North Archives - December 02, 2008
| Editorial | News & Views
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We Got Obama
Two months ago I confidently
predicted that John McCain and Sarah Palin would win the election, and
they would have if the stock market didn’t fall when it did. The media
insists that Obama’s win reflects America’s sense of hope. I wish that
were true, but it’s not. People succumbed to fear – but for their own pocket
books this time, not their nation’s security.
Cat May Look at a Queen
By Martin Harris
social-engineering design calls for two low-SES schools to become "magnet
schools" with present attendance areas reduced, so that " [all] students
from the walk zone and wealthy students from anywhere in the city" can
enroll, the local media report. Note that the plan is voluntary, for now.
I’d guess that’s because of the history of earlier racial-integration magnet-school
proposals, such as Kansas City, which started out on a voluntary basis,
failed to attract middle-class students (white or black), became mandatory,
and then simply accelerated not only middle-class white out-migration but
middle-class black out-migration as well. The "root cause", I’d suggest
in rejecting Miss Noonan’s "Class, Color, and Condition" identifiers, is
behavior. Most middle-class parents don’t want their kids exposed to the
kinds of diversity-in-behavior they’d most likely experience first-hand,
statistical probabilities predict, as a cultural minority in a predominantly
under-class school environment. As the Kansas City example showed, even
such "magnets" as planetaria, swimming pools, and college-level courses
were insufficiently attractive to overcome middle-class unpleasant-behavior-aversion.
But behavior wasn’t on Miss Noonan’s alliterative list of identifiers.
It should have been.
Only Tax That Needs to Be Raised
By John McClaughry
are just a few eye openers from data produced by using the objective Federal
highway condition standards:
Twelve hundred long (over 20
foot) bridges on the state and interstate systems are past the age at which
preventive rehabilitation will reliably extend their useful life.
Five hundred of these are classified
Three hundred sixty nine of
these bridges are over 50 years old.
The present fraction of pavement
rated "very poor" (21%) will increase to 49% in just four years.
One third of highway pavement
surfaces are rated "poor", and the fraction will continue to grow if the
present level of maintenance spending is not increased.
…The mainstays of state highway
finance – motor fuel taxes – have remained at the present rates since 1997.
In 2003 the legislature diverted one third of the 6% motor vehicle purchase
and use tax, now running around $20 million a year, from the Transportation
Fund into the Education Fund to pay for property tax relief.
# # #
"A democracy is always
temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.
A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover
that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.
From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise
the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every
democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always
followed by a dictatorship." -- Alexander Tyler
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Down Logic To Justify Far Left Action
Caledonia Record Editorial,
November 24, 2008
The buzz in the local and
national press, even on national television, is reaction to the school
board and administration of Woodbury, Vt., in their action of banning the
Pledge of Allegiance from the classrooms of the school and exiling those
who wish to recite it at the beginning of each day to the second floor
and the leadership of a sixth grader. The board and administration did
this in the transparently upside down rationale of protecting the occasional
kid who doesn't want to recite the Pledge from being bullied by those who
do. Reasonable people would not have punished by exile those who wish to
recite the Pledge. That has been the traditional opening of the school
day for more than a century.
We Raise Taxes
From Vermont Tiger, November
When one hears these arguments
for counter-cyclical action by government to stimulate the economy, one
wonders where the people making them were during the good times when Montpelier
was so determined to spend every marginal dime that it passed "waterfall"
spending bills to make sure that nothing was returned to the taxpayers.
Good times or bad, their
answer is always – raise taxes. Question is ... what is the question?
More – much more – on that during the coming months.
VY Could Raise Power Costs
By Bob Audette, Reformer
Staff, November 26
Replacing the energy supplied
by Vermont Yankee with 100 percent renewable energy sources could cost
Vermont more than $1.2 billion, according to a consultant retained by the
state to evaluate the alternatives to continued operation of the nuclear
power plant in Vernon.
World Alice in Wonderland
Caledonia Record Editorial,
November 29, 2008
The way the CEOs and their
corporate employers are behaving since their economic meltdowns is reversing
the usual observation that art imitates life into life imitates art. These
real world clowns are behaving like Alices in Wonderland. Here are some
absolutely contrary-to-common-sense decisions that they have made AFTER
Good News Is Mediocre News
From Vermont Tiger, November
The Vermont Department of
Labor recently released the latest job numbers in VT, showing that while
unemployment was unchanged at 5.2%, total job counts were slightly up
in October. Unfortunately, the industries that showed the most
gains were as follows....
