North Archives - August 28, 2007
| Editorial | News & Views
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By Bruce Shields
To a large degree, this Euro-Left
analysis has come to dominate our contemporary political discourse: America’s
Left is dominated by anti-American thought. This fact is agreed to
by political analysts of considerable diversity. Rush Limbaugh decries
the America Last movement; Joe Lieberman campaigned against the Blame America
First activists. A thoughtful survey of threads on the website of
Moveon.Org shows that the Left is not uncomfortable with that view.
The organizing thought of the contemporary Left is that American power
and influence is responsible for almost every ill in the world, from poverty
and ignorance in the third world, endemic diseases in tropical areas, genocides
and slaughters of civilians in many areas, piracy on the high seas, human
rights violations in Russia, political repression in China, over-fishing
along continental shelves, global warming, dieback of coral reefs, and
for all I know, the extinction of the Dodo.
for Good Roads and Bridges
Reason Foundation’s 2007 Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems,
using a broader definition of "deficient", rates the condition of Vermont
bridges 44th among the states. The same report finds that Vermont ranks
46th in the condition of its rural primary road pavement, and 37th in the
overall "cost effectiveness" of its highway program. This latter ranking
reflects a drop of 13 places since 1998, the largest drop of any state.
on Act 185
Finally we seem to have
a consensus on Act 185, that it does indeed disclose personal income information
of Vermont residents. Now the focus is on how to fix the mess.
However the latest opinions express only frustration that there is no fix
until January, when the legislature reconvenes and that is a bit late to
prevent this year's income information from becoming publicly accessible.
By Pete Behr
At the end of the day, our
troops are serving on our behalf. They take risks and undergo danger on
a daily basis. If they get killed by enemy fire, or accidentally, they
are still serving all of us. That is why I find it disgusting to hear politicians
exploiting incidents like the death of Pat Tillman. They could care less
about his loss, but they sure enjoy the television coverage, as they probe
the "cover-up." The Army exercised poor judgment by failing to disclose
quickly that he was a victim of "friendly fire." But is he any less a hero
for having fallen that way? Of course not. He died in the line of duty.
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"The fall of the Soviet Union
deprived us of the biggest example of how socialism works. We need laboratories
of failure to demonstrate what socialism is like. All we have now is Cuba,
Venezuela, North Korea, the U.S. Post Office, and state motor-vehicle departments."--John
"The responsibility of the
judiciary is to uphold the Constitution, not rewrite it." --Barry
"The highest glory of the
American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond, the
principles of the civil government with the principles of Christianity.
From the day of the Declaration the American people were bound by the laws
of God." --John Quincy Adams
Week’s Mail Bag
Hate Crime Laws vs. Equal
The "Hate Crime" bill is
an attempt to add another layer to the laws we already have to prosecute
assaults. We do already send a strong message to society that we
will not tolerate assaults on individuals no matter what. It is a
fantasy, and an intolerant fantasy at that, to think that somehow because
of a persons race, religion, sex, or lifestyle that an assault, on those
particular individuals, merits a tougher sentence or response. Our
society is trying to to treat all people/everyone with respect! Hate crime
laws are not the way to go. I do not believe in a "damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't"
kind of world. I believe in clear moral choices as in "blessed-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't".
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Weekly News Round-Up
Health broke already?
Catmount Health hasn't even
opened its doors for business and is already looking for some $18.5 million
health insurance for people earning between $41,000 and
$50,000 a year. Federal funds will subsidize those with incomes below
$41,000. Those above $50,000 are on their own.
Money Is It, Anyway
We have all become accustomed
-- and numbed -- to a system where Washington hands out money for everything
from schools to snowmobile trails, but it is foolish to expect there will
be no strings attached. In fact, we increasingly get the strings
without the dough. This, anyway, is the argument made by critics
of No Child Left Behind and they make a fair case. But then, a long
time ago, lonely prophets like Milton Friedman argued that Federal funding
of education meant Federal control. He was not uttering a partisan
talking point. Rather, he was observing a fact of nature. One
that applies to health care as well as education ... and everything else.
Bernie Sanders: Quite Simply, He Is An Embarrassment
Caledonian Record Editorial,
August 24, 2007
It is sad to see Sen. Bernie
Sanders prostituting his election to the most prestigious body in the world
by flacking for the rabble. He plainly doesn't understand that there is
a dignity that goes with the office of senator that precludes hawking snake
oil. When Bernie was a simple congressman, one of several hundred, making
speeches to an empty House at 2 in the morning in order to get himself
into the Congressional Record, it was easy to dismiss him, as virtually
everybody in Washington and Vermont did. But as Senator Bernie Sanders,
joining his raucous voice to a radical propagandist's and attacking a national
news network that millions and millions of Americans pay attention to every
day, cheapens his high office and is undignified and unworthy.
