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True North Archives - June 05, 2007
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Vermont's New 15-year School System
by John McClaughry

In his state of the state message in January 2006, Gov. Jim Douglas observed that the 2005 legislature "added a provision into the final budget bill that I fear will lead to an unacceptable outcome: adding two more pre-kindergarten grades to the already stressed K-12 education system and putting taxpayers on the hook to fund it." He asked the legislature "to reconsider the decision to further increase the cost of education and the growing tax bills that accompany those costs." On June 1 Gov. Douglas signed H.534, Strangely, this bill will add two more pre-kindergarten grades to the already stressed K-12 education system, and put taxpayers on the hook to fund it. Welcome to the new 15-year public education system!

Good Comments from Shakespeare
By Pete Behr

The Legislature has adjourned for the year, unless they are called back in July to try to override Governor Douglas’s veto of the silly "environmental" bill creating a new bureaucracy to tell Vermonters how to insulate their houses, and taxing Vermont Yankee $25 million or so to pay for it. This bill caps a legislative session which has been one of the least productive ever. A quote from the Bard seems an appropriate description of the efforts of Mr. Shumlin and Ms. Symington- and their local abettors Messrs. Campbell, McCormack, Chen et al, and Ms. Clarkson- "… full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

US Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Partial Birth Abortion
By Mary Hahn Beerworth

Today, Gonzales v Carhart places the truth about abortion in plain view for those willing to read it. The case is also an irrefutable and accurate record of this terrible chapter in the history of our great country and our children and grandchildren will hold us to account for it. To view the decision in its entirety, see

Follow the Money
By Martin Harris

Just when you’ve become convinced that the MSM are hopelessly and predictably biased in a leftist, pro-government direction, along comes a Main Stream Media member, the Washington Post in this case, to prove your sweeping generalization wrong. About a month ago, the Post reported in both specific detail and general background, that a lot of the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program money has been going to areas which non-USDA folks might deem pretty much non-rural. USDA has spent more than $70 billion on "rural development" since 2001, the Post reports, and a lot of it has gone for what you and I might call "non-rural development."

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This Week’s Mail Bag

Illusion vs. Reality

To those for whom a contract may be viable only for so long as it is convenient or desirable for and to them alone, it is easy to propose solutions which fly in the face of both reality and a previously agreed to modus operandi. I refer specifically to his rather outrageously advanced support of the Shumlin Anti-Business in Vermont bill, which would currently apply, for all practical purposes, only to the Entergy Corporation and would arbitrarily increase the tax on the energy generation derived from the company’s operation of Vermont Yankee in the town of Vernon. ...  Full letter here

Ralph Colin, East Dorset 

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Senator Joe Biden: "As long as there are troops who are in a position where, if we don't fund them they are going to be hurt, I'm not going to cut off funding ... that's what the other [Democrat Presidential] candidates said too, but they changed their minds." (Thomas Beaumont, "Biden Says Rivals Who Are Senators Switched Positions," The Des Moines Register, 5/30/07)

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Public-Private Pre-K Works with New Rules
By Terri Hallenbeck, Burlington Free Press, June 2, 2007

The legislation's goal of encouraging collaboration between schools and private providers is one of the few good things Retta Dunlap of Woodbury sees in the bill. The executive director of Vermonters for Better Education said she will watch the upcoming rule-making process closely to make sure private providers really are protected from being put out of business by school-run programs. Dunlap opposed the legislation because she believes it ignores the notion that children are better off at home with a parent. Supporters of the bill often acknowledge that parents are the best child-care providers, she said, but they quickly leave behind any efforts to help make that possible. "The next 500 sentences are about how we get them into second best," she said

The Children Are Disappearing
Caledonian Record Editorial, May 30, 2007

In these few months before our wind generators go back to Montpelier, but especially in the ramping up to elections in 2008, let us sincerely hope and pray that those we elect pay attention to Vermont's problems, an alien idea this session, not to trying to design messianic solutions to global problems. To paraphrase a political slogan of several years ago, "It's affordability and retention of youth, stupid!"

When Words Mean What They Say
Caledonia Record Editorial, June 2, 2007

If there is any place where words not just ought to, but must, mean what they say, it is within the law. The left is totally ignoring the political process that produced the law. The 180-day limitation was clearly a compromise worked out by the give and take of the legislative process. It is entirely likely that the law never would have been passed without this safeguard from exploitation of employers by disaffected employees. That's the nature of democratic lawmaking.

Veto of campaign finance bill is good for Vermonters
S.164 is a "Big-Money Wolf" in sheep’s clothing
Vermont GOP May 31, 2007

Vermont citizens owe Governor Jim Douglas thanks for his veto of S.164, An act relating to campaign finance. This was a principled decision to protect the First Amendment rights of all Vermont citizens, the democratic process, as well as the wallets of Vermont taxpayers.

My Turn: Immigration from another perspective
By Michael P. Schaal, Burlington Free Press, June 1, 2007

The proposed immigration bill that was agreed upon by the White House and some members of the Senate uses education rather than uniting families as one of the priorities in deciding who will be allowed to legally immigrate to the Untied States. If adopted as is, it would make the separation of families a matter of policy and law.

The Real Worst President In The Nation's History
Thursday, Caledonia Record, May 31, 2007

Just a few days ago, Jimmy Carter - the worst president in the past one hundred, perhaps two hundred years - labeled President Bush the worst president in our history. That's some distinction, to be labeled by an absolute incompetent to be more incompetent than he.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Jihad Training in Southern Virginia?
The Jawa Report, May 31, 2007

I imagine a lot of people got this report e-mailed to them from Dr. Paul Williams. I usually don't do this kind of thing--reprinted a report e-mailed to me--but Paul is begging people to reprint it. The report recounts how he and a few others, including Egyptian journalist Jamal Babour, visited the compound of Jamaat Al Fuqra which is located on Mahareen Roadin in what seems to be one of the more rural areas of Prince George's County. 

