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True North Archives - July 15, 2008
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Life: Priority One
By Meg Barnes

First, pro-life concerns span issues ranging from abortion and infanticide, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia to embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and much more. Pro-lifers cannot plausibly be called ‘single issue’ voters due, quite simply, to the scope of their concerns.

Second, it is not a matter of ‘single issue’ voting, but a matter of prioritizing the most fundamental of our rights and the very reason our form of government was established in the first place.

Raise Taxes on Electricity?
By John McClaughry

The cry has again gone up for raising taxes. Not surprisingly, the cry comes from the Vermont Public Interest Group (VPIRG) and the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF). 

The tax they propose to increase is the one on everyone's electric bill. In 1999 the legislature delegated to the Public Service Board the power to levy an "energy efficiency " tax to fund its "efficiency utility", known as Efficiency Vermont.

Shut Up and Agree
By Martin Harris

Suppose you went to a seminar and the instructors decided to change the subject? That’s what happened recently when C-SPAN scheduled a promising session with three education experts on the subject of higher K-12 quality leading to better US educational competitiveness leading to higher salaries and a better national economy at home. The short title, invented by participant Eric Hanushek, was "Learn More, Earn More". The other two major participants, Helen Ladd of Duke University and Clive Belfield of Queen’s College, weren’t at all interested in improvements in the achievement potential of students already at the upper end of the test-score spectrum, and so they continually steered the discussion onto their preferred ideological grounds: the bottom quartile of students and all the "root cause" reasons why more taxpayer investment in public schools is sorely needed on their behalf. It was a little like going to a seminar advertised as a discussion of 19th century military equipment and tactics, only to be subjected to hours of Europeans-are-mean-white-guys-and-if-you-weren’t-so-mean-and-dumb- you’d-agree.

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"At the heart of any democracy lies the challenge of performing good deeds without stripping people of their money and freedom." --Tony Snow

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Sex Offender Treatment a False Cure
Rutland Herald Editorial, July 7, 2008

The state of Vermont is failing to learn from history. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Catholic Church in North America went through a spasm of sexual abuse by significant numbers of priests against children in their care; many of those cases have only come to light in the past decade and so are still wending their way through the courts today, including a sheaf of filings in Vermont.

In most such cases, one cornerstone of the church's defense is that they were acting on the best advice of psychiatrists at the time by providing treatment to priests found to have abused children and then returning those "cured" priests to parishes. In case after case, juries find that argument wanting. In part, it's because that advice is now considered hopelessly out of date: We would never declare a convicted pedophile "cured" and return them to active care of children. Or would we?

Getting The Right Verdict ... Easy
From, July 11, 2008

Clearly, Mr. Gunderson is emotionally invested in shutting down Yankee.  Whatever his credentials – and they are impressive – he is not a disinterested observer. So, why was he appointed to a position on this panel?  Because Senator Peter Shumlin was doing the appointing and he has been waging jihad against Yankee for years.

Inefficiency Vermont
Caledonia Record Editorial, July 11, 2008

Back in 2000, our liberal lawmakers discovered an irresistible opportunity to create another bureaucracy that would save us, once again, from ourselves. They created Efficiency Vermont, ostensibly to assist Vermont businesses and homeowners to use less energy, hence lessen our dependence on foreign energy sources. Many people, including us, believe Efficiency Vermont was intended to create lucrative jobs for some politicians who were no longer on the political dole.

"WCAX Shows Stagnant Reporting"
From, July 11, 2008

This leaves me wondering why WCAX ran this story to begin with. Calling data published six months ago new is a bit disingenuous unless it was due to incompetence.  If they did intentionally run an old story dressed up like a new one, what purpose would it serve? What agenda would be served by dressing up old data about how people are leaving Vermont? The only clue I can find is the link to PursueVT found at the bottom of the story. Was the story really a press release from the proverbial finger in the dike PursueVT?  Can I read from this that the finger in the dike solution isn't working or is it just the finger pointing out how important its job is?

