North Archives - July 20, 2010
| Editorial | News & Views
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).
Simple Question, a Deafening Silence…
By Rob Roper
Two weeks ago, I posed an
open question to our federal delegation in Washington:
How much of the money
earned by any United States citizen through his or her labor in the pursuit
of happiness do you believe said citizen should be entitled – as a right
and under any circumstance -- to keep, free from the taxing hands of government?
As predicted by myself and others,
the silence from Leahy, Sanders and Welch has so far been deafening. Not
surprisingly, as of this writing I have received no reply to my snail-mail
missives (complete with self addressed stamped envelopes, no less) from
any of them.
Leahy Must Decide: is Elena Kagan for Life or Death?
By Kelly Bartlett
The Judiciary Committee hearings
presided over by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy regarding Elena
Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court are over; now the
By Mark Shepard
inability of our federal government to function in the real world is not
simply that we elected the wrong people to run it; it is that we allowed
our government to grow into a Super-Government that cannot be run by anyone.
Like Superman, every time there is a need, problem or even a want we turn
to Super-Government to save the day. We expect Super-Government to accomplish
the unimaginable, and just like Superman, the only place the unimaginable
can be accomplished is in an imaginary world.
Video Extra, 7-17-10
Rob Roper reads Ralph T.
Heath's poem, "Now Is the Time."
# # #
"Most of us
know that the responsibility of the educational system has been growing
every year for decades. We not only expect our schools to teach fundamental
reading, writing, and arithmetic to our children but also to expect our
schools to make sure that they are fed, have clean clothes and that they
are protected from harm from others including their own families. We now
expect our schools to take on the responsibility that once belonged to
parents, communities, and human services agencies."
# # #
- Rep. John Zenie, who sits
on Vermont's House Education Committee
Weekly News Round-Up
of the Road
By Dan Foty, Vermont Tiger,
July 16, 2010
But you know what?
That stretch of road between Arad and Oradea - the one that my colleague
apologized for - was much better than that (dilapidated) stretch of Route
This is embarrassing.
This will probably be the
legacy of the "flower children" in Vermont. Having squandered our
resources on a variety of ideological vanities, the infrastructure has
been under-cared-for. Now that those ideological vanities have trashed
the economy, we can't even afford to maintain roads anymore.
The rewards of dominance
by economically-illiterate children....
Perfect Political Storm
Caledonia Record Editorial,
July 16, 2010
This situation is not politically
fanciful. It is a real "perfect storm" that lies in wait for us next January
if the current Democratic majority gets matched up with a Democratic governor
next November. Republican Jim Douglas has been all that has stood in the
way of that perfect storm for the past eight years. He's out now, and who
comes in is up to Vermont's voters.
It is axiomatic that you
get, and you deserve, the government for which you vote. We hope Vermonters
think long and hard before they mark their ballots next time. The obvious
choice clearly is Brian Dubie.
Gas on the Way Out
By Matt Stkoski, The Burlington
Free Press, July 9, 2010
Linda Pecor co-owns Beaudry's
Store in Huntington, which sells ethanol-free gas. She said her distributor
told her there would be no more ethanol-free gas starting in September.
She said she is frustrated by the mandate for ethanol, saying many farmers
and landscapers rely on ethanol-free fuel.
"It's a very big issue,"
said Paul Ramsey, who works at Small Engine Co. Inc. in Colchester, which
repairs lawn mowers and other equipment. He says ethanol damages carburetors
and fuel lines.
Ramsey said Small Engine
Co. replaces 80 percent more lawn-mower carburetors now than before ethanol
in Lake Champlain, Part 1: After Millions in Cost, Where's the Benefit?
By Kathryn Flagg, Addison
County Independent, July 16, 2010
After 10 years and roughly
$100 million in public investments, the quality of Lake Champlain’s ailing
waters remains all but unchanged.
