North Archives - November 13, 2007
| Editorial | News & Views
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By Robert Maynard
Since the 2000 election and
the legislative gains made by the Take Back Vermont movement, the battleground
has expanded. In 2002 we had a small tax revolt that saw a record number
of towns vote down their school budget. In 2004 and 2005, Killington
residents overwhelmingly voted to secede from Vermont and join New Hampshire.
Soon after, the town of Dorset staged a tax revolt and Winhall joined in
as well. In spite of the high taxes, we have trouble matching federal transportation
funds due to out-of-control spending and the Democrats/Progressives are
still proposing major expansions of state government involvement in the
areas of education and health care. The list of planning commissions in
an article mentioned elsewhere in this issue, makes it clear that our self-appointed
political saviors are just getting started. It is time for a movement similar
to the one that rose up during the 2000 election cycle to strike again.
Joining the battle is a movement to "Revolt and Repeal" aimed at Act 60
and Act 68 as well as a call to "Stop Over Spending". Social conservatives
are not at all happy with a whole host of issues that impact the family,
not to mention the attempt to move beyond Civil Unions in redefining the
family by pushing for the recognition of same sex marriages. The latest
to join the fray is a group called "The Vermont Taxpayers Revolt", who
are circulating a petition on the web: http://www.vermonttaxrevolt.org/petition.php
Now Vermonters are once again
locked in a struggle with an arrogant and out of touch government oligarchy
to preserve our heritage of liberty. We have a year to form a real revolt.
Let’s hope that, in 2008, we can "Take Back Vermont."
Leaders Focused and Effective
By Rob Roper
at the positive legislation that came out of Montpelier last year: Promise
Scholarships, the E-State Initiative and increased local-voter control
over school budgets. All of these laws wrestle with the most pressing issues
facing Vermont today -- fleeing youth, creating a competitive 21st Century
infrastructure for good paying jobs, and controlling property taxes. Every
one of these positive solutions was Republican-led. That they passed in
the face of Democrat supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature
is a testimony to the mature, focused, effective and bipartisan leadership
of Gov. Douglas and Republicans in Montpelier.
Bridge Too Far
understandable: in the political climate of the modern Vermont, pay-your-own-way
and user fees are considered beneath contempt, and far less attractive
to the governing class, actual and wannabe, than broad-based taxes which
they get to collect, pay themselves from, and distribute the remainder
to favored recipients. Just imagine, for example what would be the reaction
to any proposal that parents of school kids pay even a tiny fraction of
the educational costs they generate, as they did, once upon a time, back
in an earlier Vermont where "rate bills" were a standard and accepted way
for parents to pay some fraction of the cost of their kids’ schooling.
# # #
to the Editor
As always, I look forward
to my Tuesday mailing from you, with the truth about Vermont. I have a
question regarding the following from "Good Old Vermont", by Jon
Reide, The View (from UVM), October 31, 2007
Was Woolf part of ("the
former state economist under Governor Madeleine Kunin") the cause of
Kunin leaving us in so much red ink? If so, who is he to tell us anything?
And Peter Dorn says we need a greater stream of foreign influences, as
in the '70s, to come and make Vermont better? To show us what we are doing
wrong? Wasn't it they, now 70+ % of our legislature not born here, who
got us into where we now wallow? And what are all these well-paying job
he speaks of which are in need of filling, jobs in a larger Vermont government?
Professor Woolf’s role may or may not have been in generating the red ink
during the Kunin administration, it is totally irrelevant to the validity
of his analysis of the coming economic/demographic crisis. I would caution
against falling for the fallacy trying to discredit an argument by attacking
Peter Dorn was pointing
out the fact that our economy needs a new influx of workers if it is to
remain strong. Given the demographic problems we are headed towards, that
should not be a controversial suggestion. Let it be noted that there is
a world of difference between those who migrate to Vermont in order to
engage in productive economic activity and those who seek to engage in
utopian social engineering. We need more of the former and none of the
* * *
Attention Vermont Lawmakers
This is a follow-up to my
previous open letter to all Vermont lawmakers. Go to the Web site www.VermontTaxRevolt.org
and pay close attention to the comments left by the citizens signing the
petition. This petition is gaining steam with many additional signatures
daily. Vermonters are sick and tired of you doing nothing to lower taxes.