Pie thrower shows lack of judgment
Democrats show lack of class

On Thursday, the Governor was assaulted by a pie-throwing prankster while walking in the Montpelier parade. Since then, the silence from Democrat officials has been deafening. While we may not agree on all issues, mainstream Vermonters do not believe raw mean-spiritedness or physical attacks of any kind have any place in our politics. This incident was easy to denounce on many levels. But, when asked about the attack, Speaker Symington answered with a definitive "no comment" (WCAX, 6pm News, 7/4/08), demonstrating a disappointing lack of character.

The blog post below raises a valid point: if Leahy, Sanders, Welch or even Symington had been the victim instead of Douglas, would there have been outrage? You can bet on it.

On Stupid Questions, Pie throwing, Waterboarding, Parading, and The Feelies
From Broadsides, July 7, 2008

Speaking of politics, the Vermont media and blogosphere is abuzz about the pie that Governor Jim Douglas (R-VT) took to his face during Montpelier’s Fourth of July parade last week. Since I’m sure that anyone who cares about this issue has already read and commented about it, I’ll steer clear of the specifics.

Instead, I’d like to focus on the kindergarten-like partisan reaction that the incident has received from the good Democrats -- mostly in blogland. In short, they thought it was great, funny, deserved or otherwise just a hoot (opinions that I can mostly agree with since I’m all in favor of good political theatre).

But wait. Aren’t these the same people who got their panties in a knot over the efforts of the anti-war crowd to hold Democratic Congressman Peter Welch’s feet to the fire by asking him –gasp-- yes or no questions about his position on the War on Iraq? Yes, they were.

So, to these folks, pushing a pie in the face of the governor is "great" but asking a congressman who has been waffling on the war to answer "yes or no" about his positions on that war is "grandstanding," "rude," "cheap," and "counter-productive."

Got it.

In other words, it depends on your party affiliation. And that, my friends, is why I detest party affiliations and the dumbed-down rationale that accompanies them.

I can’t imagine, for example, the "outrage" these folks would have expressed if anyone,  from the left or the right had done the same thing to one of their darlings, Leahy, Sanders or Welch. Or, worse, image the indignation if their hero-of-the-moment, Obama, got a pie?

Get real, folks. Or, better yet, trade those cheerleading outfits in for some thinking caps.

And soon.

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
Caledonia Record Editorial, July 07, 2008

We've been reporting in this area for over 170 years and have never seen such alarming lack of understanding and conviction from our elected local, state and federal leaders.

Once upon a time, people in the Northeast Kingdom and North Country were renowned for civic pride, economic frugality and independent spirit. We were happy to tell visitors that while poor, we at least were honest.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Crossroads in History: The Struggle against Jihad and Supremacist Ideologies
By Jeffrey Imm,, July, 2008

In fighting Islamic supremacism, instead of an approach only based on tactical measures and efforts at clever twists of terminology, what if America had a true strategy that was instead based on the defense of our values on human equality and liberty?

The true challenge of Islamic supremacism to America and the free world is not about Islam, Islamism, or terrorism, but about us. It is a historic challenge to determine whether we truly have the courage of our convictions on equality and liberty and we are willing to fight for these ideals, or if we will instead accept the continuing growth of anti-freedom ideologies here and around the world.

Islamists Have The West Just Where They Want Us
By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. Jewish World Review, July 8, 2008

Flash forward to today. At the moment, another totalitarian ideology characterized by techniques and global ambitions strikingly similar to those of yesteryear's communists is on the march. It goes by varying names: "Islamofascism," "Islamism," "jihadism" or "radical," "extremist" or "political Islam." Unlike the communists, however, adherents to this ideology are making extraordinary strides in Western societies toward criminalizing those who dare oppose the Islamist end-state — the imposition of brutal Shariah Law on Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The Academic Jihad: Indoctrination Instead of Education
Posted by Mondoreb,, July 7, 2008

In America, a healthy Islamist grievance industry–headed by CAIR–and gaming the victimization bureaucracy are two prongs of a three-tined fork of attack. What’s the third? That would be the academic jihad: using a mushy multicultural education establishment and the means of academia to further cultural ends.

The 550 Tons of Yellowcake
By Randall Hoven, American Thinker, July 08, 2008

About 550 metric tons of yellowcake concentrated uranium were recently shipped out of Iraq.  It had been part of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program.  That much was recently reported by the Associated Press .  I wrote an article for American Thinker that commented on that story  the day it appeared.