Down To The Real Business
Caledonia Record Editorial,
November 26, 2008
Vermont's tax structure relies
more and more on high income earners. 40% of the state's income tax
is paid by about 7,000 taxpayers who earn over $200,000 and 60% comes from
the 30,000 taxpayers who earn over $100,000. When they do well (as
they did from 2003-2006), the state coffers bulged. Now that capital
gains income and subchapter S income are in the tank, we're riding the
downward trajectory of rich people's income. Having a narrow
tax base is very dangerous, as we're now seeing.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
World: Resurgent Russia, The Global New Left, and Radical Islam
By Janet Levy, American
Thinker, November 28, 2008
The fall of the Soviet Union
in 1991 is viewed by the West as the end of the Cold War and the death
knell for Communism. In reality, Communists continued to push for the same
ultimate goal -- creating a socialist world order -- but their violent
Marxist-Leninist revolutionary tactics were supplanted by an insidious
cultural Marxism. Today, that push has evolved into a Moscow-led,
global strategic quadrangle consisting of Russia, China, Iran and a collection
of Latin American dictatorships.
The West is also threatened
by a fifth column of global, radical Leftists with ideological connections
to Russia and the theo-political-legal ideology of radical Islam. All of
these antagonists, including the Russians, cultural Marxists and Salafists/Wahhabists,
employ terrorist tactics but largely conceal their agendas. They use clandestine
strategies of propaganda, disinformation, subversion and denial through
their agents of influence and networks of organizations.
Brave New World Awaits
By David Isenberg, Asia
Times, November 25, 2008
Among the report's "relative
certainties" is that "a global multipolar system is emerging with the rise
of China, India and others." Similarly, among the key "uncertainties" are:
If the report is correct, the
world finds itself in the midst of a transition to a place where the political
and economic structure will be markedly different. The report finds that
the "international system - as constructed following World War II - will
be almost unrecognizable by 2025, owing to the rise of emerging powers,
a globalizing economy, an historic transfer of relative wealth and economic
power from West to East, and the growing influence of non-state actors.
By 2025, the international system will be a global multipolar one with
Whether advances toward democracy
occur in China and Russia.
Whether regional fears about
a nuclear-armed Iran trigger an arms race and greater militarization.
Whether the greater Middle East
becomes more stable, especially whether Iraq stabilizes, and whether the
Arab-Israeli conflict is resolved peacefully.
Whether Europe and Japan overcome
economic and social challenges caused or compounded by demography.
By John F. Cullinan, National
Review, November 24, 2008
This month’s much-anticipated,
high-level Catholic-Muslim forum at the Vatican brings to mind a 2003 encounter
between my longtime friend and colleague, Nina Shea, a frequent National
Review Online contributor, and Faisal Ahmed Shinwari,
then-chief justice of Afghanistan’s brand-new supreme court (see here
on their meeting).
Shinwari cheerfully advised
Shea, visiting post-Taliban Kabul in her official capacity with the U.S
government’s independent Commission
on International Religious Freedom, that Afghanistan’s new judiciary would
embrace the full range of universally recognized international human rights
— except, of course, for freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and
Five years later, nothing
Fire in the Dome of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai on Nov. 26
From Strategic Forecasters,
If the Nov. 26 attacks in
Mumbai were carried out by Islamist militants as it appears, the Indian
government will have little choice, politically speaking, but to blame
them on Pakistan. That will in turn spark a crisis between the two nuclear
rivals that will draw the United States into the fray.
We at War or Prosecuting Criminals?
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family
Security Matters, November 28, 2008
What these legal developments
tell us is that the United States’ counterterrorism campaign is squeezed
between two worlds: On the one hand, our nation’s leaders have been acting
as if we are in a state of war with an enemy; and on another hand the Judicial
system is telling us that it is basing its rulings solely on criminal law.
Challenge On The High Seas
From Investor's Business
Daily, November 25, 2008
As Russian warships steam
into Venezuelan waters, the show is dismissed by some as rust-bucket bravado.
But for all its navy's flaws, Russia's maneuvers herald challenges to the
U.S. — and not just in Venezuela.
# # #
to Blame for Chubby Children?
By Anthony B. Bradley, The
Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, November 26, 2008
Are America’s children overweight
because of advertising? A new study suggests that banning fast-food ads
would reduce the number of overweight children ages 3 to 11 by 18 percent
and would reduce the number of overweight adolescents ages 12 to 18 by
14 percent. However, common sense -- something often missing from research
reports and very underrated in America today -- reminds us that the single
most important variable in child obesity is parenting.