Instead, you add new socialist programs, i.e., government-paid health care,
Pre-K, etc., resulting in increasing the tax burden. The Constitution is
clear regarding the actual role of government; which is, protecting life,
liberty and property. I wonder just how many of you have even read the
Also, there is another Web
site with a petition which has many signatures and comments from Vermonters.
Go to www.RevoltandRepeal.com.
When you return to Montpelier
in January, keep in mind the reason the voters sent you there; because
you work for us!!
* * *
New French President is
So how about that conservative
French president, Nick Sarkosy? Did you hear his speech to Congress? Rush
had some sound bites from it. Just awesome! You probably won't see it in
the press so I took a copy of the transcript from Rush's member's only
site and put it over here if you want to see it: http://putnamhill.net/sarkozy/
(The following stories
come to us courtesy of our friends at Outdoors Magazine http://www.outdoorsmagazine.net/)
Harry Lands a Big One
Crown of McIndoe Falls, VT landed a 40", 22lb 8oz lake trout on Saturday
Feb 24th with a tip up at Harvey's Lake in West Barnet, VT. Crown
is a loyal ice angler at Harvey's and it has taken him exactly 50 years
to surpass his dads trout of 22lbs taken in 1957 from this same lake. Local
lore puts Harry's laker as the largest ever taken from Harvey's.
As luck would have it, Harry was entered into a regional fishing tournament
sponsored by Wright's Sporting Goods in Newport Vermont that same weekend.
Shortly after the tourney ended at noon on Sunday, Harry was notified that
he indeed had captured the largest fish and was awarded $1000 for his efforts.
Photo by Kevin Morrison
Hey All, Thought you might
like to see a picture of this one. I was by myself so the picture
taking was tough.
Aron Merrill, So.
Burlington / Rutland
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Leaders Thank Vermont Soldiers for Service
By Wilson Ring, The Associated
Press, November 9, 2007
The three men are among the
growing number of Iraqi Sunni Muslim leaders who are working with American
troops to rid their country of al-Qaida forces, they said. As a result
of those efforts, in the past year Ramadi and Anbar Province have turned
into a model where peace is being restored and civil government is reappearing
that some feel could be used as a way to restore peace to all of Iraq,
the men said.
"We have achieved great victories
against them," said Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha, the chairman of the Awakening
Movement, a coalition of tribal sheiks that expelled al-Qaida. He spoke
through a translator. "I specifically express our appreciation to the state
of Vermont as well as the families of the victims in the two towers on
Got It All Figured Out... We Can't Lose
on Climate Change, the Council
on the Future of Vermont, the Vermont
Employee Ownership Center, the Public
Service Boards, Vermont's
Energy Future, Efficiency
Vermont, and many more agencies are all working on plans for our future.
The only plausible reason why so many agencies are working on the same
thing at the same time is that they're in collaboration to make one giant
comprehensive plan to end all plans.
Soldier, 21, Dies in Iraq
By Sam Hemingway & Terri
Hallenbeck, Burlington Free Press, November 7, 2007
"He was always glad to serve
his country," Michelle Muller, his wife of 11 months, said as she sobbed
during an interview at her parents' Jonesville home Tuesday. "If he could
make one little kid say, 'Remember when the Army was here andhow good they
were to us?' He wanted to show that we're not all out for money." Army
officials said Muller, a gunner, and three other soldiers were killed when
the Humvee they were riding in was destroyed by an improvised explosive
device on a road near Kirkuk. The Humvee was at the back end of a convoy
of military vehicles when the explosion occurred.
