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True North Archives - March 03, 2009
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Featured Articles

Green Mountain Babies Needed to Tame Wilderness and Stimulate Economy
By James Ehlers

The threat is no longer the northwest winds of January nor the teeth of a lion, it is literally our own unproductiveness: we are the second-oldest state in the nation. We no longer have the families and their youth investing in the landscape that has made Vermont the place we love, and we have created this situation. A generation of public policy, however, has ensured that beavers would always have work and the unemployed would always have a shade tree under which to recline. 

The wolves and catamounts that once ate our young have lost their place in the food chain to policy makers that now also make Vermont scary for Vermont youngsters. Our natural resources, once the seed of our fulfillment, are now quarantined and protected from us for the "future." We donít conserve, wisely use, much here anymore, we preserve. That may now include our population. 

By Martin Harris

Itís with some satisfaction that I report, regarding The Grey Lady of 43rd Street, that her executives have been driven by market forces into negotiating a quarter-billion-dollar operating-capital loan, at junk-bond interest rates, from Mexican money-man Carlos Slim; and that the most reviled newspaperman in journalistic circles, Rupert Murdoch, is now predicted to be ready to buy her, body and soul. The former info-nugget comes from The Wall Street Journal, itself a recent Murdoch acquisition; and the latter comes from author/columnist Michael Wolff in an interview on C-SPAN, discussing his biography of Murdoch entitled "The Man Who Owns the News". Recently, The Grey Lady discontinued her shareholder dividends, as her stock price tanked, because sheís losing both readers and advertisers who used to pay generously for "All the News Thatís Fit to Print", but choose not to, any more. My satisfaction might be called "schadenfreude", a German word now in English dictionaries, expressing "pleasure over the discomfort of others". As befits an opinion column, Iíd opine that The Grey Lady, like other papers ranging from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to USA Today, is being punished for her Left-preference journalistic bias.

Mission Drift
By Tom Wilson

The primacy of the individual over the group is an American idea which is fast dying out. In spite of the self absorption of our Culture of Perpetual Adolescence, the impetus now is rarely to stand alone. Now we join: we find a flock, we hide in a herd, we conform to the culture model of non- conformity. Now we always seek consensus, to be collected with the like-minded. Human beings have been found to be innately "Hardwired to Connect" (a so named 2005 study from Dartmouth Medical Center) to transcendent authority structures. The group, with its politically or religiously "correct" strictures, is now our authority structure of choice. 

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"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -- James Madison

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Deciding The Nuke Question
From the Caledonia Record, March 2nd 2009

The same folks who brought the Yellow Rose of Texas bus tour with "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan have introduced a Vermont Town Meeting resolution to shut down Vermont Yankee in Vernon.

District seeks Act 250 for School Expansion
By Josh O'Gorman, Rutland Herald, Feb 23, 2009

Despite hopes to the contrary, the Springfield School District will need an Act 250 permit for its expansion of Elm Hill and Union Street schools.

Economic Truths: Simple & Hard
Public Sector/Private Sector?One Drives While The Other Rides?
By Hugh Kemper, Vermont Tiger, February 18, 2009

Three economic truths are: (1) the private sector creates wealth while the public sector redistributes wealth; (2) private sector wealth creation is a function of capital formation, productivity and innovation; and (3) public spending at the federal, state, and local level (as well as personal spending) to be sustainable must remain within the private sectorís capacity (and your personal capacity) to generate wealth.

Vermont has been in denial of these economic truths for some time. Vermontís tax policies, public sector spending (particularly education spending) and restrictions on private sector growth have conspired to contribute to its current economic woes. Unless rectified, the outlook for Vermontís economic future (and standard of living) is bleak.

Your Neighborhood Addiction Treatment Center 
From the Caledonia Record, February 26, 2009

We don't oppose treatment. Addicts who want to emerge from their slavery need and deserve treatment. We oppose the liberal insistence that they are no different from anyone else and deserve to be granted the anonymity that addiction treatment centers in town-wide diffusion seems to promise them.

Take Your Time, Folks
From Vermont Tiger, March 2, 2009

The legislature is taking a recess for town meeting and this year it will be out for two weeks instead of one, which is customary.  Before leaving town on Friday, President Pro-Tem of the Senate, Peter Shumlin, and Speaker of the House, Shap Smith revealed that they had a plan for fixing the 2010 budget.

Good thing, since it requires a lot of fixing. Some $238 million worth. Up $11 million from last monthís estimate and likely to keep growing. The budget deficit, in fact, grows a lot faster than the legislature moves but as Chris Graff says, thatís the way it always is.  These may be extraordinary times but that doesnít mean you need to get in a hurry.

Vermonters React to Withdrawal Plan
From WCAX-TV, February 27, 2009

Looking back at Vermont's role in the war in Iraq, Dubie says there is no doubt about the loss this state has seen. 27 Vermont servicemen died in the war. Over 600 Vermont soldiers were stationed there over the past few years-- all but five have returned.

"Many people are very proud of what we've done over there, the sacrifices that we've made in Ramadi, Iraq, we believe led to the stability that we're enjoying right now," said General Dubie.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Russia on the Move Ė Putin Comes Up with an Alternative to NATO
By Dr. Robin McFee, Family Security Matters, February 25, 2009

Last week, Russia and six ex-satellite nations Ė former Soviet States Ė agreed to jointly (translation Ė Mother Russia rules) create a special military force designed to challenge the influence of NATO. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) members Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have also pledged to deploy their "special forces" units as well as collaboratively contribute to this new military alliance. According to several sources, the scope of the military presence will be significant Ė the name "rapid reaction unit" notwithstanding. In typical Russia-speak, language designed to deceive, this will not be a SWAT team or even a SEAL team in the U.S. definition of "rapid reaction" force, to handle small insurgent attacks, but a force to be reckoned with.

