North Archives - May 13, 2008
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and Their Perfect Little Stepford State"
By David D. Demar
Regarding John McClaughry's
article posted on May 6th titled "Smart Growthers and their Perfect Little
State", I have to disagree with the title of his article, not his logic.
From my point of view, being a Vermonter who was born, raised and schooled
in Saint Albans (thankfully just before the "rot" set in), I wholeheartedly
agree with Mr. McClaughry's message. But I feel Mr. McClaughry's
article should have been titled, "No-Growthers and their perfect little
Stepford State". This would have been more accurate than smart growthers,
as the title of his article belies their real intent. Being in the
Pro-Life movement for the past decade (from a perspective of self-education
on the issue, I might add), I have come to realize the people on the left
really do hate other humans, but they have to make their message palpable
for the general public. The VNRC's website link to ZPG (Zero Population
Growth) and their true ideology lays bare for scrutiny their claimed concern
for our state and ultimately the mass of humanity within its boundaries.
By Martin Harris
indebted to one Peter Bernstein, octogenarian financial analyst, for remembering
a trenchant quote; and to The Wall Street Journal for publishing it. The
quote itself comes from (former New York State Governor) Elliot Spitzer,
a Democrat who had been successfully following a three-score-of-years-old
Republican-designed career path (Thomas Dewey, DA to Guv, then a try for
Prez derailed by one Harry Truman) until he was dismounted by a zipper
problem (Spitzer, not Dewey or Truman). The quote reads as follows: "I
am doing something dangerous, but because of who I am, and how smart I
am, it is not going to come back to haunt me". I thought the quote trenchant
because (opinion, as befits an opinion column) it seems to me that there’s
a lot of Spitzer-think, albeit not so clearly articulated, under Montpelier’s
Is At It Again
By John R.Gilligan
Once again I find I must
write and complain about an Argus Jeff Danziger cartoon. This one appeared
on the editorial page in the May 3rd edition of the Time Argus, showing
John McCain's skull cap turned up and showing his brain as a miniaturization
of President Bush standing in the cavity. Very funny liberal humor, ha
# # #
"In war, resolution.
In defeat defiance. In victory, magnanimity. In peace, goodwill."
-- Winston Churchill
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
2008 Session: Assessing The Damage
Caledonia Record Editorial,
May 5, 2008
Now that the Vermont Legislature
has adjourned, the villagers can come out of their houses, breathe a sigh
of relief, undertake a damage assessment and attempt to return to a normal
life without looking over their shoulder.
From VermontTiger.com, May
The Vermont Economic Progress
awarded $5.8 million in grants to help foster economic growth. The
Council considered seventeen applications for the grant but only approved
seven of them. Only really deserving companies received grants, companies
like Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Burton, and Energizer. What's so telling
about the council's choice to give grants to such prominent and successful
companies is that doing so amounts to a tacit admission that without the
grants these companies would have chosen to expand their businesses elsewhere.
And, its an admission that the companies would have expanded elsewhere
for purely financial reasons. Alas, taxes do matter.
From WCAX-TV, May 7, 2008
Gov. Jim Douglas, R-Vermont,
vetoed what's become a controversial bill related to Vermont's only nuclear
power plant on Wednesday. The bill required Vermont Yankee's owners to
set aside enough money to dismantle the plant, if it changes ownership.
Sad Life of a Parasite
Caledonia Record Editorial,
May 3, 2008
Last year NEKCA's sister,
NEKHS (Northeast Kingdom Human Services) helped raise our shock threshold
for shameless over-indulgence with construction of their palace on Route
2. That agency, which pays its top two directors (Eric Grim and Luke Fontaine)
nearly $200,000 a year (and has another half-million dollars tied up in
five other employees), takes in almost $20,000,000 annually from the government
to provide "mental health services." Their racket does so well that, before
building, they forked out $238,000 for an architect. Those numbers nearly
sent us in search of their redundant services.
So we have become resigned
to the facts that: a) Parasitical agencies will shamelessly wallow at the
public trough and; b) Woefully incompetent feds will irresponsibly waste
our money. We're left to rely on locally elected representatives to safeguard
us from further fleecing.
Shumlin, Symington Blowing Off Vermont’s "Handshake Agreement" on Fundraising?
It appears that Gaye Symington’s
decision to cancel a June 26 veto override session was influenced by her
desire to begin fundraising from lobbyists for her expected gubernatorial
bid. Peter Shumlin’s attempted defense of Symington as reported by the
"Shumlin questioned whether
Vermont even has a campaign finance law now, given that Douglas has vetoed
bills on that topic two years in a row. ‘Why would we do anything
based around a campaign finance law that doesn't exist?’ Shumlin
May 7, 2008)
...is worrisome on two counts,
1) In 2006 all candidates
and parties successfully agreed to abide by the pre-1997 campaign finance
limits on donations. For 2008, Governor Douglas and the Vermont Republican
Party have agreed to abide by that agreement again. Saying, "Why would
we do anything based around a campaign finance law that doesn’t exist"
strongly implies that Shumlin and Symington see no reason to honor that
agreement or abide by the self-imposed $1000 per election limits.