Though a statistical study
released in June by two scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey showed
slight decreases in the amount of phosphorus entering the lake — down by
between one and three percent in places — frustration is brewing among
residents and environmentalists who say too little is being done to clean
up Lake Champlain. High levels of phosphorus and other nutrients, washed
into the lake in the form of runoff from agricultural, urban and suburban
sites, are leading to excess plant growth, decreased water quality, and
decaying plant matter that over time can turn a once-clear lake into a
boggy marshland (at least in its shallower sections).
Offender or Not?
Caledonia Record Editorial,
July 15, 2010
Vermont's nearly new sexual
offender registry's 195 errors are unforgiveable. The registry is absolutely
necessary because parents and others need it to be 100 percent accurate
if it is to accomplish what it was intended to do, i.e., let the public
know who and where these birds are.
Conversely, if the registry
contains errors that include listing people who are not sex offenders,
it grievously offends these innocent people by ruining their reputations.
Sadly, it does contain such errors.
and Tax Again
By Michael Gardner, Vermont
Tiger, July 9, 2010
Last year's legislative session
ended with many efforts to tighten up the budget and one of them reared
its ugly head this
week as tens of thousands of Vermonters were informed (incorrectly
by most estimates) that their income sensitivity was being adjusted to
reflect their interest and dividend income. It seems that since they had
received more than $10,000 in interest and dividend income the income was
going to be "double counted" because they were rich and Vermont loves class
warfare, just kidding, that was the byproduct not the intent, which was
to cause you to spite your pensioner of a neighbor, oh sorry that was a
byproduct too, I guess the intent was to penalize those successful among
us and provide another cushion to public sector employees. Job well done!
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Free" - The Startling Decline of America’s Economic Freedom and
What to Do About It. (pdf)
By Ambassador Terry Miller
& Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D., The Heritage Foundation, July 14, 2010
In 2010, for the first time
ever, the United States has fallen from the ranks of the economically "free"
as measured by the Index of Economic Freedom, published annually
by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. With a score
of only 78.0 on the Index’s 0–100 scale, the United States has fallen
below the cutoff (an average score of 80 or above) that earns countries
the right to call themselves truly "free." The United States’ current status?
How did this happen? What
can be done to address the problem and allow Americans to reclaim the economic
freedoms they have lost?
This booklet provides a snapshot
of American’s economic freedom and compares conditions in the United States
with those in other countries around the world. A program of straightforward
but bold reforms is proposed to put the U.S. back where it belongs: as
a world leader in economic freedom.
Russia Makes a Lousy Ally
By Rick Moran, American
Thinker, July 15, 2010
Most of the smart set at
the State Department believes that Vladmir Putin's Russia is no longer
an enemy of the United States and is, in fact, an ally when it comes to
the War on Terror and other related issues.
Uh-huh. And my pet cat Snowball
is a Rhodes
Commander Linked to al Qaeda, Iran, killed in US strike in Western Afghanistan
By Bill Roggio, The Long
War Journal, July 16, 2010
Coalition special operations
forces and Afghan commandos have killed a wanted Taliban commander with
links to al Qaeda and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, during
a raid on a training camp in western Afghanistan.
Mullah Akhtar and an undisclosed
number of Taliban fighters were killed in a combined special operations
raid yesterday on a training camp used by foreign fighters in the Bala
Boluk district in Farah province. The special operations teams had been
hunting Akhtar for more than two months.…
In a June 6 press release,
ISAF stated that Akhtar "had close ties with Taliban and al Qaeda senior
leaders." It also said that he "was responsible for arranging training
for foreign fighters from Iran and helped resolve disputes between militant
Akhtar also worked closely
with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' Qods Force. The IRGC is
tasked with defending the Islamic Revolution inside Iran while exporting
the radical ideology to neighboring countries and worldwide. Qods Force
is the IRGC's external special operations branch.
