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True North Archives - July 06, 2010
Radio | Editorial | News & Views

Radio Archives

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 airs daily between 11:00 am - 12:00 noon on Radio Vermont's WDEV, AM 550 & FM 96.1, and on WTWK, 1070 AM (Burlington).


Featured Articles

Our Money: How Much Are We Entitled to Keep?
By Rob Roper

So, please tell me where between "all" and "none" do you, as a member of Congress, believe we, as a moral nation of free people, should draw that line. What percentage of income earned by a citizen of the United States of America should that citizen be legally, constitutionally entitled to keep, free from the grasping hands of government?
    

Fairness and Pain
By Robert Maynard

On Thursday July 1st the True North Radio show had Vermont’s U.S. Senate candidate Daniel Freilich on as its guest. Mr. Freilich is running in the Democratic Primary against the incumbent Pat Leahy as both a Democrat and an Independent. He expressed an interest in running in the general election as an Independent should he lose the primary. Mr. Freilich strikes me as a sincere and honest Progressive who believes strongly in holding political office as a form of service. In presenting his views on the True North show, he has afforded us an opportunity to honestly debate the relative merit of the notions of "fairness" as held by Progressives vs. those of us who believe in a limited role for government in realizing the public good.

The (Other) Gulf Oil Spill
By Martin Harris

Recent petro-chemical-related events at Latitude 28 Longitude 88 bring to mind a somewhat similar, but smaller-in-scale event some 25 years ago at Latitude 44 Longitude 73. Both cases involved petroleum, regulations, leaks, and the quintessential governance question of our times: if you, in the private sector, pursuing your chosen enterprise, do everything in accordance with the applicable regulations, obtain official approval for equipment design and installation, and pass operational inspections; and there’s a failure, whose fault is it? From the regulators’ past and present behavior, we can see that their answer would be: you can meet all our requirements, but, in the event of failure, it’s not our fault. This existential question was already under examination in the construction industry, even before the first Gulf Oil Spill --actually in Williamstown, although not in its own little gulf, and actually involving benzene and related petroleum-based Volatile Organic Compounds, although not crude oil and methane. Architects and builders had already come to realize that there’s a better way to get the building you want than writing it all out, in stupefying regulatory detail, in the project specifications manual which traditionally had been intended to control every aspect of materials and installation.

Featured Video Extra - July 4th Edition
There's never enough time in the week! Enjoy this True North Video Extra with Rob Roper and Bill Sayre discussing the Declaration of Independence and asking the question, How much of our own hard earned money are we "entitled" to keep?


     
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Quotable
"It is not the responsibility of the government or the legal system to protect a citizen from himself. " – Justice Casey Percell


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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Public Education's Public Enemy No. 1
Caledonia Record Editorial, June 29, 2010

We have maintained for years that public education's public enemy No. 1 is teacher unions. In a recent column, Rich Lowry, editor of The National Review, told a true story that demonstrates that truth once again. You won't see it in the mainstream press and most certainly not in any education magazines, because it violates the orthodox "hands-off-the-unions" dogma of the public education establishment. That, in itself, should make it required reading for parents of school age children.

Lowry tells Eva Moskowitz's story. She, a "bleeding heart liberal" by her own admission, was the New York City Council chairwoman of the Education Committee. In that role, she naively published some of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) contract requirements that turned out to be so crippling of good education that she made the unions furious with her and lifelong enemies.

Related: Movie Review: The Lottery

Who Pays?
By Art Woolf, Vermont Tiger, July 1, 2010

Taxpayers in every city and town in Vermont face two separate tax rates, one to finance the school budget and the other to finance the municipal (non school) budget.   Does it matter to taxpayers if a budget item, say $1.5 million, is put on the municipal budget or the school budget?

Yes it does, which is why it is curious that Burlington has been charging the municipal budget for $1.5 million of expenses—for crossing guards, some social security taxes, and some retirement costs--that are actually part of the school budget.  Vermont Tiger wrote about this accounting issue a few weeks back  and despite an article on the issue in the Free Press, neither the City Council nor the Mayor’s office seems to be concerned.  What makes the issue even more curious is that it means the taxpayers of Burlington are paying more taxes than they should be.  (It also may mean that the City has been engaging in illegal activity for the past five years, but that’s for the lawyers to sort out.)

Spending Equals Taxes
From the Caledonia Record, July 3, 2010

Reading the published positions on taxes offered by the five Democratic candidates for governor, Progressive candidate Martha Abbott and Brian Dubie, the Republican candidate, one recalls Gov. Jim Douglas' highly effective campaign slogan that helped get him elected to his first term. His slogan was "Jim equals Jobs."

The slogan befitting the five Democrats and Abbott: "Spending equals Taxes."

