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True North Archives - September 02, 2008
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Moving in the Right Direction to Protect Vermontís Children
By Lt. Governor Brian Dubie

One of our states attorneys recently said something to me that Iíve thought a lot about. He quoted Sir Thomas Moreís words: "The law informs." What that means is that the law is not just for courtrooms, victims and perpetrators. The law informs Ė it teaches us all Ė by expressing the values we hold dear as a society. Itís what makes Jessicaís Law so powerful, by saying to predators, "If you harm a child, we will find you and convict you and lock you up for a long time." And it says to victims, "We will do everything in our power to protect you."

Why Conservation Will Not Reduce Energy Demand
By Robert Maynard, Editor

In the debate over energy policy those who oppose increasing our supply by drilling domestically or expanding the use of Nuclear Power, often cited conservation as an alternative which would reduce demand. Of course conservation and the efficient use of energy is a good idea that has its own merits, it really does not follow that this will reduce demand.

A Tale of Two Mid-Sized Governmental Entities
By Martin Harris

Visualize, if you will, a mid-size governmental entity supporting (or demanding the support of, you decide) some 650,000 residents/taxpayers, in a region which years ago waxed prosperous with a growing economy based on a mix of industry and agriculture, but which in recent years has shifted its focus more to the attraction objectives of tourism, medical care, and of course the so-called "creative economy", which is based on the (not-too-over-simplified) concept that a governance which seeks, as its prime priority, puppet shows and deconstructionist theatre will soon, as its subordinate priority, attract commerce, jobs, and wealth.. With this re-direction of economic strategy has come sweeping demographic change, based primarily on middle-class out-migration and industrial and commercial disappearance, even city population shrinkage, while the price tag for ever-more far-reaching governmental services has grown faster than all but the wealthier citizens can cope with, even as the pool of subsidized low- or no-income citizens is the major population growth sector. If you conclude that the above thumb-nail sketch describes Vermont, youíd be correct. It also describes Jefferson County, Alabama, perhaps better known for county seat Birmingham, and now "enjoying" its 15 minutes of fame as the subject of the "biggest US municipal bankruptcy in history", to quote from a recent Associated Press headline.

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This Weekís Mail Bag

Deborah T. Bucknam

Way to go Deborah T. Bucknam!! Excellent article. I hope the Burlington Free Press prints it. Blessings On You.

Stephen Cable 
Spokesperson for Vermont Marriage Advisory Council

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Vermonters Want Less Government Spending.

Senator Don Collins' letter dated 08/22/08 to the St. Albans Messenger regarding grant programs for the "creation and development of recreational opportunities" is yet another example of how he promotes spending money that the taxpayers do not have.  Dare I even mention the disastrous Pre-K that we will now have to pay for! Vermonters want less government spending.

This man has never met a program that he didn't like. Vermonters can no longer afford liberals like Don Collins, and we will have the opportunity to vote him out of office in November.

Marge Day
St. Albans Town


"As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking the coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya." --Barack Obama from his Berlin speech, July 24, 2008.

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Necessary Considerations Re Jessicaís Law
Caledonia Record Editorial, August 28, 2008

One of the hot issues that will come before the Legislature in January is the passage of Jessica's Law. All that most people know of Jessica's Law is that it mandates a 25-year sentence for sexual predators on children. That limited view has given rise to fears that a mandated sentence might limit charges being brought, convictions being achieved, and make plea bargains much harder to get. These are red herrings. Prosecutors governed by Jessica's Law in 44 states agree that stiff sentences make plea bargains easier, not harder, to get, and that prosecutorial discretion is unaffected.

Pollina Reveals what a Farce the Left's Campaign Finance "Reform" Movement Is
From VTGOP Big Tent, August 22, 2008

For all those who believed in the sincerity of the Democrat/Progressive/VPIRG campaign finance "reform" movement, Anthony Pollina is showing us the truth. He is also showing Vermonters what an incompetent hash our far-left "supermajority" has made of our campaign finance laws.