They Hanged Her for Teaching Love
By Amil Imani,, July 10, 2008

She is called the Angel of Iran, because she lived her short life angelically. The demonic Islamist Mullahs, true to their nature, couldn?t bear an angel in their midst. They hanged the young woman, barely past childhood, for refusing to renounce her belief: the belief in love, justice, and equality for all children of God.

Congress Examines EMP Threat
Iran believed to test missiles for attack on U.S.
From WorldNetDaily, July 07, 2008

More than four years after a stunning report about America's vulnerability to a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack was released to Congress, the House Armed Services Committee will hear testimony from the scientist who issued the warning and who believes Iran is pursuing such an option.

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From Elsewhere

Rest in Peace, My Friend
by Shannen Coffin, National Review, July 12, 2008

The day of Tony Snow's hiring at the White House was electric. To call him a "rock star" was an understatement. He brought substance to every meeting he was in and every subject he covered. He was unwaveringly conservative at the principals table, but like all good servants of the government and the president, when a decision was made, he fell in line and became an advocate for the president, not for Tony Snow. It isn't hard to conclude that he was one of the best presidential press secretaries of all time, if not the best.

Global Cooling?
Global Warming Out, Global Cooling In
By Alan Lammey, Texas Energy

Four scientists, four scenarios, four more or less similar conclusions without actually saying it outright -- the global warming trend is done, and a cooling trend is about to kick in. The implication: Future energy price response is likely to be significant. Late last month, some leading climatologists and meteorologists met in New York at the Energy Business Watch Climate and Hurricane Forum. The theme of the forum strongly suggested that a period of global cooling is about emerge, though possible concerns for a political backlash kept it from being spelled out.

8th Circuit Says Unborn = Human
By Christopher J. Schweickert, American Thinker, July 11, 2008

A great new 8th Circuit en banc (rehearing by the full court) opinion was delivered yesterday.  It was simply a denial of Planned Parenthood's attempt to get a preliminary injunction to stay enforcement of the statute, and a preliminary injunction is always hard to get.  Even so, an en banc Circuit court finding that "unborn = human" is true and relevant information is pretty powerful.

EU to Scale Back Bio-fuel plans
By Rick Moran, American Thinker, July 08, 2008

Reacting to several recent studies which have shown bio-fuels contributing to the current world food crisis as well as deforestation and other climate change factors, the European Union is going to cut back drastically on its bio fuels production plans:

Layoffs And Closings Help Explain Why Media See 'Depression' As Real
By Dan Gainor, Investor's Business Daily, July 03, 2008

One of the hardest things for reporters to do is to distance themselves when they become part of a story. That's precisely the problem with journalists covering the U.S. economy.

We're a long way from it being what NBC claims is "a bust." We're not in another "Depression" either, despite dozens of network stories to that effect. But many journalists think things are that bad because their own industry is in chaos.

Why Iraq Was Inevitable
Arthur Herman, Commentary Magazine, July/August, 2008

In this light—that is, in light of what was actually known at the time about Saddam Hussein’s actions and intentions, and in light of what was added to our knowledge through his post-capture interrogations by the FBI—the decision to go to war takes on a very different character. The story that emerges is of a choice not only carefully weighed and deliberately arrived at but, in the circumstances, the one moral choice that any American President could make.

Had, moreover, Bush failed to act when he did, the consequences could have been truly disastrous. The next American President would surely have faced the need, in decidedly less favorable circumstances, to pick up the challenge Bush had neglected. And since Bush’s unwillingness to do the necessary thing might rightly have cost him his second term, that next President would probably have been one of the many Democrats who, until March 2003, actually saw the same threat George Bush did.

Obama Will Tax & Spend Despite His Promises
By Bill Bolling, Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 14, 2008

Barack Obama's campaign has asked voters to ignore their candidate's brief and inconsistent record and listen instead to the "value" in his words. ... [O]ne thing remains clear, under an Obama presidency hard-working Americans and small business owners will see their taxes rise, job creation and exports suffer, and government spending skyrocket when they can least afford it.

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