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True North Archives - February 20, 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.


Featured Articles

Elections Have Consequences
By Martin Harris

It’s not hard to see the pattern here: a State which was rural and conservative in the late’50’s and early ‘60’s, welcoming in such operations as Eveready and IBM and Standard Register then, has become exurban and liberal, and is now predominantly anti-growth, anti-capital-investment, pro-regulation, pro-governmental expansion, and so on. With a population of 630,000, it isn’t worth the hassle factor to try to do business here, these companies are deciding. As employers exit, so do working-age young adults, explaining why Vermont now has the heaviest out-migration rate for the age 25-to-44 cohort in the country, and is illustrated by a lower unemployment rate than you’d expect with such continuing job loss. Not too surprisingly, when these young families leave, they take their kids with them, explaining why school enrollments have dropped in recent years, 9 percent between ’97 and ’06 alone. --Martin Harris is the former president of Vermont’s Citizens for Property Rights.

No Voice for the Voiceless
By Peggy Varney

According to Dr. Sunny Anand, director of the Pain Neurobiology Laboratory at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, "The pain perceived by a fetus is possibly more intense than that perceived by term newborns or older children . . . the highest density of pain receptors per square inch of skin in human development occurs in utero from twenty to thirty weeks gestation." --Peggy Varney a retired elementary school teacher, with 30 years of teaching experience -pre-K to Adult Education. She lives in South Hero

Vermont’s Competitiveness in the Global Economy
By Robert Maynard

In an age of economic globalization, this means becoming competitive, not just in relation to other states around the U.S., but in the global economy. There are voices that would have us retreat from the global economy. This is not wise advice. Not only is it an approach rooted in fear rather than hope but it is more likely to lead away from greater prosperity. As the State new Economy Index points out: "Workers employed in export oriented firms earn 10 percent more than workers in similar firms that export less." Vermonters in particular are dependent on the global economy. While exports account for an average of about seven percent of a state’s "Gross State Product", they account for about 15% of Vermont’s GSP according to an FDIC State Profile. In short, our economy is more than twice as dependent on foreign trade than the national average.

"Scribblings" - An Occasional Newsletter from the Legislature
Rep. Thomas F. Koch, Barre Town

We have completed our four weeks of "education" on global warming. Whether anything will come of it remains to be seen. And if something does come of it, the question remains whether we will like it. What has been interesting is to hear the off-the-record comments among legislators concerning this emphasis on global warming. I will not repeat any of the comments or attribute them to those who have made them, and I am certain that if global warming bills come to the floor, the private comments will not be reflected in public speeches or votes; suffice it to say that the enthusiasm for the global warming issue is far from universal. -- Thomas F. Koch is a Representative in the Vermont State Legislature.

Vermont Moms for Jessicas Law
By Lisa Carlson, Vermont Mothers for Jessicas Law

Our goal is to make our children safe. In past years, laws have been passed in Vermont in spite of the fact that a majority of Vermonters opposed them. We must again show a majority, but this time we need to ensure that legislators listen to the people they represent!

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This Week’s Mail Bag

Dear True North Editor:

Your article on child abuse is missing the fact that politicians keep judges in place that do as they want. It's your legislators [too]. . . We have systematic and incremental bills already enacted into law that allow perverts access to younger children [under 16]. Read H.358.

"An Act Relating to Consensual Sex Between a Person Who s 16, 17 or 18 Years old and a Person Who is 14 or 15 Years Old." This bill was sponsored in 2001 by Representatives Hooker of Rutland City, Bostic of St. Johnsbury, Crowley of West Rutland, DePoy of Rutland City, Dostis of Waterbury, Reese of Pomfret and Vinton of Colchester. And second, read a 2003-04 House Bill, H.132 whose stated purpose is "to decriminalize consensual sex with a person under the age of 16 if the other person is within three years of such person's age." This bill was sponsored by Representatives Kainen of Hartford and LaVoie of Swanton. We also re-elected [AG] Sorrell . . [and] The judicial conduct board states in their news release that they aren't making decisions on whether decisions are valid . . but then do so in their news releases and not one news group bothers to pursue that actual decision by the board. 

--Laura Brueckner, Waterbury Center 

Editor's note: From a search of the legislative tracking system (go to site) and communication with two of the Representatives mentioned above, it was learned that H.132 and H.358 were introduced to committee but not enacted into law.


Editor's note: the following letter to the editor was originally sent to the Stowe Reporter as a follow up to a letter sent previously. However, for reasons unknown the Stowe Reporter would not print it. The author of this letter, Tom Trevor, asked True North if we would print it. 

