North Archives - November 11, 2008
| Editorial | News & Views
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to the Basics for the Conservative Movement
By Robert Maynard
Decades of laboring in the
arena of ideas bore political fruit when Ronald Reagan was elected President.
Reagan embodied all three strands of the conservative movement and became
its primary spokesman. The problem here was that the conservative movement
soon began to focus more of its energy on shaping a message that was politically
popular so as to not lose the political gains they won. This meant abandoning
the principled opposition to much of the "New Deal" agenda. The result,
as David Frum points out in his book "Dead Right" was that the conservative
movement soon became a loose coalition of groups who championed particular
issues, rather than an overall worldview. By hedging on opposition to big
government in principle, they removed the heart and soul that defined conservatism.
The new glue that held them together was anti-communism. That became a
problem when the Soviet Union fell. Since then there have been numerous
attempts to redefine conservatism so that big government can be used to
serve conservative ends. This has got to be the biggest oxymoron that I
have ever heard. If the core principle of conservatism is a principled
opposition to big government social engineering, how can one go about using
big government to serve conservative ends?
Vermont Left: Friend or Faux?
By Martin Harris
some modest risk of over-simplification Iíd suggest that the political
Right thinks of the Declarationís "all men are created equal" phrase as
meaning equality of opportunity, while to the political Left it means equality
of outcome or condition. This explains why the recent "spread-the-wealth"
comment during the mercifully-just-finished political campaign drew both
the negative response of the Right and the fervent support of the Left,
because it addressed the re-distributionist goal of equal financial outcomes
and rejected the concept of individual opportunity to compete, succeed
or fail to greater or lesser degrees, and thereby create unequal financial
outcomes. It also explains such phenomena as the recent public-schooling
interest in something called Outcome-Based Education, which seeks to have
all students demonstrate, via preferred portfolio or less-preferred testing,
the same outcome-level of content mastery, as opposed to traditional education
which seeks primarily to equalize inputs even though differently skilled
or motivated students will individually do better or worse with the same
level of, for example, per-pupil funding.
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"Itís just one battle
in a long war, and it will go on as long as we all live...Donít give up
on your ideals ÖAnd donít for heavensí sake, having seen the inner workings
of the watch, donít get cynical."
-- Ronald Reagan in a speech
to supporters after losing the 1976 GOP Presidential Primary
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Weekly News Round-Up
Legislative Friends Like These
Caledonia Record Editorial,
November 04, 2008
Given, as in schools, 65
percent is a passing score, the partisan failure to support the Vermont
Chamber of Commerce is: Independents - 100%; Democrats - 99%; and Republicans
- 2%. What are the implications when the party of the super majority in
both Houses disagrees with the businesses that drive the Vermont economy?
There will be no decrease in the anti-business bias of the Vermont Legislature.
Vermont will keep its reputation as one of the most difficult states in
the Union to do business. And Democrats will continue their ideological
drumbeat at our expense.
Legislature And Politics Of Change
Caledonia Record Editorial,
November 07, 2008
Since Douglas has warned
of extremely challenging times ahead and has made it clear he will pursue
a fiscally conservative policy of restraint and austerity, his overwhelming
victory in the bluest state in the country is a clear mandate to lead....
With their support for team
Douglas/Dubie, most Vermonters embrace the potential for the continued
operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. They oppose an increase
in state spending or state taxes. They continue to express concerns about
high property taxes and out of control school spending. They support a
policy of repairing Vermont's existing highway infrastructure.
& New Leader
From Vermont Tiger, November
And here is where the Vermont
model might be instructive. In our little state we want to have it
both ways. We elect a legislature with a large majority that promises
to give us all sorts of good things. Through that legislature, we
have voted to exempt ourselves from paying taxes (income sensitivity) at
the same time we have ratified extravagant school budgets. We have
given ourselves health care discounts that we canít afford so we stick
private insurers with the bill and hope that the Feds will bail us out.
(That ship appears to have come in.) We make government the largest
employer in the state and then wonder why there arenít any jobs.
Then, we elect a governor
to somehow rationalize it all. To square the circle. To make
revenues match expenditures (instead of the other way around) and somehow
save us from ourselves.
at IBM in Essex Junction
From WCAX-TV November 4,
Some IBM employees reporting
for their shifts Tuesday got the news that they were being let go.
