North Archives - October 14, 2008
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Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Part III of IV)
By Martin Harris
could so many of us mentieni/mentienae have gotten the silly
idea that NCLB "proficient" equates to NAEP "proficient"? The Forum report
lists those of us dummies guilty of wrong-think, in think-tank organizations
ranging from the Brookings Institution on the Left to the Hoover Institute
on the Right, and the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards,
and Student Testing in the middle, accusing us of either intentional or
incompetent misinterpretation. Ominously, a footnote to the list of 9 such
dummy-enclaves adds: "This list is illustrative, not exhaustive". Read
it for yourself on page 4 of "An Explanation for the Large Differences
between State and NAEP "Proficiency" Scores Reported for 2005", the report
coming from the 2007 Nashville Forum. Beyond my apparently numbskull assumption
that "proficient" always means "proficient", I seem to have gotten something
else wrong, as well. Now it looks as if some funny things happened, not
only on the way to, and at, the Forum, but in the official write-up afterwards.
Do the Candidates Stand on Abortion?
By Mary Beerworth
A look at where the candidates
for President and Vice President stand on then issue of protecting the
life of the unborn.
Open Letter to Peter Welch
By Jessica Bernier
This last part is so ironic
I don't even know where to start. The doublespeak is so clever some people
may not get it. "Our economic problems will not be solved with this new
law." Then why did you vote for it? "We can't spend and borrow beyond our
means." It sure doesn't appear to be the policy there in Washington. "We
must reward work and entrepreneurship, not speculation and market manipulation."
Please, Mr. Welch, then why did you vote to for this bill?
Vermonters aren't feeling
the effects of this mortgage crisis as painfully as other parts of the
country because as you said in your statement we are thrifty people, we
understand the value of hard work. Yes, Mr. Welch, the people of Vermont
know all about common sense values. What happened to yours?
# # #
Week’s Mail Bag
Who's drilling into your
If oil companies were allowed
to drill for oil where we know it exists, off our shores and in desolate
parts of Alaska, oil prices and our dependence upon unfriendly foreign
nations would be greatly reduced.
Unfortunately, Congress has
blocked our oil companies from doing this. One Democratic Congressman said,
"The deeper the oil companies drill for oil, the deeper they drill into
Here are the facts. In 2006
Exxon Mobil earned $39.5 billion, but paid 2.47 times that, or $97.5 billion,
In 2007 Exxon Mobil earned
$40.6 billion, but paid 2.52 times that, or $102.5 billion, in taxes.
If the oil companies did
not pay these billions of dollars, you other taxpayers would pay them.
From 2006 to 2007 Exxon Mobil’s
earnings increased $1.1 billion, but their taxes increased $5 billion.
In other words, when Exxon Mobil drilled deeper and earned $1.1 billion
more than they did the year before, they saved you taxpayers an additional
Who’s really drilling into
your pockets, the oil companies who pay taxes, or the politicians who raise
Bill Day, Barre
"Only other politicians’
special interests are called 'special interests' by Barack Obama, whose
world-class ability to rationalize is his most frightening skill. --Thomas
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Experts Try to Explain Meltdown
By Dan McLean, Burlington
Free Press, October 9, 2008
James Gatti, a professor
in UVM’s School of Business Administration, placed blamed Congress for
pressuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, hybrid public-private lending institutions,
to approve mortgages for people with spotty credit in an effort to expand
the number of Americans who own homes.
"The cost of trying to achieve
that goal is what we’re seeing today," Gatti said....
Gatti said he feared the
fall of the markets and the collapse of the country’s investment banking
industry will lead to too much regulation. "The problem is not deregulation,"
Gatti said. "The problem is there is too much interference in the markets.
I’m simply afraid of regulation expanding and making things worse."
Caledonia Record Editorial,
October 11, 2008
It is axiomatic that, in
a democracy, the public gets and deserves the government for which it votes.
