North Archives - September 08, 2009
| Editorial | News & Views
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By John McClaughry
watchwords seem to be collective action, unity with diversity, civility,
affordability, sustainability, creativity and the public good. Nowhere
is there any inclination to laud the bold, visionary, risk-taking entrepreneur
- a James Hartness, Horace and Erastus Fairbanks, T.N. Vail, or (more recently),
Rich Tarrant. Such people produce disruption, not harmony - but in doing
so they create wealth, spur human progress and, in Vermont, pay the lion's
share of taxes....
The Council shows no evidence
of recognizing the fundamental importance of secure, predictable private
property rights to economic growth and development, and that the more intense
planning it proposes cannot but further undermine that right.
Door Closes, Many Others Open
By Rob Roper
While we will certainly miss
having Governor Douglas' at the top our ticket, we are by nature an optimistic
Party. We look forward not backward, and we see the opportunities that
lie before us.
the Signature Roof
By Martin Harris
the hostility to roads and private vehicles is quantifiable, and the self-appointed
opinion-shapers want all their subjects to live a in smart-growth relatively-high-density
New Urbanism, shed their cars, and ride municipal light rail when they’re
not bicycling their groceries home from a non-big-box organic food store.
By the time the Interstate and Defense Highway System went into actual
design in 1956, the enemies, like Keats, were becoming rhetorically literal,
opposing both rural alignments (think the White-River-to-Burlington I-89
corridor) and urban alignments (think the notorious brain-child of highway-builder-du-jour
Robert Moses, the South Bronx Expressway) both put through, over substantial
resistance, in the early 60’s. And today, consider the Circ...
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" It is bad
policy to fear the resentment of an enemy."
--Response by Ethan Allen,
refusing instructions by a timid Continental Congress to move war material
captured from the British to a place of safe keeping until it could be
returned; as quoted in "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental
Congress!" - American Heritage magazine Vol. 14, Issue 6 (October 1963)
Week’s Mail Bag
"A message to our political
leadership from True North listeners"
* * *
Making our voices heard for
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
I saw in the news recently
that unwanted male chicks are ground up alive. Animal rights groups are
calling for warnings on egg cartons, for an investigation, and for a change
to adopt a vegan diet. The animal rights groups are outraged at this violence
and say that consumers have a right to know about this cruelty so that
they can make informed and compassionate purchasing decisions. WOW! But,
where is the outrage over the killing of 50,242,480 babies by surgical
abortion since 1973 in the United States? Some feel we need warnings on
egg cartons for an informed and compassionate purchasing decision, but
many feel that parental notification is not deemed necessary before a minor
gets an abortion or that ultrasounds be mandatory before an abortion. Are
"purchasing decisions" more important than the health and well-being of
women? Surgical abortions include partial birth abortions. Research on
the internet to see the brutality of partial birth abortion on a live human
being, if you dare. Find out about Post Abortion Syndrome and the negative
consequences of abortion. If you do not have access to the internet, information
can be obtained from Vermont Right to Life Committee. Do some research
on John Holdren, Doctor Zeke Emmanuel, and Cass Sunstein. These three men
are key players in Obama’s "health-care" reform. Holdren co-authored a
college textbook called "Ecoscience" in which he advanced the idea that
forced abortion and sterilization of women is justifiable under the United
States Constitution, and that sterilizing agents could be added to the
drinking water in order to curb the growth of human populations. Dr. Emmanuel
raises the possibility of a new ethical system that would ration care away
from the elderly, away from infants, and away from human beings judged
unable to rationally participate in society, in favor of those aged 15-44,
who have the best chance "to live a complete life." Sunstein advocates
rationing of healthcare based on "quality-adjusted life years," meaning
that the government would evaluate statistically whether a person’s life
is worth the cost of living. Sunstein is also a radical animal rights thinker,
who believes that animals such as dolphins and whales should have legal
representation. Sunstein counts Princeton philosopher Peter Singer among
his closest friends. Singer believes that children under the age of seven
do not have sufficient rationality to count as human beings, and for that
reason parents could commit infanticide. All these assaults on human life
are being put into place right under our noses. We must make our voices
be heard for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Mrs. Kathleen Grange
21 Meadow Wood Drive, Graniteville,
* * *
Weekly News Round-Up
Perfect Storm Brewing
Caledonia Record Editorial,
September 5, 2009
Washington, President Barack
Obama and a Democratic-controlled Congress have created a storm of new
federal spending and sweeping new legislation that will generate tidal
waves of red ink the likes of which the American public has never seen.
