North Archives - November 06, 2007
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New Green Regime
By John McClaughry
enviros insist that the greatest challenge facing Vermont is The Menace
of Global Warming. A far more serious challenge will be the capture of
public policy by a well-organized and well-funded movement eager to seize
upon an imagined climate crisis as the excuse for enacting the entire enviro
agenda, regardless of what it might cost the taxpayers, and regardless
of how their Green Regime might overpower our local communities and diminish
By Tom Licata
Former President Gerald Ford,
three days after his inauguration before a joint session of Congress, said
the following: "A government big enough to give you everything you want
is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." What
if we – the taxpayer – were to turn this statement on its head to something
closer to "A taxpaying citizenry big enough to give you [our Legislature]
everything you have is a taxpaying citizenry big enough to take from you
everything you want"?
Razor, or Memory Hole III
By Martin Harris
analysis would suggest that, when once-readily-available information suddenly
becomes unavailable –to test this for yourself, try asking for your local
school capacity and square footage—the simplest solution would be that
some people want it unavailable. When once-public school stats become unavailable,
the simplest solution would be that education people –educators and/or
politicians—want it unavailable. The "why" of this relatively new (but
unadmitted) policy is equally simple: ever since Horace Mann made the argument
for publicly-funded public schools, a century-and-a-half ago, the accepted
benchmarks for acceptable building design, cost, and taxation levels have
been building capacity (numbers of student spaces in terms of classroom,
lab, and similar rooms) and overall building square footage (which measures
the net instructional space against the overall gross building area, so
as to see the "design efficiency" of the building). With these numbers,
taxpayers can judge for themselves whether the spaces being built are needed
(or vice versa) and whether the building being built is reasonably functional
and efficient. Without these numbers, taxpayers can judge neither.
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(The following stories
come to us courtesy of our friends at Outdoors Magazine http://www.outdoorsmagazine.net/)
At this time the wound is
approximately 3/4" across. This is after 2 weeks in a clean water
tank. When it first was caught the wound was about 1 1/2" across.
It's unfortunate the Lamprey wasn't retained after it was killed.
However, the photo should suffice. This was caught in the area of
the Ti landing.
The other issue is about
the Alewives. That is something which the states should address with
some vigor. If it isn't it will rank right up there with the Lamprey,
Zebra Mussels, Eurasian Milfoil and Cormorants. Of course, the politiocians
will only care when it becomes a disaster. You're welcome to share
this with Jason if he's interested. Thanks
thought you may be interested in seeing a nice Buck that was shot in Vermont
during the 2006 muzzleloader season by myself. The Buck was an 8-pointer,
with 11" tines, dressed out at 191lbs. It had 2 small non typical points
at the base of each antler approx. 1/2" each (I could hang a ring on it)
It was the nicest buck I have ever seen, let alone shot, in Vermont.
What made this deer interesting was the unusual high tines. I believe the
deer to be about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 years old. The brow tines were short
2 1/2 inches very typical in the area I hunt. The deer was shot in Rutland
County, very deep in the woods. Every year I hunt Ohio, Wisconsin,
NY & Vermont. By far this deer was the most rewarding & satisfying,
because it came from my own state ...Vermont!
John L. Kalish
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Weekly News Round-Up
From VermontTiger.com October
Before the reign of Howard
Dean, it was possible, in Vermont, for young, healthy people to purchase
affordable medical insurance from a number of carriers. Then came
rating and most insurers fled the state. Those that remained
(think Blue Cross) raised their rates through the roof. So what was
achieved in the name of fairness was medical insurance available to all
at a rate so exorbitant that more and more people went without coverage.
The Law of Uninteded Consequences had, once again, asserted itself.
So, Vermont came up with a fix for this new problem, named it Catamount
Health, and is spending a cool million and a half to promote it.
One wonders why, if it is such a good deal, the hard sell is necessary
to get people to buy in.
