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True North Archives - May 05, 2009
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

Greedy Government is the Problem
By Rob Roper

On April 15, 2009, the day hard working Vermonters officially paid up what Forbes magazine just labeled (again) the nation's highest individual tax burden, Vermont Democrats and Progressives responded by voting to increase Vermont's tax burden by $24 million. By passing H.442, they voted for higher income taxes. Higher death taxes. New taxes on iTunes and other electronic downloads. The vote was 82 - 54

The Return of Reactionary Liberalism
By John McClaughry

When old and true liberalism gained a legislative majority, it enacted government programs to meet those perceived needs - and it unashamedly raised taxes on the better-off to pay their costs.

"Reactionary liberalism" recognizes the same needs, but its practitioners lack the political courage to raise the taxes to pay the bills, and face the wrath of the taxpayers. So reactionary liberalism contrives to use the power of government to force third parties to shoulder the costs of its liberal agenda. Those third parties - usually private businesses - are then forced to raise their prices to cover the additional burden of supporting the mandated benefits.

Testing, Testing, 1,2,4, Whatever
By Martin Harris

From Princeton, President Tilghman answered her West Virginia alumnus as follows: "Princeton students are such a remarkable group that they can’t be judged by fact-based tests".  That’s where I failed the contemporary-culture-shock test;  within living memory, the educational culture once used fact-based tests at every level from K to 12 to determine grade-to-grade promotion, and universities used them to see whether engineers about to graduate were capable of designing bridges which wouldn’t fail under traffic load, whether wannabe economists had learned how to qualify mortgage loan applicants, whether future agronomists had become reasonably expert in crop-seed DNA analysis. As recent untoward events have suggested, that sort of educational rigor doesn’t prevail any more, illustrating just how fact-based tests have become the Rodney Dangerfields of formal education: they don’t get no respect. Except, superficially, when they seem to show improvement: a recent (25 Mar 09) Rutland Herald headline says "Test Results Improving Statewide" and you have to read deep into the article to learn that the "good news" is that 88 Vermont schools, this year, failed to meet Federal Adequate Yearly Progress standards, down from 116 last year.

Audit the Federal Reserve
By Jessica Bernier

For all of the talk about government being more transparent I find it interesting that Peter Welch, who sits on this same committee has not joined over 100 of his colleagues in cosponsoring legislation which would provide transparency into one of these institutions-- the Federal Reserve. HR1207, The Federal reserve Transparency Act, would require a much needed and never performed audit of the Fed.

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Quotable

"You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.  When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."  -- Adrian Rogers, 1931

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Pro-gay marriage groups spent more than $228,000
By Dave Gram, The Associated Press, April 28, 2009

Supporters of Vermont's new gay marriage law spent more than $228,000 lobbying for it in the three months before the historic April 7 votes to pass it over Gov. Jim Douglas' veto. ...

An opposition group, Take It To The People, which advocated a nonbinding statewide referendum on the question, spent more than $10,000 on its efforts from January through March.

Go Private Whenever You Can
From the Caledonia Record, May 2, 2009

A fundamental axiom of successful businesses, whether private or public, is not to get into, or, if you are already in it, get out of any business that you should not be in. Schools are about education. They are not about food service, transportation systems, even cleaning and ground care, yet virtually every school board we know is trying, usually ineffectively, to manage these illegitimate spin-offs from their real business - education.

The Little Station that Could
GNAT to study Act 60 and education spending
By Andrew McKeever, Manchester Journal, April 23 2009

The drumbeat of criticism and controversy about Act 60, and its successor legislation, Act 68 — the state's educational finance law ­ may no longer match the intensity of a decade ago, but below the surface, misgivings simmer.

Into the debate has now stepped Manchester's own cable access television station. GNAT — Greater Northshire Access Television — finished filming a show last year about the effects of Act 60, 10 years later. It's now in the process of putting together a follow up that looks at the growth in education spending in Vermont, which has ballooned by almost 67 percent since 1997.

Environmental Ticketing An Abuse Of Rights
From the Caledonia Record, May 1, 2009

Environmental ticketing is simply another reduction of citizens' rights to a free and fair trial of allegations of wrongdoing by, in this case, an emotionally partial lobby and enforcement agency.

Monahan Filaments to lay off 54 Workers
By John S. McCright and John Flowers, Addison Independent, April 27, 2009

Bristle manufacturer Monahan Filaments on Wednesday said it will layoff 54 employees, or more than half of its Middlebury workforce, by late June. When the layoffs take effect, the company’s workforce will have fallen by around 100 employees in a year, leaving between 30 and 40 workers at the Case Street plant, which makes synthetic monofilaments for household, janitorial and industrial brushes and other applications.

"It’s the economy," said Jon Monahan, president of Monahan Filaments in explaining the reason for the job cuts. "Orders are down more than 50 percent from last year.

