North Archives - April 28, 2009
| Editorial | News & Views
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.
By Tom Licata
Picture and a dirty little secret: Political and human collectivism are
not compatible with economic freedom and property rights. The latter two
are necessary components of job creation and economic growth. It is the
incompatibility of these tensions - between Vermont’s collectivist
wants and its economic needs - that drives Vermont's current state-of-confusion.
Meaningful progress as a State will require Vermont to bridge this gap
talk of reviving the "Take Back Vermont" movement, it is time to examine
what we mean by taking back Vermont. In essence, when something is taken
from you, you take it back. So what is it that freedom loving Vermonters
view as being "Taken" from them? To get a further understanding how freedom
loving Vermonters see this issue it is worth another look at the infamous
April 1972 Playboy article by Richard Pollak which details the left wing
"blueprint" for a "take over" of Vermont.
who think and write about such things have recognized the problem, from
philosopher Plato in Classical Athens to politician Ari Fleischer in present-day
Washington, who recently (13 April 09) had an op-ed in the Wall Street
Journal entitled "Everyone Should Pay Income Taxes", his thesis focusing
on the adverse effects on the overall economy (supported only by actual
tax-payers) of the pro-spending voting tendencies of non-tax-payers. The
best quote, in my opinion, comes from 18th century Scottish professor Alexander
Tyler: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It
can only exist until the voters discover that they vote themselves largesse
from the public treasury..." or, to be more precise, the majority legally
placing the monetary burden on the minority, who, of course, will eventually
flee or resist. (Think California's past experience with the pattern of
upper-income real-tax-payer flight, one which Vermont is about to repeat.)
A similar quote comes from 19th century French commentator on all things
American, Alexis de Tocqueville: "A democratic government is the only one
in which those who vote for a tax increase can escape the obligation to
pay for it", an eerily apt description of the design intent of Acts 60
and 68. It's probable, maybe not proveable, that Vermont wouldn't be #1
in the Nation for tax burden if it weren't for its highly "progressive"
tax system, in which the majority votes for the minority to pay the costs
of various free-to-them goodies.
Thomas F. Koch, Barre Town
the "what in the world were they ever thinking?" department, the Vermont
Senate voted to legalize the practice of "sexting" between consenting teenagers!
The original intent of the
bill was a good one - to expand the list of persons who would be listed
on the internet sex offender registry, so that the public would have more
information about sex offenders living in their community. Then some senators
began to be concerned about branding teenagers as sex offenders for life,
based on a relatively minor offense, and I have to acknowledge that concern
to be valid.
But the Senate's solution
is absolutely weird. As part of our criminal statutes, Vermont already
has laws against using a child in a sexual performance (Sec. 2822), promoting
a recording of sexual conduct by a child or lewd exhibition of a child's
private parts (Sec. 2824), and possession of child pornography (Sec. 2827).
The Senate's solution was to insert the following language into each of
"This section shall not apply
if the person is less than 19 years old, the child is at least 13 years
old, and the child knowingly and voluntarily and without threat or coercion,
used an electronic communication device to transmit an image of himself
or herself to the person."
# # #
there any reason why the American people should be taxed to guarantee the
debts of banks, any more than they should be taxed to guarantee the debts
of other institutions, including merchants, the industries, and the mills
of the country?"
Carter Glass (1858-1946) Newspaper publisher, US Senator (D-VA),
author of the Banking Act of 1933, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under
President Woodrow Wilson.
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
- April 24, 2009
calling this now is the great recession," Vt. Economist Jeff Carr said.
The state's economists came to the Statehouse armed with nothing but bad
Record, April 22, 2009
President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, D-Windham, recently warned members of
the St. Johnsbury Rotary Club that Gov. James Douglas plans to shift the
cost of the State Teachers' Retirement Fund from the general fund to the
education fund, hence, onto the local property tax. That would inevitably
transfer a portion of the state budget onto property taxpayers. Shumlin
claims that Governor Douglas's proposal will subject property tax payers
to an unfunded $700 million liability. Shumlin went on to say, "There might
be merit in beginning with a date in the future and requiring pension fund
contributions from new hires after that date to go to the education fund."
Shumlin is right, but he
doesn't seem to know it. It makes eminent sense to get education expenses
out of the general budget and its reciprocal, get education income out
of the general budget. And while they are at it, the Legislature should
do the same for highway funds and expenses. For too many years, education
and highway funds and expenses have been commingled in transparent attempted
financial legerdemain to cover up one or the other by paying bills from
the wrong pots of money.
Tiger, April 24, 2009
bad. And this
bad. Actually, we will find out more today when the Emergency Board
reports. Revenues are expected to be down ... again.
Layoffs, tax increases, revenue
shortfalls. And still a 2010 budget that increases spending 6.7% over what
was spent in 2009 which is still not quite in balance. Even while spending
some $160 million in federal stimulus money, the legislature has not been
able to come up with a balanced 2010 budget. There is nothing left to "cut."
