North Archives - August 19, 2008
| Editorial | News & Views
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Survey of the Conservative Movement in Vermont
By Nathan West
The success of the conservative
movement in Vermont has been slight. There was a momentary victory
in 2000 when the GOP took back the state house. And its most successful
political leader has been Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, a Republican who has easily
won reelection every time he has run (a rare thing for a conservative to
do in liberal Vermont). His gains, however, have not been replicated
in other races as former congressional candidates Greg Parke and Mark Shepard
can attest to (unfortunately the GOP has such a shallow bench that this
year they were unable to come up with a candidate to run against Democratic
incumbent Peter Welch).
Whether the conservative
movement can thrive in the future without being a voice in the wilderness
remains to be seen. A few organizations and blogs does not a movement
make, but it is a start.
Tale of Two Villages
By Martin Harris
far the most important is the modern-highway bypass: Jonesborough has one,
less than a half-mile out of town; Brandon doesn’t. The bypass corridor
is where large-scale retail has set up, big stores and big parking lots,
so that heavy vehicular traffic is kept out of a fairly constricted little
business district, while consumer spending and property tax revenues are
kept within the municipal jurisdiction.
Can’t Handle the Truth
By Rob Skinner
Obama is proving to be just
another sliver tongued politician with a mind that manipulates a
malleable truth for his own purposes while he misdirects our attention
from one problem that Obama judges as unsolvable to another problem he
promises he can fix. This isn't a "change" for the good Obama loves
to lament about. It's the old and the tired political shell game
used time and time against to bamboozle us. But Obama does
it with such style and charm he gets away with it - but for how long ?
As with Obama and the other political tricksters when the politics becomes
big enough, expensive enough and bold enough even Barack Obama throws the
truth under the bus. As goes the adage stated in various ways: "In high
stakes politics the truth is the first casualty of political war."
# # #
"We shall divert through
our own Country a branch of commerce which the European States have thought
worthy of the most important struggles and sacrifices, and in the event
of peace on terms which have been contemplated by some powers we shall
form to the American union a barrier against the dangerous extension of
the British Province of Canada and add to the Empire
of liberty an extensive and fertile Country thereby converting dangerous
Enemies into valuable friends." --Thomas
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Article, Wrong Headline
From VermontTiger.com, August
The Rutland Herald's Peter
out the obvious: people, especially low income people, are going
to face a tough winter, with high heating oil prices. And high gas
prices means they're paying more to travel. They are meeting that
challenge by driving less. How they'll meet the winter heating challenge
has yet to be determined. But the article's subheadline (or whatever it
is that journalists call it) is:
Class Shrinks as Economy Sours
I'll grant that the economy
is souring. But is the middle class shrinking? There's absolutely
no evidence for that in the article. I've written about the issue here
The retired couple profiled in the article appear to be a middle class
family justifiably concerned about high gas and fuel oil prices. But representative
of a shrinking middle class? Hardly.
Must Pass Jessica’s Law
Caledonia Record Editorial,
August 15, 2008
Throughout past legislative
sessions, the House Judiciary Committee has sat in the middle of the road
and killed passage of Jessica's Law. Jessica's Law is based on the 2007
kidnapping, rape, and murder of 7-year-old Jessica Lunsford of Florida.
It makes a 25-year prison sentence mandatory for aggravated sexual assault
upon a child....
Enough is enough. Vermont
must pass Jessica's law as one of the Legislature's first orders of business
next January. We have heard from a lot of decent people that such a mandatory
sentence might discourage plea bargaining and make convictions harder to
get, but the counter to that legitimate concern is its opposite, as we
were horrified to learn from the sentences levied on sexual predators by
judges Edward Cashman and David Howard. Cashman sentenced the serial rapist
of a 6-year-old girl to 60 days in jail, and Howard sentenced a man who
molested a 4-year-old boy to no jail time at all.
Surgery For Catamount?
From VermontTiger.com, August
As, for instance, Catamount
premiums which, "range between $60 and $393 a month depending on a person's
If you can find private insurance
in Vermont for those rates, please e-mail us so we can enroll. Catamount
health care insurance. And if you want to get off your current
private insurance and onto Catamount and save some money ... well, tough,
you can't. That's one reason the state requires a waiting period.
It needs people on private insurance to pay the bills of the people who
are otherwise "covered." This is done through the magic of something
called the "cost shift."