My Mind I'm Going To ... Carolina
From VermontTiger.com November
I wonít get into the economic
development thing too deeply. But you have read here before that it is
simply and sadly arrogance to believe we can tax the hell out of everyone
and everything because the world has no place else to find Heaven.
Folks, western NC does Vermont better than we do with lower taxes, cheaper
everything and massive industry coexisting with the life we all love right
ere. PleaseÖ.somebody wake up the politicians and remind them one-more-timeÖ..Vermont
cannot compete on its current course and we do not have a monopoly on clean,
beautiful and safe.
as a Luxury
From VermontTiger.com November
While the collapse if the
EU CO2 credit trading scheme isn't a surprise to most of us, it is [ to
many of the Europeans I've discussed it with (while in CH on business this
week). I suppose a religious faith in government predisposes someone
to believe in Ponzi schemes like ETS. Absent government fiat, or speculation
on impending government fiat, the price of carbon credits tend toward zero.
So, as the Europeansí discover "... the green agenda has almost vanished
from media political chatter" they're likewise seeing the value of
their CO2 credits vanish.
In the larger order of things
I could really care less if ETS carbon credits are worthless or not. I
will however mention that much of the 'green' economy Douglas has been
promising us is predicated on the existence of a healthy carbon trading
market - and 'green' Vermont companies that run these markets. I don't
pretend to know what would make someone believe that voluntary CO2 trading
schemes could become a lasting source of wealth. Indeed, as the story linked
above demonstrates even with government fiat, the value CO2 credits is
highly speculative. What I do know is that trying to build an economy on
the fiction of climate change is not 'sustainable source of wealth.
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Global War on Terrorism
Faith in One God Means Catholics, Muslims Must Work Ttogether
By Cindy Wooden, Catholic
News Service, November 6, 2008
After 138 Muslim scholars
from around the world wrote to Pope Benedict and other Christian leaders
in October 2007 proposing a new level of Christian-Muslim dialogue, the
Vatican and the scholars established the Catholic-Muslim Forum.
The scholars' letter presented
the dual commandment of love of God and love of neighbor as a "common word"
of Islam and Christianity and as a possible topic for a dialogue that would
go deeper than discussing traditional moral, social and cultural values
by focusing on theological and spiritual similarities and differences.
Russia to Deploy Missiles in Response to U.S. Missile Shield
From FoxNews.com, November
Russia will deploy short-range
missiles near Poland to counter U.S. military plans in Eastern Europe,
President Dmitry Medvedev has warned, setting a combative tone that clashed
with global goodwill over Barack Obama's election.
reports rocket barrage from Gaza
By Steve Weizman, Associated
Press, November 5, 2008
Israeli rescue services have
reported a "massive" cross-border rocket barrage by Palestinian militants
from the Gaza
Strip. The barrage Wednesday came just hours after an Israeli air
strike and marked the first major exchange of fire since a truce took
effect in June. The Israeli military said at least 20 rockets were fired
from the strip early Wednesday but there was no immediate word of injuries
Conference: Coalition to Stop Sharia
By Jeffrey Imm, Family Security
Matters, November 8, 2008
to Stop Sharia held a press conference at the National Press Club to
oppose actions by the U.S. Treasury Department today to hold a course titled
Finance 101" to "train" government employees on Sharia-Compliant
Finance (SCF). The coalition, consisting of diverse
groups with a shared interest in fighting Islamic supremacism,
called for the U.S. Treasury Department to either cancel the training course
this afternoon or to provide education on the full Islamic supremacist
nature of Sharia.
By Amir Taheri, New York
Post, November 8, 2008
Obama's original support base, the anti-war movement, still insists
on a full and speedy withdrawal from Iraq, a position also backed by prominent
figures of the Left. To them, Iraq is a political version of the "original
sin" that can only be expiated by a clear US defeat and humiliating retreat.
But the president-elect no
longer needs such people, at least not for now.
And Obama, cast by history
in the role of a war president, probably won't want to have America defeated
and humiliated on his watch, however happy that would make his old supporters.
on Trial: Former Bookkeeper Admits Muslim Charity Hid Foreign Bank Accounts
By Steve Emerson, Family
Security Matters, November 7, 2008
Foreign bank accounts controlled
by the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) were never
reported to the Internal Revenue Service or even to the charity's own auditors,
a former bookkeeper for the charity admitted Wednesday.
