North Archives - October 06, 2010
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Preschooling: The Liberal Grand Slam
"Universal access to early
education" has become a major liberal campaign promise this year. This
goal, if achieved, will culminate a ten year campaign by large businesses,
child advocacy groups, the teachers union, and social service agencies
to put the state in charge of the lives of all 3– and 4–year olds not already
vs. Peter Shumlin
By Sharon Toborg
(*As Lt. Governor, Brian
Dubie led the effort to bring Vermont in line with 46 other states that
had already enacted laws offering such protection for newborn babies whose
mothers are in distress after recently giving birth, allowing them to drop
their babies off at designated places referred to as “Safe Havens.”) …
Peter Shumlin supports unrestricted
abortion throughout the entire nine months of a woman’s pregnancy including
the gruesome late–term partial–birth abortion procedure.
History: the Cochrane Treadmill
By Martin Harris
for the Cochrane Treadmill itself, the history of American agriculture
illustrates the readiness of farmers to embrace innovative technology,
much of which was publicly funded and furnished by land–grant–college research
for the express purpose of increasing commodity supply to a chronic oversupply
level and reducing consumer food cost. It’s why corn, which averaged less
than 40 bushels per acre in the ‘50’s, now averages close to 190. It’s
also why milk, which retailed at $1/gallon then, and should be, adjusted
for inflation, at $8.35 now, isn’t, so that milk production was profitable
then and isn’t now. Whether the ADB will avoid the basic economic quandary
of American agriculture in general or Vermont agriculture in particular
––no other sector of American industry has functioned at a loss for so
long and stayed in business–or, instead, will choose to focus on such “innovations”
as farmers’ markets and localvores, remains to be seen. When the news article
reports that a new government office, the Agriculture Development Board,
will ”…provide Vermont with a planning mechanism that can carry agricultural
interests forward”, I’d guess that the latter problem–evading strategy
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"It is much
more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones."
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– Calvin Coolidge
Weekly News Round-Up
changes in Vermont revealed in new Census estimate
By Matt Sutkoski The
Burlington Free Press, October 2 2010
Median household income in
Vermont fell between 2008 and 2009, according to the data, from $52,104
to $51,618, according to the estimates. The data show the number of Vermont
households with an income of $200,000 or greater fell by about 500 to 6,198.
In other data from the American
Community Survey, the number of married people in Vermont is slowly declining,
from 53.3 percent in 2008 to 51.9 percent in 2009. The number of people
in Vermont who have never married is slowly rising, from 31.5 percent in
2008 to 34.7 percent in 2009.
The number of households
in Vermont with people under the age of 18 continues to decline, while
the number of households with people over the age of 65 is still going
A Lot of Smoke, But Never a Fire?
Caledonia Record, October
Peter Shumlin, Democratic
candidate for governor, very often is surrounded by clouds of ethical smoke.
According to him, there is never a fire. Here are three recent incidents:
Warming Because I Say So
McClaughry Vermont Tiger, October 1, 2010
The Free Press recently (9/26/10)
asked the leading state candidates “do you believe that human–induced climate
change is a reality?”
This is a dumb question.
The question actually should have been, “do you believe that human activity
induces any detectable change in the earth’s climate, and if so, does that
change make the planet better or worse, from a human standpoint?”
The scientifically correct
answer, in light of what we now know, is “No, human activity has no detectable
effect on the planet’s climate, but on balance a warmer planet is better
for humans than a colder planet.”
Democratic candidate for
Governor Peter Shumlin, however, declared “The evidence is overwhelming.
Any other conclusion is simply irresponsible.”
Governor Candidates Debate Nuclear Plant's Future
Fox 44 News, October
A debate billed as a discussion
on Vermont's energy needs in Burlington quickly focused on Vermont Yankee.
Republican candidate Brian
Dubie told the crowd of more than 200 people that he wants to see the Vernon
nuclear power plant's operating license renewed past 2012.
"My campaign is about growing
jobs, growing opportunity," said Dubie.
Democrat Peter Shumlin repeatedly
explained why he does not.
Out of Dodge
Vermont Tiger, October
You wonder, sometimes, why
we pay these people.
Normally, when Congress adjourns
and leaves Washington, one feels a sense of relief. But this time, the
Lords and Ladies of the National Legislature could not accomplish the minimal,
but necessary, task of writing
a budget. Which means they cannot account with any precision for how
all the money Washington receives through taxes and borrowing will be spent.