I'm going to go ahead and distance myself from a couple of the claims--such as the notion that Hezbollah leaders one time got together with al Qaeda leaders for a secret meeting. But, other than a few claims like that--which don't seem to have much to do with the point of the story--the encounter Paul and his colleagues have at the Jamaat Al Fuqra compound are downright scary. It's worth the read, just for that.

By Fred Thompson, National Review Online, May 30, 2007

"Let me ask you a hypothetical question: What do you think America would do if Canadian soldiers were firing dozens of missiles every day into Buffalo, N.Y.? What do you think our response would be if Mexican troops for two years had launched daily rocket attacks on San Diego — and bragged about it? I can tell you, our response would look nothing like Israel’s restrained and pinpoint reactions to daily missile attacks from Gaza. We would use whatever means necessary to win the war. There would likely be numerous casualties on our enemy’s side, but we would rightfully hold those who attacked us responsible.

From Surge to Sustain
by Austin Bay, Strategy Page

The military component of the "surge" consists of change in operational and tactical emphasis designed to achieve the original strategic goals. Iraq as a strategic project is and has always been about choice. A free, economically and politically stable Iraq creates a democratic choice in the politically dysfunctional Muslim Middle East, a region trapped in the terrible yin-yang of tyrant and terrorist -- which is no choice for those who value life and liberty. Sept. 11 made it clear that economic and political development -- the expansion of the sphere of economically and politically liberal states -- was key to America's 21st century security. Continue reading "14,000 increase in Iraqi Army since beginning of May "

An Iraqi Tet Offensive?
MAJ Greg C. Reeson, USA, Senior Writer, The New Media Journal, May 30, 2007 m

The Guardian (UK) reported in its May 22, 2007 edition that Iran is working to establish ties with al-Qaeda elements and Sunni insurgents in order to launch a major summer offensive against coalition forces in Iraq. The intent of such an operation, if the factional elements could pull it off, would be to undermine the President's security plan for Baghdad and al-Anbar Province, the so-called "surge," just as General David Petraeus was scheduled to return to Washington to brief the Congress on military and political progress in Iraq. 

Iraq Residents Rise Up Against al-Qaida
By Sinan Salaheddin, Associated Press, May 31, 2007
A battle raged in west Baghdad on Thursday after residents rose up against al-Qaida and called for U.S. military help to end random gunfire that forced people to huddle indoors and threats that kept students from final exams, a member of the district council said.

Al-Qaeda’s Waiting Game
Bush isn’t winning in his battle against our real enemy.
by Michael Scheuer, The American Conservative, May 21, 2007 

Americans tend to forget that while we were surprised by the 9/11 attacks, al-Qaeda was not. The attacks’ exact date was known to bin Laden and two or three others only six days before Sept. 11, 2001, but they had long known the attacks were coming. Thus al-Qaeda was able to move important operatives, archives, materiel, and other assets out of Afghanistan in advance. 

From Elsewhere

It Takes a Socialist Village
By Cal Thomas
Thursday, May 31, 2007

Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has unveiled her economic vision. Should she be given the power to implement it, we can say goodbye to the prosperity and opportunity we have enjoyed since the Reagan years.

The Dem High Tax Triangle
RNC Research Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Obama and Clinton join Edwards in calling for higher taxes on Americans. One by one, the democrat candidates are calling for higher taxes: ...ABC news headline: "No lip service: Dems trade higher taxes for social programs". "The democratic presidential candidates want to raise your taxes." .... Obama's tax hike would hit at least 1 million taxpayers and would also include a new tax on small businesses."[Obama] is calling for the tax cuts pushed by President Bush to expire in 2010 for upper-income earners -- an effective tax hike for more than 1 million taxpayers -- and is proposing a new tax on small businesses that don't provide health care to their employees." (, 5/29/07) 

Berger's Eternal Secret
 New York Post, May 27, 2007

It now looks like the American people will never learn how - and why - Bill Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy "Sticky Fingers" Berger, stole and destroyed classified documents from the National Archives. That's because Berger - in a significant, but little-noticed, move - has short-circuited the last investigation into his sordid little burglary. 

Comprehensive Immigration Reform II 
70% likely Latino voters support border security first
By Martha Zoller, Human Events Online, May 29, 2007 

Since addressing this topic in HUMAN EVENTS in April, debate on a "compromise" bill on immigration reform is being taken up in the United States Senate. This compromise is more conservative than the McCain-Kennedy bill passed last year in the Senate but it is still a long way from the border security first passed in the House last year. The American people do not trust the government to do anything comprehensively, they want to achieve immigration reform with border security first. 

Hugo Opportunity
By Fred Thompson, National Review Online, June 1, 2007 

We'll never know if Afghanistan might have rejected al Qaeda if America had actively engaged that country as we did those Eastern Europeans. We can't know if Venezuelans would have chosen liberty over the false security of authoritarianism if they had been challenged to face the issues. I do know, though, that it's time for a new generation of Americans to stand up for freedom — like others before us. And this time, we’ll have a whole new set of media technologies.

Obama's Health-Care Plan: Wrong RX
by Michael D. Tanner, Cato Institute, May 30, 2007

Barack Obama's presidential campaign is supposed to represent a new politics that transcends traditional partisanship, open to new ideas from all sides, and leavened with optimism. But if Obama's new health-care plan is an example of this new politics, give me old fashioned partisan bickering and gridlock anytime.

Related: HillaryCare Blooms

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