North Archives - October 06, 2009
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Ready for the Obama Individual Mandate
By John McClaughry
President Obama's government-run "public option" insurance proposal on
the skids in Congress, attention has focused on an even more central part
of his sweeping health care plan: the individual mandate.
"Individual mandate" means
that every person subject to it must buy a government-approved health insurance
policy from a government-regulated insurance carrier. Or else what? Or
else they must pay the government a "fee" for not being insured. This "fee",
in the most recent Senate bill, amounts to as much as $3,800 a year for
a family. If you willfully refuse to pay it, the government has the power
to fine you another $25,000 and put you in jail for a year.
Politics of Education in Burlington
By Linus Leavens
We are seeing alarming changes
in Burlington’s School System; changes brought about by a Socialist Progressive
mentality aimed at grabbing power by co-opting the minds of our children
from Pre-K onward through our public schools.
Sweeeet It Is!
By Martin Harris
two factoids –low average wage and high average housing level- furnish
welcome support for the thesis I’ve previously offered in this space, the
idea that Vermont is moving fairly rapidly from an active (earned) income
economic base to a passive one. It shows up, sort of, in the stats I’ve
previously recited here showing earned income over the 1992-2004 period
just about keeping up with inflation, while farm income showed not even
a nominal increase and therefore suffered an actual one-third drop, and
the passive category, everything from Social Security and pensions to investments
and, yes, trust-funds, showing a growth of several hundred percent. But
large percentage growth from a small starting point isn’t enough to prove
the thesis; even now, trust-funder income is but a relatively small fraction
of the overall state-wide income-source pattern. Thus, one can’t very well
use the income stats alone to theorize about the impact of the trust-funder
sector, but now one can, indeed, point to the inherent conflict between
the wage and housing stats to theorize that something economically remarkable
is, in fact, going on, and it’s grown to a scale large enough to show up
in the state-wide stats. The two CFED factoids aren’t irrefutable proof
of my trust-funder-economy thesis, but –how sweet it is— they’re certainly
a pair of strong supporters.
Compiled by True North
Links to information on ACORN
that has been referenced on True North’s radio series on the group’s corruption.
(Links to listen to the radio series
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the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper."
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Weekly News Round-Up
News For The Republicans and For Vermont
Caledonia Record Editorial,
October 2, 2009
So, it is good news for the
Republicans. But, it is equally good news for Vermont. It has taken all
of the considerable political skill of Jim Douglas for years to ward off
the excesses of the liberal left who dominate the Democratic Party. Despite
their legislative numbers and control - this session with a veto-proof
majority - Messieurs Peter Shumlin, Shap Smith and their rad left colleagues
have been stymied in many of their wildest-eyed schemes.
The Douglas decision precipitated
a nightmare for middle-of-the-road and conservative Democrats and Republicans.
It is that the election of any of the Democrats who have already announced
for governor would, without the Douglas brakes, open the floodgates of
far left laws and schemes. That nightmare has just been reduced to a bad
Welcome, Brian Dubie, to
the race. You are more than a breath of fresh air.
From Vermont Tiger, October
The European nations with
high taxes lessen that problem by taxing the middle class and have relatively
low taxes on businesses. The U.S. has one of the
highest corporate income tax rates in the industrialized world.
Most of the OECD nations rely on relatively high value added taxes. In
Quebec, for example, the tax is about 13%. A large share of these consumption
taxes are paid by the middle class (since most people are in the middle
class.) U.S. states, similarly, rely on sales and consumption taxes to
a relatively high degree, which is why their tax structures are relatively
less progressive than the national tax structure.
Rules Against Omya Neighbors in Federal Lawsuit
Rutland Herald Staff Report,
Sep 30, 2009
Residents who live near Omya's
calcium carbonate plant have lost a federal lawsuit that claimed the company's
chemically tainted marble waste posed a threat to human health and the
United States Magistrate
Judge Jerome Niedermeier issued his decision today ruling that nearby residents
of the Florence quarries where the marble waste or tailings have been dumped
failed to prove "that alleged potential harm claimed constitutes a serious
Many Jobs Were Stimulated?
From Vermont Tiger, October
There’s going to be a lot
of controversy and confusion nationwide on October 30 when stimulus reports
from states are made public on recovery.gov.
The reported numbers for "jobs created or retained" will be particularly
contentious since they will be much lower than the job forecasts by state
which used to be posted on recovery.gov (I can’t find them in the new and
excellent redo of the site) and the total reported by the states won’t
come close to the total jobs forecast to be created by the stimulus bill
(aka American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or ARRA).
