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True North Archives - September 01, 2009
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A Political Vacuum
Robert Maynard

Yes, there are opportunities in 2010 for those of us who would like this see this State not merely slow its rush into State domination over more and more aspects of our lives, but to actually reverse course. The key is to find someone to run at the top of the ticket who will clearly point out that it is not merely a case of moving too fast, but that we are headed in the wrong direction. A candidate for Governor could set the tone for gains up and down the ticket by giving voice to the growing frustration of what is looking more and more like a grass roots movement capable of supporting such a change in direction. If the candidate can motivate this base to passionately back the campaign, without scaring off those who are less committed to such a change, the next election cycle could be a big win for the forces of liberty.

Yes, Let's Talk about Nazis and Propaganda
By Rob Roper

In their August 20 editorial, Let's talk about Nazis, the Rutland Herald takes to task opponents of government run health care who alluded to the plan and the president as being "Nazi" in nature. We applaud the Herald for writing, "American people need to see that those who fling about terms like Nazi and Nazism are bringing discredit on themselves and destroying civil discourse." This is true. Nazi is not a term that should be used lightly, even by Lyndon LaRouche Democrats, who were the one's doing the flinging (see CNN Fails to Report Woman Comparing Obama toHitler is a Lyndon LaRouche Democrat).

MoNOlight in VermNOt
By Martin Harris

Contemporary: or "how Vermont has become a State of NO": the image, beyond its borders, of the State isn’t any more one of frugal and laconic, innovative and free-enterprise-motivated Yankees, but one of hostile zoning boards, compost-throwing public hearing "participants", fleeing businesses and a shrinking young-adult labor force. If the old icons of Vermont character were accurately captured in the now-mostly-forgotten mill, railroad, quarry and farm photo’s by the Rutland Herald’s Aldo Merusi, the new image-icons might well be the fake stuffed sheep adorning pretend-grazing meadows near Woodstock, the building-supply retail outlet in Montpelier which has stood vacant since Grossman’s left and Home Depot chose not to fight through the permit process for a move-in, the "affordable-housing" opportunities which are easy for government-related or –connected applicants but not for private-sector developers, or a State government which proudly announced that it has just allocated "stimulus" money for research into the "physical and performative qualities of fresh water", presumably not including traversing a millrace and turbine for power generation.

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"When the government can steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living, who needs a death panel?"

-- Jim Towey, Former Director of Faith-Based Initiatives in the Bush Administration, in a Fox News interview with Chris Wallace.

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Take It to the People Founder still Fighting Gay Marriage
Benson says group was never ‘anti-gay’.
By Nancy Remsen, Burlington Free Press, August 30, 2009

"Our focus was the marriage question and the right way to deal with it," said the minister of the Cambridge United Church. He’s still pushing for what he calls a fairer way for all Vermonters to weigh in on this core societal question.

From Bensen’s perspective, both in 2000 when the Legislature enacted civil unions and again in 2009 with passage of a marriage-equality law, House and Senate leaders rammed through bills without consideration for the views of the majority of Vermonters.

National Democrats to Target Vermont Governor's Race
From, August 27, 2009

The Democratic Governors Association is moving Vermont into its top tier of targeted 2010 pickup races, as Governor Jim Douglas announced his retirement today.

Big Red Numbers
From Vermont Tiger, August 29, 2009

Early in August 2009, Gov. Douglas sent a memo to Rep. Mike Obuchowski, Chairman of the Joint Fiscal Committee, detailing the Governor's rescission plan in response to projected revenue shortfalls in the current FY.  In that memo, Gov. Douglas described a frightening number: the combined shortfall for the outlying fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012 is 259 million dollars.  That's a bit over 86 million dollars in tax revenues, per FY, that the state will be short.

VPIRG's Phony Mathematics
Caledonia Record Editorial, August 29, 2009

The only problem with VPIRG's claim that massive power from the Greens' approved power sources is affordable is VPIRG's mathematical projections. They don't hold water. [Burlington Free Press; Aug. 27] "VPIRG concluded that a combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy would cost 47-50 percent less than the open market power price Vermont Yankee might charge in the future.

