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True North Archives - January 05, 2010
Radio | Editorial | News & Views

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Radio archives are here! Use the controls on our radio archive page to listen to past shows of note (archived shows are available for a limited time only). True North Radio airs daily on WDEV AM & WDEV FM from 11 am to noon.

Featured Articles

America We Have a Problem
By Robert Maynard

It comes as no surprise that we should close out the year 2009 thinking about an attempted terrorist attack because the year has seen a sharp increase in such attacks. That is the conclusion reached in a December 23rd 2009 Time Magazine article by Bobby Ghosh entitled: "Domestic-Terrorism Incidents Hit a Peak in 2009". Mr. Gosh notes that: 

" the calculations of Rand Corp. expert Brian Jenkins, more terrorist threats were uncovered in the U.S. in 2009 than in any year since 2001.

"'There appears to be an increase in [terrorist] activity in the U.S.,' warns Jenkins, who calculates that there have been 32 terrorism-related events on these shores since 9/11 and that 12 of them occurred in 2009."

In short, almost 38% of the terrorist attacks that have occurred on our shores since 9/11 took place in 2009. To paraphrase our former astronauts: "America We Have a Problem".

Beau (Faux) Geste
By Martin Harris

And there’s beau geste, the seemingly noble but actually futile (or, worse, for show only) action, made famous in the 1939 P.C. Wren novel of the same name, describing an upper-class English youth of the same (nick)name who, with his brothers, joins the French Foreign Legion after a mysterious jewel robbery at home. Beau dies on the ramparts of the Saharan Fort Zinderneuf during a Tuareg attack, while his brother returns home to tell the tale and explain the noble basis for flight....

(3) the cynical action, exemplified by the infantry captain who loudly volunteers to lead his company in a frontal assault, secure in the expectation that his battalion or regimental CO will veto his theatrical proposal. In this beau (faux) geste category are two recent political posturings which the actors themselves hope and expect will fail: one, at the national level, involves gentry-left California politicians going before the cameras to demand acres of solar panels be erected on land they also demand be saved untouched for endangered species; and the other, at the State level, involves nearly an infantry squad of gentry-left Vermont politicians solemnly promising their gubernatorial-ambitions supporters that they will shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, knowing full well that it can’t be done without inflicting a possibly lethal burden on the already-troubled State economy. 

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"There are no easy answers' but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right."
-- Ronald Reagan

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Unbelievable Dump
The Burlington Free Press, January 3rd, 2010

Last I checked, the official total at the National Weather Service office in South Burlington was 32 inches. To clear up some confusion, a headline that we put up at the Free Press main page described this as Vermont's biggest snowstorm. Almost. It was the biggest as measured by the National Weather Service, at their weather station.

Unlike almost every snowstorm we've ever gotten, the Burlington area got more than anywhere else in Vermont. For instance, I picked up about 14 inches here at my house in St Albans, and a lot of places in Vermont, especially east of the Green Mountains and south of Route 2, got only a few inches.

So the total volume of snow dumped on Vermont this weekend was less than that of the Valentine's Day blizzard of '07 and the big storm of December, 1969.

When Good Advice Goes Unheeded
From Vermont Tiger, January 3, 2010

In searching for economic development studies done by the state of Vermont, one can occasionally strike some gold.  This Strategic Plan for Economic Development was published in 2002, but it does highlight continuing challenges within Vermont in terms of growing its economy - and offers a brief outline of what's required to grow Vermont's economy:

Vermont City’s Muni Wi-Fi $50 Million in Debt
From Heartland Institute, December, 2009

The mayor of Burlington, Vermont is being asked by the city council and residents why his administration tried to hide the fact its Burlington Telecom project is approximately $50 million in the red.

Burlington Telecom, a city-run service providing fiber-to-the-home for residents, launched with great fanfare four years ago. Until recent months, the service’s biggest controversy was over its decision to carry the English-language version of al Jazeera--a Qatar-based television network often accused of airing anti-American propaganda.

That fracas is now the least of Burlington Telecom’s problems. In late October city officials revealed the service had borrowed $17 million from the city’s rainy-day fund in 2008 and 2009 and failed to pay any of it back within 60 days, as required by law.

