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True North Archives - June 01, 2010
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

In Defense of Jihad?
By Robert Maynard

Once again the mindset of political correctness is hard at work muddying the waters when it comes to the War on Terror. In a Fox News article entitled Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam', which appears in this week’s "Freedom Under Fire" section, the President’s top counterterrorism adviser is quoted as saying that the use of the term "jihadist" should be off limits in our war on terror efforts. The reason he gives is that jihad is a "legitimate tenet of Islam", which means "to purify oneself or one's community", and there is "nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children". Brennan argued that it would be "counterproductive" for the United States to use the term, as it would "play into the false perception" that the "murderers" leading war against the West are doing so in the name of a "holy cause."  Indeed, these violent extremists are really victims of "political, economic and social forces," and those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in "religious terms." 

This is the standard politically correct line when it comes to jihadism. The fact that this mantra is being mouthed by our top counter terrorism advisor is a cause for alarm, but hardly surprising. First of all, Bin Laden and many like him are from the wealthy privileged class of their societies and are hardly "victims". Secondly, any objective reading of the writings of the jihadi leadership makes it quite clear that they are motivated by an ideology and are proactively engaged in an effort to bring about their approximation of the utopian vision associated with that ideology. They are not merely reacting to political, economic or social forces.

Here Comes the Pro-Growth Rhetoric
John McClaughry

At a public forum on May 26 the five candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor took turns waxing eloquent on the merits of spurring job-creating economic growth. There will be a lot more of this kind of talk over the next five months, but what there will not be, at least from these five, is any concrete proposal for economic development that would conflict with the liberal anti-growth theme that has dominated Vermont public policy since Act 250 passed in 1970.
                     

Gesture Politics II
By Martin Harris

In a mirror-image of a six-year-old quote particularly applicable to current events under the Cast Iron Dome (well, not directly under, but really close) of the US Capitol Building, we now know that members of the Legislative Branch, in deciding whether to audit the Fed, have "voted against it before voting for it". You may recall that the original quote came from a supposedly "haughty" Senator who had, "…by the way, served in Viet-Nam…" to describe his first positive, then negative view of  funding for body-armor for the current generation of US soldiers. You may not recall, because they’ve drawn remarkably little media interest over the decades, the repeated expressions of negative views of the Federal Reserve System coming from professional economists, members of the Fed itself, and even an occasional LB-er with an unusual interest in the subject.

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Quotable
“A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.”  – G. Gordon Liddy
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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Rainvilles Win. But Is Closing Border Wise?
By Emerson Lynn, Vermont Tiger, May 27, 2010

A Vermont farmer can be asked to help and the person asking will receive the shirt from their backs. Or a Vermont farmer can be told to help, and the person telling will be told, ever so politely, to ask elsewhere. The conversation is over. Water cannot be wrung from a stone.

 And so it is with the David and Goliath story pitting the Rainville family of Franklin  against the Department of Homeland Security [DHS]. DHS was appropriated $420 million in federal stimulus money to upgrade various ports along the U.S.’s northern border and the Morses Line border station was among the included. It was built in the 1930s and is in a state of neglect. The station, located north of Franklin, was slated for an $8 million upgrade.

Is Leahy Vulnerable?
Caledonia Record Editorial, May 25, 2010

The election results last week may mean, according to the Huffington Post, that the American people are in an "Anti-incumbent, Anti-Washington mood." One victim of the shift is U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania senator since 1980. Specter, 80, recently abandoned the Republican party, switching to the Democratic party after testing the wind and finding out Republicans were ready to sweep him out of office. As it turned out, Democrats were just as willing to ditch Specter.

Specter's stand on the issues has mirrored Vermont's own U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy in the past and they have served together on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy is the current chairman and Specter was the chairman in 2005.

