to give
a false impression of support for its position. VPIRG is a gang of
professional activist/lobbyists with an annual budget of about $1 million.
Jobs With Justice (never heard of it before today) is a Washington DC based
non-profit with about $1.6 million according to its latest 990 filing.
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100 years we have gone from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to
teaching Remedial English in college." --
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Weekly News Round-Up
Care Meetings are Lively, but Civil
By Tim Johnson, Burlington
Free Press, August 16, 2009
Healthcare is a Human
Right, a labor-funded campaign, had a presence at both events and funneled
speakers to the pro-reform microphones. Many of the reform critics, by
contrast, made a point of saying they were speaking for themselves, not
for any organization.
Home the Bacon
Leahy delivers for
Vermont when it comes to earmarks.
By Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont
Press Bureau, Times Argus, August 15, 2009
Steve Ellis, vice president
of Taxpayers for Common Sense, has a less generous view.
"It's actually U.S.
taxpayer money that could be spent anywhere in the country, so essentially
we are picking winners and losers based on political muscle rather than
project merit," Ellis says.
Additionally, Ellis says, earmarks
feed a pay-to-play culture that has a corrupting influence on politics.
"We've seen time
and again that earmarks are a petri dish for corruption," Ellis says. "They
are the currency that is used as grist in the mill for pay-to-play politics."
Tax Revenues Down
Tax collections continuing
From WCAX, August 14, 2009
The new fiscal year isn't
starting any better than the old one.
New revenue figures from
the state of Vermont show tax collections continuing to decline. All of
the top revenue sources came in lower in July than they did a year ago.
of Killed Unborn Twins Speaks Out
From WCAX-TV August 12,
A Bennington mother who lost
her unborn twins in a car crash two days ago is speaking out -- about her
grief -- and about Vermont law.
Patricia Blair is recovering
at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and invited us to the hospital to
share her story. Blair hopes her twins did NOT die in vain.
By P.G. Behr, Vermont Tiger,
August 17, 2009
What happened to the Vermont
that used to have a truly "vibrant" economy, with hi-tech jobs in the machine
tool industry, leading the nation in several specialties? While we
can blame China and other low-cost competition for taking away our industry,
we must also recognize that the political climate of Vermont has changed
dramatically. Investors have shunned our state, while across the
river in New Hampshire, many new enterprises have been established.
Incomes there are significantly higher and taxes are lower.
Vermont should be a great
place to live, work and raise a family. But the good jobs needed
to provide the work element of this equation are missing. Business
investment requires a political climate providing reasonable permitting,
regulatory, tax, and employment regimes, all of which are less than ideal
in Vermont. The Grange Hill project provides an example. Whether
you are for or against it, the permitting process has taken years, and
is still not concluded. Businessmen cannot accept this kind of uncertainty.
Our politicians have their heads in the sand. Our state bird is the
Supreme Court Makes The Right Call
Caledonia Record Editorial,
August 14, 2009
It's a rare occurrence that
the Vermont Supreme Court gives us a decision worth cheering, but justices
recently made a ruling with which we agree strongly. The court ruled in
favor of Central Vermont Public Service Corp. by overturning an Environmental
Court ruling that required the utility to go through another permit hearing
before running a power line to a new customer across a property already
covered by an Act 250 permit. This ruling relieves the utility from costly
and time consuming delays in seeking the additional permit.
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Global War on Terrorism
ĎPetro Jihadí Behind Western Abandoning of Iranís Uprising?
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family
Security Matters, August 12 2009
What are the strategic reasons
behind Western reluctance to support Iran's opposition? One theory is that
there are immense Oil interests in partnership with the region's Jihadist
regimes obstructing the advance of democracy in the region. The reluctance
by the Obama
Administration and other European Governments
to extend their hand of support to Iran's civil society during the June
uprising can be explained through the pressures applied by interest groups,
including Oil producing regimes
not to "meddle" in Iran's affairs and let go of the democratic movement.
Communism, and Catholicism in Vietnam
By Samuel Gregg D.Phil.,
Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, August 12, 2009
It would be nice if this
were all history, but if we ever needed proof that Communist regimes donít
change their stripes, one need only look at the little-reported but growing
confrontation between the Catholic Church in Vietnam and Vietnamís Communist
There are about 6 million
Catholics in Vietnam today (about 8 percent of the population). They are
the biggest religious minority in a nation which has been ruled in its
entirety by a Communist government since 1975. Like all Communist regimes,
Vietnam had its "re-education" camps. The regime has also long harassed
the Catholic Church. There is no greater symbol of this than the late Cardinal
François-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, widely regarded as a modern saint.
