North Archives - November 27, 2007
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Terrorism: Freedom Under Fire I
By Robert Maynard
The first thing we have to
understand is the notion of "autonomous jihad". It is true that we have
done a good job of dismantling al Qaeda’s command and communication structure,
but that is not going to stop this form of jihad, which does not rely on
a central command structure but a loose, unaffiliated collection of groups
and individuals welded together by a common ideology. The explosion of
internet use has provided the means for these unaffiliated groups and individuals
to communicate and spread their ideology. In essence, the real battle is
against an ideology rather than a group. That ideology is spreading far
faster than we are able to keep track of. By the time we identify a potential
terrorist, a process of "radicalization" has already taken place that has
transformed the individual in question into a jihadist. The aim of the
study is to understand the process of radicalization.
Sanger, Eugenics and Planned Parenthood
By Mary Beerworth
Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, was a wildly controversial figure
in American history and a fierce advocate of eugenics and population control.
The organization Sanger founded is now the largest single provider of abortions
in the State of Vermont, the United States of America and in the world.
Thanks to Sanger and those who embraced her politics and her activism,
a movement took hold in the U.S. that ultimately resulted in government-backed,
forced sterilization programs. The eugenics projects that ran unfettered
in the early 1920’s here in Vermont targeted "certain people" for involuntary
sterilization and effectively guaranteed that untold numbers of Vermonters
would never bear children. That sad chapter in both our state and national
history has been largely glossed over. Yet it is a chapter we ignore at
our own peril because those forces who desire to pass laws to legalize
the assisted killing of the elderly, the ill, and the disabled spring from
the same mindset – the mindset that promoted the "eugenics projects," that
promotes "population control," abortion, and ultimately, euthanasia - and
it is important for pro-lifers to better understand what drives these negative
By Martin Harris
recent decades there’s been a lot of fairly heated rhetoric about the growing
traffic crisis on US 7, and as so frequently is the case, a look at the
numbers doesn’t support the rhetoric. Unlike the public schools, the State
Highway Department (its name is now the more-prestigious-sounding Agency
of Transportation) hasn’t yet decided to keep its numbers secret so as
to prevent unwanted analysis by outsiders, and so you can go to the web
site to see the daily traffic count for, say, various points along the
one-time "great Road" (meaning a six-rod right-of-way, or 99 feet) in recent
years. In the Middlebury area, the numbers vary from less than 10,000 to
about 15,000, and, interestingly, they haven’t been growing in "unsustainable"
(ya gotta love that word) manner in recent years; some points have actually
shown a minor year-to-year decline. Brandon scores at the low end of that
range, Rutland at more than twice as much. Nevertheless, in politics (
yes, Virginia, there is an element of politics in publicly-funded road
design and construction), facts count for less than perceptions, and so
the belief that Middlebury’s Route 7 traffic crisis is real and growing
trumps the reality of the fairly light actual daily traffic volume.
# # #
(The following stories
come to us courtesy of our friends at Outdoors Magazine http://www.outdoorsmagazine.net/)
Julio Buel: A Lucky Day
It is rumored that Julio
Buel used to say that he loved to fish "almost as much as anything he could
think of," and it is this passion, and a little luck, that would lead him
to change the face of fishing forever.
Buel was born in 1806 in
East Poultney. A short time later the family moved to Castleton. His father,
a furrier, kept a boat on nearby Lake Bomoseen.
When Julio wasn’t working
or doing chores on the farm, he could usually be found fishing. The story
goes that one day, he was out in the boat in Lake Bomoseen, and was eating
some fruit for lunch out of an earthenware jar. The boat bumped a log,
and Julio dropped the spoon he was using over the side of the boat. This
was no laughing matter, in the early 19th century silverware
was actually made of silver, and was considered quite valuable by the owners.
As Buel was helplessly watching
the spoon drift to the bottom of the lake, he saw a big lake trout swirl
at it, and swim off with it in it’s mouth.
That night at home Julio
swiped another spoon, and soldered a hook to it. He cut off the handle
and added a hole to tie his line to.
The next morning he talked
one of his brothers into doing his chores and rowed up and down the lake
trolling his new invention. It didn’t take long before one of Bomoseen’s
big trout hit his homemade lure, and the Julio knew he was onto something.
A few minutes later he would catch a second fish.
Those two big fish attracted
a lot of attention, and Buel finally told his neighbors how he had caught
them. Almost overnight, he began commercially manufacturing fishing lures.
In a short period he began making them out of copper as well as silver,
and even painted some a bright red color.
