North Archives - December 12, 2006
| Editorial | News & Views
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Vermont Heading Off the Rails?
…The report explains clearly
that Vermont will soon become the nation's oldest state. More of its young
people are seeking opportunity elsewhere. The proportion of active wealth
producers is declining. The proportion of dependents - increasingly retired
seniors instead of children- is growing. But as Vermont's taxpayers are
well aware, Vermont's high level of public service spending - especially
on public education and human services - is requiring ever-greater tax
revenues. There is little reason to believe that over the next 25 years
those taxpayers will be willing to pay enough in taxes to support the state's
spending habits…. – John McClaughry is president of the Ethan Allen
By Pete Behr
…We can depend on the Valley
News to be politically correct. Thus the editor comes out in favor
of "Happy Holidays" over "Merry Christmas,"… The editorial took a dig at
Wal-Mart for featuring more Christmas-specific references this year than
last, and noted that an "endangered Christmas" may need "the protection
of right-wing blowhards." (I’m not making this up.)… A Woodstock resident
reports that she could not find a single Christmas card on sale at the
most frequented village stores- only "Holiday Greetings…." -- Pete Behr
lives in Woodstock. He writes a regular column for the Woodstock Standard.
of Sanders’ last votes in House is truly detestable
picture is of a 20 week old human fetus. There is substantial evidence
that if aborted at this age, the procedure will be painful for the unborn
On December 6th,
the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act failed, despite an overwhelmingly supportive
250-162 vote in the House that fell short of the two thirds majority needed
for passage. (The bill was brought up under a fast-track parliamentary
procedure -- "suspension of the rules" -- in which no amendments are considered,
but a two-thirds vote is required for passage).
IN YOUR NAME AS YOUR REPRESETATIVE,
Bernie Sanders voted (and succeeded) to block a requirement that abortionists
provide women seeking abortion after 20 weeks past fertilization (the beginning
of the sixth month) a brochure explaining that there is "substantial evidence"
that the abortion will cause pain to the unborn child, and
advise them of their right to request the administration of pain-reducing
drugs to the unborn child.
Douglas Johnson, legislative
director for National Right to Life, commented, "It is no small thing that
60 percent of the House endorsed requiring abortionists to inform women
that late abortion may be very painful to the unborn child. The other
40 percent will have to explain why they favor anti-pain laws for animals
used for research or food, but not for unborn humans."
To view the roll call, click
Week’s Mail Bag
Antidote: An Old-School
It was 1965 when Democratic
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned us that it was the disintegration
of the married two-parent family that would continue to destroy the hopes
of the underclass from ever rising out of their ashes. At that time, 8%
of children were born to unmarried mothers. Today, almost 40% of children
are born out-of-wedlock, and that number rises to 70% for black children.
Now, Burlington’s political
elites want to try a new round of social-engineering by breaking up its
community schools in order to achieve ‘social-economic integration’.
This is occurring despite
the fact that since the ‘War on Poverty’ began in 1964, literally trillions
of dollars have been spent on similar schemes to counteract either the
underclass’s continued underachievement, their continued self-destructive
behavior, or their genuine economic and familial obstacles to educational
Before we destroy one of
Burlington’s great assets, its’ community schools, our political elites
need to ask themselves whether through osmosis or some other form of enlightenment,
will busing students - analogous to shuffling the chairs on the deck of
the Titanic - really put Humpty-Dumpty back together again?
Some 35% of families living
below the poverty level come from single parent households, 40% from cohabitating
couples, and just 8% from married couples. Spending less time extolling
the vaporous wonders of multi-culturalism and diversity, and more time
spent emphasizing assimilation, personal accountability, and old-school
family values – where most educational success is often determined - might
produce more of the results we all pine for.
-- Tom Licata, Burlington
Solutions Offered In Act 68 Funding Debate
BY Jeanne Miles, Caledonian
Record, Dec. 5, 2006
… Just over 100 people attended
the meeting sponsored by Newark Citizens for Justice and the towns of Burke,
Lyndon and Sutton. Some wore T-shirts proclaiming: Save our state - repeal
68." This was the first of a series of meetings to be held around the state
to hear how property taxes are affecting people….Ward Reed of St. Johnsbury,
a former school director, said the problem is not just with property taxes,
but with all the taxes in Vermont. Businesses cannot grow because of the
high cost of paying payroll taxes, unemployment taxes and income taxes.