2) Shumlin’s quote
illustrates that he does not understand Vermont’s campaign laws. While
it is arguable that Vermont does not technically have contribution limits,
we do have campaign finance laws. For example, the prohibition of raising
money from lobbyists by legislators while the legislature is in session
is still law, as are all filing requirements, such as the need for a candidate
to file paperwork with the Secretary of State after raising or spending
Vermont Republican Party Chairman
Rob Roper said, "This just goes to show that misinformation and a lack
of principle have been guiding the Democrat leaders’ schemes for our campaign
finance laws for past two years. Governor Douglas and the Republican Party
have pledged to honor the handshake agreement to abide by the reasonable
contribution limits that were in place before Act 64 was struck down as
unconstitutional, just as all candidates and parties did successfully for
2006. Peter Shumlin’s self-serving attitude regarding this issue is disappointing."
Board Ya-da, Ya-da, Ya-da
Caledonia Record Editorial,
May 9, 2008
In an article titled, "Parent
Takes On School Board," Tuesday, we reported a St. Johnsbury parent's consternation
over the St. Johnsbury School being found again to have failed the requirements
of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Melissa Yu said, "It means for five years
in a row, we've failed our children, and that's five years too many. Obviously
we are in a state of crisis." Ms. Yu enumerated a number of objections
to present practice in the school and concluded with this statement, "If
the same teachers are failing over and over again. We need to look at new
All of which adds up to governance
and administrative Ya-da, Ya-da, Ya-da. The fact is that St. Johnsbury
School hasn't hacked it for five years. Improvement is always promised
in the future, but never delivered. There is always a lot of clucking,
but no egg-laying. ...
There should be two outcomes
from an honest evaluation of these two factors. If NCLB's requirements
are unrealistic, dump NCLB. If dull, or lazy, or incompetent teachers are
the problem, get rid of them. If this latter is the option, it will require
a major shift of power from the unions to the citizens, but it would be
worth the battle.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Sunnis Urge Arabs to Act Against 'Iranian Occupation'
From AFP, May 07, 2008
An Iraqi Sunni delegation
on a visit to Cairo on Wednesday urged Arab countries to act against what
it called the "Iranian occupation" of Iraq. "We would like a common Arab
position to save Iraq and its people ...(in the face of) the Iranian occupation,"
Sheikh Majid Abdel Razzak al-Ali Suleiman said after a meeting with Egyptian
Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit.
Like Us! Really?
By Robert Satloff, The Weekly
Standard, May 12, 2008
Gallup says only 7 percent
of the world's Muslims are political radicals. Yet 36 percent think the
9/11 attacks were in some way justified.
Hardliners Condemn Khatami
From BBC News, May 06, 2008
On Friday Mr Khatami said
the Islamic republic's founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, had not wanted to export
the revolution by armed force. The MPs accuse him of jeopardizing national
security and want to know if he had clearance to make the remarks. They
say his comments implicate Iran in events it has had no role in.
Mr Khatami's remarks have
been interpreted as suggesting that Iran supports insurgents in other countries.
By Bret Stephens, Global
View, May 6, 2008
Sixty years after its birth,
Israel continues to test the proposition that reality counts for more than
perception. The Web site eyeontheun.org
keeps a running tally of all United Nations resolutions, decisions and
reports condemning this or that country for this or that human rights violation
(real or alleged). Between January 2003 and March 2008, tiny Israel – its
population not half that of metropolitan Cairo's – was condemned no fewer
than 635 times. The runners-up were Sudan at 280, the Democratic Republic
of the Congo at 209, and Burma at 183. North Korea was cited a mere 60
times, a third as many as the United States.
Is Israel the world's foremost
abuser of human rights? A considerable segment of world opinion thinks
that it is, while an equally considerable segment of elite opinion thinks
that, even if it isn't, its behavior is nonetheless reprehensible by civilized
I would argue the opposite:
that no other country has been so circumspect in using force against the
provocations of its enemies. Nor has any so consistently preserved the
civil liberties of its own citizens. That goes double in a country so constantly
beset by so many threats to its existence that its government would long
ago have been justified in imposing a perpetual state of emergency.
Proxy Hezb'allah Training Iraqi Militias - in Iran
By Rick Moran, American
Thinker, May 05, 2008
The Lebanese terrorist group
Hezb'allah is training Iraqi militia members in Tehran according to American
sources in Iraq.
Truth About Iraq's Casualty Count
By Max Boot, The Wall Street
Journal, May 3, 2008
More important, casualties
cannot be looked at in a vacuum. A spike in casualties could be a sign
that the enemy is gaining strength. Or it could be a sign that tough combat
is under way that will lead to the enemy's defeat and the creation of a
more peaceful environment in the future. ... The latest increase
in casualties is the result of another coalition offensive: Prime Minister
Nouri al-Maliki's decision to break the grip of militias in Basra. At first
the results did not look promising: Iraqi troops were rushed in without
adequate preparation, and shortly after the March 25 offensive began appeared
stymied in their battles against the Mahdist Army. Mr. Maliki seemed to
agree to an Iranian-brokered cease-fire with Moqtada al Sadr that left
the Mahdists in control of much of the city. But as April progressed it
became clear that the results of the initial clashes were more beneficial
than most (including me) had initially suspected.
