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True North Archives - April 10, 2007
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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

Spelling Test (Part II)
By Martin Harris

Iowa's numbers (for the 4th grade reading exam, for example) are doubtless quite close: 221 (out of a possible 500) compared to a US average of 217. These numbers mean that, as in Vermont where the number is 227, about 2/3 of all students can't make "proficient" which means, in turn, that they can't function at grade level. Keokuk edu-crats and Board have gone a step further to conceal test results they can't easily defend; they've adopted their own State test, on which Iowa kids mysteriously show as 78%, not 36%, proficient. These are the results they publicize.

Education by the Numbers
By Peter Behr

Education is a hugely important subject. It involves the well-being of our children in the present as well as the future, and the well-being of our nation, also in the present and, most certainly, the future. So the news that our schools are not delivering students able to achieve satisfactory grades in achievement tests in reading and math attracts a lot of attention, as it should.

Fightin' Bob and the Secret Ballot
By John McClaughry

That secret ballot became an indispensable part of Labor's arsenal in the never-ending battle to advance workers' interests against what Sen. Bernie Sanders today calls "the Rich and the Big Corporations". In fact, as recently as 2001 then-Rep. Sanders, true to a century of Labor doctrine, wrote "we feel that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose." But that was then, and now is now. Last week the labor unions came to Montpelier to get from the Democratic House a "card check" bill to take away the secret ballot in union representation elections. --John McClaughry is President of the Ethan Allen Institite

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

Last week I wrote that unless H.526, the "act relating to education quality and cost control," was sufficiently different on Tuesday than it was on the previous Thursday, it could get sent back to committee to hang on the wall. On Tuesday the unchanged bill was brought back to the House for consideration, but this time the votes were there to pass it. So what changed over the weekend? Suffice it to say that "minds were changed." ... This week we saw what could be a new chapter in Kennedy’s book [Profiles in Courage]. Representative Jon Anderson, newly appointed by Governor Douglas to fill the vacancy created by Rep. Francis Brooks’ election as Sergeant at Arms, voted to sustain the governor’s veto of the mid-year Budget Adjustment Act...

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This Week’s Mail Bag

Dear True North Editor: 

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the gas
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
If you get too cold, I’ll tax your heat
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet

---from “The Tax Man” by The Beatles.

Will taxes be going up in Vermont this year?  With the solid Democrat majority in the legislature, they say their focus is on creating jobs but, they need more revenue to fulfill their agenda.  Shumlin/Symington vow not to increase taxes but their past actions speak louder than words.

From heating fuel taxes to pay for contractors to insulate homes and gas guzzlers’ tax to pay for someone else’s transportation, to increased taxes on commercial real estate transactions to subsidize our dairy farmers, there’s never enough money for redistribution.

The Democrats are in charge and control purse strings.  They increased the minimum wage and eliminated secret ballots for workers on union representation.  They introduced a ”rich” couple’s income tax for those earning over $100K and another tax to pay for  Canadian-style “universal coverage” health care.

Medicaid is still under funded by $60M.  This hidden tax is paid by high health insurance rates that are 2X the national average.  Democrat leaders are now asking for $500,000 to create a health care rationing board in the event there’s a tax shortfall.  We’ll pay with our lives through rationing.

Gov. Douglas campaigned on an affordability agenda and the Democrats echoed the same concern to win votes.  After the election Democrat veterans indicated our tax burden isn’t bad and the rich still have the capacity to pay higher taxes for the greater good.  Then, ignoring the voters’ mandate for a major property tax reduction, they proposed spending millions to expand education to pre-kindergarten children.

Art Woolf’s Off the Rail’s data showed that if we don’t start controlling spending, “virtually all state revenues in 2030 will be needed to pay for just for education and human services.”  What state government needs should be in balance with what Vermonters can afford.

Mr. Taxman, spare me a dime or your victims will vote with their feet.

Frank Mazur, South Burlington

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Dear True North Editor: 

There was a letter in the Saturday, 3/25 edition of the Times Argus from ML Marshal, from Duxbury, preceded by another frequent writer with a Vermont sounding name, Strat Douhat - both full of vitriol and baseless humor regarding the Iraq War. Dear Me !!  Is it a liberal’s divine right to be cute, ignorant and blindly biased and we [conservatives] are expected to tolerate their malignant narcissism?

