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True North Archives - March 16, 2010
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The Source of American Individualism
By Robert Maynard

One theme from American civilization that has attracted a lot of attention is the ideal of "American Individualism". The modern notion that individualism = selfishness has come about because we have lost sight of the biblical notion of the individual, upon which the original American ideal of individualism was based. 

(Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of pieces that are intended to be used as presentations in Churches)

School Choice: The Answer Under Our Nose
By Rob Roper

The public hearing at the State House was supposed to gauge public support for consolidating public school districts. It turned out to be a powerful outcry in support of school choice in Vermont. Under current law and 140 years of tradition, parents in some ninety towns enjoy (to varying degrees) the right to send their children to any public or non-religious independent school of their choosing with tax dollars following the child.

The "Linguistic-Skills-of-Legislators" Theory Proven
By Martin Harris

Even though I have never encountered any denial or resistance from legislators of my thesis that they are, indeed (with a very few easily identifiable exceptions) far more intelligent and linguistically-skilled than the rest of us, it may be useful to furnish a case-in-point as partial proof, on the linguistic side. It showed up deep in the normally-dry pages of legislative statutes and regulations, the language of the rulers now easily available to the ruled in ways not imaginable prior to the may-I-say class-traitorous invention of the Internet by one of their own a couple of decades ago. Like the Vulgate Bible, translated from Latin to Old German by Martin Luther and made available to the Late Middle Ages peasantry via Johannes Gutenberg's printing press (don't presume to test your high school history student on all this dead-European-white-guys stuff) the recent placement of actual governmental language where the locals can read it has brought to light all manner of interesting revelations.

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"Would socialized medicine lead to socialization of other phases of life? Lenin thought so. He declared socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state." 

-- 1945 AMA Pamphlet Warning

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

How Much Tritium Leaked from Vermont Yankee Before the Leak was Stopped?
By Rod Adams Atomic Insights March 13, 2010

Based on reading a number of different articles and checking through the tables provided by the Vermont Department of Health, the fluid that was leaking into the ground contained tritium at a concentration of approximately 2.5 million picocuries per liter. That is equal to 2.5 x 10^-6 curies per liter. The rate that it was leaving the pipe was roughly 100 gallons (370 liters) per day. If the leak had been going on for a year before being detected and stopped, the total quantity of fluid that left the pipe would equal 138,000 liters. The total activity released would be 0.35 curies. 

If a single person consumed every drop of that water, their whole body radiation dose would equal roughly 30 rem. According to a 1977 UNSCEAR study, the LD-50 (lethal dose for 50% of the population receiving the exposure) for tritium in adult rats was determined to be 1000 Rad. For the kind of low energy beta emissions that are produced by tritium, a rem is equal to a Rad. A dose of 30 rem received over a 1 year period would be unlikely to cause any immediate health effects, though it might add an additional risk of developing cancer sometime during the person's life. The magnitude of that risk could be computed using the conservative linear, no-threshold dose assumption.

Vermont Revenues 18% Below Expectations
From WCAX, March 8, 2010

New state revenue figures out show Vermont's economic recovery continues to sputter. General fund tax collections for February came in nearly $10 million short of projections. That's an 18-percent shortfall. And it comes as a big surprise to state officials who just agreed upon a new revenue forecast in January.

Risky Business
By Art Woolf Vermont Tiger, March 11, 2010

Where are the stories about all the businesses and business ideas that fail due to changing market conditions, poor or nonexistent business plans, bad marketing, lack of capital, poorly conceived products, poor management etc.?  Those are all a part of entrepreneurship, in which failure is much more common than success. 

Starting a business is hard.  Making one succeed is even harder.  That's why we don't want the government involved in the risk-taking and failures that are a fundamental part of business.  It's what the private sector does much better than any publicly owned or publicly backed entity.  It's why we have the standard of living we enjoy today. 

Ideology vs. Rationality
The Caledonia Record Editorial, March 10th, 2010

Here we have the classic collision between ideology and rationality. Shumlin, the ideologue, simply won't be bothered with the facts, especially if they disagree with his ideological obstinacy. Nuclear power is bad; Vermont Yankee produces nuclear power; therefore, Vermont Yankee is bad and should be closed. The answer to the power vacuum that closing VY will create is renewable, green power. We don't have any yet, and we know that it will be several times more expensive than nuclear power, but have faith. I know what's right. Trust me!

Dubie, the rationalist, says go slowly, be cautious, wait for the facts, don't rush into a decision that isn't necessary at this time and may turn out to be the wrong one. Where would we be then?

Consolidation Opponents Pack Statehouse
From WCAX, March 10, 2010

Parents and children packed into Room 11and poured out into the hallways of the Statehouse, Wednesday night. All were eager to share their thoughts on three bills that would consolidate and redistrict schools.