At the age of 21 Buell moved
to the bustling canal town of Whitehall New York where he became a furrier
and taxidermist. He still made some lures though, and sold them commercially.
A patent was issued to Buel
in 1841 for the fishing spoon. Others would follow for various fishing
related items. In 1876 his lure won a medal at the Philadelphia Exposition.
Because of ill health, Buel
sold his company to Charles Pike in 1885, who continued to make fishing
items. Julio would die the following year.
Today, the J.T. Buel Company
is owned by Eppinger lures, one of the countries premiere tackle producers.
Come October they start to
appear on trees and fence posts across Vermont. Some are orange, others
are yellow, a few are even white. It is not leaves I am referring to, but
If you are not "from around
here" you may not understand what I am talking about. Posted signs are
most commonly used by landowners to tell hunters their land is off-limits.
There are several reasons
why land gets posted. Some of the most common include a desire to protect
yourself and your family, a bad experience with a hunter in the past, and
fear of civil repercussions if someone is injured on your property.
Realistically, posting property
is not always the best answer to these concerns.
Landowners basically have
four options when it come to posting. The first is to not post at all,
the second is to post with "Safety Zone" signs, the third is using "Hunting
By Permission Only" signs, and the last is to post with traditional "Posted"
signs. Each has their distinct advantage and disadvantages.
When using traditional "Posted"
signs there are several criteria that need to be met for them to be legal.
Signs have to meet certain size criteria, they have to be placed every
500 feet, corners have to be marked, they have to be signed by the landowner
yearly, they have to be registered with the town and a fee has to be paid.
Ironically, posted signs do nothing for liability. In fact, thanks to a
1997 Legislative decision, a landowner is not liable for anyone using their
property for recreational use, with or without permission, even if he knew
there were unsafe conditions on the property (abandoned wells, etc).
An alternative to traditional
posting is the use of "Safety Zone" signs.
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife
Department distributes "Safety Zone" signs free to the public via Game
Wardens and at most State Police barracks (call ahead). The are designed
to be used within 150 yards of a house, barn etc and serve to inform hunters
that they are close to a building. They are perfect in situations where
a landowner wants to keep their land open to recreation, but also wants
to make sure hunters are aware people and pets may be in the immediate
"Hunting By Permission Only"
signs are another alternative. These insure that a landowner knows who
is on their property and when. This also allows the landowner access to
the knowledge these hunters might gain to help them police their property.
I once heard it said by a convicted trespasser that he was much less likely
to trespass on land protected in this method because he never knew who
may be on the property, compared to traditional posting where he was relatively
confident no one was there.
In Vermont, unless land is
posted it is considered to be legally accessible. Many hunters feel it
is unethical to go onto someone else’s property without first gaining permission,
while others feel it is within their rights.
Unfortunately, all too often
posted signs are mis-used by the landowner. When a few "No Hunting" signs
are hung randomly on trees it is unfair to hunters. They don't know boundaries
or areas to avoid. The result is often frustration for all parties concerned.
In a perfect world there
wouldn't be a need for posted signs, unfortunately that is not reality.
The best advice is to thoroughly examine your goals before placing any
restrictions on property access, and find the best solution for all involved.
Kyle Scanlon is Editor
of Outdoors Magazine
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
We'll Get Sued!
From VermontTiger.com, November
"We can't cut our special
education budget any further. If we do not provide required services
to special needs students, we'll be exposing ourselves to litigation."
Have you ever heard a statement
like that in a school board meeting or seen it quoted in the paper?
Statements like that should not go unchallenged. But they do, because
the only people who know better are intimately involved in the process,
and those are the people who want to spend more.
Economy Calls For Caution
Caledonia Record Editorial,
November 19, 2007
A report titled "Vermont
Economic Output" should give serious pause to any dreamers in the Vermont
Legislature who may harbor the delusion that 2008 is a dandy time to increase
taxes. The report, written by economists Jeff Carr and Zachary Sears, predicts
an inflation adjusted decline of three tenths of one percent in the gross
state product for 2007. The gross state product is the total value of Vermont's
goods and services for a year.
Pile On, Governor
Caledonia Record Editorial,
November 24, 2007
Sadly, Governor Douglas has
joined the pile-on of Vermont Yankee. The Douglas administration has long
resisted public calls for an independent safety audit of Vermont Yankee,
most recently made by the state's congressional delegation. But, the administration
recently indicated that the NRC's standard oversight process is insufficient,
noting that several recent events at the plant had diminished the public's
confidence in its safety and the adequacy of its oversight. Public Service
Commissioner David O'Brien, Douglas's man, said, "The governor basically
has asked me to work very closely with the congressional delegation to
come up with an independent safety assessment that we can all be confident
in - that will answer the sort of questions that are being asked about
Vermont Yankee. I think we make decisions based on the circumstances we're
in and the facts we're looking at. From the governor's perspective, he's
not comfortable right now, especially after the past six months - with
the cooling tower failure and the valve failure."