Which is what the legislators say they have been trying to do even as spending
Related Article: Getting
Record, April 21, 2009
of years ago, when the early education initiative got pushed through the
Democrat-controlled Legislature, we warned that it would be only a matter
of time before the professional educators (read Vermont NEA) would mount
an aggressive campaign to require that those who lead or teach early education
be certified teachers.
Here they come. Early education
advocates are pressuring for certified teachers only to teach publicly
funded early ed programs. Is the reason better education for kids? No.
Their attack is two edged. First, certified teachers almost immediately
means new union members (and dues). Second, the union intends exclusion
of private programs because VT-NEA cannot stand competition of any kind.
If they are successful, they will have extended their public school education
monopoly through the back door.
April 21, 2009
say the small projects will help create jobs, but opponents say Vermonters
will have to pay more for power as they pay for someone else's project.
"So it's a long-term above-market
arrangement that impacts our customers," said Brian Keefe of Central Vermont
Public Service (CVPS).
CVPS says the renewable energy
plan will increase electric bills by 2.5 percent. On a $100 bill, that's
$2.50, but CVPS says in this tough economy Vermonters are already struggling
to make ends meet.
"Anything that has the potential
to increase the cost to our customers we are concerned about," Keefe said.
Some business groups are
also opposed, saying for large power uses the money adds up. But supporters
say power prices could come down as more projects come on line.
Porter Times Argus. Apr 21, 2009
of the Vermont Senate recommended Monday that his colleagues increase "sin"
taxes, including taxes on tobacco products and liquor, and boost the levy
on satellite television service.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
D. KRISTOF The New York Ties April 22, 2009
fundamentalists damage Islam far more than any number of Danish cartoonists
ever could, for it's inevitably the extremists who capture the world's
attention. But there is the beginning of an intellectual reform movement
in the Islamic world, and one window into this awakening was an international
conference this week at the University of Notre Dame on the latest scholarship
about the Koran.
Phares, April 23 2009
U.S. administration and its allies are devising a new strategy for the
next steps in Afghanistan, the jihadists have already begun their next
move — but this time it’s inside Pakistan. As I've
written over the past few months, we need to look at Afghanistan, Pakistan
and India as one regional battlefield where the "other side" is coordinating
strategically, acting methodically and for sure beating the international
coalition in speed. If Washington and its allies fail to see the big picture
in the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, which unfortunately may
be the case now, the rapidly deteriorating situation will soon exceed the
northwestern provinces of Pakistan to spill over to both Afghanistan and
India, if not beyond. That's how I suggest "reading" the recent worrisome
leaps achieved by the Taliban from the SWAT valley into the neighboring
district of Buner. So what's the story and why should we consider it as
a crossing of the red lines?
one of the estimated 750,000 Americans who attended one of about 600 TEA
parties last week, you might have seen media cameras covering the event.
Media cameras, however, were not the only cameras taking video at these
events, something that has at least one current FBI agent concerned over
the future of America. According to this agent - the same agent who provided
the Northeast Intelligence Network (NEIN) exclusively
the unreleased photographs of the 11 missing Egyptian students who were
the subject of a FBI BOLO in August 2006 - placed his concerns for true
patriots of the U.S. over his own career when he confided that covert surveillance
was "planned and performed" at each of the TEA parties that took place
last Tuesday. "Listen to what I am saying," stated the source during an
interview with Doug Hagmann, founder (NEIN). "The Department of Homeland
Assessment that is receiving so much attention is just the tip of the proverbial
iceberg, and the true patriotic citizens of this country are on the Titanic.
This is what bothers me. But is goes far beyond that assessment. There
have been very significant changes made over the last few years that redirect
the focus and assets of the intelligence community internally. These changes
have greatly accelerated under this administration, and the threats have
been redefined to include those who used to be patriots. It's not only
chilling but absolutely insulting to God-fearing Americans."
Ibrahim, Pajamas Media, April 17, 2009
the recent Somali pirate standoff with U.S. forces, when American sea captain
Richard Phillips was being held hostage, Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer
that "the good news is that these [pirates] are not jihadists. If it's
a jihadist holding a hostage, there is going to be a lot of death. These
guys are interested not in martyrdom but in money."
In fact, the only good news
is that Richard Phillips has been rescued. The bad news is that what appears
to have been a bunch of lawless, plunder-seeking Somalis "yo-hoing" on
the high seas may well in fact be related to the jihad — as attested
to by both Islamic history and doctrine.
Indeed, the first jihad a
newborn U.S. encountered was of a pirate nature: the Barbary Wars off the
coast of North Africa (beginning 1801, exactly 200 years before September
11, 2001). Writing in the Middle East Quarterly a year before Somali piracy
made headlines, U.S. sea captain Melvin E. Lee — who knows in
theory what Captain Phillips may have learned in practice — writes:
What Americans and Europeans
saw as piracy, Barbary leaders justified as legitimate jihad. [President
Thomas] Jefferson related a conversation he had in Paris with Ambassador
Abdrahaman of Tripoli, who told him that all Christians are sinners in
the context of the Koran and that it was a Muslim's "right and duty to
make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to enslave as many
as they could take as prisoners.