You, however, are still required to send in the money. Be sure of that.
We can assure Senators Leahy
and Sanders and Representative Welch that there isn't anything going on
back here in Vermont that requires their presence. And if they have something
important that they really must communicate to us, e–mail would be fine.
Vermont Crime Report
By Rachel Kent Fox 44
News, Sep 27, 2010
Here's the good news first,
the Vermont Criminal Information Center says in 2009 property crime dropped
from the year before, despite the slumping economy. That means there was
a decrease in burglary, larceny and theft.
And now for the bad news;
the center says there was a spike in shoplifting. Shoplifting is up nearly
30%. The main target is department stores.
What's worse, there were
more violent crimes in 2009. Robberies rose more than 25% from 89 to 112
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
the Footsteps of the Kaiser: China Boosts US Power in Asia
Walter Russell Mead American Interest, September 26 2010
recent missteps in Asia – moving ahead with reactor
sales to troubled Pakistan and crudely
threatening Japan over the arrest of a Chinese fishing captain – are
swiftly solidifying America’s Asian alliances. The new Japanese government
came into office hoping to rebalance Japan’s foreign policy and reduce
tensions with China. That dream is now dead.
And China’s deepening relationship with Pakistan, intended in part as a
counter to America’s nuclear opening to India, is driving Asia’s other
emerging nuclear power closer than ever into the arms
of America (and Japan). South Korea, once drifting peacefully toward
China, has moved back towards
the United States following China’s support for Pyongyang after the
sinking of a South Korean naval boat.
Freedom and the Enduring Danger of Socialism
Kevin E. Schmiesing Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, September
in ringing contradiction to the apocalyptic claims of some, history did
not end in 1990. The choice laid before societies–freedom or serfdom–remains.
The “anthropological error” at the heart of socialism,
as Pope John Paul II described it, has not disappeared. Many who hold positions
of power still believe “that the good of the individual can be
realized without reference to his free choice, to the unique and exclusive
responsibility which he exercises in the face of good or evil”
(Centesimus Annus, n. 13). A society’s political and economic structure
will permit to greater or lesser degree the self-determination of its citizens.
Human beings will grasp and act upon their responsibilities in ways that
respect who they are as human persons; or they will gradually sacrifice
their freedom and its attendant obligations in return for an existence
characterized by moral decadence, lassitude, and mistrust.
continue to move in both directions. Since 1990, China has inched toward
liberty, though the Party’s unyielding hold on religious and intellectual
control keeps its successful transition to freedom in doubt. Even that
historic citadel of Communism, Cuba, has begun breaking free of its socialist
chains: Earlier this month, the government
announced the layoffs of a half-million of its employees, the island’s
“biggest shift to the private sector since the 1960s.”
the American state expands mercilessly, hedging our lives with a forest
of restrictions so dense that it is almost impossible to know and follow
the rule of law to which we still pay lip service. Unwillingness to abandon
any program, no matter how wasteful or ineffective, expedites the mounting
of public debt to unprecedented and unsustainable levels. Polling suggests
that younger Americans, oblivious to the historical record, are developing
increasingly positive views of socialism. Sometime in the not-too-distant
future, the United States and Cuba may pass each other going opposite directions,
the latter lifting toward freedom and prosperity while the former falls
into collectivist decay. Unbelievable? So was the reunification of a democratic
Germany, just before it happened.
Dr. Michael Ledeen Family Security Matters, September 29 2010
may recall that the green leaders feared they would be arrested when Ahmadinejad
returns from his boffo performance at the United Nations, and in order
to impress the leadership with the strength of their mass following, they
called on the people to chant every night from their rooftops. The
chants of “Allah o Akbar” and “Death to the
Dictator” have been very loud, and Mousavi
and Karroubi have hammered away at the illegitimacy of the regime.
Will the regime risk an open confrontation with millions of their own people?
And if it does, how will the people respond? Nobody really knows, and in
all likelihood there is a lot of heated rhetoric in the corridors of power
at this very moment, between those who fear that a direct move against
Mousavi and Karroubi would result in a very violent civil war, and those
who fear that failure to move would produce the implosion of the regime.
English Defense League: The New Face of Europe?