Nearly every single one of the more than 100 people who signed up to speak, spoke against consolidation. Their main concern is that it will force children to attend a specific public school and will eliminate the choice to attend independent schools.

"Allowing young people to choose where they will attend school is vital in the success of many students because the concept of one size fits all education does not work for all," said Nelson Richter, Executive Director of The Compass School in Westminster.

School Board Protests Closed Meetings
From WCAX, March 8, 2010

A southern Vermont school board is protesting the way the state is conducting a series of meetings aimed at cutting education expenses. The meetings are being held behind closed doors and the Dover School Board says that is undemocratic.

The meetings are part of the recently signed "Challenges for Change" law, which asks for creative approaches to budget challenges.

A group of state employees, teachers, school superintendents, and more met Monday afternoon in Montpelier for the first of seven meetings. They are the Education Design Team, tasked with reducing administrative expenses while achieving better outcomes. Earlier in the day, members of the Dover School Board sent a letter to the state's education commissioner demanding the meetings open to the public.

'Choice' Towns Decry School Plan
By Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont Press Bureau, March 11, 2010

A public hearing on school-district consolidation turned into a referendum on school choice as scores of residents decried legislative proposals they fear will undermine parents' control over their children's education. More than 200 parents, educators and students crowded into a Statehouse meeting room Wednesday evening to weigh in on legislative efforts to reduce the number of school districts in Vermont. By and large, they condemned a plan they say looks to cut costs by constraining choice.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Iraq's Remarkable Election
The strategic benefits of an emerging Middle East democracy.
The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2010

It takes a cynical mind not to share in the achievement of Iraq's national elections. Bombs and missiles, al Qaeda threats and war fatigue failed to deter millions of Iraqis of all sects and regions from exercising a right that is rare in the Arab world. Even the U.N.'s man in Baghdad called the vote "a triumph."

On Sunday, 61% of eligible voters came out in Anbar Province, a former extremist stronghold that includes the towns of Fallujah and Ramadi. In the last national elections five years ago, 3,375 people—or 2%—voted in Anbar. The other Sunni-dominated provinces that boycotted in 2005 saw similar numbers: over 70% turnout in Diyala and Salaheddin and 67% in Nineveh, all higher than the national average of 62%. American Presidential elections rarely have such turnout.

Al Qaeda as well as Sunni and Shiite extremist groups were defeated militarily by the surge, and this election continues the trend toward settling disputes through politics, not bombs. The remaining terrorists, far weaker and organized in smaller cells, tried hard to deter voting. Thirty-eight people died in various mortar, rocket and bomb attacks on election day. But the attackers had trouble getting near voting stations, and security in Baghdad and elsewhere was good and Iraqis brushed off these threats.

Related: Iraq's Cosmetic Election

Challenging the Islamists: The ‘Other Muslims’ Have their Say
By Steve Emerson, Family Security Matters, March 10, 2010

The "most important ideological struggle in the world today is the battle over the future of Islam," writes Hudson Institute scholar Zeyno Baran.

Baran is the editor of an important new book, which goes on sale March 16th, entitled The Other Muslims: Moderate and Secular – a compilation of personal analyses from 10 American and European Muslims who warn of the danger posed by radical Islamism. 

American Nationals Qaeda's Latest Weapons of Choice
By Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman Rediff, India News, March 12, 2010

The arrest of Colleen R Larose alias Jihad Jane, the American woman accused of providing material support to terrorists and recruiting men and women on the Internet to wage 'violent Jihad' in south Asia and Europe, was a rude wake up call for the United States administration.

The involvement of Jihad Jane and Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative David Headley in fomenting terror has rudely reminded US intelligence agencies that the Al Qaeda had succeeded in inducting even American nationals in its terror mission.

Indian security agencies, which have bee keeping a track of these developments, warn that the LeT and Al Qaeda will try to utilize such foreign operatives to further their agenda.

New Terrorist Weapon: ‘Lawfare’ Twists the Law
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, Israel National News, March 14, 2010

The recently-formed "Lawfare Project" has launched a new type of strategy to fight Muslim-led manipulation of law in its war against democracy.  The project was revealed at the first-ever "lawfare" conference, held in New York late last week.

"Lawfare" is a relatively new term for the abuse of legal systems to halt free speech against terrorism while promoting the use of malicious lawsuits, harassment and complaints against anyone who speaks on national security, Lawfare Project director Brooke Goldstein told Israel National News. "The abuse is aimed at achieving strategic military and political purposes."

