North Archives - December 04, 2007
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Terrorism: Freedom Under Fire II
By Robert Maynard
In short, we are losing the
battle of ideas to the jihadists because we have lost sight of the power
of the ideas which gave birth to western civilization. These ideas once
inspired a world wide movement to end slavery and the replacement of the
rule of a single Caliphate with a Republic ruled by a parliament. Just
when a near total ideological victory was in sight, the cultural elite
in the west lost confidence in the principles that were once so proudly
promoted. That lack of confidence in such principles gave way to contempt
and finally to outright hostility.
The result of losing the
war of ideas within western civilization is that young western educated
Muslims become the vanguard of a movement dedicated to the destruction
of western civilization. In a cultural environment that is seeped in the
notion of moral relativism and sees no inherent value in its own cultural
traditions, how are we to hold off an ideological assault on those values?
The report mentioned above
by the New York City Police Department on homegrown terrorism mentions
a phase in the radicalization process that it refers to as "Pre-Radicalization".
The report claims that there are no signs which would signal that the person
in question was about to engage in a process that would end up with him
becoming a jihadist. I would like to suggest that the key to the Pre-Radicalization
part of the process is the ideological confusion we are experiencing as
a civilization over our own value system. A regain of confidence in and
a defense of, those values is another crucial factor in confronting the
problem of jihadism.
More State Mental Institutions!
By John McClaughry
an enormously expensive new replacement facility for the Vermont State
Hospital, at the urging of a state bureaucracy and its state employee union
allies, over the objections of the Public Oversight Commission and most
advocates for the mentally ill, will create a large and unnecessary burden
for a generation of Vermont taxpayers, while offering inadequate recovery
services for Vermonters with mental illness. It is not sound public policy."
--That's the conclusion of a new report on the future of the Vermont State
Hospital and the treatment of severe mental illness in Vermont, issued
by the Ethan Allen Institute on November 26.
of the politically correct glossed over with puppet show
By James Ehlers
More than environmental issues
have been exposed as a result of the Interval Compost Products saga, unfortunately.
Yes, Republicans live to embarrass Democrats, and Democrats make a living
exploiting Republicans. Big deal. This is news? Yet, pathetically, this
is the focus of two leading editorial pages. What Roper and Symington do
to each other has about as much impact on us as what Britney Spears wears
or, more aptly, does not wear when she paints the town.
We should be able to rely
on our daily newspapers to address the ingredients of the paint, rather
than the presence of panties. Can we expect at least this much? Or does
it depend on party affiliation? I am certain the consequences of politically
correct pollution and flood plain development are no less dependent on
the polluter’s party registration, much less their choice of pants. Give
us the real news, journalists, not the puppet show.
# # #
1) "We're going to take things
away from you on behalf of the common good." --Hillary Clinton
2) "It's time for a new beginning,
for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few...and
to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity." --Hillary
3) "(We)...can't just let
business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away
from some people." --Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
4) "We have to build a political
consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own...in
order to create this common ground." --Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
5) "I certainly think the
free-market has failed." --Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
6) "I think it's time to
send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the)
entire economy that they are being watched." --Hillary Clinton
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Governor's Bill Of Goods
November 28, 2007
The Governor, writing in
full Montpelier idiom, declares:
Green Mountain Care is
an all-inclusive family of low-cost and free health coverage programs that
provide uninsured Vermonters with access to quality, comprehensive health
care coverage at a reasonable cost. These programs give uninsured Vermonters
access to the medical care they need, including doctor visits, hospital
and emergency care, checkups, prescription medicines, chronic disease care,
immunizations, mental health care and more.
One would like to ask the
resident of Middlebury, who probably knows a hawk from a handsaw, a question
about that one:
Low-cost to whom?
Not, certainly, to the people
who are actually paying for all these benefits. (And, by the way,
what about that "and more?" What's left? Massages and facials?)
To Have It Both Ways - for the sake of the "community good"
Caledonian Record Editorial,
Vermont for years and years
has gotten away with taxing land at its highest value then throwing up
innumerable obstacles whenever the property owner attempts to develop the
property and receive its appraised value.
The only way to escape the
state's relentless tax machine is to sell the development rights to a conservation
group, depriving the community of both property taxes and potential development,
or put the land into current use. Lately, it's not difficult for retirees
with substantial wealth to come to Vermont, build a McMansion, create privacy
for themselves by surrounding the new mansion with 200 acres of land, then
promptly put everything into current use with the pretext of a forestry
plan. Once again, towns lose taxes and developable land.