This administration reversal
is pure politics and unworthy of Douglas.
Back on That Important Vote: Where Was Your Representative?
From VermontTiger.com, November
There was an important vote
taken in the House back in 2005. It only meant a few hundred dollars
to Vermont's non-union teachers. Of course, it meant a good chunk
of change to Vermont-NEA. But the average Vermonter didn't really
care about the issue of whether non-union teachers would be charged a fee
by their local unions. No, the "agency fees" vote wasn't a particularly
high-stakes vote. Instead, the importance of it was that it revealed
the character of Vermont's House members.
The bill passed on a voice
vote. But the important vote was a roll call vote on an amendment
made by Rep. Kilmartin (R-Newport). The amendment would cap the fee
at one-third of the normal dues, thus making everyone pay their share of
negotiating expenses but not subjecting everyone to making contributions
to political causes they didn't support. (There was even a provision
in the amendment for the union to exceed the one-third cap if they could
demonstrate to the Vermont Labor Relations Board that more money was required
to cover the actual negotiating costs.) There could be no philosophical
objection to voting for this amendment. The only motivation would
be loyalty to the greedy people at Vermont-NEA who wanted all of the money.
The amendment failed 93-38.
Bank on Education
From VermontTiger.com, November
A World Bank report entitled
Quality and Economic Growth" argues that smart kids earn more and that
better teachers, accountability, and school choice improve cognitive skills.
The report found that if you give poor African or Asian children teachers
who are held accountable for the students' performance and you give the
students some choice in selecting schools, the students will perform better.
Strangely, these same arguments applied to our own education system evoke
hostility. We're told teachers can't be fairly evaluated so there's no
way to hold them accountable. We're told school choice won't improve anything.
We're told equalized and excessive state controlled spending is the answer.
We're told what to do with very little local control. Do you suppose the
World Bank's recommendations really only work in third world countries?
Or, might they also apply to Vermont and elsewhere? Download the report
and decide for yourself -- and do it soon before the World Bank finds out
we're taking it out of context to make libertarian arguments.
Political Bird Of Two Colors
Caledonian Record Editorial,
November 20, 2007
Sen. Bartlett's heretical
fiscal conservatism comes from her very clear understanding that there
isn't enough money to go around, no matter how badly her Democratic colleagues
want it to. Wishing doesn't make it so. So, whenever push comes to shove
in the Senate on fiscal issues, or bills that will require new taxes, her
voice of caution is as dependable as any Republican in the Senate. The
conflict between her liberal politics and her practical knowledge of how
much or how little money can be squeezed out to make the liberals' dreams
come true must cause her some serious angst.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
of Commerce Planted in Former al-Qaida Sanctuary
By Sgt. Jason Stadel, Operation
Iraqi Freedom, 3rd Infantry Division, November 24, 2007
With al-Qaida’s ability to
carry out violent attacks withering in the face of sustained Coalition
offensive operations and Concerned Local Citizen activism, the Iraqi people
are now looking to return to the livelihoods and ways of life they used
to know. Their desires are being met, in part, through the assistance of
a U.S.-led initiative that distributes "micro-grants" of up to $10,000
to promising Iraqi businesses that demonstrate growth potential.
Security Sees Iraqi Refugees Flood Home
From The Times Online (UK),
November 21, 2007
Iraqi refugees are returning
home in dramatic numbers, concluding that security in Baghdad has been
transformed. Thousands have left their refuge in Syria in recent months,
according to some estimates. The Iraqi Embassy is organising a secure mass
convoy from Damascus to Baghdad on Monday for refugees who want to drive
back. Embassy notices went up around the Syrian capital yesterday, offering
free bus and train rides home.
Saida Zaynab, the Damascus
neighbourhoods once dominated by many of the 1.5 million Iraqi refugees,
is almost deserted. Apartment prices are plummeting and once-crowded
shops and buses are half empty. Syria has absorbed the lion’s share of
Iraqi refugees since the US-led invasion and subsequent insurgency, with
the rest going to Jordan, Egypt and other countries around the region.
They, too, report a growing number of returnees.