There was a time in history
when children would ask for things that they neither had the maturity nor
the discernment to resist and their parents would simply say, "no." This
new study tells us more about the deterioration of the American family
than the likely effectiveness of advertising censorship. Can we just be
honest? Television commercials do not make kids fat but parents surely
can. (I leave aside the question of genetic predisposition to obesity,
and mean to imply no blame to those who are blameless.) Children learn
good or bad eating habits actively, through parental oversight, or passively,
through parental neglect.
Has Cooled Since Bush Took Office’ – Scientists Continue Dissenting – Gore
Admits 'I've failed badly' - Global Sea Ice GROWS! Global Warming
Theory has ‘failed consistently and dramatically’
By Marc Morano, U.S. Senate
Committee on Environment & Public Works, November 20, 2008
The bad news for global warming
alarmists just keeps rolling in. Below is a very small sampling of very
inconvenient developments for Gore, the United Nations, and the mainstream
studies, analyses, and prominent
scientists continue to speak out to refute climate fears. The majority
of data presented below is from just the past few weeks. Also see:
Senate Minority Report: "Over 400 Prominent Scientists (and rapidly growing)
Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007" & ‘Consensus’
On Man-Made Global Warming Collapses in 2008 - July 18, 2008
& An August 2007 report detailed how proponents of man-made global
warming fears enjoy a monumental funding advantage over skeptical scientists.
Predicts Revolution, Food Riots, Tax Rebellions By 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson, The
National Expositor, November, 2008
The man who predicted the
1987 stock market crash and the fall of the Soviet Union is now forecasting
revolution in America, food riots and tax rebellions - all within four
years, while cautioning that putting food on the table will be a more pressing
concern than buying Christmas gifts by 2012.
the World Safe for Marxism
By Randall Hoven, American
Thinker, November 28, 2008
I thought communism was defeated
when the Berlin Wall came down. I'm now thinking the Wall falling
was the equivalent of treating Snowden's leg. We did not defeat communism
It is almost commonplace
to accuse someone of being like Hitler or acting Nazi-like. (Googling
"bush hitler" yields 1,300,000 hits, for example.) Yet you are considered
beyond the pale, and possibly insane, to even suggest that someone might
harbor Marxist sympathies. To question someone's dedication to traditional
American or merely Western ideals = calling him communist = being Joe McCarthy
= we now know you're nuts.
Remorse on the Left
By Janice Shaw Crouse, American
Thinker, November 26, 2008
One after another, we are
learning the names of the future Obama Administration. Behold, they are
not new faces, nor are they the change agents that Obama's campaign rhetoric
promised. Instead, we are seeing Clinton retreads and a surprising move
toward the political center. Rather than the far left team of new faces
and new politics that the President-elect's supporters dreamed about when
they cast their ballots for the "change" they could believe in, we are
seeing familiar faces and experienced pols. More than a few Obama fans
are experiencing buyer's remorse as they discover that "The One" seems
to be abandoning them and their policies. ...
While Obama is filling top
slots of his Administration with politicians from the center, his agenda
will be thrust forward by the Schedule C minions in the lower levels of
government who will be able to work under the radar to push his far left
ideology. That is the bottom-up strategy that he learned as a community
organizer and a strategy that links him with his primary season competitor,
Hillary Clinton, who promoted the feminist goals of the Beijing Platform
for Action through various task forces set up in the federal agencies following
the U.N.'s Beijing World Conference on Women. Both of these leftist politicians
have learned to speak the language of the masses while working behind the
scenes on the policies of the radical true believers.
Palin to stump with Sen. Saxby Chambliss
By Shannon McCaffrey, Associated
Press, November 26, 2008
Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss
is calling in a closer: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will join him for four
rallies across the state on the eve of his hotly contested Dec. 2 runoff.
It will mark her return to the campaign trail after her bid as John McCain's
vice presidential candidate and a chance to show off some political muscle
in a state that backed her GOP ticket with 52 percent of the vote.
With Malpractice Reform
Tort lawyers in Illinois
try an end run around the voters
Wall Street Journal Editorial,
December 1, 2008
According to the National
Conference of State Legislatures, limits on medical malpractice awards
have now been adopted in all but 15 states. Texas has been flooded with
applications for medical licenses since it adopted damage caps in 2003.
The Illinois Supreme Court can once again do the bidding of the plaintiffs
bar, or this time it can side with patients and the rule of law.
# # #