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True North Archives - March 02, 2010
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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

The Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities of Members of Congress
By Mark Shepard

I recently received a voice message where Congressman Peter Welch respectfully responded to my emails pointing out many constitutional scholars who make their case that the healthcare bills as passed the U.S. House or Senate expands the role of the federal government beyond the limits prescribed by the Constitution.…

Please take a few minutes to read the letter below and then consider respectfully expressing your thoughts to Rep. Welch at

Glenn Beck Takes on the Leviathan
By Robert Maynard

Conservative "blogs" and radio shows are still buzzing about the keynote speech that radio and TV host Glenn Beck delivered at this year’s "Conservative Political Action Conference", or CPAC. Mr. Beck is being simultaneously hailed and denounced in conservative circles for his view that the Republicans have not shown that they can be relied on to halt the expansion of statism. His critics are not happy with him because they claim that he is putting the GOP in the same category with the Democrats when it comes to culpability for the expansion of the state. In one sense they do have a point. Beck does often sounds like he sees no difference between the two parties. When one pays more attention to the whole of what he is doing, I think that his critics miss the bigger point that he is making. The question is not whether there is a difference between the two parties, but whether that difference is big enough to expect that the GOP will actually REVERSE the course that the "progressive" movement has worked set us on for over a century.

Ceres Triumphant
By Martin Harris

If, on your next hegira to Montpelier, you elevate your deferential gaze to the symbolic statue topping the Golden Dome, you’ll see the image of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. Why it isn’t St. Benedict or St. Isidore, both recognized as post-pagan patrons of agriculture, I know not, but I might guess that if a male choice were acceptable (subjunctive contrary to fact) today, it wouldn’t be St. Benedict, because his motto is "Pray and Work", both somewhat  unwelcome notions in a predominantly irreverent Western culture in general and an increasingly passive-income-oriented Vermont economy in particular.

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This Week’s Mail Bag

Sanders and Climate Deniers

 At an EPA budget hearing on February 24, Senator Bernie Sanders burst out with this attack on people who disbelieve the phony science behind the Menace of Global Warming. Said Sanders, "It reminds me in some ways of … the late 1930s. During that period of Nazism and fascism’s growth … there were people in this country and in the British parliament who said ‘Don’t worry! Hitler’s not real! It’ll disappear!"

This outburst is of course contemptible, but it’s even more contemptible when you look at Sanders’ checkered political past.

In the late 1930s the radical Socialist Workers Party had been kicked out of the socialist movement for staunchly favoring Leon Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution against capitalism.

The Party opposed US entry into World War II, on the side of freedom against Nazi fascism. They apparently felt that "Hitler’s not real and will go away." Nice.

What has this got to do with Bernie Sanders? In 1980 Sanders agreed to be one of the three Vermont Presidential electors of that very same Socialist Workers Party.

So I say to Bernie, before you link scientists and others who don’t believe the manipulated data and phony computer programs behind the global warming scare with Nazi deniers, maybe you ought to explain why you put your name on the ballot for a radical communist party that had opposed America’s fighting a war to defeat Hitler and the Nazis. I’ll be waiting for your explanation.

John McClaughry
Concord VT

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If You Don't Vote, Don't Bitch

Twinfield wants an 8% increase from Plainfield and 13% from Marshfield on our school tax. With 26% state of Vermont taxes going up in the next 3 years and the fed's 21%, our reps. aren't thinking - they need to put a stop to this MADNESS!!  Our house was built in 1977, we have 7/8 of an Acre. We pay $900.00 for Municipal taxes and the rest is School tax, out of an almost $4,000.00 tax bill.

This needs to stop and stop now, everyone needs to vote and vote now, if you don't vote you ARE apart of the problem. If you Don't Vote, Don't Bitch. When Vermonters have to sell their houses because they can't afford to live in Vermont anymore, we are truly losing the Footprint of Vermont. We need to vote; everyone in the state of Vermont needs to vote down their school budget if their school board didn't make big cuts from last year's budget already.

In the state house they seem to think everyone is happy with them, unless you vote and tell them they need to take cuts and stop the spending of money we don't have. They don't seem to know that more and more people are out of work. What the hell are they thinking? Not everyone in the state is a trust fund baby, at least not yet. Maybe that is the government’s goal. Don't Vote? Don't Bitch!!!

