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True North Archives - April 17, 2007
Radio | Editorial | News & Views

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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

Pre-K schooling worth not proven
By Jerry Oppenheimer

Taxpayers should not be saddled with an unproven (and the recent NICHHD study suggests counterproductive) program that would expand a school system already facing a funding crisis and widespread taxpayer dissatisfaction.

Progressive Plans Revealed
By Peter Behr

We thought the universal pre-kindergarten movement was over for this legislative session, considering its enormous added cost to an already bloated education budget. But the educrats keep pushing. The timely publication of a 15-year $200 million dollar study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has found "No improvement in math and reading beyond the first grade for high quality day care," and "keeping a child in pre-school day care increased the likelihood of disruptive behavior through the sixth grade."

Vermont Legislators Strategizing to Lose
By Martin Harris

Vermont's Golden Dome folk and their supporters have created three situations where they wanted to be seen supposedly striving for outcomes which, in actuality, they didn't and don't want to see actually happen. Two were actually the subjects of supposedly serious legislation, and the third is only in street-theatre format so far. In that order, they are: the facile promises to control school spending and taxes; the proposal to emancipate all laying hens; and the on-going campaign to shut down Vermont Yankee in five years.

Global Warming In Schools
By Linus Leavens

I went to a South Burlington School Board meeting last fall to ask what recourse a parent has when they perceive that teachers have failed to park their personal & political agendas at the door; instead choosing to use their teaching position as a bully-pulpit. And what is the Board’s responsibility?

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This Week’s Mail Bag

Dear True North Editor: 

If no one has yet brought this to your attention the lyric [quoted by Frank Mazur in the last issue] went as follows; "If you drive a car I'll tax the street", which would then rhyme with the rest of the end words.

Keep up the good work, as you give me much material to write my local representitivess about.

Samuel Shultis, West Rutland

Frank Mazur replied: I found the error when I looked up the song. However, I elected to stay with gas since that’s a hot topic in the legislature. 

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"I spent 8 hours with him [McCain] on Wednesday [4-11-07] . . . He is just an impressive man. I think he’s doing this for the highest of reasons. He still believes there is a chance of success. How high I don’t know. I don’t think he knows. But he thinks the surge is necessary to avoid a really cataclysmic future. And his attitude is if I ruin my political chances - ‘hey, I’ve had a wonderful life, so be it.’ .... So I admire him for this. And I think politically it may not kill him because in 10 months when we are voting the surge will either work or not but we will be in a dangerous world ... But for him [Senator Edwards] to declare the surge a failure already is like you are looking for failure - that you want failure." --- New York Timespolitical analyst and journalist David Brooks on the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer on Friday, April 13, 2007.

"I don’t believe it is in anybody’s interest for members of the Senate to be impugning the other side’s patriotism or, by the way, hiding behind the troops as political justification for what we are doing [advancing the surge] .... I think that John McCain has been impugning people’s patriotism." --Newly elected US Senator James Webb of Virginia on Bloomberg’s Political Capital show this past week. Senator Webb voted to withhold funds for military supplies that help protect US forces in Iraq but gave a loaded pistol to one of his aids, Phillip Thompson, for his apparent protection. Thompson was arrested for trying to bring the pistol into the Russell Senate Office building. Webb’s explanation was "tortured" is how AC reporter Mark Whittington described it on April 7 adding Webb "gave a spirited defense of the Second Amendment and his right to protect himself in the post 9-11 world." In fact, all members of Congress are permitted to carry side arms on Capitol grounds. Click here for more info

"Before I left for Iraq, I watched with regret as the House of Representatives voted to deny our troops the support necessary to carry out their new mission. Democratic leaders smiled and cheered as the last votes were counted. What were they celebrating? Defeat? Surrender? In Iraq, only our enemies were cheering. A defeat for the United States is a cause for mourning not celebrating. And determining how the United States can avert such a disaster should encourage the most sober, public-spirited reasoning among our elected leaders not the giddy anticipation of the next election. Democrats who voted to authorize this war, and criticized the failed strategy that has led us to this perilous moment, have the same responsibility I do, to offer support when that failure is recognized and the right strategy is proposed and the right commanders take the field to implement it or, at the least, to offer an alternative strategy that has some relationship to reality." --John McCain in his speech given on April 11, 2007.