Islamists Respond to Terror Cases with Denial
By Sid Shahid, Islamists Watch, March 14, 2010

As homegrown terrorism grabbed headlines at the end of 2009, Islamist pressure groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim American Society (MAS), and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) felt the need to look as if they were responding forcefully. However, all they offered was spin and denial of the very radicalism that they themselves have helped breed.

First we witnessed the typical smokescreen that attempts to paint Muslims as victims. For example, in a November 6 press release commenting on the Fort Hood massacre, Mahdi Bray of the MAS Freedom Foundation strongly condemned the actions of Major Nidal Hasan, but quickly segued into warnings about an anti-Muslim backlash: "Let us be cautious, however, in drawing conclusions based on the ethnicity of the perpetrator of this tragic incident. … The perpetuation of negativity in such instances often unwittingly serves as an equally unnecessary exacerbation of the atmosphere of hate, violence, and Islamophobia under which the Muslim community already exists."

Exclusive: The Resistance of Iranian Women: We Are All a ‘Neda’ Now
By Sara Ahmadi, Family Security Matters, March 9, 2010

When it comes to Iran, it is important for one to understand many things, especially considering the events of the last few months. I always think that nobody will know what our people – especially women – have gone through here in Tehran, the heart of Iran.

The bitterest reality is the presence of the mullahs who have imposed their rules on us. I was lucky to see a few years less of the misery these mullahs have brought for us because I was born a few years after the beginning of their rule!

Iran has attracted the attention of the world after the righteous uprising of its people for freedom and democracy; the decisive right of the people.

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From Elsewhere

Vladimir Lenin: "Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State."
By Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit, March 8, 2010

"Would socialized medicine lead to socialization of other phases of life? Lenin thought so. He declared socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state." --1945 AMA Pamphlet Warning

The Communist Workers Party published an article recently in defense of state-run medicine like the proposal that democrats are wanting to ram through in the next 10 days.

Climategate Stunner: NASA Heads Knew NASA Data Was Poor, Then Used Data from CRU
By Charlie Martin, Pajamas Media, March 10, 2010

Email messages obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute via a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that the climate dataset of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) was considered — by the top climate scientists within NASA itself — to be inferior to the data maintained by the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU).

The NASA scientists also felt that NASA GISS data was inferior to the National Climate Data Center Global Historical Climate Network (NCDC GHCN) database.

These emails, obtained by Christopher Horner, also show that the NASA GISS dataset was not independent of CRU data.

Why I Can Still Find Optimism in This Story
By Larry Kudlow, National Review, March 9, 2010

So here we are on the one-year anniversary of a booming stock market — the best in 75 years. That continues to tell me things are getting better in the American economy, and that the global economic story is improving. Of course, I know that Washington is still going completely in the wrong direction. Instead of embracing free-market capitalism, it’s threatening to move toward statism, with its big-spending, over-regulating, high-taxing, and economy-controlling "eat-the-rich" cannibalization of successful investors and entrepreneurs.??

So while Washington has run amok, I do believe that this great stock market rally over the past year — the S&P 500 is up 68 percent and economy-sensitive small-caps are up 95 percent — is in part telling us that political regime change is coming our way this November.

California Greenin'
From Investor’s Business Daily, March 9, 2010

Global Warming: Remember the promise that green jobs would flourish in California? Well, here's the reality: The cost of going green is actually lost jobs.

Wrong Bill At The Wrong Time
By Shikha Dalmia, Forbes Magazine, March 10, 2010

Even if Democrats extract the votes to put ObamaCare over the top, it will at best be a Pyrrhic victory for them. Regardless of the outcome, this monstrosity might cost the Democrats the Congress this November, ruin the party for a long time and prematurely render Barack Obama a lame duck president for the rest of his term.

Related: Health Care End Game Begins Monday

States Launching 'Civil Disobedience' to National Health Care
By Tom Gantert, Michigan Capital Confidential, March 11, 2010

Lawmakers opposed to President Barack Obama's plan for national health care reform are hoping to spur a nationwide "civil disobedience" that can derail Obamacare.

State Rep. Brian Calley, R-Portland; State Rep. Justin Amash, R-Kentwood; and State Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland, have each introduced similar constitutional amendments that seek to trump the national health care bills.

For example, Sen. Kuipers' bill would prohibit a federal law from compelling any person, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system. It also prevents anyone from being penalized for ignoring the federal law.

"Where this is going, I don't know," Kuipers said this week. "You don't know until the states try to do it."

According to a 10th Amendment think tank, 26 states have attempted their own versions of Kuipers' bill. Arizona has had its version passed by both houses of Congress, and it will be voted on by residents in November. Virginia also had both houses of Congress pass a similar bill, and it is awaiting the governor's signature.

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