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True North Archives - May 08, 2007
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Featured Articles

Review of Deep Ecology for the 21st Century: Reading on the Philosophy and Practice of the New Environmentalism
By Bruce Shields

...[M]any Deep Ecologists espouse an end to the Western religious tradition with its emphasis on revelation, Truth, and reason. Several articles praise shamanism, paganism, animism, wiccan, Druid, and other form of religious experience. Gary Snyder especially praises Buddhist thought for providing a world view in which there is no mind at work, no one in charge, and all elements of the world are completely equivalent, eating and being eaten.  Humans play no greater role in the eternal scheme of things than the lowest bacteria.

Vermont needs a Goal Keeper
By Mark Shepard

A number of years ago an article in a local paper expressed how nice it was to live in a state where diversity is embraced.  Given Vermont’s lack of racial and ethnic diversity the writer redefined cultural diversity by separating people based on their feelings and choices.  It was actually quite comical to see the contortions the writer went through to convince herself that she indeed lived in a very diverse part of our county and thus embraces diversity.

Sen. Shumlin's Desperate Search for New Taxes
By John McClaughry

A shabby, desperate attempt to find something new to tax is now playing itself out in Montpelier. The principal actor is the Senate president pro tem, Sen. Peter Shumlin.

Legislature Kills Assisted Suicide Legislation
By Mary Hahn Beerworth

All told, euthanasia proponents were rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of what appeared to be a sure win in Vermont. Proponents of suicide hired nine lobbyists, ran television commercials for months featuring two former Governors, a former Lt. Governor, and a former Congressman. They promoted the results of their biased public opinion polls, claiming 82% of Vermonters favored the legislation and they enjoyed the advantage of a House of Representatives made-up of 93 Democrats, 49 Republicans, 6 Progressives and 2 Independents. But over the years, a growing coalition of local opposition had been forming to warn of the dangers of passing physician-assisted suicide legislation. The Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare, under the guidance of Dr. Robert Orr, worked to expose the abuses of the law in Oregon. 

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"A certain shock treatment is needed, but it would best be delivered with a two-by-four as a solid whack to the head of politicians who remain oblivious to fundamental physical facts" --James Hanson, head of NASA's Institute for Space Studies and a witness for the State of Vermont in its case against automobile manufacturers.  The quote first appeared in the New York Review of Books. Discussion of the quote and its context can be found here.

"Veteran political columnist David Broder set off a firestorm recently when he called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid an 'embarrassment' for declaring the Iraq War 'lost.' From the assault subsequently directed at Broder---from other journalists, political operatives, left-wing bloggers and even the entire 50-member Senate Democratic Caucus---you'd have thought Broder had had an intimate encounter with an intern." --Kathleen Parker, Washington Post (read the full piece here)

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Iraq War veteran lobbies Montpelier on troops
by Daniel Barlow, Vermont Press Bureau, May 2, 2007

Lt. Col. Steve Russell arrived at the Statehouse with a difficult mission ahead of him: Convincing a Democratically-controlled Vermont Legislature to pass a pro-war resolution with just days left in the session. (more info and links in the following section.)

American Civil Liberties Union Bullying
Caldonian Record Editorial, May 7, 2007

We urge the House and Senate conferees to call the ACLU's threat and pass the spending cap/super majority. If they are bluffing, and we think they are, we'll hear their balloon deflate, and our legislators might grow in courage and stature for standing up to them. If they sue, we'll all go to court and let the judges decide. Either way, their bullying will not decide the issue.

A Backlash Postponed
Caldonian Record Editorial, May 3, 2007

It isn't surprising that some of the heavyweight businesses in Vermont have come out in strong opposition to Sen. Peter Shumlin's effort to tax Vermont Yankee's profits, again. Among others, Central Vermont Public Service, IBM, Green Mountain Power, General Electric and Ethan Allen Interiors oppose Shumlin's plan to drain off 35 percent of Vermont Yankee's "excess" profits. Even Jeb Spaulding, Vermont's treasurer, opposes it. That's because Peter Shumlin understands only the immediate politics of it, while all of the rest of them understand the economics of it.