Global Terrorist Reach
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family
Security Matters, July 10, 2010
United States became painfully aware of the threat posed by global jihadism
after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Until that day, Iranian-backed
terrorist networks, such as Hezbollah, were responsible for killing more
American citizens than al-Qaeda. In the years since, the balance has been
gradually tilting back towards Iran. In the words of former U.S. Deputy
Secretary of State Richard Armitage, al-Qaeda may be the 'B' team of international
terrorism, but Hezbollah is the 'A' team. Indeed, Iran's Khomeinists began
their war on the U.S. and other democracies years before Osama bin Laden
began his jihad.
for Stability in Musa Qala: Challenges and Possible Solutions
By Bill Ardolino, The Long
War Journal, July 17, 2010
Ultimately, stability will
come to Musa Qala District when the population achieves confidence in the
government, local security forces can sustain themselves against challenges
by insurgents, and developmental aid reforms the opium economy.
Positive factors at present
include the existence of reasonably effective, respected police and soldiers,
a competent Deputy District Governor and an incoming District Governor,
and an active security and reconstruction partnership with the US Marines.
The challenges are significant: in addition to the complications caused
by the drug economy, locals are jaded by government promises, especially
after their experience with the recently ousted District Governor Mullah
Salaam, and do not yet believe that irrevocable momentum is with the Afghan
security forces prior to the looming ISAF withdrawal.
Most citizens are open to
promises of American and Afghan government reconstruction, but still hedge
their bets in the face of continued Taliban intimidation. And opium and
its close nexus with instability cast a pall over the effort. Until the
Afghan government and the international community devise an effective solution
to reengineer the local economy away from drugs, by creating widespread
access to processing, distribution, and credit for alternate crops - in
an insecure environment - poppy will remain king. And as long as poppy
remains king, narcoterrorists and criminals will have a vested interest
in destabilizing or corrupting the national government presence in Helmand
and Musa Qala.
Qaeda Goes Viral
The terrorists' latest
recruiting device: an English language Internet magazine.
By Peter Hoekstra, The Wall
Street Journal, July 15, 2010
Earlier this month, the full
version of Inspire, a new English language journal, surfaced on the Internet.
It's publisher? The Yemen-based terrorist organization, al Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Although al Qaeda has long
employed the Web, DVDs and video games to reach mass audiences, the sophistication
and provocative nature of this publication suggests it is intended to "go
viral"—or spread rapidly among many Internet users—in the English speaking
world, especially in the United States.
# # #
Impact of Shale Gas Technology on Geopolitics
Dr. Daniel Fine of
MIT discusses how new technology in extracting gas will impact geopolitics
and the environment.
The Fletcher School of International
Affairs at Tuffs University
Dr. Daniel Fine of the Mining
and Minerals Resources Institute at MIT addressed Fletcher students at
a talk sponsored by the International
Security Studies Program and offered his insights into how the development
of new technology will allow the United States to tap vast, previously
inaccessible, resources of natural gas that will impact everything from
the price of gasoline to the ability of Chinese companies to buy equity
in Russian natural gas fields.
The United States has a monopoly
on "hydro-fracing" technology. The technology, short for hydraulic fracturing,
releases natural gas trapped in shale deposits by injecting the deposits
with high-pressure water mixed with sand and small amounts of chemical
Nomination Hits Roadblock
By Rosslyn Smith,
American Thinker, July 15, 2010
Could it happen? Could Kagan's
nomination wither on the vine? It's probably unlikely. But at the back
of my mind is the tale John Bolton tells in his excellent memoir
Surrender is Not an Option, on how Harry Reid is a master of
the rope a dope when it comes to killing a nomination while appearing to
approve it going forward. When Bolton was nominated as UN Ambassador
in Spring 2005 that vote was also delayed in getting out of the committee.
When it reached the floor of the Senate then Minority Leader Reid told
Senate Majority leader Bill Frist the Democrats wouldn't filibuster. Frist
then scheduled a cloture vote that failed because of absences from the
Senate that day! Reid again told Frist there was no filibuster.