In the recent giveaway to Wall Street, Congress loaded up the bill that
they passed with billions of dollars worth of pork in order to buy the
votes of cynical legislators who were just waiting for that giveaway. The
magnitude of the pork feast can be estimated by the fact that the bailout
bill was several hundred pages long, more than half of the pages filled
with the Oinks of pork barrel requests.
BUT, before we all bemoan
the pork barrel greed of predatory representatives and senators, we must
face the fact that we elected them. In virtually all cases, we were fully
aware of their rapaciousness. We gave them a pass on their pork appetites,
because their snouts were in the trough to buy our own votes. We overlook
their largesse because it funds our pet projects, and that includes both
of Vermont's senators. (Rep. Peter Welch hasn't been in Washington long
enough to develop a pork diet.) As every con-man knows, a successful con-game
requires that the victim have a little larceny in his own heart. That makes
the mark both one of the perpetrators and the ultimate loser. That's us,
Shut The Court System's Lights Off When You Leave
From VermontTiger.com, October
Red lights have been flashing
in this state for some time, in terms of its economy. A near zero
job growth rate, with its subsequent declining tax revenues and reductions
in services provided (like the courts), should alarm Vermonters on both
sides of the political coin. Yet we continue to see very little of
consequence from our elected officials.
Agree Economy Needs TLC
By Daniel Barlow, Vermont
Press Bureau, October 12, 2008
Throughout 2008, Vermonters
saw the bad news roll in. Private sector job growth in the state lags the
rest of the nation, and last year Vermont was the only New England state
to see a drop in exports. Meanwhile, the state's unemployment rate hit
4.9 percent for the second time this year, its highest level since 1994
(the national unemployment average is 6.1 percent). And then the economic
crisis on Wall Street.
"Vermont's economy continued
to cool for the third straight year," according to a recent report from
the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. "With only slight employment growth
and declining exports, and the subprime mortgage crisis softening the real
estate market in 2007, Vermont lagged its New England brethren."
The Answer They Want
Caledonia Record Editorial,
October 08, 2008
Most Vermonters, reading
the NRC news release, would breathe a sigh of relief and welcome the news.
It is a sign Vermont Yankee is a safe, clean source of one third of Vermont's
power, delivered without incident for close to 20 years at a fraction of
the cost of most other power sources. Most Vermonters would assume, with
safety questions addressed, relicensing of Vermont Yankee for another 20
years would be a foregone conclusion.
That's not what will happen.
Instead, the Vermont environmental groups who despise Vermont Yankee, probably
because its continuous production of clean, zero emissions, low cost baseload
power makes their cherished renewable energy efforts look impractical by
comparison, will never stop fighting relicensing.
Douglas Says Weight Restrictions Bizarre
By Robin Smith, Caledonia
Record, October 08, 2008
Gov. Jim Douglas this week
called the U.S. government's weight restrictions on interstate highways
that force heavy trucks through Vermont's villages "bizarre."
"It's been a major frustration
for me since I came to office," Douglas said Monday at a public forum at
the Haskell Free Library and Opera House with Quebec Premier Jean Charest.
"It, from my perspective,
is bizarre, frankly," Douglas said.
Douglas was responding to
a question from Derby Line Village Clerk Karen Jenne, who asked what Douglas
could do about the damage that heavy trucks are doing to village roads.
Derby Line, like many of
Vermont's small villages, struggles with the problem of trucks weighing
more than 80,000 pounds that are not allowed on Interstate 91.
The heavy trucks clog downtown
intersections, create delays for truckers and for motorists, and leave
towns and villages to pay for road and bridge repairs.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Twenty-Year Plan: Islam Targets America
By Dr. Anis Shorrosh
When we immigrated from Jerusalem,
Jordan in January, 1967, little did I imagine that Islam would become center-stage
in world news. As my sincere interest in the growth of Islam in America
intensified, I began to discuss, dialogue, and then debate Muslim leaders
throughout the world from an Arab Christian's view of Islam. So far, I
have had the privilege of participating in over 20 debates and discussions
on every continent plus T.V. and radio. "Islam Revealed" was released in
1988 and is now in its 8th printing. The True Furqan is now in its
third printing in the three years it has been published. It is the only
book which challenges the Quran in substance, style, language and contents.