Edge Of Rights
Caledonian Record Editorial,
Monday, November 26, 2007
In gentler, more reasonable
times, the unchallenged and unchallengeable morally self evident proposition
was that one person's rights end where another person's begin. Since that
time, though, civil rights activists have pushed the definition of individual
civil rights not only up to, but way across the line of the absurd. A current
case in point is whether or not regional hospitals, which have been proposed
to be hostels for acutely psychotic patients who, until now, have been
housed at Waterbury State Hospital, may administer anti-psychotic drugs
to violent patients without their permission.
‘Wood Lot’, an anonymous
blogger for Vermont Scrap Wood, endeavors to discredit my position on industrial
wind technology (Industrial Wind: A Bill of Goods). Wood Lot argues
that, since the Audubon Society favors wind technology, my evidence counts
for little or nothing. It is just this kind of ex cathedra prejudice that
is giving environmentalism its increasingly deserved reputation for pretentious
twitter. The wishful thinking of Audubon and the Sierra Club does not make
the case for wind energy. Where is the responsible—or even logical—ethic
in dynamiting, clear cutting and fragmenting scores of miles of some of
the rarest, most picturesque mountain habitat in Vermont to install 200
sky-scraper sized wind turbines to produce less than 100MW of sporadic
energy in a state that generates virtually no CO2 to obtain electricity-
with no assurance these wind projects will abate carbon emissions and with
certainty they will not supplant any conventional generation, including
The Camp Of The Luddites
Too often, Republicans will
blindly defend anything that they consider supportive of American values,
while remaining oblivious to America’s defects and flaws. But Democrats
(especially in Vermont) seem just as blind in their criticisms of America’s
free enterprise system, which they fail to see as the generator of America’s
material benefits and prosperity and see only as a producer of "negative
externalities." Part of the reason for this is that the Democratic Party
-- and the environmental movement in general -- have been taken over by
more radical activists who seem to be inspired by the anti-technology Luddite
movement of the early 19th century. To these environmental progressives,
the West's progress, scientific advances and technological innovations
have created more problems than they've solved.
The most fascinating aspect
of the Douglas report is that it has thus far only been assessed on its
merits – i.e. do carbon credits work or will UVM be effective in the endeavor.
But, if the plan is based on the marketing strategy of authenticity,
it doesn’t much matter if carbon credits work or if we really are the best
in the field. Only perceptions matter and they only matter to the extent
that we can capitalize on them.
What’s not to love about
this plan? The environmentalists at UVM will get paid to study anything
they like so long as it contributes to the perception of climate change
expertise. And, the business community will be able to capitalize on the
perception of authenticity, real or otherwise, without guilt
because for one brief moment the objectives of environmentalist and entrepreneurs
will have converged.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Laden and Future Jihad in Europe
Dr. Walid Phares,The New
Media Journal, December 1, 2007
Global Jihad in Europe has
begun. Al Qaeda wants to claim it, own it and boast about its coming spread.
That’s what is on Bin Laden’s mind. As a classic leader of Jihadism, he
wants to warn beforehand that what is to come in Europe is "because" of
its alliance with the US and its military presence in Afghanistan, an "occupied
Muslim land." In reality, the dice has already rolled: the Jihadists have
already waged their campaign on that continent but the al Qaeda master
wants to father it and widen it.
the Debate: Nine-Point Guide to Discern Islamist from Non-Islamist Schools
By M. Zuhdi Jasser, Family
Security Matters, November 26, 2007
America’s public attention
to the curricula and texts of Islamic parochial schools should not only
be limited to this single foreign school on our soil, but also more comprehensively
to the curricula of all Islamic schools in the United States. This is not
about profiling much as Islamists may try to say in their protestations
to this debate. But rather it is about understanding the penetration of
an ideology which consciously and subconsciously teaches the superiority
of a political system of governance at odds with the American political
and justice system. This is also centrally relevant in the conflict against
militant Islamism. At odds with the American way of life is not only the
more obvious militant ‘jihadist’ fringe component of political Islam but
also the less obvious, more pervasive and more insidiously dangerous movement
of political Islam as a way of life.