Dear Stowe Editor:

Thank you for publishing an editor's note that confirms what I wrote in my letter (Stowe Reporter 2/1/07). Nothing in the editor's note refutes one word of what I wrote. I did not claim that human activity has not increased CO2. Nor did I claim that the temperature has not risen in the last century. That is the what the web site that you quoted said is known with near certainty. They also claim that increases in CO2 tend to warm the planet. That might be true if all things are equal. However, in a dynamic system like the climate all things are never equal. The Web page you cite then states under "likely" only one item, and it is that there is more scientific evidence than there used to be that some of the warming in the last 50 years might be caused by humans. But the web site says this is not proven. The web site then goes on to list the following things that are uncertain and improved science is needed to fully understand them. Here is the quote: "What's Not Certain? 

Important scientific questions remain about how much warming will occur, how fast it will occur, and how the warming will affect the rest of the climate system including precipitation patterns and storms. Answering these questions will require advances in scientific knowledge in a number of areas: 

  • Improving understanding of natural climatic variations, changes is the sun's energy, land-use changes, the warming or cooling effects of pollutant aerosols, and the impacts of changing humidity and cloud cover.
  • Determining the relative contribution to climate change of human activities and natural causes.
  • Projecting future greenhouse emissions and how the climate system will respond within a narrow range.
  • Improving understanding of the potential for rapid or abrupt climate change."
That was the point of my letter, that with so many uncertainties it does not make sense to spend huge amounts of money to stop something that we probably will be unable to stop." 

--Tom Trevor, Stowe 

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Quotable

"It's very hard to stop people who have no shame in what they're  doing, It is very hard to stop people [Republicans] who have never been acquainted with the truth." -- Hillary Clinton addressing liberals in Washington, DC in May of 2005.

"I have a willingness to make tough decisions . . . An ability to talk to people directly without shading the truth."   --Now DNC chairman Howard Dean on August 4, 2003.

"The most interesting theory that I've heard so far – which is nothing more than a theory, it can't be proved – is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis."  --Howard Dean while the Democratic front runner in 2004.  Dean is just speaking directly, we guess, "without shading the truth." 

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."  --Mark Twain

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Employers Rage Against New State Health Plan
By Scott Monroe, Stowe Reporter, February 8, 2007

They called it yet another unfair state tax on a selective group. Many said they’re confused and frustrated by its burden of both time and money. ... About 30 local employers turned out Tuesday night for a forum in Stowe on Vermont’s new state-organized health-insurance program.

Self-Esteem Is Counterfeit Self-Respect
Caledonian Record Editorial, February 9, 2007

One of the most damaging educational fads of the last 25 years is the deification of self-esteem as the be-all and end-all of education. The whole PC educational establishment believes self-esteem is the sine qua non of personal, physical, emotional, moral, and spiritual growth and success for growing children. In the name of self-esteem, we sacrificed all competition - in grades, sports, behavior, accomplishments, and every other measure of how one person might be better than another at anything. Above all, there can be no failure, hence, no acknowledgement of achievement, either. One demands the other. The theory is that if a kid feels good about himself, he will grow into a really happy and successful person.

VT Schools look to staff cuts as they prepare budgets
WCAX, February 12, 2007

Many school districts are trimming staff to keep costs down as they prepare budgets for town meeting votes. In the Rutland South Supervisory Union, officials struggled to find an acceptable per-pupil cost and budget increase, said Superintendent Walter Goetz.

Another Sacrificial Lamb In Cate's Plan
Caledonian Record Editorial, February 14, 2007

Local influence and control will dramatically shrink, perhaps even disappear. Creating larger districts will have the effect of reducing voter involvement and participation, thus putting more distance between a tax-eating entity and the folks to whom it's supposed to be responsive. Just consider how few citizens attend our current supervisory union meetings, or how many frankly don't know anything about their structure or even where they meet and when. Before somebody says that's their fault, the net effect is the same. Cate's plan will eliminate the grass roots. The DOE would love that. It's the grass roots that keep getting in the way of the bureaucracy, which has its own life. Cate's plan will effectively pull the door shut behind the bureaucracy in the face of local input.

Stowe's Been a State ATM for 10 Years
By Dave Mathews, The Stowe Reporter, February 8, 2007

The account for these cash withdrawals was education. The password was Amanda Brigham. Most of the deposits came from places with or near hills featuring long vertical drops, such as Stowe, Killington, Stratton, Manchester, Okemo, Woodstock and Dorset. And it was indeed a sneak attack, aided and abetted by a state judicial branch apparently determined to force its will, much like the U.S, Supreme Court behaved in the 2000 election debacle.