Hamas and Jihadism
By Moshe Dann, American Thinker, February 25, 2009

Efforts to resuscitate the "peace process" by Pres. Obama's envoy, Sen. George Mitchell, will fail again because there seems to be no awareness of what Hamas jihadism means. [Read Hamas' Charter: "all Israeli territory is irrevocably Muslim land; Israel must be destroyed; the struggle against the Jews is a religious obligation for every Muslim."] Although focused locally, Hamas is linked with every other jihadist group and terror-supporting countries, especially Iran.

Police fear UK 'Summer of Rage'
From BBC News, February 23, 2009

Police are preparing to face a "summer of rage" in the UK as people join protests over the economic downturn, says a senior Met Police officer. "Known activists" were likely to foment unrest, with the recession creating more "footsoldiers" to join them, Supt David Hartshorn told the Guardian.

Islamists Gain Ground in Sarajevo
By Walter Mayr in Sarajevo for Spiegel Online International, February 26, 2009

Radical Muslim imams and nationalist politicians from all camps are threatening Sarajevoís multicultural legacy. With the help of Arab benefactors, the deeply devout are acquiring new recruits. In the "Jerusalem of the Balkans," Islamists are on the rise.

Turning Universities into Graveyards
By Amil Imani, American Thinker, February 26, 2009

Sunday's referendum in Venezuela was hailed as a "victory" for the Chavez regime and extolled as participatory democracy. In reality, it was a farce undermining a multiparty state. So why does the U.S. praise it?

Leader in Group Seeking "Engagement" with Islamic Supremacism to Advise State Dept
By Jeffrey Imm, Family Security Matters, February 25, 2009

What hasn't been reported yet has been Mr. Ross' involvement in the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project, that I first addressed five months ago, and how his involvement demonstrates a dangerous degrading of those in the executive branch committed to equality and liberty. The U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project, which included the leader of unindicted co-conspirator organization ISNA and a former national director of MPAC, also listed Dennis Ross as part of the "leadership group" that provided a report offering recommendations to the U.S. government, entitled "Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World."  Mr. Ross is listed on page xi of the report as part of the group that developed this report.

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From Elsewhere

The Cure for Poverty
By Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, March 02, 2009

A generation or two of American school children have grown up without a clue about how wealth is created. If they ever think about the people who organize and create businesses, the people who actually create wealth and carry out the innovations that cause the rest of us to prosper, they think in terms of responsibility for bad things like pollution, discrimination, and other crimes.

Rome and the Great Depression
By Lawrence W. Reed, Foundation for Economic Education, February 24, 2009

Monumental sums for bailouts. Staggering increases in public debt. Concentration of power in the central government. A mad scramble by interest groups with endless claims on the treasury. Demagogic class warfare appeals. These things ring familiar in the ninth year of 21st century America just as surely as they dominated the ill-fated Roman welfare state of two millennia ago.

In the waning years of the Roman republic, a rogue named Clodius ran for the office of tribune. He bribed the electorate with promises of free grain at taxpayer expense and won. Thereafter, Romans in growing numbers embraced the notion that voting for a living could be more lucrative than working for one. This set into motion Kershnerís First Law, named for the late economist Howard E. Kershner: "When a self-governing people confer upon their government the power to take from some and give to others, the process will not stop until the last bone of the last taxpayer is picked bare."

'Consensus' on Global Warming Collapsing
By Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, February 25, 2009

Prominent Japanese scientists have made a "dramatic break" with the IPCC findings.

Related: Out With A Shiver: Global Warming Protest Frozen Out by Massive Snowfall

Two Lost Decades? Why Japanís Economy Is Still Stumbling and How the U.S. Can Stay Upright
By Derek Scissors, Ph.D. and J.D. Foster, Ph.D., Heritage Foundation, February 23, 2009

A heated and important debate is underway as to how America should respond to its financial crisis and the deepening recession. Another lesson from Japan is that, if the U.S wants to secure long-term prosperity and the future of American leadership, it must also be concerned about the next two decades. If the U.S does not fundamentally change its tax, spending, and regulatory policies, this nation risks replaying Japan's two lost decades, with all that entails.

A Fatal Trajectory
Our nationís course leads to a fate that would fully justify despair.
By Thomas Sowell, National Review, February 24, 2009

The dumbing down of our education, the undermining of moral values with the fad of "non-judgmental" affectations, the denigration of our nation through poisonous propaganda from the movies to the universities. The list goes on and on.

The trajectory of our course leads to a fate that would fully justify despair. The only saving grace is that even the trajectory of a bullet can be changed by the wind.

Betray Your Principles, Get a Check!
Why state governors are turning down federal cash.
By Michael G. Franc, National Review, February 25, 2009

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal started the firestorm last week when he announced that Louisiana would reject its share of the new unemployment-insurance funding. His rationale: The parenthetical phrase would require the Pelican State to (1) jettison longstanding policies about who can and cannot receive UI benefits and (2) increase the payroll-tax burden on employers.

Jindalís reservations elicited catcalls from befuddled big-government governors as well as one of his own stateís senators, Democrat Mary Landrieu. But when other conservative governors echoed Jindalís concerns, a gubernatorial tea party seemed in the offing.

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