Weekly Unemployment Caims Increase Slightly
From Vermont Business, December 23, 2009

There were 1,402 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, an increase of 39 from the week before. Altogether 13,056 new and continuing claims were filed, an increase of 398 from a week ago and 672 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 5,085 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 791 more than a week ago. In addition, there were 2,650 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is an increase of 683 from the week before. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found here. Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found here

Conservative Candidate Announcement for New York's 114th Assembly District
As some of our readers here in Vermont may be aware of, True North Radio is picked up in some parts of Northern New York. Last year we had the pleasure of supporting the Doug Hoffman campaign for U.S. Congress. Now, a member of the Hoffman Campaign is running for New York’s 114th Assembly District. Follow these links to find out more about David Kimmel’s campaign: 

Official Campaign Announcement
Kimmel Biography
Champlain Bridge demolished this morning
From Vermont Business, December 28, 2009

With snow falling, the Lake Champlain Bridge connecting Addison, Vermont, with Crown Point, New York, was demolished in the blink of an eye at 10:02 this morning. The sequence of charges appeared to go off as planned and the superstructure of the bridge debris fell straight down into lake. Reporters at the scene were caught off guard as a one-minute warning alarm went off just a handful of second before the bridge was detonated. Smoke and snow obscured what was left of the bridge for several minutes. 

Replays of the demolition can be found at the local network affiliates and at this website. Construction of the new bridge is expected to start this spring. A temporary ferry is expected to start running soon very near the site of the now former Champlain Bridge.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Iranian Insider Predicts Regime Change
A leading figure in Iran's opposition movement says it is time to separate religion and politics
From The Bangkok Post, January 3, 2010

Despite working for many years in the secrecy-shrouded intelligence section of the Iranian government, Mohammad Reza Madhi, 46, a former high-ranking officer in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards' intelligence service and once the right-hand man of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has decided it is time to go public.

Related Article: Why the Mullahs are so Vulnerable

Domestic-Terrorism Incidents Hit a Peak in 2009
By Bobby Ghosh, Time, December 23, 2009

You may not have noticed, because most of the plots were foiled, but 2009 saw an unprecedented surge in terrorism events on U.S. soil. When analysts tally these events, they refer to anything from a disrupted plot to U.S. citizens traveling abroad to seek terrorism training or a lone gunman running amok in the U.S. And by the calculations of Rand Corp. expert Brian Jenkins, more terrorist threats were uncovered in the U.S. in 2009 than in any year since 2001.

"There appears to be an increase in [terrorist] activity in the U.S.," warns Jenkins, who calculates that there have been 32 terrorism-related events on these shores since 9/11 and that 12 of them occurred in 2009.

Related Article: Rash of 2009 Homegrown Terror Plots Ends ‘Denial’

Is Stalinism Back?
By James Lewis, American Thinker, December 27, 2009

Green Stalinism is what we are seeing today, but the color is purely decorative. It has nothing to do with real environmentalism; after all, eco-icon Rachel Carson got DDT outlawed on totally phony evidence, thereby saving hundreds of millions of tsetse flies in Africa at the cost of millions of African children. How is that for really evil racism? How many deadly flies would you trade for the life of a child? Maybe that's what environmentalism really comes down to, but in that case, how do you tell eco-freaks from Stalinists or Hitlerites? You shall know them by their deeds, and their deeds show no difference. The whole intention behind Fraudenhagen was to impoverish the West and to hold back the developing world from creating prosperity for its people. Even Stalin destroyed Soviet agriculture only inadvertently. These folks want to do it.

McChrystal sees victory ahead in Afghanistan
By Drew Brown, Stars and Stripes, January 2, 2010

U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan "are not winning yet, but we are going to win," Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, told Stars and Stripes in an interview Friday.

But the general said it was not possible to say how long it will take to achieve victory, which he defined as a situation where "the insurgency is not an existential threat to the government or the people" of Afghanistan. He added that protecting civilians remains the goal of the allied counterinsurgency strategy.

Unrest in Iran: The Vindication of George W. Bush
By Larry Elder, Town Hall, December 31, 2009

The Iraq War-achieved-zero crowd begrudged Bush nothing even after the democratic Cedar Revolution in Lebanon. Never mind that Walid Jumblatt, a Lebanese Druze Muslim leader, said: "It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting (in 2005), 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world." ...