An Offensive Registry Project
From Vermont Tiger, July 1, 2010

The State of Vermont has found a number of errors in its sex offender registry during a recent audit by the State Auditor's office.  While I support the goals of the registry, apparently managing a whopping 2,000 records is beyond the state's capacity.  Some of the audit's findings were:

Some offenders who belonged online were left out, including at least one convicted of sexual assault on a child. The registry also included some offenders who were not supposed to be on it. But the offenders were still all under corrections supervision. (emphasis added)

Heroin, Drug Use on the Rise in Vermont
From Fox 44, June 29, 2010

Drug enforcement officials in Vermont are calling it a big victory.

Tuesday afternoon, Jordan and Jesse Dougher each pleaded guilty to distributing more than a hundred grams of heroin as part of a plea deal that could send them to prison for up to 40 years and cost them as much as $2 million.

Drug enforcement officials say this is part of a much bigger crackdown on heroin and prescription drugs such as oxycontin, which they say are once again a growing problem in our area.

Coming Back To Bite You
By Hugh Kemper Vermont Tiger, June 30, 2010

Manchester is one of the "gold towns" or "sending towns" that send more money in school taxes to Montpelier than it will get back to pay for its own school budgets. Because of the property values in Manchester, it’s considered a town that can pay more of the share of the entire state’s school budgets than other towns with lower property values. The decline in the grand list in Manchester means it will be paying a smaller share of the school budgets that were approved earlier this year, but it also means other towns will have to make up the difference. --Rutland Herald
This is how the system works, though those who designed it doubtless rue this outcome.  For the last several years, the gold towns prospered and the towns where, if values increased at all, they did so modestly, got a partial free ride. But the economy cratered and those second home owners began bailing. Values in the gold towns plunged.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Are We Ready for a Cyber-Pearl Harbor?
By James Carafano, PhD,Security Foundation, June 30, 2010

Somebody in the Pentagon had an idea. "Let's take down the Internet."

In 1997, the Department of Defense led an exercise called Eligible Receiver. A team of cyber-experts was given three months to plan and execute an attack on unclassified computer systems using commonly available hardware and software. The red team came from a not-to-be-named shadowy agency -- but we know it was the National Security Agency.

The cyber-Jedi claimed if they actually conducted an attack, they could have brought down defense command and control systems, as well as major portions of the national electric power grid, and 911 systems. It could come crashing down in some massive digital Pearl Harbor.

The Dismantling of a Suspected Russian Intelligence Operation
By Fred Burton and Ben West Strategic Forecasters, July 1, 2010

The U.S. Department of Justice announced June 28 that an FBI counterintelligence investigation had resulted in the arrest on June 27 of 10 individuals suspected of acting as undeclared agents of a foreign country, in this case, Russia. Eight of the individuals were also accused of money laundering. On June 28, five of the defendants appeared before a federal magistrate in U.S. District Court in Manhattan while three others went before a federal magistrate in Alexandria, Va., and two more went before a U.S. magistrate in Boston. An 11th person named in the criminal complaint was arrested in Cyprus on June 29, posted bail and is currently at large.

The number of arrested suspects in this case makes this counterintelligence investigation one of the biggest in U.S. history. According to the criminal complaint, the FBI had been investigating some of these people for as long as 10 years, recording conversations in their homes, intercepting radio and electronic messages and conducting surveillance on them in and out of the United States. The case suggests that the classic tactics of intelligence gathering and counterintelligence are still being used by Russia and the United States.

A Winnable War
With a new commander and a renewed commitment from the commander in chief, we will make military progress in Afghanistan.
By Frederick W. Kagan & Kimberly Kagan, The Weekly Standard, July 5, 2010

Success in Afghanistan is possible. The policy that President Obama announced in December and firmly reiterated last week is sound. So is the strategy that General Stanley McChrystal devised last summer and has been implementing this year. There have been setbacks and disappointments during this campaign, and adjustments will likely be necessary. These are inescapable in war. Success is not by any means inevitable. Enemies adapt and spoilers spoil. But both panic and despair are premature. The coalition has made significant military progress against the Taliban, and will make more progress as the last surge forces arrive in August. Although military progress is insufficient by itself to resolve the conflict, it is a vital precondition. As the New York Times editors recently noted, "Until the insurgents are genuinely bloodied, they will keep insisting on a full restoration of their repressive power." General David Petraeus knows how to bloody insurgents—and he also knows how to support and encourage political development and conflict resolution. He takes over the mission with the renewed support of the White House.

Seeing Iran Plain
By Michael Ledeen, Pajamas Media, June 27, 2010

The apologists for the Iranian regime generate so much nonsense that a whole crew of fact checkers could be gainfully employed simply exposing them. Let’s take two: "the Islamic Republic has never invaded anybody," and, "the regime is in control, the opposition is dead."  The first is invoked to silence anyone who wants to take action, even limited political action, against the Islamic Republic. The second is used to discredit those of us who have been calling for our governments to help the Iranian people in their urgent efforts to gain freedom.

In fact, Iran is one of the world’s principal aggressors. On the one hand, the regime has unleashed its proxy forces — most significantly, the revolutionary guards, but also Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda — throughout the Middle East, East Africa, and South America.  Americans have been the primary victims of this proxy war, from the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon in 1983 to the current campaign against our soldiers and diplomats in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Saudis can testify to attacks by Iranian proxies on numerous occasions, as can the Argentines, who have indicted several Iranian leaders for mass murder in Buenos Aires.