Plasan delivers 750 armor kits for US troops in Afghanistan
From VermontBiz.com, October
Bennington, Vermont's Plasan,
a global leader in the field of combat-proven survivability and armor solutions
for vehicles, airborne platforms and personal protection, today announced
the delivery of 750 armor kits for the US Army's MRAP All Terrain Vehicles
(M-ATV) as a subcontractor to Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense. Today's
delivery meets the latest production milestone in the contract awarded
by U.S. Department of Defense to produce 4,296 M-ATVs for deployment in
It Right; Getting It Wrong
From Vermont Tiger, October
I guess bad news sells papers
even when the data is suspect.
From the Burlington Free
Press story of September 30th entitled, "Census: Vermont Income Drops
..."Andy Condon, chief
of the economic and labor market section at the Vermont Department of Labor,
and Burlington-based economist Doug Hoffer agree that the decline in income
likely was the result of a sour performance in the stock market."
..."Art Woolf, an economics
professor at the University of Vermont, discounts the data."...
First off, who's the economist?
Doug Hoffer is a research
and policy analysis consultant, based in Burlington. He holds a BA in Political
Science from Williams College and a J.D. from SUNY Buffalo School of Law
Arthur G. Woolf, is a professor
at the University of Vermont and has earned a PhD in Economics from the
University of Wisconsin.
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Global War on Terrorism
The Jihadists are Mushrooming Inside America
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family
Security Matters, September 28, 2009
It is unprecedented in American
counterterrorism annals: in one day, the nation was dealing with three
separate jihadist plots to blow up civilian and other targets inside the
homeland. Although the cases were addressed at different time periods by
the FBI and other agencies, nevertheless, the thickening web of terror
attempts breached the crossing line of U.S. national security.
This past week, authorities
revealed three conspiracies by American jihadists: Michael C. Finton, a
29-year-old man who wished to follow the steps of American-born Taliban
John Walker Lindh, was arrested after trying to detonate what he thought
was a bomb inside a van outside a federal courthouse in Springfield, Illinois.
Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year-old Jordanian national, was arrested
after placing what he believed was a bomb at a downtown Dallas skyscraper.
But perhaps the most troubling case is of Afghan-born Najibullah Zazi,
who set up shop in suburban Denver, scouting the Web and visiting beauty
supply stores in a hunt for chemicals needed to build bombs for al Qaeda.
Sources called the alleged plot one of the most significant terror threats
to the U.S. since 9/11. Add to the list the North Carolina Jihad cell,
led by Daniel Patrick "Saifullah" Boyd, which was planning on attacking
civilian and military targets across the country.
House Progressive's War Against US Generals
From The Lid, October 5,
The longer a report sits
on the President's desk the more likely it is to be leaked. The President
sat on his hand-picked General's recommendation for three weeks
until it leaked out. Now one month later he says he still needs to think
about what to do.
What has the President been
doing since word leaked out? Lets see, he took the opportunity to experience
the joy of becoming the first US President to run a UN Security Council
Meeting. He took the time to lower the prestige of the Presidency by trashing
Glenn Beck on the White House website, and he took a trip to
wonderful,wonderful Copenhagen so he could lower
the prestige of the office of POTUS further in a losing bid
to get the Olympics to his home town.
The President is trying to
balance the fact that his progressive supporters are fighting against his
generals, they want to cut and run in Afghanistan and make America vulnerable
to the terrorist threat. So Obama has been avoiding the problem and goes
"small picture" focusing on the Olympics and Glenn Beck while sitting on
the recommendation of his Generals. The problem is while Obama is doing
everything in his power to avoid making a decision, the war in Afghanistan
is going to hell in a hand-basket. Instead of being a leader, Barack Obama
is doing what he did in the Illinois legislature..voting
From the National Review,
September 29, 2009
According to the Washington
Post, the U.S. government says the Taliban have "a new haven
in Pakistan," namely, the city of Quetta in Baluchistan province. This
Quetta is not a "new haven"
for the Taliban. Mullah Omar and the Taliban’s high command have been based
there for years. Moreover, their presence has been an open secret in the
region — as is the fact that Mullah Omar and his men could not be there
without the tacit agreement of the Pakistani state, and in particular the
ISI intelligence agency.
Been Talking to Iran for 30 Years
The seizure of the
U.S. embassy followed the failure of Carter administration talks with Ayatollah
By Michael Ledeen, The Wall
Street Journal, September 29, 2009
The Obama administration's
talks with Iran—set to take place tomorrow in Geneva—are accompanied by
an almost universally accepted misconception: that previous American administrations
refused to negotiate with Iranian leaders. The truth, as Secretary of Defense
Robert Gates said last October at the National Defense University, is that
"every administration since 1979 has reached out to the Iranians in one
way or another and all have failed."
By Daniel Pipes, Jerusalem
Post, September 30, 2009
Almost unnoticed, Binyamin
Netanyahu won a major victory last week when Barack Obama backed down on
a signature policy initiative. This about-face suggests that U.S.-Israel
relations are no longer headed for the
disaster I have been fearing.
