North Archives - September 02, 2008
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in the Right Direction to Protect Vermontís Children
By Lt. Governor Brian Dubie
of our states attorneys recently said something to me that Iíve thought
a lot about. He quoted Sir Thomas Moreís words: "The law informs." What
that means is that the law is not just for courtrooms, victims and perpetrators.
The law informs Ė it teaches us all Ė by expressing the values we hold
dear as a society. Itís what makes Jessicaís Law so powerful, by saying
to predators, "If you harm a child, we will find you and convict you and
lock you up for a long time." And it says to victims, "We will do everything
in our power to protect you."
Conservation Will Not Reduce Energy Demand
By Robert Maynard, Editor
In the debate over energy
policy those who oppose increasing our supply by drilling domestically
or expanding the use of Nuclear Power, often cited conservation as an alternative
which would reduce demand. Of course conservation and the efficient use
of energy is a good idea that has its own merits, it really does not follow
that this will reduce demand.
Tale of Two Mid-Sized Governmental Entities
By Martin Harris
if you will, a mid-size governmental entity supporting (or demanding the
support of, you decide) some 650,000 residents/taxpayers, in a region which
years ago waxed prosperous with a growing economy based on a mix of industry
and agriculture, but which in recent years has shifted its focus more to
the attraction objectives of tourism, medical care, and of course the so-called
"creative economy", which is based on the (not-too-over-simplified) concept
that a governance which seeks, as its prime priority, puppet shows and
deconstructionist theatre will soon, as its subordinate priority, attract
commerce, jobs, and wealth.. With this re-direction of economic strategy
has come sweeping demographic change, based primarily on middle-class out-migration
and industrial and commercial disappearance, even city population shrinkage,
while the price tag for ever-more far-reaching governmental services has
grown faster than all but the wealthier citizens can cope with, even as
the pool of subsidized low- or no-income citizens is the major population
growth sector. If you conclude that the above thumb-nail sketch describes
Vermont, youíd be correct. It also describes Jefferson County, Alabama,
perhaps better known for county seat Birmingham, and now "enjoying" its
15 minutes of fame as the subject of the "biggest US municipal bankruptcy
in history", to quote from a recent Associated Press headline.
# # #
Weekís Mail Bag
Deborah T. Bucknam
Way to go Deborah T. Bucknam!!
Excellent article. I hope the Burlington Free Press prints it. Blessings
for Vermont Marriage Advisory
Vermonters Want Less Government
Senator Don Collins' letter
dated 08/22/08 to the St. Albans Messenger regarding grant programs for
the "creation and development of recreational opportunities" is yet another
example of how he promotes spending money that the taxpayers do not have.
Dare I even mention the disastrous Pre-K that we will now have to pay for!
Vermonters want less government spending.
This man has never met a
program that he didn't like. Vermonters can no longer afford liberals like
Don Collins, and we will have the opportunity to vote him out of office
St. Albans Town
"As we speak, cars
in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic,
shrinking the coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms
from Kansas to Kenya." --Barack
Obama from his Berlin speech, July 24, 2008.
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Considerations Re Jessicaís Law
Caledonia Record Editorial,
August 28, 2008
One of the hot issues that
will come before the Legislature in January is the passage of Jessica's
Law. All that most people know of Jessica's Law is that it mandates a 25-year
sentence for sexual predators on children. That limited view has given
rise to fears that a mandated sentence might limit charges being brought,
convictions being achieved, and make plea bargains much harder to get.
These are red herrings. Prosecutors governed by Jessica's Law in 44 states
agree that stiff sentences make plea bargains easier, not harder, to get,
and that prosecutorial discretion is unaffected.
Pollina Reveals what
a Farce the Left's Campaign Finance "Reform" Movement Is
From VTGOP Big Tent, August
For all those who believed
in the sincerity of the Democrat/Progressive/VPIRG campaign finance "reform"
movement, Anthony Pollina is showing us the truth. He is also showing Vermonters
what an incompetent hash our far-left "supermajority" has made of our campaign
Pollina has apparently collected
$27,000 in campaign contributions in violation of Vermontís campaign finance
laws. His donors exceeded limits designed to "keep big money out of politics."
