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True North Archives - July 03, 2007
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Featured Articles

Thinking Twice on the Divided Question
By John McClaughry

The plain truth is that a legislative majority that owes its political control to the efforts of its friends in the Vermont-NEA cannot seriously control educational spending. The union's mantra is ever-higher salaries for ever more (unionized) employees, all "for the children". Any proposal that might undercut this maxim will quickly find itself squarely in the union's crosshairs.

Much Left to Be Done On Housing, Economic Development
by Kevin Dorn

A recent study commissioned by the Department of Economic Development researching the problem of "youth flight" and the graying of Vermont’s population found that of some 2,800 graduates of our colleges, 94 percent of those surveyed say a community where they can afford to live, work, and play is important to them. Unfortunately, only 33 percent of those alumni surveyed who still live in Vermont agree the state offers this. Clearly, if we want to reverse the trend of young, educated workers leaving Vermont, we must both raise wages and lower the cost of living, especially housing.

Remembrances of Things Past
By Pete Behr

Initially, one was frightened, but constant exposure to combat conditions made danger normal. The first time I was caught in an artillery barrage, I was momentarily a shaking, useless person, as the shells burst around me. But only days later, I was used to it. Once I was on watch in my foxhole with two buddies, who were lying below ground level, during a nightly shelling by the Japanese, who were on higher ground above us. I described the pattern of the explosions as they approached us, and told them I was going to get down, since they were getting close. There was an explosion, and our foxhole was collapsed.. The next thing I remembered was my buddies feeling me to see if I was in one piece. All I had was a slight concussion and some contusions. Life went on, and we persevered. You can train people to get used to anything -- even being shot at. 

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"There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder" -- Ronald Reagan

"At bottom, and stripped of its carefully neutral phrases, the report is an educational program for a Socialist America."  -- British socialist leader and economics professor Harold J. Laski referring to the 1934 report of the Commission on Social Studies of the American Historical Association

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Vermont's New Plan to Conserve Energy; Burn Money, June 26, 2007

"I go in with low expections," Senator Shumlin says of the meeting he will be having with the governor this week.  Well then, Senator, welcome to the club.  That pretty much sums up the way many Vermont voters (and, incidentally, taxpayers) feel, and not just about this negotiation over H 520, the energy bill that Governor Douglas has vetoed and that Senator Shumlin views as essential to the survival of the species.

"Buy Now, Pay Later" is not Affordable or Responsible

Peter Shumlin’s present scheme to jumpstart H.520 is not a compromise at all. It is really nothing more than a fiscally reckless plea to "Buy Now, Pay Later," putting tapped-out Vermont taxpayers on the hook for the same multimillion dollar tab -- only next year and without a clear picture of who exactly will pay. Governor Douglas, thankfully, is not falling for it.

Related: Former Vermont Governor Tom Salmon stresses the adverse effects of proposed power plant tax

My Turn: Vt. Supreme Court's Costly Mistake
By Shawn Shouldice Banfield, Burlington Free Press, June 21, 2007

Last month, with little fanfare, the Vermont Supreme Court delivered a controversial decision that effectively eliminates the ability for Vermont's smallest businesses to use independent contractors.

A Third of Vermont's Young People without Skills or Taining
Many end up on unemployment or in jail.
Associated Press, June 27, 2007

An official says that about a third of Vermont youth lack the skills or training to go to college or into a profession that pays a decent wage.

A Billion
Caledonia Record Editorial, June 25, 2007

And then, to put into perspective how quickly our government can get rid of a billion dollars, we offer this. In the last eight hours and 20 minutes, our government spent a billion dollars.

Save that Job?, June 28, 2007

So what's the difference between cutting costs by using technology, by outsourcing a job via technology to India, or physically moving the job to China or using imported workers?  Not much.  All enable a product or a service to be produced at lower cost, freeing up resources to be better used elsewhere and providing people with lower cost products and services.  That's the story of how our standard of living rises.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Our Enemy’s Attrition
Reasons to reexamine the Middle East’s negative prognosis.
By Victor Davis, HansonNational Review Online

But for all the justifiable criticism of the Iraqi reconstruction, two truths still remain — the United States is taking an enormous toll on jihadists, and despite the terrible cost in blood and treasure, has not given up on a constitutional government in Iraq.