Also Won't Work
Eagle Times Editorial, November
Why would a state that has
one of the highest tax burdens in the country want to keep piling on? It
must be because many in a position of influence in Vermont have a knack
for peddling new taxes as tax reductions for everyone.
There is no time for selfish
considerations such as tax relief when eternal damnation by carbon emissions
is at hand. Doom is upon us in many forms unless we confess the error
of our ways and henceforth walk in the light. We must conquer our
lust for energy lest we be consumed by climate change. Which, by
the way, used to be called "global warming." But, then, in conventional
theology, the devil goes by many names. Beelzebub being probably
So fighting climate change
isn't just about the environment any more. It is about everything.
There is no issue which it does not touch. Just ask Elizabeth Courtney,
executive director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, whose sermon
recently appeared in the Herald:
as we prepare to tackle this monumental challenge, many of the issues relating
to affordability for average Vermonters — whether it's home heating, health
care, housing, transportation, or food — can all be part of the climate
change solution. Climate change is part of the health care problem?
Most Ominous Headline .... Catamount is just the beginning
No question that Catamount's
supporters see the program as a first step on a not-so-long march to some
form of state takeover of health care. But the state is the state,
and what it lacks in efficiency and adaptability, it makes up for in compulsion
and force. If you don't believe us, then go
here and ponder this:
Thinking of having surgery?
Got a chronic condition? Do you have a spouse or family member fighting
cancer? Does your child struggle with ADHD? Well, guess what the Department
of Health's brand spanking new program will do for you. For starters,
-- to spy on patients,
-- to monitor the specific
treatment practices your physician provides for you, and
-- to transfer your confidential
medical information to various police agencies and state investigators,
all in contravention of Vermont law ...
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Imam Declares Muslim Takeover-Plan
working toward 'Islamic State of North America' by 2050
By Art Moore, WorldNetDaily,
November 10, 2007
A Washington, D.C., imam
states explicitly on the website
for his organization that he is part of a movement working toward replacement
of the U.S. government with "the Islamic State of North America" by 2050.
With branches in Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and Philadelphia,
the group As-Sabiqun – or the Vanguard – is under the leadership of Abdul
Alim Musa in the nation's capital. Musa's declaration of his intention
to help lead a takeover of America was highlighted
by noted Islam observer Robert Spencer on his website Jihad Watch.
on the brink
By Diana West, The Washington
Times, November 9, 2007
We all have questions about
Pakistan. Will civil war convulse the country? Will jihadists, rulers of
Taliban-friendly provinces, conquer all of Pakistan? Will President Pervez
Musharraf himself be deposed in a military coup? Precisely what variety
of "opposition" do the opposition groups actually represent? Lawyers? Jihadis?
And what of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, leader of Pakistan's
largest political party? But there is one question more urgent than any
other: What will happen to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal? The experts are
agreed on an answer, just as they are agreed on all the answers: Nobody
This isn't to say a consensus
isn't emerging on what the United States should do next. In fact, two pundit
groups have quickly formed, splitting conservatives in particular in a
significant way. They come down to (1) supporting, or at least acknowledging,
Gen. Musharraf as the lesser of many evils, including the Taliban; and
(2) supporting democratic elections in Pakistan as the only possible moral
choice. While the Bush administration seems to have decided to follow both
policies simultaneously — generating more muddle — it's worth considering
the two camps because they will probably set the tone of foreign policy
debate for some time.
Future of the War on Terror that the Media Isn't Reporting
By Lt. Col. Oliver North,
Unfortunately, given the
unwillingness of the mainstream media to print or broadcast anything positive
about the men and women in our Armed Forces, most of us never hear or read
about bright, brave young Americans like SSG Curreri. Nor will those who
count on the major networks and newspapers for information be able to grasp
how we are going to win a global war against the Islamic radicals who are
dying to kill us. That’s why FOX News Channel sent our War
Stories team to the southern Philippines – so that we could
chronicle a dramatic — but little known — success story. Even critics of
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan agree that the campaign in the southern
Philippine archipelago could well become the model for how to win the war
against Islamic terror.
