North Archives - October 20, 2009
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Failure in Health Care?
By John McClaughry
years ago then-Senate President Peter Welch, now Congressman, declared,
not for the first time, that "the private sector approach [in health care]
has failed." That assertion has been echoed repeatedly by all of the advocates
of increased government control over health and medicine, culminating in
a wholly government run health care system.
It never seems to occur to
such people that, while there remain private actors in the health care
sector, that entire sector has been distorted, restricted, mandated and
indeed corrupted by decades of government meddling.
Critical Link: The Environment & Women’s Health
By Mary Beerworth
Despite the appearance of
concern for women’s reproductive health, Planned Parenthood continues to
lie to women and young girls about the serious consequences of abortion
on women’s reproductive health. In addition, new research reveals the negative
consequences of hormonal contraception, medical abortions, and the so-called
"emergency contraceptive" pills on women’s health and the environment.
In the end, the only thing "green" about Planned Parenthood is the cash
they’ll take for performing abortions.
By Martin Harris
of us in the planning discipline who were enthusiastic back then about
quantitative, measurable, standards as the transparent, predictable criteria
basis for development approval by local zoning boards turned out to be
in a distinct minority, which is reflected in the history of performance-standards
bylaws drawing a lot of hostility and almost zero acceptance from planning
and zoning boards across the country. Instead, the P&Z folks chose
to go in just about the opposite direction, raising "conditional use" (with
its option for invented-on-the-spot conditions) from an infrequently-applied
approach to special-situation permitting to one that has grown markedly
in scope in most city and town plans just about everywhere. It’s not surprising,
therefore, that the Ferrisburgh P&Z folks have used their conditional
approval powers to set some decidedly non-measurement-based requirements
for the present Champlain Oil food and fuel proposal on Route 7. Two parts
of the proposal have been rejected: one is diesel fuel pumps and the other
is drive-through fast-food service. Both rejections are predicated on a
stated board belief that such elements would "increase traffic in the area
to an unsafe level". No numbers are offered to support this belief, even
though the applicable figures are readily available, or reasonably estimable.
# # #
when Mao Tse Tung was being challenged within his own party on his plan
to basically take China over, Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist Chinese
held the cities, they had the army, they had the air force, they had everything
on their side. And people said, "How can you win? How can you do this?
How can you do this against all of the odds against you?" And Mao Tse Tung
said, you know, "You fight your war, and I’ll fight mine."
--Anita Dunn, White House
Communications Director explaining that Mao Tse-tung was one of her "favorite
political philosophers", one of the "two people she turns to most".
Week’s Mail Bag
Write a Check: Break Some
In "Fie, Fatal Flaw!" (New
York Times, Oct. 18), Maureen Dowd writes: At the New Orleans town
hall, 29-year old Gabriel Bordenave complained about the slow pace of recovery.
"I expected as much from the Bush administration," he told Obama.
"But why are we still being nickel-and-dimed?" [Obama responded]:
"Now, I wish I could just write a check.” When an audience member
yelled "Why not?" he dryly noted, "There's this whole thing about the Constitution."
[Ms. Dowd writes]: "The president should remember, though, that when
you're cooking up a more perfect Union, sometimes you've got to break some
With regards to the unauthorized
use of Burlington city funds for Burlington Telecom, David O’Brien, Commissioner
of the Department of Public Service, had this to say in a October 16, WCAX
report: “The key factor that allowed me to be comfortable was that
the risk of this project was going to be kept from taxpayers and the lenders
were the ones that were going to carry the risk.”
In response, Burlington Chief
Administrative Officer Jonathan Leopold said there is always an implied
risk when investing tens of millions of dollars. “First of all the
promise that you could guarantee the city would not be at risk I think
was overly optimistic.”
Has Burlington’s political
class, and Vermont's, for that matter - think Mayor Hooper in Montpelier
- gotten to the place where “you’ve got to break some eggs,” to achieve
ones’ ends? Maybe Mr. Leopold and Mayor Kiss believed taxpayers “could
just write a check. Maybe not. “Overly optimistic” is Mr. Leopold’s
and Mayor Kiss's belief in their own arrogance.
Tom Licata is the founder
of Vermonters for
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Guard Needs Our Support
Caledonia Record Editorial,
October 13, 2009
The largest deployment of
Vermont National Guard soldiers since World War II means approximately
1,500 members of the Vermont National Guard will soon be headed for Afghanistan.
While we wholeheartedly support
our soldiers and pray for their safe return, we find President Barack Obama's
sudden war wavering problematic.
Burlington Broke Law
From WCAX, October 16, 2009
Burlington officials and
the state Department of Public Service are sparring over financial issues
at Burlington Telecom. At the center of the controversy is $17 million
Burlington Telecom borrowed from taxpayers.
