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True North Archives - May 22, 2007
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The Legislature
By John McClaughry

Verdict: a very liberal legislature balanced the budget, offered a desperate and embarrassing tax grabbing spectacle to combat the alleged menace of global warming, did little to stem the rise in education costs, and failed to do anything to improve the economic prospects of Vermonters.

VT vs. VY (part II)
By Martin Harris

Even though I do think an actual VY close-down would have a salutary counter-effect to the Imperial Rome mentality now prevalent under the Golden Dome, I don’t think Entergy shareholders should pay for that education. I’d rather see the company shut down VY for a few months (for safety reasons, of course) so that CV and GMP and other in-state utilities could learn to purchase power, not at 3.7c/kwh but probably at least twice that, from other sources, and pass the extra costs along to all those ratepayers anxious for a real close-down. Heck, the enviro’s among them proudly claim they would be delighted to buy wind-power at 12c/kwh, provided the towers can be made invisible.

Shumlin’s Senate, Assisted by Campbell and McCormack, Strikes Out
By Pete Behr

Is it possible to give the Vermont Legislature a minus score? Not only has it failed to respect campaign promises to address the cost of education and high property taxes, but it has passed a number of bills which would be downright laughable -- except that they add to what is already the highest tax burden in the union, shouldered by the good citizens of our fair state. 

A 21st Century Education System
By Robert Maynard

I would like to now suggest that if Vermonters are to prosper and thrive in the next century, it is imperative that an education system is created which will address these concerns.  Any such education system would rest on three principles, Quality, Affordability and Parental Control. Indeed, I believe that, as numerous studies have shown, Parental Control is the key to a quality education.  The central premise that the notion of Parental Control is rooted in is the vital recognition of the fact that the primary responsibility for the education of children lies with the parents.  This is so because education is a crucial part of the raising of children.

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This Week’s Mail Bag

TV crew's 'ambush' of Hinesburg lawmaker?

After reading the Free Press article "TV crew's 'ambush' of Hinesburg lawmaker causes stir" May 13, 2007 about how Fox News allegedly ambushed Rep. Lippert in the statehouse cafeteria, I watched the O'Reilly Factor this past Monday evening and saw the video of what really transpired from beginning to end. If a picture is worth a thousand words, O'Reilly's video is worth a set of encyclopedias.

Lippert was asked two valid questions pointedly but politely: First, why didn't he support Jessica's Law? Second, why did he push the gender identity bill, with no evidence of discrimination or victimization, I might add, when protecting our children from sexual predators should be his and every legislator's top priority?

Lippert conveniently dodged these profound questions by feigning crushed ego and allegedly oozing crocodile tears afterward for his coup de gras. How dare anyone question his motives or integrity. Perhaps Lippert should consider pursuing a career in 'B' movies, seeing how he conjures up such a wide array of emotions at a moment's notice. He's already had several years experience practicing dramatics at the statehouse.

One thing is for certain, Lippert and his lap-dog cronies have to go. Vermonters deserve better than to be so poorly represented by second rate actors with radical social agendas, masquerading as legislators. Our children are too important for us to allow that.

-Dave Demar

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Comments about Vermont

Left Vermont (Lyndonville) 13 years ago when St. Johnsbury Trucking went under. Return every summer to our camp in Glover, a town that was wonderful until the Bread and Puppet freaks moved in, not to mention the West Glover pot growers. Listened to your program once last year just before we returned to Georgia. Great show, hope to listen much more this summer.  Saw the "admiring" write up about you in today's Times Argus (on the web).You are 100% correct and it is wonderful to know that there are still a handful of conservatives left in the state. Will probably sell all of our property in Vermont soon because of taxes and the wretched leftists that now seem to dominate everything. What MORONS! I am still STUNNED to think that this once-wonderful state that I grew up in is now run by the likes of Shumlin and his stooges. Keep up the great work - anyone critized by Sue Allen and the leftist Vermont press must be doing something RIGHT!

-David Jardine


""We are the showcase of the future. And it is within our power to mold that future-this year and for decades to come. It can be as grand and as great as we make it...No crisis is beyod the capacity of our people to solve; no challange too great." --Ronald Reagan – "Meet the Students" taping for television, January 7, 1974

"No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world" --Christine Stewart, then Canadian Minister of the Environment, before the editors and reporters of the Calgary Herald, 1998 and quoted by Terence Corcoran, "Global Warming: The Real Agenda", Financial Post, 26 December 1998 from the Calgery Herald. 

