North Archives - September 22, 2009
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- and Bypassing - the Court System
By John McClaughry
this point well-managed state governments turn to recommendations from
a Performance Review. It's a process that asks of every state function:
Privatize, Eliminate, Retain, or Modify?
The Democratic Party's 2004
platform called for just such a process. In 2005 Gov. Douglas made what
proved to be a feeble run at the same goal. Since then, the concept has
lain fallow. Now is the time that the state very badly needs to act upon
PERM recommendations - that of course it doesn't have.
But there's one bright spot
here. The Judiciary Branch has set out on the performance review path.
Pursuant to a 2008 statute, Chief Justice Paul Reiber created a Commission
on Judicial Operation to examine the efficient and effective delivery of
judicial services and the allocation of judicial branch resources.
Room for Moderates in Today's Vermont Democratic Party
By Rob Roper
On September 8, Vermont's
Democratic Auditor, Tom Salmon, and son of a former Democratic governor
left his life-long political party to join the Vermont Republican Party.
Explaining why, Salmon said, "I'm changing my political affiliation to
align myself with a party more committed to the realities of our fiscal
condition, and who I think have the abilities to manage the very real and
troubling economic and social conditions which confront us not only today
but over the next decade.... In many ways I'm not leaving the Democratic
Party, the Democratic Party left me and tens of thousands of other people
in a reunion with the Progressive Party and their values...."
Revoir, Au Buchon
By Martin Harris
that a venerable New England hardware store chain will close its downtown
Rutland location brings to mind once again the just-about-insoluble commercial
core problem of mid-size cities: most Americans wonít spend where they
canít (easily) park. In large cities the apartment-dwelling natives are
used to shopping without POVís (privately-owned vehicles) and in small
towns beyond New England thereís usually enough parking around the courthouse
square near enough to the facing rows of stores to work reasonably well,
but in mid-sized places like Rutland itís impossible to comply with the
mandatory math of contemporary urban planning: a square foot of parking
for a square foot of retail, without challenging some aspect of the typical
19th century grid-square streets-and-buildings layout.
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from the oligarchy's mistrust of the people; hence they deprive them of
arms, ill-treat the lower class, and keep them from residing in the capital.
These are common to oligarchy and tyranny."
--Aristotle in Politics
(J. Sinclair translation, pg. 218, 1962)
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Weekly News Round-Up
and Our Senators
Caledonia Record Editorial,
September 16, 2009
ACORN's right to federal
funding rightfully went before the Senate Monday where they voted 83 to
7 to stop the flow of money. Two of the seven senators voting against the
measure were Vermont's senators, Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy. Sanders,
in the name of Socialist radical politics, voted once more against the
huge majority's sense of decency. Sanders, who gets into the Congressional
Record by making speeches in the middle of the night to a Senate chamber
empty except for him and his cameraman, and to whom nobody in Washington
listens, is just being Sanders, a demonically ideological social activist.
We can't even begin to understand
Leahy's vote. Though often cynical, Leahy is smart enough to know just
how repulsive ACORN is to the American people. Vermonters should be perplexed
by his vote in support of scoundrels and against the interests of people
who want to trust their government. We can't figure out what he or his
political interests have to gain by his vote. We can only speculate on
how shallow his probity must be to do it.
From Vermont Tiger, September
Vermont is staring down the
barrel of the sort of pension crisis that has hit elsewhere and even driven
some California municipalities into bankruptcy. We published David
Coates' warning on the coming pension tsunami earlier this year and, since
then, Treasurer Jeb Spaulding has taken up the cause of reforming and funding
Vermont's obligations to retiring state workers and school teachers.
The new head of the Vermont
NEA (that would be the teacher's union) isn't
having any of it.
This Country in Shape, Exercise Those Constitutional Rights
Caledonia Record Editorial,
September 17, 2009
Our week of articles, interviews
and educational information on the U.S. Constitution has demonstrated Americans
are grateful for their nation, their form of government and the genius
of the framers of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
American citizens are all
held to be equal in the eyes of God and under the Constitution and Bill
of Rights. Perhaps nowhere else on earth is there such a promise of equality
without regard to birth, gender, religion or race. We are promised equality
of opportunity, but not equality of outcome.
