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True North Archives - May 06, 2008
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

Smart Growthers and their Perfect Little State
by John McClaughry

Vermont could have the housing its people need. But just building that housing would reject the dreams of the smart growthers who have spent decades and millions of advocacy dollars trying to get the legislature to make Vermont into the Perfect Little State. Every time these interests gain ground, the goal of an increased supply of housing for Vermonters slips further out of reach.
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A Voice from Beyond the Grave
By Martin Harris

Among other prognostications in the future-economy-of-Vermont area, he predicted (and was hooted at) that IBM would find Vermont a progressively (pun intended) less attractive as a place for capital investment and job-creation, and that Big Blue would therefore divert such future efforts elsewhere. Fishkill subsequently proved him right. Whatever the attractions—labor force, business climate, infra-structure—which drew IBM to the Winooski River urban corridor in the late ‘50’s, they were overshadowed by diplomatically unstated "other considerations" in the mid-90’s when Big Blue chose to make multi-billion-dollar investments in New York’s Hudson River urban corridor instead. Similarly, in the mid-00’s, when Del Computer was seeking a national headquarters site, it was North Carolina’s Forsyth County which proved more attractive than, among other venues, Vermont’s Chittenden County. St. John forecast that IBM would not simply abandon its at-that-time-three-decade-long Vermont investment, but would "use it up" by making no further substantive improvements before finally selling out. I’d guess that the recent behavior of Montpelier’s Golden Dome (GD for short) folks led by Senate President pro tem Peter Shumlin calling IBM’s representative John O’Kane a liar, coupled with the GD folks’ on-going (and successful) efforts to convey morally superior levels of disdain towards Entergy Corporation’s Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, will help assure that St. John’s prediction comes fully true. From St. Johnsbury, here’s some of the Caledonian-Record’s op-ed commentary on the subject:

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

During debate on the floor, it was said that present law affords parents no right to obtain information on his or her child’s library records, so that the bill is actually increasing a parent’s right. I think that view ignores, however, the language of Vermont law that generally allows (with certain exceptions, some of which have been noted above) parents to have access to their minor child’s records "including but not limited to medical, dental, law enforcement and school records." In my view, parents generally have the right to control and supervise their children up to age 18, unless the law makes an exception for certain purposes, and we have just created one more exception.

It seems to me that we fault parents for not supervising their children adequately, but then we turn around and make it more difficult for them to do so.

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Quotable

"Earth has not been warming for a decade, but a lot of IPCC scientists are starting to feel the heat! " ---Anon.

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

The Bureaucracy Giveth; The Bureaucracy Taketh Away
Caledonia Record Editorial, April 30, 2008

Several months ago, an enterprising couple built a hoop house farm on Burlington's Intervale, only to have the Vermont Agency of Agriculture tell them to tear it down because it is a farm on a floodway and that's contrary to regulations. Never mind that a hoop house farm is an excellent way to use unusable land to produce a May crop of vegetables long before other farms have even planted anything; never mind that a hoop house in a floodway would be no obstacle to flooding waters; never mind that the Agriculture Agency put this couple out of business; by the bureaucratic god, rules are rules and they have to be obeyed.

Yankee Legislation Harmful, Unneeded
By John Dreyfuss, Rutland Herald, May 1, 2008

Your recent editorial, "Risky Business" (April 29) about the Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund is flawed in its two major premises. First you lump Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee in with the most despicable companies of the past few years, while making no mention of how the company has conducted itself in the state since purchasing the plant in 2002. This is an association fallacy — and just plain wrong. ... 

You also incorrectly assert that Entergy is saying "trust us" as the reason not to increase the decommissioning fund. First, such an argument, especially to astute Vermonters, is ridiculous. Second, it is unnecessary, as there are already numerous federal and state safeguards in place to protect trust assets, make sure they are sufficient for the future, and to closely monitor any changes in this regard.

Related Editorial: Risky Business

Right to Work = Freedom to Prosper 
From VermontTiger.com, May 4, 2008

What’s better for Vermont, having more people work for non-unionized companies or having fewer people work for companies that are unionized? The folks behind the forced-union policies in states like ours would ague this isn’t a fair question. In their typically hopeless and ill-informed fashion, they will insist that this is a false dichotomy – more unions doesn't mean fewer jobs. Well, they're wrong. This paper by the Mackinac Center clearly shows that states with forced-union laws do create fewer jobs. In addition, right-to-works states out-perform forced-union states in a number of other metrics including: 