And even so, Catamount is
failing. No amount of finger pointing and no new studies – full of
precise, if bogus, numbers – will change that.
to Sex Offenders Marks Sharp Contrast Between Republicans and Democrats
From The VTGOP Big Tent,
August 15, 2008
Governor Douglas and Lieutenant
Governor Dubie have taken a strong lead on the question of how to deal
with violent sexual predators, calling for a Jessica’s Law for Vermont,
civil confinement, and an expanded sex offender registry. This week, Gaye
Symington held a press conference to weigh in on the issue. Conspicuously
absent from her proposal were all of these measures.
While her opposition to the
first two points illustrates how out of touch Symington and her supermajority
in the legislature are with the people of Vermont, her opposition to an
expanded sex offender registry is particularly disturbing. The goal
of an expanded registry would be to educate parents and communities with
more, easily accessible information about who and where sex offenders are.
Properly warning citizens
about potentially dangerous situations should be a no-brainer. However,
Gaye Symington’s proposal shows that she prefers to leave parents in the
dark about known sexual predators living in their neighborhoods. Placing
the privacy of pedophile criminals above the safety our children is unacceptable.
Symington’s lack of trust in parents and Vermont communities is insulting.
But this secrecy and lack
of trust is a pattern with Gaye Symington. She clearly doesn’t like it
when rank and file Vermonters know too much, whether it’s about her own
families financial dealings or the convicted child molester down the street.
Like most members of her party, she believes government knows best, and
the people can’t be trusted with information or to do the right thing.
Unfortunately, when dealing with sexual predators, what we don’t know can
hurt us or the ones we love.
In his campaign kick-off
speech, Governor Douglas said that Vermonters deserve a government that’s
by their side, not on our back. Though he made this comment in the context
of economic issues, it is equally applicable to community safety.
Where our children’s safety is concerned, we parents and communities need
a partner in government, not an obstacle fighting to keep us ignorant.
Republicans have shown that they will be the former, and Gaye Symington
and her supermajority are showing themselves to be the latter.
Familiar Case In Our Courts
Caledonia Record Editorial,
August 13, 2008
It has been one of our teeth-grinding
observations for a long, long time that Vermont's criminal justice system
does not yield sentences on criminals proportionate to their crimes. Over
and over, these convicted miscreants get away with a slap on the wrist.
To Vermont And Start A Career In Car Parking
From VermontTiger.com, August
While some may argue that
this means government should expand these programs, the simple fact is
that the demand for these programs exists because the Vermont economy continues
on a slow, spiraling downfall. Without a vibrant economy that provides
jobs, incomes, and subsequent tax revenues to the state, we will continue
to see a demographic base in Vermont that is well below the national average
in terms of income and opportunity, and we will continue to see its citizens
reduced to "states of dependence."
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
In a world without
America, the strong do as they will, and the weak suffer as they must
By Victor Davis Hanson,
National Review, August 11, 2008
The United States may be
the most free, stable, and meritocratic nation in the world, but its resources
and patience are not unlimited. Currently, it pays more than a half trillion
dollars per year to import $115-a-barrel oil that is often pumped at a
cost of about $5.
The Chinese, Japanese, and
Europeans hold trillions of dollars in U.S. bonds — the result of massive
trade deficits. The American dollar is at historic lows. We are piling
up staggering national debt. Over 12 million live here illegally and freely
transfer more than $50 billion annually to Mexico and Latin America.
Our military, after deposing
Milosevic, the Taliban, and Saddam, is tired. And Americans are increasingly
becoming more sensitive to the cheap criticism of global moralists. But
as the United States turns ever so slightly inward, the new globalized
world will revert to a far poorer — and more dangerous — place.
March Against Religious Freedom
By Ray Nothstine, Acton
Institute, August 13, 2008
In recent decades, China
has pursued market reforms and free trade, which has greatly improved living
conditions and pulled many Chinese into the middle class. While the expansion
of economic freedom in China has been significant, religious and political
freedoms may be trending backwards since the start of Olympic preparation
in Beijing. Trying to shed the long shadow of Tiananmen Square protests
in 1989, China promised improvements in human rights leading up to the
games, but has instead used the occasion to crack down on those seeking
religious and political freedom.
