North Archives - August 25, 2009
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Real Message of ObamaCare
national debate over health care reform has taken some unexpected turns.
As more and more people have begun to grasp the import of the sweeping
bills put forth by Congressional Democrats, outspoken resistance has become
an epidemic. Images of uproarious town hall meetings have filled the TV
screens. Many Democratic members of Congress seem to have gone into hiding.
Surprised and alarmed, the Left has launched an intense counterattack.
Dairy’s farming future
By James Ehlers
For those resolute dairy
farmers who have previously persisted in the face of crisis, they will
be the ones to lead us into the 21st century of farming, perhaps without
cows front and center. After all, it was one man who led Vermont to wool,
not a whole industry unsustainably propped up by government subsidies and
environmental regulatory exemptions. While romanticizing the past may sell
magazines, it is demonstrably not selling milk. This is neither good for
farmers nor Vermont.
The world at one time wanted
charcoal, potash, lumber, and logs. This demand propelled Burlington to
number three on the list of the country’s largest lumber ports, and helped
make Vermont what it is today. What bright future might be in store for
Vermont if we listened to what the world wanted again instead of insisting
on what we want?
and its End II
By Martin Harris
more than a century now, American city-dwellers who could afford to flee
to suburbs and exurbs have done so. Long before the rise of the inter-urban
trolley systems in the late 19th century, the upper-income quintiles had
enjoyed "summah places", but light rail lines, such as those from Rutland
to the Castleton lakes, were the first to open the options to the middle
classes as well. Commuter superhighways like the Long Island Motor Parkway
were in place seven years before WWI, and inter-urban trackage, zero in
1880, peaked at 16,000 just after WWI, as private automobiles took over
the task of residential removal, and the trolleys began to lose ridership
soon after. At first, the urban exodus enjoyed academic approval: Ebenezer
Howard wrote "Garden Cities" in 1898. Such innovative suburbs as Radburn
NJ and Forest Hill Gardens NY were fashionable destinations going into
the Great Depression, and as late as the post-WWII decades Levittowns in
the US and green-belt "estates" in the UK were applauded by most urban
planners, then a brand-new discipline. Not any more; now, writers like
Yale’s Douglas Rae (describing New Haven’s 19th century rise and 20th century
decline) deplore "the end of urbanism" and today’s planners make much of
Yonkers NY converting (with subsidy money, of course) former Hudson-River-frontage
industrial acreage to young-urban-professional high-rise co-operative and
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has a hundred fathers" --Jack
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Weekly News Round-Up
From Vermont Tiger, August
In 2009, the recession was
also precipitated by a real estate bust that followed a real estate boom
(although this time the cycle was national, not regional). The recession
was even deeper than in 1990, and it looks like it will last at least as
long. Unemployment is again over 7% and the state budget deficit
for the next three fiscal years will be about 10% of general fund
revenues. If the federal stimulus funds (there weren't any in 1990)
hadn't bailed out the state, the deficit for the current fiscal year and
the next two years would have been over 15% instead of "merely" 10%.
Governor Douglas, having served four terms, has elected not to run again
From The Caledonia Record,
August 27, 2009
Last winter, the Congress
passed a multi-hundreds of billion dollar stimulus bill. It was supposed
to stimulate the nation's economy by creating millions of "shovel-ready"
jobs. So far, few jobs have been created, but multi-billions of dollars
have been spent, or will be spent, on projects that in more honest times
would be called "pork barrel projects."
Announcement Changes Political Landscape
From The Burlington Free
Press, August 27, 2009
Republican Gov. Jim Douglas'
decision to step down after this term dramatically changes the contours
of the Vermont electoral landscape in 2010. Douglas' announcement presents
what will be perceived as a major opportunity for the Democrats and just
as big a challenge for the Republicans.
From Vermont Tiger, August
The July Department of Labor
numbers contain some interesting data points. While the numbers themselves
in terms of net job losses is grindingly painful, some sectors in the state
economy have actually grown year-over-year. Three guesses as to which sector
grew 500 jobs from June 2008 to June 2009. If you guessed "the Government
sector", you would be correct (see p.7).
Sentence Much Too Harsh
From The Caledonia Record,
August 22, 2009
In a state where too often
we see criminals sent on their way with hardly a slap to the wrist, we've
finally found a sentence in Vermont we perceive too harsh.
If you haven't licensed your
dog in St. Johnsbury and you let it roam free, look out. You may be going
to your dog's funeral courtesy of new powers entrusted to animal control
officer Jo Guertin. In response to her frustration over dog owners who
won't license their dogs and/or are rude and offensive when she tells them
they must do it, St. Johnsbury's selectmen authorized her and town constable
Gil Roberts to destroy unlicensed dogs.
