North Archives - October 16, 2007
| Editorial | News & Views
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In The Gathering Storm, Winston
Churchill’s stated purpose was "to show how easily the tragedy of the Second
World War could have been prevented." In Churchill’s time – as now - a
storm was brewing but "people were viewing it and not doing anything."
In Vermont, an economic and demographic storm is brewing and like Churchill’s
time, Governor Douglas, Speaker Symington, Senator Shumlin and others in
Montpelier are doing little but viewing this coming tsunami.
by Martin Harris
died in the mid-60’s and his chair was subsequently occupied by such more
recent names as Fabian and Ryan, but the notebook, together with the underlying
idea that school building capacity was publicly-available information,
survived into the mid-80’s. Exactly when it was tossed into the "memory
hole" I don’t know. Don’t ask your typical recent high school grad about
this phrase in George Orwell’s "1984", written just after WWII, but older
and better-read folks will remember the novel in which he describes a future
wherein government consigns to the "memory hole" any information from the
past which might conflict with what it wants citizens of the present to
know and believe. Here’s a line from Chapter 3: "This, thought Winston,
was the most frightening aspect of the Party regime, that it could obliterate
memory…" as more recent governments have, in fact done, in areas of both
greater and lesser overall importance, such as the now-vanished school-building
inventory binder of the Vermont Education Department. Now, the official
party line is that no such notebook exists or ever existed, although, SED
attorney Robert Reedy argued in a State House hearing on school construction
costs about a score of years ago that the notebook didn’t exist any more
because "the Legislature had denied the Department the funds to maintain
it" (not a precise verbatim quote, but close).
Tax Burden Study Ignores Property Tax
By Robert Skinner
Vermont's legislative Democrats
have their spanking new tax study created by Vermont's Joint Fiscal
Office ( JFO), and they are heartened that it shows Vermonters are
not really that burdened with taxes. The problem is, as in another study
done not long ago, is the fiscal analysts failed to factor in the
one tax that nobody can deny is burdening a majority of home
owners - the property tax. How politically convenient, and folly,
to deny this great crushing tax from the study.
Week’s Mail Bag
Join Vermont’s Tax Revolt!!!
This is an open letter to
all Vermont Lawmakers.
Go to www.VermontTaxRevolt.org
and you will receive a wake-up call. Vermonters (you know, those
folks who voted for you) are signing a petition listed on this website
and many are leaving very unflattering and angry comments meant for you.
I would encourage you to pay close attention to what the people are saying.
Perhaps the majority of you simply just don't care, or maybe you just don't
St. Albans, Vermont
contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like
a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."
Weekly News Round-Up
Those Test Scores
By Hugh Kemper, VermontTiger.com,
October 09, 2007
Apologists for the exorbitant
spending on Vermont public education often point to its ‘excellent performance’.
That’s simply not true. And the solution to Vermont’s average performance
is not more resources. As a recent report detailed
are significant opportunities to streamline Vermont spending on public
education without compromising performance. Improving performance requires
a complete rethink of what and how we’re teaching and administration/teacher
accountability for measurable results. Are we up to the challenge? We need
to be. We owe it to our kids.
Nuclear Power: A Delayed Inevitability
Caledonian Record Editorial,October
The accompanying dogma to
nuclear power is its sister, i.e. that wind power will set us free and
save the earth. That is the ultimate in wishful thinking and quite literally
a tilting at windmills. National expansion of nuclear power is inevitable.
There isn't enough wind in the country, even in Washington, D.C., to deliver
us from the evils of fossil fuel or nuclear power. Expansion of nuclear
power, though, can stop in their tracks fossil fuel power and the environmental
damage it does. They know that in Japan, the only place that has experienced
a nuclear holocaust, and in France and more than half of the rest of Europe.
That reality is catching up with the religious fanaticism of extreme environmentalists
in the United States.
of GOP Chairman Rob Roper on Democrats’ Study of the State Tax Burden
By Rob Roper, October 11,
The Legislature's new report
on Vermont’s Tax Burden is revealing in ways that should end any attempts
to raise taxes on Vermonters. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Democrats
will heed the warnings illustrated by their own report. That the JFO report
does not take into account Vermont’s crushing property tax burden is just
one more indication that the Democrats are so out of touch that they are
unwilling to engage--or even acknowledge--Vermonter’s number one concern.