Before exiling him, the regime imprisoned him for 13 years, nine of which
were spent in solitary confinement.
By Oliver North, Creators.com,
August 14 2009
It's a mission that makes
sense. The Taliban insurgency depends on financing provided by opium, Afghanistan's
No. 1 export commodity. Most of the "ratlines" for precursor chemicals
and delivery of processed heroin and morphine flow across the porous border
between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Because Islamabad finally has decided
to crack down on the Taliban in Pakistan's federally administered tribal
areas and its northwestern provinces, there is a greater chance for success
now than at any time since 2001.
That doesn't mean accomplishing
this mission is going to be easy. One U.S. commander told me, "Our greatest
operational challenge is logistics" to support the offensives. That's something
that hasn't changed in the 11 months since I was there. As I reported then,
"Afghanistan, with only one paved highway, too few airbases and insufficient
air assets, is the most difficult country to move men and materiel that
I have ever seen." Apparently, it still is.
Finally, there is the difficult
task of winning the "hearts and minds" of the tribal people who live in
the shadow of the Hindu Kush. Achieving that goal requires more than allied
courage, tenacity and perseverance; it necessitates recruiting, training
and equipping another 100,000 Afghan police and soldiers, who will become
responsible for the fate of their own country.
When that happens, we will
know we have won. If it doesn't, the headline will read, "Taliban Win."
Reset Button: Pressing Ukraine
By Ken Blackwell, August
It's really amazing how soon
the Obama administration's chickens are coming home to roost. They made
a big deal out of finding a "reset" button for U.S.-Russia relations. They
wanted to reject what they saw as George W. Bush's truculence over the
Russian invasion of Georgia last summer. So they went out of their way
to send a message to Russia that they wanted a new beginning in their relations
Well, they've gotten it.
London's prestigious Financial Times reports that Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev has sent a tough "ultimatum" to Ukraine's leadership.
Absconds Ė Iraq Feels Abandoned by Obama
By Amir Taheri, Family Security
Matters, August 11, 2009
Where are the Americans?"
Talk to Iraqis in Baghdad
these days, and you'll likely hear the question.
Of course, everyone knows
where the Americans are physically. The 130,000 US troops
cantoned in a diminishing number of barracks outside the cities make their
presence felt on occasion. The thousands of civilian Americans who are
helping build a new Iraq are also easy to spot.
The question refers to the
United States' fast-fading political profile.
Those who deem Iraq as the
biggest US foreign-policy success in decades are baffled by Washington's
determined efforts to deny that reality -- indeed, whenever possible, to
try to undermine it.
From Investor's Business
Daily, August 12, 2009
Defense: President Obama
dreams of a world without nuclear weapons. Unless testing and maintenance
of our nuclear deterrent is resumed, it will be a world without American
# # #
Bell: Obamacare Pep Rally Fact Check
From The Heritage Foundation,
August 12 2009
Any doubts that President
Barack Obamaís "townhall" in Portsmouth, New Hampshire yesterday was a
complete farce were dispelled early on when the hand picked crowd broke
out in a chant of: "Yes
we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!" at the close of his opening remarks.
Recognizing his campaignís signature slogan, the President responded: "Thank
you. I remember that." Comforted knowing he was surrounded by a room full
of die-hard supporters, President Obama then want on to make a number of
misleading and outright false statements about the health care legislation
still working itís way through Congress. Here are just seven:
Crichton Is Right!
From The Heartland Institute,
of Fear is
a devastating critique of radical environmentalism in general and global
warming alarmism in particular. When the book appeared in 2005, Crichton
was met with a barrage of attacks and distortions from leftists and radical
environmentalists. Fenton Communications--a public relations firm with
a long history of fanning public fears in order to advance liberal causes--even
launched a Web site called RealClimate.org devoted to rebutting Crichton.
That site still exists, and still pitches global warming alarmism.
But was Crichton right? In
an extensive analysis of State of Fear presented below, the president
of The Heartland Institute, Joseph
Bast, catalogues all of Crichtonís scientific claims, checks them against
peer-reviewed literature, and finds Crichtonís science was as strong as
his narrative skills. Crichton was right, and thanks to his popularity
as a novelist, millions of people around the world now know that global
warming is not a crisis.