"We could, however, support a short-term redeployment, or surge, of American combat forces to stabilize Baghdad, or to speed up the training and equipping mission, if the US commander in Iraq determine if such steps would be effective . We also reject the immediate withdrawal of troops because we believe so much is at stake." --Page 73 of the Iraqi Study Group’s final report. The ISG was made up of a 10 member bipartisan panel of some of America’s brightest Republicans and Democrats. The ISG was co-chaired by Democrat Lee Hamilton and Republican James Baker

December 17, 2006 on Face the Nation before the Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats celebrated the passing of a date certain for withdrawal in Iraq:

Bob Shieffer: "Will you insist on a timetable for the beginning of the drawing down of the forces there? Response : Senate Majority LeaderHarry Reid: "We’re - there’s - We need to redeploy. Whose going to make that decision of redeployment? Officers on the ground." Sheiffer: "But you are not going to insist on a specific date to begin drawing down?" Reid: No I’m not - absolutely not." 

"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

High Taxes Deter Weidmann Plant Expansion in Vermont
BY Jeanne Miles, Caledonian Record, April 14, 2007

Business at Weidmann Electrical Technology in St. Johnsbury is booming. So much, the company is looking to expand its operations. But that expansion will not take place in Vermont due to high taxes and a strong impression by investors that Vermont is unfriendly to business, according to a letter sent April 2 by John Goodrich, vice president and general manager of Weidmann Technology.

Bad week for VT's taxpayers
by Rep. Rick W. Hube Jr., Rutland Herald, April 12, 2007

In spite of a public outcry for relief, the House passed several bills that will in fact increase — yes, increase — the cost of property taxes...

VT's Business owners speak, hope VT's policy makers will listen
By Rachel Feldman, Vermont Times Argus, April 12, 2007

"But why are there so many small and micro businesses in Vermont?" asked Harold Ryan. "Because there's nothing else. There are barely any large industries who settle here." Some audience members said large businesses decide not to come to Vermont because the state isn't "business friendly." Corporate taxes are among the highest in the nation, and "everyone wants to levy a financial penalty for everything," said Dennis Carman, owner of Vermont Custom Canvas in Georgia.

Tax ranking may be off, but burden is real
By Nancy Remsen, Burlington Free Press, April 12, 2007

McClaughry says the state's high tax ranking is a deterrent to economic development. "If you have a state with the No. 1 tax burden, the people investing money will look elsewhere."

DaimlerChrysler says it cannot meet Vt. emissions limits
By Candace Page, Burlington Free Press, April 13, 2007

An executive of DaimlerChrysler Corp. on Thursday echoed claims made this week by General Motors in U.S. District Court in Burlington, saying his company also doesn't have the technological capacity to produce a fleet of cars that complies with Vermont's greenhouse gas emissions standards. Instead, DaimlerChrysler would begin limiting the models of cars and trucks it ships to Vermont auto dealers in 2012, Reginald Modlin, director of environmental affairs, testified.

VT House abandoning gas guzzler tax to pay for public transit
WCAX, April 12, 2007

The efficiency incentive was dropped because lawmakers could no longer afford it. "Money in has to equal money out," said House Transportation Committee Chairman Richard Westman, R-Cambridge. "If you don't raise it, you can't spend it."

He said, he said: Shumlin, Pillsbury at odds over key veto vote
By Paul H. Heintz, Brattleboro Reformer, April 14, 2007

"I knew what Shumlin was gonna do. I told you it's going to be my word against his," Pillsbury said. "But one of us is probably going to be going for higher office and one of us is not. You tell me who's telling the truth." Pillsbury added, "He makes me want to throw up."

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From Elsewhere

John McCain's April 11 Speech on Iraq
By Senator John McCain, April 11, 2007

Many in Washington have called for an end to our involvement in Iraq. Yet they offer no opinion about the consequences of this course of action .... my friends, no political solution has a chance to succeed when al Qaeda is free to foment civil war and Iraqis remain dependent on sectarian militias to protect their children from being murdered. America has a vital interest in preventing the emergence of Iraq as a Wild West for terrorists, similar to Afghanistan before 9/11.