On the other hand, if I as a conservative respond in kind then I am being hateful and mean spirited?  So here goes my in kind comments:

The Marshal letter is a childish attack on one of the very few conservative radio talk shows in Vermont. He attacks True North Radio, its host Paul Beaudry and the previous host, UVM English professor Laurie Morrow. In addition, many of the loyal fans, and the editors, of True North have been the target of hateful mail and commentary from the left. Most of it is written anonymously while the  few that do sign their names they usually engage in mindless diatribe with little or no basis of fact.

ML Marshall suggests an Iraq vacation for Paul and his military guests. I would like to send a counter offer to the writer, and his ilk, for a free one way transport to Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, Cuba or any country where the dictators surely appreciate their thinking and share their views. Bon Voyage!  Send us a few more letters and cards  if they will let you!

Had ML Marshall tuned into True North Radio and  listened, with open mind,  to Colonel Russell, or many other knowledgeable guests including our elected representatives, Marshal would actually have a first hand lesson in reality - not the liberal propaganda to which he apparently has fallen prey.

Unfortunately, Vermont’s legislative branches are controlled by liberals, (as well as our  Congressional delegation) with their “Vast Military Experience” coupled with their myopic world view, weren’t concerned with facts but only their bias and passed an Vermont anti-Iraq War resolution. And then they listened to expert military testimony only after the fact -- Cindy Sheehan and a few ex-military people with a robust anti-war position. The wisdom of Colonel Russell was simply ignored. So much for robust and open minds doing the people’s work and solving problems.  It’s political partisan business as usual in Montpelier.

Furthermore, it has been devastating these past 40 years to witness the growing liberal, hedonistic Vermont’s media, the powerful NEA, and elected leftist Democrats and Progressives.  As a fourth generation Vermonter having come home from Southeast Asia in 1969,  I have seen my Vermont conservative values being destroyed by the growing political dominance by  leftist ideologues. During the Vietnam War while Vermont’s bravest, brightest and best were away defending liberty, America, the Constitution and Vermont’s values, this state was being stolen by the left that set about poisoning two generations of our school children with the backing of the NEA. 

But as discouraging as it is we can still Take Back Vermont.  And conservatism, on which this country flourished, can survive and thrive if only enough true patriots will stand up and wake up to carry on the legacy of our founding fathers and our constitutional republic.

Failing to stand strong against the evolving liberal totalitarianism will help usher in an increasingly arrogant, intolerant and micro-managing socialist government from which all citizens will have to suffer and soon wonder -  “where did our freedoms go?”  Such a government  in the 1930 and early 1940’s faced down the Jews, the Gypsies, the disabled, the weak and even those believing in communism (their right) and all other "politically unacceptable" people. That happened in Nazi Germany and that hellish government preached and justified what it did for the “good of the Fatherland.”  In not recognizing and confronting evil - the Weimar Republic died.

Many native Vermontes choosing to move to greener pastures, say to Vermont’s sister state New Hampshire, instead of fighting now to Take Back Vermont will be much like those German refugees who left for Holland and France when Hitler was rising only to have the evil catch up with them and destroy them.

Therefore, this old Vermonter will stay here and fight as long as radio shows like True North Radio are on the air - there is breath and fight in this body.

John R. Gilligan, Barre

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"We want to have relations with every - all countries except for Israel that is occupying and we do not recognize." Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on April 5, 2007

"She is doing what Condolezza Rice is paid to do. Ms. Pelosi just didn’t take heat from Cheney She took it from the Washington Post [liberal paper] who described this as a 'Pratfall' - [subtitle - Nancy Pelosi’s foolish shuttle diplomacy]. There’s a very fine line between fact finding, which is a legitimate legislative function, and negotiating which isn’t. Now if she was fact finding, what facts was she finding? She found the fact that Israel was ready to engage in the peace process with Syria and Syria was ready to engage. Neither facts turns out to be a fact !" --Pulitzer Prize and Cronkite Award winner, George Will who is a contributing editor to Newsweek. These comments were made on Sun. April 8 on ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulus

"Now she is attempting to introduce a new Middle East policy that directly conflicts with that of the president. We have found much to criticize in Mr. Bush's military strategy and regional diplomacy. But Ms. Pelosi's attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish." --From the "Pratfall" editorial in the Washington Post. Click here for the entire Wash Post editorial.

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may well have committed a felony in traveling to Damascus this week, against the wishes of the president, to communicate on foreign-policy issues with Syrian President Bashar Assad." --Comment in a Wall Street Journal editorial on April 6, 2007, by Robert F. Turner who was acting assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs in 1984-85 and is a former chairman of the ABA standing committee on law and national security.