From the Tax Policy Center
By Art Woolf Vermont Tiger, May 28, 2010

In the 1990s many legislators--both Democrats and Republicans--wanted to replace the property tax with an income tax.  In a sense, Act 60 did that for most Vermont homeowners.  But the price of that was huge increases in the cost of Act 60's income sensitivity provision, which will cost about $155 million next fiscal year.

What Triggered The School Budget Defeat?
From the Caledonia Record, May 29, 2010

It's unusual for a town to defeat its school budget. In Vermont on Town Meeting Day, only 14 budgets were defeated. But St. Johnsbury voters defeated theirs not once, but twice - the second time Tuesday.

The school board sought and received surveys from the voters to get beyond mere yes-or-no budget responses. Hundreds of public surveys reveal a few common themes, one being that the refusal of the teachers to accept a pay freeze helped doom Tuesday's vote.

Gov. Jim Douglas, Vetoes Current Use Bill
From WCAX-TV, May 27, 2010

Gov. Jim Douglas, R-Vermont, vetoed the Current Use bill. That's a program where people conserve land and get a tax break. About one-third of all land in Vermont is in the program and it costs the state about $50 million. With a budget crisis, Democrats passed a bill forcing landowners to pay more if they leave the program or try to transfer land. They were worried about abuse by developers.

In vetoing the bill, Gov. Douglas said it's unfortunate the General Assembly chose to raise taxes on the stewards of Vermont's working landscape in an effort to address the perceived misuse of the program.

Vermont Health Care Bill, S88, Becomes Law Without Governor's Signature
By Art Edelstein,Vermont Business Magazine, May 28, 2010

Douglas’ main concern with the bill is with the provision to create a commission, which would be charged to come up with three designs of a new health care system for the state with the goal of universal access to health care. The governor said the issue has already been studied and the $250,000 price tag was unnecessary. (Details of the bill can be found HERE)

Vermont Exhibit Describes Making of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
By Sally Pollak, Burlington Free Press, May 31, 2010

“The Story of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” opens today and will be part of the Proctor museum’s permanent exhibition.


"Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives."
--John Adams

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

North Korea on the Edge
If the regime collapses, will the rest of the world be ready?
By B.R. Myers, The Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2010

How will the regime try to survive this looming "perfect storm" of ideological crises? Likely by seeking to ratchet up some diversionary tension with the outside world. Making this especially probable is the nascent glorification of Kim Jong Eun as a general in his father's image. He thus needs a perceived military triumph of his own. (Kim Jong Il came to power in 1994 as the hero whose show of nuclear resolve had brought Jimmy Carter on a surrender mission to Pyongyang.) Last year's nuclear and ballistic provocations have set the bar higher for the regime, perhaps too high. This is the problem with deriving national pride almost exclusively from a nuclear program: The saber can only be rattled, and rattling gets old.

Whether the leadership opts for a bigger military provocation, and pushes its luck too far, or just tries to muddle through, with an inexorable decline of public support, the outlook for the country's survival has never been bleaker. Regime change? Out of the question. The Kim clan is inextricable with North Korean identity. A homegrown Gorbachev would find it impossible to shift focus from the military to the economy. Why should people toil under the North Korean flag in the hope of attaining a lifestyle that South Koreans enjoyed a quarter-century ago? Why not unify at once, and live in the system that has already proved itself?

In view of all this, one can only hope that the region's main powers are making more serious and thorough preparations for a North Korean regime collapse than they have so far let on. The effort to downplay the relevant contingency planning is of course understandable. It is hard enough for the Americans to get North Korea back to nuclear arms talks without admitting that they are readying for its demise. (Kim Jong Il can't have forgotten that Washington once promised him light-water reactors in the confidence that he wouldn't be around long enough to get them.)

Related Article: South Korea Threatens War If North Korea Makes One More Provocation

How Islamists Came to Dominate European Islam
by Daniel Pipes, May 25, 2010

The 7/7 bombings in London, in which Islamists killed 52 and injured 700, prompted British authorities to work with Muslims to avoid future violence.