Our Way To Prosperity: It's In The Air (cashed)
Caledonian Record Editorial,October
New tax proposals are coming
to Vermont in January. With ambitious plans to pass sweeping new energy
proposals, including a new stand-alone, all-fuels energy utility; with
ongoing plans to expand health-care coverage; and with the reality of crumbling
highways all facing the Legislature, either new taxes must be passed or
other governmental services must be cut.
the Real World, Taxes are Too High
Newspapers and Legislature
Misleading and Out of Touch
By Debra Lee Ricker, Times
Argus, October 28, 2007
Taxpayers want relief, and
they want their money wisely invested in programs that will build an innovative
next-generation economy with high-paying jobs; housing Vermonters can afford;
and a world-class infrastructure without compromising our environment.
We can do all these things without raising taxes.
State to Leave 400 Jobs Open to Bring Down Skyrocketing Payroll
By Louis Porter, Vermont
Press Bureau, Rutland Herald, November 3, 2007
To counter nearly a 70 percent
increase over the past 7 years in payroll and benefits for state workers,
400 state jobs will not be filled as they become vacant over the next 19
months or so, Secretary of Administration Michael Smith told agency and
department heads across Vermont's executive branch of government Friday.
Does Education Have To Do With The Price Of Oil?
From VermontTiger.com, October
Besides growing more expensive,
more rapidly, education and oil are essentially unrelated. Or, so says
post that uses data from the
U.S. Department of Education and Global Financial Data to demonstrate the
price of education has grown at a significantly faster rate than that of
oil. Specifically, in real dollar terms, oil is shown to have increased
in price by 2.4x since 1929 while education costs have increased 10x.
By Jon Reide, The View (from
UVM), October 31, 2007
Could the Green Mountain
State become the Retirement State? Art Woolf, associate professor of economics,
says it just might if Vermont can't offset a demographic downturn that
could leave it with a severely depleted tax base and inadequate work force.
According to Woolf, the former state economist under Governor Madeleine
Kunin, Vermont's demographic good times are rapidly ending. The days of
low unemployment and strong state revenues, including a general fund tax
revenue growth rate of 35 percent since 2002, are almost over.
This Is NOT A Vermont Story (Yet)
From VermontTiger.com, November
[Canada] is not cutting corporate
taxes in a vacuum. Countries all over the planet are rushing to trim tax
rates on business...to maximize business activity and attract business
Sill at Core of School Funding Issue
Burlington Free Press Editorial,
November 4, 2007
Switching tax systems makes
little difference to Vermonters' tax burden if the same amount of money
still comes from the same taxpayers' pockets. And any move to lessen the
load of the education tax on homeowners must not be seen as making room
to raise the property tax for other purposes.
Coming Economic 'Train Wreck'
By Tom Licata, Burlington
Free Press, November 5, 2007
Vermont is in a demographic
free-fall: Vermont's share of people aged 25 to 29 is the lowest in the
nation while its share of people aged 50 to 54 is the highest in the country;
Vermont has the lowest birthrate in the nation; Vermont's young people
leave our state at four times the national average; and lastly, because
of an anomaly of birth cycles, in approximately 2012, our school population
will actually begin to increase just as our aging population and their
income tax dollars begin to retire, causing what the Ethan Allen Institute's
"Off The Rails" report terms our coming "train wreck."
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
W. Bush's Greatest Triumph?
By Ben Shapiro, Townhall.com,
October 31, 2007
On Monday, the U.S. military
turned over the war-torn Karbala province to Iraqi security forces. The
assumption of control by Iraqi security forces marked the eighth such handover
by the U.S. military since the start of the Iraq war. Of the 18 Iraqi provinces,
10 remain under U.S. military control.
