North Archives - September 25, 2007
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Government Solution to a Lack of Discipline?
There is no government solution
to what is a moral/cultural problem. What we really need is a cultural
renewal. We have been feeding off from a stock of cultural heritage that
was stored up by those whom formed our society without asking ourselves
whether we are doing an adequate job of maintaining that cultural heritage.
We are indeed "paying for our lack of discipline" and perhaps it is time
to pay more heed to the virtues needed to sustain a free society instead
of merely assuming that our political leaders can legislate a solution
to any problem we face as a society.
Our Cheese Plants!
by John McClaughry
Brue explained to the Commission at a public meeting last week, its likely
price-fixing rules - whether requiring premium pricing or shifting even
more transportation costs to the handlers - will force him to pay more
for the milk he uses to make cheese.
His competitors in other
states won't have to pay any such premium. So all at once Via cheese, now
competitive, will become less competitive or even uncompetitive. Then Brue
will face the choice of moving his plant to another state, or closing his
business, laying off his workers, and losing his investment. This will
also happen to other Vermont companies like Cabot Creamery, H.P. Hood,
St. Albans Coop, Rhino Foods and the small artisan cheese makers who sell
into a national market. Some day we may well wonder
why it's so hard to find
buyers for Vermont milk.
Smarter Than You. Just Ask Me. Part II
Mills commentary can be found in Thomas Sowell’s "The Vision of the Anointed",
one chapter of which is entitled "The Anointed Versus the Benighted" and
contains this quote: only where "the sovereign Many have let themselves
be guided (which in their best times they have always done) by the counsels
and influence of a more highly gifted and instructed One or Few", it is
on the latter that social well-being and progress depend. Such concepts
of a governing elite show their modern face in the aftermath of occasional
school budget or bond issue defeats by voters; here’s a montage of such
recent commentary: "Oh, if only we’d more adequately explained, to these
foolish and selfish taxpayers, all the wonderful things we’re trying to
do in these inadequate and underfunded and overcrowded schools so that
their kids won’t end up as poorly as they did…we’ll just have to go back
and give them another chance to do the right thing by voting the right
way…" and so on.
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to the Editor
Vermont Taxman: Not a
Penny Left Behind
Heard your program today
but was in the car and could not comment on the taxes.
For a good perspective......
when I retired from Honeywell Aerospace in FL 10 years ago, my federal
tax was close to 10K a year and my FL state and local tax was about 2K.
Now retired in VT my federal
tax is less than $1K and my state and local tax is close to 3K a year.
VT is just tax happy as they are anti-business. Just for reference I pay
to have my taxes prepared so all is above board. The only reason we are
here is "Family" as VT is anything but friendly to retired people. The
Lord said you can’t bring it with you and Vermont is making sure that it’s
not left behind either.
P.S. My wife is Shirley and
has called in to the show a few times.
"Tis a common observation
here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting
for their liberty in defending our own" --Benjamin
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Weekly News Round-Up
Love for the Poor
By John McClaughry, Rutland
Herald, September 20, 2007
There are two main reasons
why 17.4 percent of all children in America live in poverty. The first
one is that their parents typically work for pay only 16 hours a week.
If the adults in a poor household worked a total of 2,000 hours a year,
as most full-time workers do, over 70 percent of poor children wouldn't
be poor any more.
Two-thirds of poor children
live in single-parent homes. If poor mothers married and formed families
with the fathers of their children, almost three-quarters of the children
would immediately be out of poverty. Beyond a disinclination to work and
marry, many able-bodied adults (and thus their children) live in poverty,
not because of genetic shortcomings, accidents, serious childhood abuse,
or plain bad luck, but because they have made poor decisions. Some examples:
dropping out of high school, choosing low ethical standards, neglecting
diet and health, using drugs and booze, and managing money poorly, notably
by spending too much on tobacco, booze, drugs, entertainment, prepared
food, and interest on debt.
