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. True North Archives 09/19/06

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Featured Articles

Railroading Taxpayers
By Frank Mazur
"Amtrak’s proposal that Vermont participation in a rail demonstration project by buying new smaller passenger cars to save the state money has a high cost despite their claim it will increase ridership. If it were really such a win/win, Amtrak would be making the investment themselves." --Frank Mazur is a small business owner and was a member of the Vermont House from 1995-2004.  He’s also chair of the advisory board to FreedomWorks. 

Pollyanna and Cassandra
By Martin Harris 
"I suspect it was she, at the editorial desk, who opined that '“Vermont children continue to perform at a high level,' in an editorial demanding that the present Governor cease chiding local voters for adopting high-tax-increase budgets..."

Warning: Conservation Easements May Be Bad for Your Fiscal Health
Consult your selectman before consuming in large quantities
By James Ehlers
"....We love wilderness blindly. We love it so much, ironically, many of us will find ourselves living in a place where there is no open forest or farmland, driven out by those more well off with real estate attorneys and accountants versed in the ways of getting others to pay their clients’ taxes for them. They wield that clever tool known as a conservation easement, and they wield it far more adeptly than any drunk with a corkscrew. The end result is lower taxes for the conveyor of the easement and higher taxes for us, his or her neighbors…." -- James Ehlers is Publisher Emeritus of Elk Publishing, Inc. His columns also appear in Outdoors Magazine and Livin’ The Vermont Way. 

Vermont Senators Obstruct Common-Sense Parental Notification laws
By Mary Beerworth
"While legislators beholden to special interest groups like PPNNE play abortion politics with our children’s lives, as many as 150 minor girls in Vermont this year may find themselves facing the worst day of their lives - all alone. The time has come to stop shaking our heads in disbelief and demand that lawmakers pass a parental notification law in our state and send it to the Governor’s desk for his signature." -- Mary Beerworth is the Executive Director of Vermont Right to Life 

More Money for More Schooling?
By John McClaughry "...The preschool advocates are lining up to promote their cause before the committee. They fervently believe that expanding the state's control over more children at ever-younger ages is inevitably a good thing that taxpayers ought to be pleased to support. This issue has unfortunately become shrouded in lots of mythology. Here are some hard questions that a skeptic ought to ask of the committee..." -- John McClaughry is President of the Ethan Allen Institute

Campaign ‘06

Douglas leads Republicans into general election
By Ross Sneyd, AP, September 13
"Gov. Jim Douglas led his fellow Republicans into the general election Wednesday with a call to his 'Agenda of Affordability,' promising to paint Democrats as too willing to tax and spend….Douglas promised, however, to wage a spirited campaign not only against his own opponent, Democrat Scudder Parker, but against the Democratic leadership in the Legislature. 'Over the course of the last legislative session, the majority in the House and Senate revealed time and time again that their idea of affordability is to raise taxes so they can afford more spending,' Douglas declared…."

In first debate, Welch and Rainville lock horns
By Wilson Ring, Associated Press Writer, September 15
"....'I think it's critical for Vermont that we have a speaker from the Republican Party that will support the interests of small business, that will not allow taxes to be raised and that will give us an environment where we can grow jobs in this state, where we can allow our businesses to flourish and we can help make an environment where we can provide health care to our citizens,' she [Rainville] said."

Vermont Weekly News Round Up

Something for nothing: a look at homework
By Peter Berger, Stowe Reporter, September 14
".... These critics denounce [homework] as a burden on families that causes "horrible conflict" and doesn’t help students learn. They claim parents have had enough, that schools have been piling ever larger heaps of busy work on the backs of American children since Sputnik. They condemn homework as "undemocratic" and an "outrage" that "deforms" family life. That sounds awful. But is it true? Are parents really up in arms? According to a 2003 Brookings-RAND report, two-thirds have no problem with how much homework their children are assigned. Only 10 percent think their children have too much, while 25 percent are concerned because their kids have too little. You wouldn’t know it based on the hype. Time magazine headlined: "The Homework Ate My Family: Kids are dazed. Parents are stressed. Why piling it on is hurting students…."

An unseemly campaign
The Barton Chronicle, September 12
"If VPIRG believes that wind power is clearly in the public interest, why shouldn’t it become its vigorous advocate, and take the Governor to task for opposing it? The problem lies on VPIRG’s board of directors. Two members, Matt Rubin and David Rapaport, are the principals in East Haven Windfarm, the company that wants to put four demonstration wind towers on East Mountain and, ultimately, erect 50 windmills on the ridge lines of Essex County.... Both stand to make money if the state approves their projects, and lose money — possibly a good deal of money — if it doesn’t."

Louisiana sex offender caught in Swanton. Man lived in St. Albans Bay, on wanted list for 6 years
By Leon Thompson, St. Albans Messenger
"…. A Louisiana fugitive and convicted sex offender was arrested by Swanton police earlier this week and will be returned to his home state within the next month….Wheeler was unsure how long Rogers had lived in Vermont or St. Albans Bay…. If Rogers had been in Vermont longer than 10 days, he was required to register as a sex offender, but he didn’t..."


Losing Our Will to Win
By Ed Koch September 16 (Editor’s Note: MUST READ)
"…. I believe this war of civilizations, which was brought to our shores in 2001, is one of the most important wars we have ever fought. In the Revolutionary War back in 1775-1783, we had extraordinary leaders, including George Washington, chosen as General and Commander-in-Chief and later elected President of the United States. We forget that he lost almost every battle at the time, but he ultimately won the war. But there were moments -- the harsh winter at Valley Forge -- when it all looked hopeless and Washington was sharply criticized by fellow Americans. He had the strength to ultimately prevail and overcome the military defeats and personal attacks on his abilities...."

W's firm stand has foes shaky
New York Daily News
"….The result is that Democratic plans for taking one or both houses of Congress by arguing that Iraq has nothing to do with the war on Islamic terror now look like a political mistake as well as misguided policy. The change came because President Bush confounded expectations by staying bullish on the war and because Osama Bin Laden's deputy seconded Bush's view that Iraq is key to the global conflict. If Dems have a plan B, now would be the time to start dusting it off...."

Liberalism as Condescension
By George Will, September 14
"....Wal-Mart, the most prodigious job-creator in the history of the private sector in this galaxy, has almost as many employees (1.3 million) as the U.S. military has uniformed personnel. A McKinsey company study concluded that Wal-Mart accounted for 13 percent of the nation's productivity gains in the second half of the 1990s, which probably made Wal-Mart about as important as the Federal Reserve in holding down inflation. By lowering consumer prices, Wal-Mart costs about 50 retail jobs among competitors for every 100 jobs Wal-Mart creates. Wal-Mart and its effects save shoppers more than $200 billion a year, dwarfing such government programs as food stamps ($28.6 billion) and the earned-income tax credit ($34.6 billion)..."

Medicare: The Monster at Our Door
By Robert Samuelson, September 13, 2006
"….If monster seems like rhetorical overkill, then recall what the aging baby boom does to government. Federal spending on the elderly is plausibly projected to double from 2000 to 2030 as a share of national income. About three-quarters of that increase will be health spending -- mostly Medicare, but also Medicaid (70 percent of Medicaid spending goes to the old and disabled). The projected increase in health spending exceeds all of today's discretionary domestic spending on schools, the FBI, the environment and much more…."

The Path to Hysteria
BY Cyrus Nowrasteh, Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2006 
"My sin was to write a screenplay accurately depicting Bill Clinton's record on terrorism." -- Mr. Nowrasteh wrote the screenplay for "The Path to 9/11." 







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