In Vermont, the governor's
office is up for grabs and if Vermonters elect any one of the current crop
of Democratic gubernatorial candidates, that person coupled with an overwhelming
majority of Democrats in the Legislature will create a perfect storm. Out
of control spending, ruinous debt, soaring taxes and a devastated business
economy will leave Vermonters with an aftermath that may take generations
to clean up.
Of The Spheres (cont.)
From Vermont Tiger, September
As we have noted before,
many of the most ferocious struggles seems to be contests between the private
and public sector. Who gets the money and the power, the bureaucrats and
the politicians or the people who pay the taxes in return for ... promises,
Spat Highlights Need for Change
By Patrick McArdle, Rutland
Herald, September 6, 2009
For more than a month, Stratton
and the state have been at a standoff over issues of what it means to do
a town-wide reappraisal, but two local Republican legislators say the dispute
highlights what could be an unavoidable problem for education funding in
Rep. Richard Hube, who represents
towns in Bennington, Windham and Windsor counties, including Stratton,
said Vermonters are going to have to give serious thought to school budgets.
"We have a problem on our
hands. So much of the running up of education budgets has been funded by
the running up of property values. We're in a different place in that cycle
now. Those property values are not going to be there anymore and the revenue
is going to erode. The only way to sustain runaway spending has been with
runaway property values," he said.
This House be Safe From Tigers
Caledonia Record Editorial,
September 3, 2009
Let's try that again. The
committee did not find any evidence of racially biased behavior, mind you,
so they decided to warn against the possibility of its occurring sometime,
somewhere in Vermont. It almost seems that the committee was disappointed
not to find what they were sure was there, and having the pre-determined
mindset that we have to protect ourselves from it, even if what we looked
for wasn't there, they decided to show us how to avoid what wasn't there.
Much? Not Enough?
From Vermont Tiger, September
No doubt we'll hear a lot
about how this is an example of how health care spending is out of control,
busting employers' budgets, etc.
Nobel Prize-winning economist
Fogel has a different perspective:
The main factor
[driving health care costs] is that the long-term income elasticity of
the demand for healthcare is 1.6—for every 1 percent increase in a family’s
income, the family wants to increase its expenditures on healthcare by
1.6 percent. …
Some Woodstock Businesses
Say Zoning Laws Are Unfairly Enforced
By John Woodrow Cox, Valley
News, September 6, 2009
Many object to Woodstock's
"grandfathered" zoning regulations, which create different rules for different
businesses, based on how long they've been open. A "grandfathered" business
is one opened under old zoning laws that operated under those laws -- even
if newer businesses have to comply with newer, stricter, regulations.
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Global War on Terrorism
Official: Hezbollah Expanding Global Operations
By Erick Stakelbeck, September
I had a fascinating, one-on-one
meeting last week with an Arab government official who has a keen sense
of the threat environment in the Middle East and North Africa. Here is
some of what he shared with me:
1) Hezbollah is expanding
its reach worldwide and is gearing up "for something big." This Arab official
believes the group is actively seeking a biological/chemical weapons capability,
and there is little doubt who would be helping them in that regard: Iran
He believes Hezbollah is a well-organized, well-funded machine capable
of doing great damage both conventionally (missile barrages into Israeli
cities) and unconventionally (terror attacks against Israeli, U.S. and
moderate Arab interests worldwide). Or, as he described the group, "Bad
guys with good strategic vision."
"You're going to be reporting
a lot on Hezbollah in the future," he told me. "They already have people
on the ground in Europe and elsewhere. They will be making front page news
soon. They are just waiting for the orders to act – they are not in a hurry."
Back from the brink?
From BBC News, September
I was in Kabul in March 2001
when the Taliban blew up the two 2nd Century Buddha statues carved into
a mountainside in central Bamyan province. I remember the gloom, and even
despair, it caused among some of the Taliban's own mid-ranking officials.
I thought things had slid
past the point of no return.But then came hope, disguised as an ostensibly
unpopular decision of the United States to attack the country and expel
Dodge Real Debate on Terminology
By Sid Shahid, Islamist
Watch, September 2, 2009
At the core of the post-9/11
"war of ideas" is the battle over terminology. It would seem that Dr. M.