Everyone we talked to — from
Washington to Manila — recognizes that there are enormous differences between
what we have documented for War Stories in ten trips to Southwest Asia
and what we saw happening in the Sulu Archipelago. Most visibly, there
are nearly 170,000 American troops in Iraq and nearly 25,000 in Afghanistan.
Though the actual number is classified, there are fewer than 1,000 U.S.
Special Forces soldiers, Navy SEALs, Marines and airmen in Col. Dave Maxwell’s
Joint Special Operations Task Force — Philippines.
And equally important, President
Gloria Arroyo, serves as the head of state for the kind of established,
functioning democracy that people in Iraq and Afghanistan can only hope
for. This week, millions of Filipinos turned out to vote in municipal elections
despite threats by Islamic militants to disrupt the balloting. When I asked
President Arroyo about political controversy over the U.S. military mission,
she emphasized the long-standing relationship between the American and
Filipino people: "We have been together through the Second World War. We've
been together through the war in Korea, through the war in Vietnam and
now we're together in the war against terrorism."
has failed, former Libyan Islamist tells al-Qaeda
(Tripoli), November 7, 2007
A former leader of an armed
Islamic group in Libya, Numan Bin Uthman, has written a letter to al-Qaeda
second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri telling him that Jihadi groups in Arab
countries have failed.
"Dear Doctor Ayman, as I
told you during a meeting in Kandahar [in Afghanistan] in 2000, the experience
of the Jihadi groups in Arab countries is failed and despite our appeals,
the armed groups are divided and will not unite," he said in the letter,
a copy of which was published in the London based pan-Arab daily al-Hayat.
Players and the Stakes in the Unrest in Georgia
By Douglas Hanson, The American
Thinker, November 09, 2007
The US and its Coalition
allies can ill-afford to ignore this week's developments in the small but
significant Caucasus nation of Georgia. Major outside players including
Vladimir Putin and Rupert Murdoch are involved in a story involving media
and politics. World attention has been focused on the chaotic situation
and for good reason. Whoever gains control of the South Asian nation
will also get the keys to a nuclear
arsenal and an infrastructure that potentially can supply Al-Qaeda
with an atomic weapon or the materials to make one. But that is not the
only important theatre of struggle.
The events in Georgia, including
unrest involving some 50,000 people and President Mikhail Saakashvili's
crackdown, are not just a political fight between the ruling government
and the opposition. It is part of a complex struggle involving the
old Russian guard, business oligarchs, and a media outlet in the continuing
battle with leftist tyrants masquerading as "progressives."
By Paul Belien, The Washington
Times, November 7, 2007
The parallels between Nazism
and Islamism are overwhelming. Yet the subject is a taboo. When last March
the German historian Matthias Kuentzel, author of "Jihad and Jew-Hatred:
Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11," was to give a lecture at the University
of Leeds (Britain), the university authorities cancelled the lecture after
threats from Muslim students.
There is a war going on between
the Jihadists and the West. We are losing the battle because, as so often
in man's history, our political leaders think that they are still fighting
the previous war. Europeans who warn against the danger of Islamism are
considered — and sometimes even prosecuted — as xenophobes, racists, even
# # #
and Family: Scapegoats for the Welfare State?
Part 12 of 'The Crisis
of the Republic'
Alan Keyes, 2007 Renew America
The government exists to
represent, secure, and serve the liberty of the people. But the family
is the building block of human society, the social unit on which the existence
and strength of the people first depends (a fact that, at least in their
rhetoric, most of our politicians pretend to recognize). Weaken the family,
and you weaken the society of the people. Weaken it enough, and you eliminate
the people's ability to control the form of government ordained and established
by their strength. (Literally, you destroy its democratic element. The
term democracy is, in the original Greek, a compound of two words which
refer to the strength or power of the people.) Eliminate that control,
and you altogether destroy government of, by, and for the people — i.e.,
the republican form of government established and required by our Constitution.
lack the knowledge and ability to conceive of, much less understand and
defend, the social institutions characteristic of liberty. They talk about
the marriage issue as if it is just a matter of sexual or religious preferences.