Bad choice for energy, the economy
By Lisa Ventriss, Rutland Herald, May 2, 2007

We already know that nuclear energy is clean, reliable, and inexpensive; it represents one-third of our electricity supply; and the most aggressive renewable energy portfolio cannot approach replacing this base-load power. Nuclear energy is one of the reasons we are the lowest carbon-emitting state in the union; it is the backbone of our portfolio. To levy a new tax on one corporation, Entergy, in effect showing them the door, is a shot across the bow of the business community in and outside of Vermont. It says Vermont cannot be trusted.

House says: Hang up and drive
By Nancy Remsen, Burlington Free Press, May 2, 2007

Buckle your seat belts, holster your cell phones, and if you are driving with a junior operator's license, get home by midnight. That's the message the House sent to Vermont drivers Tuesday when lawmakers gave preliminary approval to a highway safety bill.

Here We Go Again!
Caledonian Record Editorial, May 5, 2007

Bartlett et. al. suddenly found the money - Where did they find the money? Why, they found it by dramatically increasing their estimates of state revenues (read taxes) next year. The new estimate of revenues is either a ruse or a betrayal of the Vermont taxpayer. Take your pick. What we're looking at, here, is a financial shell game. Which shell is the money under? Is it under any of the three of them? If the Legislature buys the Bartlett shell game, Vermont taxpayers will have been suckered again. Bartlett and her cohorts are counting on a revenues surplus to solve the fact that they overplayed their hand. If there truly is going to be a revenues surplus of the magnitude that they now predict, then why in the name of all that is fair have they hidden it from the rest of us?

The Shumlin shakedown: State politics at its worst
By Jennifer Clancy, Burlington Free Press, May 5, 2007

Whether the senator likes to admit it or not, Vermont today has the lowest per capita carbon emissions rate of any state in the country, and got there in good part because it gets one-third of its electricity from emission-free Vermont Yankee. Vermont Yankee mitigates the production of more than 4 million tons of carbon dioxide annually that would result otherwise from base-load, fossil-fuel sources. While wind, solar, and other sources of renewable power do have an important role to play in Vermont's energy future, they are intermittent sources and cannot be counted on 24/7.

Norwich honors two soldiers
By Wilson Ring
The Associated Press

"We don't forget our heroes," Norwich President Richard Schneider said during Palermo's service. "Anthony was a hero."

Kennedy's father, David Kennedy, of Norfolk, Mass., said his son faced mortal danger every day he was in Iraq.

"To go and do his duty in the face of this danger took a courage I am incapable of," Kennedy said. "Was he afraid? Hell, yes. Yet his honor demanded he continue his mission."

Norwich, founded in 1819, is the nation's oldest private military college. The names of all graduates and former students who gave their lives for their country are noted somewhere in the college chapel, Schneider said.

What the President actually said...
Rob Roper, VT GOP Chair, May 1, 2007

The media has made note that today is the four year aniversary of President Bush's speech from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, dubbing the addresss in many cases as the "Mission Accomplished" speech. Below, for a reminder, are the words the President actually spoke four years ago. The phrase "mission accomplished" never appears.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Iraq War veteran lobbies Montpelier on troops
by Daniel Barlow, Vermont Press Bureau, May 2, 2007

Lt. Col. Steve Russell arrived at the Statehouse with a difficult mission ahead of him: Convincing a Democratically-controlled Vermont Legislature to pass a pro-war resolution with just days left in the session. ...The resolution's language has caused some problems for Democrats and Progressives in the House. In addition to linking the Iraq War to the War on Terrorism, the resolution contains language that implies support for the war in Iraq. Rep. Michael Obuchowski, D-Rockingham, said the resolution has been sent to a House committee to be rewritten.