Confronted with the fact that his campaign broke the law, according to
a formal complaint (Money
Wars), Pollina then encouraged his donors to skirt the law
by forming PACs. So, big money is good, so long as itís his. Finally, the
Pollina campaign said, in essence, to heck with the law, weíre just keeping
So, whatís Pollinaís best
argument for getting away with this? Vermont has no campaign contribution
limits. They were struck down in the embarrassing and expensive Supreme
Court case, Randall v. Sorrell, which declared much of Vermontís 1997 Act
64 campaign finance law as laughably unconstitutional. The Democrat Attorney
General, Bill Sorrell, and Secretary of State, Deb Markowitz have been
arguing for the doctrine of "revival" which says that when the 1997 law
was struck down, the pre-1997 law was automatically revived. The parties
have a "handshake" agreement to abide by the pre-1997 limits, but...
Pollina can argue that the
doctrine of revival -- along with Sorrell's and Markowitz' position --
(It is important to note
here that the VTGOP has advocated for two years to officially re-pass the
pre-1997 law so that we would not find ourselves in this position. Republican
legislators offered legislation
that would have done this. The Democrat leadership chose to reject this
approach for partisan political purposes.)
On the matter of revival,
Pollina would likely be found correct, highlighting just how incompetent
the supermajority led by Gaye Symington and Peter Shumlin has been for
the past two years, failing to compromise and come up with a non-partisan
campaign finance bill that could fix the problem. Instead, they focused
on ideologically far-left, boutique legislation designed to provoke a partisan
fight and a veto -- they got it.
Should Pollina successfully
challenge the doctrine of revival, Sorrell and Markowitz stand to be seriously
embarrassed. They have both promoted a flimsy legal argument for the sake
of political appearances. On the other hand, if Attorney General Sorrell
refuses to enforce Vermontís campaign finance laws in order to avoid another
embarrassing loss in court, he begs the question, whatís the point of having
campaign finance laws at all? Why did we waste two years arguing about
something that few Vermonters care about, candidates can refuse to abide
by, and officials refuse to enforce?
From VermontTiger.com August
Making wind sound like a
panacea sounds good. But we're not going to have a windmill in every
yard. The reality of wind, like the reality of every other energy
source, is that there are costs, as well as benefits, to consider.
We ignore them at our own peril.
Highway Moving Forward
WCAX-TV August 27, 2008
State officials say they
will have spent over $7.5 million dollars on Circ studies since opponents
won the court ruling.
From VermontTiger.com, August
In today's Burlington Free
Press, Doug Hoffer makes
the argument that, rather than cutting the budget, Vermont should raise
taxes. That's not unexpected. Mr. Hoffer is a well-known activist
and analyst who worked for Progressive Mayors Sanders and Clavelle and
he has written pieces for the Peace
and Justice Center, including their Liveable
Wage series. (The Freeps identifies him as someone who lives
in Burlington, which is like identifying Al Gore as someone living in Tennessee.)