A. Millar NY Hudson New York, September 22, 2010
of extremist Islamists attacked
the returning soldiers as "butchers of Basra," "baby killers," and "terrorists"
during a homecoming parade not long ago in the city
of Luton. With years of anti-British "political correctness," and a
political class that has failed to tackle Islamism with seriousness, this
proved to be too much: the crowd that had turned out to cheer on the soldiers
was soon making their disgust known to the Islamists; the two groups had
to be held apart by police. Within a few days, a video
was floating around the internet, showing the aftermath: calling themselves
the "United People of Luton," thousands of (mostly) young men had taken
to the streets in a rowdy, and chaotic show of anger and frustration, chanting
"no surrender to the Taliban," "we are Luton," and, directed at the Islamists,
time later, the English Defense League [EDL] emerged from the United People
of Luton, and, in a little over the year since its founding, has become
the largest street protest movement in Britain.
EDL has also inspired the recent establishment of independent leagues in
the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and other EU states; the movement is
attracting international attention – including from the Israeli-based
and the US-based Dissent.
much fanfare, the Scandinavian country has been moving away from socialism.
DUNCAN CURRIE National Review Online, September 30 2010
is something about Sweden that provokes a mix of envy, horror, and bewilderment
among American observers. Liberals have traditionally celebrated its cradle-to-grave
safety net, while conservatives have disparaged its high taxes and centralized
health-care regime. Yet both groups have generally agreed that Swedish-style
socialism is a far cry from rough-and-tumble U.S. capitalism.
fact, contemporary Sweden is much less socialist than many Americans realize.
Since the early 1990s, when it suffered a painful financial crisis, the
Scandinavian country has deregulated key industries (such as airlines,
telecommunications, and electricity), lowered its overall tax burden, established
universal school vouchers, partially privatized its pension system, abolished
certain government monopolies, sold a number of state-owned enterprises
(including the parent company of Absolut vodka), and trimmed public spending.
Several years ago, it eliminated gift and inheritance taxes. The World
Economic Forum now ranks Sweden as the second-most competitive economy
on earth, behind only Switzerland. According to the 2010 Index of Economic
Freedom (compiled by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation),
Sweden offers greater business freedom, trade freedom, monetary freedom,
investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and property-rights
protection than does the United States.
Lead or Get out of the Way
current drift in foreign policy could be disastrous.
CONRAD BLACK The National Review Online, September 30 2010
the crossroads the Middle East is approaching – in the Iranian nuclear
program, the Afghan War, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the internal
political evolution in Pakistan, Iraq, and Turkey – there is a confusing
glimpse of what the world’s most turbulent region looks like as American
influence conducts an orderly retreat. All present indications are that
the Obama administration is not prepared to interdict militarily the Iranian
acquisition of a deliverable nuclear military capability, and also lacks
the political muscle or ingenuity to persuade the necessary powers of the
virtues of what Secretary Clinton boldly described in more purposeful recent
times as “crippling sanctions.”
Obama has muddied the waters with a lot of hopeful but rather vapid talk
of nuclear disarmament, which the Russians are prepared to join in as long
as it reduces American nuclear superiority, but not further; and to which
no other present or imminent nuclear power will accord the slightest credence.
Since not even this administration has so far succumbed to the lunacy of
unilateral disarmament, and the Russians are unlikely to take this down
another notch and leave themselves unnecessarily vulnerable to the antics
of the Chinese, this train to nowhere has probably reached its destination
# # #
Fifty Years' War
In November, Americans
will decide what true freedom is.
by HENRY OLSEN National
Review Online, September 30 2010
With primary season over,
the stage is now set for an epic fall election. The massive electoral repudiation
that increasingly looks likely for Democrats is not, however, why this
vote will be historic. It will be historic because it is the most intense
battle yet in the Fifty Years’ War between conservatives and
liberals for possession of America’s political soul.
This war has been fought
over what defines American freedom. Are Americans freer when they can pursue
their dreams without government interference? Or are they freer when the
government ensures that all their needs are provided for?
Admin Targets Pro–Lifers in FBI Training Forum With Pro–Abortion Orgs
By Steven Ertelt LifeNews.com,
September 30 2010
Documents LifeNews.com obtained
today reveal the Obama administration partnered with leading pro-abortion
organizations to host an FBI training seminar in August with the main focus
of declaring as "violent" the free speech activities of pro-life Americans.