The report reveals that the
"rich" (which Chart 3 in the JFO report would indicate as individuals earning
$45,000 a year or more) in Vermont are already paying more than their fair
share of the total tax burden. It would be unfair to increase taxes on
a population that is already shouldering a significantly disproportionate
amount of the highest per-capita tax burden in the country. It would also
be unwise for the state to put even more of our revenue eggs into this
one already overloaded basket.
If the tax capacity of Vermonters
earning $45,000 or more is "tapped out," to use Sen. Peter Shumlin's term,
the only viable target for tax increases would be Vermonters earning less
than that. The Vermont Republican Party strongly opposes this option. Honest
readers of the JFO report should conclude that "no new taxes" is not political
rhetoric in Vermont, but an economic reality for working families in our
Owners Have the Solution
From VermontTiger.com, October
Once again the states talking
about spending a bunch of money on something few people want, is of
limited benefit to anyone, and we can hardly afford. This time its
$17.5MM on new trains for the already heavily subsidized and under utilized
Amtrak Vermonter route. Ever wonder why they call trains alternative
transportation? Its because trains are alternative to the way people want
to travel. Kind of like alternative medicine being alternative to what
But For The Land Of Oz
Caledonian Record Editorial,
October 8, 2007
Declining enrollment, what
does that mean? A basic understanding of the English language suggests
that there are now fewer students in our schools today than there were
three, five, eight, 10 years ago. And as we all know, as the number of
students drops, basic math leads us to believe that the costs to run our
schools has to decrease. We have fewer students, we need fewer classrooms,
fewer teachers, fewer administrators, and fewer maintenance people and
as a result, we have a much happier voting public because they can see
their property taxes decrease as the student body decreases. ... As all
property tax payers know, our education property tax has not reflected
any of the decreases in the enrollment. What we have seen are dramatic
increases in education taxes all over the state. Not 1 or 2 percent increases
but 20, 30 and even 40 percent increases. How can that be?
and Tax Policy: Progressivity Isn't Everything
From VermontTiger.com, October
This means that in Vermont,
we have a situation where we have a tremendous appetite for government
spending, yet are insulating most taxpayers from most of the tax consequences
of those decisions. Half of all government spending in Vermont is for K-12
education, which is essentially a program that benefits the middle class.
If the beneficiaries of that spending have little stake in its cost, you
have a prescription for an ineffective program and a democracy that won’t
work well. ... The tax study never mentions the fact that Vermont’s overall
tax burden is one of the highest in the nation, and someone must be paying
those taxes. It loses sight of the forest for the trees.
Global War on Terrorism
Price for 'Solitarity'
Mullahs Seek Useful Marxist
By Amir Taheri, New York
Post, October 12, 2007
ANXIOUS to create what they
call "a global progressive front," Presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran
and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela are sponsoring projects to underline "the
ideological kinship of the left and revolutionary Islam." The theme - hammered
in by Ahmadinejad during his recent visit to Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia
- inspired a four-day seminar organized by his supporters at Tehran University
last week (partly financed by Chavez). The hope was that the conference
would produce a synthesis of Marxist and Khomeinist ideologies and highlight
what the Iranian leader has labeled "the divine aspect of revolutionary
United States is Not Engaged in the War of Ideas
By Frank Salvato, The New
Media Journal, October 12, 2007
"But the most startling revelation
concerning our struggle against aggressive Islamofascism is that the United
States is not engaged in the war of ideas. There hasn’t been one initiative
or program developed to engage the ideological forces of radical Islam.
Our enemy in the global war against radical Islam stands unopposed on the
By Samuel Gregg, D.Phil.,
The Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, October 10, 2007
Leaving aside bin-Laden’s
somewhat inadequate grasp of basic Western economic history, he’s probably
aware -- and worried -- that several thousand miles to the south-west of
his Afghan-Pakistani hideaway, small but important Muslim countries are
gradually embracing features of those very same market-systems he despises.
Over the past 15 years, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates
have made significant advances towards becoming open economies. Slowly,
they are breaking away from almost total reliance upon oil-export revenues.
Each country’s specific path differs, but there are important similarities.
... Economic liberalization is not a panacea for all the Muslim-Arab world’s
problems. These go far beyond economic issues. But while economic liberty
and free markets are not sufficient for societies to be free, they are
Prospect Magazine, October 2007
great question in deciding whether to keep fighting in Iraq is not about
the morality and self-interest of supporting a struggling democracy that
is also one of the most important countries in the world. The question
is whether the war is winnable and whether we can help the winning of it.