Lights Went Out
Georgia and the world
By Michael Ledeen, National
Review, August 14, 2008
"The Kremlin is not about
to reignite the Cold War for the love of a few thousand Ossetians... This
is calculated strategic maneuvering... it’s about countering U.S. power
at its furthest stretch with Moscow’s power very close to home." That means
the Czech Republic, for example, which saw its oil flow from Russia abruptly
terminated after Prague agreed to base American radars on its territory,
and now sees the steel in the Russian fist. It also means Iraq, Afghanistan,
and Pakistan, the current locus of the war against the terror masters.
If the Russians succeed in their broader aim of dominating the region,
then the ‘stans will inevitably be "doomed for the foreseeable future to
remain (Russian) colonies in all but name...." Worse still, "choking off
the bottleneck in the Caucasus gives Iran and Russia much say over our
efforts in Afghanistan."
the West Sleeps, Islamists Work on Establishing a Worldwide Islamic State(Part
I of II)
By M. Zuhdi Jasser, Family
While we in the West sleep,
the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Yusuf Al-Qaradawi,
is whispering in Arabic to hundreds of millions of Muslims how to establish
Islamic states. In July he wrote two extensive columns (on July 13th and
July 22nd) on the subject of the Islamic state in Arabic. Some Islamist
apologists who remain ignorant of the threat of the Islamic state argue
that the ascendancy of political Islam in the Muslim world is the better
of "other evils" that could arise. Many Muslims and non-Muslims alike across
the world, however, believe that it is self-evident that the ascendancy
of political Islam will remain a significant security threat to the United
States and to the West for decades to come as it has been so obviously
so for anti-Islamist Muslims and non-Muslims alike in the Middle East.
Qaeda's commander in Afghanistan rumored killed in Pakistan
By Bill Roggio, The Long
War Journal, August 12, 2008
Unconfirmed reports from
Pakistan indicate that Mustafa Abu Yazid, al Qaeda's commander in Afghanistan,
has been killed during the heavy fighting in Pakistan's tribal agency of
Not Yet Accomplished
By the Editors, National
Review, August 13, 2008
The turn in the war has created
a large constituency for declaring victory, since the Right is accustomed
to having to trumpet good news, lest no one else do it, while the Left
seeks any excuse to leave — and victory will have to do if defeat is no
longer an option. The danger is that the irrational pessimism that has
so long characterized the conversation over the war is giving way to an
irrational exuberance that will make us lose focus on the work that remains
to be done.
# # #
Has Happened to Air Pollution Since 1970?
From The Unbroken Window,
August 12th, 2008
It should be recognized that
the American environment, on the whole, is much cleaner than most places
around the world. Certainly the environmental destruction revealed by the
unveiling of the iron curtain dispelled any notions that love and central
planning are better for the environment than commercial society.
Global Warming Scare may have Peaked
By Thomas Lifson, American
Thinker, August 16, 2008
New Jersey State Assemblyman
Michael Doherty has earned a place in the history books. So far as I know,
he is the first politician to call
openly for repeal of economically harmful legislation deriving from
the global warming scare.
Gas Pipeline Isn't Hot Air
From Investor's Business
Daily, August 15, 2008
As congressional Democrats
dither on a vote for oil drilling, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has pushed through
a gas pipeline project to bring new supply and price relief to the lower
scores down, but more students college-ready
By Justin Pope, Associated
Press, August 13, 2008
Average scores on the ACT
college entrance exam dipped slightly for the high school class of 2008
as the number of students taking the exam jumped by 9 percent compared
to last year.
Way To Get More Oil: Do Nothing
By Thomas Pyle, August 11,
But here's a news flash:
If our elected representatives in Congress simply do nothing, three decades
of failed anti-energy policies will disappear. A ban on drilling in America's
outer continental shelf (OCS) is set to expire on Oct. 1.
McCain Won Saddleback
By Byron York, National
Review, August 17, 2008
This was not your usual political
TV show. Warren — Pastor Rick, around here — asked big questions, about
big subjects; he wasn’t concerned about what appeared on the front page
of that morning’s Washington Post. And his simple, direct, big questions
brought out something we don’t usually see in a presidential face-off;
in this forum, as opposed to a read-the-prompter speech, or even a debate
focused on the issues of the moment, the candidates were forced to call
on everything they had — the things they have done and learned throughout
their lives. And the fact is, John McCain has lived a much bigger life
than Barack Obama. That’s not a slam at Obama; McCain has lived a much
bigger life than most people. But it still made Obama look small in comparison.
McCain was the clear winner of the night.
# # #