North Archives - July 06, 2010
| Editorial | News & Views
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Vermont's WDEV, AM 550 & FM 96.1, and on WTWK, 1070 AM (Burlington).
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?
By Robert Maynard
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
(Other) Gulf Oil Spill
By Martin Harris
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.
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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"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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Weekly News Round-Up
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
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
Review: The Lottery
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.)
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."
Offensive Registry Project
From Vermont Tiger, July
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.
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.
Back To Bite You
By Hugh Kemper Vermont Tiger,
June 30, 2010
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
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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Global War on Terrorism
We Ready for a Cyber-Pearl Harbor?
By James Carafano, PhD,Security
Foundation, June 30, 2010
in the Pentagon had an idea. "Let's take down the Internet."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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,
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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Is The Concord Bridge For Obamacare Repeal
From RedState.com, June
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.
Santelli & The Tea Party
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
Related Article: Tea
Parties - It's The Media, Stupid!
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
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
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.
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.
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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