You Are Reading This...
From Vermont Tiger, September
You must know that blogs
are a threat to all that is pure and good in journalism.
The big engines of established
journalism have left their readers in the dark, recently, on the controversy
leading up to the resignation of a senior White House adviser who publicly
backed the charge that the former President of the U.S. was complicit in
the murder of the 3,000 American citizens. To the extent that the
major media covered the story at all, it made it sound as though the staffer
was guilty of not much worse than talking like the average 13 year old.
Auditor says State Needs to Tighten Economic Development, Buildings, Motor
From VermontBiz.com, September
Vermont State Auditor Tom
Salmon issued a report today that says the state can do more to set goals
for programs and to track actual results. In audits of the Department of
Buildings & General Services, the Department of Motor Vehicles and
the Department of Economic Development, results indicate that agencies
have established goals, but fall short in setting up relevant performance
indicators, targets and methods to track actual results.
GOP Chair Won't Seek Re-election
By John Curran, Associated
Press Writer, September 16, 2009
Rob Roper, 41, of Stowe,
who took the job in January 2007 to fill an unexpired term and was re-elected
later that year, said Tuesday he won't be a candidate when the Republican
State Committee meets to vote on a chairman Nov. 14. Roper says he will
remain active in politics, either as a candidate himself or helping other
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Global War on Terrorism
Deaths Curb al-Qaida's Expansion
By Paisley Dodds, Associated
Press September 18, 2009
Recent targeted attacks that
killed militants in Somalia, Indonesia and Pakistan have chipped away at
al-Qaida's power base, sapping the terror network of key leaders and experienced
operatives who train recruits and wage attacks.
Surrender In Dead Of Night
From Investor's Business
Daily, September 17, 2009
With Iran on the verge of a deliverable nuke, the administration tells
our allies in the dead of night that we will scuttle missile defense plans
in Eastern Europe to please the Russians.
Stab in the Back
growing impatient with Obama on Afghanistan
BY Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy
Newspapers, September 18, 2009
Six months after it announced
its strategy for Afghanistan, the Obama administration is sending mixed
signals about its objectives there and how many troops are needed to achieve
them. The conflicting messages are drawing increasing ire from U.S. commanders
in Afghanistan and frustrating military leaders, who are trying to figure
out how to demonstrate that they're making progress in the 12-18 months
that the administration has given them.
March in Iran Anti-Government Protests
By Barbara Slavin, Washington
Times, September 18, 2009
Tens of thousands of people
marched in Tehran and other major Iranian cities Friday as demonstrators
turned an annual anti-Israel event into a new protest against the Islamic
government. Witnesses and videos posted on the Internet and broadcast by
foreign television showed clashes between security forces and protesters
chanting "No Gaza, no Lebanon: my life only for Iran" and "death to the
Qaida Moves the Battle to Iraq
By James Lewis, American
Thinker, September 16, 2009
Suppose you were Osama Bin
Laden or his successor, and you're pitted against Barack Bin Obama, President
by the Grace of God, Fearless Conqueror of Hillary, Pitiless Crusader against
Greedy and Evil Doctors, Breaker of the Budget. Obama is trying to leave
Iraq: He promised it to his good buds on the Left, and they are the only
ones who have any clout in this White House. In Afghanistan Obama is nominally
committed to the "good war." But never to win; that would be so retro.
Winning counts only against Republicans.
What do you do if you're
Osama with an S? Easy. You attack where the enemy is retreating. Money
is fungible, truck bombs can be bought and Muslim suiciders travel. The
Americans are pulling back in Iraq, so that's where you start to truck-bomb
civilians again, to show that they can't rely on the Americans, and the
Iraqi government is helpless. The goal is to spread terror until the people
buckle under again. What would you do if a terror group were free to explode
truck bombs in your supermarket?
of Weapons of Mass Destruction
By Peter Huessy, Family
Security Matters, September 16, 2009
When the Bush
administration took office, the specter of proliferating nuclear
weapons was high on its agenda. During the previous decade, six key nations
acquired, tested or sought nuclear weapons, including North
Korea, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and India. Except for the
last two, all were signatories to the NPT or Non Proliferation Treaty,
in which they pledged not to acquire nuclear weapons.