Mohammad Wafa Yaish worked
as a tax and accounting consultant for HLF from 1997-2001. He was called
as a defense witness to give an overview of the different projects run
by HLF and to discuss financial records.
Five former HLF officials
are accused of illegally funneling millions of dollars to Hamas through
a series of Palestinian charities called zakat committees. If HLF
was raising money for Hamas, he didn't know about it, Yaish said.
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Plan Fails to Account for Limitations on Wind Power
By Howard C. Hayden, Heartland
Institute, November 1, 2008
Most wind machines built
today have nameplate capacities in excess of one megawatt, far larger than
the 100 kw units of the 1970s. For just one example, consider the 1.5 mw
unit made by General Electric. There are two versions, with diameters of
77 meters (253 feet) and 82.5 meters (271 feet). Hub heights are 80 meters
(262 feet). The larger-diameter unit is for less-windy places.
The cut-in speed (the point
at which the turbines start turning) is 3.5 meters per second (7.8 mph),
and full power occurs at a speed of 14 m/s (31.3 mph) for the 77 m unit.
At the low speed, the power produced is about 25 kw, less than 2 percent
of the rated power.
I donít mean to imply any
failure of engineering here. It is simply that the power available in the
wind is proportional to the cubeóthe third poweróof the wind speed.
Corrupt Origins of Central Banking
By Thomas J. DiLorenzo,
Ludwig Von Mises Institute, November 5, 2008
Northern merchants provided
the main political support for Hamilton's Bank, whereas southern politicians
like Jefferson supplied most of the opposition to it, seeing it as nothing
more than a vehicle for financing an American version of the corrupt British
mercantilist system, which would be destructive of liberty and prosperity.
They were right, of course, and remain right to this day.
By Mark Sanford, American
Conservative Union, November 5, 2008
Iíd ask that you, as leaders
at this crucial juncture in our nationís story, do three things: one, recognize
that the current avalanche of bad news can be traced back several years
to oftentimes poor financial decisions that snowballed out of control;
two, consider that this $150 billion salve may in fact further infect our
economy with unnecessary government influence and unintended fiscal consequences;
and three, accept that there may be better routes to recovery than a blanket
bailout, including offering states like mine more in the way of flexibility
and freedom from federal mandates instead of a bag of money with strings
Not Cause Crisis
By James Gattuso, American
Conservative Union, November 5, 2008
Easy answers are seldom correct
ones. That principle seems to be at work as the nation struggles to discover
the causes of the financial crisis now rocking the economy. Looking for
a simple and politically convenient villain, many politicians have blamed
deregulation by the Bush Administration.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
for instance, stated last month that "the Bush Administration's eight
long years of failed deregulation policies have resulted in our nation's
largest bailout ever, leaving the American taxpayers on the hook potentially
for billions of dollars. Similarly, presidential candidate Barack Obama
asserted in the second presidential debate that "the biggest problem in
this whole process was the deregulation of the financial system."
But there is one problem
with this answer: Financial services were not deregulated during the Bush
Administration. If there ever was an "era of deregulation" in the financial
world, it ended long ago. And the changes made then are for the most part
Michael Reagan, GOPUSA,
November 7, 2008
Barack Obama is president-elect
of the United States because the Republican Party and John McCain handed
him the presidential election on a silver platter.....
I hope Barack Obama will
not be what he has promised to be. I hope he doesn't have a civilian security
force. I hope he doesn't raise my taxes. I hope he doesn't spread the wealth.
I hope he doesn't raise taxes on corporate America. I hope he looks at
nuclear power. I hope he allows us to drill. I hope that there will be
no revival of the fairness doctrine.
Take First Steps Toward Rebuilding GOP
By Elisabeth Meinecke, Human
Events, November 7, 2008
Less than 72 hours after
a disheartening Election Day for Republicans, Capitol Hill conservatives
are showing their mettle.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas),
chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, endorsed Rep.
Mike Pence (R-Ind.) Thursday for the number 3 leadership position among
House Republicans: chairman of the Republican Conference. Minority Leader
John Boehner (R-Oh) also endorsed Pence after asking him to run for the
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