Frist scheduled a second cloture vote which also failed, again not because
41 Senators voted No but because once again not everyone was present to
vote! Frist looked incompetent and Reid looked like a fox.
It could happen. The wimpiest
of the Republicans are also from rural states where gun control is anathema.
NRA members could influence them even if there inclination is to give the
President his nominee. This time as Majority Leader Reid would be the one
looking like a fool for not counting heads ahead of time, but if he thought
it would help save his seat? Looking like a fool has seldom been an issue
for Harry Reid.
Cars: All Charged Up, but Still Stuck in First Gear
By Joseph B. White, The
Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2010
To appreciate the obstacles
standing in the way of the electric-car dream, you don't need to talk to
electric-vehicle skeptics or hybrid haters. Instead, you can listen to
the people who believe in electric vehicles, and are investing in those
Proponents of the technology
will tell you that anyone buying an electric vehicle will want to know
at least two things: How far can I drive before I have to recharge? And,
where can I go to recharge when I am on the road, far from home? Companies
acknowledge that clear answers to those questions aren't yet available—and
may not be until a good while after the coming flock of electric cars has
Tesla Motors outlines as
part of its public-offering documents a lengthy recitation of risks to
its business. It's sobering reading for electric-vehicle enthusiasts. One
of the concerns Tesla raises is that the Environmental Protection Agency
is looking at new ways to measure how far electric cars can go before they
need to be recharged. The aim is to make the advertised range figures better
reflect how people drive their cars in the real world. Some of the new
test methods the EPA is considering could require electric-vehicle companies
to reduce the advertised range of their vehicles by as much as 30%.
Proof The Poor Have Gotten Richer, While The Rich Have Gotten Poorer
By Chuck Wolk, NorcalBlogs.com,
July 15, 2010
Probably the most interesting
aspect of their graph is what it says about the Socialists' belief that
capitalism creates winners and losers. Or as Obama and his ilk claim, the
economy is an unfair "zero sum game", and that is why they need
to redistribute the wealth. Only problem is, the graph they use to justify
the inequality of capitalism actually proves the opposite. Looking at the
graph you will notice that each and every income bracket from the poor
all the way to the ultra rich, have gained in their share of the stock
market and wealth, from where they began in 1962. So where are the
losers of life's lottery then? Well, stick around and you will begin seeing
them as the new regulations designed to destroy Wall Street begin to take
Sadly, many Americans have
bought into the lies that it is only rich Wall Street investors who are
going to be affected by these new regulations. Well it's time for Main
Street to wake up and realize that the true target of Obama's wrath is
them, the middle class. It has taken almost a hundred years, but
the communists learned in the early 1900's that the only way they can destroy
America is to destroy the middle class. In the process they will gladly
destroy the poor who have realized the greatest advancement in prosperity
the world has ever seen, a prosperity that has outpaced that of the ultra
rich by over 400% since 1962. All the while the left has convinced the
economically ignorant Americans that they are only making the rich pay
their fair share.
Key to a Real Revolution
By Bruce Walker, American
Thinker, July 15, 2010
Conservatives often blame
elected Republicans for not producing revolutionary changes when in power.
This frustration is understandable, but it is also wrongheaded. No political
party can make revolutionary changes in American government unless that
party not only controls the House of Representatives
and the White House, but also, critically, has a filibuster-proof majority
in the Senate. …
In short, Republicans could
produce a conservative revolution which achieves, in two short years, everything
we have been seeking for the last fifty. All this would require great boldness
and vision. But our nation needs just such a revolution. Half-measures
and compromises simply prolong our slow death. We need a revolution. We
have the means to that revolution within our grasp soon.
Threatened by Tea Party
White House frets
about coming Republican majority.
The Washington Times, July
Reality won a rare victory
against the White
House on Sunday when President Obama's
press secretary, Robert
Gibbs, admitted that the November 2010 congressional elections
will be a tough time for Democrats. "There's no doubt there are enough
seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control," he said. "There's
no doubt about that."
# # #