# # #
Case For $80 A Barrel Oil
By Daniel Fisher, Forbes.com,
May 9, 2008
Oil prices may hang above
$100 a barrel for the rest of this year but will fall as low as $80 next
year as world demand slackens and Saudi
Arabia tries to buy influence with the incoming president by pumping
more crude oil, an influential Lehman Brothers analyst said in a report
Big Media Global Warming Bias Begun to Endanger the Public?
By Bill Tate, American Thinker,
May 09, 2008
Why did the AP and the Globe
de-emphasize Maine officials' snowpack warning, especially when doing so
endangered the property and safety of the public they are supposed to serve?
The Globe is owned
by the New York Times Company. Both the Times and the Associated
Press are heavily invested in the myth of Global Warming, or -- as I like
to call it -- Global Warning. Record snowpack means higher than normal
amounts of snow, colder than usual temperatures, or both. None of which
readily fits into the MSM's chosen story line that mankind is giving Mother
Nature a fever. Big Media's Global Warning bias has largely remained in
the realm of theory; now it has begun to endanger people's lives and property
in real time.
The AP and the Globe
had the choice of reporting a truly inconvenient truth -- for them -- or
of perpetuating Global Warming, of facilitating officials' efforts to protect
the public or advancing their ideological agenda. Why are we not surprised
by the decision they made?
Farming Looks to Be an Environmental Disaster
by Jennifer Barone and Amber
Fields, Discover Magazine, May, 2008
Growing corn for ethanol
may increase greenhouse gases for over a century.
THE STUDIES: "Land
Clearing and the Carbon Biofuel Debt" by Joseph Fargione et al., and
U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions
From Land Use Change" by Timothy Searchinger et al., both published in
the February 7, 2008, issue of Science.
THE QUESTION: Will
switching from fossil fuels to biofuels really reduce greenhouse gases?
We take a close look at two big, controversial studies that examine carbon
emissions from the ecosystems torn down to produce biofuels. ...
Platform for Revolution
By John Perazzo, FrontPageMagazine.com,
May 05, 2008
Americans are well acquainted
with presidential candidate Barack
Obama’s legendary pledges to bring "change" to America’s political
and social landscape. (For example, see here
Indeed, "Change We Can Believe In"
is the slogan that adorns the homepage of his campaign website and so many
of the placards displayed by the supporters who attend his speaking engagements.
rival, Hillary Clinton, is also well practiced at issuing calls
for change. Her "Change
and Experience" ad campaign was but an outgrowth of her 1993 declaration,
as First Lady, that "remolding
society is one of the great challenges facing all of us in the West."
Most Americans are unaware, however, that when Obama and Clinton speak
of "change," they mean change in the sense that a profoundly significant,
though not widely known, individual -- Saul Alinsky -- outlined in his
writings two generations ago.
Alinsky helped to establish
the confrontational political tactics, which he termed "organizing," that
characterized the 1960s and have remained central to all subsequent revolutionary
movements in the United States. Both Obama and Clinton are committed disciples
of Alinsky’s very specific strategies for "social change."
Real Cost of Tackling Climate Change
By Steven F. Hayward, The
Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2008
We all ought to reflect on
what an 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 really
means. When we do, it becomes clear that the president's target has one
overwhelming virtue: Assuming emissions curbs are even necessary, his goal
is at least realistic. The same cannot be said for the carbon emissions
targets espoused by the three presidential candidates and environmentalists.
Indeed, these targets would send us back to emissions levels last witnessed
when the cotton gin was in daily use.
Refuses to Tank. Bears Weep
By James Pethokoukis, U.S.
News and World Report, May 02, 2008
To quote bloody-and-beaten-but-still-standing
boxer Jake LaMotta (portrayed by Robert De Niro) from the 1980 film Raging
Bull, "Is that all you got!" The U.S. economy, supposedly sinking
into the worst economic slump in a generation, lost a skimpy 20,000 jobs
last month even though some analysts were looking for losses closer to
100,000. As economist Robert Brusca put it this morning: "Job losses are
way below the recession norm for this point of business cycle (if this
is recession). Many things do not really add up...for the recession forecasters....
Is it still a recession? Was it ever?"
a ‘Nation at Risk’
By Edwin J. Feulner, May
This year, American taxpayers
will spend more than $9,200 on the average public-school student. That's
a real increase of 69 percent over the per pupil expenditure in 1980. The
total bill for a student who remains through high school will be almost
$100,000. This spending would be worthwhile if it gave us the results we
need to compete globally. But it hasn't been doing so. American students
still score poorly compared to students from other countries, especially
in math and science.
# # #