Cautious optimism is beginning
to bloom in the desert. Though the Iraqi government itself has acknowledged
its foot-dragging with regard to assuming responsibility over security
-- "Allow me to say that we are late, very late, to reconstruct, to rebuild
our forces for reasons that I do not want to mention here," said Iraqi
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki -- the situation in Iraq is steadily growing
less tenuous. According to iCasualties.org, fatalities from improvised
explosive devices (IEDs) have decreased dramatically and consistently since
May 2007, from 90 in May to 16 in October. Iraqi forces are either in control
of or leading operations in broad swaths of 16 out of 18 provinces.
is Michael J. Sulick & Does al Qaeda Have a Mole Inside the CIA?
From Commentary Magazine,
October 31, 2007
In part, the CIA, and Sulick
himself, might be hamstrung, and traumatized, by our cold-war past. Key
counterintelligence officials—Aldrich Ames in the CIA, Robert Hanssen in
the FBI—were working for the other side. Could this happen again? Sulick
not only believes it’s a possibility, he’s actively troubled by it, and
believes that the implications would be far graver than they were in the
What if you had somebody
like Robert Hanssen working for al Qaeda? Try to imagine that! All the
stuff that Hanssen and other spies gave away was in the cold war. Nobody
was locked in combat. There was time to compensate, take countermeasures,
for what those spies gave away. You’re not going to have that time in the
war on terrorism. Imagine that you hire somebody, because you need a speaker
of Farsi or Arabic, and that person is a spy. That allows the terrorists
to launch attacks a lot more easily when they know what the intelligence
community’s capabilities are and who their assets are. That’s my big bugaboo:
the terrorist spy.
to Cyber Holy War?
By Marc Sheppard, The
American Thinker, November 01, 2007
DebkaFile, the Israel-based
military intelligence website, is reporting that they intercepted Arabic
language website announcements on Monday declaring an imminent "cyber jihad
on the west," and warns
"On Sunday, Nov. 11, al
Qaeda's electronic experts will start attacking Western, Jewish, Israeli,
Muslim apostate and Shiite Web sites. On Day One, they will test their
skills against 15 targeted sites expand the operation from day to day thereafter
until hundreds of thousands of Islamist hackers are in action against untold
numbers of anti-Muslim sites." ... "The electronic war they have declared
could cause considerable trouble on the world's Internet"
If this represents a legitimate
threat (while often right on the money, some of Debka's reports have proven
to be bogus in the past) then to call their conclusion understated would
certainly be an understatement -- so much so that I'm forced to wonder
whether its true payoff was somehow lost in its Hebrew to English translation.
Islamic Party: "Al Qaeda is Defeated"
By Michael Yon, Online Magazine,
01 November 2007
"Al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated,"
according to Sheik Omar Jabouri, spokesman for the Iraqi Islamic Party
and a member of the widespread and influential Jabouri Tribe. Speaking
through an interpreter at a 31 October meeting at the Iraqi Islamic Party
headquarters in downtown Baghdad, Sheik Omar said that al Qaeda had been
"defeated mentally, and therefore is defeated physically," referring to
how clear it has become that the terrorist group’s tactics have backfired.
Operatives who could once disappear back into the crowd after committing
an increasingly atrocious attack no longer find safe haven among the Iraqis
who live in the southern part of Baghdad. They are being hunted down
and killed. Or, if they are lucky, captured by Americans.
Iraq’s Elections Set Back Democracy
By Ayad Allawi, New York
Times, November 2, 2007
The paralysis that
has afflicted the government in Baghdad, the sectarian disputes across
the country and the failure to move toward reconciliation were all predictable
outcomes of the senseless rush to hold national elections and put the Constitution
in place. At the time, leaders from all major parties produced a memorandum
calling for a delay of the elections, which I presented to Ghazi al-Yawer,
then the interim president of Iraq.
Yet due largely to political
pressure from the international community, the elections went ahead in
January 2005 under a misguided, closed party list system. Rather than choosing
a specific candidate, voters across the country chose from among rival
lists of candidates backed and organized by political parties. This system
was entirely unsuitable given the security situation, the lack of accurate
census figures, heavy intimidation from ethnic and religious militias,
gross interventions by Iran, dismantled state institutions, and the use
of religious symbols by parties to influence voters.