However, rather than turn to anti-Islamist Muslims who reject the triumphalist goal of applying Islamic law in Europe, they promoted non-violent Islamists, hoping these would persuade coreligionists to express their hatred of the West in lawful ways. This effort featured Tariq Ramadan (b. 1962), a prominent Islamist intellectual. For example, London's Metropolitan Police partially funded a conference Ramadan addressed and Prime Minister Tony Blair appointed him to an official "working group on tackling extremism."

Deploying an Islamist may have seemed like a original and clever idea but it was neither. Western governments have been allying without success with Islamists for decades. Indeed, they have been allying with Ramadan's own family.

Mosque Unbecoming
By M. Zuhdi Jasser,Family Security Matters, May 25, 2010

My first concern is whether the financing truly represents the local American Muslim community or comes with strings from foreign Islamists. But that is far from my last concern.

I am an American Muslim dedicated to defeating the ideology that fuels global Islamist terror – political Islam. And I don't see such a "center" actually fighting terrorism or being a very "positive" addition near Ground Zero, no matter how well intentioned.

To put it bluntly, Ground Zero is the one place in America where Muslims should think less about teaching Islam and "our good side" and more about being American and fulfilling our responsibilities to confront the ideology of our enemies.

Can Jihadis Be Rehabilitated?
By Katherine Seifert, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2010

As U.S. policymakers become increasingly uneasy about the fate of the remaining detainees currently held at Guantánamo Bay, greater attention is being paid to so-called jihadist rehabilitation programs that have been established abroad. Numerous governments, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Singapore, Canada, and Britain, have established programs that seek either to rehabilitate Islamist terrorists or to prevent further radicalization of jihadist sympathizers. Different states tailor their programs to the mores, laws, and needs of their societies. Muslim-majority countries concentrate on radicals who have either crossed the line into actual terrorist activities or who are active members in Islamist organizations deemed to be a threat to the state. Western initiatives focus instead on individuals who may seek camaraderie with extremist groups online or at local mosques; their programs seek to forestall further radicalization. While there is a clear divergence in approach, both must answer the same question: Have their efforts been successful or have they merely released detainees into their respective societies who feign detoxification but whose commitment to jihad has merely gone underground? The wrong answer to this question poses a serious threat to global, as well as local security.

Forces Capture Taliban Commander in Kandahar
From the Department of Defense

Afghan and international forces captured a Taliban commander in Kandahar, Afghanistan, last night, the second Taliban leader seized in the region in recent days, military officials reported.

An Afghan-international security force captured the man and several insurgents in the village of Kukaran after intelligence indicated insurgent activity there. The commander is believed to be responsible for leading Taliban fighters in southern Arghandab, coordinating attacks on coalition forces and distributing rockets, improvised explosive devices, small arms and ammunition to fighters throughout the area.

Related Article: Coalition Kills Taliban's Shadow Governor in Afghanistan's Baghlan Province

Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam'
By Charles Krauthammer, Fox News, May 27, 2010

The president's top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a "legitimate tenet of Islam," arguing that the term "jihadists" should not be used to describe America's enemies. 

During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of "political, economic and social forces," but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in "religious terms." 

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From Elsewhere

Poverty, Capital and Economic Freedom
By Victor V. Claar, Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, May 26, 2010

If we want to be effective agents in aiding the poor, we should focus our efforts in directions leading to the enhanced value of an hour of labor. That is, we should help poor countries wisely grow their stocks of human and physical capital, all the while bearing in mind that markets and their prices send the best available signals regarding where our efforts can have the greatest impact. The newfound success of innovative micro lending efforts such as Kiva can help show us ways to effectively invest in the accumulation of physical capital by the global poor. Compassion International is a marvelous organization that works to further the education—the human capital—of poor children worldwide, with a financial accountability record above reproach.