They typically treat the concern for liberty as if it is merely a rhetorical
device, with no relevance to practical politics and decision making. It
seems never to have occurred to them that the real issue for statesmanship
has to do with the relationship between marriage & liberty.
Three radical changes
The story begins during the
twentieth century era of the Great Depression, when the American people
suffered from the devastating collateral damage that accompanied the inception
of centralized elite control of our national income (i.e., the de facto
nationalization of the U.S. banking system). Three radical innovations
of the early twentieth century marked its inception: (1) the passage of
the Sixteenth Amendment, which supposedly removed the constitutional barrier
to a federal tax on individual income; (2) the establishment of a banking
system funded mainly by the flow of federal tax receipts that constitute
the Federal Reserve; and (3) the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment,
which eliminated representation of the state governments in the
U.S. Congress. ...
Scapegoating family and
Rather than acknowledge the
role of elite manipulation in bringing on the national calamity of the
Great Depression, the ideologists of the New Deal made convenient scapegoats
out of the institutions of family and faith:
of Climate Scepticism in Europe
By Hans H.J. Labohm, TCS
Daily, November 5, 2007
Climate skepticism has now
gained a firm foothold in various European countries. In Denmark Bjørn
Lomborg stands out as the single most important skeptical environmentalist,
defying the political correctness which is such a characteristic feature
of his home country, as well as other Nordic countries. But wait! Bjørn
Lomborg is not a genuine climate skeptic. Real climate skeptics
admire his courage, his scientific rigour and debating skills, but beg
to disagree with him on the fundamentals of climate science. Lomborg acknowledges
that there is such a thing as man-made global warming, which is quite in
line with the mantra of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
He 'only' challenges the cost benefit relationships of the policy measures,
which have been proposed to do something about it. Massive expenditures
(often euphemistically called 'investments') in exchange for undetectable
returns. Real climate skeptics do not accept the man-made global
warming hypothesis. They are of the opinion that the human contribution
to global warming over the last century or so is at most insignificant.
But, of course, they are happy with the arguments advanced by Bjørn
Lomborg to bolster their case against climate hysteria.
Decadence—Part 1 of 4
The Characteristics of
an Uncivilized People
By Reginald Firehammer,
In the second
article in this series, I used Michael Crichton's list of today's commonplaces
that anyone from before 1900 would never have heard or dreamed of. Those
were mostly scientific and technological things. There are commonplaces
in today's society and culture that those in the 50s could not have believed
would ever be possible in America, things that might have existed as exceptions
then, but today dominate our daily news and every aspect of our culture—our
government, entertainment, educational institutions, even our religions,
not technical things, but the characteristics of our society and culture.
If I were to make a list
of words common in this day that would have been meaningless, as well as
incredible, to anyone in the 50s, it would include—crack, ecstasy, ropies,
date rape, thongs, waxing, Brazilian, freak dancing, pole dancing, lap
dancing, bum fights, family planning, Nambla, out-of-the-closet, sex education,
sex industry, sex workers, sex trafficking, navel rings, lip rings, HPV,
HIV, AIDS, abortion clinics, planned parenthood, porn stars, kiddy-porn,
porn-addiction, hook-ups, Lewinsky, and many more which I refuse to write.
The realities these words
suggest are worse and include—child molestation and abductions; sex in
schools between teachers and students, students and students; crime in
schools including beatings, theft, and rape; school shootings; blatant
public sex and sexuality, militant homosexuality; public nakedness; body
piercing and tattoos, pervasive use of coarse and vicious language, especially
by children; total disregard and disrespect for others, their persons and
their property; rampant STD's; sexually provocative dress—of very young
girls; rampant use of drugs; staggering rates of divorce, shack-ups, out-of-wedlock
births, and abortions; vicious attacks on religion and the religious or
anyone with standards; ... the list is endless.