You may read this on your show if you want to. You do good work; have a great day! Marshfield and Plainfield need to Vote down Twinfield's budget, many of us found places where they could cut that wouldn't take away from the students and by moving things around could make things better.

Mary Lou Wells

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"The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency."  -- Pope John Paul II
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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

A Victory For The Vision
By Geoffrey Norman, Vermont Tiger, February 25, 2010

To nobody's surprise, the Vermont Senate voted yesterday to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.  The vote was not close.  Not even close to close.

The final number was 26-4.  So the Senate is clearly ahead of the public which, according to a recent poll, is slightly over 50% in favor of shutting down Yankee.  This is a first and comes, of course, at a time when all the news about Yankee is bad.  Tritium leaks.  Misleading testimony. Rising rates.

The Senate vote is, then, a better reflection of the political Zeitgeist in Vermont than of the voters' feelings.  Vermont's political culture is strongly influenced by the Progressive sensibility and its inclination is, on almost every issue, to make life in Vermont more expensive without necessarily improving it.

Related Articles:

Are lawmakers moving too fast on Vt. Yankee?

Bartlett: Yankee Vote was 'Political Theater'

Gov. Douglas: Vt. Yankee Debate Far From Over

Efficiency Vermont - A Fat Parasite
Caledonia Record Editorial, February 24, 2010

We took a look at Efficiency Vermont's finances and size recently, and it is hard not to conclude it is a parasite fattening itself on the surcharge that Vermonters pay in their electric bills to keep a lot of current and former politicians in jobs.

Yankee May Have Found Leak
By Susan Smallheer, Rutland Herald, February 27, 2010

The source of the radioactive leak at the Vermont Yankee reactor may have been located, traced back to cracked underground pipes discovered early Friday morning in a drain system, both the state Department of Health and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said....

The Conservation Law Foundation and the New England Coalition have been pushing to close down Vermont Yankee because of the tritium leak, which they say poses an immediate threat to the Vermont environment.

Editor’s Note: Since Jan. 7, the Vermont Department of Health has stepped up its environmental surveillance of Vermont Yankee by testing water samples taken from drinking water wells and ground water monitoring wells on site at the plant, and in the surrounding area. Water is now being sampled at least weekly for independent testing by our public health laboratory. Other samples, such as soil, milk, river sediment, and vegetation (when available), are being taken for testing as needed.

To date, none of these wells have shown evidence of contamination with tritium or other radionuclides that would be associated with a nuclear reactor.

Click here for the latest updates on the investigation from the Vermont Health Department.

Update on Bill That Could Outlaw All Ammunition
From the National Rifle Association Institute for Legal Action, February 26, 2010

The House Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources Committee is currently considering H. 484, which could potentially ban the sale and use of virtually all ammunition in Vermont.

The bill would require the Secretary of Natural Resources to set up a program to identify and ban the distribution of certain toxic chemicals.  Even the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation indicated recently in testimony before the committee that the enactment of this legislation could outlaw the ammunition you use for hunting, plinking, or self-defense. In addition to the bill’s potential to ban ammunition, the sweeping nature of H. 484 could easily implicate any number of products used by gun owners and sportsmen, such as cleaning solvents and materials.

Due to an outpouring of opposition, new language is being circulated that could eliminate the concerns of gun owners and sportsmen.  NRA-ILA is currently evaluating the language and will let you know if the new version of the bill will affect gun owners.

Workers Tackle Record-Breaking Storm, Forecasters Predict Additional Heavy Snow in Southern Vermont
From Vermont Business Magazine, February 26, 2010

Tired utility crews are making steady progress today in the wake of a hard-hitting one-two-punch storm system that caused 88,000 Central Vermont Public Service customer outages.  As of 5 p.m., 8,500 customer outages remained, but storm recovery is likely to extend through the weekend into Monday.  Across the Northeast, nearly 750,000 customers lost service Thursday night and Friday morning as high winds tore through the region.

Trucks Now Allowed on New Champlain Ferry
From Vermont Business Magazine, February 26, 2010

Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) Secretary David Dill and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee today announced that the second ferry slips at the Lake Champlain Ferry between Crown Point, NY, and Addison, VT, have been completed and are open for service.  Additionally, the states have lifted the temporary weight and axle vehicle restrictions imposed when the new temporary ferry opened earlier this month.