"If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people and mark my words he will develop weapons of mass destruction [WMD]. He will deploy them and he will use them."--President Clinton on Dec 16, 1998 in a world wide televised message given a few minutes after he ordered a sustained cruise missile attack on Iraq. There is much to be said for Pres. Teddy Roosevelt's (Dem.) "gun boat diplomacy." 

"It shall be the policy of this Nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union." --John F Kennedy during a world wide televised message assuring Nikta Kruschev that Kennedy’s foreign policy of nuclear "Mutually Assured Destruction" was real - the ultimate "gun boat diplomacy" that kept the peace for decades with the Soviet Union - peace through strength diplomacy.

Again - "One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching you will reduce the danger . . Never, never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." --Winston Churchill advising the European nations about confronting the rising threat of Adolph Hitler. The Europeans failed to heed his warning. The satanic Holocaust, and the death of tens of more millions, is a direct result of their inaction.

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Official Statement of the Governor on Vermont's Per Capita Tax Burden
Office of the Governor, April 4, 2007

The Tax Foundation today released a report showing that, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau, that Vermont has the highest per capita state and local tax burden in the country. The report attributes Vermont's unusually high tax burden to, among other things, skyrocketing property taxes. "Vermont's taxpayers are the most heavily taxed in then nation at the state-local level for the second consecutive year," the report says. "Property taxes are certainly one of the culprits."

Related: Tax-Friendly Places 2007

Editorial: Not time to expand pre-k school program
April 5, 2007 Burlington Free Press

The House's decision to allow school districts to expand publicly funded pre-kindergarten programs is an example of good intentions overcoming common sense. Here was a chance to show resolve, if only symbolic, in holding down education costs, and the Legislature -- with the governor's blessing -- blew it.

Committee backs gas guzzler tax
By Terri Hallenbeck, Free Press Staff Writer, April 5, 2007

The House Transportation Committee voted out a bill Wednesday that would set a tax on the sale of so-called gas-guzzler vehicles. By a 7-4 vote, the committee agreed to include a controversial $150 tax on new cars that get 20 miles per gallon or less in combined city and highway driving and trucks that get less than 17 miles per gallon, starting with 2009 models. Committee Chairman Richard Westman, R-Cambridge, said the tax will boost transportation-related needs while targeting one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. "We think people should make smarter choices," he said.

Consider the source of global warming defense
By John McClaughry (letters to the editor), Caledonian Record, April 6, 2007

Marsh & McLennan is a $12 billion multinational conglomerate and an active member of the "Global Roundtable on Climate Change." This group's goal is to magnify the alleged problems of "global warming" in the public mind, to the end of getting governments to install a cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emissions. Recently Marsh sponsored Al Gore preaching his climate theology to its invited clients. The dirty little secret behind all this is that a worldwide cap and trade system will create huge profits for some big companies, at the expense of the customers of others. I don't know how Marsh & McLennan will wangle their cut of these profits. I do know how its Roundtable partners like Alcoa, GE, and DuPont will make a bundle from it, and I'm sure that the Marsh & McLennan people are plenty smart enough to figure out how to make theirs.

VT House takes up climate bill; taxing wind projects at issue
WCAX, April 5, 2007

The committee agreed to a surcharge of $150 for every new car that gets less than 20 miles per gallon, including vans, and trucks that get under 17. A proposal that would have exempted vehicles used for work from the surcharge ultimately was dropped, but there still were complaints about the number of large trucks that would have to pay the tax.

Emergency Pork
Caledonian Record Editorial, April 3, 2007

The Democratic pols in Washington had a field day. They loaded up the emergency war funding bill in the House with $21 billion worth of earmarks. Not to be outdone, Harry Reid loaded up the Senate sister bill with $22 billion in earmarks. Just for the record, here are some of the amounts and the pork projects that they hung on it: $74 million for peanut storage in Georgia, $25 million for spinach growers in California and $100 million for citrus growers in Florida and California.

Public school studies option of going private
By PETER HIRSCHFELD, Times Argus, April 1, 2007

As lawmakers in Montpelier wrangle over a bill aimed at stemming school costs in Vermont, at least one town is considering opting out of the public education system altogether. ...The concept isn't new. In 1998, Winhall, a southern Vermont town approximately the same size as Woodbury, closed its public elementary school. Winhall residents say that at the time enrollments were declining and that they weren't happy with student performance and the public school's per-pupil costs of more than $13,000 per year. The town dissolved its public school in the spring and, three months later, in the same building, opened The Mountain School in Winhall. Last year, the school had a total of 57 students, nearly double the number enrolled in 1998, and its per-pupil costs, at approximately $12,000 including special education and transportation costs, are less than they were 10 years ago.