Safe Nor Free
Caledonian Record Editorial,
September 19, 2007
Perhaps Benjamin Franklin
said it best, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
vs. Public Interest
From VermontTiger.com, September
Clearly there’s more to this
debate than stingy car companies and CO2. It’s also about how much the
car companies can afford to invest in low-emissions technologies and how
much we’re willing to pay for them. It’s also about ignorant legislators
who somehow think corporate profit motives conflict with public interest.
From VermontTiger.com, September
Half of Vermont’s geography
standards involve either cultural diversity or environmentalism. These
concepts belong, but they shouldn’t dominate. No political agenda should
dominate our state standards. Goals 2000 has left a much worse legacy than
No Child Left Behind. It has wasted millions of dollars. And it has accomplished
nothing, except to advance a political agenda.
From VermontTiger.com, September
I’d love to see a study of
how many businesses in the state depend on free money. Consider all the
vacant dairy farms scattered across the state that have newly reconstructed
barns. Or, of course, the Burlington water front. I’m sure there’re more.
Maybe it’s all part of the plan - when everything is done we’ll sell the
entire state to Disney and all move to wherever the native Vermonters went.
Heaven: Our Man In Washington
From VermontTiger.com, September
So how did Vermont’s freshman
Congressman vote? Peter Welch missed one of the 50 votes, but on the other
49 he voted for the pork… every single time.
Pay for an Unconstitutional Campaign Finance Law
By Robert Roper, Times Argus,
September 23, 2007
Vermont taxpayers got stuck
with a $1.4 million bill for loser's legal fees in the US Supreme Court
case of Randall v. Sorrell. This is the consequence of our Legislature
passing a radical, unconstitutional campaign finance law in 1997. It is
also a reminder in real numbers why we should be thankful Gov. Douglas
vetoed the Legislature's 2007 campaign finance bill.
In Doubt, Hire A Consultant
Caledonian Record Editorial,
September 24, 2007
In politics, you get an "expert"
consultant to push the political aims that you were unable to accomplish
by yourself. That's the only reason that Symington (and, later on, her
embarrassing partner, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin) want consultants
on these two issues/failures of theirs in the last session. When passage
is doubtful, hire an expert.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
By Amil Imani, The American
Thinker, September 22, 2007
Underneath all conquests
and expansions, underneath all the frivolous wars over religious differences,
underneath all the oppression and tyranny, underneath all the motives of
greed for wealth, underneath all the wars over injustices, lies one single
drive: the will to dominate. The passion to dominate, control and
rule over one's fellow humans is an ancient impulse. It goes back to prehistoric
times when certain individuals had the desire to force their will upon
those around them.
Revolution in Transatlantic Affairs
By Tony Corn, Real Clear
The return of both China
and Islam in world history after a three-century-long eclipse has been
the defining feature of the international stage since 1979. In the first
decade afterwards, the West was simply too focused on the "second Cold
War" against the Soviet Bloc to ponder the meaning of the revolutions engineered
by Den Xiao Ping in China and Khomenei in Iran. In the second decade, a
victorious West, indulging in rhetorical self-intoxication, mistook the
most recent stage of a century-old globalization process for the end of
history and even geography.
Message from Al-Qaeda Targets Pakistan
Rick Moran, The American
Thinker, September 20, 2007
Al-Qaeda can cause a lot
of trouble in Pakistan. But as in other places where al-Qaeda has been
active, the local population soon turns against them for their brutal tactics.
Let's hope that continues
Does Bin Laden Want?
By Victor Davis Hanson,
National Review Online, September 20, 2007
Bin Laden also sees how the
rival Muslim theocracy in Iran has turned its oil profits into a nuclear-weapons
program. He’d like to replace the present Gulf monarchies with self-professed
imams and jihadists. Such a single, united Wahhabi theocracy could dole
out its oil to subservient importers, and use the profits to acquire enough
weapons to unite the Arab world and prepare for the final war against us.