Tech ranked among Top 10 Public Colleges in the North by US News
From VermontBiz.com, August
Vermont Technical College
this week was named among the top 10 best public baccalaureate colleges
in the North by U.S.News & World Report. In its 2010 "Best Colleges"
issue, Vermont Tech placed seventh among the best public baccalaureate
colleges in the North and 22nd among all northern colleges, up two notches
from its number 24 ranking in 2009, and eight notches from its number 30
ranking in 2008.
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Global War on Terrorism
Big Jihad vs. Little Jihad
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family
Security Matters, August 20 2009
Hamas’ attack against a Jihadist
group inside Gaza is about to provide the Palestinian Islamist organization
a pass to become a "mainstream" movement, acceptable internationally as
a partner in negotiations. Or at least, that is what Hamas strategists
think may happen as a result of crushing the minuscule militant entity
known as Jund Ansar Allah (The Soldiers or the Partisans of Allah) last
week. This is another murky development in the world of Jihadism, where
the biggest brothers in holy war devoured the little ones, in a race between
who can achieve final victory against the Kuffar (infidels). But in Gaza,
these intra-Jihadist slaughter fests are peculiar in as much as the "Palestine
cause" is so central to the Islamist political narrative worldwide.
in greatest danger since Taliban fell: Amnesty
From Google, August 27,
Amnesty International said
Thursday civilians were at a greater danger in Afghanistan than at any
time since the Taliban extremists were ousted from power in 2001.
The London-based human rights
group cited Tuesday's bombing in Kandahar which killed 43 people and Thursday's
clinic siege in the Sar Hawza district of Paktika province, which borders
Pakistan and is a hotbed of Taliban violence.
the President's Attack on the CIA Really Means
By Herbert E. Meyer, American
Thinker, August 26 2009
If President Obama and his
supporters are right -- that what confronts us isn't a war but merely a
complex international law-enforcement problem -- in the coming years not
much will happen. We'll see the occasional bombing here or there,
every so often an airliner will inexplicably fall out of the sky, and in
a half-dozen or so countries most of us cannot even find on a map some
previously unheard-of groups of thugs will seize power. But with
the exception of those few of us unlucky enough to be in the wrong place
at the wrong time, life will go on.
But if President Bush and
those of us who supported him are right -- that we are in the midst of
a global war on whose outcome rests the survival of Western civilization
-- the future will unfold in a different and much less pleasant way.
The forces of radical Islam will surge, our "allies" will cave in to pressure
and cut deals with our mortal enemies, and at some point down the road
-- seven years from now, three years from now, or perhaps next Tuesday
-- something ghastly will happen.
Will Westerners Stop Westernizing Islamic Concepts?
By Raymond Ibrahim, Middle
East Forum, August 25 2009
Aside from the fact that—alas,
and once again—what any of us "think" is totally irrelevant, these questions
demonstrate the all too common inability to transcend one's own culturally-ingrained
notions of right and wrong, ascribing to them a universal pedigree. For
just as Ms. Grossman's Western sensibilities inform her that zakat, which
has to do with giving money, must always be "charitable," so too do they
inform her that funding violence, jihadi or otherwise, must always be "nefarious."
Yet she may be surprised
to discover that men such as Osama bin Laden actually see their jihad—yes,
with all the death and destruction entailed—as an act of altruism, as an
ugly means to a beneficent end (see Koran 2:216), that is, the establishment
of Islamic law across the world (which is, incidentally, another Muslim
duty). One of the most renowned Muslim clerics and hero of modern day jihadists,
Ibn Taymiyya, has written at great length describing jihad as the ultimate
expression of "love." And, at any rate, it seems a safe bet that most Muslims
will be inclined to adhere to his opinions, i.e., his fatwas, as
opposed to Ms. Grossman's casual thoughts on the matter.
in Obama's Washington
By Daniel Pipes, FrontPageMagazine.com,
August 18, 2009
Most fundamentally, Brennan
calls for appeasing terrorists: "Even as we condemn and oppose the illegitimate
tactics used by terrorists, we need to acknowledge and address the legitimate
needs and grievances of ordinary people those terrorists claim to represent."
Which legitimate needs and grievances, one wonders, does he think Al-Qaeda
Brennan carefully delineates
a two-fold threat, one being "Al-Qaida and its allies" and the other "violent
extremism." But the former, self-evidently, is a subset of the latter.
This elementary mistake undermines his entire analysis.
By Stephen Schwartz, The
American Thinker, August 28, 2009
In an important development
for the fight against extremist Islam in the West, the Dutch city of Rotterdam
and Erasmus University Rotterdam have
dismissed Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born Islamist academic,
from his two local jobs.
Born in Switzerland, Ramadan
is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
He is a close associate of the fundamentalist Muslim theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi,
with whom he collaborates in the so-called European Council for Fatwas
and Research [ECFR], a Brotherhood-oriented body. Al-Qaradawi is the leading
theorist of a "European Islam" that would abuse Western standards of religious
freedom by erecting a parallel system of Shariah law alongside established
civil law, coupled with aggressive da'wa or Islamic proselytizing.
