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True North Archives - July 13, 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

True North Video Extra

Is this the year of the conservative woman? Rob Roper interviews two first time candidates for the Vermont House, Lorene Butler and Angela Chagnon.
       

Family and Community the Foundations of a Just Social Order
By Robert Maynard

As has already been discussed, Americans are well known around the world for our sense of Individualism. It is this characteristic that has led us to take very seriously the issue of individual liberty and the cause of human rights. What is less well known is that Americans have an equally strong sense of community. This of course is the community associated with voluntary associations, rather than the forced collective. Historian Clarence Carson dedicated a section on this theme in his "A Basic History of the United States". The section was called "The Voluntary Way".
    

Revisiting Vermont's Constitution
By John McClaughry


Last Saturday Vermonters re-enacted the adoption of Vermont's remarkable Constitution of 1777. Strongly influenced by the Pennsylvania Constitution, the handiwork of the farmers and woodsmen assembled at the Constitution House in Windsor is today the oldest, shortest and arguably the most liberal (in 18th Century terms) of the fifty state constitutions.
     

1098 and All That (2)
By Martin Harris

As an admittedly uninventive type, educated a long time ago, I once took "black-letter" law at face value. In planning and zoning, we were trained to write land-use rules equally comprehensible to the regulated and the regulators, light on unpredictable "conditional use" and heavy on such specific measures of performance as setbacks and site-utilization percentages. In construction, math ruled: beam strengths and wind loads had to compute. One of my first exposures to the real world of politics, not the theoretical world of academics, came with the floods of the 70's, which, as I described last week, revealed a whole 'nother and then-new-to-me reality: government choosing which of its own rules it would follow (or not). More was to follow, eventually compiling a State-wide pattern of zoning boards awarding and denying permits without consistent reference to the actual written by-laws, and sometimes under direct instruction from Montpelier -think Manchester, Colchester, St. Albans, or Randolph-or of school districts Progressively (pun intended) reducing class size and claiming that "the State reg's made us do it". As I saw it, the concept of the flexible "living" law seemed to start with a previously unknown (to me, anyway) statute: 10VSA 1098.

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Quotable
"The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency."   --Pope John Paul II 


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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Hostile Environment?
By Tom Licata, Vermont Tiger, July 8, 2010

Dorothy Canfield Fisher, writing of Vermont’s 1778 motto of "Freedom and Unity" stated: 

"The Vermont idea grapples energetically with the basic problem of human conduct – how to reconcile the needs of the group, of which every man or woman is a member, with the craving for individual freedom to be what he [or she] really is."
This - my fellow Vermonters - is what Montpelier’s policies consistently deprive us of - - as it becomes ever-more difficult to succeed and prosper in a culture that grows increasingly hostile to business, land-rights and ultimately to individual freedom and job creation.

When It Pays To Get Fired
From the Caledonia Record, July 10, 2010

Marion Anastasia, former principal of the St. Johnsbury School, was fired in compliance with a condition of the "No Child Left Behind" school transformation scheme chosen for the St. Johnsbury School by its board. She sure is leaving with a golden parachute - full pay and benefits in excess of $130,000. For that, she has to do nothing; she will not work for the district in any capacity

Court’s Ruling: Discriminatory and Misguided
By Emerson Lynn, Vermont Tiger, July 8, 2010

The belief that today’s 60-year-old is yesterday’s 40-year-old holds no sway with Vermont’s Supreme Court. In a 4-1 decision this week, the justices ruled Vermont state troopers over the age of 55 should be forced to retire because they did not have the physical and mental capacities to get the job done.

A bit discriminatory and backward looking for such a "progressive" court?

Vt. Contractors Feel Financial Pinch
From WCAX-TV, July 9, 2010

It's construction season in Vermont and although you may see some activity, the number of projects are down and general contractors are feeling financial pain. They met Friday to hear from a national expert, Kenneth Simonson of the Associated General Contractors of America.

"While overall employment has been rising this year, construction has continued to lose jobs," Simonson said. "Here in Vermont it's especially severe in the last 12 months construction dropped 15 percent of its payroll even though the national rate was about 8 percent."

Vermont is Different
By Art Woolf, Vermont Tiger, July 9, 2010

The U.S. Department of Education reports, in its Common Core of Data for school year 2008-09 that: 

Across all regular public schools ... the overall student/teacher ratio in 2008-09 was 15.8; the ratio ranged from 11.0 in Vermont to 27.0 in Utah (table 4).   This is the number of students for each full-time equivalent (FTE) teacher.
Being number one in this dimension carries a high cost, as readers of Hugh Kemper's posts in Vermont Tiger know.

