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True North Archives - January 23, 2007
Radio | Editorial | News & Views

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Radio archives coming soon! Please return later to listen to past shows of note. True North Radio airs daily on WDEV AM, WDEV FM and WSYB AM from 11am to noon.

Special Feature

Vermont's Shame
By Bill O'Reilly

Once again, the State of Vermont has let a vicious child molester off lightly, and once again a child's life has become a political cover up.... [37-year-old Andrew] James upped the criminal ante and molested a 4-year-old boy. After cutting a deal with prosecutor Andrew Costello, James pleaded guilty and Judge David Howard sentenced him to probation and mandatory "treatment," which means this monster is walking around free right now.

Related: Vermont sex offender had history of past assaults (01/20/07) Andrew C. James of Manchester, who has attracted national attention because his sentence for sexually assaulting a now-5-year-old boy allows him to avoid jail, has two previous convictions for violent crimes that in some way involved children.

Featured Articles

The Expensive Future of Early Education
 By John McClaughry

… The current inclusion of U-pre-K pupils in Act 60’s weighted-cost-per-pupil calculation (that determines residential property tax rates) results from a Departmental rule that extralegally amends the education statutes. To set this right, the legislators will actually have to vote on the record. Then, for the first time, their constituents can find out who voted to open the door to as much as $70 million a year in Education Fund spending…. – John McClaughry is president of the Ethan Allen Institute (

Going to the Numbers
By Martin Harris

… A few States, Vermont included, don’t publicize these National Assessment of Educational  Progress test results;  they purchase, deploy, and publicize the results of local tests, for which scores somehow seem to be higher and opportunities for data-comparison with other states are much lower…. – Martin Harris is the former president of Vermont’s Citizens for Property Rights.

A Cold Hard Look at Global Warming
By Robert Maynard

…The first order of business is to get a bit more realistic regarding the timeframe we look at when assessing climate change on a global scale. I have often wondered why most of the analysis of so-called global climate changes deal with such a short time frame when one considers that the earth has been undergoing 100,000 year cooling and warming cycles for several hundred million years.  In hopes of addressing this problem I went to the web site of the PaleoMap Project…. – Robert Maynard lives in Williston

Will the New Year Bring Change?
By Pete Behr

…We Vermonters could all live in igloos and survive the winter on root vegetables, but our contribution to the diminution of global warming would be inconsequential. (Don’t get me wrong, global warming is real, but it is a national and world problem, and Shumlin is only trying to divert attention away from Vermont issues he doesn’t want to face.) Stick to the subject, Pierre…. – Pete Behr writes a regular column for the Vermont Standard

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This Week’s Mail Bag

Fellow Americans:

I have lived a long time and have observed many wars and Presidents, back to and including WWII. and FDR. In my lifetime, 18 of our family have served in the military. I have two Sons and a Granddaughter in service now. My youngest son is flying to Iraq as I write this. Never have I been more disgusted and disappointed at any group of my fellow citizens than I am now at those that rant and rave over the Iraq phase of the war on terror.

This phase of the war on terror probably would have been over by now but for all the reckless, unprincipled rhetoric by irresponsible undisciplined Americans. During WWII politics stopped at the water’s edge. Most Americans, back then, honored the saying, "Loose lips could sink ships" by discouraging critical loose talk. Concerning this war, we’re in it, we must win it. To get beat and retreat is not an option.

Nothing prolongs the Iraq war and encourages the enemy any more than boisterous dissension in our ranks. The biased, hate Bush press with their power hungry political accomplices, have continually given aid and comfort to our enemy since 9-11. Support our troops by zipping those loose lips.

Don’t those undisciplined loudmouths realize that those blood-thirsty, death worshipers will stop at nothing to see us dead and Democracy destroyed? Can’t they bridle their tongues long enough to give the Iraqis an opportunity at freedom? Those unrestrained loose talkers undermine and endanger all Americans and especially the lives of our brave and dedicated troops. They encourage our evil enemy, every time they lip off.

Come on people, wake up and support our troops and don’t let your blind hatred for our President cause you to commit treason. Don’t feed more venom to the already biased media. They have enough on their own without your help. Pray for our troops and ZIP YOUR LIP!

-- Don Griffes, East Charleston

Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

School Funding problem is spending, not funding source
Strictly Business, January 2007, Page 6 of a PDF document.

…Central Vermont schools are spending 26 percent more than they were five years ago, even with fewer students to teach…. -- consolidating or closing -- schools would likely be high on the solution list…. Of course, another way to overcome boundaries is to let students and parents ignore them. If students and their educational vouchers were free of municipal boundaries, free choice of schools would ultimately bring about mergers, consolidations, resource sharing arrangements….