"Our economy is too small," Reed said. "Switching to the income tax won't
work. That dog ain't gonna hunt."
Related Site: www.newarkcitizensforjustice.org.
Douglas says property tax will top his agenda
By Ross Sneyd, Times Argus,
Dec 7, 2006
Property taxes will certainly
top the agenda when the Legislature returns to session in January and bipartisan
cooperation will be required to come up with an answer, Gov. James Douglas
said Wednesday…. "I think it's important to raise an issue that's paramount
to all legislators and all Vermonters," Douglas said at his weekly news
revolts, Town joins tax fray
By Bob Audette, Brattleboro
Reformer, December 9, 2006
The Selectboard of this town
of less than 800 people has added its revolt and repeal resolution to the
growing stack that will confront legislators when they return to Montpelier
next month. In October, the Jamaica Selectboard was the first town in Vermont
to sign on to the "Revolt and Repeal" movement, a grassroots initiative
asking legislators to scrap the current education funding system and start
over. Since then, 46 other selectboards have signed the resolution….
imposes local meals and rooms tax
AP, December 8, 2006
… Town officials have imposed
a 1 percent tax on rooms and meals.… "I believe in my heart of hearts that
this will not send people to New Hampshire," said Richard DeGray, vice
chairman of the Brattleboro Select Board. Some said the tax would hurt
the economy and suggested a focus on reducing costs, not generating new
lawmakers ready to tackle warming
By Candace Page, Burlington
Free Press, December 8, 2006
Peter Shumlin sounds more
like a preacher than a politician when he talks about why global climate
change must top the Legislature's agenda in 2007. "At the risk of sounding
like a nut, I do think this is the most important issue any of us are facing,"
the Windham County Democrat and incoming Senate president said last month….
should be the top issues for the Legislature?
Published: Saturday, December
When the new Legislature
convenes in January, what is one issue you would like lawmakers to address
and what do you want them to do? We want to publish a cross-section of
readers’ suggestions. E-mail your comment to email@example.com
or mail it to Nancy Remsen, The Burlington Free Press, 191 College St.,
Burlington, VT, 05401 by Dec. 15. Include your name and contact information
# # #
Obvious to the Rescue
By Robert Tracinski, December
…Take, for example, the
offered today, to much fanfare, by the Iraq Study Group. The problem in
Iraq is that we can't withdraw US troops because the Iraqi military is
not adequately trained to maintain security on its own? Well then, the
ISG tells us, all we need to do is to train the Iraqi military so that
they can maintain security on their own, and then we can withdraw our troops.
The problem in Iraq is that the Iraqi government won't approve a crackdown
to dismantle the Shiite militias? Well then, all we have to do is to convince
the Iraqi government to approve a crackdown to dismantle the Shiite militias.
The problem in Iraq is that Iran and Syria are arming, funding, and encouraging
Sunni and Shiite insurgents? Well then, all we have to do is to convince
Syria and Iran to stop supporting these insurgents…. See how simple that
was? It's amazing that no one ever thought of these ideas before the Iraq
Study Group came along. But no, don't thank them. It's all in a day's work
for Captain Obvious….
Inconvenient Load of Gore
Posted By Chuck Muth On
Let’s play "let’s pretend."
Let’s pretend that global
warming is truly a problem of epic proportions, just as the tree-hugger
crowd would have us believe.
And let’s pretend that not
only is Al Gore sane, but a believable, credible messenger touting the
Armageddon-like dangers of global warming.
And let’s pretend that Gore’s
propaganda film on the subject, "An Inconvenient Truth," is something other
than a modern-day enviro-wacko version of the Chicken Little hysteria found
in the anti-pot movie "Reefer Madness" from the early 1900s.
Ouch. Let’s not play "let’s
pretend" any more. My head is starting to hurt.