Pollina has apparently collected $27,000 in campaign contributions in violation of Vermontís campaign finance laws. His donors exceeded limits designed to "keep big money out of politics." Confronted with the fact that his campaign broke the law, according to a formal complaint (Money Wars), Pollina then encouraged his donors to skirt the law by forming PACs. So, big money is good, so long as itís his. Finally, the Pollina campaign said, in essence, to heck with the law, weíre just keeping the money.

So, whatís Pollinaís best argument for getting away with this? Vermont has no campaign contribution limits. They were struck down in the embarrassing and expensive Supreme Court case, Randall v. Sorrell, which declared much of Vermontís 1997 Act 64 campaign finance law as laughably unconstitutional. The Democrat Attorney General, Bill Sorrell, and Secretary of State, Deb Markowitz have been arguing for the doctrine of "revival" which says that when the 1997 law was struck down, the pre-1997 law was automatically revived. The parties have a "handshake" agreement to abide by the pre-1997 limits, but...

Pollina can argue that the doctrine of revival -- along with Sorrell's and Markowitz' position -- is bunk. 

(It is important to note here that the VTGOP has advocated for two years to officially re-pass the pre-1997 law so that we would not find ourselves in this position. Republican legislators offered legislation and amendments that would have done this. The Democrat leadership chose to reject this approach for partisan political purposes.)

On the matter of revival, Pollina would likely be found correct, highlighting just how incompetent the supermajority led by Gaye Symington and Peter Shumlin has been for the past two years, failing to compromise and come up with a non-partisan campaign finance bill that could fix the problem. Instead, they focused on ideologically far-left, boutique legislation designed to provoke a partisan fight and a veto -- they got it.

Should Pollina successfully challenge the doctrine of revival, Sorrell and Markowitz stand to be seriously embarrassed. They have both promoted a flimsy legal argument for the sake of political appearances. On the other hand, if Attorney General Sorrell refuses to enforce Vermontís campaign finance laws in order to avoid another embarrassing loss in court, he begs the question, whatís the point of having campaign finance laws at all? Why did we waste two years arguing about something that few Vermonters care about, candidates can refuse to abide by, and officials refuse to enforce? 

Not So Easy
From August 27, 2008

Making wind sound like a panacea sounds good.  But we're not going to have a windmill in every yard.  The reality of wind, like the reality of every other energy source, is that there are costs, as well as benefits, to consider.  We ignore them at our own peril.

Circumferential Highway Moving Forward
WCAX-TV August 27, 2008

State officials say they will have spent over $7.5 million dollars on Circ studies since opponents won the court ruling.

Raise Taxes?
From, August 29, 2008

In today's Burlington Free Press, Doug Hoffer makes the argument that, rather than cutting the budget, Vermont should raise taxes.  That's not unexpected.  Mr. Hoffer is a well-known activist and analyst who worked for Progressive Mayors Sanders and Clavelle and he has written pieces for the Peace and Justice Center, including their Liveable Wage series.  (The Freeps identifies him as someone who lives in Burlington, which is like identifying Al Gore as someone living in Tennessee.)

Vermont Median Income Down
WCAX-TV August 27, 2008

Vermont's median household income is down and state officials are not sure why. New U.S. Census Bureau figures indicate Vermont's median household fell 4.7 percent-- from almost $53,000 in 2004-2005-- to just over $50,000 in 2006 and 2007.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Conservative Internationalism
By Henry R. Nau, Hoover Institute

But what tradition did Reagan represent? The debate between realists and liberal internationalists leaves no explanation for Ronald Reagan ís eclectic foreign policy choices and the extraordinary outcomes he achieved. The conventional foreign policy traditions don ít fit. Realists and liberal internationalists try to claim Reagan but they distort and miss the novelty of his contributions.3 Others conclude he is unique and "has become a transcendent historical figure," not terribly relevant to contemporary debates.4 Still others argue Reaganís foreign policy had nothing to do with ending the Cold War and subsequently wound up in the hands of Reagan impostors, the neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration, who ran it into the ground in Iraq.5

