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True North Archives - July 14, 2009
Radio | Editorial | News & Views

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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 Radio airs daily on WDEV AM & WDEV FM from 11 am to noon.


Featured Articles

Nutty Scheme of the Century Passes U.S. House
By John McClaughry


The closer you look at the enormous Waxman-Markey energy tax bill that passed the U.S. House on June 26, the more you come to realize what it requires you to believe, the more you realize what drastic changes it promises to impose upon America, and the more you grasp what it will cost Americans in higher prices, a crippled economy, and lost jobs, the more you - a normal person - will conclude that this is crazy, costly, and dangerous.
     

Cognitive Dissonance (Not) Part II
By Martin Harris

Invariably, in the non-economic world, holding two conflicting ideas simultaneously receives the shrink-speak label of "cognitive dissonance", and the dictionary definitions typically mention the discomfort, anxiety,  or mental tension in the mind of the holder. But what about those who hold such conflicting notions simultaneously with no apparent discomfort at all? Last week in this space I took note of the gentry-left exurbanites who are "into" (a little post-modern neologism, there) both smart-growth, an urban-development pattern which looks upon traditional lawns and gardens as land-wasteful sprawl-causes, and grow-it-yourself, which of course requires lot square footage beyond the building footprint which is needed for veggies or poultry-grazing or both.  They see no conflict between the two notions and give no indication of discomfort with them. And what about those in governance who, equally glibly, espouse concepts they more frequently oppose?

Holding Democrats Accountable
By Rob Roper

A series of telephone surveys gauging voter's opinions about how some legislators voted on key issues is causing Democrats to scramble. The great frustration shared by Republicans and a majority of independents is the way Democrats tend to campaign as moderate, center-right candidates who are pro-jobs and anti-taxes. Then they get elected, and vote like far-left ideologues.
    

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Quotable

"We do not need more laws, we need more liberty. We need to protect freedom of choice. We need to protect the freedom of the farmer to sell and the freedom of the consumer to purchase anything they jolly well want without the encroachment of harassing, capricious, asinine government regulations. If we don’t preserve that liberty today, the only thing our children and our children’s children will be able to have and eat is irradiated, amalgamated, extruded, reconstituted, chlorinated, genetically prostituted, ADM fecal soup. I am convinced that the freedom to eat our choice of foods will be one of the showdowns of tomorrow."  — Joel Salatin

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Vermont's Economic Competitiveness Ranks 49th in Nation
From VermontBiz.com, July 8, 2009

According to a new study from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Vermont’s economic outlook now ranks 49th out of 50 states. The second edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index offers a roadmap for economic recovery based on state policies that have a proven impact on growth. High personal income taxes, high property taxes, along with some of the highest labor costs in America all hurt Vermont’s economic outlook. On the positive side, the study gives good marks to Vermont for a relatively low sales tax burden and a quality legal system.

Once Again, The Party Line Instead Of Common Sense
From the Caledonia Record, July, 6 2009

Vermont's lone congressman, Peter Welch, on June 26 voted the Democrat Party line instead of his own common sense. He voted for the cap and trade bill that will send electricity rates throughout the United States through the roof over the next 10 years. Put simply, cap and trade is a law designed to cut the United States' carbon dioxide emissions substantially by putting a steep price on amounts of carbon emission pollutants that industry, primarily coal-fired power plants, use above an allowed amount. That allowance will be so low that no coal-fired anything will escape without a ruinous fee for their fuel, and that fee will be passed on to ratepayers.

Exposing The Exposer
From Vermont Tiger, July 10, 2009

Remember how Angelo Dorta, on retiring as head of Vermont's teacher's union, crowed about having "exposed" Vermont Tiger and the Ethan Allen Institute?  It was, of course, just the usual sort of posturing and hyperbole we have all come to expect from public sector plutocrats who need to distract the taxpayers while picking their pockets.