Zuhdi Jasser struck a nerve with the powers that be at CAIR
(Council on American-Islamic Relations) when he took the Obama administration
to task for its abandonment of the phrase "war on terror" and its myopic
focus on al-Qaeda, rather than the broader ideology behind it. In that
Acts of terror
are rooted in the aspirations of Islamists to create an Islamic state and
impose their version of Shariah law. …
Election Poses Challenges for U.S. Alliance
Al-Qaeda had nothing to
do with the string of radical Islamists arrested across the country — from
North Carolina to New York, Oregon, and New Jersey (to name but a few)
— in the last year alone. The only thing these radicals have in common
is their belief in a militant version of political Islam. …
Klingner, Heritage Foundation, August 31 2009
The degree of change that
the DPJ victory will bring to Japan's foreign policy remains in doubt.
DPJ security policy pronouncements were vague and contradictory as the
party toned down its earlier positions in the run-up to the election. Japan's
inherent political constraints, anemic defense funding, and societal apathy
will continue to hinder any prime minister's ability to significantly alter
But it is clear that the
DPJ will be less willing to fulfill existing bilateral U.S. force realignment
agreements and more resistant to Washington's requests for Japan to expand
its overseas security role. A poll of DPJ candidates taken on the eve of
the election revealed that only a minority support U.S. security objectives
such as dispatching Japanese forces to Afghanistan, continuing refueling
operations in the Indian Ocean, and altering Japan's collective self-defense
guidelines to allow for a more robust overseas defense role. More DPJ candidates
favored shifting Japan's emphasis to Asia over placing a greater focus
on the U.S.-Japanese alliance.
Call to New Resolve?
By Amil Imani, New Media
Journal, August 29, 2009
Unlike anything encountered
in recent memory, the formidably complex and unique situation present in
today’s Iran poses an enormous challenge. It defies any conventional solution,
and simply resorting to civil disobedience is the equivalent of fighting
off a pack of hungry and blood-thirsty wolves with tooth-picks! The incredibly
ruthless, deceptive, and cunning nature of the present regime, bundled
together with an Islamic modus operandi, creates an enigma and a
number of paradoxes.
Islamists Accuse Moderate Muslims of Apostasy
By David J. Rusin,
Islamist Watch, August 31, 2009
The ongoing saga of Rifqa
Bary — the teenager who fled from Ohio to Florida, citing
fears that her Muslim parents would murder her for becoming a Christian
— has underlined the dangers associated with leaving Islam. A 2008 Islamist
summarizes the problem:
All major schools
of Islamic jurisprudence stipulate that a sane adult male must be put
to death for abandoning Islam, though varying interpretations
persist on whether females should be killed or merely imprisoned. Many
Islamic states outlaw apostasy and seven list it as a capital offense.
However, freelancers such as angry relatives present the greatest danger
to ex-Muslims, as Sunni and Shiite scholars largely agree that Shari'a
empowers individuals to punish converts. This tradition has followed Muslims
to the Western world.
A related menace is that Islamists
often employ accusations of apostasy as weapons against moderate Muslims.
Given the perils faced by converts from Islam, such charges are meant to
intimidate anti-Islamist Muslims into silence — or worse.
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Despotism, Democracy's Drift: What Tocqueville Teaches Today
By Paul Rahe, James W. Ceaser,
Ph.D. and Thomas G. West, Heritage Foundation, September 2, 2009
If we are ever to put a stop
to the advance of the administrative state or even roll it back, if we
are ever to recover the liberty that once was ours and reassert our dignity
as citizens rather than as clients and as subjects, we must first come
to understand what it is that has occasioned central administrations' seemingly
inexorable march. Here, I would argue, Alexis de Tocqueville, who died
150 years ago today, on 16 April 1859, is our best guide, for what he feared
with regard to his native France is increasingly true for the United States.
We have contracted the "French
disease." To an ever-increasing degree, our compatriots are subject to
what Tocqueville described as "an immense tutelary power which takes sole
charge of assuring their enjoyment and of watching over their fate."