Hussein Ali Saleh, the director
of the National Theatre in Baghdad, who is staging Iraqi plays for refugees
in Damascus, said that his audience was disappearing. A month ago the al-Najum
theatre near the Syrian central bank building was filled with 400 Iraqis
every night. Now barely 50 turn up. "In the last month, 60 per cent of
the Iraqis I know have returned," he said. "The situation has been changed
completely. They all want to go back. Even my own family back in Baghdad
is telling me the situation is much better."
Most Iraqis interviewed by
The Times seemed enthusiastic rather than despondent. "Throughout history
Baghdad has fallen many times but she always rose up again," Abu Ibrahim
said. "We all know this and that’s why we return. We return to rebuild
in S. Iraq Rebuke Tehran
Petition Calls for U.N.
Probe into Iran's Influence, Sheiks Say
By Amit R. Paley and Sudarsan
Raghavan, Washington Post Foreign Service, November 22, 2007
More than 300,000 Shiite
Muslims from southern Iraq
have signed a petition condemning Iran
for fomenting violence in Iraq, according to a group of sheiks leading
"The Iranians, in fact, have
taken over all of south Iraq," said a senior tribal leader from the south
who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared for his life. "Their
influence is everywhere."
The unusually organized Iraqi
rebuke illustrates the divisions that Iran has provoked among Iraq's majority
Shiites. The prime minister and major political blocs are closely tied
to Iran, but the petition organizers said many citizens are fiercely opposed
to Iranian meddling in Iraqi affairs.
Contempt -- even by Jihadist Madman Standards
By Marc Sheppard, American
Thinker, November 21, 2007
new details almost too horrific to believe about last month's attempt to
kill former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as she emerged from
exile. It appears that the "suicide bomb" that killed 170 and wounded
hundreds more was strapped to the tiny body of a one-year-old child, being
carried by its despicable jihadist father.
By Caroline Glick, Jerusalem
Post, November 20, 2007
According to foreign reports,
Israel destroyed a nuclear weapons installation in Syria in September.
Never has a larger story been pushed under the rug by so many so quickly.
What are we to make of this?
Over the weekend former federal
prosecutor and the head of the non-governmental International Intelligence
Summit, John Loftus, released a report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
program. His report was based on a private study of captured Iraqi documents.
These were the unread Arabic language documents that U.S. forces seized,
but had not managed to translate after overthrowing Saddam Hussein in 2003.
After a prolonged battle
between Congress and then director of U.S. National Intelligence John Negroponte,
President George W. Bush ordered those documents posted on a public access
Web site last year. They were taken down after it was discovered that among
the Iraqi documents were precise descriptions of how to build nuclear weapons.
Islam 101: A History
By Daryl L. Hunter, Citizens
For a Freer America, November 25, 2008
In the wake of the Iraq War,
there has been much Monday morning quarter backing by America's weak offensive
line (liberals) who insist the "War on Terror" is to be waged only against
Osuma bin ladens al Qaeda. This essay is to make the connection of pan-Islamo
Fascism and its long terrorism history. As the democratic world confronts
al Qeada's Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
Hezbollah 's Hassan Nasrallah, and their followers, many among us are trying
to understand militant Islam, where it came from and its aims. The following
background material is designed to give an overview of the phenomenon that
has been called "militant Islam," "fundamentalist Islam," "Islamo Fascism"
"Islamism," or "radical Islam."
"Allah is our objective.
The Prophet is our leader. Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in
the way of Allah is our highest hope." - The Muslim Brotherhood
# # #
if Economic Conservatives Stay Home on Election Day?
By Michael D. Tanner, The
There is no doubt that religious
conservatives are an important part of the Republican coalition. Yet the
media, and more importantly, the candidates, seem curiously unconcerned
with another discontented part of that coalition: economic, small-government
Yet it was the Republicans'
big-spending, big-government ways that helped ensure their defeat in the
2006 midterm elections. It wasn't evangelical Christians or so-called "values
voters" who deserted Republicans. Roughly 70 percent of white evangelicals
and born-again Christians voted Republican in 2006, just a fraction less
than in 2004.
It was suburbanites, independents,
and others who were fed up not just with the war and corruption, but also
with the Republican drift toward big-government who stayed home, or even
voted Democratic, on election day 2006. That night, more than 65 percent
of voters told a pollster they believed that "The Republicans used to be
the party of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and limited government,
but in recent years, too many Republicans in Washington have become just
like the big spenders they used to oppose."
Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism (and then Christianity) Rejected Homosexuality
By Dennis Prager, Catholic
Education Resource Center
When Judaism demanded that
all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, it changed the world. The
Torah's prohibition of non-marital sex quite simply made the creation of
Western civilization possible.