Activists see court ruling further weakening access law
AP, January 14, 2007

Open-government advocates say a court ruling that the South Burlington School board violated Vermont's open meeting law marks a further erosion of the public's right of access to government…. Sabina Haskell, editor of the Brattleboro Reformer and president of the Vermont Press Association, said Vermont's lax treatment of open meeting and open records violators does little to deter officials from violating them.

Northfield coach's crimes came to light after arrest
By Daphne Larkin Times Argus,  January 21, 2007

How does a man with eight misdemeanor convictions in Vermont and an arrest warrant in North Carolina on a crack cocaine possession charge, who has been indicted for negligent vehicular homicide with DUI and heroin possession charges stemming from an accident last August in New Hampshire, get hired by a school as a coach for 12- and 13-year-old boys? One way is to not return the paperwork required for a criminal background check.

Forecast: Modest growth predicted for Vt. in 2007
By Bruce Edwards, Rutland Herald, January 15, 2007

Vermont's economy is expected to grow modestly this year, tracking the national economy, according to the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston…. But Douglas also warned that Vermont must get its spending under control, especially education spending. It's a problem, he said, that can't be solved by shifting education funding to the state's income tax. "If income is growing at 3.5 percent (a year), and spending is going up at 6 or more, we'd have to raise the income tax every year," Douglas said. "It's not a question of shifting to some other tax source, it's a question of getting spending under control…."

Specialty Filaments declares bankruptcy
By JOHN FLOWERS and JOHN McCRIGHT, Addison Independent, January 15, 2007

… Specialty Filaments Inc. formally announced on Thursday that it will be filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, thereby sending the company’s 175 workers into the market in search for new jobs….

9/11 ballot question won't have congressional help
John Briggs, Burlington Free Press, January 21, 2007

Vermont's two U.S. senators and one congressman are not interested in urging a new investigation into the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. ...Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, a persistent critic of the Bush administration, said in an e-mail from his spokesman, David Carle, that he "respects the work and the findings of the 9/11 Commission. Their report was highly critical of the failures and miscues they discovered, and they recommended a wide range of reforms. "Since then," the e-mail continued, "some have come up with their own theories, and that's always the case after major events like this.

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From Elsewhere

Withdrawal is not an option
Henry A. Kissinger, The International Herald Tribune, January 18, 2007

President George W. Bush's bold decision to order a "surge" of some 20,000 American troops for Iraq has brought the debate over the war to a defining stage. There will not be opportunity for another reassessment. The Baker-Hamilton commission has powerfully described the impasse on the ground. It is the result of cumulative choices — some of them enumerated by the president — in which worthy objectives and fundamental American values clashed with regional and cultural realities.

TV'S Pre-Emptive War Against Iraq "Surge"
Media Research Center, January 11, 2007

By the time President Bush delivered his Iraq speech Wednesday night, the news media had spent several days engaged in what the military calls "preparing the battlefield." The media's air war against the plan to try to actually win the Iraq war assured that most of Bush's audience would have already heard journalists claiming the new mission is wrong-headed and doomed to failure." -Media Research Center

What's in Your Wallet?
Bush's Tax Legacy: A showdown looms in 2008
Opinion Journal, January 6, 2007

...[I]n the field of economics there are few more definitive tests than the results from the tax cuts of 2003. Critics predicted disaster, supporters the opposite, and the supporters can point to more than three years of prosperity as vindication... However, those lower tax rates are set to expire at the end of 2010, and the Democrats who now control Congress want them repealed. The 'pay-as-you-go' rules that the House just passed would make their extension all but impossible. What this means is that if Congress merely fails to act, the tax cuts expire and the economy will be hit with one of the largest tax increases in history in 2010.

Fed Chair Bernanke: Impending Baby Boomer Retirement Could 'Seriously' Weaken Economy
Thursday, January 18, 2007

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Congress Thursday that the economy could be gravely hurt if Social Security and Medicare aren't revamped and urged lawmakers to tackle the nation's thorny fiscal issues sooner rather than later. "If early and meaningful action is not taken, the U.S. economy could be seriously weakened," Bernanke said in testimony to the Senate Budget Committee.

The sun moves climate change
By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, January 05, 2007

For more than a decade, Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Center has been pursuing an explanation for why Earth cools and warms. His findings -- published in October in the Proceedings of the Royal Society -- the mathematical, physical sciences and engineering journal of the Royal Society of London -- are now in, and they don't point to us.

Will Al Gore Melt? If not, why did he chicken out on an interview?
By Flemming Rose & Bjorn Lomborg, January 21, 2007

Al Gore is on a mission. If he has his way, we could end up choosing a future, based on dubious claims, that could cost us, according to a U.N. estimate, $553 trillion over this century. Getting answers to hard questions is not an unreasonable expectation before we take his project seriously.

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