1.  Faster economic growth,
2.  Lower unemployment rates,
3.  Greater employment growth,
4.  Higher real GDP growth,
5.  Greater growth in personal income,
6.  Higher population growth, and
7.  Greater home price appreciation.
A Sham Report That Was Predicted
Caledonia Record Editorial, May 5, 2008

Near the end of the first session of this Legislature, House Speaker Gaye Symington, D-Jericho, and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, D-Windham, appointed an 11-member commission to hold public forums to determine where Vermonters stand on gay marriage. The commission was named the Vermont Commission on Family Recognition and Protection. That's a very deceptive name. If anybody had the idea that the commission had anything to do with recognizing families or protecting them, the name served its purpose of deceiving Vermonters. Its true purpose was to hold hearings that could then be twisted into a consensus legalizing gay marriage. The commission is composed of 11 members, many of them gay themselves, and all but one of them avid proponents of legalizing gay marriage. The one seeming independent is window dressing. He was added after the fact when the public realized that the deck was stacked with the first 10.

A Taxing Plan
From VermontTiger.com, May 2, 2008

Legislative leaders said Thursday they hated the idea of a sales tax holiday, they doubted it would provide much economic activity, and it would likely be of little help to poor Vermonters.  Then they approved it. --  Rutland Herald

Perhaps these leaders should ankle it on down to Brattleboro and watch how Vermonters (poor and otherwise) respond to the tax incentives that are available to them by simply crossing the Connecticut River. Afterwards, they might feel better about their votes.  And possibly even find themselves open to the possibility of more tax relief and, inevitably, more "economic activity."

Pitch In And Pick Up
Caledonia Record Editorial, May 1, 2008

Vermont's Green Up Day is an excellent example of self-help that should be embraced by everyone who believes members of a community can come together for a common purpose and work for a common good in a spirit of volunteerism. In the early days of Vermont, volunteerism and shared responsibility was the norm, and each member of a community was expected to make a contribution to the community. Necessity dictated shared responsibility in a time of rural isolation and poverty.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

An Anatomy of Surrender
Motivated by fear and multiculturalism, too many Westerners are acquiescing to creeping sharia.
By Bruce Bawer, City Journal

What has not been widely recognized is that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa against Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie introduced a new kind of jihad. Instead of assaulting Western ships or buildings, Khomeini took aim at a fundamental Western freedom: freedom of speech. In recent years, other Islamists have joined this crusade, seeking to undermine Western societies’ basic liberties and extend sharia within those societies.

The cultural jihadists have enjoyed disturbing success. Two events in particular—the 2004 assassination in Amsterdam of Theo van Gogh in retaliation for his film about Islam’s oppression of women, and the global wave of riots, murders, and vandalism that followed a Danish newspaper’s 2005 publication of cartoons satirizing Mohammed—have had a massive ripple effect throughout the West. Motivated variously, and doubtless sometimes simultaneously, by fear, misguided sympathy, and multicultural ideology—which teaches us to belittle our freedoms and to genuflect to non-Western cultures, however repressive—people at every level of Western society, but especially elites, have allowed concerns about what fundamentalist Muslims will feel, think, or do to influence their actions and expressions. These Westerners have begun, in other words, to internalize the strictures of sharia, and thus implicitly to accept the deferential status of dhimmis—infidels living in Muslim societies.

China: Let The War Games Begin
From Investor's Business Daily, May 02, 2008

While the focus is on Iranian and Syrian nuclear activities, China quietly builds an underground submarine base on Hainan Island. Its purpose is to challenge U.S. naval supremacy and to fight and win a nuclear war.

The Decline of Leftism in Europe
By Bruce Walker, American Thinker, May 04, 2008

The Berlusconi victory in Italy, a few weeks before the two big mayoral victories, means that one of the most pro-American major European leaders in modern history will be running Italy with a clear majority, and that one of the major nations of Europe will have a government as supportive of our efforts to win the war of global terrorism than we could reasonably hope to have.

Half-Won, Half-Lost War
The battle on the homefront has not yet begun in earnest
By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, May 1, 2008

First, the good news. For all the talk of a recent Tet-like offensive in Basra, the Mahdi Army of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr suffered an ignominious setback when his gunmen were routed from their enclaves. ... The despairing enemy seems to sense this as well. The more al-Qaeda mouthpiece Ayman al-Zawahiri threatens the West, the more he sounds like Hitler’s shrill propagandist Joseph Goebbels in his bunker as the Third Reich was crumbling. ...

And that brings us to the bad news. We still censor ourselves in fears of terrorist threats, mortgaging the Enlightenment tradition of free and unfettered speech. In Europe, cartoonists, novelists, opera producers, filmmakers, and even the pope are choosing their words very carefully about Islam — in fear they will become the targets of riots and death threats. Here at home, our State Department is advising its officials to avoid perfectly descriptive terms for our enemies like "jihadist" and "Islamo-fascist" in favor of vague terms like "violent extremist" or "terrorist" — as if we could just as easily be fighting Basque separatists.