States: Drop the Cigarette (The Comb, and the Flute) and Drive
WCAX, February 8, 2007

Vermont lawmakers are considering a measure that would ban eating, drinking, smoking, reading, writing, personal grooming, playing an instrument, "interacting with pets or cargo," talking on a cell phone or using any other personal communication device while driving. The punishment: a fine of up to $600.

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From Elsewhere

U.S. Needs Resolve, Not a Resolution!
Radical Islamists started the war against America, but it's up to the U.S. to finish it
Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, Chicago Tribune, February 16, 2007

"There is no question that the war in Iraq has been difficult. All Americans are frustrated [that] we haven't seen more success more quickly. But war is never easy and almost never goes according to plan. Al Qaeda and their supporters in the region have been steadfast in their efforts to slow us down and frustrate our efforts to succeed. But because they cannot defeat Americans on the battlefield, Al Qaeda and terrorist-sympathizers worldwide are trying to divide us here at home. Over the next few days, we have an opportunity to show our enemies that we will not take the bait."

Awaiting the Dishonor Roll
Congress "supports the troops" while emboldening the enemy
Thursday, February 15, 2007

"History is likely to remember the roll... A newly confirmed commander is about to lead 20,000 American soldiers on a dangerous and difficult mission to secure Baghdad, risking their lives for their country. And the message their elected Representatives will send them off to battle with is a vote declaring their inevitable defeat."

Sadr Bugs Out
Free Republic, Ferbruary 13, 2007 

And as for Sadr, this will destroy him and his Mahdi Army. ABC reports that Sadr wants to try to run the Mahdis from Teheran, but his credibility as a jihadi just tanked. Who's going to fight for someone who won't stand up for himself? And the Iranians surely have to be thumping their foreheads over his bug-out. The US had just demonstrated that the Iranians had backed the insurgencies, which the Iranians disputed, and the chief of the Shi'ite militias announces that he's going to become a remote-control general from their turf. It's going to be very difficult for anyone to pretend that Iran has not actively fueled the insurgencies while Moqtada directs his armies by long-distance telephone calls.

Related:Anti-American cleric flees Iraq for Iran

The Truth About Poverty: Bad Choices, Not a Bad Economy, Are to Blame
By Steven Malanga, Chicago Sun-Times, Ferbruary 4, 2007 

It's not that the adults who head families in poverty don't earn enough; they don't work enough. Left-wing critics often charge that nowadays "work doesn't work" in our "broken" economic system, by which they mean that wages are so wretched that the poor can't lift themselves up, even when employed. But the community survey informs us that an adult working full-time heads up fewer than 16 percent of all impoverished New York households, and only 18 percent in Chicago. Among single-woman-headed households, just 14 percent work full-time in New York and 11 percent in Chicago. 

True, it may be hard to work full-time as a single mother unless you can afford child care. Yet in both New York and Chicago, ever more women—especially poor women—are choosing to have kids without a husband. The census shows that about 33 percent of all births annually in New York and 43 percent in Chicago are out of wedlock, though the data vary widely by race. In Chicago, for instance, Asian Americans have the lowest out-of-wedlock rate (6 percent) and blacks the highest (71 percent). Most shocking, perhaps, is that more than half of women having children out of wedlock in New York, and 60 percent in Chicago, are already in poverty or wind up there within a year of giving birth. Those births to poor, unmarried women partly explain why both cities have a higher than average overall poverty rate; since their illegitimacy rate is above the nation's, a greater percentage of children are born directly into poverty in both New York and Chicago than nationwide.

No Child Let Ahead
A press release from the Ayn Rand Institute, February 14, 2007

"The problem is not just with No Child Left Behind," said Dr. Keith Lockitch, resident fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute. "The problem is inherent in the very system of public education, itself. When people's tax dollars are taken to pay for the education of other people's children, there is no way to distribute those dollars fairly. The inevitable result is a massive government bureaucracy making collective judgments involving millions of students. And given the egalitarian philosophy dominating that bureaucracy, should it be any surprise that it is our nation's best and brightest that are sacrificed in the attempt to serve the weakest?

Climate Skeptics Vindicated as Growing Number of Scientists & Politicians Oppose Alarmism
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, February 12, 2007

The chorus of voices speaking out against the alarmist claims of man-made global warming comes as Europe and the rest of the world acknowledge the failure of the cap and trade approach of Kyoto. Perhaps now the alarmists will finally take note of the accomplishments of the Bush Administration in reducing U.S. emissions … This recent scientific and political momentum shift to climate realism can only explain why the proponents of manmade climate change are growing increasingly desperate to silence scientific debate.

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