As he predicted, this power is "absolute, attentive to detail, regular,
provident and gentle," and it "works willingly for their happiness, it
provides for their security, foresees and supplies their needs, guides
them in their principal affairs, directs their industry, regulates their
testaments, divides their inheritances." It is entirely proper to ask whether
it can "relieve them entirely of the trouble of thinking and of the effort
associated with living," for such is evidently its aim.
Much Government Makes Us Sick
By Anthony B. Bradley Ph.D.,
Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, September 2, 2009
While Congress is busy working
on health care reform, policy-makers are reluctant to admit that many of
our nation’s health problems are linked to practices subsidized by taxpayers.
An American diet heavily dependent on corn and corn-derivatives is linked
to obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, Type II-Diabetes,
constipation, joint pain, and other ailments. The tragic irony is that
government subsidizes the low-cost production of the corn-based, unhealthy
foods that make many people sick. Now the Obama administration wants to
give these same policy-makers responsibility for our health care.
According to the Environmental
Workers Group, corn subsidies in the United States totaled $56.2 billion
from 1995-2006. This government intervention has encouraged the widespread
use of corn syrup as a sweetener in many manufactured foods. Yet many of
the unhealthiest foods are those with the highest levels of high-fructose
corn syrup. In effect, government subsidies have made unhealthy foods extremely
cheap to produce. Corn syrup is now found in an unbelievable number of
products ranging from salad dressing to hot dogs.
History of America’s Nuclear Power Experience: Part Two
By Jay Lehr, Ph.D., Environment
& Climate News, September, 2009
In strict physical terms,
there is no such thing as nuclear waste. Using a resource does not automatically
turn it into waste. As environmentalists have long taught us, pollution
is really just resources out of place.
The by-products of nuclear
fission are so incredibly compact and potentially useful, none of them
need to be thrown away. They are sitting there waiting to be processed.
Almost 100 percent of the material in spent nuclear fuel rods can be recycled
as useful material, and it is being done in other parts of the world today.
The very small amounts of
material that cannot be reprocessed economically today can be stored safely
until it becomes financially feasible in the future. There truly is no
such thing as nuclear waste.
Conservatives, We’re Recovering
Even while Obamanomics
By Larry Kudlow, National
Review, September 1, 2009
While so-called spending-and-deficit
stimulus may be an economic depressant, Friedmanite monetary stimulus —
which has been substantial — is gradually exerting a powerful impact on
economic growth. At the same time, businesses have become lean and mean,
with radical cost-cutting of inventories, employment, and hours worked.
That’s setting up a big profits surge, which is the
biggest economic stimulus of all.
Consumers also have retrenched,
as is appropriate with falling home prices, a rough stock market correction,
and a slowdown of incomes. But from the ashes of recession, these corrective
forces lead to the next recovery.
In Hayekian and Misesean
terms, bad investment and spending decisions are being remedied through
the free-market corrective process. And, greased by easy money, today’s
market correctives may produce a much stronger V-shaped recovery than the
stock-market consensus expects.
Solar-Power Collapse Dims Subsidy Model
By Angel Gonzalez and Keith
Johnson, The Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2009
Spain's hopes of becoming
a world leader in solar power have collapsed since the Spanish government
slammed the brakes on generous subsidies. The sudden change has rippled
across the global solar industry, in a warning of the problems that government-supported
renewable-energy programs can encounter.
Coming Reset in State Government
My fellow governors
and I are likely facing a permanent reduction in tax revenues.
By Mitch Daniels, The Wall
Street Journal, September 3, 2009
The "progressive" states
that built their enormous public burdens by soaking the wealthy will hit
the wall first and hardest. California, which extracts more than half its
income taxes from a fraction of 1% of its citizens, is extreme but hardly
alone in its overreliance on a few, highly mobile taxpayers. Both individuals
and businesses are fleeing soak-the-rich states already. Those who remain
in high-tax states will be making few if any capital gains tax payments
in the years to come. Even if the stock market comes roaring back to life,
the best it could do is speed the deduction of recent losses.
Sadly, the political impulse
to protect government largess leads many states to aggravate their dilemma.
Already more than half have raised taxes, often on businesses, serving
only to chase them and their tax payments away and into the open arms of
states like Indiana. Our traffic flow of interested investors is as heavy
as it was in 2007. Since January we have welcomed the consolidation of
more than 30 firms that closed up shop elsewhere and chose us as the low-cost,
enterprise-friendly environment among their current locations.
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