Gaubatz: Islamic Manual in Falls Church, Virginia Calls on Muslims to Attack Olympians, Kill Priests and Nuns, Wage War on All Christians
From The Nein Blog, April 30, 2008

Dave Gaubatz has posted a very disturbing discovery regarding a Jihad manual being sold at the Halalco Supermarket in Falls Church, Virginia. As Dave explains it on his Kids & Terrorism Blog: "On 29 April 2008, I shopped at Halalco to verify the book is still available. It is located in the "Jihad" section of the bookstore. The manager 'Tariq' can show you the book and it is available for $12.95.

INTERVIEW: Iraq May Have 350 Billion Barrels of Oil - Deputy PM
By Dean Yates, Forbes, April 28, 2008

Iraq may have oil reserves of 350 billion barrels, Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih said on Monday, a massive figure that is triple the country's proven reserves and which even exceeds the oil in Saudi Arabia.

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From Elsewhere

The Fourth Pillar of the 'New' Economy: 'Spend all you can.'
By Jordan Ballor, The Acton Institute, April 30, 2008

In early February President Bush signed into law a $150 billion dollar package of tax rebates touted as a "stimulus" for the flagging national economy. The purpose of the plan, which President Bush has called "a booster shot for our economy," is to quickly inject some money into the economy and spur consumer spending.

The eighteenth-century theologian and pastor John Wesley once preached that we should "earn all you can, save all you can, and give all you can." Productivity, frugality, and generosity are the core moral virtues that have animated prosperous and free economies in the West for centuries. But now the federal government seemingly wants to add a fourth and conflicting principle to these traditional values: "Spend all you can."

The Environmentalists' Real Agenda
From Investor's Business Daily, Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ideologies: Once in a while the truth accidentally tumbles out on global warming activists' real agenda. That's exactly what happened at the U.N., when Bolivia's leader called for ending capitalism to save the planet.

Lehman Warns that Oil Boom will Deflate
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Energy Investment Strategies,  April 24, 2008

Lehman Brothers said the price of oil had been pushed to inflated levels by a $40 bn inflow into commodity index funds this year, much of it coming from Mid-East sovereign wealth funds. The petro-investors may have second thoughts about gaining "double exposure" to commodity prices. "Financial flows have been the marginal driver of prices since the onset of the credit crunch. Investors are using oil as a hedge against inflation and a falling dollar," said Mr Widmer. The index effect has lifted prices by $20 to $30 a barrel. This could reverse sharply once the dollar starts to stabilize against the euro, since the euro/dollar exchange has become the proxy watched by oil traders for signals.

New World Order
From Investor's Business Daily, April 25, 2008

With the discovery of vast troves of oil south of our border, it's probable that U.S. strategic interests will shift to our hemisphere. For the Middle East, that's a warning. For the Americas, it's an opportunity.

Wanted: Doc McCain
By J. Patrick Rooney & Dan Perrin, National Review, May 1 2008

Senator McCain’s emphasis on patient choice and control is another winning message. It means he trusts you to make better health-care decisions about your health with your doctor than can a government or corporate bureaucrat. The current unfair tax breaks for health-care reinforce the trend among employers to not provide health insurance, and punish the uninsured with no tax break when they try to buy it. Sen.McCain will solve the uninsured problem in the United States, and do it without a massive new government program that denies you health-care freedom in the name of providing care at a price tag we cannot afford.

Related: Why McCain's Health Plan Is Better from WebMD

Consumers Gloomy, But Spending Outlook Improves
By Scott Stoddard, Investor's Business Daily, April 29, 2008

The housing correction is weighing on consumers, according to reports out Tuesday as the Federal Reserve began its two-day policy meeting. But there were glimmers of hope.

Victory Against Voter Fraud
By John Fund,  The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2008

In ruling on the constitutionality of Indiana's voter ID law – the toughest in the nation – the Supreme Court had to deal with the claim that such laws demanded the strictest of scrutiny by courts, because they could disenfranchise voters. All nine Justices rejected that argument.

Applauding “Grand Theft”
By L. Brent Bozell, Creator's Syndicate, May 2, 2008

Yes, young lads, you can visit strip clubs and get lap dances, pick up prostitutes, go on assassination missions and conduct gangland-style executions. The New York Times applauded the game's "winsome procession of grifters, hustlers, drug peddlers and other gloriously unrepentant lowlifes."

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