From Vermont Tiger, October
more than almost every other state to educate our students,
but we don't seem to get a lot for what we pay for.
Is Not Far Enough
Caledonia Record Editorial,
October 16, 2009
Education Commissioner Armando
Vilaseca wrote an op-ed piece this week that expresses all of the right
sentiments about the unfolding drama of the Morristown/Swanton/Colchester
teacher facing 17 charges of sexual abuse of his students, all of these
self-admitted charges from only one of the three districts he has sullied
with his presence....
And Vilaseca never mentions
the elephant in the middle of the room. Neither the three superintendents
involved, nor anybody on the three boards involved have acknowledged the
bogey man who is present in every discussion of what to do with problem
teachers. That bogeyman is the teachers' union, in this case VT-NEA. Everybody
in and out of the profession knows that one of the principal reasons for
being of teachers' unions is to protect poor teachers from losing their
jobs. And, everybody knows that it is virtually impossible to get rid of
a lousy teacher, whether simply incompetent or morally deficient, with
this bear/bogeyman growling over the loser teacher's shoulder. It is far
easier just to "pass the trash."
the NEA Spends Dues Money (pdf; see chart on page 8)
Unions are Out for Themselves
From Vermont Tiger, October
Andrew McKeever, editor of
Journal, asked all the right questions. Given the opportunity
to give tough, straightforward answers to those questions, Deb Markowitz
– who would like to be governor of Vermont – took refuge in all the usual,
She will find $200 million
by eliminating waste in government? Give us a break.
Concerns Close Crown Point Bridge
From WCAX, October 16, 2009
Traveling between northwestern
Vermont and northern New York has just gotten a little tricky. After months
of temporary repairs the Crown Point Bridge failed a safety inspection
Friday and officials closed it indefinitely.
(Editor’s Note: Keep in
mind, when reading the above article, Vermonters for Economic Health’s
warning about the consequences of neglecting our transportation infrastructure
while spending so much on social programs)
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
'Nyet' And America's Naivete
From Investor’s Business
Daily, October 14, 2009
The U.S. seems to be taking
the advice of a New York Times editorial in June 2005 suggesting that "rallying
Russia constitutes a key part of any successful containment strategy vis-a-vis
Iran." The Times contended that "Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile advances
could put roughly 20 million people in the south of Russia, Kazakhstan
and Ukraine at risk by as early as next year," and it warned of Russian
fears of "nuclear blackmail from the Islamic Republic." The paper's conclusion:
"Washington might soon find that, with the proper inducements, it has a
more receptive audience in Moscow than ever before."
But lost in Hillary's face-saving
and the Times' naivete is the possibility that Russia doesn't fear the
prospect of a nuclear Iran at all, but rather believes it would be in its
long-term geopolitical interest.
A mix of incendiary rhetoric
and feigned promises to help against Iran got Moscow what it wanted in
the U.S.' scrapping of the proposed missile defense in Eastern Europe.
But we're not getting reciprocal Russian help against the Iranian nuclear
monster that Moscow is helping to build.
Sources: Afghan Commander Frets Over Corruption
By LARA JAKES, Associated
Press Writer, October 13, 2009
Rampant government corruption
may derail the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan even
if as many as 80,000 additional U.S. troops are sent to the war, the top
military commander there has concluded, according to U.S. officials briefed
on his recommendations.
Guerrilla Chief Lays Out Strategy
By Syed Saleem Shahzad,
Asia Times, October 15, 2009
South Waziristan, at the
crossroads with Afghanistan - A high-level meeting on October 9 at the
presidential palace between Pakistan's civil and military leaders endorsed
a military operation against the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda in the
South Waziristan tribal area - termed by analysts as the mother of all
At the same time, al-Qaeda
is implementing its game plan in the South Asian war theater as a part
of its broader campaign against American global hegemony that began with
the attacks in the United States of September 11, 2001.
Obama Turning Us into the Next Evil Empire?
By Selwyn Duke, American
Thinker, October 15, 2009
Yet Obama's actions cannot
truly be appreciated without a bit more perspective. It's not just that
he has adopted a policy that was unthinkable for most of America's history.
There is something far more striking, far more telling and far more alarming:
in the current Honduran situation, Zelaya is precisely the man the Soviet
Union -- that evil empire -- would have sided with.
Now I want you to let that
sink in for a moment . . . .
This reality merely illustrates
the obvious in an emotionally gripping way. While Reagan opposed Sandinista
leader Daniel Ortega by funding his anti-communist opponents, Obama sides
with a reinvented Ortega in supporting Zelaya. In doing so, he also lines
up with unrepentant communists, either in name or spirit, such as Chavez
and Fidel Castro. Fine company you keep there, Mr. Obama.