The answer is made much easier by the fact that three and a half years
after the start of the insurgency, most of the big questions in Iraq have
been resolved. Moreover, they have been resolved in ways that are
mostly towards the positive end of the range of outcomes imagined at the
start of the project. The country is whole. It has embraced the ballot
box. It has created a fair and popular constitution. It has avoided all-out
civil war. It has not been taken over by Iran. It has put an end to Kurdish
and marsh Arab genocide, and anti-Shia apartheid. It has rejected mass
revenge against the Sunnis. As shown in the great national votes of 2005
and the noisy celebrations of the Iraq football team's success in July,
Iraq survived the Saddam Hussein era with a sense of national unity; even
the Kurds—whose reluctant commitment to autonomy rather than full independence
is in no danger of changing—celebrated. Iraq's condition has not caused
a sectarian apocalypse across the region. The country has ceased to be
a threat to the world or its region. The only neighbours threatened by
its status today are the leaders in Damascus, Riyadh and Tehran.
Plans to Checkmate America
By Mark S. Hanna, The American
Thinker, October 07, 2007
A Only in this game, the
stakes are much higher and due to the enormous prize, the gamesman is willing
to sacrifice much more than a pawn. The trophy? Regional hegemony and a
giant step towards the revolutionary raison d’etre of the Islamic Republic
The Constitution, having
regard to the Islamic contents of the Iranian Revolution, which was a movement
for the victory of all the oppressed over the arrogant, provides a basis
for the continuation of that revolution both inside and outside the country.
It particularly tries to do this in developing international relations
with other Islamic movements and peoples, so as to prepare the way towards
a united single world community. (The
Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran)
For Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
A-Jad for short (no offense to the Yankee prodigy), his "Game 24" has arrived
and instead of a chess title, victory means Iran’s irreversible progress
as Allah’s divinely ordained tool (a good word here) toward the establishment
of the "united single world community" or the Islamic Caliphate - a global
Islamic government that would look, taste, feel and breath like the current
Islamic Republic of Iran.
to redeploy from Iraq to Afghanistan?
By Rick Moran, The American
Thinker, October 11, 2007
Two significant points to
make. First, the military obviously feels that the progress made in Anbar
is not temporary and will allow a slightly faster drawdown of US troops
from the province as was previously suggested. Secondly, if I were a Taliban
fighter in Afghanistan, I might want to look into purchasing a good life
insurnance policy. The Taliban is currently engaged in a bitter battle
with the Pakistani military in the Waziristans in anticipation of a general
Taliban offensive western intelligence believes will begin at the end of
this month, after Ramadan is over. An addition of several thousand battle
hardened Marines will be most welcome, I'm sure.
# # #
Part 7 of 'The Crisis
of the Republic'
By Alan Keyes, 2007 Renew
Of all the articles in the
"Crisis of the Republic" series, this one is the most important. It deals
with the relationship between the sovereignty and democratic self-government
of our nation as a whole and the personal sovereignty and self-control
of individual citizens. The failure to think through and act upon the
consequences of this relationship is the main reason for the Democratic
Party's near total abandonment of America's principles, as well as the
inadequacy and failure of the current leadership of the Republican Party.
It is the main reason the American people are so close to losing their
capacity for self-government — and their constitutional position of sovereignty
over their government at all levels. We are being thrust aside by forces
that take advantage of our moral vulnerability to turn us from free
people into masses dominated and virtually enslaved by the manipulation
of our selfish passions.
Preserves Life as We Know It
By Ericka Andersen, Human
"An entrepreneur is the creative
force in economics, the person who comes and looks at a desert or a jungle
or a wilderness and sees a garden, sees an opportunity to create new value,"
Gilder said in the film. The film elevates capitalism through entrepreneurship
as analogous to a divine endeavor and as the means by which all of the
benefits of freedom have come to be. Executive Producer Jay Richards said
in the film, "You can really think of the first farmers as the first entrepreneurs.
Farms would make cities possible and those cities would make civilizations
possible and those civilizations would make things like world wide commerce
and technology and science and music and philosophy possible."