On August 25, 2010, the FBI
and the United States Department of Justice co-sponsored a training seminar
with Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation and the Feminist
Majority Foundation. ...
FBI and Obama administration
officials provided participants with an 84-page document entitled “Resource
Guide: Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers" that contained
print copies of Power Point presentations prepared by the Justice Department
and an analysis of alleged pro-life "violence" prepared by the pro-abortion
The so-called violence perpetrated
by pro-life advocates mostly contained examples of constitutionally-protected
free speech, including activities such as praying, providing women outside
abortion centers with alternatives information, and peaceful protesting
is America Exceptional?
Spalding, Ph.D Heritage Foundation, October 1 2010
In 1776, when America announced
its independence as a nation, it was composed of thirteen colonies surrounded
by hostile powers.
Today, the United States
is a country of fifty states covering a vast continent. Its military forces
are the most powerful in the world. Its economy produces almost a quarter
of the world's wealth. The American people are among the most hard–working,
church–going, affluent, and generous in the world.
Is America exceptional?
the Working Class
Big Labor, not the
tea party, is workers’ worst enemy.
by Michele Malkin Town Hall,
September 29 2010
The Service Employees International
Union plans to send 25,000 rank–and–file workers on 500 buses to Washington
this weekend to protest the tea–party movement, Republicans, and Fox News.
If SEIU members had any sense, they’d be demonstrating at their own bosses’
D.C. headquarters. It’s the Big Labor Left, not the tea–party Right, that
is flushing rank–and–file union workers’ hard–earned dues down the collective
toilet in these hard times.
The co–organizer of the so–called
“One Nation” protest by a coalition of progressive groups is George
Gresham, president of the behemoth SEIU Local 1199, which is based
in New York. (This is the same SEIU affiliate that employed current Obama
domestic–policy adviser Patrick Gaspard as chief lobbyist for nine years.)
Peeved by all the attention that grassroots conservatives and limited–government
activists have received over the past year, Gresham spearheaded the rally
plans earlier this summer to “counter the Tea Party narrative” and reclaim
the voice for “working people.” Perhaps Gresham should pay more attention
to his workers’ pensions than to tea–party leaders’ media appearances.
SEIU Local 1199’s Upstate
Pension Fund has plunged from 115 percent funded in 1999 to 75 percent
funded, and its Greater New York Pension Fund was funded at only 58 percent
of its future obligations as of 2007, according to Hudson Institute analyst
Diana Furchtgott–Roth. The union fat cats blame Wall Street. But while
the pensions of SEIU workers nationwide are in “endangered status,” the
pensions of SEIU top brass have been protected and remain fully funded.
Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2010
By Chris Edwards Cato
Institute September 30 2010
State governments have had
to make tough budget choices in recent years. Tax revenues have stagnated
as a result of the poor economy, and that has prompted governors to take
a variety of fiscal actions to close large budget gaps. Some governors
have cut spending to balance their budgets, while others have pursued large
That is the backdrop to this
10th biennial fiscal report
card of the governors, which examines state budget actions since 2008.
It uses statistical data to grade the governors on their taxing and spending
records–governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the
highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending the most
receive the lowest grades.
Four governors were awarded
an “A” in this report card–Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Bobby Jindal
of Louisiana, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Seven governors were awarded an “F”–Ted Kulongoski of Oregon, David Paterson
of New York, Jodi Rell of Connecticut, Pat Quinn of Illinois, Jim Doyle
of Wisconsin, Bill Ritter of Colorado, and Chris Gregoire of Washington.
Freedom Continues to Advance–Barely
Riley and Ambassador
Terry Miller Heritage Foundation, September 29 2010
The Heritage Foundation began
ranking trade freedom around the world in 1995. The newest rankings (to
appear in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom) show global trade freedom
as high as it has ever been. That is encouraging: Countries with higher
levels of trade freedom have higher levels of economic prosperity. Still,
the latest average score showed only a slight improvement, and far too
many people continue to live in poverty because their political leaders
have blocked attempts at opening paths to freer trade. Countries should
reduce trade barriers that protect politically powerful elites at the expense
of the general population. More free trade leads to higher incomes, more
jobs, and greater equality. Heritage Foundation trade policy experts Bryan
Riley and Ambassador Terry Miller lay out the facts.
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