"Freedom is not something that can be given.  Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be." -- James Baldwin

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Dealing With The Inevitable
Caledonian Record Editorial, May 19, 2007

Worse than the smelly ethics of the Democratic leadership is the blunt message delivered to the business community in Vermont. We already have the reputation and the tax picture that makes Vermont the most business-unfriendly state in the union. This new ripoff is a blunt warning that business is the target of the Socialists in charge and an invitation to put up with it or get out of Vermont. The rhetoric of Shumlin, Cummings, et al, was arrogant, insolent, insulting and abusive of Vermont Yankee.

Vermont demographic trends must be reversed
By Kevin Dorn, Stowe Reporter, May 17, 2007

The out-migration of Vermont’s youth is a serious problem, and one that we ignore at our peril. If we do not act to keep our young people in Vermont and attract more to come and work here, we have a crisis in the making. 

Related: Growing Vermont's Next Generation Workforce (pdf)

The Wealthy Pay their Share and Then Some
By David Stewart, It’s My Turn, Burlington Free Press, May 19, 2007

Here are some facts to enlighten those willing to see reality: In 2004, the top 1 percent of income earners paid 37 percent of all income taxes and earned 19 percent of the nation's income. The top 10 percent of income earners made 44 percent of the income and paid 68 percent of the taxes. Further, the top 50 percent paid almost 97 percent of the income taxes collected in 2004. This is a tax code that is highly progressive, not regressive. Since 2000, the last year of the Clinton Administration, the percentage of taxes paid by the top 50 percent of income earners has increased while the lower 50 percent actually pays 15 percent less. The wealthy are paying more of the taxes raised than ever before. It's not that Rich Tarrant wants you to believe it, it's the truth.

Shame On Them
Caledonian Record Editorial, May 14, 2007

Perhaps the most cynical, totally unethical, self-justifying comment of the day was made by Sen. Ann Cummings, D-Washington, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. When confronted by the fact that the Senate had double-crossed VY and reneged on their agreement of a few years ago, Cummings had this to say, "Complaints that the tax changes a previous deal Entergy had agreed to with the state don't hold water. We change tax policy all the time." Shame on her.

Too Many Teachers in VT's Schools?
WCAX, May 16, 2007

Vermont has the lowest student teacher ratio in the country and its student population has been declining about one percent a year. Woolf believes that if we simply added three students to every classroom, the state could save 100-million dollars out of its $1.4 billion budget. "Every other state seems to be able to get by with fewer staff members than we do, so unless there something unusual about Vermont kids that they're really hard to teach, or there is something odd about them I don't think we need all the staff we have," Woolf said.

Related: The FY 2007 Teacher/Staff Report

Twenty-One Foxes Hidden In The Chicken Coop
Caledonia Record, May 18, 2007

The war in Iraq, on the heels of the Vietnam War, on the heels of the Korean War, on the heels of World War II have filled our veterans hospitals with gravely injured - both physically and mentally - men and women who deserve the best treatment in modern medicine available.

A Good Start, But Not Yet Enough
Caledonia Record, May 15, 2007

The Legislature has shown its willingness to grapple with this problem. In the next session, our lawmakers should go the next step and pass civil commitment legislation that will disallow the most egregious sexual predators from being released at the end of their maximum sentences, but restrained in prison until they comply with the strictest, constitutional requirements of the law. And to those who cry that such civil commitments are unconstitutional, we say to the Legislature, challenge them and let the courts decide.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Is Religious Freedom for Everyone?
by Michael Novak, Heritage Foundation, May 16, 2007

I have heard Muslims say that they wish to be devout Muslims and live under the protection of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both. They want to remain devout Muslims and they want those protections. They want to enjoy the same liberties, dignity, and economic opportunity as other peoples. It can't be true that liberty and dignity and opportunity are restricted only to Jews, Christians, and humanists—that they don't also count for Muslims. It's just not believable on its face.… Can it be said that, buried in the rich traditions of Islam, is a philosophy of liberty, even a philosophy of democracy and religious pluralism, whose full flowering is yet to become evident to those outside Islam? It seems plain that any religion based upon reward and punishment must have buried within it a profound theory of liberty. Reward and punishment for human action makes no sense if you don't believe in liberty. This is a point Thomas Aquinas made in his encounters with Islam in the 13th century. There has got to be a theory of liberty buried within there.