Bin Laden’s problem then
is not really tiny Israel or global warming or mortgage interest rates,
but an all-powerful and free West led by the United States. It alone has
the military and economic power to stop radical Islamists. Plus, we bring
the more powerful message of political freedom. And American popular culture,
with its informality and egalitarianism, is sweeping the globe, seducing
far more adherents than does rote memorization of the Koran. So, despite
bin Laden’s bragging, America remains the big stumbling block, the stronger
horse. The United States alone ensures that bin Laden stays a sick man
babbling in a cave — and not a Muslim caliph in flowing robes, with billions
of dollars in oil under his feet and weapons merchants lined up at his
By Thomas Sowell, National
Review Online, September 20, 2007
Iraq is an object lesson
in another sense. You seldom hear about the area of the country controlled
by Kurds because that has been the most peaceful and orderly part of Iraq,
and the media are drawn to death and destruction. In his insightful new
by Reality, author John Agresto says: “I do not believe one American,
soldier or civilian, has been killed or even hurt in Kurdish Iraq since
the war began — or maybe ever.” The Kurds are a people. They are not just
some folks thrown together by others who drew lines on a map. They had
their own leaders before there were any national elections in Iraq.
in a Name? 'Jihad' vs. 'Hiraba'
By Patrick Poole, The American
Thinker, September 18, 2007
What's in a name? When it
comes to identifying what we are fighting against in the war for our civilization,
quite a lot. Members of a movement among military and intellectual circles
want to avoid asserting that we are fighting against "jihad" because
that term is loaded with religious significance in Islam, replacing it
with "hiraba", to highlight the criminal nature of Islamic terrorists:
Walid Phares, writing in American Thinker several weeks ago, challenged
these advocates. As Phares noted in his article, Preventing the West from
to the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference
By U.S. Senator John McCain,
September 22, 2007
between Republicans and Democrats on national security are every bit as
stark as they were 30 years ago. Today, leading Democratic presidential
candidates vote against funding for our troops engaged in war in Afghanistan
and Iraq. Today, leading democratic presidential candidates question whether
there is a war on terror, offer to enter into unconditional negotiations
with our worst enemies, and talk about countering the forces of radicalism
by advocating surrender to them in Iraq. If the Democrats get their
way in Iraq, if we cede Iraq to al Qaeda, how long will they stay the course
in Afghanistan? We face grave challenges in the Middle East: halting
Iran's nuclear ambitions; protecting our democratic ally, Israel; supporting
moderate voices against the killers of Hamas and Hezbollah; defending Lebanon's
sovereignty against Syrian and Iranian aggression. Does anyone seriously
believe that we can better meet those challenges in the aftermath of an
American defeat in Iraq? It is irresponsible to think so, and any
man or woman who does isn't prepared to lead our country in the struggle
against Islamic extremism."
# # #
Key to American Statesmanship
Part 5 of 'The Crisis
of the Republic'
Alan Keyes, 2007 Renew America
According to the oath that
all public officials swear when they take office, our leaders' principal
goal is to preserve our liberty — which is to say, to preserve,
protect, and defend the constitutional form of government that gives the
people of our country a decisive voice in its affairs. The failure to take
account of this goal isn't just an incidental shortcoming. It's an indication
of fatally defective leadership that must eventually produce the
destruction of our way of life.
Can't Afford '08 promises
By Christina Bellantoni,
The Washington Times, September 20, 2007
The 2008 Democratic presidential
candidates are promising voters billions of dollars in new government spending,
paid for in part by "rolling back" the Bush tax cuts. ... The Democrats
say their programs would be funded by ending President Bush's tax cuts
for the wealthiest households, but that cash isn't nearly enough to cover
their promises, and it might not be available by the time one of them would
take office in January 2009.