Dubie Mulls Running for Governor
Lieutenant governor exploring support, fundraising.
By Nancy Remsen, Burlington Free Press, August 30, 2009

Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie expects to take only a couple of weeks to make up his mind about running for governor in 2010 in the wake of incumbent Republican Gov. Jim Douglas’ decision not to seek a fifth term.

Dubie has asked Susie Hudson, who managed his 2008 campaign, to "structure my decision-making process." His first meeting with supporters took place Saturday.

Saint Michael's Ranked in the US News Best National Liberal Arts Colleges
From, August 27, 2009

Saint Michael's College is ranked 105th in the Best (national) Liberal Arts Colleges category of the 2010 edition of the U.S. News & World Report magazine’s popular, but controversial, rankings of American colleges and universities. Having moved two years ago from North Regional Masters University category to National Liberal Arts College category, Saint Michael's entered a much more competitive, much larger category of colleges. The rankings, which include some 1,400 schools nationwide, are available today at, will also be published in the September issue of the U.S.News & World Report magazine, on newsstands starting August 20th.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Cargo of North Korea Matériel Is Seized en Route to Iran
By Peter Spiegel and Chip Cummins, The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2009

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates recently seized a shipment of military hardware from North Korea aboard a vessel bound for Iran, according to people familiar with the seizure.

The seizure could fuel efforts by the U.S. and other Western powers to push for greater economic sanctions against Tehran, if diplomatic outreach fails.

Kissing Off Eastern Europe...
From Investor’s Business Daily, August 28, 2009

Missile Defense: The U.S. has abandoned plans to install a missile defense system in Europe, according to a report. If true, this is a major strategic error that will have serious consequences for our allies in Europe and for us.

Conspiracy Theories, Terror Support Found in ISNA Convention Literature
By Steve Emerson, Family Security Matters, August 26, 2009

Literature available at ISNA's annual convention last month in Washington, however, offers a far different vision. Books and pamphlets obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism from ISNA's July national convention feature numerous attempts to portray U.S. prosecution of terrorists and terror supporters as anti-Muslim bigotry; dramatic revisionist history that denied attacks by Arab nations and Palestinian terrorists against Israel; anti-Semitic tracts and hyperbolic rants about a genocide and holocaust of Palestinians.

Obama's Nuclear Blackmail of Israel -- and of the World
By Vel Nirtist, American, Thinker, August 29, 2009

This appears to be Obama's logic -- blackmailing Israel into unconscionable concessions to the Arabs that are unlikely to solve the conflict anyway -- as precondition for US' involvement in resolving Iran's nuclear issue. That Obama is engaged in what should be plainly called "nuclear blackmail of Israel" is the gist of the recent reports and analyses - one in Britain's Guardian , another in Israel's Haaretz.

Hizballah’s Possible Back Door into the UN
By W. Thomas Smith, Jr., Family Security Matters, August 18, 2009

Though barely registering a blip in Western media this week, there have been several reports – primarily throughout a variety of Middle East media – that Lebanon may well be a candidate for membership (though non-permanent) on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). ...

This of course would have huge implications for any future strategic decisions on Lebanon by the UNSC, because the Lebanon-based terrorist group, Hizballah, controls vast tracts of territory in that country, illegally maintains a vast array of weaponry from rifles to rockets, has infiltrated all levels of the Lebanese Army, holds parliamentary seats, has time-and-again shown its willingness to take up arms against the Lebanese people to achieve its political goals (we must never forget May 2008), and the group continues to conduct terrorist training, operations, and related smuggling of arms, cash, and men worldwide.

The Kremlin vs. the Cardinals
By Patrick Devenny, The American Thinker, August 29, 2009

An indispensable addition to this long overdue hit parade is Spies in the Vatican, an intriguing account of the KGB's secret war against the Catholic Church.  Author John Koehler is uniquely suited to tell the story having served as both a US intelligence officer and an AP journalist in Europe.  Upon leaving the media, Koehler spent the better part of the last decade delving into volumes of dusty Cold War-era intelligence documents.  His dedication is apparent: Spies tells a fascinating alternate history of the final two decades of the Cold War as written by tyranny's custodians.