Moody's Downgrades Burlington's Credit Rating Again
From WCAX-TV, July 9, 2010

Burlington's finances took another hit Friday. Moody's downgraded the Queen City's credit rating again. A lower credit rating can make it more expensive for the city to finance projects.

Moody's Investors Services downgraded the city two notches from Aa3 to A2. Moody's is worried about the city's finances because of Burlington Telecom and gave the city a negative outlook, saying there is a high degree of uncertainty that Burlington will be able to get BT on stable footing and repay $17 million to city taxpayers.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism


Taliban's Number One in Command Captured, U.S. Marine Officer Confirms
From The Woodward Report, July 8, 2010

The Taliban’s number one in command, Mohammad Omar, has been apprehended in Pakistan, The Woodward Report has learned. The information was confirmed by a Marine Officer operating on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. 

Rumors began to surface about the arrest on Monday, when a U.S. blogger that goes under the screen name Bred posted on his blog that the Taliban leader had been arrested sometime in March. The authorities of the United States and Pakistan refused to confirm the allegations.

The Voice of Tehran
From Investor’s Business Daily July 6, 2010

Axis Of Evil: Voice of America's mission is to promote U.S. interests abroad, which includes freedom in Iran. But VOA's Persian newscast has been hijacked by pro-Tehran broadcasters.

The Obama administration's sole strategy for defanging the Ahmadinejad regime is talk and more talk. Only, the propaganda that VOA is piping into Iran is helping the regime — thanks to deep-seated bias in favor of Tehran by Persian editors and producers whose salaries are paid by American taxpayers.

On Anniversary of 7/7, Is America Repeating Britain’s Mistakes?
From Family Security Matters, July 7, 2010

Today is the fifth anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings, where four home-grown jihadists blew themselves up on three London Transport underground trains and one double-decker bus. The events of 7/7 were of a smaller scale to 9/11, but they nonetheless traumatized a nation. …

The British government had indulged Islamists without demanding that they conform to British values. So enmeshed in their "socialist/progressive" experiment, the Labour government under Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown appeared to downplay "Britishness", attempting to subsume all of Britain’s inhabitants under an umbrella of multiculturalism. …

Now in America, the same games are being played. A New York "Community Council" decides that it would "multicultural" and "positive" to have a mosque at Ground Zero. The US government has good relations with the Muslim Public Affairs Council and apparently sees it as an advisory body, even though it has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Trust the Palestinian Authority?
By Daniel Pipes, July 6, 2010

Under Yasir Arafat, the Palestine Liberation Organization notoriously said one thing to Arab/Muslim audiences and the opposite to Israeli/Western ones, speaking venomously to the former and in dulcet tones to the latter. What about Arafat's mild-mannered successor, Mahmoud Abbas? Did he break from this pattern of duplicity or continue it?

This question has renewed relevance because reports suggest Abbas is ready to offer Israel various territorial compromises, plus, he took unprecedented steps in granting an interview to Israeli journalists and meeting with American Jewish leaders at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.

Is National Security Strategy On The Right Track?
By Peter Huessy, Family Security Matters, July 12, 2010

The Administration’s new National Security Strategy attempts in part to rhetorically de-link diplomacy from military power when in fact the two are indispensably tied together. Every administration finds itself trying to distinguish between diplomacy—good—and the use of military force—bad—as the lexicon of our drive-by media and their political allies would have it.

But diplomacy without military force is either prayer or without effect; and military force with diplomacy is without direction. As Dr. Henry Kissinger explained in 2007, "A free standing diplomacy is an ancient American illusion. History offers few examples of it. The attempt to separate diplomacy and power results in power lacking direction and diplomacy being deprived of incentives." Former Senator Malcolm Wallop put it perhaps more succinctly: "Diplomacy without the threat of force is but prayer", [former Senator Malcolm Wallop, farewell Senate address, October 1994].

How to Support the Struggle for Iran's Soul
Iranian Reform and Stagnation
By Ilan Berman, Middle East Quarterly

Does Washington care about freedom in Iran? On the surface, it seems like a silly question. Ever since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini swept to power in 1979, Washington policymakers of all political stripes have been holding out hope that a kinder, gentler regime would emerge in Tehran. Republican and Democratic administrations alike have expressed their support for freedom within the Islamic Republic, and both sides of the political aisle have condemned the regime's repressive domestic practices. Yet, concrete proof of the U.S. commitment to pluralism in Iran is hard to come by. The strategies by which the United States can assist Iran's opposition remain poorly understood and even less effectively implemented. This is unfortunate, since with the proper vision and political will, the United States can harness economic, diplomatic, and informational strategies to significantly affect the unfolding struggle for Iran's soul.