Under the Cloak of War, a Democracy Grows
by Mirwais Yasini, Human Events, June 28, 2007

Because of the efforts of those committed to Afghanistan’s future, the roots of democracy have taken hold and are beginning to grow. Contrary to many published media reports, progress is being made, and our allies in America and the international community must understand that the advancement of democracy is not something easily quantified. We do not measure progress by the number of Taliban killed or miles of road or new schools built, but rather by how our government evolves over time and how free our people become. Democracy in America has had over two hundred years to flourish; Afghanistan has been a democratic nation for less than five years. If America and the rest of the world maintain their commitment to Afghanistan, our leaders, as evidenced by recent events, will hold up their end of the bargain.

The Iraq Offensive
A status update on Operation Phantom Thunder

Iraqi and Coalition forces maintain the pressure against al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents, and the "rogue," Iranian backed "secret cells" of the Mahdi Army and the Qazali network. Operation Phantom Thunder is underway inside Baghdad and the Belts, as well as against al Qaeda's network nationwide. Also, the northwestern region of Iraq has been a focus of U.S. and Iraqi operations. The simultaneous operations to pressure al Qaeda's network are occurring in all theaters throughout Iraq. An update on each theater is provided below.

Related: Operation Fahrad Al Amin: the Anbar Offensive & Iraq Report: A Look at Iraq Operations

Ex-terrorist trainee urges reform of radical Islam
By Mike McKibbin, The Daily Sentinel, June 25, 2007

Ending terrorism won’t happen until radical Islam is reformed, a former terrorist-in-training said Monday night during an Aspen speech.

Tightening the screws on Iran
By Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, June 29, 2007 

The religious fanatics who rule Iran are not typical of the general population, which, like people everywhere, want to get on with their lives and put food on the table every night. Before the Shah was overthrown, inflation made life very tough for the majority. As Timmerman notes, inflation has returned, and a few wealthy Iranians p[rosper while most have a difficult time making ends meet. Ahmedinejad's clumsy attempt to control the economy are almost guaranteed to make matters worse, for he has a religious basis for shunning sound economic thinking.

Adventurous Men of Peace
Meet Mithal al-Alusi and Canon Andrew White.
By Michael Ledeen, National Review Online, June 29, 2007 

The two are Canon Andrew White and Mithal al-Alusi. One Brit, one Iraqi, both men of astonishing courage. White is a man of the cloth, the representative of the Anglican Church in Iraq, who has been known to find space in his reports to his interlocutors in London and Washington for accounts of prayer in the midst of the war. Alusi is a little-known politician who made news a couple of years ago by traveling to Israel and publicly expressing his hope that the two countries would soon become friends and perhaps even allies. The jihadis immediately killed his two sons, and barely missed Alusi himself.

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From Elsewhere

Who's Really 'Sicko'
By David Gratzer, Opinion Journal, June 28, 2007

It's not simply that Mr. Moore is wrong. His grand tour of public health care systems misses the big story: While he prescribes socialism, market-oriented reforms are percolating in cities from Stockholm to Saskatoon.

Kyoto: Not For All The Coal In China
Investor's Business Daily, June 28, 2007

China's booming economy has made it the world's biggest polluter. So why is it exempt from Kyoto, and why are the greenies so silent?

Big-Government Conservatives
by John Stossel, June 27, 2007

"Reviving the Hamilton Agenda." That's the headline the New York Times gave David Brooks's recent column honoring Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father perhaps least interested in limiting political power. Unlike his rival Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton favored strong central government and weaker states.

Swedish Scientist Accuses UN's IPCC of Falsifying Data and Destroying Evidence
Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters, June 24, 2007

According to Swedish paleogeophysicist Nils-Axel Mörner, who’s been studying and writing about sea levels for four decades, the scientists working for the IPCC have falsified data and destroyed evidence to incorrectly prove their point.

Week of June 27, 2007
by Robert Novak, Human Events, June 27, 2007

This Congress has misread its mandate, and its leaders are moving much too far to the left. Congress' record-low 14 percent approval rating is significant, and much of the disaffection comes from the political center.

The Pardon of Scooter Libby: How the President Should Play It
By Quin Hillyer, American Spectator, June 28, 2007

"I hereby bestow a full and irrevocable pardon upon I. Lewis Libby, Jr., for any and all charges, current or future, related to the matter of the investigation into the release of the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson..."

'Fairness' Follies
Staff Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2007

In case you haven't been listening to talk radio, the issue of the hour—no, every minute—is the attempt by Democrats in Congress to revive the "Fairness Doctrine." If Democrats want to mobilize conservative voters for the 2008 election, they should keep this up.

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