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True North Archives - August 14, 2007
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Featured Articles

The Disgraceful "Fairness Doctrine"
By John McClaughry

The FCC repealed the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, primarily because it forced radio stations to run away from public controversy – whether advocacy spots, paid programs, or talk shows with opinionated hosts. But this year prominent leaders of the Democratic Congress are agitating to reinstate it.

No Podiatric Ballot for You
by Martin Harris

Now Rep. Welch argues that the politicians seated around him had no right to walk out, even temporarily, when his side, in their opinion, behaved badly. But didn’t he do exactly the same thing, more or less permanently, when he turned his back on rundown old gritty Springfield for whatever sets of municipal or neighborly behaviors he found to be personally unacceptable? He certainly didn’t stick around to make it better by virtue of his presence.

Government Over People
By Mark Shepard

Vermonters should learn a lesson from the passage of Act 185. When we elect legislators who trust government bureaucracies over citizens, we should expect to see our privacy erode, along with opportunities and our net incomes. The Act 185 debacle is but one example of the high cost to citizens when responsibilities are shifted from citizens to government.

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"Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for all the problems men face." --Ronald Reagan

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

From, August 09, 2007

But those who support early preschool and use Heckman's paper and prestige to back it should be aware of how far he takes the result of that sophisticated research in this quote from the Wall Street Journal's Economics Blog:

But while Mr. Heckman is a proponent of early education, he believes it should be targeted solely at disadvantaged kids and not all kids, as some advocates propose. You go where the marginal returns are the highest and they’re highest with disadvantaged children," he says. He fears that all the economic data – including his own — has produced a 'rush to judgment' that has convinced some camps to [sic] pre-school for everyone will produce the greatest return.It worries me a lot," he says. "Science doesn’t support universality … we have to approach it more cautiously."

Sick in Canada, August 07, 2007

We hear, over and over, about how Canada's government-run health care system is so vastly superior to that of the U.S. with its grubby mix of market mechanisms and legislative and bureaucratic mandates.  Michael Moore is merely the latest to parrot this line and with all of his usual subtlety, wit, and objectivity.  There is plenty to complain about, here, when it comes to health care.  And one suspects that as the complaints grow louder, the demands for some kind of "global" solution -- for something like Canada's system -- will grow ever more insistent.   Before joining the parade -- where Bernie Sanders will, no doubt, be beating on a big base drum -- one might want to consider this long, thoughtful, detailed, and disturbing look at how things actually work in that paradise to our north where "... dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and ... humans can wait two to three years."

Is The New Prebate Policy A Real Privacy Issue?
Caledonia Record Editorial, August 8, 2007

It is a breach of what has previously been a private matter, but it is not a serious one, and for once, the Democrats have gotten it right. The benefits of this new wrinkle in a totally flawed tax-collecting scheme outweigh the drawbacks. The original policy of returning money directly to property taxpayers made no connection between the checks and their property taxes. It was like found money. Meanwhile, middle-class and higher-income taxpayers have had to split the burden of the prebates by paying higher taxes, a pure Robin Hood scheme - only most of the non-prebated taxpayers are not rich, nor are most of the prebated taxpayers poor. 

There is one more benefit. If the lower-income taxpayers are getting a big piece of their property taxes paid by the rest of us, the rest of us who are paying their prebates have a right to know who is getting a free ride and for how much. There will be some surprises in the dole-roll that will pop the eyes of their neighbors.

PSB Approval Of The Sheffield Wind Farm
Caledonia Record Editorial, August 10, 2007

More important, despite the prevailing dogma of the environmentalists that proclaims wind energy the natural savior of the globally warming world, the towers wouldn't exist except for the huge tax subsidies their owners will enjoy. It's not about electric power; it's about money. Next, the wind towers will produce power for only about 11 percent of the time. The rest of the time, the wind isn't there, and the power that isn't produced by them will have to be replaced by current, allegedly inefficient, global-warming plants. Net benefit to energy efficiency? None.

What is the Debate About? August 09, 2007

And, if Rep. Nease is going to use business terminology, like the "bottom line," he ought to consider that what ends up on the bottom line is a subtraction of costs from revenues, or more globally, costs from benefits.  That means we need to measure, or at least attempt to quantify, the benefits and costs of any action we take.  Since the costs of climate change, as well as the benefits, are measured over decades, if not centuries, it's hard to do that in 200 words, much less on a bumper sticker.