Related: The War You're Not Reading About

Surge Results are Visible
By Charles Krauthammer, Real Clear Politics, April 13, 2007 

The Democrats in Congress are so consumed with negotiating among their factions the most clever linguistic device to legislatively ensure the failure of the administration's current military strategy -- while not appearing to do so -- that they speak almost not at all about the first visible results of that strategy. And preliminary results are visible. The landscape is shifting in the two fronts of the current troop surge: Anbar province and Baghdad. The news from Anbar is the most promising. Only last fall, the Marines' leading intelligence officer there concluded that the U.S. had essentially lost the fight to al-Qaeda.

This is what the clash of civilizations is really about
Julian Baggini, The Guardian, April 14, 2007

I don't usually consider either the Ministry of Defense or the Vatican to be prescient founts of wisdom. But when two such different oracles issue remarkably similar warnings, you have to take notice. Earlier this week it was revealed in this newspaper how the MoD believes that "the trend towards moral relativism and increasingly pragmatic values" was causing more and more people to seek "more rigid belief systems, including religious orthodoxy and doctrinaire political ideologies, such as popularism and Marxism".

Green Gingrich's Refashioned Conservatism
Tuesday, April 10, 2007 American Spectator

I attended Newt Gingrich's global warming "dialogue" with John Kerry this morning and what ended up striking me most was not the debate over the climate change issue itself, but the fact that it provided a window into Gingrich's refashioned brand of conservatism. Because Gingrich is one of the most thoughtful Republicans around, often ahead of his time, it's worthwhile to reflect on what some of his statements suggest about the direction of the Republican Party. What became clear to me very early on in the discussion between two prominent figures from both sides of the political spectrum was that I was not watching a debate about small government vs. big government, but a squabble over how to effectively wield the power of government to prod private enterprise into behaving the way politicians and other experts deem appropriate.

It's the Culture, Stupid
By Dinesh D'Souza,, , April 9, 2007

There seems to be a growing belief in traditional cultures that America is materially prosperous but culturally decadent. It is technologically sophisticated but morally depraved. As former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto puts it, "Within the Muslim world, there is a reaction against the sexual overtones that come across in American mass culture. America is viewed through this prism as an immoral society." In his book The Crisis of Islam, Bernard Lewis rehearses what he calls the "standard litany of American offenses recited in the lands of Islam" and ends with this one: "Yet the most powerful accusation of all is the degeneracy and debauchery of the American way of life."

More B.S. (Bad Science) in the Public Schools
By Orlean Koehle, State President, Eagle Forum of California, April 13, 2007

I was glad to hear that Al Gore received a little harassment from crowds in San Francisco, April 5, who do not believe his b.s (bad science) about global warming. However, the place where no one dares question this b.s. is in the public schools, where his movie, An Inconvenient Truth is being shown everywhere, even in elementary school. His movie and many other green myths and fear tactics are being taught from Kindergarten through high school, causing students to come out of the public schools totally converted to the green philosophy. If they go on to college they receive 4-5 more years of green indoctrination, so they are even more brainwashed, and do not question the truthfulness of what they hear.

The real climate change catastrophe
Misguided energy policies are harming the world’s poor 
by Paul K. Driessen,

Over 2 billion of the Earth’s citizens – including 95% of Africans – still do not have electricity. That means no lights, refrigerators, stoves, radios, televisions or computers; no modern homes, hospitals, schools, offices or factories. Instead, people breathe polluted smoke from wood and dung fires, and die by the millions from lung diseases.

The world should be rushing to their aid. Instead, in the name of preventing hypothetical climate change, environmentalists and rich countries oppose fossil fuel power plants in poor countries. To "protect wild rivers," they obstruct hydroelectric projects. They resist nuclear power, on the ground that it is "inherently dangerous." In short, they are telling a third of the world’s people:

"You cannot have modern, healthy, industrialized societies. Your only option is piddling amounts of expensive, unreliable electricity from wind and solar. To safeguard the world from speculative risks that we are concerned about, you must endure life-threatening dangers that perpetuate poverty, disease and childhood death in your destitute nations."

Case Closed: Tax cuts mean growth
BY Fred Thompson, Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2007

Those who say they want a "more progressive" tax system should be asked one question: Are you really interested in tax rates that benefit the economy and raise revenue--or are you interested in redistributing income for political reasons?

Related: Democrats and the AMT

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