The past policies inherited
by the new administration were seriously inadequate to the task they faced.
Part of the problem was the conventional wisdom over the extent and nature
of these weapons programs. For example, while Libyaís chemical weapons
program was a brief concern in 1996, its nuclear program was considered
largely non-existent. North Koreaís 1994 nuclear agreement with the U.S.,
Japan and the Republic of Korea was widely hailed as comprehensive and
a success. As for Iran, the U.S. and the European
Union had sought to deal with the mullahs through economic engagement
and trade. In addition, the intelligence community missed the nuclear bomb
tests of Pakistan and India, largely because U.S. policy had soft-pedaled
Pakistanís nuclear program in order to secure its participation in the
comprehensive test ban treaty, while India was still not divided from its
past close association with the Soviet Union, making approaches from the
United States difficult.
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Discourse on the Public Option
By Jordan Ballor, Acton
Institute for Religion and Liberty, September 16, 2009
Rather than pushing for a
"public" option that relies on government bureaucracy to underwrite a competitor
for private insurance companies, the presidentís plan ought to call for
greater "non-profit" or "charitable" options that arise out of the spontaneous
and voluntary character of civil society.
While there are established
non-profit insurance entities, like many members of the Blue Cross and
Blue Shield Association, there are also newly burgeoning charitable and
non-profit efforts that would be endangered if a new government-subsidized
public option emerges. A recent
WORLD Magazine report described the tenuous situation of health
care sharing ministries (HCSMs), which could be excluded by the presidentís
plan. James Lansberry, president of the Alliance of Health Care Sharing
Ministries, has said, "We are looking at complete obliteration of the ministries
as they exist." HCSMs like Samaritan Ministries International, Christian
Care Medi-Share, and Christian Health Care Ministries currently represent
about 34,000 families nationwide. And while there is great potential for
this number to rise dramatically in the future, the value represented of
these kinds of embryonic efforts lies not just in the numbers but especially
in the diversity of grassroots and community-based efforts to meet health
New Audio Reveals White House Using NEA to Push Partisan Agenda
By Patrick Courrielche,
Big Hollywood, September 21, 2009
*NEA conference call full
audio and transcript here**
Should the National
Endowment for the Arts encourage artists to create art on
issues being vehemently debated nationally? That is the question that I
set out to discuss a little over three weeks ago when I wrote an article
on Big Hollywood entitled The
National Endowment for the Art of Persuasion?"
The question still requires
debate but the facts do not. The NEA and the White House did encourage
a handpicked, pro-Obama arts group to address politically controversial
issues under contentious national debate. That fact is irrefutable.
as Servants of Power
Wants Another $6 Million Despite Scandals
By Kevin Mooney, Washington
Examiner, September 14, 2009
An ACORN affiliate has just
submitted applications for over $6 million in government funding, despite
the controversial videos of the organizationís workers aiding a child prostitution
Tell FCC to Push For 'Net Neutrality'
By Fawn Johnson, The Wall
Street Journal, September 18, 2009
Republican lawmakers said
they would fight net neutrality legislation. "I'm very weary of talk of
efforts to increase regulations where there is really no compelling case
to do so," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.).
A federal appeals court is
reviewing the FCC's citation last year of Comcast for throttling certain
high-bandwidth video applications. The FCC said the practice violated its
Internet principles, but opponents said the FCC doesn't have authority
to impose such punishments. Industry insiders say little government action
will occur on net neutrality until the court rules.
Recent History with Prostitution
From National Reviewís "The
Campaign Spot", September 18, 2009
Perhaps we shouldn't have
been completely surprised by the videos we've seen of ACORN workers offering
assistance to prostitution rings.
Roots Watered by Taxpayers
By Bret Jacobson, Big Government,
September 14, 2009
Until recently, few knew
much about ACORN or the reach of its 300-plus
organizations with a hundred-million-dollar
budget. The main financial sustenance for the behemoth comes
from unions (which outsource
dirty work, strategy, and anti-corporate attacks to the group),
powerful and politically minded non-profit foundations, political campaigns
from then-Senator Barack Obamaís presidential campaign in 2008)
and taxpayer money.
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