Decadence—Part 3 of 4
The Characteristics of
an Uncivilized People
By Reginald Firehammer,
I sometimes hear the attitude
expressed that what appears to be decadence is just human nature. After
all there has always been prostitution, viciousness, and sexual assaults
in the world—and its true, because throughout most of the world for most
of its recorded history people have mostly been uncivilized, at best semi-barbarian,
at worst total savages. Truly civilized society has been but a flash on
the screen of history, a flash that is about to be extinguished.
Historically, every society
that has achieved some level of cultural development, has ultimately reached
a stage of decline and decadence that was either the immediate cause of
that society's collapse, or producing a society so decayed, it had no strength
to repel some invading or conquering outside power. All of the characteristics
of a decayed culture and society I've described in America today is nothing
new, however, it has always been a part of declining cultures. From the
obsession with sex and sexuality to child prostitution, every society that
has ultimately collapsed into vicious chaos has exhibited the same characteristics.
The destruction of Pompeii
was a natural event, but its cultural decadence reflected the decadence
that permeated Roman society, a forecast of the pending fall of Rome, four
hundred years later. Pompeii's pornographic art is just like today's. [
WARNING—The following links are very explicit, and very clinical,
and very offensive.] For example, this,
or these depictions.]
We have a lot to be thankful
By Rich Lowry, National
Review, November 20, 2007
In his eye-opening new book,
Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World,
Gregory Clark produces a chart tracking income per person throughout history.
By Clark’s account, it is essentially flat from 1000 B.C. to A.D. 1800,
reflecting the crushing burden of providing for our material wants in an
environment of economic stasis. Then, income per person explodes upward
around 1800, coinciding with the Industrial Revolution that first arrived
in England. Without it, most of us would still be living poor, nasty, brutish
and short lives.
How poor? "The average person
in the world of 1800 was no better off than the average person of 100,000
B.C.," Clark argues. "Life expectancy was no higher in 1800 than for hunter-gatherers:
30 to 35 years. Stature, a measure both of the quality of diet and of children’s
exposure to disease, was higher in the Stone Age than in 1800. And while
foragers satisfy their material wants with small amounts of work, the modest
comforts of the English in 1800 were purchased only through a life of unrelenting
Throughout most of history,
Clark argues, humankind was caught in a "Malthusian trap": Small economic
advances were outpaced by resulting population growth that made it impossible
for living standards to increase. The massive productivity gains of the
Industrial Revolution — driven essentially by expanding knowledge — broke
the trap and created modern life as we know it.
By Thomas Sowell, Human
Events, November 20, 2007
Anyone who follows the media
has probably heard many times that the rich are getting richer, the poor
are getting poorer, and incomes of the population in general are stagnating.
Moreover, those who say such things can produce many statistics, including
data from the Census Bureau, which seem to indicate that. On the other
hand, income tax data recently released by the Internal Revenue Service
seem to show the exact opposite: People in the bottom fifth of income-tax
filers in 1996 had their incomes increase by 91 percent by 2005. The top
one percent -- "the rich" who are supposed to be monopolizing the money,
according to the left -- saw their incomes decline by a whopping 26 percent
European Union as Humpty Dumpty
By Terry Easton, Human Events,
November 21, 2007
So any weakening in the EU
fabric -- however slight -- will be perceived by the Brussels as a threat
to the group unity and a sign to those at the edges (like the UK) that
there can be a break-up process which would provide a better more democratic
method of home governance and group hugs. When the threat to the
EU polity comes from Brussels, the near city-state at the very heart of
the EU, this is indeed a big deal in the power brokers and bureaucrats
offices throughout the EU (and who work mostly in Brussels itself). Picture
Washington, D.C. deciding that it will become an independent state and
not a vassal of the U.S. federal government. Impossible?
Perhaps. But only because the US constitution is real: the European
Union’s constitution-cum-treaty lacks that one essential characteristic.
Stab That Failed
The congressional Democrats'
surge-against-the-surge -- a case study in political futility.
By Noemie Emery, The Weekly
Standard, December 3, 2007
"Verdict first, trial afterwards,"
said the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, unaware of her future as a role
model for America's congressional Democrats.
By Kathleen Parker, Jewish
World Review, November 21, 2007
Radical Islamists have said
that Americans have watches, but that true believers have time. To successfully
defeat such an enemy, one needs to think as the enemy does, to see time
from the perspective of real stars rather than rising political ones. That's
a tough concept for a drive-thru nation accustomed to insta-everything
and gratification at the tap of a button. Five years at war in Iraq is
an eternity for impatient Americans, but it's a blink of a camel's eye
if you're set on destroying the Great Satan. Bush has learned to watch
# # #