Related: Vermont Senate Resolution S.R.19
Related: House Proposal of Amendment Not Concurred In; Committee of Conference Requested

Vermont Calls for Pledge not to Abandon Troops

Joint Resolution 07-1390 declares in plain language that the "General Assembly on behalf of the people of Vermont is on record that we will not abandon our servicemen and women in this time of war and pledges full support to them and their efforts to secure victory."

America, Saving Muslim Women’s Lives - Images of opression
By Fred Thompson, National Review Online, May 3, 2007

The next time I’m reminded of the suffering women endure in too many radicalized Muslim cultures, or apathy toward their plight back here at home, I’m going to conjure up the image of 40 or 50 thousand Muslim mothers smiling into the faces of healthy babies. You might try the same — and remember, while you’re doing it, that these babies would not be alive today if it were not for the U.S. and Coalition soldiers.

The Muslim Mainstream and the New Caliphate
By Andrew G. Bostom, The American Thinker

Nearly a century later, the preponderance of contemporary mainstream Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia, apparently share with their murderous, jihad terror waging co-religionists from al-Qaeda the goal (if not necessarily supporting the gruesome means) of re-establishing an Islamic Caliphate. Polling data just released (April 24, 2007) in a rigorously conducted face-to-face University of Maryland/ interview survey of 4384 Muslims conducted between December 9, 2006 and February 15, 2007-1000 Moroccans, 1000 Egyptians, 1243 Pakistanis, and 1141 Indonesians-reveal that 65.2% of those interviewed-almost 2/3, hardly a "fringe minority"-desired this outcome (i.e., "To unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or Caliphate"), including 49% of "moderate" Indonesian Muslims. The internal validity of these data about the present longing for a Caliphate is strongly suggested by a concordant result: 65.5% of this Muslim sample approved the proposition "To require a strict [emphasis added] application of Shari'a law in every Islamic country."

Fighting Al-Qaeda in Iraq
by James Phillips, Heritage Foundation, May 4, 2007

Al-Qaeda's strategy is to carve out a state-within-a-state in Iraq to use as a springboard for exporting terrorism and subversion. Iraq looms much larger in al-Qaeda's plans than Afghanistan because of its strategic location in the heart of the Arab world, in close proximity to the Persian Gulf oil fields, a high-value target for attack. Iraq is a more useful staging area for attacks on neighboring countries and Israel, which is likely to become more of a target for future al-Qaeda terrorism. Moreover, Baghdad was once the seat of the caliphate that al-Qaeda seeks to recreate, which is an important ideological consideration. Finally, as an Arab-dominated movement, al-Qaeda would have a much easier time operating from bases in Sunni Arab regions in Iraq than in Afghanistan or Pakistan, where Arab travelers stand out from the local population.

Bill Clinton's Disastrous Record of Fighting Terror Terrorism
Kathy Miller The New Media Journal, April 28, 2007

Five weeks after the World Trade Center bombing, four suspects were under arrest. The mastermind, Ramzi Yousef, had fled. Still, at that point in early April 1993, the FBI proclaimed that it had captured most of those involved. The bombing, it claimed, was the work of a loose group of fundamentalists with no ties to any state. The predictable media frenzy followed and, perhaps as a result, some obvious questions were not asked. How could the government know so early in the investigation that those it had arrested had no ties to any state? If the government knew so much so soon, then why did one of those arrested never stand trial for the bombing, and why were three others indicted much later? In short, the Justice Department determined that the bombing had no state sponsorship even before it decided definitively who had been involved.

Yet by responding to state-sponsored terrorism solely by arresting and trying individual perpetrators, the US government, in effect, invites such states to commit acts of terror in such a way as to leave behind a few relatively minor figures to be arrested, tried, and convicted. This makes it unlikely that the larger, more important, and more difficult question of state sponsorship will ever be addressed.