For the Islamic educational
institutions in America founded only with the purpose of teaching our Muslim
children the love of God, righteousness, Islamic theology, pluralism, humanitarianism,
character, humility, charity, and other personal religious principles as
it applies to God, I see no threat to our freedom in the U.S. However,
the more relevant questions are how these institutions of Islamic education
handle topics of American government and law. As an anti-Islamist Muslim,
I am waiting anxiously to hear a public debate about what is taught in
their U.S. history and government classes as compared to the Islamic jurisprudence
classes of these "Islamic" schools. The schools around the country are
all relatively new and wasting no time in creating a generation of students
which are more likely than not to be defenders of Islamism over anti-Islamist
systems based in universal liberty. While only a minority of Muslims send
their children to these schools, they are a growing and significant minority
countered only by a silent majority of Muslims.
tells Shiites to protect Sunni brothers
Kuwait News Agency, November
Leading Shiite cleric in
Iraq Ali Sistani Tuesday banned the killing of Iraqis, particularly the
Sunnis, and urged the Shiites to protect their brother Sunnis. Sistani
bans the Iraqi blood in general the blood of Sunnis in particular. His
announcement came during a meeting with a delegation from Sunni clerics
from southern and northern Iraq. The clerics are visiting Najaf to participate
in the first national conference for Ulemaa of Shiites and Sunnis.
in jailed teacher protest
The UK Guardian, December
Leaders of the protest said
they wanted to show that British Muslims supported Mrs Gibbons. Some arrived
with their own teddy bears. The protest followed angry scenes in Khartoum
on Friday in which knife-wielding fundamentalists called for the execution
of Mrs Gibbons.
Strategy and Application of Force
By Brett McCrea, The American
Thinker, November 29, 2007
While the Bush Administration
clearly asserts that a nuclear armed Iran is not in the national security
interests of the United States, the fractious political environment in
Washington is blunting the effectiveness of that message. Iran sees a hesitant
adversary, while the American public remains misinformed of the true situation
in the Middle East. At this juncture, the U.S. should not be asking its
leaders what would you do. It should be demanding what are you going
to do. Iran has systematically murdered hundreds of US soldiers and citizens.
It has repeatedly threatened one of our staunchest allies, Israel, with
annihilation. Allowing a country with this disposition to obtain
the crown jewel of destructive weapons would be an unmitigated disaster.
captures terrorist documents
Thomas Lifson, The American
Thinker, December 01, 2007
The FARC narco-terrorists
operating in Colombia were dealt a blow by government forces, which raided
one of their camps and captured documents and videotapes offering "proof
of life" for 16 hostages being held in the deep jungle lair. As we reported
earlier, based on the excellent work
of Investor's Business Daily which has been covering the case and
related matters, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela had been operating as an intermediary
in negotiations with FARC, only to be fired by Colombia's President Uribe.
# # #
Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali Hijacked by European Liberals
is political agenda of European Green Party
By Tom Swiss, The Heartland
Institute, November 30, 2007
As the first goals of the
Kyoto Protocol are about to expire, the United Nations is preparing a "Conference
of the Parties," the highest decision-making authority. The meeting will
take place in Bali, Indonesia from December 3 to December 5. Instead of
"negotiations" and "debate," which the United Nations claims is the decision-making
process, European liberal groups have hijacked the conference and are pushing
a pre-determined outcome called the "Bali Mandate" of "effectively reducing
global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared
to the 1990 level."
Quiet Defeat for Political Correctness
By Charles J. Sykes, The
Maybe this is how political
correctness ends; not with a bang, but with a whimper. Across the country,
universities that had abandoned in loco parentis in the 1960s because
it was too oppressive and intrusive have replaced it with in loco Big
Brother programs of political and cultural re-education.
Decadence—Part 4 of 4
of an Uncivilized People
by Reginald Firehammer,
There is about civilized
societies something akin to maturity in individuals. The highpoint of Western
civilization was the nineteenth century, with a brief return during the
late 40s and 50s of the twentieth century. Those times were marked not
only by the highest levels of civilized goodwill between men but were societies
dominated by mature people that took life seriously, because they understood
what kind of life is worth living, and that such a life cannot be enjoyed
without recognizing what is important and what is not. Such men were unwilling
to settle for anything but the best in themselves, in their achievements,
or that which they enjoyed in life. Such men could never contemplate sex
with a child. There are always perverts in the world, but a society comprised
of mostly mature adults will not be obsessed with sex with children. In
a 1944 letter concerning a novel proposed by her correspondent, Ayn Rand
"... the idea that man is
a slave to sex and to nature, that there is an irreconcilable conflict
between the mind and the sex urge—is a perfect description of the mental
state of an adolescent. Not of a mature man." [If he is an adult with such
views] "... in the matter of sex he is still a youth. It is the normal
mental state of very many adolescents when they discover sex. Not of all,
but of many." "That typically adolescent feeling comes, I think, only from
physical impatience—a strong physical desire that drives the man ..." "in
the middle of the process of growing up. ... Such a man would grow up.