Accordingly, the vast majority
of the electorate based their choices on sectarian and ethnic affiliations,
not on genuine political platforms. Because many electoral lists weren’t
made public until just before the voting, the competing candidates were
simply unknown to ordinary Iraqis. This gave rise to our sectarian Parliament,
controlled by party leaders rather than by the genuine representatives
of the people. They have assembled a government unaccountable and unanswerable
to its people.
series on developments within Islam
By Rosslyn Smith, The
American Thinker, November 01, 2007
Once forces of dissent get
unleashed in a culture they become difficult to control. For
every Bin Laden wannabe who reads the Quran for himself and finds support
for violence against Muslim and infidel alike there are now even more like
Laleh Bakhtiar, a woman whose translation of the Quran removed the permission
for wife-beating based on her understanding of alternative meanings of
classical Arabic verbs. In the author's words:
"the same people who wanted
to prevent the "westoxification" of Islam, who wanted to "purify" Islam,
have ended up ushering the same thing that makes the west special: hyper-individualism."
In Eteraz's view the Islamic
world is on the verge of its own Enlightenment as people increasingly come
to realize that the separation of the political sphere from the religious
one is in their best interests. Eteraz has obviously thought deeply about
his topic and is passionate about helping the Islamic world modernize.
# # #
as the paradigm of unalienable right
Part 11 of 'The Crisis
of the Republic'
By Alan Keyes, 2007 Renew
At its heart, the debate
over "same-sex marriage" involves a profound disagreement about the nature
of the family. Indeed, the very idea of the natural family is under assault.
In a 2005 ruling later upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a U.S.
District Court judge ruled in favor of the City of Oakland when it threatened
two city employees with immediate removal for posting a bulletin board
notice that referred to "respect for the Natural Family."
Because it is camouflaged
as a disagreement over sexual behavior, most people fail to appreciate
the true implications of this effort to banish the idea that the family
is a natural institution that involves fundamental rights that all legitimate
government must respect. Of course, this failure in turn arises from the
fact that we no longer see the necessary connection between the rights
we have by nature and the obligations that define our nature. The
latter are the seeds from which the former arise.
End of Socialized Medicine?
By Christopher Chantrill,
The American Thinker, October 31, 2007
Michael Moore's SiCKO
is opening in Britain this week, but the British are not amused.
Anyone can extol the virtues of universal government-furnished health care,
they say, when they have never had to use it. ... Not to worry, writes
Peter Huber in "Cherry
Garcia and the End of Socialized Medicine" in City Journal.
The new age of "molecular medicine," of designer drugs for specific genetic
defects, is going to break up the current system of government universal
health care that Michael Moore so loves.
By Reginald Firehammer,
Ayn Rand put these words
in the mouth of her collectivist archetype, who is explaining how to destroy
a civilized society; it is done by taking away that which civilizes men:
"Kill man's sense of values.
.... Don't set out to raze all shrines-you'll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity-and
the shrines are razed. Then there's another way. Kill by laughter. Laughter
is an instrument of human joy. Learn to use it as a weapon of destruction.
Turn it into a sneer. It's simple. Tell them to laugh at everything. Tell
them that a sense of humor is an unlimited virtue. Don't let anything
remain sacred in a man's soul-and his soul won't be sacred to him. Kill
reverence and you've killed the hero in man. One doesn't reverence
with a giggle. He'll obey and he'll set no limits to his obedience-anything
goes-nothing is too serious." [For The New Intellectual - The
Fountainhead, "The Soul Of A Collectivist"] [Emphasis mine]
There's another way to destroy
what civilizes men.