New Gas Tax!
Caledonian Record Editorial,
August 23, 2007
The knee-jerk reaction of
our nanny-government tax-and-spenders is to enact a new gasoline tax to
pay for the crash schedule. Speaker of the House Gaye Symington and Senate
Majority Leader John Campbell intend to pass a new gas tax in the next
legislative session, despite the broad opposition of Vermonters to such
a new tax.
call for boycott of marriage panel
By Nancy Remsen, Burlington
Free Press, August 24, 2007
"This is a political farce
that wastes Vermonters' time," said Craig Bensen, long-time leader in Take
It to the People, a group that fought in 2000 to have the gay marriage
and civil union questions put before voters. "By coming to the meetings,
they will be giving credibility to the message we already know is going
to be delivered," said another critic, Stephen Cable, president of the
Center for American Cultural Renewal in Rutland.
Realization Of The American Dream
Caledonian Record Editorial,
August 22, 2007
We recently reported the
sale of a very successful local company, NSA Industries by Neal Austin,
its founder, to Middlebury-based Worth Mountain Capital Partners. While
this is of great importance to the people who work there and to the economy
of the area, the bigger story is where the company came from and how Mr.
Austin took it from an idea to a major local industry that is still growing.
If there ever was an example of the American dream realized, Mr. Austin
and his NSA Industries is it.
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Global War on Terrorism
Worms Turn (updated)
By Clarice Feldman, The
American Thinker, August 22, 2007
The Baathists who until recently
had joined forces with Al Qaeda have now switched and offered
to join the Coalition forces in Iraq to fight Al Qaeda:
Exaggerates New NIE Report - To Get Maliki
Report Cites Grave Concerns
on Iraq’s Government
By Jim Rutenberg, Sheryl
Gay Stolberg and Mark Mazzetti, Sweetness and Light, August 23, 2007
This assessment doesn’t sound
quite as dire as the New York Times makes it out to be, at least to me.
But the important thing for The Times was to put its spin of defeatism
on the report before anyone could see it and know better. Of course they
were only doing their DNC masters’ bidding. For the Democrat mission of
the moment is to "get Maliki." The New York Times just tried to do its
part, like the good little minions they are.
is at War With Iraq -- as Well as With America
by Jeff Emanuel, Human Events,August
The killing of Iraqis by
Iran's Revolutionary Guard should not be a surprise to any who have followed
the course of the Iraq war (and postwar). While Tehran is raising the outcry
that the Kurdish freedom fighters (known as the PJAK) are "a terrorist
outfit being sponsored and armed by the US to increase pressure on Iran"
-- the IRGC is itself conducting a terrorist campaign within Iraq itself.
General Wary of Withdrawal Plan
By Anne Flaherty, Associated
Press, August 24, 2007
The U.S. military commander
in one of the more troubled areas of Iraq said Friday that embracing Sen.
John Warner‘s call to begin troop withdrawals before the end of the year
would be "a giant step backward."
By Amil Imani, The American
Thinker, August 22, 2007
This bunch of miscreants
has the full support of Syria, Venezuela, and Russia. They have enthusiastic
support from many terrorist organizations in the region and drug-running
organizations worldwide. They have tacit support from China, Cuba, and
France because the power structures of these countries resent the USA,
and Iran is the leader in the expression of threats against the US "superpower."
The Mullahs receive relatively little criticism from semi-socialist democracies
like Western Europe and Canada who seem obsessed with anti-Bush, anti-US
diatribes. Certainly the UN could care less about their bomb-building,
and would be holding "talks" after the first detonation because "everybody
knows war never solved anything." The Mullahs have nothing but support
and few distractions. They're not going anywhere without a very big push.
By Ralph Peters, The New
York Post, August 22, 2007
Petraeus acknowledges the
errors made in the early occupation years, stressing, above all, the failure
to provide security for the population. We cleaned out the violent actors
from one city after another, but failed to stay and set the conditions
for political and economic progress. When we left, the bad guys came back
- and killed anybody who had cooperated with us. Now, through the efficient
use of American troops and a greatly increased employment of Iraqi forces,
we're taking an approach that allows for fighting fiercely when necessary,
but which looks beyond the gunfights.
Marine Corps Poetry Slam
Even if you’re not a fan
of the poetry slam, here’s one you’re gonna love.
President Bush's analogy
to Iraq is not inaccurate, just incomplete.
By Max Boot, The Wall Street
Journal, August 24, 2007
Gen. Petraeus is belatedly
pursuing classic counterinsurgency strategies that are paying off. The
danger is that American politicians will prematurely pull the plug in Iraq
as they did in Vietnam. If they do so, the consequences will be even worse,
since Iraq is much more important strategically than Vietnam ever was.