Housing Solution No Solution at All
By Rep. Leo M. Valliere, August 12, 2007

I read Sen. Jim Condos' My Turn on housing "Lawmakers working on real housing solutions" (July 29). While I respect Jim Condos... I must disagree with the central premise of his column. It is the administration of Gov. Jim Douglas that has provided leadership on the issue of housing. The fact is the Legislature did virtually nothing to address the issue of housing affordability, beyond maintaining the status quo, which has led us to Vermont's current predicament.

Cindy Sheehan vs. Nancy Pelosi
Caledonian Record Editorial, Saturday August 11, 2007

This contest has all of the improbables that could make it a hit on Saturday Night Live: the country's two farthest left feminist liberals at each other's throats running to represent the most liberal district in the most liberal state in the country. The screeching and shrieking should be audible all the way to the East Coast.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Is Russia's Power on the Decline?
By Douglas Hanson, The American Thinker, August 07, 2007

The drive-by media never ceases to amaze with their inability to notice world events, much less understand the global maneuvers in the War on Terror.  Ever since Secretary of Defense Gates told Vladimir Putin to butt out concerning his bid to muck up the US - European Missile Defense Shield, several developments have shown how he has been forced to scramble to maintain at least a minimum levelof influence over world events.  Putin is an excellent practitioner of the bluff and bluster school of foreign policy, even as he struggles by "putting fingers in the dykes" of his dissolving empire.  The trend is not favorable for the ex-KGB agent and current President of the Russian Federation.

The surge is working. What now?
The Washington DC Examiner, August 9, 2007

This is not the time to let arm-chair generals on Capitol Hill second-guess Petraeus by demanding arbitrary withdrawal dates, abruptly cutting off funding for the counterinsurgency, or interfering with his military decisions. If true bipartisanship was ever needed in Washington, it’s now — while our nation is engaged in a military struggle with a dangerous, determined enemy.

Harry 'The Surge Has Failed' Reid Facing Dem Revolt On Iraq
Rick Moran, The American Thinker, August 09, 2007

You know that things are going better in Iraq when even the Democrats begin to acknowledge it.

CAIR Part of Radical Group Allied With Palestinians
Rick Moran, The American Thinker, August 09, 2007

It would seem that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has some explaining to do. The FBI is reporting that CAIR has close ties to the radical Islamist group The Muslim Brotherhood and has been identified as part of their Palestinian Committee here in America:

A Bridge to "Moderate" Islam Is In Fact a Road to Hell
By Amil Imani., August 6, 2007

Let us, for the record, be clear on this subject one more time: Islamism, Islamofascism, Radical Islam, Political Islam, and Militant Islam are different terms for essentially the same thing, a virulent, hateful, and violent system of beliefs and practices. Yet, one and all are progeny and mutation of Islam itself.

Propaganda Redux
By Ion Mihai Pacepa, The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2007

Take it from this old KGB hand: The left is abetting America's enemies with its intemperate attacks on President Bush.

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From Elsewhere

Economics, Rightly Understood
Part 10 of 'The Crisis of the Republic'
By Alan Keyes, Renew America, August 7, 2007

For better or worse, government is often perceived as the single most influential participant in almost every area of economic activity. Politicians play on this perception as they try to stitch together winning electoral coalitions. One rouses the poor to focus on the need for more welfare spending. Another goads the aging to save their social security. The unemployed need jobs. The more employed need higher-paying jobs. The victims of malpractice need justice and compensation. The doctors need lower insurance rates. The hospitals need higher insurance payouts. The patients need lower drug and health care costs. We need higher spending on everything and lower taxes for everyone — except of course the Democrats, who get too much; the Republicans, who have too much; the special interests, who want too much; and the people, who care too little.

Though the dust never settles from all this politically-inspired squabbling, one thing has clearly continued to emerge through the fog of our political wars — a bigger government that ignores what it should maintain (such as the security of our borders); controls what it should ignore (such as the size of our incomes); breaks what it pretends to care for (such as the families of the poor); neglects to care for what it ought to fix (such as our bridges and levees); and seeks every kind of control except self-control (for us or itself). Though divide-and-conquer politics is the order of the day, the political rhetoric drips with the milk of human kindness and overflows with pious exhortations to greater unity of purpose and hope. But how can people unite when those who offer themselves for leadership do so on a basis that ignores or denies the basis for their unity?