Senator Leahy's Two Faces
From the Caledonia Record Editorial, July 7, 2009

In his first remarks about Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee which will pass on the nomination, caused even the most cynical politicos in Washington to laugh in derision. Leahy rushed the schedule of hearings in order for Sotomayor to respond to "unbelievable attacks" [Leahy's own words] by Republican critics.

What's unbelievable is Senator Leahy keeping a straight face when he is, and has been, one of the most ruthless, mad attack dog Democrats in Washington with every federal court nominee of every Republican nominee for decades. He savaged and spewed venom all over federal judge nominations and blocked most of them from even being voted upon. He was at his best against Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork. In fact, he and his liberal cohorts were so merciless to Bork that Bork's name became a verb for character assassination. ("They really Borked him.")

Related History: The Sound of Silence: Why is the Press Ignoring what the Democratic Judiciary Memos Say?
By Melanie Kirkpatrick, Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2003

So let's review. The memos --from 2001-02 when the Democrats controlled Judiciary under the chairmanship of Sen. Patrick Leahy-- show the senators took their marching orders from People for the American Way, the Alliance for Justice, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the NAACP. No surprise here, as anyone who's been following the course of Mr. Bush's stalled nominees knows full well. But the extent of the groups' micromanagement is eye-popping and exposes the opposition to Mr. Bush's judicial picks for what it really is: political maneuvering, not principled differences of opinion.  Exerpts from the memos here.

Study, Study, Study
From Vermont Tiger, July 08, 2009

It sometimes seems that the only growth industry in Vermont is the production of studies.  We have studied everything and then, we study the studies and conclude that what is needed is more study.  The most recent of these undertakings is an unprecedented statewide conversation on the values, visions and practical priorities of Vermonters as they look to the challenges ahead.

Okay.  And what have we learned from this "conversation?'

The Need For Grant Transparency
From the Caledonia Record Editorial, July 8, 2009

Every day there are news reports about half a dozen grants being given to companies and agencies, some from the feds and some from the state. They come from dozens of different agencies and interests with obscure names. How the heck are we to keep score when the grants are all masked by source names that are no help.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Analyst: U.S. Military Advantages Disappearing
Defense adviser says new threats challenge dominance that the U.S. has taken for granted.
By Geoff Ziezulewicz, Stars and Stripes, July 13, 2009

American military dominance is eroding in the face of an ascendant Chinese power, hostile states like Iran and the spread of sophisticated weapons and technology to militant groups, and the Pentagon must reassess its long-term strategy, according to a top defense analyst recently appointed to review Defense Department policy.

Preparations for Attack on Iran Almost Complete
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D., Global Politician, July 10, 2009

On January 20, 2009, I appeared as a guest in the most popular political affairs program in Macedonia ("Glasot na Narodot", or The Voice of the People). I warned that Israel is willing to wait 6 to 8 months for Obama's "diplomacy" with regards to Iran's nuclear capability to show some progress. If Iran remains recalcitrant, Israel plans to bomb two facilities in Iran as it did in Iraq in 1981, I said. Refueling won't be a problem, I assured the program's host, Slobodan Tomic: both Egypt and Saudi-Arabia offered to help.??

Israel has decided to go ahead. Taking into account political, geopolitical, military preparedness, and climatic conditions, there are two windows: between July 21 and 24 and between August 6 and 8. Advance teams comprised of Mossad agents and military personnel are already on the ground in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iraq (including in the Kurdish lands, adjacent to Turkey).

Iraqi Success Will Depend on Next U.S. Strategy
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family Security Matters, July 10 2009

Today, we see the first phase of withdrawal beginning to take place. It is in this redeployment stage, where Iraqi forces will be taking over from Americans and allies in all cities and most towns. Two crucial questions arise immediately: Will Iraqi forces be able to control their own urban zones? And as a corollary, what should be the next phase for U.S. and Coalition forces on Iraqi soil?