'Welcome to Tehran' - How Iran took control of Basra
Guardian, May 19, 2007

"They [the Iranians] don’t give us weapons, they sell us weapons: an Iranian bomb costs us $100, nothing comes for free. We know Iran is not interested in the good of Iraq, and we know they are here to fight the Americans and the British on our land, but we need them and they are using us."… Most of the Shia militias and parties that control politics in Basra today were formed and funded by Tehran, he said… [L]ike many he was philosophical about Iranian interference. "Unlike the US and the UK, Iran invested better. They knew where to pump their money, into militias and political parties. If a war happens they can take over Basra without even sending their soldiers. They are fighting a war of attrition with the US and UK, bleeding them slowly. We arrest Iranian spies and intelligence networks but they are not spying on the Kalashnikovs of the Iraqi army - they are here to gather intelligence on the coalition forces."

Don't Abandon the Iraqis
The high stakes of the war.
by Frederick W. Kagan, The Weekly Standard

America has vital national interests in Iraq. The global al Qaeda movement has decided to defeat us there--not merely to establish a base from which to pursue further tyranny and terror, but also to erect a triumphant monument on the ruins of American power. Al Qaeda claims to have defeated the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and its recruiting rests in part on that boast. If America flees the field of battle against this foe in Iraq, al Qaeda will have gained an even more powerful recruiting slogan. That is why al Qaeda fighters from across the Muslim world are streaming into Iraq and fighting desperately to retain and expand their positions there. Al Qaeda does not think Iraq is a distraction from their war against us. Al Qaeda believes Iraq is the central front--and it is. To imagine that America can lose in Iraq but prevail in the war against jihadism is almost like imagining that we could have yielded Europe to the Nazis but won World War II.

How Ahmadinejad is Taking the Americans for a Ride
Asharq Alawsat, May 18, 2007

If all goes well, the long-talked of talks over Iraq between the Islamic Republic and the United States are expected to open in Baghdad before the end of the month. Under current plans, the talks will take place at the level of ambassadors and away from the media limelight.… What is clear, however, is that the Islamic Republic sees the talks as a diversion from the one issue that preoccupies it most: international efforts aimed at preventing it from becoming a nuclear power. 

Peter Brookes, The New York Post, May 15, 2007 

Iraq doesn't need more problems. But it has one that too often gets overlooked: It's quickly becoming the latest battlefield in the proxy war between the Middle East's rising powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

U.S. Opens Door to Millions of Muslims
James Lewis, American Thinker, May 18, 2007

The new immigration bill will allow hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of Muslims to come into the United States over the next decade. Many of them have been indoctrinated all their lives to hate the United States, but that's not on the immigration qualifications. Nobody asks newcomers "have you been taught to hate the United States?" But that is exactly how France and Britain created their domestic terrorist threat: By importing hundreds of thousands of unassimilated people under the guise of multicultural love and peace. Almost all vote for the Left. 

Islamist-Left Alliance a Growing Force
Steven Stalinisky, Brookes News, May 14, 2007 

Over the past year, multiple international conferences have featured leaders of the anti-global left and Islamist groups working together. Go to any anti-war or anti-globalization demonstration in the West and chances are you will see the flags of Hezbollah and Hamas waved by people wearing Che Guevara T-shirts. And at some of these meetings, members of such radical Islamist groups as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezbollah have enjoyed starring roles.

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From Elsewhere

Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics
Growing Number of Scientists Convert to Skeptics After Reviewing New Research
by Marc Morano, U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, May 15, 2007 

Many former believers in catastrophic man-made global warming have recently reversed themselves and are now climate skeptics.  The names included below are just a sampling of the prominent scientists who have spoken out recently to oppose former Vice President Al Gore, the United Nations, and the media driven "consensus" on man-made global warming. The list below is just the tip of the iceberg.  A more detailed and comprehensive sampling of scientists who have only recently spoken out against climate hysteria will be forthcoming in a soon to be released U.S. Senate report. Please stay tuned to this website, as this new government report is set to redefine the current climate debate.