A Free-Market Cure for US Healthcare System
By Rudolph W. Giuliani, The Boston Globe, August 3, 2007

Instead of being more like Europe, we need to be more like America..... The future of America's healthcare system lies in free-market solutions, not socialist models. We can increase individual choice and decrease costs by increasing competition, encouraging innovation while always compassionately caring for people in need. That's the American way to reform healthcare.

Some People Will Never Appreciate Freedom
From The Eco-logic Powerhouse, August 07, 2007

The complaint: "Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m., a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing West over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns early bird special? Any response would be appreciated." …

The response: The letter writer asks, "Whom do we thank for the morning air show?" The 56th Fighter Wing will call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Captain Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.

Premature 2008 Defeatism
By J.R. Dunn, The American Thinker, August 07, 2007

As it stands, 2008 is in no one's bag. Once stripped of Hillary the Invincible, the Democrats really don't have all that much going for them. There's not an issue that doesn't threaten to blow up in their faces. They have saddled themselves with the ugly labels of defeatist and appeaser, labels that they will find very difficult to peel off. Their overconfidence is a sight to behold, their arrogance without precedent. Charles Schumer, the Democratic Mister Rogers, has suggested the Congress simply not confirm any more of the President's Supreme Court nominations.

The Dems have openly embraced gay rights, including overturning the Defense of Marriage act and allowing gays in the military. Last week, unhappy with the way a vote was going, Democrats in the House simply threw out the results and reopened the voting once they'd lined up a few more of their people, the kind of procedure common in countries run by people with names like Mugabe and Chavez. Such behavior contains the seeds of its own correction. Retribution comes not from any particular effort, but simply because of the way the universe operates. Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. At this moment the Democrats are as mad as any political party in this nation's history.

Democratic Party is Growing More Liberal
By Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers, August. 05, 2007

The Democratic Party is growing more liberal for the first time in a generation. It's more antiwar than at any time since 1972. Support is growing for such traditionally liberal values as using the federal government to help the poor. And 40 percent of Democrats now call themselves liberal, the highest in more than three decades and twice the low-water mark recorded as the conservative Reagan revolution swept the country in the early 1980s.

While politicians such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama shun the liberal label, they're rushing to court new power brokers who wear it proudly and constituencies that could barely win a nod from party leaders just a few years ago. For example, the top Democratic presidential candidates all planned to attend the YearlyKos convention of liberal bloggers in Chicago this weekend and a Human Rights Campaign debate this week in Los Angeles on gay, lesbian and transgender issues.

Related: Clinton A Drag? Dems Fear Her Negatives
By Ron Fournier, The Associated Press, August 12, 2007

In more than 40 interviews, Democratic candidates, consultants and party chairs from every region pointed to internal polls that give Clinton strikingly high unfavorable ratings in places with key congressional and state races.

A Productive Global Warming Propaganda Factory
By Christopher Alleva, The American Thinker, August 09, 2007

Environmental reporter Juliet Eilperin sets the stage with a vivid account of an evangelical global warming convert combing through the trash her "megachurch." Through her secular progressive eye, Eilperin quotes the converts lamentations and how she did penance for her sins by trading in her SUV for a Prius. I not making this up, but I can't speak for the Post.  Eilperin leaves out the fact that Democratic Party campaign consultants have been preaching that the evangelical vote is theirs for taking if they package it up with their signature global warming issue. Bill Moyers at PBS and the network news shows have run stories using the same template.

Related: Newsweek: Alarmed by Deniers
By Paul Chesser, The American Spectator, August 09, 2007

Now even the partisan-resistant public must acknowledge what conservatives have known for a long time: that Newsweek is driven by a leftist agenda, even if they won't acknowledge it themselves.

Related: Most See Media as Liberal, More Trust Military than Media on Iraq
From The Media Research Center, August 13, 2007

Many Americans do not believe the news media are fair, accurate or even moral, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Good News: Federal Deficit sharply lower
Federal Deficit Down to $157.3 Billion
By Jeannine Aversa, The Associated Press, August 11, 2007

The federal deficit so far this budget year is running sharply lower, driven by record revenues pouring into government coffers.

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