"The True Furqan" can be located on http://www.answers-to-islam.net/
This is my analysis of the
Islamic invasion of America, the agenda of Islamists and visible methods
to take over America by the year 2020! Will Americans continue to sleep
through this invasion as they did when we were attacked on 9/11?
New Liberty Movement
By Ashley E. Herzog, Human
Events, October 10, 2008
Irish businessman Declan
Ganley declares that he is proud to be a European. But, as he said in an
important speech in France September 21, Ganley – founder of the Libertas
organization sees European cooperation through a much different lens than
the European elites who have tried unsuccessfully to create a European
super-state under the banner of the European Union. ... Libertas wants
to preserve Europe’s tradition of "individual liberty and free markets"—as
well as national sovereignty, which is slowly being eroded as more power
is transferred to Brussels.
News: NoKo No Longer a Terrorist State
By Rick Moran, American
Thinker, October 11, 2008
Did you catch that? We are
taking them off the terror list not because they have modified their behavior
or ideology but in order to "salvage" our nuclear agreement with the Communists.
In other words, Bush's legacy tops national security.
By Mike Gonyea, American
Thinker, October 12, 2008
November 4th will be historic
not only because the U.S. will elect its first black president or its first
female vice president, but also because Pope Benedict XVI will convene
the most important interfaith conference in recent history.
Responding to his controversial
2006 speech at the University of Regensburg -- in which he seemed to imply
that Islam is inherently violent and irrational -- 138 Muslim leaders sent
an open letter to Benedict and the heads of other Christian denominations
titled "A Common Word Between Us and You." The letter said, in effect,
"We need to talk." The Vatican subsequently announced the formation of
a new Catholic-Muslim Forum. Its first meeting will be held on Election
There A Foreign Force Waging War Against the US Economy? (Part One)
By Dr. Walid Phares, American
Security Matters, October 10, 2008
A thorough psycho-economic
observation of the public’s financial behavior, however, tells us that
there may be more to the crisis. It reveals that an outside "push" – I
now coin it economic terrorism - may have been the tipping point of the
collapse. For monitoring how and why buyers massively abandoned their plans
shows that it followed, or coincided, with an abrupt rise in the cost of
gas dividends. With the numbers at the pumps going ballistic, the cost
of living suddenly rose, goods became less attainable and the price of
enjoying, let alone using, the newly purchased properties soared. Hence,
undoubtedly the lifestyle that was sought by the tens of millions of home
buyers wasn’t possible to achieve anymore; thus they surrendered financially
in droves, taking the system down with them.
Economists will tell us if
this diagnosis stands up. But if it does, then we cannot avoid investigating
the factor that caused the strategic stress in real estate, which turned
into economic chaos. In bypassing a narrow economic analysis, we can detect
clearly the connection between the dizzying ups in petrol pricing and the
slowing of American buying capacity. Stunningly, one can conclude that
while it is sadly true that both Wall Street’s corruption and politicians’
abuse of the system handed the tools of doom to the middle class, Main
Street’s rapid disenfranchisement was manufactured overseas, thousands
of miles away, at the hands of OPEC, or perhaps in some quarters of the
From Investor's Business
Daily, October 07, 2008
Buried in last week's news,
the CIA director warned that the next president's top national security
problem is the Axis of Oil. With campaigns focused on wars all but won,
will our next leader be ready?
# # #
Government Is Contributing to the Panic
It's time to let markets
do their messy work.
By Jonathan Macey, The Wall
Street Journal, October 11, 2008
Despite all the hard work
and good intentions on the part of our public officials, when economists
and historians look back on the current financial crisis they are likely
to conclude that government intervention prolonged and deepened it. In
particular, officials at the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange
Commission and the Treasury Department are to blame for publicly losing
confidence in the very economic system they are supposed to protect.