Assisted Suicide Resuscitated
From the Caledonia Record,. April 29, 2009

Like a bad dream, the effort to legalize assisted suicide is back on the docket of the Vermont Legislature. However its proponents choose to euphemize it, assisted suicide is still euthanasia, mercy killing, and, if it is passed, it is a door swung open to half a dozen pernicious kinds of justification for putting people out of their misery, beginning with their own desire to die, progressing to somebody else's desire that they die, and, finally, to a government decision that they ought to die. The movement ought to be snuffed, itself, before it goes anywhere in Vermont.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Support Marines in Afghanistan
Help the 3/8 Marines based out of Camp Lejeune provide for Afghan security and civillian needs
A "Spirit Of America" Project, Spirit Of America

As success in Afghanistan is increasingly recognized as central to the war on terror, over 3,200 Marines have been deployed to the region to provide civil engagement and counterinsurgency support.  The men and women of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment (3/8) based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina arrived in the southern region of Afghanistan in late 2008 to help combat the ongoing insurgency in this troubled area. With your help, Spirit of America will support the mission of the 3/8 by responding to the request of Lieutenant Colonel David Odom and Major Brian Mulvihill for supplies critical to proper training of local Afghan National Police forces and humanitarian items to improve conditions for local citizens in Farah Province.

How The UN Can Repeal, Destroy US Way Of Life
By Herb Denenberg, The Bullentin, April 28, 2009

We spend at least $5 billion every year to finance campaigns by the U.N. and such groups as its Human Rights Council (HRC) to propound anti-Americanism and bigotry on a grand international scale. For example, the HRC has praised some of the worst human rights violators, such as Cuba and China. It is set up so voting blocks can protect human rights violators, such as North Korea and Zimbabwe, from criticism.

But what is even worse, the U.N. and the international agreement and treaty process can be used to, in effect, amend, repeal and destroy our Constitution and way of life....

Many groups lobby the U.N., as they want to influence American law through the treaty process at the U.N.  If ratified by the Senate, such treaties become American law. So when groups can’t get Congress to pass their proposals, they go to the U.N. and its diplomatic and treaty process. That approach can be more likely to succeed due to the views of other nations and due to the fact that the whole process is not monitored as carefully as the congressional process. Remember, this is the U.N. that shields human rights violators and often takes an anti-American stance.

In Conspiracy Trial, Dark Tale Emerges of Jihad Training
By Mike Carter, Seattle Times, April 29, 2009

Speaking publicly for the first time, former Seattle resident James Ujaama testified Tuesday about his efforts in 1999 to create a terrorist training camp in rural Oregon for would-be jihad warriors wishing to take up the fight against the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.

Sixty Miles from the Capital
By Michael Rubin, Weekly Standard, May 11, 2009

On April 22, several hundred Taliban fighters moved from their stronghold in the Swat Valley to the neighboring district of Buner, just 60 miles from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton underscored the seriousness of the crisis, accusing the Pakistani government of "abdicating to the Taliban" and suggesting that instability in Pakistan posed a "mortal threat" to international security. While the Taliban retreated to Swat, the challenge they pose remains. Indeed, on April 30, General David Petraeus said that the Taliban's challenge makes the next two weeks critical to Pakistan's survival.

These events illustrate the weakness of the Obama foreign policy. Addressing the House Foreign Affairs Committee the day of the Taliban's advance, Clinton declared, "The government of Pakistan must begin to deliver government services, otherwise they are going to lose out to those who show up and claim that they can solve people's problems." The issue in the Swat Valley, however, is not simply lack of government services.

Related: Pakistani Public Mood Swings Over Taliban

Israel's Arab Cheerleaders
By Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2009

It is a strange situation when Egypt and Jordan feel it necessary to defend Israel against American criticism. But this is the situation in which we find ourselves today.

Last Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee that Arab support for Israel's bid to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is contingent on its agreeing to support the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state. In her words, "For Israel to get the kind of strong support it's looking for vis-a-vis Iran, it can't stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts." As far as Clinton is concerned, the two, "go hand-in-hand." ...

And Egypt and Jordan are not alone in supporting Israel's commitment to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power. American and other Western sources who have visited the Persian Gulf in recent months report that leaders of the Gulf states from Bahrain - which Iran refers to as its 14th province - to Saudi Arabia to Kuwait and, of course, to Iraq - are praying for Israel to strike Iran's nuclear facilities and only complain that it has waited so long to attack them.

Taliban Spokesman 'Paints' a Troubling Picture of U.S. Islamists
By Sid Shahid, Islamist Watch, April 28, 2009

The Talibs have been quickly expanding their control in this troubled region of Pakistan, gaining strength and legitimacy. Most telling is what their spokesman Muslim Khan recently said in a CNN interview, not only about gladly harboring and protecting Osama bin Laden, but also about his desire to see Shari'a law implemented beyond Pakistan, even in America. The kicker is that for four years the Taliban spokesman lived in the United States, apparently working as a painter near Boston.

All of a sudden, what has been depicted in the media as the cancer of Taliban extremism half way around the world seems to hit perilously close to home.