Ramadan has endorsed this strategy. The ECFR scheme, and Tariq Ramadan's
involvement in it, are documented in the recent Center for Islamic Pluralism
Guide to Shariah Law and Islamist Ideology in Western Europe, 2007-2009.
Slams Holder's Investigation of CIA Officials
Standard Blog, August 24, 2009
“We cannot take for granted
the fact that our homeland has not been attacked since September 11, 2001.
That has occurred only because of the constant vigilance and unflinching
efforts by those brave individuals in our military, civilian homeland security
and counterterrorism agencies, and the intelligence community. These public
servants must of course live within the law but they must also be free
to do their dangerous and critical jobs without worrying that years from
now a future Attorney General will authorize a criminal investigation of
them for behavior that a previous Attorney General concluded was authorized
and legal.” Full
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You Are a Doctor
By Hunter Baker The Acton
Institute for Religion and Liberty August 19 2009
Imagine that you are a physician.
You have made it through four years of college on a steady diet of biology,
chemistry, and calculus, four years of medical school so demanding that
you have no life outside of school, and at least three years of residency
in which you have regularly worked 100 hours a week for a very low salary.
You have been the first to get up and the last to go home. And somewhere
in there your third decade of life, commonly known as your "twenties" (normally
a fun time), has disappeared. Along the way, you have probably racked up
an astronomical personal debt because there is no time to work a second
job to help pay it off. The first professional hurdle you set out to clear
will be six figures accumulating interest. Forget family. If you have a
spouse at this point, he or she is probably full of resentment at never
seeing you. ...
Now imagine how you would
feel if the rest of us got together and proposed that the government should
become the primary client for medical services. As part of the deal, the
government will determine how much you will be paid. Lawyers, business
executives, electricians, and plumbers (to name but a few) will all be
allowed to command what the market will pay for their services—but not
you. Simply because it is possible that a majority may be found who think
this scheme is a good idea, you may lose all the benefits of offering your
services in a free economy.
By Randall Hoven, American
Thinker, August 27 2009
The Congressional Budget
Office came out with an update to its predictions of the federal budget
this week. For some reason, the CBO did not title its report "Hell
In A Hand Basket."
Underwrites Offshore Drilling
Too bad it's not in
From The Wall Street Journal,
August 18, 2009
You read that headline correctly.
Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is financing oil exploration off
The U.S. is going to lend
billions of dollars to Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to
finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil's Tupi oil
field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil's planning minister
confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this
month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.
Canada has many things
to commend it; health care isn’t one of them.
By Mona Charen, National
Review, August 18, 2009
Canada is a good
neighbor and perhaps deserves more appreciation from us. But for as long
as some Americans — including the most noisome portion of the Democratic
party — insist upon citing Canada’s single-payer health-care system as
a model for the United States, even those of us who would prefer to be
lauding the magnificence of the northern dominion must demur.
Saudi Arabia Of Shale
From Investor's Business
Daily, August 17, 2009
Energy Policy: New York's
governor wants to tap into a shale formation that can supply the entire
U.S. with natural gas for 65 years. Will NIMBY environmentalists let him
stimulate New York's and America's energy economy?
What death by bureaucratic
fiat might look like.
By Andrew Klavan, The Wall
Street Journal, August 17 2009
It is very difficult to imagine
the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels.
And that's part of why you have to have some independent group that can
give you guidance. ?—President Barack Obama in a New York Times interview
on how costly medical decisions should be made.?
The people behind the long
table do not know what they've become. The drug of power has been sugared
over in their mouths with a flavoring of righteousness. Someone has to
make these decisions, they tell their friends at dinner parties. It's all
very difficult for us. But you can see it in their eyes: It isn't really
difficult at all. It feels good to them to be the ones who decide.
While supporters of
the health-care bill focus on politics, opponents focus on policy.
By Libby Sternberg, The
Weekly Standard, August 20, 2009
This is what supporters of
health care reform don't seem to get--that Americans are concerned about
the policy itself. Supporters of reform seem more concerned about the politics,
casting aspersions on town hall participants, saying they're "Astroturf"
and not grassroots, or "un-American" for speaking out loudly.
Gallup Reports That Conservatives Outnumber Libs in All 50 States; Media
Plays Dumb. Media ignores stunning news--again.
By Tom Blumer, The Wall
Street Journal, August 24, 2009
You know this is important
polling news, because the establishment media is pretending it doesn't
The news isn't just that
self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals nationwide.
That's old hat. The big news from Gallup is that conservatives outnumber
liberals in every state in the union, including supposedly uberliberal
Vermont and Massachusetts.
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