This essay rejects all of these conclusions. It argues instead that Ronald Reagan tapped into a new and different American foreign policy tradition that has been overlooked by scholars and pundits. That tradition is "conservative internationalism." Like realism and liberal internationalism, it has deep historical roots. Just as realism takes inspiration from Alexander Hamilton and Teddy Roosevelt and liberal internationalism identifies with Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, conservative internationalism draws historical validation from Thomas Jefferson, James K. Polk, Harry Truman, and Ronald Reagan. These four American presidents did more to expand freedom abroad through the assertive use of military force than any others (Lincoln doing as much or more to expand freedom domestically by force). But they expanded freedom on behalf of self-government, local or national, not on behalf of central or international government, as liberal internationalists advocate, and they used force to seize related opportunities to spread freedom, not to maintain the status quo, as realists recommend. All of these presidents remain enigmas for the standard traditions. The reason? They represent the different and overlooked tradition of conservative internationalism.6

Bush and Putin and Iran and Georgia
By Michael Margolies, American Thinker, August 30, 2008

Putin saw that the man who forswore weakness and pledged that Iran would not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons instead went into an internationalist mode, and allowed the IAEA (headed by Mohammad El Baradi), the UN, and Russia and China (by threatening vetoes in the security council), to set American policy.  Bushís inaction, proved to Putin that Bush was more bark than bite.  So if Putin wanted to assert himself in his own backyard, particularly against Georgia, ostensibly a close ally of the United States, what did Putin  have to fear other than words of condemnation?

Industry vs. Environment: China May Choke on Its Own Growth
By Derek Scissors, Heritage Foundation, August 29, 2008

It is not possible to draw definitive conclusions concerning the timing and degree of the impact of the PRC's environmental depletion on its long-term economic growth, in no small part because the extent of the depletion is unprecedented. There may be one instructive comparison, though, and it does not bode well.

China's reform era is 30 years old. For more than 30 years after World War II, the Soviet Union boasted an extremely impressive industrial expansion. Yet under the surface, ecological destruction had actually begun to reduce life expectancies and eventually led to prolonged economic stagnation. Moreover, the Russian Federation's recent recovery stems from its natural resources, which the PRC no longer has. It may be that, a generation from now, China's industrial boom will be viewed in a very different light.

Farewell, NATO
America's Cold War alliance with Europe has ceased to be fruitful
By Victor Davis Hanson National Review August 28, 2008

After the victory of the Cold War, NATOís raison díetre became more problematic ó even as its theoretical reach now extended all the way to the old borders of the Soviet Union. Yet, without the Soviet menace that had prompted the alliance, what justified the continued need for transatlantic collective defense?

We saw NATOís paralysis in the European inaction over Serbiaís ethnic cleansing in the 1990s. When NATO finally acted to remove Slobodan Milosevic in 1999, the much-criticized intervention proved little more than a de facto American air campaign.

Beijing's Olympic Message: China Will Do What It Wants
By John J. Tkacik, Jr., Heritage Foundation, August 29, 2008

While Chinese disregard for human rights has been extensively documented, some observers believed that allowing Beijing to host the games would actually increase respect for human rights in China. Yet Chinaís human rights environment actually became more oppressive in the run-up to the Olympics.

British Submission
By Douglas Stone,, August 21, 2008

We frequently point out the wrong-headedness of British policy towards the cultural jihad occurring there. Why? First, because Britainís politically correct policy has led to increasing radicalization of British Muslims and has increased, not decreased, threats of terrorism. 

And second, because where Britain is now is where we in America will be at some point in the future if we do not learn from their mistakes and choose NOT to do what they have done in standing against this threat. 

The article below gives example after example of the failure of this policy. One thing from the British experience is clear. The average citizen of Britain has been no match for the countryís elites, who fashioned the policy of appeasement that has brought Britain to this place. There was no organized, grassroots push back to keep this from happening. 

Cultural jihad is happening here in the United States as well. But we can still stop it Ė and you can be an effective voice in this effort. 