Revolution of the West
By Reginald Firehammer,
A little more than 230 years
ago, the most important, significant, and profound revolution in the history
of the world occurred, a revolution based on a single concept, individual
liberty. The result of that revolution was the creation of the most
prosperous, free, and cultured country the world has ever known. That revolution
was the American revolution.
About 70 years ago, seven
men planned another revolution, completely unlike the American revolution.
It would not be "political" and would not be carried out by means of violence
or war as the American and all other political revolutions have been, because
the ambitions of those men were much higher than the mere replacing of
one political system with another. They were aiming at nothing short of
a world-wide revolution that would entirely change the minds of men, replacing
all of Western Civilization with a new "cultural paradigm" that would usher
in a word-wide totalitarian utopian state.
Conservatives Introduce Tax Reform Bill
By Steve Browne,Human
Events, October 11, 2007
House conservatives Wednesday
proposed a new tax overhaul plan that would replace the Alternative Minimum
Tax and allow taxpayers to choose to file under either the existing tax
code or a simplified tax schedule.
And Butter: A Primer
From Investor's Business
Daily, October 09, 2007
Defense spending constituted
only $528 billion of that budget in fiscal 2006 — or about 4% of gross
domestic product. In 1953, during the Korean War, it hit a postwar high
of 14.2% of GDP. In 1968, in the middle of Vietnam, it reached 9.5%. And
in 1986, at the height of the Reagan buildup that doomed the evil empire,
it was 6.8%. We're not spending too much on the military. We're spending
too little to meet both the needs of the War on Terror and the rising threat
of a nuclear Iran, not to mention dealing with the frantic pace at which
both Russia and China are arming.
U.N. Power Grab
By William P. Clark &
Edwin Meese, American Conservative Union, October 8, 2007
It is an impressive testament
to the abiding affection and political influence of former President Ronald
Reagan that the fate of a controversial treaty now before the U.S. Senate
may ultimately turn on a single question: What would Reagan do? As we had
the privilege of working closely with President Reagan in connection with
the foreign policy, national security and domestic implications of the
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (better known as the Law
of the Sea Treaty or LOST), there is no question about how our 40th president
felt about this accord. He so strongly opposed it that he formally refused
to sign the treaty. He even sent Donald Rumsfeld as a personal emissary
to our key allies around the world
by Lisa Fabrizio, American
The point being, that the
depth of poverty that exists in too much of the world is basically nonexistent
here. But although our poor are better off than those in most of the world--so
much so that millions of impoverished foreigners are willing to risk their
lives and break our laws to join them--some Americans do live in unfortunate,
if not dire, circumstances. Of course, the major difference is that the
poor in this country have the opportunity to improve their lot. All Americans
used to know the way to prosperity for themselves and their families. It
was, and is pretty basic: a two-parent family working as diligently as
possible. In his piece, Rector concludes: " In good economic times or bad,
the typical poor family with children is supported by only 800 hours of
work during a year: That amounts to 16 hours of work per week. If work
in each family were raised to 2,000 hours per year—the equivalent of one
adult working 40 hours per week through the year—nearly 75 percent of poor
children would be lifted out of official poverty."
Care's Filthy Failure
From Investor's Business
Daily, October 12, 2007
Despite the growing evidence
that socialist medicine is a disaster, its supporters blindly continue
to push for a government system in the U.S. They need some down time in
a hospital bed in south-central England.
Amateurs Make Foreign Policy
From Investor's Business
Daily, October 12, 2007
Justice: Of course, it's
right to recognize the wrong that the former Ottoman Empire did to the
millions of Armenians it slaughtered and deported from 1915 and 1922. That
said, does Congress have to recognize it now? The answer is no....
By L. Brent Bozell III,
Media Research Center, October 9, 2007
The ruckus over the Rush
Limbaugh "phony soldiers" statement is dying down. It ought not to. There
is a huge story here. ... How disingenuous was this leftist attack on Limbaugh?
Let us count the ways...
on the Original Harry Reid/Rush Limbaugh Smear Letter
As winning bidder, you will
receive the original and infamous "Harry Reid Smear" letter, signed by
41 Democat senators. 100% of the final sale price will support Marine Corps
-- Law Enforcement Foundation.
Talks About 'It'
By Daniel Henninger, Wall
Street Journal, October 11, 2007
So which is it? This summer
Sen. Clinton said she was a founder of Media Matters, and this week she
said she was a centrist. That doesn't compute. Perhaps in a year we'll
know which side she's on.
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