According to the plan I have suggested, the answer to the second question can determine the success or failure of the first. Indeed, for Iraqi forces to win the battle against their security challenges, it will depend on what kind of strategic mission U.S. armed forces will be tasked with in the next stage of their new deployment. Here is why:

'Iran Could Build Bomb within a Year'
By Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, July 9, 2009

Both the US and Israel believe Iran has the technical capacity to build one nuclear bomb within a year if it decides to do so, but both countries also believe the chances that Teheran will indeed make that decision are slim, according to assessments made known to The Jerusalem Post.

Gore: U.S. Climate Bill Will Help Bring About 'Global Governance'
By Marc Morano, Climate Depot, July 10, 2009

Former Vice President Al Gore declared that the Congressional climate bill will help bring about "global governance."

"I bring you good news from the U.S., "Gore said on July 7, 2009 in Oxford at the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, sponsored by UK Times.

The Fog Is Not Lifting: New DVD Whitewashes Islamism
By Sid Shahid, Pajamas Media, July 5, 2009

Last year, Islamist anger over the mass distribution of the DVD Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West was quite predictable. As is their modus operandi, the Islamist cry focused on victimology and attacking the messenger, while avoiding any real debate over the message of the DVD itself. ...

But that wasn't enough for Islamists. Some are now fighting back with their own DVD, entitled The Fog Is Lifting (Part 1): Islam in Brief, produced by an Egyptian nonprofit group, the Bridges Foundation. Some 20,000 copies of the DVD were distributed to three zip codes within Wake County, North Carolina. Bundled in an issue of the News and Observer, the DVD aims to "repair the image of Islam" and is allegedly designed to counteract the Obsession DVD distributed in the same paper in September of last year. While marketed to "explain" Islamic precepts and theology, it does so from only a single point of view. Islamist apologist Omid Safi, a professor of religion at UNC-Chapel Hill, described the DVD as follows:

It's a full-throated defense of the tradition in which Islam is presented as the perfect egalitarian, scientific, pluralistic, modern religion that doesn't have the flaws of all the other religions. … It remains to be seen if it will be seen as preaching to the choir, or if it will succeed in persuading people outside the Muslim community.

Predators and Civilians
An intelligence report shows how effective drone attacks are.
From the Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2009

In each of the strikes in 2009 that are described by the intelligence summary, the report says no women or children were killed.... And an April 19 strike on a compound in South Waziristan did destroy a truck loaded with what the report estimates were more explosives than the truck that took out Islamabad's Marriott Hotel last September. That Islamabad attack killed 54 people and injured more than 260 others, mostly Pakistan civilians but also Americans.

CBS's Sunday Morning Airs Indictment of Media from Aunt of Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
By Brent Baker, Media Research Center, July 13, 2009

Somebody's little boy, all grown up, died today. Someone's little girl found out today that Daddy is never coming home. That news is hard to bear. When the nation they died for barely notices, it's crushing.

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From Elsewhere

Caritas in Veritate: Why Truth Matters
By Samuel Gregg, D.Phil., Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, July 8, 2009

Relativists beware. Whether you like it or not, truth matters – even in the economy. That’s the core message of Pope Benedict XVI’s new social encyclical Caritas in Veritate.

For 2000 years, the Catholic Church has hammered home a trio of presently-unpopular ideas into the humus of human civilization: that there is truth; that it is not simply of the scientific variety; that it is knowable through faith and reason; and that it is not whatever you want or "feel" it to be. Throughout his entire life, Benedict XVI has underscored these themes, precisely because much of the world, including many Christians, has lost sight of their importance.