Global warming debunked
By Andrew Swallow, The Timaru Herald, 19 May 2007

Climate change will be considered a joke in five years time, meteorologist Augie Auer told the annual meeting of Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers in Ashburton this week. Man's contribution to the greenhouse gases was so small we couldn't change the climate if we tried, he maintained.

Fred has seized the internet’s high ground nearly unopposed
By Bob Krumm, News and Comment, May 18, 2007 

This far out, the internet is America’s first primary.  And Fred Thompson is leading that race without spending a dime.  Pretty savvy.

Comprehensive or Incomprehensible?
By Fred Thompson, National Review Online, May 18, 2007

Most Americans know that we have an illegal immigration problem in this country, with perhaps as many as 20 million people residing here unlawfully. And I think most Americans have a pretty good idea about how to at least start solving the problem – secure our nation’s borders. But there’s an old saying in Washington that, in dealing with any tough issue, half the politicians hope that citizens don’t understand it while the other half fear that people actually do. This kind of thinking was apparent with the "comprehensive" immigration reform bill that the U.S. Senate and the White House negotiated yesterday. 

Analysis: The Court and the 2008 Election
by Tom Goldstein, The Supreme Court Blog, May 18, 2007

As the presidential campaign season gets an unprecedented early start, it is not too early to start the hyperbole on the importance of the election for the future of the Court and, as a consequence, the future of American law. … The next President similarly will have two appointments immediately (replacing Stevens and Souter), and there also is a very substantial prospect that a Democrat would quickly be in a position to appoint a third (replacing Ginsburg). In fact, if a Democrat wins, there will be something of a race for the exits.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: The Risks Outweigh the Benefits
by Edwin Meese, III, Baker Spring, and Brett D. Schaefer, The Heritage Foundation

The United States should be wary of joining sweeping multilateral treaties negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations. Indeed, the bar should be set very high for U.S. participation in multilateral treaties negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is no exception. International bodies created by such treaties often lack proper protections to prevent unaccountable behavior and corruption and result in the U.S. being isolated by bloc voting led by countries with an interest in limiting U.S. freedom of action and sovereignty. The U.S. can rely upon customary international practice to obtain many of the benefits of these treaties without subjecting itself to the risks of joining them. For these reasons, the Senate has been wise to defer consideration of the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea since it was submitted in 1994.

Assault of the 'Transies'
By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

If the ominous nature of this wider struggle to the death – and the potentially grave implications for our society should we fail to wage it successfully – are being lost on too many Americans, practically none of them is paying attention to yet another, in some ways even more insidious, threat to our country: the assault on our sovereignty by the "transnational progressives." This term was coined by one of the most thoughtful defenders of American sovereignty – that somewhat intangible, yet indispensable ingredient in a nation of the people, by the people and for the people – Hudson Institute scholar John Fonte. In October 2002, he wrote a seminal essay in Orbis entitled, "Liberal Democracy vs. Transnational Progressivism: The Future of the Ideological Civil War within the West." In it, he warned of the emergence of "a new challenge to liberal democracy and its traditional home, the liberal democratic nation-state."

Choices That Are Changing Lives in D.C.
By Fred Hiatt, The Washington Post, May 21, 2007

If it were up to the children and their parents, there'd be no question that the District's five-year experiment with school vouchers would be renewed for an additional five years or more.

Pyongyang's Perfidy: North Korea violates another deal. Where's the outrage?
By John R. Bolton, Opinion Journal, May 20, 2007 

Over a month has passed since sweetness and light were due to break out on the Korean Peninsula. On Feb. 13, the Six-Party Talks in Beijing ratified a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and North Korea, providing for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear programs. The first step, 60 days after ratification, was to be that North Korea "will shut down and seal for the purpose of eventual abandonment" the Yongbyon nuclear facility, and readmit inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.... The 60 days came and went, and indeed, another 37 days have come and gone. No IAEA inspectors have been readmitted, and not even Pyongyang claims that it has "shut down" Yongbyon

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