Troop Funds Diverted to Pet Projects
Study finds $2.6 billion
taken from guns and ammunition.
By Shaun Waterman, The Washington
Times, October 15, 2009
Senators diverted $2.6 billion
in funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects largely at the expense
of accounts that pay for fuel, ammunition and training for U.S. troops,
including those fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an
In Reversal, Now Back Afghan Troop Surge
By Sean Higgins, Investor's
Business Daily, October 13, 2009
As President Obama mulls
the military's request for a big troop build-up in Afghanistan, Americans
have swung in favor of such a move, according to a new IBD/TIPP Poll. The
survey of 927 adults found that a plurality of 48% favors sending more
troops and resources to Afghanistan. That's a sharp reversal from September,
when Americans opposed the idea, 55%-35%.
Poised to Cede US Sovereignty in Copenhagen, Claims British Lord Monckton
From "What’s Up With That?",
October 16, 2009
Skimming through the treaty,
I came across verification of Monckton’s assessment of the new entity’s
38. The scheme for the new
institutional arrangement under the Convention will be based on three basic
pillars: government; facilitative mechanism; and financial mechanism, and
the basic organization of which will include the following:
World Government a)
The government will be ruled by the COP with the support of a new
subsidiary body on adaptation, and of an Executive Board responsible for
the management of the new funds and the related facilitative processes
and bodies. The current Convention secretariat will operate as such, as
To Redistribute Wealth
The Convention’s financial mechanism will include a multilateral climate
change fund including five windows: (a) an Adaptation window, (b) a
Compensation window, to address loss and damage from climate change impacts
[read: the "climate debt" Monckton refers to], including insurance,
rehabilitation and compensatory components, (c) a Technology window; (d)
a Mitigation window; and (e) a REDD window, to support a multi-phases process
for positive forest incentives relating to REDD actions.
With Enforcement Authority
The Convention’s facilitative mechanism will include: (a) work programmes
for adaptation and mitigation; (b) a long-term REDD process; © a short-term
technology action plan; (d) an expert group on adaptation established by
the subsidiary body on adaptation, and expert groups on mitigation, technologies
and on monitoring, reporting and verification; and (e) an international
registry for the monitoring, reporting and verification of compliance of
emission reduction commitments, and the transfer of technical and financial
resources from developed countries to developing countries. The secretariat
will provide technical and administrative support, including a new centre
for information exchange [read; enforcement].
# # #
New Counter Culture: Liberty
By James Hudnall, Big Hollywood,
October 14, 2009
If the alleged comics of
late night and cable have no imagination or guts, that’s where we come
in. The new Counter Culture.
We, the artists who reject
the politics of "the man," the propaganda of the state. We artists, writers
and creative people who are tired of being pushed around and told what
to do. Those of us who think everything is going wrong and it’s got to
stop. We are using our art, our work, to show the folly of the ways of
the "establishment". We’re finding plenty to mock and criticize. And we
don’t need the approval of the "cool kids" who really aren’t. Not even
It’s not a conservative
vs. lefty argument. It’s freedom lovers verses the statists. It’s liberty
and Catholics: True and False Arguments
By Samuel Gregg D.Phil.,
Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, October 14, 2009
It might, however, be that
these groups have a deeper concern: their realization that the days when
American Catholic bishops could be relied upon to accept or advocate extension
of the state’s participation in more-or-less any area of social and economic
life are long gone.
In part, this trend reflects
the collapse over the past forty years of the knee-jerk association of
Catholics with the Democratic Party. But it may also indicate that increasing
numbers of Catholic bishops are tired of being presumed to adhere to any
number of positions on prudential policy issues simply because one or more
departments of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops happen
to advocate a particular viewpoint.
Frankly, it’s a welcome development.
First, it illustrates that more bishops are not going to be muzzled by
a "conference line" (real or imagined) on prudential issues. Moreover,
it suggests that, on truly prudential matters, faithful Catholics increasingly
recognize they are entitled to reason their way through these subjects
on the basis of Catholic principles and knowledge acquired from other sources,
instead of being simply assumed to adhere to any number of (invariably
left-liberal) positions on such questions.
Between White House and Fox News Hots Up as Anita Dunn is Exposed as a
Fan of Chairman Mao
By Stephanie Gutmann, Telegraph
(UK), October 17, 2009
It’s not exactly a bloody
horse head left in the bed overnight, but Fox News has sent a message it’s
ready to play hardball with the White House Communications Director who
says she’s going to treat Fox News "the way we treat an opponent" and not
like an ordinary cable network. (See Toby Harnden’s post, "Barack
Obama’s Silly Obsession with Fox News".)