The State's Property Tax Riddle
By Neale Lunderville, Times Argus, February 27, 2010

Since 2005, Douglas has offered annual proposals to the Legislature to lower property taxes by controlling spending. He proposed that school budget increases greater than inflation require 60 percent voter approval. He twice proposed to cap school spending growth at 3.5 percent per pupil and last year he proposed to level fund per pupil spending. Each of these proposals was either rejected or passed over.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Remembering Liberty
By Herbert London, Family Security Matters, February 24, 2010

There is a shift occurring in the United States, a tectonic shift that is imposing statism in a land predicated on limited government.

In the past, the not very distant past, mediating structures served as a barrier against managerial despotism. But these structures have been under assault for decades and are showing signs of weakness and decay.

The family has been undermined by divorce and illegitimacy. Schools have eroded rigor and standards. Churches resemble social institutions more than religious centers. And associations like Rotary and Lions are suffering from insufficient enrollment and a lack of interest.

Building a Robust National Defense
By The Honorable Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, The Heritage Foundation, February 24, 2010

The power of American values is even greater than its military or economic might. However, says Rep. "Buck" McKeon of California, time and again we've seen the Administration reject notions of American exceptionalism and only reluctantly assume the role of the world's lone democratic superpower. Drawing on his experience as the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. McKeon describes what this means for winning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, detaining and prosecuting terrorists, engaging both allies and adversaries, and investing in a robust national defense. He calls for a National Defense Education and Investment Act to increase funding for basic defense research and ensure we maintain America's technological edge.

Najibullah Zazi: Genome of the Homegrown Jihadist
By Walid Phares, American Thinker, February 24, 2010

Najibullah Zazi is not just an "isolated extremist" caught in September 2009 while crossing a New York bridge with plans to bomb few tunnels -- end of the story. Zazi's "jihad" story is way more than the impressive facts the Justice Department has already revealed. If we focus more on the journey of this determined jihadist, we would discover that one of the "genomes" of homegrown terror. In this essay, I'll only follow the government's release:

The Justice Department announced that Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty in a "conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in the United States" in connection with al-Qaeda. His main attack targeted the New York subway system.

Taliban Killers Have Blown Themselves Up Laying Booby-Trap Bombs
By David Willitts, The Sun (UK), February 26, 2010

Up to 20 are thought to have died planting Improvised Explosive Devices. They were racing to plant the IEDs before the Allied offensive Operation Moshtarak. The triggers on the IEDs have become so sensitive the terrorists are accidentally detonating them as they hide them.

Another Politically Correct War Strategy?
By Jim Kouri, CPP, Family Security Matters, February 24, 2010

U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal has ordered U.S. troops to limit night operations and raids in Afghanistan. According to a report, the Pentagon is worried about rising civilian deaths in its assaults within the southern Taliban stronghold of Marjah.

McChrystal issued the classified directive – which isn't very classified – to garner the support of the Afghan people. Night raids of Afghan homes has created anger against the coalition forces especially the United States. This latest directive was issued amid outrage over recent civilian deaths caused by coalition forces.

This latest directive comes on the heels of the release of the U.S. military's revised rules of engagement.

U.S. troops involved in President Barack Obama's much-heralded military surge in Afghanistan are complaining about these new rules of engagement to which they must adhere. As a result of alleged killings of innocent civilians by Afghan and NATO troops, the Pentagon has promulgated strict rules that force soldiers and Marines to hold their fire until they are certain the individuals they face are armed.

A Brief Taxonomy of Campus Free Speech Foes
By David J. Rusin, Islamist Watch, February 16, 2010

Efforts to suppress politically incorrect speech on campus continue apace, as seen in the hostility directed toward Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the U.S., during a lecture on February 8 at the University of California, Irvine. Based on this and other recent events, one may identify four general villains in the struggle to uphold the rights of speakers:

Boorish students. To quote Richard L. Cravatts, these are people with "no interest in listening to, or letting others listen to, ideas that contradict their own worldview." Mostly Muslim versions were out in full force at UCI, shouting invective at Oren on ten separate occasions and aiming to silence him. At one point, he took a twenty-minute break as school officials expressed their embarrassment and disgust. Eleven ruffians were escorted from the venue and arrested.