What does this cleric says about Iraq's possible influence on his native country? In February 2005, he said: "I think the Iraqis can make what we wanted to create but were unsuccessful: a real Islamic Republic. By that I mean a republic with Islamic values, democracy with Islamic values ... (where) the clergy has no special rights. If they have a good government with Islamic democracy and without any special or divine rights for the clergy, the Iranian government won't be able to justify its situation to the Iranian citizens."

Ex-CIA agent: Threat from al Qaeda greater now than on 9/11
From CNN Politics, January 3rd, 2010

The man once charged with overseeing the CIA’s hunt of Osama bin Laden said Sunday that the threat posed by al Qaeda is greater now than at the time of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks that bin Laden orchestrated.

"We’ve killed some of the al Qaeda leaders and every dead al Qaeda leader is a success. But all we have is a body count," former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

But Scheuer suggested that such individual successes could be misleading.

"We now have al Qaeda – the main al Qaeda – in the Pakistan and Afghanistan theater. We have a fully fledged wing in Yemen. We have a full fledged wing in Iraq, a fully fledged wing in north Africa and a nascent wing in Somalia. How can [al Qaeda] be less threatening to us?"

The threat posed by al Qaeda is "much greater than it was on 9/11," Scheuer told CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

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From Elsewhere

Social Justice: Not What You Think It Is
By Michael Novak Heritage Foundation December 29, 2009

For its proponents, "social justice" is usually undefined. Originally a Catholic term, first used about 1840 for a new kind of virtue (or habit) necessary for post-agrarian societies, the term has been bent by secular "progressive" thinkers to mean uniform state distribution of society's advantages and disadvantages. Social justice is really the capacity to organize with others to accomplish ends that benefit the whole community. If people are to live free of state control, they must possess this new virtue of cooperation and association. This is one of the great skills of Americans and, ultimately, the best defense against statism.

Going For Broke: Big Newspapers Enter 2010 In Bankruptcy
By Erik Sass, Media Daily News, December 24, 2009

2009 took a toll among traditional media companies, with a record number of bankruptcies among newspaper publishers. Some are set to continue into 2010, despite assurances from top executives that they would be resolved before year's end.

The biggest ongoing newspaper bankruptcy is Tribune Co.'s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which celebrated its first anniversary on Dec. 8, two years after the ill-fated deal engineered by Sam Zell to take the company private as an employee-owned business at a cost of $8.8 billion.

How Good the Start of 2010 Would Have Looked in Early 2009
By Jeffrey H. Anderson, National Review, December 30, 2009

So, as 2010 began, the circumstances would be as follows: Public opinion would be clearly and solidly against Obamacare; Democrats would have passed separate bills with the support of only one Republican, by votes of 220–215 (needing 218) in the House and 60–39 (needing 60 for cloture) in the Senate. Now, with the divisive issue of abortion looming and other issues simmering, they would have to find a way to blend the bills, amid public discontent, without losing even three votes in the House, or any in the Senate.

If someone had told you at the start of 2009 that this would be the situation at year’s end, would you have felt demoralized — or rejuvenated? I suspect the latter. Buoyed in your hopes, you likely would have been ready to join the fight. And you should do so today.

Back In The Tank With Fannie, Fred
From Investor’s Business Daily, December 29, 2009

Fiscal Follies: While Americans are distracted by the holidays and a failed terror attack, Washington is giving another blank check to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Say, isn't this how we got into trouble before?

GOP on Offensive as Hill Debate Shifts from Health to Security
By Susan Ferrechio, The Washington Examiner, January 4, 2010

As Congress convenes a new session this week, the attempted bombing of Detroit-bound Flight 253 has shifted the political debate from health care and jobs to national security, giving Republicans an opening to attempt to paint President Obama and Democratic lawmakers as soft on terrorism.

The Prospects for Revolt in 2010
Americans finally getting fed up with big-government foul-ups.
From The Washington Times, January 1, 2009

Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith announced Tuesday that he's switching parties – saying he can no longer align himself "with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy and drives us further and further into debt."

Pay No Attention to the Scandal In Front of Your Face
From the Media Research Center 

After two weeks of silence about the "ClimateGate" scandal showing left-wing scientists engaged in data manipulation and efforts to silence global warming skeptics, network reporters insisted no damage had been done to Al Gore's alarmist hypothesis. "It doesn't matter what's in those e-mails -- the Earth is changing,"

Related: Associated Press Staff Dismisses ClimateGate Emails

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