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From Elsewhere

The Greenhouse Protection Racket
Climate policymaking in our nation’s capital is best explained in the lingo of Hollywood mobsters and banditos.
By Marlo Lewis, Pajamas Media, July 9, 2010

"Are you gonna come along quietly, or do I have to let the California Air Resources Board (CARB) muss ya up?" That was pretty much the line White House energy and environment czar Carol Browner took to obtain the auto industry’s support for first-time-ever greenhouse gas emission standards and new fuel economy standards, which the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued in a joint rule on April Fools’ Day.

We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges

Through the joint rule, the EPA now wields the power to determine the stringency of fuel economy standards for the auto industry. Previously — for the past three decades and more — the EPA’s role was limited to testing automakers’ compliance with fuel economy standards. How did the EPA go from second banana to top dog?

The Founders' Vision Versus Ours
By Walter E. Williams, Human Events, July 7, 2010

The celebration of our founders' 1776 revolt against King George III and the English Parliament is over. Let's reflect how the founders might judge today's Americans and how today's Americans might judge them.

The Fifth Wave Of Computing
Why the next decade of journalism will depend on engineers for survival.
By Trevor Butterworth,Forbes Magazine

If fortune in business does not always favor the bold, misfortune seems a far more certain fate for those in the media who fail to respond to the fifth wave of computing--the massive ramping up of the mobile Internet and the evolution of mobile phones into "life devices" through 3G, cloud computing, GPS and second generation barcoding.

As last December's Mobile Internet Report from Morgan Stanley ( MS - news - people ) made clear, this global, systematic transformation spurred by Apple's ( AAPL - news - people ) game-changing iPhone in 2007 is set to create greater wealth than the previous desktop Internet computer cycle. It will also, inevitably, destroy some of those companies that were at the forefront of yesterday's revolution.

Elena Kagan’s Revealing Commerce Clause Evasion
By Kevin E. Schmiesing Ph.D., The Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, July 7, 2010

Many Americans have a vague sense that the United States has drifted far from its constitutional origins. Every once in a while, something happens that prods us to recognize just how far we’ve gone.

Such was the case last week, during the Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. One of the most widely circulated C-Span video clips was Senator Tom Coburn’s insistent question as to whether the Constitution’s commerce clause permitted Congress to pass a hypothetical law dictating that all Americans must eat a prescribed number of fruits and vegetables every day.

Kagan was clever enough to understand that what Coburn was really asking was, "Is it possible to justify the continued expansion of congressional powers—in particular recent health care reform legislation—on the basis of the authority granted by the commerce clause?" Kagan replied that the fruits and vegetables measure would be "dumb" law. She didn’t dare suggest that it would be unconstitutional, however, for she rightly recognized that she would be backing herself into a judicial corner. How many laws might she have to strike down as Supreme Court justice if she followed a "strict" interpretation of the Constitution?

Get Real: This Is Not 1932
The pouting pundits of pessimism are misreading and overreacting to economic data once again.
By Brian S. Wesbury & Robert Stein, Forbes Magazine, July 7, 2010

None of this is to say that the government is not making it more difficult for business. Clearly the uncertainty of new laws, spending, taxes and regulations is throwing a wet blanket over the entrepreneurial side of the American economy.

But two things are true. First, productivity is so strong that the economy is growing despite massive increases in the size of government. The U.S. is creating jobs, even if the rate of growth is less than previous recoveries. Profits are still rising. In fact, analysts are still raising earnings estimates.

Second, the market has so much negativity priced in that it is cheap on just about any basis. Based on forward earnings, the PE ratio for the S&P 500 is under 12. And our capitalized profits model shows that stocks are severely undervalued. Based on very conservative inputs, we continue to believe the fair value for the Dow Jones industrial average is 14,500.

Gulf Crisis Exposes Failures of Centralized Power
By Brian Roberts, The Tenth Amendment Center, July 1, 2010

Obama, the great centralizer, recently stated that he was looking for the right ass to kick. With this now famous statement he hoped to divert public attention from the failures of centralized power and begin to set a public mood against the oil industry and for expanded regulation and taxation. Other recent federal actions and statements make it painfully obvious that the federal government has zero interest in backing any plan to clean up the gulf in a timely manner.

The Climategate Whitewash Continues
By Patrick Michaels, The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2010

Global warming alarmists claim vindication after last year's data manipulation scandal. Don't believe the 'independent' reviews.

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