New Ice Age?
By Alan Caruba, The American
Conservative Union, October 9, 2008
There’s a wonderful irony
in the fact that, back in the 1970s, the Greens were issuing warnings and
even writing books about the coming Ice Age. They would abandon this issue,
based in well-known and accepted solar science, in favor of a vast international
hoax alleging man-made global warming.
As the global warming hoax
begins to lose its power to influence public opinion and policy, the Greens
are not likely to be heeded for a long time to come because they were right
about an Ice Age and lying through their teeth about global warming.
Scientists and laymen who
follow the Ice Age cycles have been warning that, if not a full-fledged
Ice Age, at the very least a Little Ice Age comparable to one that lasted
from 1300 to around 1850 is on its way.
Real Fear: A Socialist Tsunami
From Investor's Business
Daily, October 10 2008
"Why has the market dropped
so much?" everyone asks. What is it about the specter of our first socialist
president and the end of capitalism as we know it that they don't understand?
State Failures Are At Bottom Of The Crisis
By Star Parker, GOPUSA,
October 6, 2008
But, in fact, what we are
watching is not a failure of markets, but the latest failure of the welfare
state. The sad part is how few who wield political power seem to understand,
or want to understand, that this is what's happened.
As the details behind the
current debacle are unraveled, we see how government created one more entitlement
-- the right to own a house -- and then devised an array of programs to
subsidize in various ways "affordable housing." Like all welfare programs,
the subsidies succeeded in influencing behavior, but the wrong behavior.
The greedy part, or, if one
wishes to be forgiving, the confused part, of the Wall Street guys is their
willingness to play ball with politicians over these years in turning our
free country into a welfare state. Wall Street has regularly been a generous
contributor to politicians who love to grow government and use it as a
tool for social policy.
Camp Downplays Payments to ACORN
By S.A. Miller, Washington
Times, October 10, 2008
Democratic presidential nominee
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign distanced itself Thursday from its $800,000
payment linked to the liberal ACORN organization, which is under investigation
in several states where it is suspected of filing fraudulent voter registrations.
Federal Election Commission
reports show ACORN-affiliated Citizens Services Inc. got $832,598 from
the Obama campaign for get-out-the-vote work during the primaries. But
those payments stopped in May and the Obama campaign says they should not
be an election issue.
Media's Vendetta Against Palin
By Rowan Scarborough, Human
Events, October 10, 2008
Conservatives know by now
that the dominant liberal media is not just out to criticize Gov. Sarah
Palin. They are on a drive to destroy her. But conservatives are missing
the reason why.
It's not really about defeating
John McCain. Running mates do not decide a presidential election. The real
reason is the future. Never again will the Left media (New York Times;
Washington Post; the networks; Hollywood) allow a young politician
to ascend to the leadership of a national conservative movement --
at least not without all-out character assassination.
The media have learned their
lesson. They generally tolerated the rise of Ronald Reagan. They didn't
take him that seriously. ...
But Reagan fooled them. His
campaign wasn't only about him. He ushered in a new generation of conservatives
who won local and federal elections. They eventually captured both
sides of Congress in 1994, stopping Bill Clinton in his tracks. The Reagan
conservatives led to right-leaning judges who started to rule in favor
of gun owners and parents and the military. ...
Bush was never a movement
conservative. He is not creating a new generation of young conservatives.
But Palin can be. That's what makes her so dangerous. Her convention speech
which so dazzled the Republican base was all the evidence the big media
By Stanley Kurtz, The New
York Post, October 13, 2008
House Speaker Newt Gingrich
was scheduled to address a meeting of county commissioners at the Washington
Hilton. But, first, some 500 protesters from the Association of Community
Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) poured into the ballroom from both
the kitchen and the main entrance. ... The demonstrators' target, Gingrich,
hadn't yet arrived - and his speech was cancelled. When the cancellation
was announced, ACORN's foot soldiers cheered. ...
ACORN Falls from the Tree
# # #