Web Takes Ron Paul for a Ride
By Katherine Q. Seelye &
Leslie Wayne, New York Times, November 11, 2007
From posting video on YouTube
to enlisting friends through Facebook,
all of the presidential candidates are looking for ways to harness the
Internet. In the case of Ron
Paul, the Internet has harnessed him. ... If his campaign had
taken place in the pre-Internet era, it might have gone the way of his
1988 Libertarian campaign for president, as a footnote to history. But
because of the Internet’s low-cost ability to connect grass-roots supporters
with one another ?in this case, largely iconoclastic white men ?Mr. Paul’s
once-solo quest has taken on a life of its own. It is evolving from a figment
of cyberspace into a traditional campaign, with yard signs, direct mail
and old-fashioned rallies, like one here on Saturday attended by a few
thousand people under cold, gray skies. Mr. Paul said it was his biggest
rally so far. He said it proved his campaign was more than a few spammers?and
called it a "gigantic opportunity?to establish credibility. How much the
Paul campaign had snowballed on the Internet became evident last week when
supporters independent of the campaign raised $4 million online and an
additional $200,000 over the phone in a single day, a record among this
year? Republican candidates.
Bills Will "Require a wholesale transformation of the nation's economy
By Marc Morano, The Eco-logic
Powerhouse, November 08, 2007
A Washington Post
article today stated that the Democrats' current global warming proposals
"will require a wholesale transformation of the nation's economy and society."
The article by Post staff writer Juliet Eilperin noted that Democrat
presidential candidates' climate proposals would "cost billions of dollars,"
and detailed exactly what the American people will face when it comes to
cap-and-trade proposals. (LINK)
[Note: Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), the co-author of the Lieberman-Warner
cap-and-trade bill, conceded last week that his bill would cost "hundreds
of billions of dollars." LINK
Others are concerned the real cost will be even higher, in the trillions
Offshore Oil Discovery
Ed Lasky, The American Thinker,
November 08, 2007
Bloomberg brings news
of a huge new oil field discovered off Brazil in the Santos Basin. Petrobras,
the Brazilian oil company says that tests indicate a size of between 5
and 8 billion barrels of oil and gas. At current prices, that amounts to
a large fraction of a trillion dollars' worth of oil.
Hugo Chavez will not like
this news. Nor will others who benefit from high oil prices. Nor will fans
of the "peak oil" theory, which holds that all the good discoveries have
been made and oil production is doomed to decline. This find was deep,
in the subsalt layers, and best of all, Petrobras is encouraged at the
potential of other parts of the Espirito Santo, Santos and Campos basins,
in their subsalt layers.
2, Children 1
Unions Beat School Choice
By Pete Du Pont, Opinion
Journal, November 12, 2007
Last February the Utah Legislature
enacted the Parent Choice in Education Act, giving parents the option of
a $500 to $3,000 scholarship, depending upon their household income, to
send their child to the private school of their choice instead of the public
school they are attending. Since there are 120 private schools in Utah,
with an average tuition of about $4,000, the scholarships would help low-income
families get the best education for their children and give Utah parents
substantial educational choice.
Contribution to Anti-Voucher Campaign Is... $3 Million
Failure to Lead
The Democratic Congress
is More Iinterested in Acting Out than in Taking Positive Action.
By Karl Rove, Opinion Journal,
November 9, 2007
Let's also be clear about
what it means to roll back the president's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, as the
Democrats want to do. Every income-tax payer will pay more as all tax rates
rise. Families will pay $500 more per child as they lose the child tax
credit. Taxes on small businesses would go up by an average of about $4,000.
Retirees will pay higher taxes on investment retirement income. And now
we have the $1 trillion tax increase proposed as "tax reform" by the Democrats'
chief tax writer last month.
# # #