Anita Dunn went on one of
the Sunday talk shows last weekend to fulminate about Fox, calling it "a
wing of the Republican Party" and "not a news organization in the sense
that CNN is a news organization." By Thursday, researchers for Fox’s very
popular Glenn Beck Show had unearthed video of Dunn giving an inspirational
address last June to an audience of high school students in which she quotes
from one of her "favorite political philosophers", one of the "two people
she turns to most", who turns out to be Mao Tse-tung. By Friday, the clip
had gone as viral as can be.
House Urges Other Networks to Disregard Fox News
Clinging to Faith in the Face of Reason
By Jack Kelly, Jewish World
Review, October 14, 2009
But in the audience was Irish
filmmaker Phelim McAleer, who asked him (Al Gore) about a 2007 finding
by a British judge that "An Inconvenient Truth" is riddled with scientific
There was a time when journalists
applauded when one of their own spoke truth to power. But in the Society
of Environmental Journalists, relevant facts must be suppressed if they
clash with the party line. But reality is making it more difficult for
journalists to protect Mr. Gore and other alarmists from scrutiny, and
there are defections from the Praetorian Guard. As the Society of Environmental
Journalists was silencing Mr. McAleer, Paul Hudson, climate correspondent
for the once firmly alarmist BBC, was asking "What happened to global warming?"
Bottom Line Of Baucus' Reform Bill: Bigger Deficits, Higher Taxes — Or
By David Gratzer, Investor’s
Business Daily, October 14, 2009
While much congressional
negotiation lies ahead, this much is already clear: The health overhaul
favored by Democrats will add to the deficit and almost surely result in
big tax increases.
Importance of Doug Hoffman
By Jeri Thompson, American
Spectator, October 15, 2009
Hoffman represents conservatives'
best chance to send a national message to the Republican Party that they
are a force to be reckoned with, and that Hoffman appears to have the energy
from the grassroots to pull off a win and help lay the groundwork for a
successful 2010 election cycle. As one Hoffman supporter told me yesterday,
"The feeling of momentum is palpable. The race is between Doug and the
Democrat...we hope Dede won't be a spoiler for conservatives in this race."
There has been a bigger
setback since the '30s.
By Richard W. Rahn, The
Washington Times, October 14, 2009
As can be seen in the accompanying
chart, both President Reagan and President Obama inherited an economy suffering
from a year of no growth, along with rising unemployment. (The numbers
are almost identical.) But Mr. Reagan faced a far direr situation in that
inflation was in the double digits and the prime interest rate was at 20
percent. In contrast, Mr. Obama inherited an economy in which inflation
was falling (in fact, inflation has been close to zero for this year) and
interest rates were very low. ...
President Obama has taken
the polar opposite approach to President Reagan's to reignite the economic-growth
engine. Reagan pushed for cuts in marginal tax rates to encourage people
to work, save and invest in an effort to spur the supply side of the economy
as well as the demand side. Mr. Obama has chosen only to greatly increase
government spending in an attempt to increase demand while, at the same
time, many of his new labor, environmental, energy and other regulations
are impeding the supply side of the economy. ...
Once Reagan's tax cuts were
largely phased in, the economy took off - it grew by 7.6 percent in 1984
for Inaction on Global Warming
Congress should consider
the costs before passing "cap and trade."
By Pete Du Pont, Wall Street
Journal, October 19, 2009
Boxer-Kerry would expand
the control the government has over the American economy, businesses, and
individuals. It would have little impact on reducing global warming but
would significantly depress our economy. One wonders if the purpose of
the Boxer-Kerry bill is really just to give the U.S. something to take
to Copenhagen for the United Nation's Climate Change Conference in December.
on the 'Democrat-Media Complex'
By James Taranto, Wall Street
Journal, October 18, 2009
Dressing up as a pimp and
prostitute in order to seek Acorn's help in starting a child sex-slavery
ring wasn't Andrew Breitbart's idea. But without the Internet entrepreneur's
flair for publicity, the hidden-camera sting might not have produced such
Race Card, Football and Me
My critics would have
you believe no conservative meets NFL 'standards.'
By Rush Limbaugh, Wall Street
Journal, October 18, 2009
David Checketts, an investor
and owner of sports teams, approached me in late May about investing in
the St. Louis Rams football franchise. As a football fan, I was intrigued.
I invited him to my home where we discussed it further. Even after informing
him that some people might try to make an issue of my participation, Mr.
Checketts said he didn't much care. I accepted his offer.
# # #