Out of Alaska
Sarah Palin on why she resigned and what it means for her future.
By Matthew Continetti, Weekly Standard, July 20, 2009

Throughout her career, Palin has seemed most "appropriate" at moments when she senses that the populace is diverging from the political class that rules over it. Palin exploits the split and wins office as the tribune of the people. That is what happened when she saw that Wasillans were tired of the nonideological, nonpartisan, unexciting mayoralty of John Stein; when she saw self-dealing among Republican insiders in Anchorage and Juneau; when she saw that Alaskans were tired of Frank Murkowski and the lobbyist culture he nursed and protected. That is what she and John McCain tried to do last year, when Americans had grown tired of George W. Bush and Republican misrule (things didn't work out the way they'd hoped). The next time Palin sees a gap separating the people and their government, she may try to jump in and fill it.

For now, though, Palin will focus on writing her book, on the midterm elections, and on giving speeches. One certainty is that neither she nor the people who love and hate her are going away. "It's not retreat," Palin said. "It's moving more aggressively than ever to fight for what's right." Today the Palinistas and Palinphobes are as much a part of the national scene as they have been part of Alaska's. Since her debut, Palin has sparked curiosity and revulsion, devotion and illwill, admiration and scorn in equal measure. For whatever reason, the press cannot take its unblinking eye off of her. To the media and her detractors, she is a force of nature. She cannot be ignored.

CEI Releases Global Warming Study Censored by EPA
The Public Shouldn’t Be Kept in the Dark by an Agency Supposedly Committed to Transparency.
By Richard Morrison, Competitive Enterprise Institute, June 25, 2009

The Competitive Enterprise Institute is today making public an internal study on climate science which was suppressed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Internal EPA email messages, released by CEI earlier in the week, indicate that the report was kept under wraps and its author silenced because of pressure to support the Administration’s agenda of regulating carbon dioxide.

Here is the actual EPA Climate Report that was censored: Censored Climate Report

Bozell Challenges "News" Media to Report the Truth:
Self-Described Conservatives Surging; Public Support for Obama Dropping Like a Rock.
From the Media Research Center, July 6, 2009

"The media are obsessed with polling and public opinion data – unless, of course, it goes against their narrative. The cause and effect is clear: the more America learns about Obama’s radical agenda, the more they are galloping in the other direction.

"But do we really expect the left-wing media to report this? This is the same media who just last week failed to ask what happened to Obama’s billion-dollar ‘stimulus’ bill in reporting the highest unemployment rate since 1983.

"Incoming memo to the GOP: Set a torch to that big tent of yours. People are flocking from liberals’ failing policy and ideals."

The Case for Doing Nothing
By Jeffrey Miron, Real Clear Politics, July 10, 2009

The fundamental problem underlying the financial crisis was government policy. Instead of undertaking enormous new policies, we should try to fix or eliminate bad policies and focus on efficiency rather than redistribution. Doing nothing new and simply working with pre-existing procedures would have been much better than anything we've done so far.

The Road to Economic Demoralization
Washington is going the wrong way.
By Larry Kudlow National Review, July 10, 2009

There’s no question that current government policies for taxes, spending, and regulation are causing the U.S. to lose competitiveness in the global race for capital, prosperity, and growth.

D.C. Council Wants Vouchers
It would rather help poor children than unions.
From the Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2009

The D.C. Council's letter shows that support for these vouchers is real at the local level and that the opposition exists mainly at the level of the national Democratic Party. Mr. [Illinois Senator Dick] Durbin has suggested that he included the D.C. Council provision [that phases out the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program] in deference to local control. "The government of Washington, D.C., should decide whether they want it in their school district," he said in March. Well now we know where D.C. stands. We will now see if the national party stands for putting union power and money above the future of poor children.

Video: NEA Union Official Admits Promoting Union Is More Important Than Improving Education

"This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing dropout rates, improving teacher quality, and the like are unimportant or inappropriate. To the contrary, these are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights, and collective bargaining. That simply is too high a price to pay. When all is said and done, NEA and its affiliates must never lose sight of the fact that they are unions, and what unions do first and foremost is represent their members." --NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin, Farewell Address to the National Education Association's annual Representative Assembly, 7/6/09.

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