Beginning September 13th, ACT! for America will be conducting one-day "Leadership in Action" conferences in California, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, and New Jersey. This exciting and informative conference will equip you and empower you to be an effective force against the creeping subversion of cultural jihad and the threat of Islamofascism. 

To register or find out more, simply click here. If you donít live near one of these locations, but know people who do, forward this email to them and encourage them to attend. Just last week the Ft. Wayne, Indiana chapter hosted an event with Brigitte Gabriel and Guy Rodgers. Twenty-two people who attended found out about it because one of them received an email from a friend in Oregon. 

Thatís the power of the internet at work. Thatís people power. And thatís what itís going to take to keep America from going down the same road that Great Britain has traveled. So we encourage you to register for a "Leadership in Action" conference near you, or forward this email to those you know who live near one of our scheduled locations. 

As the recent Tyson Foods situation demonstrates, organized and informed grassroots people power does make a difference.

British Submission
By Douglas Stone,, August 21, 2008

Foot baths for Muslim students at Michigan universities? Muslim cabbies in the Twin Cities who refuse to carry seeing-eye dogs? The FBI and other government agencies taking sensitivity training from radical Muslim organizations? You think weíve lost the plot over here? Take a look at British submission to Islamofascist demands and threats, as that once great nation succumbs to creeping dhimmitude. 

It has reached the point that in mid-April, the British Foreign Office instructed the Royal Navy not to return pirates to jurisdictions sporting sharia law (such as Somalia) for fear that their human rights will be violated. They have even been discouraged from capturing pirates, because the freebooters might ask to be granted asylum in Britain, a request with which the UK might have to comply under international and European Union human rights law.

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From Elsewhere

Palin? Perfect
From Investor's Business Daily, August 29, 2008

John McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate is brilliant. Her individualism matches McCain's. But it's the new strengths she brings to the ticket that make the team formidable.

Related: A Reform Ticket

A Closer look at Renewable Energy (pdf)
By Mark P. Mills, Heartland Institute

Sad to say, the economic and engineering realities of the past 20 years have rendered a verdict of "irrelevant" on the favored renewable energy sources. Twenty years after the first confident predictions that renewables would capture 50% of the nationís energy supply by the benchmark date we just passed-Y2K-the United States derives less than one percent of all energy from the favored renewables.

Michael Moore: 'Gustav is Proof there is a God in Heaven'
By Rick Moran, American Thinker, August 30, 2008

Apropos my post from yesterday about the possibility that the GOP will postpone their convention due to the politics involved with Hurricane Gustav. Michael Moore showed us once again how the left has hijacked a natural disaster and turned it into a political football. Appearing on Keith Olbermann's wretched show, the first word's out of Moore's mouth after Olbermann asked him about the potential postponement of the RNC were "Gustav is proof there is a God in heaven." (Video link here.)

Bust Going Boom
From Investor's Business Daily, August 28, 2008

We keep looking for the much-anticipated recession, but it doesn't seem to have gotten here yet. Could it be that many of those expecting a downturn were wrong, and the economy's not going into the tank?

Is College Really Worth It?
By Walter E. Williams, NH Union Leader, Aug. 27, 2008

As parents pack their youngsters off to college, they might ask themselves whether it's worth both the money they will spend and their children's time. Dr. Marty Nemko has researched that question in an article aptly titled "America's Most Overrated Product: Higher Education" The U.S. Department of Education statistics show that 76 out of 100 students who graduate in the bottom 40 percent of their high school class do not graduate from college, even if they spend eight-and-a-half years in college. That's even with colleges having dumbed down classes to accommodate such students.

Zogby Poll: By 3 to 1 Margin, Americans Support Nuclear Power
By James M. Taylor, Environment & Climate News, September 1, 2008

Americans support the construction of new nuclear power plants by a 3 to 1 margin, reports a new Zogby poll.

The Perfect Stranger
By Charles Krauthammer, RealClearPolitics, August 29, 2008

The palpable apprehension is that the anointed is a stranger -- a deeply engaging, elegant, brilliant stranger with whom the Democrats had a torrid affair. Having slowly woken up, they see the ring and wonder who exactly they married last night.

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