Four months ago, the new
U.S. administration unveiled a policy that suddenly placed great emphasis
on stopping the growth in Israeli "settlements." (A term
I dislike but use here for brevity's sake.) Surprisingly,
American officials wanted to stop not just residential building for Israelis
in the West Bank but also in eastern
Jerusalem, a territory legally part of Israel for nearly
War in Afghanistan
A briefing by Joseph C.
Myers, Middle East Forum, September 29, 2009
According to LTC Myers, the
focus of U.S. strategy to date, in an economy-of-force-environment, has
been primarily oriented towards developing national institutions—the national
government, national security forces, the military and police—whereas the
insurgency focuses on the local and village, or "tactical," levels. The
new strategy recognizes the need to focus on all levels—from village to
province to national level—executing a cohesive, integrated civil-military
plan. The poor economy of Afghanistan provides a ready pool of income-seekers
which the insurgency can and does employ.
Asked about Al-Qaeda's presence
in Afghanistan, LTC Myers stated that Afghanistan is no longer a "safe
haven" for international terrorists. Instead, Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders
are more likely hiding in the tribal areas of western Pakistan.
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Social Problems and the Family
By Rep. Steven Thayn, Idaho
State Legislature, JeffHead.com
This essay is by Steven Thayn,
a 2nd term legislator in the Idaho State Legislature from the 11th District.
It is a thesis about how current government entitlement programs do not
encourage independent living or the formation of stable families, but instead
increase social problems, add to our tax burden, and decrease our standard
of living. It documents the truth of that statement and introduces a solution
through the family and establishing it as the primary delivery mechanism
of social relief within society.
Cannot Serve Two Masters
By Rev. Robert A. Sirico,
Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, September 30, 2009
The independence of American
charities has steadily eroded in recent years as more philanthropic institutions
have come to see their mission as one of partnership or collaboration with
the government. That’s a nice way of saying, "seeking government dough."
Now, in the throes of a severe economic crisis and budget cutbacks at state
and local levels, many charities are in a panic about reduced levels of
funding. Anyone with eyes to see could have seen this coming. ....
What the federal funding
has done, I fear, is turn too many philanthropic leaders into grant seekers,
contract managers and lobbyists. Politicians, in turn, are picking winners
and losers based on the self-serving calculations operative in budget negotiations.
The result is a complex co-dependency of charity manager, politician and
bureaucrat, all working together in the quasi-governmental entity known
as the "public-private initiative."
Group To Sue Administration for Failing to Disclose Global Warming Docs
From ABC News, September
non-profit organization in Washington today announced it was filing suit
against the Obama administration for failing to adequately disclose global
we reported two weeks ago the Competitive Enterprise Institute deemed inadequate
the Treasury Department's response to a Freedom of Information Act request
for documents on cap-and-trade.
White House ACORN Operative Fined $775,000 For Election Violations
Used Rapists &
Burglars in Door-to-Door Registration Drives.
From the Gateway Pundit,
October 5, 2009
So where does a far left
political operative land after his organization is fined $775,000 for election
violations that included hiring rapists and burglars to register voters?
Inside the Obama White House,
There have been several articles
written lately about Barack Obama's ACORN advisor, Patrick Gaspard, who
is currently serving in the White House. Gaspard has a long history of
working with ACORN-affiliated organizations. ... In 2008 Barack Obama hired
Patrick Gaspard, a top official of the powerhouse New York-based healthcare
workers union 1199, an SEIU affiliate and the largest local union in the
country. In 2004, Patrick Gaspard Served As National Field Director For
527 Organization America
Coming Together, a group that was later fined
$775,000 in civil penalties by the federal government.
Man in the White House
Revolt Up North
From Investor’s Business
Daily, September 30, 2009
Health Care Systems: A return
to private health care is rising from the grass roots north of the border.
While we rush headlong toward socialized medicine, Canadians are saying,
"No, thanks — been there, done that."
Pew Poll Shows Abortion Support Dropping 11 Percent, Obama as Reason
By Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com
Editor, October 1, 2009
A new Pew Research Center
poll released today shows support for legal abortions has dropped 11 percent
from 2008-2009. The poll joins a handful of others from earlier this year
confirming there is a growing shift towards the pro-life perspective, perhaps
exacerbated by President Barack
The findings by the nonpartisan
Pew center show Americans taking a pro-abortion position by a 54-40 percentage
point margin in 2007 and 2008. Now, two surveys of 5,500 adults found 47
percent support legal abortions with 44 percent opposed.
Times Falls for 'White Coats in Rose Garden' Staged Photo-Op
By Clay Waters, Media Research
Center, October 06, 2009
"Doctors for America" were
summoned to the Rose Garden yesterday to hear brief, boilerplate remarks
by the president on health reform and applaud them. .... Doctors for America
"also appears to be working closely with Organizing for America, Mr. Obama’s
Demise of the Dollar
By Robert Fisk, The Independent (UK), October 6, 2009
the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf
Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end
dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including
the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency
planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia,
Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.
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