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From Elsewhere

Government Isn't the Only Answer to Helping Needy Get Health Care
By Larry Elder, Investor’s Business Daily, August 28, 2009

Assisting the needy in health care is a "moral imperative" — not a constitutional right. The two are as different as a squirt gun and an Uzi. If something is not permitted under our Constitution, the federal government simply cannot do it. Period.

Patients and Doctors: Partners not Adversaries
By Jordan Ballor, Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, August 27, 2009

In the midst of ongoing debate over the scope and desirability of various health care reform proposals, an obvious and critical component of cost management is going unnoticed: malpractice litigation.

By all accounts the soaring costs of health care have precipitated the national discussion on medicine, insurance, and the government’s role in provision and regulation. President Obama has pledged that any reform of the health care industry must be "revenue neutral" for a government already facing huge budgetary shortfalls. In a conference call to faith leaders from around the country on Aug. 19, the president noted, "By far the single biggest driver of our deficit and our debt is federal government spending on Medicare and Medicaid. And Medicare is about to go into the red in eight years." At the same time he neglected to mention the need to address malpractice litigation as a contributing factor to health care insurance costs.

Speaker of Lies
From Investor’s Business Daily, August 28, 2009

Public Trust: What did the speaker know, and when did she know it? With CIA documents contradicting Nancy Pelosi's claims on classified briefings, will a death watch begin on her leadership?

Related: The Real CIA News
Related: Acknowledging the Obvious

A History of America’s Nuclear Power Experience
By Jay Lehr, Ph.D., Environment & Climate News, August, 2009

The book jacket perfectly describes Tucker’s understanding of nuclear energy, explaining how odd it is that nuclear energy has to be reintroduced to our nation even though it has long supplied almost 20 percent of our electric power. Nuclear power has been too long associated with bombs, accidents, and anti-nuclear hype. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and China Syndrome come quickly to mind.

Tucker makes it clear that nuclear power is a form of natural energy, the same process that heats the center of our Earth to 7,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The concentration of power in the nucleus of the atom is incredible, as the disintegration of a single uranium atom produces 2 million times more energy than is produced by breaking a carbon-hydrogen bond in coal, oil, or natural gas when they are burned.

Airbrushing out Mary Jo Kopechne
Only a Kennedy could get away with it.
By Mark Steyn, National Review, August 29, 2009

We are enjoined not to speak ill of the dead. But, when an entire nation — or, at any rate, its "mainstream" media culture — declines to speak the truth about the dead, we are certainly entitled to speak ill of such false eulogists. In its coverage of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s passing, America’s TV networks are creepily reminiscent of those plays Sam Shepard used to write about some dysfunctional inbred hardscrabble Appalachian household where there’s a baby buried in the backyard but everyone agreed years ago never to mention it.

In this case, the unmentionable corpse is Mary Jo Kopechne, 1940–1969. If you have to bring up the, ah, circumstances of that year of decease, keep it general, keep it vague. As Kennedy flack Ted Sorensen put it in Time magazine: "Both a plane crash in Massachusetts in 1964 and the ugly automobile accident on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969 almost cost him his life."

Related: Lion of the Left
Related: The Media's Kennedy Coverage: A Case Study in Liberal Myth-Making

Obama's Summer of Discontent
The politics of charisma is so Third World. Americans were never going to buy into it for long.
By Fouad Ajami, The Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2009

So we are to have a French health-care system without a French tradition of political protest. It is odd that American liberalism, in a veritable state of insurrection during the Bush presidency, now seeks political quiescence. These "townhallers" who have come forth to challenge ObamaCare have been labeled "evil-mongers" (Harry Reid), "un-American" (Nancy Pelosi), agitators and rowdies and worse.

Related: Growing Government Role Fuels Anger
Related: Will Media Notice Sheehan's Anti-Obama Protest?

Caving to Trial Lawyers
It's necessary to tie any health-care reform to tort reform.
By Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard, August 29, 2009

Howard Dean has exposed the hypocrisy and political favoritism in Obama's health reform scheme. Republicans could be much more vocal in making this part of their critique of Obamacare.

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