Pipes, Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2009
attacks having become a routine and nearly daily occurrence, especially
in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the conventional wisdom holds that
terrorism works very well. For example, the late Ehud
Sprinzak of the Hebrew University ascribed the prevalence of suicide
terrorism to its "gruesome effectiveness." Robert
Pape of the University of Chicago argues that suicide terrorism is
growing "because terrorists have learned that it pays." Harvard law professor
M. Dershowitz titled one of his books Why Terrorism Works.
But Max Abrahms, a fellow
at Stanford University, disputes this conclusion, noting that they focus
narrowly on the well-known but rare terrorist victories - while ignoring
the much broader, if more obscure, pattern of terrorism's failures. To
remedy this deficiency, Abrahms took a close look at each of the 28 terrorist
groups so designated by the U.S. Department of State since 2001 and tallied
how many of them achieved its objectives.
American Thinker April 20, 2009
Quarterly just reported
a highly secret National Security Agency wiretap report on Rep. Jane Harman.
# # #
Before we get to the content
of the wiretap, all you ACLU types should be hitting the ceiling in rage.
Because NSA wiretaps are the most carefully protected, super-secret operations
carried on by the Federal government. Even during the Bush Administration,
when the CIA carried on an unconcealed war on the Bush policy in the War
on Terror through selective and politically damaging leaks to the New York
Times, no wiretap recordings were released. Wiretaps of Members of Congress
are even more sensitive, especially prominent Democrats on the House Intelligence
Anderson, American Thinker, April 17, 2009
the conservative remedies
offered to date (including
mine) have been specific policy recommendations: cutting taxes, imposing
term limits, or reforming entitlement programs.
Something is missing in these
propositions. Conservatives have some good suggestions for how to fix our
runaway government -- but we have failed to convincingly address the issue
of why the government needs to be fixed in the first place.
This article is all about
the why. Understanding why America is America (and not some third world
country) is crucial knowledge. The why of America is information that must
be not only be understood by conservatives; the "why" must be promulgated
and shared with all of our fellow citizens before conservatives can convince
their fellow citizens the need for the "how" -- for adopting any specific
Washington Examiner, April 24, 2009
April 22 saw a very interesting poll released by Rasmussen.
This poll shows that 60% of Americans believe that the Government has too
much power. 60% also say they believe that tax cuts help the economy. 51%
have a favorable view on the Tax Day Tea Parties that were held last week.
Clearly, more than half of Americans are at the very least concerned with
what the government is doing, and how much power it has. This is now a
civil rights issue, if only because more than half of Americans are not
supportive of the governments' plans. On April 21 Rasmussen released an
article titled "Most
Americans Say Bailouts Were Bad Idea, Political Class Disagrees". It
is becoming apparent we have a new class in America. The Political class,
as Rasmussen calls it, are those who believe that the Government should
be and indeed must be in control of America. You can call this class by
another name: The Statists; those who believe that the State knows best.
Poor, News Busters, April 23, 2009
CEOs would have stopped NBC's corruption a long time ago, but Immelt may
be looking for a major payoff," O'Reilly said. "According to reporting
by the Washington
Examiner, GE is heavily lobbying the Obama administration for bailout
money. The company is also pushing for the proposed cap-and-trade program.
Apparently GE has set up a joint venture it hopes would manage billions
of dollars in cap-and-trade transactions should that corporate carbon tax
NBC has been actively promoting
green issues and this revelation by O'Reilly happens to fall during the
NBC Universal networks Green
is Universal week.
"Now think about this ladies
and gentlemen - a failing corporation, General Electric might reap billions
of dollars if the Feds OK the carbon deal," O'Reilly said. "By the way,
GE is already getting taxpayer bailout money for its financial unit. So
it's not a stretch to assume Immelt would want to help President Obama
as much as possible." According to O'Reilly, the level of corruption is
so big, it stands to make Watergate look small.
J. Michaels, National Review, April 22, 2009
Earth is going on in Washington? The public believes less and less that
human beings are responsible for global warming, surface temperature shows
no net change in over a decade, and there’s still a bill about
to be debated in the House that will require the average American in 2050
to have a "carbon footprint" no larger than it was for the average American
in 1867. The politics of global warming are becoming increasingly disconnected
from the public. Day after day, hour after hour, telescreens shout, "Go
Green! Go Green!" Fewer and fewer people care.
Scarborough, Glenn Beck and others on Obama's short, error-prone time In
April 27, 2009 New York
an editing error, a portion of this piece originally was improperly credited
to Sarah Palin, when it should have been attributed to Meghan Clyne.
held dozens of briefings on techniques
Rowland, The Washington Times, April 23, 2009
briefed top Democrats and Republicans on the congressional intelligence
committees more than 30 times about enhanced interrogation techniques,
according to intelligence sources who said the lawmakers tacitly approved
the techniques that some Democrats in Congress now say should land Bush
administration officials in jail.
Between 2002 and 2006, the
top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees
"each got complete, benchmark briefings on the program," said one of the
intelligence sources who is familiar with the briefings.
"If Congress wanted to kill
this program, all it had to do was withhold funding," said the source,
who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to
talk about the closed-door briefings.
# # #