It is almost unimaginable that a person like Muslim Khan, who supports and advocates the extremism of the Taliban, actually worked and lived a seemingly unremarkable life as a painter in Boston. We can recall the NYPD report on homegrown terror and wonder how many more with such a trajectory are lurking within our cities. Mr. Khan seemingly evolved from a Boston painter to the radical voice of the Taliban. Real counterterrorism work by "American" Muslims would demand such an analysis urgently.

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From Elsewhere

Jack Kemp, R.I.P.
By Rick Brookhiser, The National Review, May 3, 2009

Was there ever a man of such high spirits as Jack Kemp? Reagan was sunny; Kemp was a perpetual solar flare. He had an athlete's energy and an optimist's expectation that all would come out well. He also felt the respect for learning that only those who come to it late and under their own steam have. Ideas, he believed, really could save the world.

Related: Jack Kemp in His Own Words

Social In-Security and the Economic Crisis
By Dr. Jonathan Witt, Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, April 29, 2009

The federal program had a worthy goal—to care for our nation's elderly during an economic crisis. At the same time, however, the program allowed many more people than before simply to skip the hard work of raising responsible children who would look after them in their declining years. Cashing a check is easier than rearing children; to believe that Social Security had no effect on the fertility rate is to believe that humans are not affected by incentives.

What does all this have to do with the economic crisis? While the causes of the crisis are complex, at its foundation is a supply/demand problem brought on partially by a demographic shift. As David Goldman explains in First Things, "The collapse of home prices and the knock-on effects on the banking system stem from the shrinking count of families that require houses. We are now a mélange of alternative arrangements in which the nuclear family is merely a niche phenomenon."

This demographic trend undermined the housing market. It undermined the financial system that came to depend on the housing market. And in the wider picture, it undermines the long-term solvency of Corporation USA, beginning with its pension plan.

Black-Market Schools
By James Tooley Cato Institute April 29, 2009

But is it really so grim? After all, my research had shown that significant numbers of parents had tried free primary education in the public schools but had decided to move their children back to the private schools. Surely, they weren't doing something so counterintuitive if they thought that the private schools really were hopeless? My research assistant from Newcastle, James Stanfield, and I decided to interview groups of parents in four schools that had reported parents' returning their children, having moved them first to the government schools. These parents at least were clear that they had behaved rationally moving back to private school.

In each discussion, parents eagerly told us how the education being offered in the slum private schools was higher quality than in the neighboring government schools — however much the buildings' appearances might suggest the contrary. Not one parent expressed the opposite view.

Despotism – The Soft Way
By Samuel Gregg D.Phil., Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, April 22, 2009

Democracy, Tocqueville argued, encouraged this fixation with equality because it requires people to relate to each other through the medium of democratic equality. This encourages us first to ignore, then to dislike, and finally to seek to reduce all differences that contradict this equality -- particularly wealth disparities.

This is key to what Tocqueville considered democracy’s tendency to "soft despotism." Democratic despotism, Tocqueville thought, would rarely be violent. Instead it would amount to a Faustian bargain between the political class and the citizens. He predicted that "an immense protective power" might assume all responsibility for everyone’s happiness – provided this power remained "sole agent and judge of it." This power would "resemble parental authority" and attempt to keep people "in perpetual childhood" by relieving them "from all the trouble of thinking and all the cares of living."

Sound Science Battles Alarmist Politics
By Jay Lehr, Ph.D, Environment & Climate News, May 2009

Political Indoctrination: The Climate is an extraordinary account of both the science contradicting the anthropogenic global warming theory and the fraudulent manner in which activists have vested themselves in a life-and-death struggle for control of the future of the human race.

The book focuses primarily on these experiences in Sweden and Norway, where the alarmists have particular political clout. Those two countries are on the brink of economic disaster because of their limitless adherence to the false credos of climate alarmists.

Obama Sows Seeds of Demise
By Dick Morris, The Hill, April 28, 2009

When the Obama administration crashes and burns, with approval ratings that fall through the floor, political scientists can trace its demise to its first hundred days. While Americans are careful not to consign a presidency they desperately need to succeed to the dustbin of history, the fact is that this president has moved — on issue after issue — in precisely the opposite direction of what the people want him to do.

Right now, Obama’s ratings must be pleasing to his eye. Voters like him and his wife immensely and approve of his activism in the face of the economic crisis. While polls show big doubts about what he is doing, the overwhelming sense is to let him have his way and pray that it works.

But beneath this superficial support, Obama’s specific policies run afoul of the very deeply felt convictions of American voters. For example, the most recent Rasmussen Poll asked voters if they wanted an economic system of complete free enterprise or preferred more government involvement in managing the economy. By 77-19, they voted against a government role, up seven points from last month.

School Choice for the Few
The new do-as-I-say double standard
By William McGurn, The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2009

Some hypocrisies are apparently more equal than others. If, for example, you are a politician who preaches "traditional values" and you get caught in a hotel with a woman who is not your wife, the press is going to have a field day with your tartuffery.

If, however, you are a pol who piously tells inner-city families that public schools are the answer -- and you do this while safely ensconcing your own kids in some private haven -- the press corps mostly winks.

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