Median Income Down
WCAX-TV August 27, 2008
Vermont's median household
income is down and state officials are not sure why. New U.S. Census Bureau
figures indicate Vermont's median household fell 4.7 percent-- from almost
$53,000 in 2004-2005-- to just over $50,000 in 2006 and 2007.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Henry R. Nau, Hoover Institute
what tradition did Reagan represent? The debate between realists and liberal
internationalists leaves no explanation for Ronald Reagan ís eclectic foreign
policy choices and the extraordinary outcomes he achieved. The conventional
foreign policy traditions don ít fit. Realists and liberal internationalists
try to claim Reagan but they distort and miss the novelty of his contributions.3
Others conclude he is unique and "has become a transcendent historical
figure," not terribly relevant to contemporary debates.4
Still others argue Reaganís foreign policy had nothing to do with ending
the Cold War and subsequently wound up in the hands of Reagan impostors,
the neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration, who ran it into
the ground in Iraq.5
essay rejects all of these conclusions. It argues instead that Ronald Reagan
tapped into a new and different American foreign policy tradition that
has been overlooked by scholars and pundits. That tradition is "conservative
internationalism." Like realism and liberal internationalism, it has deep
historical roots. Just as realism takes inspiration from Alexander Hamilton
and Teddy Roosevelt and liberal internationalism identifies with Woodrow
Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, conservative internationalism draws historical
validation from Thomas Jefferson, James K. Polk, Harry Truman, and Ronald
Reagan. These four American presidents did more to expand freedom abroad
through the assertive use of military force than any others (Lincoln doing
as much or more to expand freedom domestically by force). But they expanded
freedom on behalf of self-government, local or national, not on behalf
of central or international government, as liberal internationalists advocate,
and they used force to seize related opportunities to spread freedom, not
to maintain the status quo, as realists recommend. All of these presidents
remain enigmas for the standard traditions. The reason? They represent
the different and overlooked tradition of conservative internationalism.6
and Putin and Iran and Georgia
Michael Margolies, American Thinker, August 30, 2008
saw that the man who forswore weakness and pledged that Iran would not
be allowed to develop nuclear weapons instead went into an internationalist
mode, and allowed the IAEA (headed by Mohammad El Baradi), the UN, and
Russia and China (by threatening vetoes in the security council), to set
American policy. Bushís inaction, proved to Putin that Bush was more
bark than bite. So if Putin wanted to assert himself in his own backyard,
particularly against Georgia, ostensibly a close ally of the United States,
what did Putin have to fear other than words of condemnation?
vs. Environment: China May Choke on Its Own Growth
Derek Scissors, Heritage Foundation, August 29, 2008
is not possible to draw definitive conclusions concerning the timing and
degree of the impact of the PRC's environmental depletion on its long-term
economic growth, in no small part because the extent of the depletion is
unprecedented. There may be one instructive comparison, though, and it
does not bode well.
reform era is 30 years old. For more than 30 years after World War II,
the Soviet Union boasted an extremely impressive industrial expansion.
Yet under the surface, ecological destruction had actually begun to reduce
life expectancies and eventually led to prolonged economic stagnation.
Moreover, the Russian Federation's recent recovery stems from its natural
resources, which the PRC no longer has. It may be that, a generation from
now, China's industrial boom will be viewed in a very different light.
Cold War alliance with Europe has ceased to be fruitful
Victor Davis Hanson National Review August 28, 2008
the victory of the Cold War, NATOís raison díetre became more problematic
ó even as its theoretical reach now extended all the way to the old borders
of the Soviet Union. Yet, without the Soviet menace that had prompted the
alliance, what justified the continued need for transatlantic collective
saw NATOís paralysis in the European inaction over Serbiaís ethnic cleansing
in the 1990s. When NATO finally acted to remove Slobodan Milosevic in 1999,
the much-criticized intervention proved little more than a de facto American
Olympic Message: China Will Do What It Wants
John J. Tkacik, Jr., Heritage Foundation, August 29, 2008
Chinese disregard for human rights has been extensively documented, some
observers believed that allowing Beijing to host the games would actually
increase respect for human rights in China. Yet Chinaís human rights environment
actually became more oppressive in the run-up to the Olympics.
Douglas Stone, FrontPageMagazine.com, August 21, 2008
frequently point out the wrong-headedness of British policy towards the
cultural jihad occurring there. Why? First, because Britainís politically
correct policy has led to increasing radicalization of British Muslims
and has increased, not decreased, threats of terrorism.
second, because where Britain is now is where we in America will be at
some point in the future if we do not learn from their mistakes and choose
NOT to do what they have done in standing against this threat.
article below gives example after example of the failure of this policy.
One thing from the British experience is clear. The average citizen of
Britain has been no match for the countryís elites, who fashioned the policy
of appeasement that has brought Britain to this place. There was no organized,
grassroots push back to keep this from happening.
jihad is happening here in the United States as well. But we can still
stop it Ė and you can be an effective voice in this effort.