Government's Healthcare Pathologies
By Max Borders, TCS Daily,
September 21, 2007
Newsflash: Health insurance
is expensive. OK, so that's not news to anyone. But what may be news to
you is why insurance premiums are so high. A common explanation is that
insurance and drug companies are greedy. This narrative is used to justify
more intervention in healthcare markets by both state and federal governments.
Some familiar voices are even calling for a socialized system like Cuba's.
Hilary Clinton's recently announced individual mandate plan doesn't go
quite that far, but looks like a cross between Massachusetts' Mittcare
and European socialism.
Likewise, the well-respected
AMA is urging us to "cover America's uninsured." But how? Socializing medicine
is a good idea if you want to wait three months to mend your broken leg,
get your healthcare from the physician's equivalent of the DMV, and have
your taxes go through the roof. We already subsidize club kids in Seattle
to forgo personal responsibility for healthcare so they can eat out every
night. (And many Americans currently on Medicaid don't even pass the cigarette
test.) But before we do anything else to make a bad system worse, let's
step back for a moment and diagnose the problem. Consider three major health
and Health Care Prove a Toxic Mix Again
Votes to Condemn MoveOn for Ad Attacking General Petraeus
From Fox News, September
The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly
passed a measure condemning MoveOn.org for a newspaper ad it ran last week
attacking Gen. David Petraeus. The move came as President Bush accused
Democrats of cowering to the liberal political action group. The measure
passed in a 72-25 vote, with none of the Democratic presidential candidates
supporting it. Sponsored by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, never one
to shy away from forcing Democrats to go on record on politically sticky
issues, the amendment to the defense authorization bill did win the backing
of 23 Democrats.
here to see how your senators voted.
York Times gave 'price break' on ad berating Petraeus
By Tom Brune, Newsday, September
The New York Times gave an
unwarranted $77,000 "price break" to liberal MoveOn.org on its Sept. 10
full-page ad berating Army Gen. David Petraeus after all, the newspaper
admitted Sunday. After two weeks of saying it had given no special discount,
the Times' Public Editor Clark Hoyt revealed Sunday that the paper should
have charged MoveOn.org a $142,083 fixed-date rate instead of the $64,575
"seven-day standby" rate it did.
Party Bought And Paid For
From Investor's Business
Daily, September 21, 2007
Election 2008: MoveOn.org
once crowed that it had bought and owned the Democratic Party. With the
Senate now blasting its tactics, that's an open question. But not, apparently,
for Democrats running for president.
Judeo-Christian Values of America
By Ronald R. Cherry, The
American Thinker, September 15, 2007
Since the pursuit of happiness,
as Sigmund Freud surmised, is tied to human love and to creative work and
play, the principles of American Judeo-Christian Values can rightly be
summarized as the honoring of God-given Life, Liberty and Creativity. This
seed of American Social Justice was then fleshed out in the U.S. Constitution
through reason and common sense, unencumbered by the dysfunctional religious
and secular traditions and laws of Old Europe.
The Soviets Died For Liberty
From Captain’s Quarters,
September 19, 2007
Newspapers like to play gotcha
games with presidential candidates and their stump speeches. Most of the
time, the fact-checking sessions focus on number-juggling on tax proposals
and spending policy, and they find plenty of daylight between claims and
reality. However, when the Washington
Post attempts to fact-check Fred Thompson on historical references,
they reveal more of their bias than of Fred's. They try to take apart Fred's
claim that Americans "have shed more blood for other people's liberty than
any other combination of nations in the history of the world", and manage
to completely miss the point:
The number of overall
U.S. military casualties, while high, is still relatively low in comparison
to those of its World War I and World War II allies. In World War II alone,
the Soviet Union suffered at least 8 million casualties, or more than 10
times the number of U.S. casualties for all wars combined.
US Welcome for Iran's Ahmadinejad
By Nahal Toosi, Associated
Press, September 24, 2007
Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad took the stage at Columbia University to a blistering reception
from the president of the school, who said the hard-line leader behaved
like "a petty and cruel dictator."
Ahmadinejad Booed at US University
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