But let’s say all of the
above was inconveniently true. Even so, should the National Science Teachers
Association (NSTA) be browbeaten into distributing Gore’s commercial film
for free to its 50,000 members, thereby forcing it into classrooms? Well,
Laurie David, one of the hot-air producers of the flick thinks so. And
when the NSTA declined, David threw a hissy fit.
In a whiny op/ed titled "Science
a la Joe Camel" (how clever!) which was published last week by the Washington
Post - a liberal paper often accused of being full of hot air itself -
David accuses the science teachers of not distributing Gore’s cinematic
triumph because they’re in the pockets of…are you ready for it?…Big Oil.
Are these people as predictable
as night following day, or what?
But David’s rant is actually
kinda comical, if not outright hypocritical. In complaining about the science
teachers not being willing to use their distribution network to distribute
Al Gore’s junk science DVD, David accuses Exxon Mobil of donating money
to the science teachers over the past decade in an effort to "sell junk
science" to science teachers. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
David also whines about Exxon
Mobil trying to "influence the way children learn about science, from kindergarten
until they graduate from high school" through "propaganda" when, in fact,
that’s exactly what David and the rest of the environmental extremist crowd
are trying to do with Gore’s propaganda film.
In conclusion, David writes
that "Students should expect, and parents should demand, that educators
present an honest and unbiased look" at issues such as global warming…as
if "An Inconvenient Truth" was honest and unbiased. What chutzpah.
The fact is, the NSTA offered
Ms. David a number of alternative methods for them to distribute Gore’s
propaganda DVD, including "providing a mailing list of our members to producers,
announcing its availability in our publications, etc." Nevertheless, the
Left has cranked up its phone and email machine and is pounding the science
teachers in an effort to force them through public pressure to change their
minds and distribute this inconvenient propaganda.
If you’d like to send a quick
note of support to the science teachers in their battle with Al Gore and
the Enviro-Temple of Doom, our friends over at Frontiers of Freedom have
made it quick and easy to do so. Just click
here and fill in your information to send off a pre-written statement
Opinion Journal, December
…To hear the so-called realists
tell it, engaging Tehran is a matter of necessity and ought to be one of
choice…. But here's where realism of the common sense kind should intrude….
In 1997, Iranians "elected" a supposedly moderate president, Mohammed Khatami,
on a reformist platform…The Clinton Administration sought to establish
openings with the Khatami government by lifting some sanctions and apologizing
for U.S. political meddling. President Clinton even planned an "accidental"
encounter with Mr. Khatami during the U.N.'s millennium summit, but Iran's
Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei canceled it at the last minute. The stood-up
President "was left pacing the corridors of the U.N.," writes Mr. Taheri.
Presidents Carter and Reagan earlier tried engagement with the Ayatollah
Khomeini, each time with disastrous consequences: the seizure of the U.S.
Embassy in 1979; the Iran-Contra scandal of 1986. One problem is that however
sincere Iranian moderates may be in seeking an accommodation with the West,
Iranian hardliners have proved equally intent on torpedoing any deals.
The hardliners have consistently held the upper hand. This point should
be obvious now that Mr. Khatami has been replaced by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad….
In Mr. Ahmadinejad, they found a man whose wipe-Israel-off-the-map rhetoric
is matched by his record as a hostage-taker, prison interrogator and organizer
of violent domestic paramilitaries. If the "realists" greeted Mr. Khatami's
election as a sign of regime softening, why then do they not draw opposite
conclusions about his successor?...
Blair seen the multi-culturalism light?
Daily Telegraph, December
… Multi-culturalism portrays
itself as a means of celebration: in fact, it is an invitation to all minorities
to complain, loudly and persistently, about their victimhood. And, when
this self-pitying worldview comes into contact with religious fanaticism,
the results can be – literally – explosive. That is presumably what Mr
Blair means when he says that the events of July 7 last year threw the
whole concept of multi-cultural Britain "into sharp relief". The Prime
Minister and his close colleagues are plainly fed up with the lumbering
grievance-mongers of the race relations industry….