This would not be his final attitude on sex." "... he will outgrow it.
He has to."
GOP Race: No One’s Winning, No One’s Losing, and No One’s Made Up His Mind
By Byron York, National
Review, November 28, 2007
Back in August, when callers
working for Clemson University’s Palmetto Poll got in touch with South
Carolina voters about the Republican primary, the responses they got were
pretty relaxed. "They’d say, ‘Oh, I like McCain,’ or ‘I like Rudy,’ but
it was kind of casual," says David Woodard, the Clemson political science
professor who directs the poll. Now, that has changed. The election is
within sight — South Carolina Republicans will go to the polls January
19 — and people are being more careful with their answers. Fewer respondents
are saying who they support, and the number of voters classified as undecided
is climbing as the campaign goes on. "More and more people are taking their
responsibility to vote seriously," Woodard explains. "There’s less willingness
Looking-Glass War in Iraq
For the war, then
against it, and now for it?
By Victor Davis Hanson,
National Review, November 30, 2007
Because we had already defeated
Saddam in 1991, and since pundits had proclaimed that a secular Iraq would
be more malleable to reconstruction than a primordial Afghanistan of warlords,
Democrats signed on for another war that might prove even easier to wage
and quicker to win. Support for an easy victory in Iraq would only further
confirm their reputation of being tough on national security in a post-9/11
world. When — in the manner of Sen. Clinton — they warned that Saddam had
weapons of mass destruction and was connected to al-Qaeda, they were only
reiterating the standard Bill Clinton line throughout much of the 1990s.
Indeed, most Democrats saw George Bush’s post-9/11 focus on the dangers
of Baathist Iraq as simply the natural escalation from Clinton’s own policy
of occasional bombings, embargos, and no-fly zones.
But as the post-Saddam elections
lined up — 2004, 2006, 2008 — and the reconstruction of Iraq proved bloodier
than anticipated, the politics changed. The Democrats became the antiwar
party. Prominent pro-war pundits flipped and cursed the effort. Journalistic
exposés were published in serial fashion. Michael Moore reigned
supreme. And disillusioned former administration officials and generals
wrote supposedly brilliant opeds about how the war was lost, and how and
why Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Wolfowitz — fill in the blanks — had not listened
to their own inspired advice about reconstruction. It was time to pile
on. Almost all Democrats did.
New York Post Editorial,
November 29, 2007
Bill Clinton has always been
a stranger to the truth, but is it possible that he's never heard of Google?
Apparently. How else to explain his ridiculous claim - while campaigning
for Hillary out in Iowa - that he "opposed [the] Iraq [war] from the beginning"?
...Indeed, the former president boasted in a June 2004 interview with Time
magazine: "I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on
Iraq." For the record, then, here's what Clinton really had to say about
the Iraq war....
Democrats' Fatal Flaw
By Robert J. Caldwell, San
Diego Union-Tribune, December 2, 2007
Joe Klein, a politically
astute columnist notably hard on George Bush, writes this in the Dec. 3
issue of Time magazine: "If the Democrats want to win in 2008, they can't
be mealymouthed on issues of national security." Klein then proceeds to
cite two matters, Iraq war funding and surveillance of terrorist communications,
about which Democrats have been "foolishly partisan."
By The Editors, National
Review Online, December 3, 2007
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid
return to work this week. But the Congress they lead is already a failure,
no matter what they now do. When they took power, they had three major
goals: to end the war in Iraq, cripple this presidency, and pave the way
for a Democratic sweep next year. They have failed in all three respects.
Science and the IPCC
By Bob Myer, The American
Thinker, November, 2007
Just in time for Thanksgiving,
the IPCC has delivered another warning of impending doom. This time,
it has to do with the world's oceans' ability to absorb carbon dioxide.
While I am not qualified to get into the science of this, I think it is
instructive to dissect how the message is being delivered to the masses.
For this, I'll use the Drudge-linked article
from The Independent, a newspaper
from the UK. As might be expected with any article, the headline attempts
to grab the reader's attention. In this case the headline reads,
"A world dying, but can we unite to save it?" The "we" does not mean
to imply that all the people of the UK should unite. This is a global
vision; the "we" is global. The mission is messianic -- save the
world -- which is all fine and good as long as the reader, or the believer,
truly understands the intent of such an outlook.
# # #