The 30 Year War in Afghanistan
By George Friedman, Strategic Forecasters, June 27 2010

The Afghan War is the longest war in U.S. history. It began in 1980 and continues to rage. It began under Democrats but has been fought under both Republican and Democratic administrations, making it truly a bipartisan war. The conflict is an odd obsession of U.S. foreign policy, one that never goes away and never seems to end. As the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal reminds us, the Afghan War is now in its fourth phase.

The European June: Riots, Stonings, and Brawls
By David J. Rusin, Islamist Watch, June 30, 2010

Islamists' long march through the West involves three interlocking campaigns, each of which can be advanced violently or nonviolently: provoking conflicts with authorities (governments, courts, police, etc.), intimidating the non-Muslim public, and bullying insufficiently radical Muslims. All three facets were on display in Europe over the past month, as tensions enabled by shortsighted policies erupted into physical altercations...

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From Elsewhere

Missouri Is The Concord Bridge For Obamacare Repeal
From RedState.com, June 28, 2010

On August 3, 2010, the Missouri electorate will vote on Proposition C, the Missouri Health Care Freedom Act (MHCFA).  Have no doubt - this is the first shot fired against the power grab known as Obamacare.  If successful, if we beat back this overreach of federal power in Missouri, other states will move forward.  Should we fail - especially with low voter turnout, the media,the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats will gain a second wind.  I can think of few things more disastrous leading into November than giving the Democrats hope.

Rick Santelli & The Tea Party
On Youtube

Rick Santelli talks with Larry Kudlow along with Lou Dobbs about the Tea Party movement. Kudlow calls Santelli the founder of the Tea Party and I believe that to be an accurate statement. Santelli's rant is played and the impact is discussed. This is part 1 of the interview. Here is Part II.

Related Article: Tea Parties - It's The Media, Stupid!

Why The Greater Depression Still Lies Ahead
Obama, Bernanke pile on debt when de-leveraging is needed.
By Michael Pento, Forbes Magazine, June 30, 2010

There are two problems with this Keynesian theory. One is that government spending doesn't increase GDP; it only chokes off private-sector growth. The other is that politicians never regard the present as a good time for the government to pay off its debts.

The result is that the country is left with a private sector reducing a massive overhang of debt. As households curb spending, GDP slows, and the ratio of debt to economic output grows even further.

Since we have yet to address the real cause of this recession, we are moving inexorably closer to causing The Greater Depression. If policymakers do not understand that the progenitor of a depression is debt, they will also be unable to provide a genuine solution.

Executive Temperament: Principles Matter
By Paul Rahe, BigGovernment.com, July 2, 2010

For the last century, the administrative state has grown and grown – under Democrats and Republicans alike. Except in the 1920s, there were no reversals – not even under Ronald Reagan: the only Republican President since Calvin Coolidge to have articulated in a systematic fashion the argument for limited government.

This time, however, thanks to Barack Obama, the issue is clear. This time, the public is aroused. This time, the stakes are obvious to anyone with eyes to see. Is ours a government of limited powers? Or can our masters in Washington do anything at any time they wish? That is what is at stake. And if ours is a government of limited powers, we need to act decisively to insure that in the future the federal government is restricted to its proper sphere.

This imperative we should do everything possible to bring home to every Republican candidate. "Are you with us in this struggle?" we should ask. And if a candidate dodges the question or answers no, we should make sure that his political career comes to an ignominious end.

Eric Cantor and John Boehner Don’t Really Want to Repeal Obamacare
They just want to play politics with the issue without actually doing anything.
By Erik Ericson, RedState.com, June 30, 2010

King’s legislative effort would repeal Obamacare and start over. In effect, all those Democrats who have been saying they too want to start over get a "put up or shut up" moment by signing the King discharge petition.

Today, Eric Cantor and John Boehner are announcing that they’ll sign King’s discharge petition, but they’re also going to go with one by Congressman Wally Herger that would repeal Obamacare and replace it with a Republican alternative.

Notice that Cantor and Boehner were absolutely silent on Rep. King’s efforts until they had Wally Herger’s discharge petition ready to go. Why? Because they want to bully Republican House members into signing the Herger petition and undercut the repeal effort with a "replace and replace with lame legislation" effort. In effect, this undercuts a unified repeal effort and muddies the waters.

The Banality of Elena
By George Neumayr, The American Spectator, July 1, 2010

The chummy, Happy Jack Squirrel time atmosphere of Elena Kagan's confirmation hearing is a little hard to take. Yes, she is "likable enough," to borrow Barack Obama's phrase about Hillary Clinton, but that won't make her any less destructive on the Supreme Court. If anything, it will make her more so.

Though generally pleasant, she has seemed a bit cocky and dishonest at times during the hearing. Notice that she is quite the confident expert on conscientious judging for someone who has never done any. And somehow Thurgood Marshall's doting pupil has suddenly become an "originalist."

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