Mr. Boot is author of
Made New: Weapons, Warriors and the Making of the Modern World"
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Crisis of the Republic
By Alan Keyes, 2007 Renew
For a long time, I have believed
that the 2008 election would be a turning point for the survival of the
American republic--our nation's system of constitutional government based
on the sovereignty of the American people and respect for their inalienable
During the past several decades,
the trend in American life and politics has been adverse to just about
everything needed to sustain American liberty. In our intellectual life,
we have embraced theories and concepts that are simply incompatible with
the ideas of human equality and inalienable rights that shaped our institutions
of self-government. In the moral realm, we have legitimized attitudes and
practices incompatible with the self-reliance and self-discipline that
make limited government practicable. We have lived with policies on taxation
and our economic life that destroy the rights, self-sufficiency, and initiative
of the people. We have thoughtlessly adopted--and allowed our elites to
implement--an understanding of political life that destructively erodes
the sovereignty of the people.
From Investor’s Business
Daily, August 23, 2007
Budget: It's no longer
any surprise that the budget deficit is plunging, just as President Bush
predicted. What's surprising is those who most criticized Bush for the
recession-driven deficits are about to send them soaring again.
Trade, and the Democrats
By William F. Buckley Jr.,
National Review Online, August 23, 2007
It is illuminating to learn
that wage-earners in manufacturing in the United States take in less, sometimes
far less, than wage-earners in other spheres. Those who work in utilities
take in on average $27 per hour; in education, $17; in manufacturing, $16.
U.S. manufacturing jobs have
been lost through automation, but this is so in every major industrial
economy. The question to ask is: Have those who have lost employment on
that account found jobs elsewhere? The answer is that yes, it is so in
the United States, where a large number of those who have lost their jobs
in manufacturing have moved to higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs in service
industries. "As we discovered with the 'vanishing middle class,'" Reynolds
points out, "a rising percentage of American families left the middle class
manufacturing jobs by moving up."
Nihilism, and the Anti-Rational Mind
By Gary Wolf, The American
Thinker, August 22, 2007
It is ironic that Diversity,
which could develop only in an environment imbued with reason, is contributing
to its death. The ideologues believe they can redesign society, starting
with its smallest detail. One failure after another, even the totalitarian
upheavals of the twentieth century, have done nothing to dampen their zeal.
The pattern is all too familiar:
A boisterous campaign to control social behavior -- "Diversity in the Workplace,"
for example -- as the fixers of social injustice squeeze the population
into conformity with their perfectly designed rational panacea. But rationality
itself cannot flourish and grow without a free and open interchange
of ideas. By imposing what seems to be a rational solution, they create
the conditions under which reason and intellect wither away.
Spending Fights Could be 80s Replay
By Mike Franc, Human
Events, August 24, 2007
The good news for Bush is
that his get-tough stance on spending enjoys enough support among conservative
lawmakers (at least in the House; the Senate has yet to consider most of
these bills) to force Democrats to the bargaining table. Veto-sustaining
margins of House Republicans have already opposed six of the nine domestic
spending bills. On two of the remaining bills, the gap is so small (five
or fewer votes) that a little presidential arm-twisting should be enough
to reach the required 145.
Epidemic Of Ignorance Fueled In Part By Therapeutic Curriculum
By Victor Davis Hanson,
Investor’s Business Daily, August 23, 2007
What then can our elementary
and secondary schools do, when many of their students' problems begin at
home or arise from our warped popular culture?
We should first scrap the
popular therapeutic curriculum that in the scarce hours of the school day
crams in sermons on race, class, gender, drugs, sex, self-esteem and environmentalism.
These are well-intentioned efforts to make a kinder and gentler generation
more sensitive to our nation's supposed sins. But they only squeeze out
far more important subjects.
The old approach to education
saw things differently than we do. Education ("to lead out" or "to bring
up") was not defined as being "sensitive" to or "correct" on particular
issues. It was instead the rational ability to make sense of the chaotic
present through the abstract wisdom of the past.
So literature, history, math
and science gave students plenty of facts, theorems, people and dates to
draw on. Then training in logic, language and philosophy provided the tools
to use and express that accumulated wisdom. Teachers usually did not care
where all that training led their students politically — only that their
pupils' ideas and views were supported with facts and argued rationally.
Military history teaches
us about honor, sacrifice, and the inevitability of conflict.
By Victor Davis Hanson,
City Journal, Summer 2007
It’s no surprise that civilian
Americans tend to lack a basic understanding of military matters. Even
when I was a graduate student, 30-some years ago, military history...had
already become unfashionable on campus. Today, universities are even less
receptive to the subject....
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