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From Elsewhere

Climategate Meets the Law: Senator Inhofe to Ask for DOJ Investigation
By Charlie Martin, Pajamas Media, February 23, 2010

BREAKING: See Charlie Martin’s "Senator Barbara Boxer and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Throw IPCC Under the Bus".

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) today asked the Obama administration to investigate what he called "the greatest scientific scandal of our generation" — the actions of climate scientists revealed by the Climategate files, and the subsequent admissions by the editors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

Senator Inhofe also called for former Vice President Al Gore to be called back to the Senate to testify.


U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Minority Report: "Consensus’ Exposed: The CRU Controversy"

A perfect storm is brewing for the IPCC

At Summit, Obama Mostly Hears Obama
By Joseph Curl,The Washington Times, February 26, 2010

President Obama pledged to "listen" at the outset of his much-ballyhooed bipartisan health care summit on Thursday. Turns out he meant he'd be listening to his own voice.

By the end of the televised event, Mr. Obama had spoken for 119 minutes - nine minutes more than the 110 minutes consumed by 17 Republicans. The 21 Democratic lawmakers used 114 minutes, giving the president and his supporters a whopping 233 minutes, according to a "talk clock" kept by GOP aides.

U.S. SC Ruling Could Limit Forum Shopping by Trial Lawyers
By Chris Rizo, Legal Newsline, February 24, 2010

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week could put a damper on the trial lawyer practice of filing lawsuits, particularly class actions, in vaguely related jurisdictions where judges are seen as plaintiff-friendly.

The controversial practice is called "forum shopping," and legal reformers often bemoan plaintiffs' lawyers scurrying to counties and states where they feel they can get a better settlement rather than filing in the jurisdiction where there is an actual nexus to the case.

Obama’s Nuclear Promise: Too Little, But Not Too Late
By Jordan Ballor, The Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, February 23, 2010

One relatively overlooked aspect of President Obama’s State of the Union address in January was the promise of "building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country." In pursuit of this vision, the president announced last week that he was tripling to more than $54 billion the amount of guaranteed loan money made available by the government for the development of new nuclear plants. What’s needed more than increased funds from the government, however, is the streamlined approval of license applications already pending at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Addressing what’s been called a licensing "bottleneck" and loosening up the nuclear power market in the United States needs to be the top priority for a federal government focused on addressing the paired challenges of economic development and environmental stewardship. Letting nuclear power compete on a level playing field, without either direct government subsidy or delay, would position the American economy for future success. Over the last decade the federal government has run up record-setting deficits, fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and more recently pushing stimulus money to pull the American economy out of a crippling recession. This dire economic situation makes quick action to move toward this "new generation" of nuclear power vitally important. The promise of nuclear energy is a key way to balance the responsibility entrusted to us by God to be good stewards of our economic as well as natural resources.

ACORN’s New Shell
The Democrats’ money-and-muscle operation is rebranding, not disbanding.
By Kevin Williamson, National Review, February 9, 2010

ACORN is not dissolving. But some of its local affiliates, in an effort to suggest they’re cutting ties with the organization, are giving themselves new names. The reason is money: ACORN cites a string of "vicious right-wing attacks" — and here I doff the purple pimp hat to James O’Keefe — that have made it hard for them to shake down their usual banker benefactors and nonprofit patrons.

This is nothing new. The national organization itself was considering a name change back in November, according to this internal memo, in which ACORN’s leaders cite one single overriding concern: money. "Raising money is much harder now, if we do it under the name ACORN," the memo says. "Some foundations are still will [sic] to fund us, more are not."

Accounting for Fannie and Freddie
The Obama administration resists putting two federal agencies on the books.
By Stephen Spruiell, National Review, February 24, 2010

Back in December, while the holidays had everyone distracted, the Obama administration released a little-noticed announcement that it would be lifting the caps on federal assistance to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the troubled mortgage giants that collapsed in the summer of 2008. With this surprise Christmas gift, the agencies were given unfettered access to the taxpayers’ wallet, and their absorption by the federal government became complete.

But the White House still is not accounting for Fannie and Freddie the way it accounts for other federal entities. A group of House Republicans has introduced a measure that would change that. The Accurate Accounting of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Act would compel the Office of Management and Budget to account for the losses sustained by the agencies since they were taken over by their federal regulator.

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