September 13th, ACT! for America will be conducting one-day "Leadership
in Action" conferences in California, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, and
New Jersey. This exciting and informative conference will equip you and
empower you to be an effective force against the creeping subversion of
cultural jihad and the threat of Islamofascism.
register or find out more, simply click
here. If you donít live near one of these locations, but know people
who do, forward this email to them and encourage them to attend. Just last
week the Ft. Wayne, Indiana chapter hosted an event with Brigitte Gabriel
and Guy Rodgers. Twenty-two people who attended found out about it because
one of them received an email from a friend in Oregon.
the power of the internet at work. Thatís people power. And thatís what
itís going to take to keep America from going down the same road that Great
Britain has traveled. So we encourage you to register
for a "Leadership in Action" conference near you, or forward this email
to those you know who live near one of our scheduled locations.
the recent Tyson Foods situation demonstrates, organized and informed grassroots
people power does make a difference.
Douglas Stone, FrontPageMagazine.com, August 21, 2008
baths for Muslim students at Michigan universities? Muslim cabbies in the
Twin Cities who refuse to carry seeing-eye dogs? The FBI and other government
agencies taking sensitivity training from radical Muslim organizations?
You think weíve lost the plot over here? Take a look at British submission
to Islamofascist demands and threats, as that once great nation succumbs
to creeping dhimmitude.
has reached the point that in mid-April, the British Foreign Office instructed
the Royal Navy not to return pirates to jurisdictions sporting sharia law
(such as Somalia) for fear that their human rights will be violated. They
have even been discouraged from capturing pirates, because the freebooters
might ask to be granted asylum in Britain, a request with which the UK
might have to comply under international and European Union human rights
# # #
From Investor's Business
Daily, August 29, 2008
John McCain's choice of Alaska
Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate is brilliant. Her individualism matches
McCain's. But it's the new strengths she brings to the ticket that make
the team formidable.
Closer look at Renewable Energy (pdf)
By Mark P. Mills, Heartland
Sad to say, the economic
and engineering realities of the past 20 years have rendered a verdict
of "irrelevant" on the favored renewable energy sources. Twenty years after
the first confident predictions that renewables would capture 50% of the
nationís energy supply by the benchmark date we just passed-Y2K-the United
States derives less than one percent of all energy from the favored renewables.
Moore: 'Gustav is Proof there is a God in Heaven'
By Rick Moran, American
Thinker, August 30, 2008
my post from yesterday about the possibility that the GOP will postpone
their convention due to the politics involved with Hurricane Gustav. Michael
Moore showed us once again how the left has hijacked a natural disaster
and turned it into a political football. Appearing on Keith Olbermann's
wretched show, the first word's out of Moore's mouth after Olbermann asked
him about the potential postponement of the RNC were "Gustav is proof there
is a God in heaven." (Video link
From Investor's Business
Daily, August 28, 2008
We keep looking for the much-anticipated
recession, but it doesn't seem to have gotten here yet. Could it be that
many of those expecting a downturn were wrong, and the economy's not going
into the tank?
College Really Worth It?
By Walter E. Williams, NH
Union Leader, Aug. 27, 2008
As parents pack their youngsters
off to college, they might ask themselves whether it's worth both the money
they will spend and their children's time. Dr. Marty Nemko has researched
that question in an article aptly titled "America's
Most Overrated Product: Higher Education" The U.S. Department of Education
statistics show that 76 out of 100 students who graduate in the bottom
40 percent of their high school class do not graduate from college, even
if they spend eight-and-a-half years in college. That's even with colleges
having dumbed down classes to accommodate such students.
Poll: By 3 to 1 Margin, Americans Support Nuclear Power
By James M. Taylor, Environment
& Climate News, September 1, 2008
Americans support the construction
of new nuclear power plants by a 3 to 1 margin, reports a new Zogby poll.
By Charles Krauthammer,
RealClearPolitics, August 29, 2008
The palpable apprehension
is that the anointed is a stranger -- a deeply engaging, elegant, brilliant
stranger with whom the Democrats had a torrid affair. Having slowly woken
up, they see the ring and wonder who exactly they married last night.
# # #