Bet ObamaCare Won't Survive
By Lawrence Kudlow, Investor's
Business Daily, August 12, 2009
It's still tough to know
whether this behemoth government takeover of heath care will actually pass.
But two key markets are betting against it.
First, over at the Intrade
pay-to-play online-betting parlor, the bid for the U.S. government health-plan
contract is only 38 cents. That's down from 50 cents in late July. Second,
the share prices of big private health insurers have rallied in recent
UnitedHealthcare is up 13%,
Humana is up 12.4% and Aetna is up almost 10%. These firms will be decimated
if the government insurance plan passes. But investors are now predicting
Poll Shows Voters Ignoring Dem Message on Town Halls
By Rick Moran, American
Thinker, August 13, 2009
The Democrats have tried
to portray the activists who are attending congressional town halls on
health care reform as racists, Nazis, un-American, or worse. This point
has been hammered home at every opportunity and the liberals have been
assisted by a media that largely agrees with them.
But something funny happened
on the way to passing health care reform; the American people aren't buying
what the Dems are selling and instead, sympathize with the protestors.
on the Real Prize
Democrats may bet
it all on health care.
By Jim Geraghty, National
Review, August 13, 2009
If you asked House
Democrats what they most wanted to leave as their legacy in public office,
itís a good bet that a healthy number would offer a variation of "a government-managed
health-care plan that is available to every American citizen." Some would
classify it as "single payer," others would want the "public option," but
they all add up to a massive new entitlement, in which Americans depend
upon the federal government for their health care. Conservatives have dreaded
it; looking around the globe, they know that once created, these programs
are just about politically impossible to repeal.
Many congressional Democrats,
told that passage of the sweeping health-care legislation will cost them
their seats, may find the choice a harder decision than many observers
think. Yes, no one should doubt a politicianís instinct for self-preservation.
But itís quite possible that long-serving Democrats might want to enact
a sweeping social change instead of taking the safe route.
Sentiment Plummets in August
By Rick Moran, American
Thinker, August 15, 2009
This really isn't good news
as any drop in consumer confidence will slow the recovery. I think Rich
Baehr has nailed it; people are fearful of what the Obama administration
will try and change next, as well as worrying about out of control spending
and higher taxes
on the horizon.
Schools Try Public-Relations Push
Districts Facing Declines
in Enrollment Use Marketing Campaigns to Win Back Students -- and the State
Funding They Bring.
By Stephanie Simon,The
Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2009
Financially struggling urban
districts are trying to win back students fleeing to charter schools, private
schools and suburban districts that offer open enrollment. Administrators
say they are working hard to improve academics -- but it can't hurt to
burnish their image as well.
So they are recording radio
ads, filming TV infomercials and buying address lists for direct-mail campaigns.
Other efforts, by both districts and individual schools, call for catering
Mexican dinners for potential students, making sales pitches at churches
and hiring branding experts to redesign logos.
Programs Get a Pass
By Kathleen Parker, August
A comparison of how the media
have treated the two presidents and their faith-based programs during the
first six months of their administrations (2001 and 2009) is the subject
of a new
study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism
and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The findings suggest a
very different standard applied to each president.
the Right Protests, It Must Be Wrong
After 8 years of Nazi
images and loony left protests, now the media oppose dissent.
By Dan Gainor, Business
& Media Institute, August 12, 2009
For eight years in America,
protest was in and all the cool kids did it. We had flamboyantly dressed
Code Pinkers demonstrating at conventions and in sessions of Congress,
calling Marine recruiters "traitors" .... And anti-war lefty Cindy Sheehan
got so much news coverage from the major networks and top newspapers that
they practically had to create a bureau to handle her antics. ...
That all happened before
January 20, when the left, along with their supporters in the news media,
decided protest and dissent were suddenly unpatriotic.
The left boycotts
a progressive retailer.
From The Wall Street Journal,
August 17, 2009
August is the slowest month
for political bloggers, so to chase away the summer doldrums, several on
the left have decided to gin up a retail boycott. The object of their wrath:
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's op-ed in these pages last week, presenting
alternative ideas for health-care reform.
Perish the thought. The response
to the piece on liberal Web sites has been frothy, with bloggers lining
up to reproach Mr. Mackey for his transgression against progressive orthodoxy.
A post on the Web site DailyKos called Mr. Mackey a "right-wing zealot,"
and his opinions "asinine."
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