Further, markets work best when economic systems maintain the dignity of human beings. First, human beings grow and flourish—and accumulate human and physical capital—in systems that afford them considerable economic freedom. Economic freedom means that people are able to make personal choices, that their property is protected, and that they may voluntarily buy and sell in markets. Yet, economic freedom requires the protection of private property. When property rights are clearly defined and protected, people will work harder to create and to save. When they are confident that the fruits of their labors cannot be taken away arbitrarily or by force, people everywhere have greater assurance that their labors will lead to better lives for themselves and their families. Today’s rich collection of NGOs that work toward basic human rights play a critical role in this regard.

Louisiana's Jindal: Where's Obama?
From Investor’s Business Daily, May 25, 2010

As frustration with the federal response grows, Louisiana's governor lashes out at the feds for doing little except blame BP for the Gulf oil spill. Meanwhile, Congress sees a chance to raise your gas taxes.

While the Obama administration continues on its quest to fundamentally transform America, the largely unabated Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico threatens to fundamentally transform the ecosystems and economy of Louisiana and the Gulf region.

Related Article: Krauthammer: Oil spill culprits run deep

60% Favor Repeal of National Health Care Plan
From Rasmussen Reports, May 31, 2010

The latest weekly Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey on the recently passed national health care bill finds that 60% of U.S. voters now want to see it repealed. That’s down three points from a week ago  but is the second straight week to find support for repeal of the bill at 60% or above. Prior to the past two weeks, weekly polling since the law was passed in March had shown support for repeal ranging from 54% to 58%.

Currently, just 36% oppose repeal.

The Gathering Revolt Against Government Spending
By Michael Barone, TownHall, May 24, 2010

This month, three members of Congress have been beaten in their bids for re-election -- a Republican senator from Utah, a Democratic congressman from West Virginia and a Republican-turned-Democrat senator from Pennsylvania. Their records and their curricula vitae are different. But they all have one thing in common: They are members of an appropriations committee.

Like most appropriators, they have based much of their careers on bringing money to their states and districts. There is an old saying on Capitol Hill that there are three parties -- Democrats, Republicans and appropriators. One reason that it has been hard to hold down government spending is that appropriators of both parties have an institutional and political interest in spending.

Their defeats are an indication that spending is not popular this year. So is the decision, shocking to many Democrats, of House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey to retire after a career of 41 years. Obey maintains that the vigorous campaign of a young Republican in his district didn't prompt his decision. But his retirement is evidence that, suddenly this year, pork is not kosher.

Is Arizona's Immigration Law Being Put on ICE?
By Aaron Goldstein, American Spectator, May 25, 2010

For all the histrionics, hoopla and hysteria that has surrounded Arizona's recently passed immigration enforcement law, it must be noted that its success depends on the co-operation of the federal government and the feds know it.

How else to explain the words of John Morton, Assistant Secretary of State for Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)? Last week, Morton toldthe Chicago Tribune, "I don't think the Arizona law, or laws like it, are the solution." Morton added that he wasn't of the opinion that the Arizona law represented "good government." So it would appear the federal government will not co-operate with Arizona's efforts to stem the tide of illegal immigration. For all intents and purposes, Morton has put Arizona's immigration law on ICE.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Politicians: High Crimes and Misdemeanors at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (Part 1)
By Liz Blaine, News Real, May 30, 2010

The Chicago Machine moved to Washington and a disturbing pattern of bribery, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to corrupt the American electoral process is now synonymous with 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The latest incident is a classic quid pro quo for political advantage and subsequent coordinated cover-up to mitigate collateral damage and obstruct the truth. In this three part series, I will delve into the scandal, the blatant inconsistencies between the "coordinated" statements of involved parties, and the potential crimes committed by the Obama administration in this, and other, pay-for-play schemes.

The Scandal: Set in a motion by a February 18th interview with Philadelphia news anchor Larry Kane, Congressman Joe Sestak’s allegation ignited a political firestorm.

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