Death by Language
George Orwell was, perhaps,
the first to explain the uncivilizing effects of the corruption of language,
whether the inadvertent
result of ignorance and laziness or the intentional corruption
of language, as fictionalized in his book, 1984,
or the very real corruption or our language today under the influence of
multicutral, politically correct, and post modernist "Newspeak".
There is a much more subtle and insidious corruption of language, however,
that not only overturns the meanings of a society's values, but destroys
an individual's own ability to discern that corruption. It is done by suborning
the very words by which men hold those ideas that are their most profound
principles, turning the words of their most sacred beliefs into words that
express the opposite of all values, words of scorn, contempt, anger, and
sweep in the offing?
By Jack Kelly, Jewish World
Review, October 31, 2007
Voters turned to the Democrats
in 2006 because they were disgusted with Republicans. The primary reason
was Iraq. We were locked then in a bloody stalemate. Given a choice between
seemingly endless war and withdrawal, Americans prefer withdrawal. Iraq
wasn't the only reason for voter disgust. When Republicans act like Republicans,
they don't always win. But when Republicans act like Democrats, they almost
always lose. The GOP Congress was spending more than Democratic Congresses
of the past. Earmarks had exploded. Corruption was rampant. Many who had
voted Republican in 2002 and 2004 stayed home, or voted against the incumbents
on the assumption Democrats couldn't be worse. Speaker Pelosi and Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) are disabusing swing voters of that
assumption. The Democratic Congress has done virtually nothing except to
try (and fail) to pass measures to cripple the war effort and to hamstring
efforts to surveil terrorists.
By John R. Christy, Wall
Street Journal, November 1, 2007
I'm sure the majority (but
not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither
the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity
is to blame for most of the warming we see. Rather, I see a reliance on
climate models (useful but never "proof") and the coincidence that changes
in carbon dioxide and global temperatures have loose similarity over time.
There are some of us who remain so humbled by the task of measuring and
understanding the extraordinarily complex climate system that we are skeptical
of our ability to know what it is doing and why.
the Gloom, More Bush Boom
By Larry Kudlow, National
Review Online, October 31, 2007
If things are so bad, why
are they so good? With all the gloom coming out of Wall Street, the Democrats
on the campaign trail, and the mainstream media, a remarkable thing just
happened: Real gross domestic product, the best summary report of the American
economy, came in at a breathtaking 3.9 percent annual rate for the third
quarter. In fact, following the 3.8 percent growth rate for the second
quarter, the U.S. economy has posted its strongest quarterly growth in
four years. The economy actually appears to be speeding up, following
the relatively sluggish performance of the prior 18 months. On top of this,
the inflation rate is actually slowing down. The consumer spending
deflator is reading 2.1 percent for the past year, compared to over 3 percent
six quarters ago. The core inflation rate is down to 1.9 percent, below
the Fed’s 2 percent target.
The judge becomes
a pawn in the politics of interrogation.
Wall Street Journal Editorial,
October 29, 2007
Just when you thought someone
might be confirmed in Washington without a partisan fight, Senate Democrats
are suggesting they may not approve Michael Mukasey as Attorney General
after all. The judge's offense is that he's declined to declare "illegal"
an interrogation technique in the war on terror that Congress itself has
never specifically banned.
Hillary: You'd Better Be Quick
Manchester Union Leader
Editorial, November 4, 2007
Americans are more likely
to find Bigfoot than to discover Sen. Hillary Clinton's real position on
Social Security. Why? Bigfoot left more clues. Sen. Clinton has risen as
high as she has in the polls by figuring out how many sides an issue has,
and taking them.
Charlie Rangel and other
liberal leaders want to raise tax rates even if it means lower tax revenues.
By Pete Du Pont, OpinionJournal,
October 30, 2007
Nobel Peace laureate Al Gore
believes global warming is "an inconvenient truth." Here are some economic
truths that America's liberal leadership finds too inconvenient to support.
1.) Tax rate reductions increase tax revenues....
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