A Glimmer of Hope
by Gary Bauer, Human Event Online, May 4, 2007

If there is a voice for pluralism, peace and tolerance in Islam, the "pessimists" wonder aloud, where is it? I may have heard it recently in Kiev, Ukraine, where Christian, Jewish and Muslim government, religious and civic leaders gathered in an attempt to find common ground.  The unique gathering, dubbed the Summit on Peace and Tolerance, was the brainchild of Irwin Katsof and was a joint project of the World Conference for Christians, Jews and Muslims; the Global Foundation for Democracy; and the Ukrainian Interfaith Association. I was invited to speak at the event, whose attendees included Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Rabbi Yona Metzger, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, former Romanian Prime Minister Petre Roman and National Religious Broadcasters President Dr. Frank Wright, among other prominent leaders.

Will Britain one day be Muslim?
by Ruth Dudley Edwards, Daily Mail, May 5, 2007

Omar Khyam, Waheed Mahmood, Salahuddin Amin, Anthony Garcia and Jawad Akbar - first and second generation immigrants - responded to the tolerance of the British people by trying to kill as many of them as possible. Is it absurd to hope that the exposure of their evil after a 13-month trial which cost an estimated £50 million has finally provided the wake-up call that this slumbering country so badly needs?

From Elsewhere

Freedom Is the Environments Best Friend
By John Semmens, The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, April 2007

The environmental alarmists have it backwards. If anything imperils the earth it is ignorant obstruction of science and progress. People living on the edge of subsistence cannot afford to conserve the environment. Their energies must go into surviving. People who are prosperous can afford to think about conserving the environment. So to the extent that the measures demanded by environmental alarmists retard progress, they also endanger the environment. That technology provides the best option for serving human wants and conserving the environment should be evident in the progress made in environmental improvement in the United States. Virtually every measure shows that pollution is headed downward and that nature is making a comeback.

The New Europeans - Can an election change France?
The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2007

Even France may be ready at last to abandon statist orthodoxy. Mr. Sarkozy got 31% in the first round, the highest score for a right-wing candidate since 1974, and heads into the runoff with a nine-point lead in the polls. French voters are saying something must truly change. But will it?

Leftist Thought Control
by David Limbaugh, May 4, 2007

The political left, which holds itself as progressive, rational and fact-based, is becoming an enemy of academic inquiry, and a practitioner of thought control on a wide variety of issues. Increasingly, from the left's perspective, there is just one acceptable viewpoint.

More Kafkaesque behavior from the UN
Ed Lasky May 04, 2007 American Thinker

If the UN were rational and felt the need for an African nation to head the Commission, it should have chosen Botswana-which for many years has enjoyed a booming economy AND political freedom. But that would presume some positive values at the UN.

Hate This - Mr. President, get ready for another veto
By Timothy Lynch May 3, 2007 National Review Online

Hate-crimes legislation will also take our laws too close to the notion of thought crimes. It is true that the hate-crime laws that exist presently cover acts, not just thoughts. But once hate crime laws are on the books, the law-enforcement apparatus of the state will be delving into the accused’s life and thoughts in order to show that he or she was motivated by bigotry. What kind of books and magazines were found in the home? What internet sites were bookmarked in the computer? Friends and co-workers will be interviewed to discern the accused’s politics and worldview. The point here is that such chilling examples of state intrusion are avoidable because hate crime laws are unnecessary in the first place.

Free Economies and the Common Good
by Rev. Robert A. Sirico, Acton President May 1, 2007

The common good is incompatible with the violation of the right to economic initiative. As Pope John Paul the Great wrote of economic initiative: "It is a right which is important not only for the individual but also for the common good. Experience shows us that the denial of this right, or its limitation in the name of an alleged ‘equality’ of everyone in society, diminishes, or in practice absolutely destroys the spirit of initiative, that is to say the creative subjectivity of the citizen."

Media Hype on Climate Change Is Nothing New: Inhofe
The Heartland Institute, Published in: Environment News, March 2007

Alarmism over climate change is unsupported by the weight of scientific evidence, and proposals by environmental activists to impose drastic actions are unwarranted, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, stated on the Senate floor on September 26, 2006. In his address, Inhofe summarized the state of climate change science, drawing upon the latest scientific research.

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