Tough first week for Montpelier legislator
by Terri Hallenbeck, Burlington Free Press, April 9, 2007

By casting a "no" vote Thursday as the House leadership tried to override the governor's veto of the budget adjustment act, Anderson went against his party just as the party was taking the first test of its veto muscle. The vote was three shy of overriding the veto. Anderson said he thought a lot about his vote, and ultimately decided the Republicans' argument on the issue made more sense than the Democrats'.

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From Elsewhere

The Coming Democratic Tax Increase
By W. James Antle III, American Spectator, April 3, 2007

Last week, House Democrats passed a budget blueprint that would wipe out existing tax cuts while mostly ignoring the rising costs of the alternative minimum tax. With an anticipated take of $400 billion over five years, the result would be a bigger tax increase than Bill Clinton's in 1993 -- the one that helped cost Democrats control of Congress the following year.

Related: John F. Kennedy on Taxes
From "The Interesting History of Income Tax," by William J. Federer. "Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased – not a reduced – flow of revenues to the federal government."

Related: Tax-Friendly Places 2007: See how much you'll play in income, sales and property taxes around the country. By David Ellis, CNNMoney, April 4, 2007

The Supreme Court's Bad Science and Bad Decision
By Alan Caruba, The Eco-logic Powerhouse, April 05, 2007

Sometimes the Supreme Court makes spectacularly bad decisions, and this was manifest on April 2 when five of its nine members yielded to the specious argument by twelve states and several environmental organizations that the science of "global warming" was so conclusive that it could declare that carbon dioxide (CO2) should be regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as "a pollutant."

Creators of carbon credit scheme cashing in on it
By Judi McLeod, Canada Free Press, April 5, 2007

There's an elephant in global warming's living room that few in the mainstream media want to talk about: the creators of the carbon credit scheme are the ones cashing in on it.

Related: Climate of Opinion: Why we believe in global warming
By Holman W. Jenkins Jr. , Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2007

Nuclear Power "Renaissance" Moving Beyond Talk to Real Action
CERA Press release, April 2, 2007

Governments and businesses around the globe have moved beyond talking to real action to renew development of nuclear power, and have created "good prospects for a major nuclear expansion over the coming decades," according to a new analysis by Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA).

Case against Gonzales falling apart
by Ruben Navarrette Jr., San Diego Union Tribune, April 4, 2007

The real reason I feel queasy about the ongoing persecution of the attorney general is because the case for his ouster – Pundits and Politicos v. Gonzales – is slowly falling apart.

Pelosi undermines foreign policy (and is praised by terrorists)
Shelbyville Times Gazette, April 7, 2007

Even the left-leaning Washington Post called Pelosi's unauthorized trip "foolish" and "ludicrous." Unfortunately, they left out the part about it being unconstitutional and a gross violation of the Logan Act.

Related: Pratfall in Damascus: Nancy Pelosi's foolish shuttle diplomacy
Washington Post Editorial, April 5, 2007

Related: Did Nancy Pelosi commit a felony when she went to Syria?
By Robert F. Turner, Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2007

Related: Playing with Fire
By Thomas Sowell, Townhall, April 3, 2007

All that Pelosi's trip can accomplish is to advertise American disunity to a terrorist-sponsoring nation in the Middle East.... Such a drastic and irresponsible step should remove any lingering doubt that the Democrats' political strategy is to ensure that there is an American defeat in Iraq, in order to ensure their own political victory in 2008. That these political games are being played while Iran keeps advancing relentlessly toward acquiring nuclear weapons is a fateful sign of the utter unreality of politicians preoccupied with scoring points and a media obsessed with celebrity bimbos, living and dead.

Related: Legislating a Terrorist Victory in Iraq By  Frank Salvato, The American Chronicle, March 29, 2007

Covering the war
By Joel Mowbray, The Washington Times, April 5, 2007

Ask most Americans if they were aware that Iraqis, by almost a 2-to-1 margin, believe that life today is better than it was under Saddam Hussein, and you'd most likely elicit incredulousness, blank stares or outright laughter. Not because it isn't true, though. It is. The mainstream media just forgot to mention it.

Operation Black Eagle Update: Militia resistance subsiding
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
No. 20070407-17, April 7, 2007

AD DIWANIYAH, Iraq — Iraqi Army soldiers along with Multi-National Division – Baghdad and Multi-National Division – Center South forces continued Operation Black Eagle in the city of Ad Diwaniyah today to continue disruption of militia activity and return security and stability of the city back to the government of Iraq.

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